The whole idea of a Samsung smart TV is to take you beyond standard channels. It can take a place as the heart of your smart home, as long as you know how to use it. We’re here to give you some tips on how to get started. Here are our picks for the best Samsung smart TV apps to download.
Samsung doesn’t rely on WebOS or Android TV to make things happen — instead, it takes matters into its own hands with Tizen OS. That means you won’t find all of the same options as you would on some other smart TVs. We’ve tried to cover a full range of abilities with our list, but there are new apps almost daily. Ready to start downloading?
The best Samsung smart TV apps:
Samsung TV Plus
In a world where just about everything comes with a monthly fee, Samsung TV Plus is a great free alternative. This Samsung smart TV app grants a unique, geographically based mix of content for you to sink your teeth into at no cost. United States users are the best off, with over 100 channels to choose from, and there are more than 500 total channels worldwide. Have we mentioned that it’s completely free?
Price: $14.99 per month
This is more of a catch-all recommendation to download your favorite video streaming apps, but Samsung smart TVs are some of the few that supports a native HBO Max app. If you haven’t moved to HBO Max, you can also tap into other services like Netflix, Hulu, and Apple TV. Your costs will vary — HBO Max is particularly expensive — but it’s great to have all of your content in one convenient place.
Price: Free / Plex Pass for $4.99 per month
Plex is less of a single app and more of a way to amass your own media fortress. You can stream more than 100 TV channels at no cost, enjoy free movies, and store all of your purchased content in one safe location. Plex is essentially an easy way to cut the cord from your cable box, but you can grab a Plex Pass for premium features at just $4.99 per month. The Plex Pass grants the ability to skip TV intros, enjoy higher-quality streaming, and more for far less than the price of cable.
Price: Free / Spotify Premium varies
A solid music streaming service is just as important as a video service, and Spotify is just one of many apps you can grab for your Samsung smart TV. You can also opt for Pandora or Apple Music, depending on your music service of choice. Overall, the TV apps function much like the mobile versions, just cranked up to fit onto your television. If you don’t want to download the app itself, you can always stream from your phone directly to your TV with SmartThings.
Price: Free / Varies
You can always use your Samsung smart TV to check the weather channel, but handy apps like AccuWeather are just as important. AccuWeather offers free forecasts, access to radar, and severe weather alerts for free if you live in a large city. If you find yourself in a more rural area, you’ll have to pay a small fee for full access. You can also save multiple locations and easily check the weather before heading out for a long vacation. AccuWeather is available in 12 languages.
PC gaming is great, thanks in no small part to Steam’s extensive library, but what if you want to take the action to the big screen? Steam Link allows you to do just that, and it doesn’t cost a dime. Of course, your games aren’t free, but you probably already have a few favorite titles in your library. Steam Link supports Xbox, PlayStation, and Steam controllers to make things easy. Unfortunately, Sony discontinued its PlayStation Now feature, so Steam is your best bet for console-free gaming on your TV.
See also: The best games on Steam
Netflix, Hulu, and Disney Plus are great, but they don’t always have brand-new movies ready to go. Sometimes your best bet is to pretend that Blockbuster is still around and go for a rental. Vudu is one of the best ways to manage your rentals, and you can do it right from the Samsung smart TV app. However, you’ll want to keep an eye on your rentals because you can rack up a decently large bill fairly quickly. You won’t have to pay for everything, though, as Vudu does offer a few free TV series and movies with ads.
Price: $79.99 plus a monthly subscription
In a world where many gyms are closed, and we’re mostly working out from home, Echelon can be a lifesaver. It makes plenty of in-home fitness equipment, but we’re mainly focused on FitPass. Echelon’s FitPass essentially provides premium access to tons of classes and diverse workouts. Workouts vary between 10 and 45 minutes, and you’ll need some of your own equipment, but the $79.99 base price helps to cover your streaming device as well as a heart rate monitor.
See also: 10 best workout apps for Android
One more must-have Samsung smart TV app is probably already downloaded. Samsung SmartThings is your key to a smart home, and it’s the easiest way to control your connected devices. It’s generally meant to work with Samsung’s own smart home devices, but you can also link up with gadgets from Ring, Ecobee, Arlo, and more. The app itself is free like most of Samsung’s first-party apps, so get out there and give your smart home a boost.
See also: The best Samsung SmartThings devices
Another app you need for your new Samsung smart TV is called Tubi TV. It’s a completely free way to tap into movies and TV shows, even if there are a few ads. The important thing is that you’ll never have to pay a dime. Not all movies are worth writing home about, but exciting titles like The Pursuit of Happyness and Gravity make Tubi TV worth the price of admission.
It’s never too late to learn, right? The TED app is a great way to tap into curated talks by some of the smartest people. It’s a completely free experience, and you can even dive into playlists of some of the best TED talks of all time. You never really know what you’ll find on the TED app, as there are currently more than 3,600 videos from the likes of David Blaine, Bill Gates, and more.