Amazon Prime Video Australia Review
Our verdict: What’s Prime Video like in Australia?
With a growing library of quality classic films and TV shows, new exclusive programming that rivals Netflix’s, and a smattering of nifty bonus features not found elsewhere – like IMDb integration and free shipping on Amazon – Prime Video should be a serious contender for your entertainment dollars. If you’re on a tight budget and can handle missing out on some of the must-see shows on Netflix, Prime Video is the best alternative.
- Exceptional value
- 4K/HDR Originals
- 30-day free trial
- Pre-roll ads
- Smaller library than the US
Unsatisfied with ruling the online shopping world, paying less annual tax than a lowly tech journalist, or running warehouses with sweatshop-like working conditions, Prime Video is Amazon’s foray into the video streaming world.
Like Netflix, Prime Video’s Australian library is considerably smaller than its American counterpart. But, at more than 1,300 TV shows and nearly 6,000 movies, there’s more than enough content for any of us to absorb.
How much does Prime Video cost in Australia?
At $6.99 per month or $54 annually, Prime Video is less than half the price of Netflix or Stan. There are no pricing tiers either, so you don’t need to pay extra for HD or 4K streaming. Put simply, it’s exceptionally good value. And there’s a 30-day free trial if you’re not convinced.
In addition, membership comes with a number of benefits across Amazon’s other arms. Chief among these is free two-day shipping on anything ordered from Amazon Australia and free shipping on purchases over $49 on items from Amazon’s international outlets. If you do a lot of online shopping, it’s almost worth signing up before you even consider the entertainment on Prime Video.
You also get access to Prime Reading and Twitch Prime. The former has more than a thousand books and magazines that can be read on Kindle, iOS and Android devices; the latter is great if you like watching people with webcams play video games while yelling. Twitch Prime also comes with a few free video games each month and exclusive in-game loot items like skins and weapons – the kids will dig it.
How to get an Amazon Prime Video free trial
- Head to the Prime Video website
- If you already have a Prime login, click ‘Prime Member? Sign in’ and log in with your account details. That includes any login you’ve ever created on Amazon. Otherwise…
- If you’re not a member, click ‘Start your 30-day free trial’
- Amazon will ask you to sign in with your details. If you’ve never created an account, scroll down to ‘New to Amazon?’ and click ‘Create your Amazon account’.
- Enter your name, email address, and password (twice for confirmation), and click ‘Create your Amazon account’
- Boom. You can now enjoy 30 days of Prime Video (and everything else) for 30 days without paying anything.
How does Prime Video compare to other services in Australia?
There’s no two ways about it, Amazon Prime Video offers the best bang for your streaming bucks in Australia. After reviewing every major service available, Prime Video is leading the pack by a wide margin. You can see our in-depth comparison of every streaming service in Australia here but for a quick comparison of Prime Video and the competition, check the table below.
|Service||Free trial||Monthly price||Max. Video Resolution||Devices|
|2 weeks||$10 – $18||HD||1 – 4|
|No free trial||$11.99||4K||4|
|No free trial||$10.99 – $19.99||4K||1 – 4|
|30 days||$10 – $19||4K||1 – 4|
|10 days||$25 – $104||HD||2|
|2 weeks||$25 – $35||HD||2 – 3|
What devices can I watch Prime Video on?
Next to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video is the second-most ubiquitous streaming app on the market, available on just about every streaming device available: Samsung and LG Smart TVs, iOS and Android devices, Amazon Fire tablets, Amazon TV Fire Stick, Apple TV, Telstra TV, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3.
All you need is a compatible device, and a subscription (or free trial) to begin streaming.
Here’s the complete list of devices compatible with Amazon Prime Video in Australia.
|Smartphones and tablets||iOS, Android|
|Browser (Latest version on Windows/Mac)||Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Opera|
|Smart TV||Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, LG, Vizio, Hisense, Philips, Sharp, JVC, Grundig, TCL, Konka, Xiaomi|
|Gaming console||Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5|
|Streaming devices and set-top boxes||Google Chromecast (from Gen 3), Apple TV (from Gen 3), Telstra TV, Fetch TV, Nvidia Shield TV|
|Blu-ray players||LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony|
Amazon Prime Video with Chromecast
If your TV isn’t on the list above or you simply don’t own a Smart TV, you can still watch Amazon Prime Video on any television with an HDMI port using Google Chromecast. The Chromecast with Google TV is our top choice for streaming devices in Australia. At $99, it gets you the most comprehensive variety of compatible streaming apps out of every streaming device on the market. If you want to save a little cash, you can pick up the 3rd gen Google Chromecast for around $59 (you’ll just need a compatible smartphone to cast from).
How much data does Prime Video use?
Amazon has not made this information publicly available, so no one knows for sure. It is, however, reasonable to assume it’s within the ballpark of direct competitors. As a reference point, Stan advises that SD streaming uses 1.13GB of data per hour, HD uses 2.89GB, while 4K will swallow 7GB of your monthly cap per hour. Plan accordingly.
If you’re planning on streaming Amazon Prime Video in 4K, you’re going to need a mobile plan with a lot of data or a home broadband plan that’s fast enough to stream ultra-high definition video (around 25Mbps minimum).
Prime Video picture quality and 4K content
If you have the connection speed (we recommend 20Mbps) and the required hardware, Prime can stream in 4K HDR (High dynamic range). At this resolution, the image is stunning: sharp, clear, with deep blacks and brilliant light tones. Equivalent to Netflix and 4K Blu-ray. We’ve had little trouble hitting this resolution, too; buffer time is ever so slightly longer than Netflix’s, but we’re talking a handful of seconds at most.
However, outside of Amazon Originals (more on these later), there’s practically nothing worth watching available in 4K… unless you’re into Bollywood films and that Baby Shark song toddlers love. Fortunately, the HD picture quality is impressive. I watched Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse in 1080p and never once felt like I was experiencing an inferior version.
On TV screens you can’t manually choose to lock resolution at a lower/higher setting if your stream is chugging, but Prime does at least let you know what resolution is being streamed in real-time – information that is surprisingly hard to come by elsewhere. (You can lock stream quality on mobile devices.)
App and functionality: How does Prime Video work?
Like every other streaming service in existence, Prime Video’s dashboard uses large thumbnails displayed in horizontal rows arranged by categories like “comedy” or “top movies”. A submenu at the top of the screen allows easy flipping between TV shows, movies, and kid-friendly content to suit the moment.
The UI (user interface) is clear, simple and easy to parse at a glance. The genre rows don’t loop back around on themselves, meaning it can take a while to get back to where you started – a minor irritation, but something Netflix manages to avoid with its carousel.
On the surface, particularly if you’re accustomed to Netflix, the home screen feels Spartan, lacking the technical pizzazz of the auto-preview function, and it doesn’t have an attractive “headline” spot to fill the top section of the screen. But dig a little deeper and some nifty features emerge. What it lacks in wow factor, it makes up for in the information department.
Prime Video has direct IMDb integration. This means you can see a program’s critical score aggregate on the dashboard without needing to open up a website. Even neater, pausing a show or movie will bring up a list of the actors currently onscreen. Clicking on their names displays a short bio, great for those “Arggghhh, what’s she in?!” moments that plague us all. It’s a cool system.
What’s the catch?
There is, however, one notable downside. Prime Video has unskippable pre-roll ads that occasionally play before your selection. Mercifully, they’re short and are limited to ads for Prime programs, so you won’t be bombarded with promos from the local second-hand car dealership… yet. It’s a jarring experience in the usually ad-free walled garden of video streaming.
What is on Prime Video in Australia?
Find out what's streaming on Prime Video in Australia
Speaking of exclusives, like Netflix, the real highlights of the service are the Amazon-produced Original series. Amazon throws squillions of dollars at these programs, and you can see every cent on screen. The results are predictably mixed, but they’re all big budget if you’re in the mood for something pretty, and there’s some undeniably excellent, premium TV.
The Expanse is the best sci-fi space opera currently on TV. Set in a tense cold war between the Solar System’s competing powers – Earth, Mars, and “The Belt” – it’s part detective noir, part space epic. The Man in the High Castle is a big-budget adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s dystopian alternative history novel, set in a USA divided between the Axis Powers after the Nazis won the Second World War. The Grand Tour is, for all intents and purposes, Top Gear, just without the licensing rights to call itself that; car nuts and fans of Jeremy Clarkson and co. will eat it up. And The Boys is a fantastic (but bleak) spin on the superhero world, in which altruism rarely gets in the way of a good corporate sponsorship.
Michael Bay’s Transformers movies are here, but skip them and go straight to 2018’s Bumblebee (over on Netflix) for a less painful experience. The best ongoing action movie series in the world, Mission Impossible, is here in (most of) its “I can’t believe Tom Cruise did his own stunts” glory.
Note: While Prime Video still has a few Mission Impossible movies, Fallout and Rogue Nation have dropped from the service.
There’s a decent array of classic movies, too. The Godfather trilogy, the Jurassic Park (but not World) trilogy, Airplane, Shaun of the Dead and Heat are all worth your time. And in the comedy aisle, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Meet The Parents, and Bridesmaids are always good for a laugh.
For the kids, there’s a wealth of old-school shows like SpongeBob SquarePants and Defenders of the Earth, and some new Original programs like Stinky & Dirty, Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny and Pete the Cat.
While there’s tonnes of good stuff, it must be said that the library is bulked out by some straight-to-home-video rubbish from a bygone age. Take, for example, School Spirit, a film about a horny ghost haunting its old high school.. with sexy results! Or “documentaries” like Secrets of the Ancient World, which exposes the “truth” about the ancient knowledge contained within the pyramids, hidden from us by “the elites”.
There’s also some extremely niche material. It probably won’t mean much to anyone else, but I enjoyed a documentary about Leeds United’s 1989 season when they topped the English Second Division.
How to cancel Prime Video
Prime has no lock it contract so you can cancel it whenever you like. Cancelling Prime requires logging in to Amazon on your web browser. You can do so here.