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Can I Control My Smart TV with My Phone?

Last Updated Mar 29, 2021
Smartphone casting a video of an animal to a smart TV in a living room.

The days of flipping around for something to watch are slowly coming to an end. The days of losing the remote, however, are here to stay.

Thankfully, most smart TVs allow you to control them with your phone. However, it ultimately depends on what kind of TV you have. Smart TVs like Roku, Sony, and LG, allow you to download an app that lets you switch between services, turn up the volume, and even switch inputs.

Smart TVs integrate the internet in ways never believed possible. They are the future, and they come with a host of other features other than being smartphone compatible. Read on to learn more about smart TVs and how you can control certain models with your smartphone.

Using Your Phone to Control Your Smart TV

The idea behind smart TVs is that they can “talk” to different devices. This means that you can connect them to your phone, tablet, or smart home assistants.

However, when it comes to whether you can use your smart TV with your phone depends on the type of model you buy. The following smart TVs can be controlled via an app:

  • Roku Smart TV
  • Samsung’s Smart TV
  • Sony’s Smart TV
  • Toshiba’s Fire TV Edition

Control Roku Smart TV with Your Phone

One of the most popular TVs on the market right now is Roku’s smart TV. Originally, Roku started off as something similar to Amazon’s Firestick. You would plug it into your TV’s HDMI slot, and it would allow you to use music and video streaming services.

Now, you can get a Roku TV that has these features built-in. You can buy a replacement Roku remote if you lose or break yours. However, if you have an iPhone, you can download the app for free on Apple’s App Store. If you have an Android, you can download the app for free on Google Play.

You should be able to connect your TV to your phone with no problem. Simply download the app and follow the prompts on your devices’ screens.

Features with Roku TV’s Phone Control

Roku’s remote app comes with more features than the remote that comes with your purchase. It allows you to:

  • Use voice-to-speech commands
  • Shift between different Roku devices
  • Mirroring capabilities

You can even use the app for private listening. Instead of having the sound come from your TV, you can use headphones and listen to the TV’s audio on your phone. This is perfect for watching TV late at night or binge-watching a guilty pleasure.

Other Smart TVs That Work with Your Phone

Roku TV is not the only smart TV on the market that works with your phone. Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba also have their own smartphone apps.

Here’s a snapshot of these TVs and the benefits of each:

Samsung Smart TV

If you’ve misplaced the remote, Samsung’s smart TV relies on the SmartThings app. It is available for free on Google Play and the App Store. Not only does it connect to your Samsung smart TV, but you can also connect it with other compatible smart home devices.

In regard to using it on your TV, however, it can do the following:

  • Control the TV no matter where you are
  • Switch between apps like Hulu, Disney+, and Netflix
  • Adjust the volume
  • Toggle with your TV’s configurations, like brightness and saturation

What makes the SmartThings app special is that while it collects your data, none of that data is connected to your identity. This appeals to users who do not want their data to be connected to their various accounts and emails.

Sony Smart TV

Sony’s smart TV is not only compatible with your phone; it can also be used with your Google Assistant. So, instead of going from screen to screen with the remote or the app, you can simply say: “Hey Google, play Wild Planet on Netflix.”

The app is free and can be downloaded on Google Play or the App Store. The app is called “Video & TV SideView,” and it comes with the following:

  • The ability to change between inputs
  • Adjust the volume and mute audio
  • Use voice commands
  • Go to the TV’s guide

You can also store your favorite shows and videos in the app’s library, which allows you to quickly access media.

Toshiba Fire TV Edition

This product takes Toshiba’s stellar reputation and combines it with Amazon’s line of products. You can control it using your phone and even connect it to your Alexa.

Like other smart TV apps, it is available for free on Google Play and the App Store. The app is called Amazon Fire TV. It allows you to:

  • Watch live TV
  • Navigate between apps
  • Search for titles
  • Stream music

You can also use the app to control your other Amazon-compatible devices.

Final Considerations for Using Phones with Smart TVs

This may go without saying, but for your smart TV to work, you must be connected to the internet. Many smart TVs do not come with coaxial ports, meaning that you cannot connect them to cable.

You can connect your TV to the internet by going into the settings section of your device. You will need to enter your Wi-Fi username, as well as its password. You will not need to do this every time you want to watch something. The TV will remember your credentials for future use.


Smart TVs have arrived and are here to stay. Most––if not all­­––smart TVs work with your phone. Specific features, like voice commands and other tools, will depend on what model you opt for.

So, if you have a smart TV, you no longer have to dig inside the couch looking for the remote. Instead, you can control the TV with your phone.   

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