The Best Samsung Smart TV Apps of 2023

Viewing gems for Samsung smart TV owners

Hundreds of Samsung apps for Samsung Smart TVs are available, but which are the best must-have apps?

You get the obvious streaming video apps with Netflix, Vudu, Amazon, and Hulu included on Smart TVs, but there a lot of other apps for your TV out there. You might be surprised at what you'll discover among the many apps available. Some apps are quite useful, such as news, weather, education, and other information, and game apps can be fun. 

Here's a list that will help you decide which ones you might want to try out.

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The Roku Channel

Roku Channel Example – Samsung Smart TV
What We Like
  • 24/7 Live News from ABC and Newsy.

  • Live Sports from Stadium.

  • Lots of Free Movies and TV Shows.

  • New movies and TV shows added weekly.

What We Don't Like
  • Content has Ads.

  • Movies and TV shows are not the most current.

  • No 4K content.

  • May only be available on 2015 and newer Samsung Smart TV models. 

Roku is well-known for its streaming sticks, boxes, and Roku smart TVs, but they also offer their own streaming app that is available for other devices, including select Samsung TVs. The Roku Channel provides a mix of free content accessible through a "Netflix-like" onscreen interface for Samsung TVs that include live news and sports, as well as past hit movies and TV shows. 

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Vimeo Logo
What We Like
  • Lots of original videos.

  • Has an On Demand feature where you can rent or buy movies.

What We Don't Like
  • Interface is a bit sparse.

  • Doesn't provide much information on the videos.

Everybody watches YouTube, but that isn't the only source of free, original, uploaded video content. Vimeo offers thousands of videos from many sources, including aspiring amateur filmmakers. The best way to get started is by checking out Vimeo's staff picks. Categories include music videos, short documentaries, comedy, and more.

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PLEX Media Player App
What We Like
  • View online web shows and podcasts.

  • Upload your own movies, music, photos, and more.

  • Easy-to-use interface.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires a paid subscription for movies and TV shows.

  • Some videos buffer during play.

PLEX provides a way to organize your content so that it can be easily accessed on your Samsung smart TV. This gives you the ability to play any compatible media content that's stored on your computer on your TV. You just have to make sure that you have the PLEX app installed on your TV, and the PLEX media server software installed on your computer. Once you have the app and media server installed, you're ready to go.

The basic app is free, but you can upgrade to PLEX Premium ($4.99 mo, $39.99 yr, $119.99 lifetime). This lets you watch and record live TV on your computer or in the cloud (antenna and tuner required, as well as the ability to sync your content with compatible mobile devices).

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UltraFlix via Samsung

What We Like
  • Built-in rating system.

  • Decent selection of free movies to watch.

What We Don't Like
  • Not a huge selection of content.

  • Does not support surround sound.

  • Available only in the US, Canada, and Europe.

If you have a Samsung 4K Ultra HD TV and can stream in 4K, then check out UltraFlix for a host of free and paid 4K content. You can rent many movies for $4.99, usually with a 48-hour viewing window. Content offerings, some in HDR, change periodically. You need only a 4mbps to 5mbps broadband speed.

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Facebook Watch

Facebook Watch Example
What We Like
  • A wide variety of video content available to watch.

  • Videos are grouped in easy-to-navigate categories.

  • Links to your existing Facebook account.

What We Don't Like
  • Relies mostly on user uploads and outside sources, lackluster Facebook Original content.

  • No premium subscription content option offered. 

  • May only be available for 2015 and newer model Samsung Smart TVs.

If you spend a lot of time on facebook and love watching user-uploaded videos and live news feeds, Facebook Watch may be the app to check out. 

Similar to YouTube and Instagram Video, Facebook Watch allows you to watch user-generated video on your big-screen Samsung TV. The videos are grouped into easy-to-navigate categories which include Live Videos, Videos You've Shared, Videos Shared by Friends, Videos You've Uploaded, Videos from Pages You Follow, Facebook Watch Originals, and more. You can also watch a lot of live news feeds from sources such as the LA Times, Bloomberg and ABC News, as well as live gaming and some live sports.

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Homepage of HBO Max
What We Like
  • No cable or satellite subscription required.

  • Access to all HBO programming and movies.

  • Low cost if you can live with limited ads on a basic subscription. 

What We Don't Like
  • Although cable subscription isn't required, you still have to pay a subscription fee via the app. 

  • Doesn't duplicate HBO's live cable feed. 

  • Need a premium subscription to view content ad-free.

You don't need a cable or satellite subscription to get HBO. With a subscription to HBO Max ($9.99/month with ads, or $15.99/month ad-free), you can enjoy all of the popular programs and movies offered by HBO on your Samsung Smart TV via the internet. This means if you haven't seen Game of Thrones or Westworld here is your chance. 

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