Best Android TV of 2020 at a glance
- Hisense H8G Quantum — The best overall pick if you want an Android TV
- Sony X800H — The best Android TV if you have a little bit more money to spend
- Skyworth Q20300 — The best choice if you want a great TV at a great price
- Philips 5000 Series — The best Android TV you might overlook
- Sony X950H — The best high-end Android TV for premium features
- Sony A8H — The best Android TV if you want an OLED display
- TCL 3-Series — *The best TV on this list if you have a super tight budget *
What are the best Android TVs?
Overall, the Hisense H8G Quantum Series stands out as the best Android TV you can buy in 2020. The television has an excellent 4K ULED display, HDR and Dolby Vision support, and a modern design with plenty of HDMI ports. Even better, you get all of this for an outstanding price.
The Sony X800H is a fantastic alternative for the best Android TV. The crisp 4K picture is backed by Sony’s X-Reality PRO technology for upscaling content, along with the company’s proven Triluminos display tech. You’ll pay a bit more money for the privilege of owning the X800H, but for some people, it’ll be well worth it.
Last but certainly not least, budget shoppers should consider the Skyworth Q20300 for their next Android TV. It’s one of the more affordable picks on this list, but even so, you still get features like 4K and Dolby Vision.
LG rewrote the rulebook for smart TV platforms with its webOS, starting the trend for minimal, simplified user interfaces back in 2014. Fast forward to 2020, and webOS is still an exceptional smart TV platform that truly leads the pack – with its latest iteration featuring on the CX OLED (and its GX OLED, WX OLED, and soon-to-come BX OLED siblings).
The UI, which is still built around a Launch Bar for apps, inputs and features, remains tidy and customizable, and you can change the running order to best suit how you use the set. If you like to Miracast images from your smartphone, grab the Screen Share app with LG’s cursor-based Magic Remote and move up further up the pecking order.
LG also leads the way when it comes to voice recognition, with the CX OLED supporting LG’s own ThinQ AI platform, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Support for all these is built in, too, which means there’s no need for an external listening device.
For 2020 there’s also a new Sports feature that helps you keep track of broadcasts featuring your favorite team – a minor addition, but a personal one nonetheless.
App support is also surprisingly good: Netflix streams in 4K with both HDR and Dolby Vision, as well as Dolby Atmos audio when available. There’s also Amazon with UHD HDR and YouTube in 4K, with Disney Plus naturally in the mix too. Other options include Now TV, Sky Store, Wuaki.TV, plus all the main channel catch-up services.
Samsung is another brand keen to keep things simple – its Tizen OS clearly owes much to LG’s webOS interface, in so much as it consists of icons, apps and shortcuts all accessible via icons held a horizontal strip across the bottom of the screen. A dynamically changing ‘Recent’ box in the far-left corner cycles between recently used apps and TV channels.
But it’s not overly intelligent as it stands right now, but that could change in the future when Samsung integrates its TV AI into Tizen.
For now, we like the fact that on-screen icons can be changed: a sense of identity is welcome when it comes to some AV inputs and key apps you use everyday. The OS cuts down on clutter, although this sometimes works against navigation – there are plenty of occasions when it’s necessary to go hunting for a specific app. Thankfully that’s made easier by a Smart Hub multimedia page that divvies up content from apps and from your own USB sticks/home network.
On 2020 TVs like the Q80T QLED, you’ll find that the launcher bar is smaller than before, meaning more apps can fit onscreen at one time – while a new Mobile Multi View feature enables you to watch on both your TV and smartphone simultaneously while casting.
Announced back in 2014 for TCL TVs, Roku TV has found support with low-cost US TV suppliers. Today, you can find Roku TV on quite a few Haier, Hisense, Insignia, Sharp and TCL TV models – as well as a dedicated Hisense Roku TV model in the UK.
As a platform, Roku TV borrows the interface and feature set from the company’s popular media streamers, like the Roku Streaming Stick.
What that means is that you’ll find a universal search function able to scan over 30 different apps like Netflix, Google Play TV and Movies, Amazon, VUDU and more to find you the lowest price on the TV show or movie you want to watch, as well as around 4,500 channels of content to watch.
Once you get a Roku TV up and running, you’ll find an egalitarian operating system that handily retains its top spot as the best second-division operating system year after year. It’s intuitive to use, if a bit boring, and its lack of ties to a particular streaming platform allow it to point you to all the places content can be found without bias.
That last bit is important, especially if you’ve ever used an Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV, both of which would much rather have you stream from their ancillary streaming services over any of the third-party ones. Because Roku doesn’t have ties to a major streaming service – other than a vague deal to include FandangoNow on the home screen of the OS – it doesn’t push you any direction you don’t want to go and happily supports everything from Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV and Amazon, to lesser-known channels like Pluto.tv, tubi, Crackle and others.
Add to that some neat features like a dedicated app that helps you keep track of upcoming movies and TV shows via the My Feed section, a free TV streaming service built into the platform, and a private listening mode (via headphones that plug into the remote) when you want to watch TV without disturbing the whole house.
Best smart TV with Roku TV: TCL 6-Series