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How to mirror your Android phone to a TV - 3 easy ways

Want to watch videos or play games from your Android phone or tablet on your TV? You can do that by mirroring your device on your big-screen television.
Written by Lance Whitney, Contributor
Milos Bjelica/Getty Images

Your Android phone -- or Android tablet -- may have a decent-sized screen. But if you use it to watch videos, play games, or work with other apps, you may wish you had a much bigger screen to amp up the experience. 

Also: The best Android phones: Expert tested

One way to achieve that is by mirroring your device to your TV. This way you control the action from your phone but enjoy the full effect on your widescreen television.

There are several ways to mirror your device to your TV depending on the features and capabilities of your phone and your television. 

Let's check out three different options, so you can choose which one works best on your end.

How to mirror your Android phone to a TV -- your three options

1. Use your TV's screen mirroring

Many TVs come with a built-in screen mirroring feature. For this, you'll want to scour the settings on your TV to connect to an external device, typically using Bluetooth.

On the other end, your Android phone may have a specific setting to connect to a supported TV. On Samsung phones, this is called Smart View. In this case, mirroring a Samsung phone to a Samsung TV is the most compatible option.

Also: The best Samsung TVs you can buy: 8K, OLED, and more

On other Android phones, this setting goes by a different name. The best way to find this is by swiping down from the top of the screen to display the Quick Settings menu and look for the appropriate casting or screen-sharing option.

Position your Android device near your TV and then tap the Smart View setting on a Samsung phone or a similar setting on a different phone. You'll go through a couple of setup screens and then see a list of nearby TVs that support screen mirroring. Tap the TV to which you want to connect and then select the Start button to connect and mirror your screen.

Setup to mirror your Samsung phone with Smart View

Mirror your Samsung phone with Smart View.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

2. Look for the mirroring control

Depending on the phone, a mirroring control should appear on the screen. On a Samsung phone, for example, Smart View displays a control that you tap to display a menu. 

Also: How to screen mirror an iPhone to a Samsung TV

From this menu, you can cast a specific app full screen, pause Smart View, darken the screen, take a selfie video, or disconnect your device.

Smart View screenshots

Control Smart View.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

3. Open the app you want to mirror

Open the app that you want to see and use on your TV. Position your phone in portrait or landscape mode.

TV displaying car video game

Open the app you want to mirror.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

4. Watch your TV display the screen from your Android device

Your TV displays the screen from your Android device. When done, tap the mirroring control to trigger the menu and then disconnect your device.

TV displaying car video game

View your phone's display on your TV.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Use a Chromecast TV or device

If you have a Google TV with built-in Chromecast, you can directly mirror your Android device. If you have a different TV, you can still use Chromecast, but you'll have to purchase a Chromecast device, which costs $30 for the HD 1080p version and $50 for the 4K flavor.

Also: The best smart TVs (and why the Sony A95L OLED is my top smart pick)

If you're not using a Google TV, connect the Chromecast device to your TV via the HDMI connection. On your Android phone, swipe down from the top of the screen and look for a Cast or Screen Cast button among the Quick Settings. Tap that button. The name of your Google TV or the TV with the Chromecast device should appear on the screen. Tap that name and then tap the Start Now button when asked if you want to start recording or casting.

Set up the screen cast.
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Also: OLED vs QLED: How to choose

Navigate to the app or screen on your phone that you want to mirror.

TV displaying a video

Open the app you want to mirror.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

The display should then appear on your TV. You can now position your phone in portrait or landscape mode depending on the app or game you want to use.

TV displaying a video

View your phone's screen on your TV.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

When done, return to the Quick Settings area on your phone, tap the Cast button, and then disconnect.

Disconnect from the Chromecast
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Use an adapter and cable

If you can't successfully mirror your phone to your TV via a wireless option, there's always the wired approach. For this, you'll need an HDMI cable and a USB-C to HDMI adapter, which you can find at Amazon. Plug the USB-C end into your phone and then connect an HDMI cable between the adapter and your TV. After connecting the adapter and cable, the screen on your Android phone will automatically appear on your TV.

TV with Angry Birds displayed

Use a cable and adapter.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET
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