Update, November 23, 2020 (11:00 AM ET): Back in September, Samsung started rolling out its free TV service to Galaxy phones, allowing anyone to use it even if they don’t own a Samsung TV. However, it was limited to newer phones only.
Starting tomorrow, the service will be more widely accessible (via Android Police). Support is rolling out to phones within the Samsung Galaxy A series, the Galaxy Fold, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and the Galaxy Flip. Most notably, though, support is also rolling out the Samsung Galaxy S9 series and the Galaxy Note 9.
Essentially, most of the Galaxy headliners from the past few years will support the app. It’s highly probable that even more phones will see support in the near future. Just don’t bet high on it rolling out to non-Samsung devices.
Original article, September 22, 2020 (11:09 AM ET): You no longer need one of Samsung’s televisions to take advantage of its free TV service. Samsung is releasing an Android version of its TV Plus app for certain Galaxy phones on September 23 through both the Galaxy Store and Google Play.
As on the big screen, the mobile app will offer “hundreds” of hours of free, on-demand TV shows and movies from 135 channels, including CBSN, Cheddar, and Samsung’s own The Movie Hub. Parents will be happy to know there are nine dedicated kids’ channels. Many of the titles are older or niche (such as Thelma and Louise or Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares), but they may do the trick if you’re unsure of what to watch.
You will need a high-end phone to start watching, however. Samsung is limiting TV Plus to variants of the Galaxy S10, Note 10, S20, and Note 20. Your more affordable phone won’t qualify, then.
Read more: The best video streaming services
Samsung introduced TV Plus in 2015, but it has taken on added importance during the pandemic as people scramble for things to watch during lockdown without adding yet another subscription to their monthly bills. The service has typically been ad-supported.
The company didn’t say why it was only introducing a mobile app now, but it’s hard to ignore the timing. With normal life likely on hold for a while longer, a free mobile TV app could keep you entertained even if you’ve exhausted your queues on paid services. Of course, it’s also a help for Samsung’s bottom line. You may be more likely to buy a Samsung phone or TV if you know that you’ll have a load of free videos waiting, even if they’re not as fresh as the latest Amazon or Netflix original.