How To Control a Samsung Smart TV With an iPhone or Android Device
Updated Nov. 11, 2022, by Steve Larner, to reflect current Android and iOS/iPhone processes.
Our smartphones can do many amazing things, including replacing a TV remote control. How often have you found yourself searching for the remote, and it was nowhere to be found?
Perhaps it was within your reach, but the batteries gave up just as you were about to turn up the volume. On the other hand, your phone is likely to be close to you when you’re watching TV, so having it as a backup remote comes in handy.
Before you can use your phone to control the Samsung TV, you need to set it up properly. The process is similar for all Android and iOS phones. The appearance is the only difference besides security prompts and actions. Here’s how to use your Android or iOS/iPhone phone to control your Samsung TV.
Control a Samsung TV using Your Samsung Phone
If you have a Samsung smart TV at home and use a Samsung smartphone, you’ve hit the jackpot regarding device compatibility. However, their app is also available on the Play Store and Apple App Store for those with a different Android phone or an iPhone—more on that below.
Samsung’s app for controlling smart home devices, including TVs, is called SmartThings, and it is integrated into all Samsung smartphones. You might not have used it before because you didn’t need to, but if you want to control your Samsung TV, you will need to set it up.
Make sure your TV is turned on, and follow these steps for Samsung devices.
- Install and launch the “SmartThings” app on your Samsung phone.
- Tap on the “Devices” icon at the bottom of the screen.
- To add your Samsung TV, tap the “+” symbol in the top-right corner of the screen.
- Select “Scan Nearby” to allow the phone to find the TV.
- Select your Samsung TV from the devices the phone has found.
- When you see a PIN on the TV screen, enter the same numbers into your phone.
- Tap “Done.”
- Launch the “SmartThings” app on your Samsung phone.
- Choose your “Samsung TV” from the stored device list and select “Remote.”
This remote has all the TV remote’s functions and will allow you to control your TV until you find the remote or replace the batteries.
How to Control a Samsung TV With an iPhone
If you have a Samsung smart TV and an iPhone, you can still connect them and control the TV. The good news is that iOS devices are compatible with the SmartThings app. Here’s how to do it.
- Download the iOS “SmartThings” app by Samsung.
- Launch the newly installed “SmartThings” app on your iPhone.
- Tap “OK” in the permissions popup to use Bluetooth.
- Proceed through the intro by tapping “Next” or skip it by selecting “Skip.” It might be a good idea to view the intro.
- Tap the “Sign in” button at the bottom.
- Tap “OK” in the permissions popup to find and connect to devices on your local network.
- Tap “OK” in the permissions popup to allow notifications.
- Sign in to your “Samsung account” or scroll down and select “Create account.”
- Tap on the “Devices icon” at the bottom.
- Select “Add devices.”
- Tap on “Add device.”
- Choose to scan a QR code or search for nearby devices by tapping the appropriate “Scan” button.
- Tap “OK” in the permissions popup to allow access to the microphone.
- SmartThings now scans for Samsung devices compatible with the app, including the Samsung TV you want to control.
- The list of found devices appears. Tap on your “Samsung TV” from the list.
- A PIN gets displayed on the TV screen. Enter that number in your iPhone.
- Select “Done.”
- Relaunch the “SmartThings” app.
- Select your “Samsung TV” from the list of devices.
- Choose the “Remote” option.
That’s it. You’re good to go. Your iPhone can now control your Samsung TV.
Note: You must ensure your Samsung TV and phone use the same wireless connection.
How to Control a Samsung TV With an Android Phone
Even with an Android phone, using it to control your Samsung TV is straightforward. Smartphones from different brands, like LG, run on Android OS.
This is another situation where the SmartThings app saves the day. You can download the Android version of the app from the Google Play store and use it to connect your Android phone to your Samsung TV.
Here are all the steps you need to follow.
- Install “SmartThings” by Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. from the Play Store.
- Open the “SmartThings” app on your Android phone.
- Tap on “Sign in” in the top-right section, which opens the login screen in the default browser.
- For non-Samsung Android phones, you may receive a “browser is incompatible” notice depending on your default browser, such as when using Kiwi Browser. Follow the instructions in the notice. On Android 11, for instance, you navigate to “Apps & notifications > Advanced > Default apps > Browser app” to change your default browser.
- On the sign-in screen that appears in the default web browser, enter your Samsung login credentials. If you need to create an account, tap on “Create account” and follow the instructions.
- Follow the “Two-Step Verification” process for logging in. Don’t tap on “Extend time” after typing in your verification code; select “Verify” at the bottom instead.
- The main “SmartThings” screen opens again, except now you are logged in. Select the “Devices” tab located at the bottom of the screen.
- Make sure your Samsung TV is on. Tap on “Add device” or hit the “+” icon then select “Add a device.”
- Choose to scan for nearby devices by tapping the appropriate “Scan” button.
- When your Android phone is done scanning, select the name of your Samsung TV on the Android device.
- When a PIN appears on the TV screen, Enter the PIN on your Android phone that appears on your Samsung TV.
- Tap “Done.”
- Your Android phone and Samsung TV are now connected.
- Open the “SmartThings” app.
- Select your Samsung TV from the list and choose “Remote.”
Now, you can change the volume and channels and control other features on your TV using your Android phone.
How to Control a TV With a Phone Without Wi-Fi
If your remote control is not working, but you also don’t have access to Wi-Fi, how do you control your TV with your phone? Not all is lost, as there is a chance that your phone has an integrated IR blaster.
This small device, which allows communication with your TV, used to be very common in Android phones, but newer models don’t support it. If you have an iPhone, you might be out of luck entirely. To be quite sure, you can check the manufacturer’s website and try to get the info.
Even if your phone has the IR blaster, you will need to download a universal remote app to your phone, utilizing mobile data. So, make sure that fits into your mobile data plan.
You can find many great universal remote apps on both the Google Play Store and the Apple/iOS App Store, and you can even find a Samsung TV remote app that accurately substitutes for the physical device.
If your smartphone doesn’t have an IR blaster, the only remaining option is to purchase an IR blaster adapter that fits into your phone’s charging port.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to search for an adapter that fits your phone’s model and incorporate that factor into your research. The IR adapters typically cost between $1 and $20 depending on the type, such as 3.5mm (headphone jack) or USB-C.
How to Control TV With Phone Without an IR Blaster
Potential solutions are limited if your phone doesn’t have an IR blaster or if you’re not keen on getting one.
You can purchase a screen-mirroring device, such as Miracast or Chromecast, but these depend on wireless connectivity. Either way, you will need to invest in an external device to get the functionality you need.
In closing, having a Samsung TV comes with all the benefits of the SmartThings app, designed to allow easy access to smart home devices. If you’re a Samsung phone user, the SmartThings app is already at your fingertips—no need to download it.
iPhone and other Android phone users need to get the free app first. With a quick setup, your smartphone becomes a Samsung remote, and you can easily navigate all your TV’s features.
Without Wi-Fi, your best chance is your phone having an IR blaster so you can download a universal remote app and control your TV.
Have you ever used the SmartThings app before? Have you used any of the suggestions in this article to control your TV? Let us know in the comments section below.