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Netflix tests £3 mobile-only membership – but there’s a huge catch

At the dawn of the iPhone era, cinema legend David Lynch famously declared, “it’s such a sadness that you think you’ve seen a film on your f***ing telephone.” However, a lot has changed in the last decade.

For a start, mobile displays are larger than ever, with many flagships offering QHD resolution, unprecedented brightness and the high dynamic range (HDR) colours. Viewing habits have also changed, with many of us preferring the convenience of personal viewing rather than out camping in front of the TV.

So it makes perfect sense that streaming giant Netflix is testing a new tariff designed for those who only wish to watch on their smartphone or tablet. Malaysian newspaper The Star says the firm is now offering a mobile-only subscription plan, which reduces the cost of membership by around up to two thirds.

Related: Netflix vs Amazon Prime

The RN17 price being floated equates to about $4/£3 a month, whereas the Premium plan promising ultra HD content on up to four screens is RN51 (around $12/£9.50)

There is a drawback though. Those signing up for the plan will only be able to watch content in standard definition, rather than enjoy content at the higher quality. Given the differences in quality are far less discernible on smaller displays than they may be on television sets, this may be a compromise some mobile-centric viewers are willing to make.

The idea behind the move seems to be to boost Netflix membership in global territories where it may not be as ubiquitous. Earlier this week we brought word of Netflix’s bid to boost uptake in India, which could also involve lower prices.

In an interview reported by Bloomberg, CEO Reed Hastings reportedly said the company may test lower prices to secure more subscribers in places where the average income is somewhat lower.

Would you sign up for a mobile-only Netflix plan? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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