Best Android TV in India

Compare any 32-inch TV and you will notice; none offers as many features as this Android TV from Mi (Xiaomi). It was Xiaomi that first made Android TVs affordable and attractive in India!

This was possible because the TV works on Patchwall Operating System (OS), which is based on the Google Android OS. You thus get the best of both worlds— Android Apps and budget-friendly TV.

After getting it installed, you can immediately begin watching videos (from the preloaded YouTube) among other Apps. In case you’re not in the mood for YouTube, you can download Hotstar, Alt Balaji and other Apps from the Play Store.

However, since this TV uses an Android based Operating System, you won’t find all the Apps you see in your Android Smartphone’s Play Store. But don’t you worry, Mi keeps releasing regular updates and keeps adding Apps to the PlayStore.

What if you don’t find the App of your choice? Well, if it’s a popular one it will be definitely added during the software updates sooner or later.

But that’s not the only way to watch the content you want. You can also look for the Chromecast option in your Smartphone Apps. All of those Apps can be casted on the TV screen with a single click.

You can also skip the frustrating typing and use your voice as a remote. All you have to do is press and hold the ‘voice’ button and speak your query or command.

You can get weather updates, movie suggestions and change channels or volume with just your voice!

This TV thus combines the best of Android features like Bluetooth, a large App collection, voice control remote and Chromecast to give you the best 32-inch Android TV in India!

Really, you should’nt miss this one!

If you’re looking to upgrade to a good Android TV, then this Kevin TV deserves your attention.

The TV’s Operating System is based on Android which makes the TV very user-friendly and affordable. You get a lot of Android features like screen casting and M-cast i.e. watching Smartphone videos & content directly on TV.

It comes with built-in popular Apps like Hotstar, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Netflix and so on, so you can immediately start watching your favourite videos. 

You can download more Apps from the App Store.

As this TV’s Operating system is based on Android, integrating newer Apps takes time. Kevin releases regular software updates, adding newer Apps to the App Store so you don’t miss out on the trending Apps.

The web-touch remote, too, is a big help as it functions as a remote control, air mouse and a QWERTY keyboard.

Also, since this is an Android TV most of the content you will watch is in Full HD resolution or higher (check my guide below to know what is resolution). Buy anything less than that and your viewing experience will suffer.

This 40-inch TV comes with a Full HD resolution which is sufficient to enjoy most of the broadcasted channels and content from your built-in or downloaded Apps.

And the price? Well, you will be surprised to find out how pocket-friendly this TV is!

At the screen size of 43-inches you can unleash the true potential of an Android TV. And this CloudWalker Android TV lets you do just that!

A screen of 43” falls in the sweet spot of not too big and not too small a TV. It is ideal to enjoy high-quality videos of resolution 1080p (i.e. Full HD) and to enjoy 4K (Ultra HD) content.

However, most 43” TVs only support full HD content, so even if you play a 4K video it will be scaled down to full HD level. Other 43” TVs that do come with 4K compatibility, charge a lot!

But, not this one.

This CloudWalker TV, is 4K Ready. So, it doesn’t scale down 4k videos like other (non-4K) full HD TVs.

Also, this TV uses CloudTVx2 Operating system which is based on Android OS. This makes the TV budget-friendly, without compromising on the Android features like a large App store, screen casting and a smart remote.

With preloaded Apps like Hotstar, Netflix, Alt Balaji, zee5 etc. you can start watching videos as soon as the TV is connected to the internet. You can also download more Apps from the App store.

In case the App of your choice isn’t available, you can watch it by screen casting it from your Smartphone. Newer and popular Apps are added in the periodic software updates released by CloudWalker.

The smart remote functions as an air mouse and comes with many shortcuts to smart features. Alternatively, you can download the C-share App and use it as a remote and to cast videos to the TV screen.

This is one TV, that brings you the best of Android TV features at an attractive price!

Sony leaves no stone unturned when designing the best TV. Be it visuals, sound, features user-interface or remote, Sony TVs are quite premium in their design, service and brand value!

In the Android TVs segment, they are no less. In fact, Sony TVs are the best Android TVs in India! This 49” Sony Bravia already leads with its excellent video and sound quality. Combined with Google certified Android, this TV opens up unlimited content options!

Through the built-in Play Store, you can download most Apps you can find in your Android Smartphone’s Play Store. Unlike TVs that use Android based Operating Systems, Sony comes with certified Google Android Operating System making it the best Official Android TV!

Just like an Android Smartphone you can easily navigate the TV, delete or download Apps you want, and play games from the Play Store.

Chromecast, screen mirroring, and voice control are other Android features that will keep you entertained all year round. The TV easily connects with other Android devices.

You can also give search queries and commands like ‘What’s the Cricket score?’, ‘Suggest romantic movies’ etc. and the TV will obey. As this one’s an Official Android, its Artificial Intelligence algorithm gives you the best content suggestions and quick responses to your voice commands.

Yes, this TV is expensive. But if you want the best, don’t settle for anything less!

Unlike certified Android TVs (which are really expensive), Mi offers a good Android TV at a pocket-friendly price!

However, this TV does not support 4K videos and comes with a Patchwall Operating System.

Unless you’re specifically planning to watch 4K content, this full HD Android will suffice your needs.

That’s because, most content (whether broadcasted or streamed online) is available in full HD (1080p) resolution which this TV supports.

As the Patchwall OS is based on Android Operating System, navigating the different features is very easy. The Play Store comes with a lot of Apps that you can download and enjoy (just like your Android Smartphone’s Play Store).

In case you don’t find the App of your choice you can either screen cast it from the Smartphone to TV or wait for the software updates. (Regular software updates may or may not include the App you want, but the chances are high if it’s a popular App).

The TV also offers other Android smart features like Chromecast, Bluetooth and voice activated remote control. Hence what you get is a value-packed Android TV at a very affordable price!

If a 49-inch screen size seems too small to enjoy 4K content on, then this 55” 4K Sony will make you more than happy!

You might miss out the finer 4K details in a 49” screen, but 55” is the perfect screen size to enjoy Sony’s 4K quality, combined with High Dynamic Range (HDR) visuals.

Out of all Android TV makers, Sony is one of the few that offers certified Android TVs.

With a certified Android you get a similar Play Store like an Android Smartphone, from which you can download any App you want. The Google Android user-interface needs no learning time as you’re already used to using Smartphones.

Another reason why certified Android TVs are so famous is the Google Assist feature. It is the best Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm in the market. What that means is every time you ask queries like ‘What should I watch today?’ or ‘Which are the top 10 romantic Bollywood movies?’ you’re sure to get the most relevant and personalized suggestions.

The voice-activated remote takes search queries and commands. Gone are the button-pressing days. Now with a single button, your voice becomes the remote!

Along with these features you also get, built-in Chromecast. This lets you cast videos from YouTube, Netflix etc. from your Smartphone screen to the TV.

All-in-all, with a Sony Android TV, you won’t just be streaming online content. But you will be enjoying it in the best video and audio quality, unlike other Android TVs!

A large screen, great visuals and tons of content—is what you get in this 55” Android TV from Mi (Xiaomi). The 4K resolution is ideal to enjoy games and videos, on a screen large enough to appreciate the high-quality visuals!

However, the TV uses Patchwall Operating System.

It is based on the Android Operating System and works almost like an Official Android.

The only difference is in the number of Apps available in the Play Store (Official Android Play Store has more Apps than Android based OS TVs).

Don’t worry, the Pacthwall OS Play Store keeps updating the Apps to keep up with official Android Play Store.

In case, the App you want is not yet available, you can screen mirror it from your Smartphone screen. Or you can wait for Mi’s regular software updates (if it’s a trending App, its chances of getting added to Mi Play Store will be higher).

Along with endless content options (including 4K content providers), you even get a voice-activated remote. You no longer need to remember what is the channel number for StarMovies, or keep typing search queries. Just speak into the voice remote and the TV will obey.

You also get in-built Chromecast (for screen mirroring) and Bluetooth for connecting sound systems wirelessly. On top of all this, you can even download the Mi App and use it as an alternative remote.

And you get all of this, at a too-good-to-be-true price!

If you compare all Android TVs (like I did) you will notice two things:

  1. All ‘budget’ Android TVs are ‘budget’ because they develop their own Operating System which is based on Android OS. This lets them charge less while giving an almost Android experience.
  2. If you check out the certified Android TVs, the first thing you’ll notice is their expensive price tag. And no matter how good the visuals may be or how popular the brand, spending such a large sum of money might not sit well with you.

This TCL TV offers a unique win-win deal. Although limited to 55” and 65” screen sizes, it comes with an affordable (almost ‘budget’) price tag. And you also get a Google certified Android TV!

So, if you want an official Android TV without spending a fortune, this is it! You get all the Android features like a voice-activated remote, and in-built Chromecast for screen mirroring.

You get a large screen and the best resolution/ video quality (4K). All of these, ensure an immersive viewing experience be it gaming, sports or movies. What more do you want?

All about Android TVs

What are Android TVs?

To understand what Android TVs are and what makes them so popular, lets first look at how mobile phones evolved.

The purpose of phones whether landline, mobile or Smartphone is making and receiving calls. The core purpose remains the same even today.

But mobile phones today are no longer used only for calling. They let us take better selfies, watch YouTube videos, play PubG among a number of other things.

And the more they offer, the more popular they get.

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Do you remember this rough-&-tough cell phone from the old days? These fulfilled the phone’s basic purpose— of calling and receiving.  There were no differentiating points other than price and design.

However, as technology evolved, mobile phones soon started offering internet connectivity (remember the 2G days?). These were the basic smartphones.

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These basic smartphones were based on Operating systems (required for the phone to function smoothly and without hanging) that differed from brand to brand. For example, Nokia used Symbian OS, Blackberry used Blackberry OS and so on.

The focus had shifted from phone network to providing other features which included slimmer phones, and advanced Operating system. Every Operating system (OS) competed to be as user-friendly as possible.

Each OS came with its AppStore, from which you could download different Apps and games. Slowly a race started between how many Apps were made compatible with the Operating System (which meant more downloadable choices for us consumers).

Apple’s iOS, launched in 2007, was a breakthrough Operating System. It simplified phone usage (by providing just 1 ‘home’ button), a smooth & responsive touchscreen, and came with many interesting Apps in its App Store.

But iphones were (and still are) expensive.

And then in the year 2008, came Android phones.

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Android phones were cheaper and easy-to-use, hence their popularity soared. Good smartphones had suddenly become affordable.

The fact that Android makers kept improving the Operating system and released timely updates, soon put Android smartphones on the top of the competition.

Soon the number of Apps and games available in Android PlayStore exceeded AppStores of every other Operating System.

Android Smartphones became the best-selling smartphones, globally. And Android Operating System, became the best Operating system in terms of technology, affordability and user-preference.

Something similar happened in the Television market.

The main purpose of TVs was to play broadcasted content. News, movies, sports and TV shows were recorded and then broadcasted on TV channels via satellites in space.

Antennas (now dish antennas/ satellite receivers) received these signals and streamed it on TVs when turned ‘on’. This is how we’ve always watched TVs.

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The TVs got slimmer and competed to provide better video & audio quality. Their main purpose, however, was still limited to broadcasted content and occasional streaming from external media devices (like USBs, PC, Smartphone etc).

But as the phone industry had seen huge technological upgrades, it was only a matter of time that TVs would become a part of it too.

The first basic smart TVs were not that impressive.

They let you connect TV to the internet and gave some basic video Apps in their App Stores. But slowly, the Operating systems improved and kept adding more and more Apps to their App Stores.

The ‘smartness’ of TVs expanded to other features like Bluetooth, screen mirroring, and voice-activated control. All this time TV manufacturers worked hard to make their Operating Systems user-friendly and affordable.

LG developed WebOS, Samsung provided Tizen OS but it was Sony that first came out with Google Android TVs. Sony figured out that Android OS was already loved by users in the Smartphone segment so why not integrate it into TV’s too?

Although other Operating Systems offered ease-of-use and many Apps, Android OS TVs had an advantage over them all.

Since most users still use Android smartphones, it’s easy to navigate Android TVs without any extra effort.

There is no App Store with a larger collection of Apps & games than Google PlayStore. All the trending Apps and even not-so-popular Apps, can all be found in PlayStore.

In fact, you check it right now! Want to confirm whether the App you want will be available on your Android TV PlayStore or not? Look for it on any Android Smartphone’s PlayStore. If its there, you will get it on your TV’s PlayStore too.

Android OS also comes with its globally popular search engine— Chrome and Chromecast (for screen casting).

Android Operating System’s Google Assist is also the most advanced AI (Artificial intelligence) for recommending content and processing voice commands. All of these factors, differentiate Android TVs as the smartest smart TVs in the market.

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Difference between smart TV and Android TV

ParametersSmart TVAndroid TV
Operating SystemCould be any like Tizen, WebOS, including AndroidGoogle Android OS or Android based OS (Patchwall, Cloudtv etc.)
User interfaceNot better than AndroidFamiliarity of Android smartphones makes Android TV usage the easiest of all
App StoreLG content store, App Store, Opera Store etc.Play Store
Number of Apps in App StoreLesser than AndroidMore than non-Android smart TVs
Trending AppsMay or may not be availableAlways available in PlayStore
Screen casting & Bluetooth connectivityMay be erraticGenerally better
Voice control and searchMay or may not be presentThe best among all TVs
Watch-history based suggestionsMay or may not be providedPersonalized suggestions provided with the best AI algorithms

Android based OS vs. Google Android TVs

Many newer, low-cost Android TVs come with ‘Android based’ Operating Systems. In order to make an informed decision, you should know that Android based OS is different than Google Android Operating System.

Google Android OS is the proprietary of Google i.e. it’s the official Android. Currently, Sony, Sanyo and TCL are the only TV brands in India to offer Google certified Android TVs.

These TVs come with all Apps you can find in the PlayStore of an Android Smartphone. Their voice command and search are much more sophisticated and responsive.

You also get regular software updates from Google with the latest additions and bug fixes (Just like your Android Smartphone). However, this also makes TVs from these brands more expensive than others.

Sony, especially is considered a premium and expensive brand as it combines its superior visuals and audio with Google certified Android features.

On the other hand, TV makers like Mi, CloudWalker, Kevin, Sceptre and so on, offer budget Android TVs. These manufacturers offer their own Operating Systems which are based on Android OS.

Ever heard of Lollipop, Marshmallow, Nougat, and Oreo?

They aren’t just sweets, but versions of Google Android Operating System released in consecutive years. For example, Lollipop is Android version 5.0 released in 2014 while Oreo is Android 8 released in 2017 by Google.

The latest update is Android 9.0 (2018) codenamed ‘Pie’.

Budget Android makers come up with their own OS which are based on any one of these Android versions. Your ‘Android’ experience will thus differ on which version the OS is based on.

For example, Xiaomi claims to be the largest selling smart TV brand in India. Their Mi TVs come with Patchwall OS which is based on Android 8 (Oreo) version.

As this is one of the latest versions, you can access Google Playstore to download more than 3600 Apps along with using Google voice search and Chromecast built-in.

Operating Systems based on older Android versions might not give you all the above features.

So, does that mean Android based Operating System TVs are bad?

Well, not at all.

The difference between Google Android and Android based OS TVs is in the interface and features.

Android based TVs might not offer as many Apps as official Android PlayStore. Some Android features like Chromecast, Bluetooth, Google voice assist etc. might be absent or missing in Android based OS TVs.

But their pocket-friendly prices more than make up for it!

So, if you’re looking for a budget Android TV, Android based Operating System TVs (like Patchwall OS or CloudTV) offer the best combination of value and price.

But if you also want premium brand value and authentic Google Android experience, a Sony, Sanyo or TCL Android TV is a better option. Just confirm that the TV is a Google certified Android, before buying (usually its mentioned in the TV’s title itself).

Things to consider while buying an Android TV

Budget

Android TVs cost in the range of 10000 to 200000 Rupees. If you’ve read my guide above, you will already know it’s the official Android TVs that cost more. These are from brands like Sony, TCL and Sanyo.

Android based OS TVs come at budget-friendly prices.

To expand your budget, you can exchange your old TV on Amazon and get a good discount on the new one. On Amazon, you can also opt for the various debit and credit card discounts. You can even pay in instalments with a suitable EMI plan.

Size

Many say when it comes to TV size— the bigger the better.

Well, try sitting in the very first row in a movie theatre and you’ll be reminded why no one likes front row seats, that’s because your eyes are under constant strain. The problem is not in the screen size but the distance, as the same theatre screen from a last row seat will not stress your eyes.

Same applies to TVs. Hence, the size of TV you should buy depends on the viewing distance.

Viewing distance is the distance between the TV (wall mounted or on table top) and the sofa or chairs from where you’ll be watching it.

To calculate the ideal size for your TV, divide the viewing distance (in inches) by 1.6 and you’ll know how large a TV you should go for.

Or look at this chart to find out the right size of TV for you, based on the viewing distance.

Resolution

Resolution indicates the quality of the videos you see on TV.

The images we see on-screen are made of millions of tiny dots called pixels.

These pixels are arranged in vertical and horizontal lines behind the TV screen.

The more the number of pixels the higher will be the resolution of the screen and the better will be the video clarity. Resolution indicates the maximum number of pixels your TV can display.

So how do you find the resolution?

Well, the format used to describe the resolution of a TV screen is– (the number of pixels arranged horizontally) X (number of pixels arranged vertically).

So, a screen with (1366 X 768) resolution consists of 1366 horizontal pixels multiplied by 768 vertical pixels or a total of 10,49,088 pixels.  Such a screen is commonly called a screen with resolution of 720p.

The world of High Definition starts at 720.

Most commonly available resolutions and the terms used to describe them are as follows:

720p (1366x768p)— High Definition (HD) or HD ready TV

1080p (1920 x 1080p)— Full HD TV

2160p (3840 x 2160p)— UHD or Ultra HD or 4K

Android TVs are available in all three resolutions. Buy the one that best fits your budget.

Brand

In the segment of Android TVs, Sony is the premium brand which combines the best of video & audio technology with certified Google Android interface. However, its expensive price tag is a huge deterrent.

But if you value brand reliability and reputation more than anything else then there’s no other TV brand that will make you as proud as Sony does!

This is followed by other brands like TCL, and Sanyo which do offer Google certified Android TVs but for a slightly lower price.

In the budget Android TV segment, there are many brands to choose from. Some of the popular ones are Mi, Kevin, Onida, CloudWalker, and Shinco.

  • Internet connection

To stream high quality videos from Apps, to use voice search or to enjoy most of the “smart” features of your Android TV, the one thing you’ll need the most is a reliable internet connection.

You can get this from your local Internet Service Provider (as a LAN cable or Wi-Fi) or you could opt for a Wi-Fi modem from a phone Company (like Jio-Fi). With a regular internet connection, you can stream videos from Netflix, Hotstar, YouTube and so on.

  • Other useful features
  • Bluetooth

Bluetooth feature can be used to connect a sound system or an external media device, wirelessly. This gives your TV a less-messy look by cutting down the wire needs.

All Android smart TVs come with in-built Bluetooth feature that makes connectivity easier.

  • Screen casting

Chromecast compatible Apps like YouTube can be directly streamed on TV screen via your Smartphone or tablet. However, the availability of this feature may vary from brand to brand.

With a few taps, the Screen casting feature also allows web browsing and e-mailing among other actions. This feature turns the TV not just into an entertainment hub but also into a work desk for you.

  • Air mouse

Brands like Kevin pair up their Android TVs with a smart remote having an air mouse.

Air mouse lets you simply ‘point’ and ‘click’ on your TV screen. You no longer have to keep pressing up, down and right, left buttons to navigate through the TV options.

  • Keyboard

What do you think is more convenient? Having an alphabetical screen where you press navigation buttons to reach each letter?

Or just type the words you want through an alphabetic keyboard? The second one, right?

That’s exactly what these smart remotes offer.

Many of these air mouse equipped remotes come with an alphabetic QWERTY keyboard (like the one on Smartphones). This makes typing search queries easier (as you would be doing that a lot in Android TVs).

  • Voice control and search

Voice search was first introduced in Smartphones with Siri and Google assist. This feature has now reached the TVs too.

Most Android TVs skip the typing part altogether by letting you speak to the TV via a voice receiver button on the remote. You don’t need to type, ‘Best Bollywood movies’, ‘top comedy shows’ and so on, you can just speak this into the remote control and the TV will obey.

Some Android TVs only let you control the TVs volume, channels and basic navigation with voice-activated control. Google certified Android TVs, however, support even general queries like, ‘What’s the cricket score,’ ‘Will it rain today?’ etc.

However, some latest versions of Mi Android TVs also offer voice control and search feature. So, check the TV’s specifications before buying to confirm its voice feature and what it allows.

Buying online vs. offline

Unlike buying stationary or books, TV is a significant and a costly purchase, and as consumers, we all want the best deal in terms of price and exchange offer. 

So  WHERE should you buy your new TV from, to ensure that you get the best price, better variety and not feel cheated after making the purchase?— online or offline? For this, you need to consider just three things:

  1. Delivery
  2. After sales service (i.e. installation and future repairs)
  3. And Exchange of your old TV

 

  1. Delivery

Many consumers misunderstand the seller’s role. The job of any seller whether online or offline, is only to SELL and DELIVER the new TV. Installation and repairs are NOT the seller’s responsibilities.

Keeping this in mind, if you want your new TV to be delivered within the next 24 hours, going to your nearest electronics store is a better option.

However, if you’re willing to wait, then buying online will give you so many more options and deals to choose from!

When buying from Amazon, you can also select your preferred delivery slot, so your TV reaches you when you’re available. You can also return or replace the TV, if you find any issues with the delivered one.

  1. After sales service

Once the TV is delivered, the seller’s job ends. To get the TV installed, you have to contact the customer care center of the TV Company.

You can schedule a suitable time to get your TV installed by contacting the customer care. (When you buy offline, generally the retail store executives make that call for you).

Similarly, for repairs, it is the customer care you need to call and not the seller. This is why the brand of the TV becomes important, as the quality of the after sales service depends on it.

  1. Exchange of old TV

Buying a new TV almost always means discarding an old one. But wouldn’t it be better if you could scrape some value out of it?

Both online and offline sellers, let you get rid of your old TV with a small discount in the price of the new one.

When buying on Amazon, you’re asked for the brand, screen size and condition of your old TV. You’re then given a discount that you can avail on your new TV.

The exchange procedure is simple. If you’ve opted for the exchange, the old TV gets picked up during the delivery of the new one. Convenient and transparent.

Another point to note is that salesmen in retail electronics stores get high commission on certain products. And hence they may aggressively ‘push’ those products on you. Don’t fall for it!

In conclusion, if you’re in a hurry then buying a TV from your nearest electronics store is the best option.

But if you want more variety, more offers and a good exchange rate for your old TV, buying online is the way to go. All from the comfort of your home!

 

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