The Xfinity Flex is a 4K media streaming box that you can get for free with qualifying Xfinity plans. This hardware is best for households that use multiple streaming services and want to use them on their TV. Keep reading this Xfinity Flex review to learn more.
I want the best value when it comes to entertainment. When I found Xfinity’s Flex, it piqued my interest. So I decided to review it to see whether it’s worth adding to an existing Comcast plan.
To help you figure out whether you should allow the Xfinity Flex into your home, I’ll cover these points:
- Pros and cons
- What it comes with
- User experience
- Video quality
- How it fares against competitors
- How to get it
Keep reading to decide whether the Flex is worthy.
Pros and Cons of Xfinity Flex
Xfinity Flex Pros
Advantages of the Xfinity Flex include:
- Free with Xfinity Internet plans
- Free Peacock Premium Subscription
- 4K ultra high definition (UHD) Content
- Integrates well with your Xfinity plan
- Plug and play
Xfinity Flex Cons
Some disadvantages you’ll find when using this streaming TV box include:
- Limited app availability
- The 4K streaming will contribute to your Xfinity data cap
- More devices to return if you cancel Xfinity later
- Must upgrade to Choice TV if you want cable network channels
- Not possible to remove preloaded apps (to remove clutter)
Who Should Get it?
You’ll want an Xfinity Flex if you’ve wanted a streaming box for your family room. That’s when you’ll get the best value.
If you get additional devices, you’ll pay more over time than competing streaming boxes.
The 4K UHD streaming also gives you the means to watch your streaming services in 4K. But I only recommend watching in this resolution if you’re paying for unlimited data with your Xfinity Internet plan.
Xfinity Flex Specifications
|Price||$0: with Xfinity internet-only plans$5 per mo.: for each additional Flex box|
|Video||1080p and 4K UHD|
|Audio||Dolby Atmos; 2.0 stereo; 5.1 surround sound|
|Device Size||5.25 x 5.25 x 1 inches|
|Wi-Fi||802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5)|
|Remote||XR16 Voice Remote|
What Is Xfinity Flex?
The Xfinity Flex is a 4K streaming TV Box that you can control with an Xfinity Voice remote. It works like any other streaming device (think Chromecast).
It comes preloaded with a bunch of apps on which you can watch streaming service subscriptions.
Like Hulu or Spotify.
You’ll get a single streaming service subscription for free with the Flex. I’ll cover it in a second. You CAN’T use this device to watch On Demand, DVR, or other cable networks.
You’d need to upgrade to Choice TV, which adds an extra $30 to your Xfinity bill.
Is Xfinity Flex Really Free?
You get a free Xfinity Flex depending on your Comcast plan. You aren’t eligible for Flex if you’re a TV-only, Internet Essentials (and Internet Essentials Pro), Bulk TV, and Xfinity Prepaid customer.
Here are a couple of examples of when you’d qualify for a free TV box. If you use Extreme Pro/Ultrafast.
It’s $5 per month for each additional streaming TV box you want to order. So if you want two total TV Boxes in your home, you’ll pay $5 per month. For three boxes, you’ll need to pay $10 per month.
What Comes With Xfinity Flex
The Flex streaming TV Box Getting Started Kit includes these items:
- Getting Started Guide
- HDMI cable
- USB-C power adapter
- 2 AA batteries
- Xfinity XR16 Voice Remote (Flex Remote)
- Flex 4K TV Box
Upon ordering your Flex, it’ll take up to five days to arrive via UPS.
Installation and activation don’t require any effort. A 2-year-old could do it. Here are the steps you’ll take:
- Plug in your Flex
- Power it on
- Answer simple questions
- Connect to your Wi-Fi: if you use the xFi Gateway, you won’t need to enter a Wi-Fi password
- Pair your remote
In around 10-15 minutes, you can watch Obi-Wan Kenobi in 4K on Disney+.
Xfinity Flex Remote: How Is It?
The Comcast Xfinity Voice-activated remote makes using the Flex a lot easier. For starters, it has a rubbery top. This makes it easier to grip for someone who has butter fingers (like me).
The voice button (the one with a microphone icon) sits in the middle of the device. Its location makes it easy for your thumb to tap on it. You’ll see a flashing light on your remote to know whether you have an active microphone.
Speaking of, to use the remote, press the button, and say what you want to watch and on what app.
For example, “Asmongold reacts to Diablo Immortal microtransactions on YouTube.”
From there, the Flex would take you to a search results page on YouTube for the keywords you said.
Xfinity Comcast will store your voice commands to “improve their products and services .” So if you’re paranoid about privacy, I recommend being careful about what you say.
I love the remote’s design because of the lack of buttons. I’ve never been a fan of complicated remotes. You can program the Flex remote to recognize these devices if you need a universal remote for your A/V receiver or TV.
I listed the most popular remote codes in a separate guide. To help you connect your Flex Remote and TV.
Xfinity Flex Features
An Xfinity Flex will give you many free apps, an Xfinity Voice Remote, and a free subscription to Peacock Premium (NBC’s streaming service).
The free subscription saves you around $60 annually and gives you access to many cool shows.
Like Superstore. And Friday Night Lights.
If you’re using the Xfinity Home Security system, you can stream video from your video doorbell and camera feed. You can also use the Flex to control your other Comcast Xfinity-compatible smart home devices.
Combining the xFi Gateway modem with the Flex allows you to manage your home’s Wi-Fi network. For instance, you can monitor who’s on your network. Great for shutting down your kid’s Wi-Fi if they’re supposed to be doing something else.
It also comes with an Ethernet port. Why would you use this, though?
Wi-Fi has a million weaknesses.
A couple includes its susceptibility to physical and wireless obstacles. And that crowded Wi-Fi channels can lead to lower speeds.
Connecting devices via Ethernet bypasses these weaknesses. It can also help you achieve your device’s max speeds.
I welcome this ‘feature.’ Because it’s something you won’t find on many other TV streaming boxes (that rely on Wi-Fi).
Xfinity Flex Apps List
One area I found disappointing with the Flex is the number of apps it supports. Here’s what apps you can get on Comcast’s streaming TV box:
|*Peacock Premium||**Netflix||**Hulu||**Prime Video|
|**HBO Max||**SHOWTIME||**STARZ||Dog TV|
|Pet Collective||**Pandora||**Amazon Music||Spotify (**Spotify Premium)|
|iHeartRadio||Stingray Karaoke||XUMO||NPR One|
|Cheddar||Sky News||CBS All Access||ESPN3|
|Tubi||FailArmy||YouTube (**YouTube Premium)||Tetris|
|Backgammon||Knife Smash||Pluto TV||discovery+|
|**Disney+||**Paramount+||Sling TV Orange and Blue||Xfinity Stream|
This table shows all the apps that you can get with the Xfinity Flex TV box.
* Usually, it’s $4.99 per month, but you get it free with Flex. You can use it to watch older series like The Office (US version), Parks & Recreation, and more.
** Requires a separate paid subscription
These apps come preloaded on the Flex box.
It doesn’t have the largest list of apps.
I only need Disney+ for the Star Wars series and YouTube. And Prime Video for The Boys. I have all the apps I could need.
For others, this list may not suffice. That’s your call.
Xfinity Flex User Experience
It’s not the best. The ‘Free for Me’ section doesn’t offer the most filtering options. This makes it difficult to find free movies or apps.
The Free to Me section includes “thousands” of series and movies you can watch for free. But most of the media comes from platforms like Netflix. A streaming service you have to pay for.
Did the definition of “free” change?
You’ll also find several grids; Xumo, Pluto, and Xfinity. These show free channels through these individual apps.
The Xumo and Pluto tabs show you the various channels these apps offer. You can manage your smart home devices, see security camera feed, and more in the’ Xfinity’ tab.
With these grids, you’ll have to cycle through endless tiles and carousel menus. You can try to use filters (e.g., by genre), but good luck.
The only way to get an exceptional user experience from this device is by knowing what you want to watch.
Then use the Voice Remote to find it.
Speaking of the remote. Do you know how earlier I mentioned a 2-year-old could set up the Flex? I may have exaggerated a bit.
When syncing the Voice Remote to the Flex, the TV Box MUST face the remote.
Another complaint. There’s no button to go back to a page. You have to tell your remote that you want to exit the app you’re using.
What if you have a sore throat and can’t talk? I guess you can’t watch TV.
Xfinity Flex Video Quality
It plays high-quality videos without any issues. So long as you have a decent internet speed. And a network that’s not congested.
For instance, to stream flawless 1080p video on Netflix, you’ll only need 5 Mbps download speeds . To run video in 4K on a single device WITHOUT buffering, you’ll need at least 25 Mbps download speeds.
Most streaming platforms have similar speed requirements.
If you go with streaming exclusively in 4K UHD, there’s a catch you’ll need to keep in the back of your mind.
It’s only 1.2 terabytes (TB). And once you pass this cap, you’ll need to pay an extra $10 per 50 gigabytes (GB) of data they automatically add to your account.
Streaming 4K content consumes A LOT of data. Your household would only need to watch around 204 hours of 4K videos to reach the data cap .
Compare that to the over 300 hours of media you can watch in 1080p.
You can bypass the data cap by paying an extra $25-30 per month for add-ons or equipment. But that’s not the point.
Check the Internet tab in your Xfinity My Account App to monitor your home’s data use. Or use a browser and log into your Xfinity account.
Xfinity Flex vs. The Competition
Though you get the Xfinity Flex for free, you’ll want to see how it compares to similar devices:
|Xfinity Flex||$0 w/ Xfinity Internet plans||1080p, 4K UHD||Flex Remote|
|Chromecast (3rd Gen.)||$29.99||1080p||Google Assistant voice controls|
|Apple TV 4K||$179.00||4K UHD, 1080p, UHD 10, Dolby Vision||Siri voice controls|
|Roku Express||$29.99||1080p and 720p upscaling||IR Remote|
|NVIDIA SHIELD TV||$149.99||AI upscaling, 4K UHD, 1080p, Dolby Vision||SHIELD Remote|
|Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K||$49.99||4k UHD, 1080p, Dolby Vision, HLG||Alexa Voice Remote|
Price-wise, the Xfinity Flex crushes its competition.
Feature-wise, the NVIDIA Shield TV dominates.
NVIDIA’s 4K upscaling transforms choppy 720p or 1080p media into 4K UHD. You can also access over 5,000 apps and GeForce NOW cloud gaming services.
Would you use all of the SHIELD TV apps? And do you need the 4K upscaling?
If the answer’s yes, then I recommend the NVIDIA SHIELD TV.
I can’t let NVIDIA take up all the spotlight, though. Here’s how the Flex compares to other (more affordable) devices.
Xfinity Flex vs. Roku Express
The Comcast Xfinity 4K streaming TV box dominates the Roku Express when comparing connectivity (Ethernet), resolution, and affordability. But if you need more than one streaming box, you’ll want the Express.
Or if you want a smart home device that integrates with Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant.
It’s around $90 for three Roku Express players. Whereas, for a year of having three Flex TV boxes, you’ll pay $120. It’s $5 per month for each additional box you add to your plan.
Both devices offer the most common streaming services as apps. Unless you need a specific service, you’ll need to check out what each device offers to make a decision in that area.
Xfinity Flex vs. Chromecast
Chromecast lacks three massive features the Flex has. An Ethernet port. 4K UHD support. And the free(ness).
But Chromecast has a couple of advantages over Xfinity Comcast’s TV Box. One, it integrates well with smart homes focused on Google Assistant. Two, it’s more affordable to have streaming boxes in separate rooms over time.
Think about it this way:
You want a streaming box in your master bedroom and family room. So you fork over the $5 per month for the Flex. That’s around $60 per year.
If you won’t watch streaming services in 4K, why pay the extra money per month when you could spend a $30 one-time fee?
Xfinity Flex vs. Apple TV 4K
Apple TV 4K offers better resolution because of Dolby Vision and the ability to fine-tune your TV’s calibration. It also allows you to watch live TV channels with providers like Optimum. Plus, it has a much smaller remote.
Then there’s the Apple HomeKit integration. A great addition to an existing Apple ecosystem.
But that’s for an Apple ecosystem. If you don’t use many Apple devices, you’re better off getting the NVIDIA SHIELD TV. Or even the Flex.
Usually, I’d recommend getting the Flex competitor for the sake of having streaming boxes in multiple rooms. Unless you have numerous 4K TVs in your home, it’s not worth the $180 price tag.
How To Get Xfinity Flex
I recommend using the Xfinity Assistant chatbot. It’s the quickest way to reach someone.
Once you order your Xfinity Flex, Comcast will ship the Getting Started kit to your home via UPS. Whether you pay a shipping fee depends on your selected shipping method.
It’ll take between 3-5 business days for your kit to arrive. In some areas, you can opt for expedited shipping.
Or you can schedule an appointment and pick it up at a local Comcast Xfinity Store.
FAQ: Xfinity Flex
Before deciding whether the Xfinity Flex TV box is right for you, explore these frequently asked questions.
What Free Channels Come With Xfinity Flex?
Xfinity Flex doesn’t come with cable networks, free channels, Cloud DVR, or On Demand. To watch any of this media on your Flex Streaming TV box, you’ll need to upgrade to Choice TV.
Is Netflix Free With Xfinity Flex?
Netflix is not free with Xfinity Flex. You will still have to pay for a Netflix subscription. However, with the Flex or X1 TV boxes, you can pay your Netflix bill directly through your Comcast Xfinity account.
The Xfinity Flex 4K UHD TV box doesn’t have the most features. But it’s a free box that Xfinity Comcast includes with internet-only plans. I recommend getting this device if you need a streaming box for a family room.
Or if you need a way to play 4K streaming services on your TV.
If you’re subscribed to an Xfinity Internet plan and decided you want the Flex, follow this link and click ‘Get Flex’ to order your device.