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UK Press Reviews Praise Chromecast’s Price and Potential

The Google Chromecast has been on sale in the UK for nearly two months now, giving the £30 dongle more than enough time to embed itself within the public consciousness. 

And with sales of the device being pretty fantastic already (it sold out on launch) it’s clear that consumers are liking it — but what about the British press? What are they saying about it?

Chromecast UK Reviews

IMG_20140323_185600It’s not hard to find press coverage of the device, even if the majority of outlets seem to have trouble describing what it does in a single sentence!

The Daily Mail (no groaning at the back) give the HDMI dongle a respectable 4/5 stars, and seem especially impressed by its size, remarking that“The Chromecast does what really well-designed products tend to do: it vanishes”. 

Stuff.tv match the Mail’s score and tout the device as the fastest route to ‘Netflix nirvana’.  The reviewer, Sam Kieldsen, espouses the usual (and somewhat justified) complaints regarding the sort of apps available, but this – and still-ropey web-casting experience – aside he seems sold on the promise and the price.

Over at The Guardian Samuel Gibbs offers up a more modest review. His chief criticism, like Stuff.tv’s above, stems from the lack of big name streaming services supporting it, something he feels competing devices do offer. That gripe aside, Gibbs concludes that Google’s commitment to ‘rapid automatic updates’ should see more functionality added in the future. He gives the device 3/5 stars.

In the print press the device got a small mention in the technology section of The Daily Star in March, while free London paper The Metro also carried a piece.

More recently, Issue 343 of fortnightly technology magazine ‘Web User‘ covers the Chromecast in depth in a feature that says the device ‘changes everything’.

It wins 4/5 stars with the magazine saying that it “compares favourably with similar devices…offering a similar resolution for a lower price.”

On the whole the Chromecast has been warmly, and optimistically, welcomed by the British press. But the only reviews that matter to Google will be the ones from users.

Do you have a Chromecast? What rating out of five would you give it? 

  • Mike

    It needs a GUI like fire TV and roku . its a cool device but roku has it beat by leaps and bounds

    • Josh

      I think that’s the beauty of it though, there is no new interface to learn. Simply plug and use your phone to throw content at it. Easy for beginners (even my mum can work it!).

    • Boothy

      Google will be releasing Android TV later in the year for people, like yourself, that want a gui.
      Personally I love the fact it doesn’t have one. Choose item on phone – Play.

  • Raphael

    I rate it 4/5. It’s a great product, simple and reliable, but when streaming the entire screen, a local-stored video or a Chrome tab it can be laggy (I guess the network connection plays a part in this).

  • oldman_60

    I have a Chromecast since August 2013. It transformed my old TV into a smart one with much more features than any smart TV.

  • Stephen Mitchell

    3/5. I’m not sure if my Chromecast is a dud but I frequently seem to lose connection (particularly in Netflix) and often end up having to repower the device as my phone simply will not rediscover it. Strangely it doesn’t happen half as much in iPlayer. I’m not certain if the Netflix cast implementation is causing issues, or if I just use (and therefore notice it) Netflix more. If this were fixed, and support for more services such as Amazon Prime were to happen, this would be my goto device for television consumption.

  • Peddler

    The big drawback is simply the need to use the phone as a remote. That’s not always very convenient.

  • Lynn

    I have a Chromecast and would give it a 4/5 only because it does get laggy at times…however, like others have stated, this may most likely just be a network issue. When our Internet is rocking, the Chromecast is a beast.

  • Rob Purle

    I’ve got three of them now and based on the hardware alone, I’d say 4/5.

    I’d like 5GHz support, but other than that it’s spot on (rumours are that we’re going to see that in the next version anyways).

    I guess my bigger problem is content (or lack thereof). I don’t watch broadcast TV any more now I’ve got iPlayer (it’s a lot more usable with the Chromecast over using the version built in to my TV) – it’d be nice if I could watch non-BBC channels though (Channel 4, I’m looking at you in particular!). I’m watching a lot more Youtube, Netflix and Google Play now, but it would be nice if I could watch the US Netflix instead…

    Content: I’d give it 3/5 at the moment – not really the Chromecasts fault, it’s a content provider problem… it just means that a lot of the stuff I want to watch gets “acquired” and viewed via my NAS box, and I don’t need the Chromecast for that…

    *EDIT*
    one thing Google could do is add support to the android G+ app for photos/movies – my stuff gets auto-backed up, it should be easy to view it on the TV without publishing a video to Youtube…