We live in arguably the best age for television. With subscription-based streaming services that bring thousands of shows and movies to your fingertips, you don't have to wait to play your favourite. Likewise, smart TVs have grown increasingly popular as they play what we want to watch. But, don’t worry if you don’t own one. Most TVs can be made ‘smart’ by easily setting up smart TV boxes and operating the remote that comes with it. Simply connect the box to your home internet via Wi-Fi and the television using an HDMI cable, then scroll through your favourite content on Amazon Prime Video or other such on-demand applications. The device has revolutionised on-demand entertainment and made it possible to view any kind of program while sitting in any corner of the world.
Here is a list of the best smart boxes available on Amazon. Subscribe to Amazon Prime to get your smart boxes delivered to you as early as tomorrow.
1. Best Overall: Roku Express 4K+ 2021
- 4K, HD, and HDR streaming at a reasonable price
- Smooth performance
- Excellent remote
- HDMI cable included
- No headphone jack
- No Dolby support
With brilliant picture quality and the ability to connect multiple streaming devices to your network, the Roku Express is the perfect companion for any television. You can use the Roku Remote with your voice to quickly search for shows, and turn captions on. And Roku's large streaming library gives you a great selection of free and live TV. The remote does not have an audio jack, and the streaming services don't have the Dolby Atmos that most people have come to expect, but you'll find that it more than makes up for it with its other great features.
2. Best for Apple Users: Apple TV HD (32GB)
- AirPlay with iOS devices
- Improved tvOS experience
- Allows third party apps
- Bluetooth remote is not the best
- Limited resolution at 1080p
Already have iOS devices at home? Then Apple TV HD is the obvious choice, especially since the newer Apple TV 4K is undergoing global supply issues. It's older version still remains a capable 1080p HD streaming device (although there are devices with higher resolution out there), with Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound. Apple users will appreciate the AirPlay support, which allows you to stream content wirelessly from other Apple devices like the MacBook or the iPhone.
Bonus: Buy with zero per cent installments and pay Dh44.63 for 12 months with select banks.
3. Best for Android Users: Xiaomi Mi Box S Smart TV Box
- Decent Android TV
- Small, subtle design
- Great features at a reasonable price
- Remote glitches sometimes
- Reviewers complain of a few software issues
The Xiaomi Mi Box is easy to set up and has a minimalistic design, so it's well-suited to people who want a budget Android TV set-up without all the bells and whistles. The device supports 4K streaming and HDR, and its remote has a voice search function with which, you can trigger Google Assistant. The box has Android TV 8.1 built right into it, so you get instant access to Android TV's giant library of apps, including services like Google Cast, from where you can mirror your Android phone. It's definitely a decent streamer, and a reasonable price.
4. Best for Expanded Storage: Nano Classic TX6 Pro
- Upgraded Android 10.0 operating system
- 6K HDR picture quality supported
- Expandable storage up to 128GB
- Some reviewers complain of performance issues
Expect stable, ultra-fast running speed and a richer end-user experience with the Nano Classic. With 2020's Android 10.0 OS and the ability to stream 4K/6K Ultra HD resolution, the smart TV box is great value for money. Its immersive picture quality is ideal for watching films, but also for gaming, where you can enjoy deeper colours, higher contrast and fuller saturation. Another advantage for gamers is that the box doesn't end with its 64GB memory. You can add a hard drive, USB device or microSD card to expand its storage up to 128GB.
5. Best Portable: Xiaomi Mi USB TV with Bluetooth Voice Remote
- Lightweight, less than 30g
- Supports voice commands
- Features Dolby and DTS surround sound
- Uses older Android 9.0 operating system
- Streams in only 1080p resolution
Why go with a streaming box when you can take your favourite channels with you in a lightweight USB stick? Xiaomi Mi USB TV lets you do that seamlessly. You don't need cables - just plug in to the TV, monitor or projector's HDMI port and turn any device into a smart TV. The Bluetooth remote supports Google Assistant, so you can just use your voice to quickly find what you're looking for. While the picture quality is not 4K or ultra HD, it does the job in a pinch. You can even cast from your smartphone or laptop right to the TV.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.