Philo is the least expensive streaming service on the market — and for good reason. It doesn’t offer any sports coverage and leaves out several popular channels from its lineup. However, Philo’s 70-plus channels and more than 70,000 on-demand episodes and films will make it an appealing option for many cord-cutters.
Curious if this budget-friendly service is a good fit for you? Read our Philo review to learn all about its pros and cons.
|$25 per month
(for 1 year)
|On-Demand Movies and TV Shows
|Live TV Streaming
Our experience with Philo
Getting started and navigating the Philo interface will feel very familiar if you’ve subscribed to any other streaming services in recent years. On the home screen, there’s a slider of popular shows and movies, followed by a scrollable menu of different featured genres, live TV, and more. If you save any episodes to view later, you’ll find them in your “Saved” tab at the top of the page.
Like other live TV streaming services, Philo offers an alphabetical channel guide you can use to browse what’s on and what’s scheduled to air later. If you’re looking for on-demand programs, you can visit the “Top Playable” page to browse offerings there. This interface is similar across platforms, whether you access Philo from your web browser, mobile app, or streaming device.
As you’ll see in our Philo review, whether you find this streamer’s low price to be a bargain largely depends on the content you’re looking for. Philo does feature more than 70 channels and over 70,0000 episodes, specials, and movies, but some popular networks, local affiliates, and virtually all sports channels are glaringly absent from the platform.
That’s not to say there’s nothing to enjoy. Top channels on Philo include A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, BBC World News, BET, Comedy Central, Discovery, Food Network, MTV, and Nickelodeon. For only $25 a month, you get access to a lot of popular networks, and you can add more content from MGM+, STARZ, and other film channels for anywhere between $3 and $10 per month.
However, you won’t find any major sports networks or local channels, and big names like CNN, TNT, and USA are missing. As a result, Philo will only appeal to viewers who want a selection of news and entertainment programming without any live sports coverage.
DVR and recording options
Philo does offer a generous cloud DVR feature. You can record anything you want and as much as you want, and your recordings will stay in your library for up to a year. That gives you plenty of time to catch up on anything you miss.
To start recording shows or movies, simply click “Save” on the programs you want to watch. You can set it to record an entire series for you, but there’s not currently an option to record everything on a specific channel.
Viewing experience and video quality
As far as live TV streaming services go, Philo offers a relatively standard viewing experience. Content is available in 720p (live) and 1080p (on demand), and it tops out at 30 frames per second (fps). This puts Philo behind some services that now offer 4K Ultra HD streaming at 60 fps, but it still makes for a decent viewing experience.
Ultimately, your Philo video quality depends on your device capabilities and internet bandwidth, and the service will automatically adjust your resolution to match your setup. In our Philo review, we had no trouble viewing HD content on a Mac, iPhone, and Apple TV.
Personalization and security
Philo is especially generous with its user customization features. You can create up to 10 profiles and customize each person’s viewing experience and preferences so that everyone has their own personalized feed. Unfortunately, there aren’t any parental controls to allow families to set restrictions for underage viewers, and that will be a big disappointment for some viewers.
Sports fans: Yay or nay?
If you’re looking for live sports, you’re not going to find it on Philo. Cutting out sports networks is the top way Philo can keep its price so low. MotorTrend is the only channel offering any live sporting events, and even that is fairly limited. To find live sports coverage, check out streaming services like FuboTV or DIRECTV STREAM.
How does Philo compare to other streaming services?
|Cost per Month
|Hulu + Live TV
Philo is the most budget-friendly live TV streaming service on the market. For many viewers who don’t need live sports programming, it offers far more value on the dollar than other similar platforms. With more than 70 channels and 70,000 on-demand titles, this service has a lot to offer subscribers. Plus, its simple, single-plan setup makes it easy to sign up and start streaming.
That said, Philo’s lineup has some major omissions that allow it to keep the price down. Without any sports channels and some serious holes in its news and entertainment lineups, Philo simply won’t appeal to many subscribers who want a better all-around package. Sling TV offers a budget-friendly streaming service with a smaller but more popular channel lineup that includes live sports, while others like Hulu + Live TV, DIRECTV STREAM, and FuboTV offer larger channel lineups and more extensive sports coverage.
How to subscribe to Philo
Signing up for Philio only takes a few minutes. To get started, follow these simple steps.
- Enter your email address.
- Open the verification email and tap the “Sign up for Philo” button or enter the code in your browser.
- Provide your credit card information.
- Log in and start watching.
Since Philo offers a seven-day free trial, your card won’t be charged until your first week ends. If you cancel before then, you won’t pay a dime. After that, you’ll automatically be charged on the same day each month. If you do decide to cancel, you’ll have access until the end of your current billing cycle.
How to cancel my Philo subscription
If you decide Philo isn’t a good fit, you can cancel your account in a few easy steps:
- Log in to your Philo account in a web browser.
- Click the profile avatar at the top right.
- Select the “Settings” tab.
- Scroll all the way down and select “Cancel my subscription.”
- Confirm by selecting “Cancel subscription” in the pop-up.
Is Philo worth it?
Our overall Philo review was positive, as this service does offer a wide range of entertainment, news, and family programming. For only $25 a month, it’s one of the best deals available for cord-cutters. However, with major gaps in sports coverage, missing popular networks, and limited add-ons, it’s clear why Philo is so much less expensive than its competitors. Before you dive in to decide if Philo is worth it, check out the free trial and see if the channels and on-demand programs will fit your streaming needs.
Is Philo worth $25 a month?
That depends on what types of programming you value most. If you’ll be satisfied with no live sports and a decent but limited selection of popular news and entertainment channels, $25 a month may be a bargain. If not, then it may be worth it to pay more for another service.
Does Philo have ABC, NBC, and CBS?
Philo does not feature any local channels in its live TV lineup.
Is Philo better than Sling?
For sports, news, and local channels, any live TV streaming service is better than Philo. For binging your favorite series, options like Netflix and Disney Plus will likely serve you better. For a low-cost, relatively focused list of live TV channels, however, Philo is hard to beat.Philo Review- FAQ
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