Netflix for Android review: Simple, stable streaming video on the go

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CNET Editors' Rating

4.5 stars Outstanding
  • Overall: 8.6
  • Installation and Setup: 9.0
  • Features and Support: 8.0
  • Interface: 9.0
  • Performance: 10.0

The Good Netflix for Android gives you great-looking streaming movies and shows. Controls are smooth and performance is reliable.

The Bad The streaming library is only a fraction of the larger DVD library. You still can't add to or change your DVD queue via the app.

The Bottom Line If you don't mind the limited streaming library, Netflix offers great picture quality, smooth controls, and reliable performance.

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Netflix for Android lets subscribers watch movies and TV shows on the service's Instant Watch library. While the streaming service isn't nearly as strong as the Netflix DVD library, it's great to have the option to pick from several shows to watch on a mobile device wherever you are.

The Netflix app's straightforward design starts off with a home screen that shows you your most recently viewed and incomplete shows at the top for easy access, then featured content like popular shows and recommendations based on your viewing history. You can swipe up to view more content from various genres, then swipe left to view more shows from each genre. Of course you can also browse for movies and shows by more typical genres, like Action, TV Shows, and Comedies, by hitting the Browse button in the upper left, then choosing a genre.

With the Netflix app, you can see featured content on the Home screen or browse through the catalog by genre. Screenshot by Jaymar Cabebe/CNET

When you touch a title, the app shows you all the details: the star rating, synopsis, and a list of episodes for TV shows. A drop-down menu lets you quickly switch to a later season, and you can browse by episode in the list below.

The viewing controls on Netflix pop up with a tap and disappear after a few seconds while you watch a video. A large button lets you scrub through the video with a little window that shows the exact point you're pointing at in the timeline -- great for finding the part of the show you want to watch. A rewind button lets you go back 10 seconds in the show, and a volume control is in the upper right. There are also controls for changing the language (when supported), and you can turn on subtitles for silent viewing (when supported). All the interface controls worked very smoothly in our testing with no delayed response whatsoever.

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Netflix (Android)

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Quick Specifications

  • Compatibility Android