Philo Review – Cut the Cord and Pick Affordable Simplicity

By Gabriela Vatu / November 29, 2018

Cutting the cord makes sense nowadays, with plenty of over the top platforms out there helping you step away from the couch, take your TV channels with you anywhere you go, like Philo.

Philo is a nice platform that was founded back in 2009 at Harvard, but it only became a proper OTT streaming television service in November 2017, which means it's pretty fresh. Even so, by the beginning of 2018, it managed to attract some 50,000. Let's find out what Philo has to offer.

Criteria Details
Bundles Two bundles - 40 channels & 52 channels
Extra channels None available
Customization No premium channels or extra features
Streaming Quality
  • 1.5 Mbps required for SD quality, 5 Mbps for HD
  • Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, iOS apps, via Chrome, IE, Firefox, or Safari on computers, via Chrome on Android
  • No Xbox or PlayStation, no dedicated Android app
  • $16 per month for 43 Channel Package
  • $20 per month for 55 Channel Package
DVR Yes, unlimited; content available for 30 days
Simultaneous screens You can stream content on three screens simultaneously
Rating 7/10
Visit Philo


Philo main

Perhaps it's not much of a surprise, but Philo is available in the United States alone. This means that you can watch your shows anywhere you may be, as long as you're on US territories, commonwealths, and possessions. If you're planning on traveling abroad, you're going to be in need of a VPN that manages to go undetected by Philo, such as ExpressVPN. Now, if you don't live in the US you won't actually be able to create an account because you need to have a card emitted in the US, as well as a local phone number, which would allow you a free trial without actually putting in your credit card info for a few days.

Channel Bundles

Philo channels

Watch your favorite channels with Philo, but are they enough? Our score: 7/10

So, Philo comes with a pretty slim collection of channels, at least when compared to other similar products. But, it's also pretty cheap, so there's some balance in there.

43 Channel Package – For $16 per month, you can get access to 40 channels, as the name of the bundle suggests: A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, AXS TV, BBC America, BBC World News, BET, Cheddar, Cheddar Big News, CMT, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, DIY Network, Food Network, FYI, Game Show Network, Hallmark, Hallmark Drama, Hallmark Movies & Mystery, HGTV, History, IFC, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, Lifetime Movies, MTV, MTV2, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., OWN, Paramount Network, PeopleTV, Science Channel, Sundance TV, Tastemade, TeenNick, TLC, Travel Channel, TV Land, MotorTrend, VH1, Viceland, and WE tv.

55 Channel Package – For a total of $20 per month you can get an extra twelve channels that get added to the ones mentioned above: American Heroes Channel, Aspire, BET Her, Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, Logo, MTV Live, Nicktoons, Revolt, and UpTV.

Customization Options

Philo streaming

Does simplicity work for you? Our score: 2/10

Simplicity certainly has its beauty, but we can't help but feel like we're missing something here. That's because Philo offers absolutely no customization options. There are no premium channels you can add to your bundle, no extra devices to screen your channels to, nothing.

So, for the first time, there is exactly nothing you can do to customize your Philo experience beyond picking one of the two bundles we mentioned previously. We've offered Philo two points here simply because there may be people who appreciate the straightforwardness of this service.

Supported features

Philo features

Enjoy modern television with Philo, like DVR, and simultaneous streaming. Our score: 10/10

Philo brings some pretty cool features to the table that we're sure you're going to enjoy quite a bit. For instance, it offers unlimited recording space, so you can save as many shows as you want. Furthermore, you can save anything that's currently airing, or scheduled to air, and the content is available for 30 days.

You can share your account with your family, and since Philo allows you to stream content to three devices at once, you can all watch something different at the same time.

Another cool thing Philo users can do is rewind live feeds back up to 72 hours in case you might want to catch that thing everyone is talking about.

Streaming Quality

Philo Player

Philo offers you HD streaming, but at what speeds? Our score: 10/10

Over the Top streaming services like Philo offer you the best video quality they can, but it all depends on two factors - the quality of the TV channels stream in, and your Internet speed.

First off, TV channel streams don't go beyond 720p HD, so there's really nothing higher Philo or any other service can offer. When it comes to the Internet speed, it all depends on what contract you have. For the record, however, Philo requires at least 1.5 Mbps for SD quality, and at least 5 Mbps for HD quality. Lower connection speeds may work, but the video quality will be sub-par.

Supported Devices

Philo devices

Take Philo with you anywhere you go or watch on the big screen. Our score: 4/10

Philo has one of the weirdest collection of apps we've seen thus far, with essentials missing from the list.

In order to watch Philo on your computer, you're going to need a browser, as the platform works well on Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari.

Then, you can download an app for Apple TV, Fire TV, or Roku, as well as iOS. But there's no Android app. According to the company, if you want to watch Philo on Android, you're going to need to fire up Google Chrome and load the Philo website. There's also no support for any gaming console.


Philo guide

How easy can you figure out how to use Philo? Our score: 9/10

Philo has a straightforward interface that's easy to figure out quite fast. You can check out what's being broadcast live on any of the channels in your selected package.

You can also view the complete guide, maybe program some show to be recorded. All the saved content can be viewed in a separate tab, where you can easily manage everything. The interface is clean and easy to use, so there really should be no issues whatsoever in figuring things out.

The good and the bad

Anything in this world has good and bad parts, and we realize that our outlook may be subjective, but that's the point of a review, right?

The good

The bad

Final Thoughts

Philo has some great advantages compared to other similar products out there, but whether it fits your needs, it's your decision to make.

We hope you found this article useful so let us know what you think in the comments section below, and share it online so others can find it too.

Review Summary

If you're a fan of minimalism, Philo is your go-to OTT service. The price is quite an advantage for Philo, but it suits the offering.

Overall Score
Channel Bundles
Customization Options
Supported features
Streaming Quality
Supported Devices

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