Smart TVs are one of the most popular home electronics right now! How do you want to optimally Netflix and Chill without a Smart TV, bruv? Do tell! A smart TV will elevate your space, design-wise at least; it is also a functional piece of tech. In a multiverse of Smarts, where smartphones, smartwatches, smart bracelets, smart bulbs, smart doorbells, smart speakers, and smartdil*do* are a thing, a smart tv should be a staple in your house.
They often come with some of your favourite apps preinstalled. Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, YouTube, and Apple TV, are factory-installed, especially on the recent models. You can invite the love of your life over while your favourite Spotify playlists play on your TV without the need to fiddle with your phone (Bruno Mars sang “Leave the Door Open” for these moments).
****Clears throat**** To paraphrase George Orwell in Animal Farm, “all smart TVs are smart, but some are smarter than the others”. Because a tv is “smart” does not mean it will be a smart fit for you. So, don’t get swallowed by the big whale called FOMO; pay attention to these details before you make your next purchase:
Like all good things in life, smart TVs come in different shapes and sizes. Generally, the sizes range from 32 inches to 85 inches and beyond. For a balanced Feng Shui, your TV screen should be proportionate with the rest of your room. A large screen TV will look disproportionate in a small space. The size also determines the resolution. No manufacturer is putting a 4K screen on a 32 inches TV. Similarly, if yours is a large family, you might want to consider a bigger screen.
Pro Tip: 43 inches and 55 inches are the sweetest spots for the average living room.
Any Smart TV that comes in HD deserves to be binned! The three commonest resolutions are full HD (1080p), 4k, and 8K. The bigger the screen size, the higher you would want your resolution, a 50 inches smart TV with a 1080p will look
like one of those 6 inches Tecno phones with HD resolution badly pixelated, and your viewing experience will suffer for it. 4K remains the most popular resolution in the world. While the internet situation in Nigeria is not exactly 4K friendly, you will still get crisp pictures with popping colours on a 4K TV. In our humble opinion and that of many industry leaders, 8K is overkill; there isn’t enough content for 8k now. There are other resolution-related technologies that you want to pay attention to, OLED, P-OLED, MicroLED (for 1% of the 1%)
Pro-tip: Make sure the TV supports HDR. HDR takes your viewing experience to stratospheric levels; the dark becomes darker, and the light becomes lighter.
Brand and OS
We have decided to combine these two for obvious reasons. In the world of smart TVs, brands and OS are Siamese twins. The most popular smart TV brands in Naija include Samsung, LG, Sony, Hisense,
aka low-budget LG, Panasonic, etc. Most TVs run on Android TVOS (including Sony, TCL ,and a host of others). However, major OEMs like Samsung (Tizen), LG (WebOS), and Hisense (Vida) have their custom OS. In our tests, we discovered that popular apps like Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, and Prime Video are available on most, if not all, of the popular brands. So, you have nothing to fear. Things can become a bit complicated if you want to use region-dependent apps like DSTV. Once again, if you have a recent (more on that later) model from any major manufacturer, you will be fine.
Pro-tip: Samsung and LG are easy to recommend because their repairs are easy, and the resale value of both brands is high.
Year of Production
Every year, OEMs introduce new technologies. The more recent your TV is the better your experience. Older smart TVs risk losing support for major apps or not getting support for newer apps. More significantly, some apps stop supporting older TVs after some time. In addition, the older your TV, the less likely you will receive a firmware update. In October, DSTV announced that their apps would no longer be available for Samsung Smart TVs and Hisense TVs made in 2016 or earlier.
Ports and I/O
In most cases, your smart TV will come with at least three HDMI ports (console, decoder and PC), 2 USB ports, AV ports etc. Some manufacturers also put optical ports (for High Definition audio) for sound bars. Get a Smart TV with all the ports you need for a modern multimedia experience (Optical cables work better with sound bars).
Pro tip: Get a Smart TV with HDMI 2.1 for a seamless HD data transmission
Is it really smart if your TV cannot interact with other smart devices? Screen mirroring, Bluetooth support, virtual assistant, and mouse support are the barest minimum for smart TVs in 2022. If you have a Samsung Smartphone, the smart choice will be to get a Samsung Smart TV (you will enjoy things like Samsung Dex, SmartThings and more). If you have an iPhone, it is important to ensure that your TV supports Airplay. Similarly, if your phone brand manufactures Smart TVs, you will have a great experience if you keep it in the family.
For affordable Smart TVs that fulfil all criteria, click here.