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The 5 Best Apps for Streaming Movies to Your Phone «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks

More than a few subscription-based movie streaming apps are available for Android and iPhone, each with different benefits and price plans. It is needless to say that it can quickly become expensive to sign up for multiple services because you can not decide what is best. We hope we can help you choose the right video-on-demand app to spend your hard earned money on.

We've tried and tested all the major players, including some that you may not know about to find the top five movie streaming apps for your buck. We'll show you only our top five, but there were a few apps that were about to make this list, which we'll discuss shortly. Let's jump right into the diagram and its main points, then we can delve deeper into the following reasons.

Table of Contents

Comparison Chart

Image of Jake Peterson / Gadget Hacks

Important Comparison Points

When it comes to making a movie streaming video To select service with the best price for your money, some important factors must be considered.

Services that have almost made the cut

As I said, some close calls have almost made our top five list. If you are not sure yet which services you should try after reading this guide, these are good alternatives.

App 1: Netflix

Netflix is ​​probably the pop culture king of streaming, and the name today stands for binge-watching. Funny thing is that their focus has shifted more over the years from movies to television. While Netflix initially sold both movies and TV shows on DVD, Netflix is ​​now known more for its original content as well as the library of other popular shows.

Nevertheless, Netflix has a lot of films in the catalog. Netflix does not release official numbers, but according to Netflix has 3,864 films in the United States. Wow.

While many of these titles are quite strange (there are some strange content ), Netflix has a variety of great films. Documentaries, dramas, comedies – Netflix has everything, old and new.

Netflix also produces its own films. Films praised by critics such as Beasts of No Nation Okja and Amanda Knox are all Netflix originals and can be streamed here alongside 80 other original films.

(1) iOS, (2) Android

Netflix provides 4K HDR video streaming but you need a compatible device to access it. If you're an iOS fan, you have access to Dolby Vision. Compatible devices include the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X and later, and the iPad Pro 2. For Android, only the LG G6 supports Dolby Vision. Many other Android devices support HDR10 on Netflix, including the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, the Huawei P20, the LG G7, the LG G7 One, the LG V30, the LG V35, the LG V40, the Razer Phone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, Samsung Galaxy S9, Sony Xperia XZ Premium, Sony Xperia XZ1, Sony Xperia X2, Sony Xperia X2 Premium and Sony Xperia XZ3.

On almost every phone you can still enjoy 1080p streams device. While you can not adjust video quality during a movie, users in Netflix can choose the quality you want from the settings.

If you want to stream content from your smartphone to your TV, you can do so in both Chromecast and AirPlay (iOS only). You can also access Picture in Picture on Android 8.1+ devices.

With Wi-Fi, HD streaming is almost instantaneous. Streaming over a cellular connection takes some time to reach HD, but nothing unbearable. You may need to wait 15 to 30 seconds for your movie to look the way you want, but considering that the first 15 to 30 seconds of movies are usually just credits and lyrics, this should not be a big deal.

The best feature of Netflix is ​​to download songs that you want to play offline. Whether you want to relieve your data plan or bang your movies without an internet connection, downloading your titles gives you a lot of freedom.

Now you can not download everything . unfortunately. Netflix Originals are fair game as well as many third party movies. However, some are not due to licensing issues. You'll have to search for yourself to see if the movie you're watching is actually available for download.

Netflix plans start at $ 7.99 / month but need to be watched on multiple devices at the same time, or you want to look in HD, look at the higher levels. While the cheapest plan has remained the same over the years, the others have risen a bit. The mid-tier plan now costs $ 10.99 / month, allows simultaneous streaming of two devices and updates the customer's streams to HD. The premium pet costs $ 13.99 / month, offering four simultaneous streams and 4K and HDR for compatible devices.

What makes Netflix a great app is the total lack of advertising. Once you have selected a movie, it plays immediately, no ads are required. It's a great feeling and it's really hard to ever watch a movie on cable again.

New users can receive a 30-day free trial. This is plenty of time to watch all sorts of movies and see if Netflix works is worth the cost – though it's a pity there's no student discount.

App 2: Amazon Prime Video

Here's the deal: Amazon Prime Video has many movies. One lot . At the moment, over 18,000 movies are available on Amazon Prime. Holy Moly.

The sheer volume of Amazon's Streaming Library invokes the service in this list, as well as the fact that these films are up-to-date, regularly updated, and good . Amazon even produces its own content. Films such as Manchester By the Sea Chi Raq and The Big Sick (not yet available for stream) are produced by Amazon, and when they come out of theaters land on it streaming platform.

Not to mention, you can also download movies for offline playback. Unfortunately, like Netflix, not all songs can be downloaded. Like Netflix, Amazon does not give any real parameters for what is and what is not available for download. All material produced by Amazon should be available, as well as many third-party titles, but only licenses and businesses beyond our control are required. For $ 12.99 / month or $ 119 / year for small savings, you get all the benefits of Amazon Prime in your streaming service. Who has two days free shipping?

If you have the Sony Xperia XZ Premium you can stream the content from Amazon to 4K, if available. Galaxy S8, S8 +, Tab S3, and later users can access HDR. Hopefully, Amazon will soon support 4K on other mobile devices, but it's good to see that they are slowly entering the market.

Unfortunately, there is no Chromecast support for Amazon Prime Video, but iOS users can play their movies on a compatible Apple with AirPlay TELEVISION. There is no Picture in Picture support on Android.

One flaw that I encountered in the iOS app is the slow quality ramping. For some Wi-Fi connections I've tested, the video will start out in poor quality and slowly increase that quality for one to two minutes until it reaches HD (if available). With a mobile connection, this quality starts even worse.

(1) iOS, (2) Android [19659033] That's frustrating, especially as other apps – including the Android app – can reach an HD stream in seconds.

What's nice is that you can control the streaming quality through the settings so you do not have to deal with the app to automatically change quality. It would be nice to have this option while streaming, so you do not have to leave your show to get to the settings, but we can not have it all.

An Amazon Prime membership with everything that goes with it has a 30 free trial. You can see what it feels like to swing all the movies you want while swimming in free shipping. If you are a student, this study will jump to six months and then your costs will be reduced by 50%. Who knows how to imitate a student?

Those who are not interested in Amazon Prime will not have to worry about the free trial as the standalone Prime Video subscription also includes a 30-day trial. Win win!

Although the streaming service includes feature ads, they are branded by Amazon. This means that they are not completely irrelevant, but at the same time are easy to skip and only appear at the beginning of videos.

Amazon Prime Video is by no means perfect. The problems on both platforms can be quite frustrating. But for me, this frustration faces the biggest video library on this list and the big benefits that Prime membership can offer.

  • Install Amazon Prime Video: Android (Free) | iOS (free)

App 3: Hulu

Nearly 1,500 movies are available for streaming in Hulu. This is not too shabby, and you get a healthy mix of old and new, with titles that range from excellent to … well, maybe you want to read a few reviews before you look at it for better or worse.

Where Hulu shines in his app. The Hulu app has a funky design that goes against the normal green and gray theme that Hulu normally speaks for. The special thing about the app, however, is the quality control.

(1) Android, (2) iOS

I'm not talking about that Hulu strictly watching the film selection. Hulu is the only app that lets you choose which video quality you want to stream while streaming . Do you need to protect your data? Switch your stream to low quality without pausing the stopped movie. Would you like Hulu to play in full quality no matter how much buffer he needs? You can do that too. Hulu offers you up to 1080p on the phone, so you can stop your slow connection to watch your movie in the highest possible resolution. Unfortunately, Hulu does not offer 4K or HDR support.

Chromecast users can put their Hulu movies on their TV, and iOS users can put them on an Apple TV. Hulu does not support the Picture in Picture mode on Android.

Hulu is relatively fast when it comes to getting videos on HD. Mobile calls take a little longer than Wi-Fi, but both bring your video to HD in 10 to 15 seconds.

Hulu is a bit muddy. For $ 7.99 / month, you can access the entire Hulu movie and TV library. However, if you watch one of the shows, you are plagued with ads. Some movies also have a quick pre-roll ad with the base level. However, for $ 11.99 / month the ads go away – but if you only want Hulu for the movies, your $ 4 will be better elsewhere.

… like one of Hulu's optional add-ons. With Hulu, users can add Showtime (8.99 USD / month), Cinemax (9.99 USD / month) and HBO Now (14.99 USD) through their Hulu account. If you want to expand your film collection, skip Hulu's 12-month plan and invest that money in one, two or all of these additional channels.

Hulu has a pretty sweet deal for students actually – for $ 5 a month you get not only Hulu but also Spotify and Showtime (see below). Seriously.

Although the Hulu Plan contains ads, this deal may be too good for some to give up. Hey, at least you do not deal with ads on Spotify!

Surprisingly, Hulu has expanded his original film selection from last year's single documentary to only seven. It seems reasonable to believe that Hulu will now invest more time in original films, such as Netflix and Amazon.

One thing stinking about Hulu is that you can not download your tracks for On-The-Look. We learned in January that Hulu will be adding this feature to their apps at some point, but at the moment this feature is still missing.

App 4: Showtime

Showtime has the smallest library of films on this list. This is not surprising, as the service is mainly known for the catalog of original content. However, the movie queue is decent and at the time of this article is 349.

You have no way to change the streaming quality, but that's fine – movies look great on Showtime. Streams reach a resolution of 1080p, which seems sharp on the best displays. Although the Showtime support page claims that quality depends on connection speed, the support team confirmed that the 1080p stream is simply stopped when it can not keep up with your Internet. Best apps for streaming movies on the phone ” width=”532″ height=”532″ style=”max-width:532px;height:auto;”/>

Showtime does not support 4K or HDR support, but you can cast your movies to a TV with Chromecast or AirPlay on iOS. Unfortunately, Android users can not find the picture-in-picture mode here.

Showtime's pricing should not surprise anyone in the streaming community – access to their films costs $ 11 a month. As mentioned earlier, not only can students save money on a Showtime subscription, but also on Hulu and Spotify. Spotify's student plans for $ 5 a month come standard with Hulu and Showtime. If you go to school and are interested in any of these services, you can also sign up.

If you're not a student, you can still save some money by signing up for a free trial. Showtime offers new users a week without pay so you can toast as many movies as possible in seven days. Regardless of whether you're in your free trial or paying for service, you're unfortunately running Showtime ads before you start a stream. Fortunately, these ads are no longer than 15 or 30 seconds.

Unlike its original programs like Shameless or Homeland, Showtime does not produce its own films. But that's fine – the library is big to find titles.

App 5: HBO Now

While the name stands for Home Box Office, HBO is now more associated with television than movies. Shows such as Game of Thrones or Silicon Valley attract crowd on Sunday night. However, if you're already HBO Now subscriber to the shows, you also have a great movie streaming app.

With 813 titles, HBO Now does not have the biggest movie selection, but it does have some killer shots. That's HBO, after all. There is a healthy mix of current films, classics and some that may have been overlooked in their time, and HBO's movie library is often updated with new titles.

(1) iOS, (2) Android

HBO also produces its own movies, such as in recent years with All the Way and . The wizard of lies . HBO has been making films for decades – actually since the 1980s. Not all of these titles are available on HBO Now. Unfortunately, some of these titles are available. Browse through it to see what HBO movies are all about.

There is filler material that inflates the total number of HBO films. I do not think many people subscribe to HBO Now for movies like Space Chimps or Batman & Robin . However, I think that the selection of solid films outweighs the bad ones.

HBO occasionally plays ads before content, but the ads will always be for HBO-related material. You can also fast-forward these ads so they can be annoying, but you can just drop by to get to your movie.

During my tests, movies were immediately loaded in HD format over Wi-Fi. The opening of the HBO title page would be a little blurry, but as it comes to an end, my videos were crystal clear. Cellular loading would take a little longer, but only for about 10 seconds. HBO offers users a maximum quality of 1080p, so no support for 4K or HDR.

You can use Chromecast and AirPlay with HBO Now, but Android users can not use Picture in Picture mode, even if Android 8.1 or later is running. [19659002] One thing that HBO lacks and urgently needed are downloadable videos. So much of HBO's content deserves to be watched no matter where I am. It's part of the app that's pretty much missing.

At $ 15 / month, HBO Now is a little expensive compared to some of the services on this list. However, this includes not only the extensive film catalog but also the entire original program of HBO. HBO has terminated its student discount, but grandfathers receive a € 5 discount per month until they cancel. All new users will receive a one-week free trial.

I can understand why some people think the price is too steep, but I think the price is worth the price.

The Verdict

These are all great apps and services, so it's pretty hard to pick a favorite. But in the end, I vote for Netflix.

Netflix offers a good selection of films at fair prices to meet your needs. It provides a similar, functional experience regardless of the device used and allows you to download this content for offline viewing. Best of all, you can get the service for a month for free and bring any movies you like.

What do you think of our list? Is Netflix the king of movie apps or does this title belong to another app? Did we skip one of your favorites? Let us know in the comment section below!

Cover photo of Justin Meyers / Gadget Hacks, screenshots of Jake Peterson / Gadget Hacks

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