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One of the more overlooked features of Smart TVs is the OS, with the most prominent and popular of them being the Android TV OS.
So what’s the difference between Android TVs and Smart TVs, and is one better than the other?
Read on below for an in-depth breakdown of Smart TV vs Android TV, to know all there is about them before making your new TV purchase!
What Is A Smart TV?
Smart TVs can be considered upscaled Smartphones or tablets;
They run on an OS, have access to streaming sites, social media, and other internet-related features. Like being able to download apps from a compatible app store.
Of course, while they mostly do the same thing, every Smart TV is different from the other.
The most common factors are often attributed to brand and technical specifications.
But the OS (or Operating System) is a key component too, as it’s the main thing that makes a Smart TV, smart.
So, in the case of this article, we’re assuming that a Smart TV runs on any OS that isn’t an Android OS.
For a more comprehensive list of Smart TV OS and platforms, check out the Wikipedia page.
What Is An Android TV?
Android TVs are Smart TVs that run on the Android TV OS, which functions similarly to other Android-based devices.
One of the more notable features of Android TVs is its access to Google Play, which allows you to download some of the most popular streaming and gaming apps on the market.
You’ll also get Google Assistant functionality, which gives you voice commands for your TV and other connected smart devices in your home.
Android TVs also have Chromecast, while allows you to stream media from compatible phones straight to your TV. This means you can skip fiddling with the TV remote control to pick a channel or show.
One of the major benefits of an Android TV over a Smart TV is the amount of OS updates and developer support the platform gets.
While some other Smart TV OSs may fall by the wayside and become incompatible with apps as they update (especially more budget options):
Android’s ubiquity in the Smart TV market means the OS and apps on the Play Store are consistently getting updated.
So you’ll never have to worry about your Android TV being incompatible with newer app versions.
Note: For more information on how the Android TV OS works, have a look at their page here.
What Are The Differences Between an Android TV and a Smart TV?
Apart from technical specifications and features, the major difference between an Android TV and other Smart TVs is in the OS they run;
Android TVs run on Google’s Android platform, while other Smart TVs have their OS, be it Apple TV, WebOS, or Tizen.
They also have access to the Google Play Store, while other Smart TVs may only have proprietary apps on them.
As such, most Smart TVs have a smaller selection of apps and are less versatile than their Android TV counterparts.
Furthermore, while Smart TVs may have voice commands and casting functionalities. Though they may not be as robust as an Android TV’s Google Assistant or Chromecast.
Is A Smart TV VS Android TV Better?
If you’re not into the Android ecosystem and want a simple, linear experience:
Smart TVs often have a more digestible user interface than Android TVs and can be the better option if you’re unfamiliar with Android devices.
However, Android TVs have the benefit of consistent updates, a large library of apps through the Google Play Store, access to Google Assistant, as well as built-in Chromecast functionality.
As such, Android TVs are a safe purchase to make if you plan on getting any Smart TV in general.
Even if you don’t use all its features, it’s a well-built OS, with developer support adding a lot more longevity (I.e., future-proofing) to your Smart TV.
That being said, you do have to compare any Smart TV and Android TV individually, as their technical specifications (e.g., resolution, backlight technology, brightness, screen size, price, sound system, etc) do also play a huge role in what TV you’ll get.
What Is The Best Android/Smart TV?
Given the vast variety of manufacturers, TV sizes, features, and the budget you’re working with, it’s hard to condense a single TV as being the best Android or Smart TV on the market.
Furthermore, while Android TVs may be preferable, there are plenty of other Smart TVs that can do the job just as well.
For our recommendation on which Android/Smart TVs to get, check out our article on the best Smart TVs available in Malaysia, where we go a lot more in-depth into specific models of Smart TVs!
Can I Turn My TV into a Smart/Android TV?
Smart/Android TV Boxes allow you to turn your standard TV into a Smart TV, fully equipped with all the necessary features, including access to streaming sites and other internet-based services.
Of course, not all smart TV boxes are built equal either!
If you’re a fan of the Android TV OS but don’t want to fork out the money on a brand new TV:
Check out our curated list on the best Android TV boxes in Malaysia, for our recommendations on which of these devices you should be getting.
And that ends our quick overview of Android TVs VS Smart TVs, and which of them may be the better option for you.
As always, do remember to do your research on the product! There are plenty of other factors that go into choosing a TV other than the OS it runs on.
And if you like a Smart TV but aren’t too fond of the OS, you can always get an Android TV Box to use with it instead!