What is Xfinity Flex?
Xfinity Flex is a fairly new kid on the block. Released in late 2019, the device is a streaming box that lets you watch over 10,000 movies and shows from the likes of Tubi, XUMO, and Pluto TV. Access to news, music, and games is also included.
It’s not like other streaming devices such as Amazon Fire TV or Roku, though, which is one of the reasons it’s growing in popularity. It’s actually free if you’re already an Xfinity Internet customer, so you can watch plenty of movies and shows at no extra cost. And with Xfinity Flex, all your subscription apps are in one place. But does free mean it comes with limitations? Keep reading our Xfinity Flex review to find out everything you need to know.
How much does Xfinity Flex cost?
If you’re already an Xfinity Internet subscriber, Xfinity Flex is free. It’s part of your internet package, but you’ll only get 1 box. You can purchase more (up to a maximum of 3 per account) for $5 each.
Although it is free, you’ll still need to pay for premium services. To get the streaming box, you have to be an Xfinity Internet customer paying a regular monthly subscription price.
Xfinity Internet plans at a glance
|Performance Starter Internet||Performance Internet||Performance Pro Internet||Blast! Internet||Extreme Pro Internet||Gigabit|
|Speed||15 Mbps||100 Mbps||200 Mbps||300 Mbps||600 Mbps||1000 Mbps|
|Device style||Set-top box||Set-top box||Set-top box||Set-top box||Set-top box||Set-top box|
|Size||5.25” x 5.25” x 1”||5.25” x 5.25” x 1”||5.25” x 5.25” x 1”||5.25” x 5.25” x 1”||5.25” x 5.25” x 1”||5.25” x 5.25” x 1”|
|Streaming quality||1080p||1080p, 4K HDR||1080p, 4K HDR||1080p, 4K HDR||1080p, 4K HDR||1080p, 4K HDR|
Xfinity Flex streaming services and apps
The device has some live TV channels, including ESPN3, Sky News, Tubi, and Xumo, which are included at no cost. But its main appeal is the many on-demand and live TV streaming services it’s compatible with. You need an ongoing, paid subscription to these services to watch them, but you don’t need cable.
Amazon Prime Video costs $12.99/mo. and comes with a 30-day free trial. It offers a variety of content for the entire family, so you can find kids’ movies, educational TV, in-theater releases, TV shows, and movies. You can also purchase add-ons like CBS All Access and Starz for an extra fee. However, you cannot purchase these services through Amazon Prime Video on Flex. You can access CBS All Access on Flex through the CBS All Access app directly which is now available (if you subscribe through CBS directly and then log in with your credentials) and STARZ can also be accessed by purchasing a subscription through Xfinity on Flex.
HBO costs $14.99/mo. and there’s a seven-day free trial to test it out first. There’s a full catalog of original series, documentaries, and movies. But it’s most popular for its binge-worthy box sets, including Chernobyl, Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, and The Wire.
Hulu is one of the Flex’s most recent additions. Prices start at $5.99/mo., and the service provides access to worldwide favorites such as Little Fires Everywhere and The Handmaid’s Tale.
Netflix subscriptions start at $8.99/mo. The service’s library has thousands of movies and TV shows. More expensive plans offer more simultaneous streams and better picture quality. From newly released movies to nostalgic TV shows, there’s something for most ages and interests. Popular titles include Breaking Bad, Ozark, Tiger King, and You.
Showtime costs a flat rate of $12/mo. with a no-contract policy. You can enjoy titles like Billions, Homeland, and Shameless. The service sometimes features live boxing matches.
You can also listen to plenty of music, including iHeartRadio, NPR One, Amazon Music, and Pandora. Unfortunately, Xfinity Flex doesn’t have Sling TV . But it plans to add more streaming apps in the future, with its most recent addition being Peacock and CBS All Access.
If you subscribe to Cinemax, Epix, HBO, Showtime or Starz, you’ll need to cancel your subscription and repurchase it through Comcast to stream these services on the device. For all other apps, you can use your existing credentials – that includes Netflix and Hulu.
Xfinity Flex features
One of Xfinity Flex’s standout features is the fact you can stream in 4K HDR. However, you need an internet connection of at least 25 Mbps to enjoy premium quality streaming. Bear in mind that Xfinity’s internet plans come with speed caps – you’ll need the Performance Internet package ($39.99/mo.) for 4K HDR. The Performance Starter Internet plan costs $49.95/mo., comes with a 15 Mbph speed cap, and delivers 1080p quality streaming.
You also need to make sure you have a compatible TV and the appropriate streaming service subscription for 4K HDR quality. For example, Netflix offers a 4K HDR subscription that costs more than the regular plan.
Out of the Box
With Xfinity Flex, you get a power lead and an HDMI cable so it can easily be connected to your TV. Your TV must have an HDMI port in to use Xfinity Flex. The box also has an Ethernet jack if you want to connect the device to your router rather than Wi-Fi.
Voice Control Remote
There’s a voice-activated remote, which handily comes with two AA batteries, so you’re ready to go right off the bat. To use the voice command function, just click the microphone button in the center. You can ask it to take you to specific streaming apps, find movies, and more.
DVR, Users, and Parental Controls
Xfinity Flex doesn’t let viewers establish different user profiles, so you can’t personalize content. There’s no cloud DVR storage either, which means you can’t record shows and watch them later. And for any parents out there, the service doesn’t have parental controls — so you won’t have the ability to filter what your kids can and can’t watch.
You can upgrade to Xfinity X1 for parental controls and 500GB of cloud DVR storage if you prefer. Its combined TV and internet package starts at $69.99/mo. Xfinity X1 has more to offer in terms of live TV, too, with access to CNN, FOX, NBC, NFL, TNT, and many more.
There are several ways you can set parental controls on Flex:
- Block content by selecting Settings > Parental Controls > TV Rating Locks > TV-MA. Once locked, you’ll need to enter a Parental Control PIN before you can access the app.
- Block access to the app using an Application Lock.
Once an app is launched, Parental Control settings will not guard against content searches or playback within the app.
The final cut
If you don’t have the budget for a streaming device like Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, or Roku, then Xfinity Flex is a great solution. As long as you’re a paying Xfinity Internet customer, you can use the device to stream movies and shows. Although you’ll have to pay for premium services.
The streaming box comes with plenty of apps, and puts almost everything you need in one place. But there are still some missing apps and channels. It doesn’t have Sling TV, for example, and the live TV channel list is minimal. But you can’t expect much more from a free streaming box. If you need extra apps, more channels, parental controls and DVR storage, you can always consider upgrading to Xfinity X1 instead.
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