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Which one has the best Android app?

23 mayo, 2021

With the huge number of existing streaming platforms, and having the option to download the applications on our Android, it is time to get into the ring to the best known to discover which is the most recommended. Disney +, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or HBO, all with their official app and with a diversified catalog available to subscribers.

The broader the catalog of a streaming platform, the more effective its application should be when recommending new movies and series to its users. In general, they all perform this function, although they do not do it with the same efficiency. Both Disney + and Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and HBO offer an interface with a selection of their titles on the cover; categorized by style, by recommendations and leaving space for what has been half played. Let’s see what else they put at our fingertips.

Features Comparison: Netflix Vs Disney + Vs Amazon Prime Video Vs HBO

Netflix

Disney +

Amazon Prime Video

HBO

Maximum devices

Unlimited registration, limited downloads to the contracted plan

10

Not specified (no limit on the record)

5

Simultaneous screens

Basic: 1
Standard: 2
Premium: 4

4

3 (2 if it is the same title)

two

Number of profiles

5

7

6

1

Plans to choose and prices

Basic: 7.99 euros
Standard: 11.99 euros
Premium: 15.99 euros

One: 8.99 euros per month or 89.99 euros per year

One: € 3.99 per month or € 36 per year (includes other Prime benefits)

One: 8.99 euros per month

Free trial (in Spain)

Not

Not

Yes a month

Yes two weeks

Content download

Yes (storage and SD)
High and standard quality

Yes (storage and SD)
Standard, medium and high quality

Yes (storage)
Data saving, good, better and optimal quality

Yes (storage)
Standard Quality

Content ratings

Yes

Not

Not

Not

Highest quality of reproduction

4K HDR

4K HDR

4K HDR

1080p

Catalog (JustWatch data)

More than 2,800 films More than 1,500 series

More than 1,000 films More than 250 series

More than 4,200 films More than 600 series

More than 950 movies More than 380 series

Average rating on Google Play Spain

4.4

4.3

4.3

4.1

Similar in interface, not so much in options

Netflix Disney Plus Amazon Prime Video Hbo From left to right: Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO

The four platforms offer very similar applications since the way of viewing the titles, choosing them, accessing the playback and viewing them is not too far apart in some aesthetic details. In a matter of design Netflix looks more modern thanks to the different ways to offer suggestions: featured on cover, cards or Stories format, for example. This makes the experience somewhat more distracting; Without this implying that it is easy to see everything that is available: what is shown on the cover is always limited and depends on the effectiveness of the recommendation algorithms.

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In a matter of recommendations, something basic to discover what to watch next, Netflix has greater capabilities, especially if the profiles are joined to the algorithms. Each account user has their own grid, something Disney + does quite well too. HBO lags behind as its operation is somewhat crude and does not have profiles. Amazon Prime Video also has different profiles with personalized recommendations for each user. Navigation through the app has improved considerably in the last year.

Netflix Disney Plus Amazon Prime Video Hbo From left to right: Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO

Disney + bets on generously sized vertical covers, Netflix also includes the billboard format as the majority style to represent its titles. The other two see horizontal cards generalized, but Amazon Prime Video offers a more polished overall look than HBO. This last application needs a thorough renovation since it is clearly noticeable that it is behind the rest. Hopefully it will arrive when HBO brings Max to Europe.

All four make it easy to navigate the bottom menu. In addition, Amazon Prime Video sections its content with higher categories

The lower menus are key to facilitate navigation. All four apps include this type of menu: four items for Disney +, five for Prime Video (Amazon has higher categories); five options also for Netflix and HBO. They all have direct access to the essentials in a streaming app: start, search and downloads; to which an icon is added to the Kids and favorites section on HBO and the section of upcoming releases and other settings on Netflix.

Amazon Prime Video does not centralize the settings badly, neither does Disney + (lower right icon), but Amazon is much more complete when it comes to offering options to the user. HBO has a three-point top right menu for this, a menu where you can hardly customize anything, not even the quality of the content. The last one is again.

In playback there is a clear loser: HBO

Netflix Disney Plus Amazon Prime Video Hbo 3 From left to right: Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO

Getting lost in the catalog and evaluating what to see can be time consuming, but there is no doubt that the main objective of the applications is to reproduce the content. In the way of doing it there are not too many differences: just click on a title to jump to the player. Here we have the ‘play’, ‘pause’, forward and backward of 10 seconds, the language and subtitles menu appears, we can jump to a specific point with the playback bar (the apps preview the exact frame) and send the content to the Google Chromecast.

In playback options there are not too many differences, not in its interface either. We do highlight a very practical element: Netflix offers brightness control on the player, also audio-only playback. And Amazon Prime Video has access to X-Ray, title and cast information. Minipoint for them.

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While the playback options are similar, the quality at which the content is played is not. At this point the device depends a lot since both Netflix and Disney + and Amazon Prime Video adapt the characteristics of the content to the mobile. Only the highest-end Android will access the maximum resolution in video and HDR, also the downloads will vary in size depending on the device. And the exception is again HBO: the video quality is usually standard on most phones, always below Full HD. This platform is the one that offers the worst video quality (with HBO Max the platform will recover the lost path).

Netflix Disney Plus Amazon Prime Video Hbo

The audio does not present exaggerated differences between the four (HBO is behind again). With a quality mobile, and that has a good audio system, the listening experience is usually complete and rich enough. Everything will depend on whether the external speaker or headphones are used, the quality of these also influences.

Extras: because not everything is movies and series

Netflix Disney Plus Amazon Prime Video Hbo From left to right: Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO

So far we have compared the four applications for their generic features, but not everything is content and design: each platform usually includes exclusive details to attract potential customers.

Amazon Prime Video has the X-Ray function. It offers access to information about the scene being played: from the actors on the screen to production data. You don’t know who appears in the movie? Just pause it, click on X-Ray and see the entire cast. It is an option that is much more useful than it seems, although its full potential is only available in English.

Amazon Prime Video X Ray X-Ray on Amazon Prime Video

Netflix offers different ways to access the trailers for each movie and series. The Stories with advances, for example, also the tab of the next releases (coming soon). The information of each title is very brief (X-Ray from Amazon Prime Video is the winner in this regard), although Netflix allows rating each movie and series, an option that ends up improving the recommendation algorithm. It is also the most innovative platform when it comes to introducing new recommendation formats.

Disney + has the ‘Extras’, a section that is similar to what DVDs and BluRays include. Deleted scenes, director’s comments, documentaries, and other added material which notably enriches the display of each title. Not all include it to the same extent, it’s a shame.

Disney Plus Extras Extras at Disney +

And HBO … Well, it is again in last place in terms of application: the data of each title is very concise and does not add content to that of each movie or chapter. Yes indeed, the platform places special emphasis on exclusive quality content; which is what ends up saving HBO.

If we talk about exclusives, each streaming service includes its own. As it is also a determining factor in applications, let’s see what they offer as distinctive today:

  • HBO. This platform houses some of the most iconic and award-winning series in history. Game of Thrones is just one example: HBO owns 126 ‘Originals’ titles. The data are from the service in Spain.
  • Disney +. This platform will gradually remain with all the films and series owned by Disney, which are many. As for content created only for the streaming platform, Disney + has 76 ‘Originals’ from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic. With the arrival of Stars
  • Netflix. This platform cheats with originals since it is not always content exclusively produced by Netflix. Even so, the catalog of ‘Originals’ is huge: according to Flixable, it has 1,400 titles worldwide.
  • Amazon Prime Video. The company has been investing in exclusive content for a few years, not in vain it is the best way to differentiate itself from others. Amazon Prime Video has more than 190 original titles.

Winning app: Netflix

Netflix Disney Plus Amazon Prime Video Hbo

Experience is usually a degree, a saying that also affects the comparison of streaming applications: Netflix has been offering a player for many years to access the content catalog, hence its interface has evolved very well in terms of design, handling, recommendations and visualization. Details such as the rating of movies and series improves the algorithm of suggestions, a function that refreshes the cover more successfully than its competitors. For all this, we raise the Netflix app to number one in our comparison.

In number 2 we chose Amazon Prime Video. The interface doesn’t stray too far from Netflix (neither does), …