HBO Max Review

From pricing to content offerings, get to know how HBO Max stacks up to the streaming competition.
by Hedy Phillips — 
HBO Max Review

SOPA Images/LightRocket/via Getty Images

, Warner Media's streaming service, is well-stocked with TV shows, movies, and documentaries. With a wide variety of viewing options, it's a great streaming service for the movie buff -- from horror movies to comedies, foreign films to rom-coms, the movie selection is vast. Plus, what is HBO Max if it's not one of the best places to find a wealth of original movies and TV shows? You can find award-winning content here, as well as movie exclusives that you won't find anywhere else and we don't just mean the HBO Max originals like Station Eleven, Search Party, Hacks, and others. HBO Max offers a handful of features that put it above the other streaming services, some of which you may not have even known about. Keep reading to see what we mean.

HBO Max Highlights

Pros Cons
Warner Bros. streaming exclusives Not much in the way of sports
Simultaneous streaming on three devices More expensive than most other streaming services
Offline viewing capability (in ad-free plan) There's no free trial directly through HBO Max

HBO Max compared to other TV streaming services

HBO Max Comparison

HBO MaxPrime VideoHuluNetflix
Starting monthly price $10/mo.$9/mo.$7/mo.$10/mo.
Free trial length None30 days30 daysNone
DVR storage hours 0 hours0 hours0 hours0 hours

*Streaming service package information accurate as of 1/21/2022.

Though HBO Max is a little more expensive than most streaming services -- only matched at price by Netflix -- it has a library of content that makes the price worth it. With blockbuster movies, HBO originals like Succession, Game of Thrones, The Wire, and more, and plenty of other titles to watch, HBO Max has a lot to offer. 

Though it doesn't have a free trial directly through HBO Max, you may be able to try the streamer out for a limited trial period, if you subscribe through another service, like Hulu. You can currently access an HBO Max free trial for a week through your Hulu subscription before paying the full monthly price.

How much does HBO Max cost?

HBO Max offers two different plans: One with ads and one without. The ad-free plan is $15/mo. and will also get you more features than the plan that includes ads. You'll have access to offline viewing when you download your shows and movies, plus Warner Bros. streaming exclusives. The ad-free plan also plays in 4K Ultra HD. 

HBO Max is currently offering a deal for the ad-free plan that costs $12/mo., but it's still $150 for a prepaid year (about a $6 savings). You can also get a slightly cheaper price for HBO Max with ads. It costs $10/mo. and while you won't get quite as many features as the ad-free plan, you'll still have access to the entire HBO Max library. However, this plan streams in HD only. The current deal for this plan is actually $8/mo., but it's still $100 for the prepaid year (about a $4 savings). 

HBO Max content

HBO Max is packed with movies and TV shows. You'll find HBO and Max originals like Game of Thrones, Euphoria, the Gossip Girland Sex and the City reboots, The Flight Attendant, Hacks, or The Sex Lives of College Girls. HBO Max originals have been nominated for -- and won -- a number of major awards and continue to rake in accolades.

Plus, there are plenty of movies to watch, like all of the Harry Pottermovies, In the Heights, The Matrix movies, No Country For Old Men, or 300. HBO Max streaming options include comedies, romance, drama, action, and more. You'll also find family-friendly options organized by age group so you can be sure your kids are getting the right shows and movies (plus, there are parental controls for added security). 

HBO Max is also the only place you can find the Friends and Harry Potter reunion specials. There are also plenty of documentaries across a variety of topics, from the environment to food, celebrities to true crime. And while HBO Max isn't known for its sports (it doesn't have any), you can find some sports films and documentaries. There's everything from comedies and dramas like The Benchwarmers and He Got Game to inspiring documentaries on Olympians and high school NBA hopefuls.

HBO Max features

Warner Bros. streaming exclusives

In 2021, HBO Max offered Warner Bros. movies on the streaming service (in the ad-free plan) on the same day the movies debuted in theaters. However, for 2022, HBO Max is offering a number of Warner Bros. streaming exclusives, including House Party, Father of the Bride, Kimi, The Fallout, Scoob: Holiday Haunt, and Moonshot. HBO Max will be the only streaming service where you can watch these titles.

Three simultaneous streams

HBO Max allows you to stream from three devices at the same time, no matter what plan you're on. That means three people can be watching, and you're paying $10/mo. for that, compared to Netflix's basic plan, which only gets you one stream for $10/mo. This easily sets HBO Max apart.

Offline viewing

If you have the ad-free plan, you can download your content to watch when you don't have wi-fi. This means it's easier than ever to bring your favorite shows and movies on an airplane or in the car for a long trip -- no internet needed. Just download the titles to your phone or tablet before you disconnect from the internet and you're ready to go.

HBO Max supported devices

HBO Max is widely available across a number of devices, which makes it very accessible to most people. Whether you want to watch your movies and TV shows on your handheld devices or blast it onto your flat-screen TV, you have a ton of options to do just that. You can access the streaming service on all of the following:

  • iPhone

  • iPad

  • iPod Touch

  • Android phones and tablets

  • Amazon Fire tablets

  • PC with Windows 7 or later

  • Mac with macOS X 10.10 (Yosemite) or later

  • Google Chromebooks with Chrome browser version 95 or later

  • Google Chromecast

  • Amazon Fire TV

  • Android TV/Google TV

  • Apple TV

  • Cox Contour 2 

  • Contour Stream Player

  • LG Smart TV

  • PlayStation 4

  • PlayStation 5

  • Roku

  • Samsung TV (2016 models and later)

  • Spectrum WorldBox (in select areas)

  • Vizio Smart TV (2018 models and later)

  • Xbox One 

  • Xbox Series X/S

  • XClass TV

  • Xfinity X1 and Flex

Is HBO Max worth it?

HBO Max has so much content to offer. Though the price can run a bit steeper than some of the other streaming services, it has tons of original content that make it worth it. If you're a big fan of movies and popular TV, HBO Max is worth the monthly price. Plus, you'll save money by prepaying for a year upfront, which makes the price even more attractive. It's definitely not the streaming service for sports fans, but movie and TV fans will be happy with instant access to titles from HBO, DC, Sesame Workshop, TCM (Turner Classic Movies), Studio Ghibli, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, and Looney Tunes. 

It's also especially a good choice for families who have multiple people who want to watch HBO Max all at the same time -- stream it on three screens at once with no hassle at all!