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
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.
- Subscription Cost: In addition to the monthly services highlighted in the table above, Amazon offers an annual subscription at a discounted price. The annual subscription offers the same features as the $ 12.99 / month plan and costs $ 119 per year. If you count, it's a decent savings – $ 36.88 less per year, to be exact. Some services also offer discounts for students, others offer more generous trial versions (an important factor in deciding whether you like the service or not).
- Ads: Ads can be a fairly broad term. There are the commercials that play in a video and pre-roll commercials that you can skip over for the service you're streaming with. There are also pre-roll ads that can not be skipped. These usually include the production company or the channel from which the show originated and which day and time is usually sent. This pre-roll ad is located in the bottom row of Hulu.
- Number of titles: Most of our services do not contain official results for the number of films they offer. This reality makes it difficult to report on titles. For example, Netflix does not provide any official data and declined to give us a number because it is "changing rapidly". Therefore, we had to give up the data from third-party research. In mid-2016, Amazon had four times as many movies as Netflix, and it still seems to be a very similar relationship. In general, our titles are from JustWatch.
- Adjusting Streaming Quality: This is an important feature for streaming apps that lets you control the quality of your video by either receiving data or manually increasing the quality. For most apps, you have no control over the quality, while others can control the stream through the settings. One is especially good if you can control the quality of the stream yourself, but more on that later.
- Original Movies: Three of the five apps on our list produce their own original films, which is a plus
- Ability to download: If you're on a trip or traveling every day where Wi-Fi is not available and the mobile service is spotty (or you have no unlimited data plan), this is the case a key feature. Being able to watch a movie from your phone's memory is great in these situations, but few services you can download.
- Max. Streaming Quality: This varies from device to device, but these are the maximum values for each service you can receive as long as you have the right phone.
- HDR support: This is an extension of Max Streaming Quality. When a service streams in HDR, you get better color and contrast on an HDR10 or Dolby Vision HDR compatible phone. Most flagship smartphones today are equipped with HDR screens. Support for this feature is a great way to get more money for the money you have already spent.
- AirPlay and Chromecast: Whether you can use the app to flip movies and shows, or not, to your Apple TV, Android TV, or Chromecast device. All services support both of these amazing features, with one exception: Amazon still does not work with Chromecast or Chromecast built-in devices due to the minor Google-Amazon errors.
- Picture in Picture: With Android 8.0 and later, some media apps are reduced to a small floating player when you press the Start button. This is a great feature for times when you receive a message while watching a show, but do not want to pause and come back. So far, only Netflix supports this feature, although it requires Android 8.1 or higher.
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.
- Crackle was a competitor because he was 100 percent free (with advertising, of course). However, the small movie library with 96 titles and interfering displays prevented the final cut. You can install it on Android or iOS.
- YouTube was in a similar boat as Crackle. The service now includes about 100 movies that can be streamed for free (with ads if you do not have a YouTube Premium account), but the limited library has prevented this list from being created. However, you can get it for Android or iPhone if you want to try it out.
- Mubi a unique service that daily uploads a classic movie by a film expert, was left out. This means that there are only about 30 films per month. Although it's a cool concept, the small selection and similarities with the fifth app on our list made for a necessary omission. You can install it on Android or iOS.
- Filmstruck was presented in 5th place, as it offered users a new, hand-picked film proposal every day. The service is unfortunately closed. While there are discussions about saving movie prints, we have to give way to other currently active platforms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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;”/>