Android TV vs Smart TV: The Ultimate Showdown

The technology landscape never ceases to amaze. Just when you thought your regular television was becoming mundane, the digital world gifted us with two innovations: Android TV and Smart TV. But what’s the real scoop between the two? Let’s dive deep and explore.

Introduction to Android TVs and Smart TVs

The evolution of television has come a long way. From black and white screens to coloured screens, and now to digital platforms that can do more than just display shows.

In today’s digital era, we’re spoilt for choice between Android TV and Smart TV. Which one takes the crown? Hang tight as we unveil the mystery.

What is Android TV?

At its core, Android TV is Google’s TV-friendly OS, a version of the Android operating system, typically seen in mobile phones and tablets.

While this OS has been tailored for the big screen, it retains many of the features and apps you love on your mobile device.

Features and Benefits

  • Google Play Store: Much like your Android phone, Android TVs come with the Google Play Store. This means access to thousands of apps, from streaming services like Netflix to games and everything in between.
  • Google Assistant: Ever wanted to speak to your TV? Well, with Android TV, you can. Integrated Google Assistant allows voice search and voice commands, turning your TV into a home assistant.
  • Chromecast Built-In: No need for external devices. Android TV comes with Chromecast capabilities out of the box, allowing you to cast content from your mobile devices directly to your TV.

What is a Smart TV?

In a nutshell, a Smart TV is any television set with integrated Internet capabilities. They can run entertainment apps, connect to the web, and often come with their proprietary operating systems.

Features and Benefits

  • App Ecosystem: While they might not have the Google Play Store, many Smart TVs come with their app ecosystems. Popular apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video often come pre-installed.
  • Web Browsing: Some Smart TVs offer web browsing capabilities, meaning you can check your emails or visit websites directly from your TV.
  • Screen Sharing: Similar to Chromecast, many Smart TVs allow for screen sharing from mobile devices or computers, albeit using different technologies.

Android TV vs Smart TV: Which Should You Choose?

So, with a basic understanding of both platforms, how do they stack up against each other?

  1. Interface and Usability: Android TV offers a more consistent and streamlined experience due to its Android roots. On the flip side, the interface on Smart TVs can vary significantly depending on the brand and its proprietary system.
  2. App Availability: While Android TV boasts a vast app ecosystem thanks to the Google Play Store, Smart TVs might sometimes miss out on niche apps. However, they cover all the major entertainment apps you’d need.
  3. Voice Integration: Android TV clearly has an edge here with Google Assistant. Smart TVs might have voice capabilities, but they aren’t as refined or as versatile as Google’s offering.
  4. Price: Generally speaking, Android TVs might be a tad more expensive due to the licensing of the Android platform. Smart TVs, especially those with basic features, might come in a bit cheaper.

In a nutshell, if you’re looking for a richer app experience and seamless integration with your Android devices, Android TV is the way to go.

However, if you want a no-fuss, integrated experience and are okay with a potentially limited app store, Smart TVs can be an excellent pick.


What can Android TV do that Smart TV can’t?

Android TV generally offers a more extensive app ecosystem, thanks to the Google Play Store.

Additionally, it provides seamless integration with other Android devices and superior voice control capabilities with Google Assistant.

Are all Smart TVs running Android TV OS?

No, not all Smart TVs use Android TV as their operating system. Many brands have their proprietary systems, such as Samsung’s Tizen or LG’s WebOS.

Can I upgrade my Smart TV to Android TV?

While you can’t directly upgrade your Smart TV’s OS to Android TV, you can use external devices like the Nvidia Shield or Google’s Chromecast with Google TV to bring the Android TV experience to any television with an HDMI input.


The debate between Android TV vs Smart TV boils down to personal preference. If you’re entrenched in the Android ecosystem, Android TV can offer a more harmonized experience.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a straightforward TV with smart features and possibly a better deal, Smart TVs are worth considering.

In the ever-evolving world of technology, always keep an eye out for newer models and updates.

Your ideal TV experience might just be around the corner. And remember, whichever side of the fence you’re on, happy viewing!

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Edward brings years of experience in a variety of different fields including online marketing & No-code app development, and he's been investing in stocks and cryptocurrency since 2016. Outside of work you'll usually find him watching movies at the local cinema or playing games in the Apple Arcade.

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