Cheapest Ways to Have a Smart TV
Regular TV sets these days are slowly being replaced by Smart TVs because it’s easier to stream content on it like those from Netflix. But let’s say you have a regular TV and you didn’t want to spend several thousands of pesos on a ‘Smart’ one, well, you’re in luck because we have listed down some of the dongles you can buy to convert you dumb TV into a Smart TV without breaking the bank.
Although some of these will definitely cost thousands, it is definitely better than buying a new TV set. Also note that these devices only work for TVs with HDMI ports.
Xiaomi Mi Box S
If you’re a fan of Xiaomi, then the Xiaomi Mi Box S is for you. With its minimalist design, this 4K Android Set TV box can serve you well. You just have to connect this device on your TV via HDMI port then you can start binge-watching Netflix and YouTube on your dumb TV. This Android TV box also has Google Assistant support, 2GB DDR3 RAM, a Cortex-A53 Quad Core Processor coupled with a Mali-450 GPU. We saw one for sale in Lazada for PHP 3,399.
If branding isn’t your concern, then you should check out the Docooler MX10 Smart Android TV. It runs on an old Android 7.1 Nougat, has an ARM Cortex-A53 processor coupled with Mali-450 GPU, 4GB DDR3 RAM, and 32GB of internal storage. Since this is an Android-based device, you still have access to all the apps available on the Google Play Store, such as Netflix, YouTube. The Docooler MX 10 is priced at PHP 2,182 in Lazada.
As the name suggests, this device is used for casting content from your mobile device. Just connect it to your TV’s HDMI port, play the video on your mobile device then cast it to AnyCast. In other words, it works just like Chromecast. However, it is more affordable at just PHP 425 in Lazada.
Xiaomi Mi Stick
Sporting almost the same compact form factor as the AnyCast TV dongle, the Xiaomi Mi Stick sports a Cortex-A53 Quad-core CPU, a Mali 450 GPU, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. It runs on Android TV 9.0 and supports 2K output resolution. Although this isn’t available in the Xiaomi store for the Philippines, we saw one in a Global LazMall for PHP 1,890.
If you have extra money laying around and want to spice up your Netflix binging, then you should also check out Roku Express. You can stream live and premium TV channels such as The CW, NBC News, PBS, and more through the internet without extra cost. Its got a pretty straight forward remote control for those of you who are afraid complicated and confusing buttons, and also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. We saw one for sale on Lazada for PHP 2,500.
Chromecast (3rd Generation)
Made by Google, Chromecast is one of the best you can get for streaming media like Netflix, YouTube, HBO, and anything alike. You can also stream your gameplay through your Android devices. Unlike TV boxes, this device is purely dedicated to content and media streaming since it doesn’t have a dedicated CPU, GPU, and RAM. If you are interested in getting one, we saw one for sale in Lazada for PHP 2,599.
And of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without an Apple product. The Apple TV 4K might be the most expensive on this list, but if you have an iDevice, you should get this one. It has an intuitive UI, 3GB of RAM, and an A10X Fusion Chip the same processor on the first-generation iPad Pro, and supports 4K HDR content. It has almost all of the Apps and Games on the App Store, plus you can stream your iDevices through AirPlay. The Apple 4K TV has an SRP of PHP 10,990 for the 32GB variant and PHP 11,990 for the 64GB model on Apple’s official site. But if 10K is a bit much you can also get the regular Apple TV HD for PHP 8,990.
If you are a subscriber on Globe at Home Plans, you can get an Apple TV HD for PHP 400 a month or the before mentioned Xiaomi Mi Box S for PHP 150 which will be billed on top of your plan.
What do you guys think about this list? Are you ready to convert your dumb TV into a smarter one? Or Have you tried any of these dongles? Let us know in the comments section below!