Smart versus Android TV: Decoding the differences
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CAPE TOWN – Once upon a time, you’d confidently walk into an electronics store and buy a device perfectly suited for your binge-watching habits.
Now, when buying a TV, you’re likely to find myriad confusing offerings and tech-jargon flying at you faster than your head, and wallet, can cope with.
So, when Skyworth arrived on South African shores with a brand-new TV with built-in Android operating system, we couldn’t help but wonder what differentiates it from the Smart TVs we’ve just become accustomed to? For your sake, and ours, we thought it best to explore how the two differ in the hopes that our next TV-buying escapade will be less daunting.
Put simply, Smart TVs have built-in apps that everyday consumers can easily use through the TVs’ ability to connect to the Internet. That means easy access to streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and YouTube, an all in one convenient package. Great! The downside? The number of downloadable apps is limited so you’re stuck with what you’ve got. Also, most operating systems aren’t upgradable.
This means that when new apps or services, like Hulu, become available in SA, you may need to consider buying a whole new TV just to cater for them.
Android TVs work much the same as their smart counterparts in that they’re able to connect to the World Wide Web. The difference? Android TV has a lot more apps available because it has access to the Google Play Store.
This way you can enjoy the applications typically found on Smart TVs, plus thousands more. In fact, Skyworth is the first company in South Africa to partner with Google, meaning it also has access to streaming services, like South African video-on-demand service Showmax, Netflix and YouTube – all for our viewing pleasure and convenience.
There’s also the added luxury of the TV’s Voice Search functionality. Instead of having to manually type in what you’re looking for, you can talk to your TV using the remote for a faster, hassle-free way to search. Pairing this feature with Google Assistant allows you to control all your smart home devices too.
Another big differentiator of this TV is that its operating system is upgradable and so are all of its available applications. This means you can keep up with the best in apps, games and entertainment as and when they enter our country, and without having to splash out on a
new device. Think of it as a TV with the same capabilities as a smartphone – except for the fact that it can’t make calls… yet.
At the end of the day, before picking a television, consider what it is you want to get out of it.
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