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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Airtel Wynk Movies app review: An aggregator that needs a good subscription plan

The Airtel Wynk Video app is in beta, so, every feature is half-baked and is set to change.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi | Updated: September 2, 2015 9:01:38 pm
Airtel, Bharti Airtel, Airtel Wynk, Airtel Wynk video, Airtel Wynk movies, Airtel app, social media, video streaming app, online movie streaming app, technology news The Airtel Wynk Video app is in beta, so, every feature is half-baked and is set to change.

The driving force behind 4G will be video. Service providers, and almost everyone with a stake in the Internet space, are convinced that people will consume more and more video as the network speeds become better. They will also end up consuming more data in the process. This is why India is getting a bunch of video apps that let you access everything from latest movies to television shows from the US. The latest in this line is Airtel Wynk Movies app.

The app is different from the Airtel Wynk music app, which in my books is among the best in the market. So you will have to download a new app altogether, though it would have been a good idea for Airtel to offer videos as a separate tab within its existing app.

The Airtel Wynk Video app is in beta, so every single feature is set to change or is half-baked. So take this review with a pinch of salt.

Firstly, I am not one of the intended customers for an app like this. I do not enjoy watching movies on a 5-inch screen and cannot stoop below an 8-inch tablet when it comes to watching long videos. Yes, I do take my movies very seriously.

The app offers a good range of titles, especially for those who love Bollywood fare. There are a lot of new movies too in the list and this might appeal to those who end up watching everything that releases.

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There are a handful of regional languages too, but not all top Indian languages are listed. I could not help but notice that my mother tongue Malayalam was not among those listed. Even in the listed regional languages there are not more than a dozen odd titles each at the moment and even those are pretty dated ones.

For those who like to explore beyond their native there is integration with HooQ which offers a lot of Hollywood movies listed thematically. This section also gives you access to more regional titles and better ones at that. Similarly, there is content from Eros, which also includes from some evergreen Hindi titles as well as regional hits.

For those who can’t miss their soaps, you have access to Sony LIV which lives and breathes serials and comedy shows. There are also tabs for YouTube and DailyMotion, both of which are very popular apps on their own. I get the feeling Airtel might end up subsidising data usage on this app later on and hence this foray in aggregation of video content.

The UI appears simple at first sight, but seems a bit flawed when you use it for long durations. For instance, I could not find a way to segregate all the video as per language. You can do this only if you know what to search for.

Playing a movie is really simple. With each movie page you have the option of watching now or favouriting to play later. The download movie option does not seem to appear on all the titles. You can even share links to the movies on social media.

For now, you can just watch movies in a predefined resolution and the HD option is not available. On a large Full HD screen, this is not a great experience. And for just this, I would suggest that you hold on til the beta ends before downloading this app.

Overall, the app is pretty decent if you are they type who can watch Badlapur or Gabbar is Back on a 5-inch screen. We can just hope that Airtel will add more titles as well as exclusive content, which is the only thing that can get me to use a video app like this.

The subscription plans range from Rs 199 for the HooQ movies to Rs 249 with some daily plans thrown in at Rs 5 plus. But there is no way to subscribe for all the titles on the aggregator, nor is there a metered plan that lets you watch something like 20 movies a month. This is one aspect that Airtel will need to rethink if they are serious about running this app long time. Also, while calculating costs don’t forget to add the data costs incurred as well.

Your love of mobile movies can be a costly proposition, just make sure your love for movies is that strong.

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