Last year Smart TV Remote used to be my go to app for controlling my Samsung Smart TV. That is, until I upgraded to the new series; The app became utterly useless. Granted, you needed to tweak the settings before to make the app work well with your smart TV, at least it worked.
Long story short, if you have the new H –Series Samsung Smart TV in your home, this app will not work at all. This is the case with my TV. However I have seen the app still working with older B, E, D, C and F Series TVs with ease. I had an F series TV not a while ago and this app worked like a charm.
Naturally I visited the mall to test the app out but it only connected to one Samsung smart TV. Which again is a shame because the app has so much potential. I had an extended email session with the developer of the app and was informed that Samsung is not opening up their new encryption protocols. Samsung downright admitted that they don’t want any third party Android TV remote app for their smart TVs.
The app still works with some older models of Samsung smart TVs. There is a high chance that it will work just fine with your slightly old smart TV as well. The interface is serviceable and after a while you will become accustomed to it. Almost all the features you may need are supported.
The app simply refuses to connect with the new TV series making it semi useful to Samsung users. If you have upgraded to a new panel, this app will be useless to you. Some older models are also not supported, but that number is very low.
The Bottom Line
It’s really simple, if you have an H series Samsung smart TV, don’t even bother downloading Smart TV Remote for Android. You will have better luck with one of the other TV remote apps for Android. If you are still rocking a slightly older TV, this app will work great with that. In the end, if it works, the app is amazing to use. That is, if it works.
Download and Installation
Smart TV Remote is hosted on the official Google Play Store page so downloading it is pretty ease. Just go to the page and tap on install. The app will download in almost an instant. And yes, you can download it while using mobile data.
After the installation the app can be launched from the drawer. The app boots up really fast and there are no performance issues with it. I would have liked a detailed first time tutorial, but the app does an OK job of that in the info menu.
Interface and Design
The interface could have been better. The default interface may confuse new users by its unorthodox design. Here you can see the main screen of the app, right after you boot it up:
As you can see the app cannot be operated singlehandedly, unless you are left handed or use a smaller sized smartphone. I had trouble reaching for the buttons on the left side of the screen on my phablet smartphone. I recommend using your left hand for the operation, otherwise you will definitely strain your thumb reaching for the buttons on the top.
Real Life Usage
The app can work if you can overlook the design flaws. There are a lot of options which can help you enjoy content on your smart TV. Here is a look at the settings of the app:
There are three different modes which can enrich your experience. One is the standard navigation menu, which gives you buttons to control your Smart TV. This is pretty similar to the TV remote that came with the panel. It’s a great way to control all the different options easily on your TV.
Another mode is the touch smart. I didn’t get to use that feature myself because the TV didn’t support it for some reason. But the theory is you can move a pointer on your TV by making your smartphone a track pad, not like the one found on your laptops.
The third menu is the media menu. It can be used to control the running media on your screen. For example, if you are running a video on your TV this menu will allow you to pause, stop, and rewind or forward the content. You know all the standard options like picture size etc. they are there too.
The text menu can be used to send text to your TV. While this is not the most practical way to interact with social media or chat, it is still a better way to send text.
The app did connect with the older models and worked really well. But it didn’t connect with the latest model whatsoever. With Samsung TVs gaining a lot of popularity and their own smart TV app being really bad, this was the only option for the new customers.
I would really like if the developer cracked the encryption or Samsung helped him out. But that seems impossible at this time, at least according to the developer of the app. It makes me sad to rate the app poorly because of the manufacturer’s stubbornness but hey if an app doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.
The app doesn’t mess with your internal storage. It doesn’t save anything, it doesn’t take anything. There is no need to make any account on the app either. This makes it one of the safest and secure apps to use in the free TV remote for Android list.
I wish we lived in a world where TV manufacturers try to facilitate new apps for Android as well as their TVs. But unfortunately we don’t live in that perfect world. This is why the app scored so low here. I know you avid TV watchers will have a better app than this in mind, do share it with me so I can use it with my TV.