Discover the Best Android TVs for Your Viewing Needs

In this age of ever-evolving technology, choosing the best Android TV can be a daunting task. The market offers many options, each boasting unique features and specs.

But the question is, what makes an Android TV the “best”? Is it the 4K display, the specific perks like HDMI 2.1, Dolby Vision/Atmos, or the choice between an LCD or an OLED? And what about the operating system– Android TV or Google TV? To help you make an informed decision, we have gathered our top picks of Android TVs in the market..

So, let’s dive into the world of Android TVs and explore what sets them apart.

Considerations When Choosing the Best Android TV

When it comes to Android TVs, the options may be fewer than others, but you have enough choices among brands like Hisense, Sony, and TCL. You can find the model that suits your needs and budget with a little research.

Google TV vs. Android TV: What’s The Difference? 

Google TV is a new version of Android TV built upon the same foundation. While both platforms offer the same applications, Google TV boasts an enhanced and streamlined navigation experience. Moreover, Google TV incorporates advanced AI features that track your viewing preferences to deliver better recommendations. Unlike Android TV, Google TV presents your preferred shows on the home page, regardless of the app, and proposes new ones that may interest you. 

If you already have an Android TV, upgrading to Google TV may be optional. Google has already introduced some of Google TV’s recommendation tools to Android TV. Nevertheless, Google will likely exert more effort into refining the new interface, while the old one may grow more flawed and stale with time. Thus, upgrading to Google TV may be the right move if you have the option.


LED, ULED & OLED: What’s The Difference?

In terms of display types, LED is the most common type of TV display, with an array of pixels that create the final image you see after a backlight shines through them. ULED is a type of screen technology used specifically by Hisense, offering improved local dimming, a wider color gamut, and smoother animations. Finally, OLED is the most expensive type of TV display that doesn’t require a backlight and provides deeper blacks, wider viewing angles, and faster response times than other display types.


Screen Resolution: HD, 4k, or 8K? 

The resolution determines the number of pixels forming the display’s picture in horizontal and vertical lines. A higher resolution typically produces a sharper image with finer details, making it the better choice.

Full HD or 1920 x 1080 resolution has been the standard for years, but Ultra HD or 4K, with four times the pixel count, is rapidly taking over. It boasts sharper images with richer, lifelike details, making larger TVs easier to view from shorter distances.

While more Ultra HD content, including movies and shows, is becoming available on streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Video, and YouTube, it remains limited compared to 4K. 

8K Android TVs have also hit the market and offer even greater picture quality, but their limited content and high prices make them unappealing. 8K resolution with 7680 x 4320 pixels is stunning, but no 8K movies are available for purchase yet. AI-powered upscaling can make everything look better, but early models cost a fortune.

The TCL Roku TV 6-Series 8K is more affordable than most 8K TVs, but it’s still not as good as the top 4K smart TVs. So, early adopters can spend on pricey 8K TVs, but the 4K resolution is still the best choice for most people.

The Number of HDMI Ports: How Many Is Too Many?

It depends on how many devices you intend to connect to the TV. Android TVs possess an integrated interface, removing the need for a separate streaming device to access services like Netflix and Hulu, freeing up an HDMI port. Game consoles, such as the PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch, as well as soundbars, like the Sonos Beam, require HDMI connections. A Blu-ray player for local 4K playback would also connect via HDMI.

As someone who possesses a Chromecast with Google TV, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch lite, and Sonos Beam, I employ all four HDMI ports on my TV. However, four HDMI ports may prove superfluous if one has fewer devices. Therefore, you should purchase a TV with enough HDMI ports to accommodate your devices, as there is no way to add additional HDMI outputs later.

HDMI 2.1: Do You Really Need It? 

HDMI 2.1 may be indispensable for individuals who own or plan to own a PS5 or Xbox Series X or wish to utilize their TV as a PC gaming monitor. HDMI 2.1 is a modern specification that enables 48 gigabits per second to pass from an external device through the port and input on the television screen. This allows an immense amount of visual data to appear simultaneously, producing 4K resolution images that refresh up to 120 times per second. 

HDMI 2.1 also facilitates other gaming features, such as variable refresh rates that improve performance and auto-low latency mode, which reduces gaming lag. The latest consoles or PCs can utilize HDMI 2.1 to run games with optimal performance. However, older consoles or TV streaming lack a purpose for them. 4K at a lower refresh rate suffices for most other contexts. Therefore, individuals who aren’t ardent gamers needn’t worry if their TV only supports HDMI 2.0.

 

Top 5 Best Android TVs for Gaming and Streaming

1. Sony X80K

Sony-65-Inch-4K-Ultra-HD-TV-X80K-Series

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The Sony X80K is a solid option for those seeking the best Android TV. It has replaced the X80J in Sony’s 2022 lineup, offering slightly fewer premium features at a lower price point. However, the value it provides is worth the investment.

This 4K LED TV boasts HDR and Dolby Vision and uses Sony’s Triluminos Pro display technology for richer colors. The X-Reality PRO engine upscales HD content to 4K, delivering one of the best 4K images in its price range. The Sony X1 processor powers all of these features.

The X80K’s audio features are also noteworthy, with Dolby Atmos and X-balanced speakers delivering rich sound in a compact form. The TV also has four HDMI ports and low power consumption. The remote response is also solid and fast, and the Google Assistant Voice is crisp and responsive. 

One thing to be cautious about is the TV’s screen, which goes to the edge of the TV chassis. Sony provides a protective cover, but be careful not to put undue stress on the screen glass, especially for larger and heavier screen sizes.

  • Pros: Gorgeous images, Sleek design, Google TV included
  • Cons: No local dimming

 

2. Hisense U8H Mini-LED

Hisense-U8H-QLED-Series-Quantum-4K-ULED-Mini-LED-65

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The Hisense U8H Android TV is another top choice. This Smart TV comes in three sizes – 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch – and features mini-LED technology with hundreds of dimming zones that produce greater image contrast. With Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG support, the U8H series delivers excellent HDR content, making it a perfect choice for movie lovers.

In terms of performance, the TV has 6GB storage and 2GB RAM, which provides more than enough space and power to run current apps. The TV runs on Android 11, which makes the interface animations smooth, and it has no trouble running the latest TV apps. The built-in processor is sufficient for most media tasks, and the TV also features fast Wi-Fi, enabling users to achieve well over 100mbps even when connected to an 802.11AC access point.

If you’re interested in gaming on your TV, the U8H series can emulate everything through SNES and run some N64, Dreamcast, PSP, and Android games. The TV also has a Bluetooth mouse that works with a cursor, making it easy to navigate. You can even install a web browser on it, and pages load quickly and render correctly.

Overall, the Hisense U8H Android TV is a solid choice for anyone looking for a feature-packed Smart TV with excellent picture quality and performance. 

  • Pros: Slim and sleek design, gorgeous 4K picture with 120Hz refresh rate; 4 HDMI ports
  • Cons: Initial setup is tedious

 

3. Sony XR-55A95K

Sony 55 Inch 4K Ultra HD TV A95K Series

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If you’re looking for the best Android TV money can buy, Sony XR-55A95K should be on top of your list. It’s an outstanding TV that combines the best OLED and quantum dot technology. 

The A95K’s picture quality is remarkable, with deep blacks and vivid colors that make HDR content look exceptional. It’s perfect for watching TV shows and sports in well-lit rooms, with incredible reflection handling. While any bright light source causes the black levels to rise, the A95K still performs well in most uses.

The A95K is equipped with Sony’s bespoke Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology, which turns the screen into a giant speaker, delivering exceptional sound quality. It also features the Bravia CAM accessory that magnetically attaches to the set’s rear. While it may lack some gaming features compared to an LG G2 or C2, the A95K is still a great gaming TV, with a near-instantaneous response time, VRR support, and HDMI 2.1 bandwidth.

All in all, the Sony A95K Smart TV is incredibly unbeatable for movies and TV shows. Its balanced and natural picture quality, exceptional sound, and great gaming performance make it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-end Smart TV.

  • Pros: Very natural and authentic picture, bright highlights, excellent sound for a TV
  • Cons: Super Expensive

 

4. TCL 40S334

TCL 40-inch Class 3-Series HD LED Smart Android TV - 40S334, 2021 Model

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The TCL 40S334 Smart TV is a great choice for those who want a high-quality display at an affordable price. Although it came out in 2021, the NYTimes called its 32-inch version the best 32-inch TV of 2023. The 40 inches version features a 1080p screen resolution, while the 30 inches is limited to 720p – which is great considering its affordable cost. 

The TV has a range of ports, including two HDMI ports, one USB port, one Ethernet port, one Audio out port, and one cable and antenna port. Additionally, the TV supports VESA mounting and includes a built-in HD tuner, making it easy to access free over-the-air HD content.

While the TV is easy to set up and use, it can respond slowly, resulting in continuous button mashing. The remote is simple yet effective, with helpful buttons and a microphone for voice search. Additionally, the internal memory size is limited, and users may need to add an external USB drive to maintain updates. 

The TCL 40S334 is a great small, smart TV you can use in any space. The built-in Android TV smart-TV platform supports all major streaming video and music services. However, its resolution may not be ideal for up-close use, like desktop work or gaming, and dark scenes can sometimes look too blue.

  • Pros: Easy to use, decent picture and sound quality for the price
  • Cons: Lacks some smart features.

 

5. Sansui ES43S1A

SANSUI ES43S1A, 43 inch UHD HDR Smart TV with Google Assistant

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This 32-inch display boasts a high 3000:1 contrast ratio and a great 720p screen resolution, making it ideal for users who want to enjoy a cinematic viewing experience from the comfort of their homes. The TV supports Dolby Audio technology for superb sound and HDR content for vivid visuals. 

The TV also has Chromecast built-in, making it easy to have content depicted on the TV’s screen. With three HDMI ports, two USB ports, one AV-in port, one earphone port, and one optical port, the display is an excellent option for users prioritizing connectivity. Additionally, it also has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity for a wireless connection to the internet.

We liked its great picture, super nice colors, clarity, and responsive, easy-to-navigate apps. The remote also has app buttons, making it easier to access different apps without navigating to them. However, the sound quality is rather weak. 

Thankfully, the TV has an optical out for sound, which users can connect to an external soundbar. With the Bestisan S7020P Soundbar, which can be bought for around $60, users can significantly improve the TV’s sound quality. Despite its sound quality issues, the Sansui ES43S1A Smart TV is a solid choice for users who want a high-quality display with excellent connectivity.

  • Pros: Affordable, built-in Chromecast, decent colors 
  • Cons: weak sound


Final Thoughts

Choosing the right Android TV may seem overwhelming at first. But carefully considering the features and specifications that matter most to you can make it a straightforward process. From the models discussed in this guide, you can confidently select any one that suits your needs, knowing that you’re getting the best Android TV available.

Good luck!

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