Watching Netflix movies seems to be everyone’s favorite pastime nowadays. There’s no doubt that Netflix has changed the way we entertain ourselves at home. With a Netflix plan, anyone with a reliable Internet connection can watch unlimited movies, TV shows and documentaries anytime they want.
In fact, Netflix has already surpassed cable TV as the primary mode of home entertainment, at least in the United States. Here in the Philippines, Netflix is far from supreme as free TV continues to dominate local entertainment. But with Internet getting cheaper and faster, it wouldn’t be surprising to someday see Netflix as the primary form of entertainment among Filipino households.
Netflix recently introduced a mobile-only plan last March to cater to low-income households as well as mobile subscribers without home Internet access. For only ₱149 a month, you’ll get unlimited access to Netflix movies and TV shows on your mobile phone or tablet. You don’t even need a WiFi connection – you can subscribe to a prepaid data promo to start watching Netflix right away.
If you’re still undecided on which Netflix plan to subscribe to, we’ve come up with this guide to help you decide. Perhaps you’re unhappy with the mobile-only plan and want to upgrade to a higher plan like standard or premium, but you’re not sure if it’s worth your money. We are here to explain the difference between Netflix subscription plans so you can choose the right one for your needs or budget.
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Netflix Subscription Plans
Netflix offers four subscription plans in the Philippines: Mobile, Basic, Standard and Premium.
If you don’t have a Netflix account yet, you can sign up here and then use your credit/debit card or postpaid mobile plan to subscribe. You can even use GCash or PayMaya to subscribe to a Netflix plan.
The Mobile plan is great for solo users who only watch Netflix on their mobile phones or tablets. You can only view in standard definition or 480p resolution.
Pros: The mobile-only subscription is a cheap plan that costs only ₱149 per month or less than ₱5 a day.
Cons: The plan is limited to only one screen at a time.
If you’re a solo user who wants to watch Netflix on your PC, laptop or TV, you can’t go wrong with the Basic plan. You can only watch in 480p resolution. It costs ₱369 a month (or ₱12 a day).
Pros: You can watch Netflix movies on desktops and laptops as well as smart TVs, aside from your mobile device.
Cons: The basic plan is limited to only one screen at a time. Video quality is not that good on larger screens.
The Standard plan strikes a good balance between price and quality. If you want to enjoy full HD videos on your computer or TV, this plan is for you. It costs ₱459 per month.
Pros: You can enjoy Full HD (1080p) videos for brighter and sharper pictures on large screens. You can also share your plan with a friend as it can support two screens at the same time.
Cons: It’s a little bit on the pricey side. The Premium plan is the better option on a per-person basis if you’re planning to share the cost with others.
For the ultimate in home entertainment, the Premium plan is the best option. You can watch in 4K resolution which is great if you own the latest Ultra HD TV. It’s the ideal Netflix plan for families and barkadas, and it costs ₱549 a month.
Pros: You’ll enjoy movies and TV shows in 4K or Ultra HD resolution for the best possible video quality on large screen monitors and TVs. It supports up to four screens at the same time.
Cons: The price might be a little prohibitive but the cost can be shouldered by up to four people.
Take a look at the comparison table of Netflix plans for a side-by-side view of their differences:
|Watch in Full HD||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Watch in Ultra HD||No||No||No||Yes|
|Watch on computer, laptop and TV||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Watch on mobile phone and tablet||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Unlimited movies and TV shows||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Screens that can watch at the same time||1||1||2||4|
All About Resolution
We usually determine the quality of a video by its resolution. Simply put, the higher the resolution of a video, the better its quality.
The higher the resolution of a video, the more pixels it has. For example, a 480p video, which has a resolution of 640×480 pixels, contains 307,200 pixels. On the other hand, a 1080p video with 1920×1080 resolution has a whooping 2,073,600 pixels.
As we all know, the more pixels an image has, the sharper and crisper the picture quality is. Clarity, sharpness, color, basically all image information, are stored in those pixels.
What are the differences between 480p, 720p, 1080p and 4K resolutions?
- 480p – Also known as standard definition, 480p stands for 640×480 pixels resolution, with an aspect ratio of 4:3. It contains 307,200 pixels of graphic information.
- 720p – This is the bare minimum for a video to be called “high definition” or HD. 720p stands for 1280×720 resolution and contains 921,600 pixels.
- 1080p – Also called “Full HD,” 1080p is short for 1920×1080 and contains 2,073,600 pixels.
- 4K – 4K or Ultra HD resolution has a resolution of 3480×2160, for a total of 8,294,400 pixels.
So what does all these mean? For smartphones, 480p and 720p are good enough. 1080p is great for smartphones and tablets, as well as computers and laptops. 1080p also looks good on both Full HD and Ultra HD (4K) devices.
4K videos have the best performance on 4K devices, obviously. 4K videos also look sharper than 1080p on 1080p (Full HD) displays, as long as the device supports 4K and has no trouble streaming it.
If you primarily use a smartphone, 480p (Mobile and Basic plans) is ideal. If you use a tablet, go with 1080p (Standard plan) if you can afford it. If you watch mostly on PCs and laptops, go for 1080p or 4K (Standard and Premium plans). If you watch on a TV, choose either 1080p or 4K.
So based on your device, here are our recommendations on which Netflix plan to choose:
- Smartphone – Mobile, Basic
- Tablet – Mobile, Basic, Standard
- PC and laptop – Standard
- Full HD TV – Standard, Premium
- Ultra HD TV – Standard, Premium
So Which Netflix Plan to Choose?
If you are a solo user (meaning you don’t share your account with anyone) who only uses a smartphone and don’t have regular WiFi access, then go with the Mobile plan.
Unless you own a smartphone that supports 1080p or 4K video playback, you’ll be fine with the Mobile plan. You can go to the Netflix app settings (More > App Settings > Playback Specification) on your phone to see its maximum playback resolution.
If the maximum playback resolution is SD (480p) or HD (720p), you don’t need to get the Standard or Premium plan because you can’t watch videos in 1080p and 4K. Only get those plans if you’re sharing it with your partner or family.
Not all content in Netflix are available in Full HD and Ultra HD anyway, so unless you plan to watch on multiple devices or share your subscription with your family or friends, you can settle for the Mobile plan for your smartphone.
If you’re a tablet user, you can choose the Standard plan because 1080p is the best resolution for tablets.
Now if you watch Netflix mostly on your computer or laptop, we suggest going with the Standard plan. Why not the Basic plan? As mentioned previously, 1080p has almost 7 times the number of pixels compared to 480p, so the difference in video quality is noticeable especially in high-definition displays. But you could make do with the Basic plan if you want to save money and video quality is not that important.
If you own an expensive 60-inch smart TV, for example, then by all means, get the Premium plan. 4K videos look best in both Full HD (if the display supports it) and Ultra HD devices.
However, 4K is fairly new technology and most videos on Netflix are not produced in 4K. Many devices also don’t support 4K. Thus, the only viable reason to get the Premium plan is if you want to share it with your family or group of friends. Otherwise, get the Standard plan, as there is no additional benefit to getting the Premium plan unless you own a 4K device.
So in a nutshell:
- Solo smartphone user – Mobile
- Solo tablet user – Mobile, Standard
- Solo PC or laptop user – Standard
- Couple – Standard
- Family or group of friends – Premium
- 1080p or Full HD TV user – Standard, Premium
- 4K or Ultra HD TV user – Standard, Premium
We hope that our guide helped you in deciding which Netflix plan is right for you. All Netflix subscription plans offer unlimited video streaming and downloads, so regardless of the plan you choose, you can watch all the movies and TV shows that you want. The key is to find the right balance between price and quality.
If you have any question about choosing the right Netflix plan, feel free to comment below.