App Title: Hulu
App Type: Video Streaming
Availability: United States
Battery Life: 4-5 hours
Download: 37.5 MB
App Reviews are something I have long-since looked past, especially considering the PS Vita has not gotten a new app in a long time, and the Nintendo Switch has been very slow to get popular media apps, like Hulu Plus or Netflix.
In reality, the Switch got one of these apps almost 2 months ago today. Hulu surprised the entire Switch community when their app showed up on the United States eShop. I’d originally intended to review it right away, but with DOOM out the very next day, it easily got lost in the dust of Doom Fever.
Now that I’ve been hitting reviews much harder as well as having cleared the majority of my backlog, I’m ready to discuss the newest iteration of the famed streaming app. Here is my review of Hulu for the Nintendo Switch!
The app’s design is up to date with other versions of Hulu. Upon launching the app, you will notice that the most recent design overhaul for Hulu Plus on other systems, like Smart TVs and the Xbox One is mirrored in the Switch’s app. It’s worth noting that the PS Vita / PlayStation TV’s Hulu app has yet to receive this new update.
The biggest thing Switch owners will notice is that Hulu does not pop up in your Play Activity. While I am no expert on the inner-workings of the Switch’s UI, it seems that Hulu completely skips choosing accounts/profiles and goes straight into the Switch’s settings to detect your region. This is a bit of a downer for non-North American users, as you cannot pop in an NA account to fool Hulu into thinking you are in North America.
As far as the actual UI goes, you’ve got several tabs across the top to associate with Recommended, Shows/Movies you’ve been watching, Genres, Searching, and Your Profile, plus different categories in the same format below. It brings a very fancier look than its past incarnations, which required signifcant amount of scrolling to get to various genres when you aren’t sure what you want to watch next.
There is one downside to the design of the Switch’s app, though. When you take your system into Handheld Mode, you have the physical buttons on the system to navigate, but there is no sort of touch-oriented control scheme, which all prior handheld versions of pretty much every streaming app have to work with. To drive this point even further, the other streaming app on the Switch, the Nico Nico app, is fully supported by touch controls, so there’s a question on why Hulu doesn’t have it.
Performance on handheld streaming apps has been known for being very laggy and freeze-happy. The great thing about this app is that it is seamless and runs very smoothly. Due to not choosing a profile, it launches less than a second after you select it from the interface and takes less than 10 seconds to pull up the UI, log you in, and bring up the Lineup of TV Shows and Movies for you to start streaming.
The same seamlessness is present when you’re actually streaming content. Once you start a show, things take over in full-screen and you have your video start to play. In both Handheld Mode and Docked Mode, the video quality of this is very crisp and clear, unlike the lackluster quality of the Nintendo 3DS’s streaming apps.
All in all, with performance, you’ve got a stable, smooth, and high-quality Hulu app on your TV and on the go.
As always, let’s go into the Battery Life of this app. Obviously, you must have Wi-Fi enabled to stream from Hulu’s servers, so we’ll skip the Airplane Mode tests as they wouldn’t make any sense, considering you want Battery time for streaming, not sitting at a menu. Here are my times, from 100% to 0%
Max Brightness + Wi-Fi – 4 hours, 13 minutes
Low Brightness + Wi-Fi – 5 hours, 16 minutes
This is pretty good. On a single charge, you’ll get a good 4-5 hours of streaming time. Plenty of time to watch several TV episodes or a couple movies.
In conclusion, Hulu on the Switch is up to date with other versions of the app and offers a seamless and smooth experience, whether you're in docked mode or handheld mode. Although the lack of touch support is a rather strange design choice, the quality, stability, and high speeds of the streaming make this the ideal Hulu experience on the go.