smart tv stock
Access endless entertainment with these smart TV boxes and sticks that have 4K video support and voice-enabled remote controllers. Image Credit: Unsplash/Jonas Leupe

Don't own a smart television but want the capabilities of one? Streaming devices plug into your TV's HDMI port and grant you access to a library of entertainment apps. When family gatherings become more frequent in Ramadan, you'll want a wide range of content options on the television, to cater to different tastes. Think tapping into Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube and popular sports content on a 'dumb' TV, for just a few hundred dirhams!

What makes any device smart is access to applications via the internet, says Darshan Sindhya, the owner and managing director of OMSR Electronics, a television repair service based in Dubai. "These user-friendly magic TV boxes let you download popular entertainment apps - they work with any TV that has an HDMI port. To give you an idea, every LED and LCD TV is manufactured with an HDMI port," he explained. So, TVs as old as 2011 models can be made 'smart'.

Another cruial prerequisite for media boxes or sticks is to have a reliable Wi-Fi connection at home. Sindhya says if you already own a smart television, you'd be less likely to invest in a TV box. This is unless you want to leverage the open library of an Android-based streaming device.

He added: "Smart TVs like Samsung and LG don't have Google Play Store, so you don't get as many app options as you would in an Android TV. It's because of this reason consumers prefer an Android TV box, despite having a smart TV." Streaming devices by Xiaomi, Google, Amazon and more are all built on an Android platform.

Besides expanding the slew of content at your fingertips, a TV box can be a quick fix to a faulty Wi-Fi module. If your smart TV ever has trouble connecting to the home internet, the streaming device will act as your gateway to the world wide web, said Sindhya.

Here is a list of the best smart boxes and sticks available on Amazon, including our TV expert's picks. See more options while Amazon's Ramadan Sale is on, and subscribe to Amazon Prime to get your device delivered to you as early as today or tomorrow.

1. Best Overall: Google Chromecast with Google TV 4К Media Streamer


  • Smooth Android user interface, with easy setup
  • Access to Google Play Store
  • Supports 4K resolution, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos
  • Comes with parental controls
  • Voice remote for hands-free TV control


  • Main unit needs a power outlet

If it's your first foray into smart streaming devices, go for Google Chromecast. Sindhya names it the most user-friendly TV box on the market. Plug the Chromecast unit into your TV and a power outlet, and you have an Android TV on your hands for a fraction of the cost. Discover an impressive library of over 700,000 movies and TV shows, along with live TV on YouTube. Our pick supports a streaming resolution of up to 4K with Dolby Vision. With kids' profiles, you can even restrict access to select apps and limit screen time, for a more family-friendly streaming experience. The magic mainly lies in the voice remote controller, where a dedicated Google Assistant button listens to your voice commands. Switch shows, control the volume or manage Google-compatible smart home devices, all hands-free. Reviewers attest to the straightforward installation process and praise the smooth user interface. Some have even connected Chromecast to their projectors.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh29, a one-year accidental damage protection for Dh48, and a two-year damage protection plus a one-year extended warranty for Dh61.

2. Best Budget: Xiaomi Mi TV 4K Stick Portable Android TV


  • Lightweight at 42.8 grams with a USB form factor
  • Supports voice commands
  • Features Dolby and DTS surround sound
  • Plug-and-play convenience
  • Bluetooth remote with built-in infrared


  • Only has 2GB RAM and 8GB storage
  • Connection issues, report reviewers

Xiaomi's Mi TV Stick packs crystal clear 4K into a more affordable option. Coming in a slim, lightweight stick form factor, the Mi TV Stick runs on Android TV 11.0 operating system and has 8GB storage. Crowd favourites like Netflix, Prime Video and YouTube come pre-installed on the system. You don't need cables - just plug into the TV, monitor or projector's HDMI port and turn any device into a smart TV. The Bluetooth voice remote supports Google Assistant, so you can just use your voice to quickly find what you're looking for.  If anything were to go awry with your streaming device, Sindhya says Xiaomi provides great service in the UAE, so you can go ahead and add it to the cart, worry-free. 

3. Best for Gaming: Nvidia Shield Android TV Pro Streaming Media Player


  • Streamlined for PC and cloud gamers
  • Upscales content to 4K
  • Incredible speeds
  • Expandable 16GB storage
  • Has two USB ports and an Ethernet port, besides HDMI


  • Expensive
  • Remote controller could have better hotkeys, note reviews

PC gamers will recognise the powerhouse that is an Nvidia processor. Developed by the industry-leading GPU (graphics processing unit) manufacturer, the Nvidia Shield TV Pro streaming device is perfect for Android gaming. It runs on Android 11.0, complete with Google Play Store, Google Assistant, Alexa and Google Play Games. Like other options in our list, it supports 4K resolution, but also uses AI (artificial intelligence) to upscale any content. If you have a GeForce NOW RTX 3080 membership, use the Nvidia Games app to play your favourite titles from the cloud on TV. The Pro version comes with two USB ports that let you expand its 16GB storage. Reviewers say it's compact and can be carried in a backpack to convert any TV into a smart screen. Speeds are spectacular, they say, comparing it to a powerful computer. Though, do note that the GeForce NOW gaming server is subject to availability in the region.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh57, and two for Dh94.

4. Best for Apple Users: Apple TV 4K (3rd Generation)


  • Dolby Vision-supported 4K resolution
  • Fitted with the powerful A15 Bionic chipset
  • Features Netflix, OSN+, Shahid and more
  • Large 64GB storage capacity
  • Touch- and voice-enabled remote


  • Expensive

Already have iOS devices at home? Then Apple TV 4K is the obvious choice for you. Get access to all your go-to Apple apps on a big screen, from Apple TV+ and Apple Music to Fitness+ and Arcade. It features the same A15 Bionic chip found in iPhone 13 and 14 models, so expect top-notch performance and seamless interaction with the rest of your Apple ecosystem. Don't fret about using a non-Android platform - the Apple TV still features Disney+, Prime Video, Netflix, OSN+, Shahid and many more apps. The box unit comes with a touch-enabled remote, where the circular clickpad lets you fast-forward with a swipe of your thumb. Use the voice-assistant button to control your screen hands-free. Apple users in the reviews use this all-in-one intuitive kit as a smart hub to oversee their connected devices.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh29, a one-year accidental damage protection for Dh48, and a two-year damage protection plus a one-year extended warranty for Dh61.

5. Best Value for Android Users: Skyworth LEAP-S1 Smart Box Android TV


  • Decent Google-certified Android TV
  • 4K resolution with Dolby Digital sound
  • Comes with ports for two USB devices, Ethernet, HDMI and microSD card
  • Voice-enabled remote controller
  • Comprehensive kit, including batteries for remote


  • Runs on Android 10.0
  • No Dolby Vision
  • Only has 2GB RAM and 8GB storage

Another Android TV box worth considering is the Leap-S1 by Skyworth. The unit carries a microSD card slot for an even easier storage upgrade. It does operate on an older version of Android, but you get automatic software updates over the internet. Enjoy 4K resolution, with Dolby Digital audio. Control your TV using the Bluetooth remote that comes with Google Assistant voice recognition. According to buyers, it's very simple to set up right out of the box, and syncs seamlessly with your Google account. They've used the Google-certified device to convert their old monitor into a smart Android TV.

Warranty: The manufacturer offers a 12-month guarantee.

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.