If you own a smartphone you probably already know you can stream music through YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, and more. You can also download music straight to your smartphone to keep the data usage down too. When it comes to watching movies on your smartphone, you need to be aware of how much data is used when streaming or downloading movies. Most cell packages will have a data usage limit that gets refreshed each and every month you pay for it. If you decide to download or stream a movie, you’re going to use a lot of your monthly data in doing so.
Most movies will eat a good chunk of your gigabytes every time you watch them online or download them to your smartphone. In this guide, we’ll discuss how much data is used when watching a movie on your smartphone from some of the most popular services so you can make smarter choices.
Downloading movies will use a different amount of data depending on the quality you select. For example, if you download a movie in 4K, you’ll use more data than if you downloaded the same movie in SD (standard definition.) We’ll take a look at the different service providers and how much GB it will cost to download movies from them.
We usually recommend downloading your movies instead of streaming them because if you download them once, you can watch them over and over again without using any further precious data.
Netflix is one of, if not the most popular streaming services out there. Netflix boasts thousands of movies and TV shows on demand for a reasonable monthly price. You can watch Netflix on your TV, computer, and your smartphone through Netflix’s official app. This is handy if you’re on the go and want to finish an episode of your favorite show on your lunch break, for example.
How many GB is a movie download on Netflix?
- Standard definition: 1 GB
- High definition: up to 3GB
- 4K: up to 7 GB
Disney Plus has taken the world by storm and has also created a very popular streaming service. Unlike Netflix, Disney only streams show that belong to them and they have garnered quite a subscriber base because of it. All of the old favorites on Disney Plus along with all the more recent releases like Black Widow and Luca. Disney Plus uses slightly less data than Netflix but it will still eat your data if you download a lot of episodes or multiple movies. It’s also worth pointing out that Disney Plus will use different amounts of data depending on the length of a movie but the below data points are a good guide for most movies of average length.
How many GB is a movie download on Disney Plus?
- Standard definition: 1 GB
- High definition: up to 2.5 GB
- 4K: up to 5.1 GB
BBC iPlayer offers an all-in-one service for BBC lovers with all of their amazing shows and movies in one place. You can access the iPlayer app on all of your devices so you can pick up a show wherever you are and watch from where you last left it. The BBC iPlayer will also soak up a lot of data if you choose to download a TV show or download a movie by using your data, however, it’s not going to use quite as much as Netflix or Disney Plus. It’s always recommended that you download shows on BBC iPlayer in standard definition to avoid using up all your data.
How many GB is a movie download on BBC iPlayer?
- Standard definition: 0.5 GB
- High definition: up to 2 GB
- 4K: up to 4.5 GB
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video has become one of the go-to places to stream exclusive content and movies. If you have an Amazon Prime account, make sure you’re making use of their streaming service too because it’s included in your package. Amazon Prime Video also allows users to download their favorite movies and TV shows but it’s not obvious how much data this will use because it depends on the length of the content but also the quality you choose to download it in. We can use the streaming usage to get an idea of how much data it would take to download movies from the service;
- Low quality: 0.3 GB per hour
- Standard definition: 0.7 GB per hour
- High definition: 3GB
How many GB is a movie download on Amazon Prime Video?
- Low quality: 0.7
- Standard definition: up to 1.5 GB
- High definition: up to 6 GB
The Bottom Line
Downloading a movie and onto your phone is going to take up a lot of data, especially if you have a monthly data limit. Where you can you should download movies by using your WI-FI connection first but if you can’t, make sure you keep an eye on your current data limit so you don’t end up downloading too much and running out quickly. Before you download a movie, make sure you come back and check this page to see if you have enough GB left.