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Netflix or Amazon Prime - Which Is The Best For Mobile?

Netflix

Amazon Prime

Who needs a TV when you've got a smartphone? Screens are getting bigger, audio is getting clearer and even a budget phone is more than capable of delivering a stutter-free streaming experience. For catching up with terrestrial TV, you've got the likes of BBC iPlayer, 4OD and ITV Player. These are fine - but they're hardly enough to satisfy a serious telly addict. Blockbusters is ancient history. For box-set binge watchers and movie fans, subscription services are where it's at. More than 3 million UK households now subscribe to Netflix. Its biggest rival, Amazon, has 1.2 million subscribers.

If your phone’s your platform of choice for viewing, here are some points to bear in mind when choosing between Netflix and Amazon Instant Prime…

Will it work on my mobile?

Netflix

No problems here: the Netflix app is available for Android, Windows and iOS (Apple) devices.

Amazon Prime Instant Video

Amazon seems to be a lot more choosey about how you can watch its service. Up until recently, the only Android devices that could stream Amazon Instant Prime were the Kindle Fire range. This has now been rectified with the release of a new Amazon Prime Instant Video app for Android mobiles. IPhone and Android phone owners are now catered for (N.B. it is still unavailable for Android tablets – other than Kindles). Bad news for Lumia phone owners; as of yet, there’s no support for it on Windows phones.

Can I watch in 3G?

Netflix

You can stream content via 3G and 4G – although streaming this way will quickly eat into your data allowance – so beware of going over your limit

Amazon Prime Instant Video

No 3G streaming available in the UK just yet so you’ll only be able to view content where there’s a Wi-Fi connection.

Is there anything worth watching?

When it comes to TV series, subscription streaming services tend to market themselves on the basis of exclusivity – so the chances are that you won’t find all of your favourite shows in one place. For movies, don’t expect to see the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy on either service any time soon. Films tend not to make an appearance on streaming services until after the post-DVD sales window has closed.

Netflix

This service carries approximately 40,000 titles consisting of films, TV series, documentaries and stand-up comedy. The service tends to be strongest on hit exclusive shows. The biggest draws at the minute include Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. If you’re one of the few people who still hasn’t seen Breaking Bad, that’s there too. Other highlights include Dexter, Sons of Anarchy, Arrested Development and The Office. Scrolling through the thousands of movie titles for something worth watching can be frustrating. Here’s a guide to some of the best films available at present – old and new.

OITNB

Amazon Prime Instant Video

There are currently around 15,000 titles available to UK viewers. In terms of headline-grabbing TV titles, the Prime Instant Video catalogue doesn’t quite have the same pull as Netflix. Nevertheless, there are plenty of gems available – including exclusives such as period crime drama, Ripper Street and DC Comics-based Constantine.   Films are where Amazon has the slight edge. Check out this guide for some of the best titles available.

Ripper Street

Can I download and watch later?

Unfortunately not – and this applies to both services. With Amazon Prime Instant Video however, searching the Prime catalogue also brings up search results for Amazon's sister service, the pay-per-download Amazon Instant Video. Downloaded content from this can be viewed when you're offline.

What’s the streaming quality like?

Both services promise to deliver up to 1080p HD display. Just how good an experience you’ll get will depend on the quality of your connection and the spec of your phone. If you’re the owner of the likes of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8, you shouldn’t have any complaints with either service so far as quality goes.

Can I try for free?

Yes – both services offer a 30-day free trial. Explore what each service has to offer in terms of content and see how your mobile handles it. If it’s not for you, don’t forget to unsubscribe before the end of the free period.

So, which one will you go for? It's a close call and depends on your requirements, but I hope we've given you enough info to make a decision. Head over to the Netflix and Amazon pages to sign up. Happy streaming!

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Netflix

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