Spotify Lite vs. Spotify: Why the New App Matters

Following in the footsteps of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Spotify has released a "Lite" version of its app for older and less-powerful Android phones.

(Image credit: Future)

Whereas the standard Spotify app on Android weighs in at about 85 MB, Spotify Lite measures just 10 MB. That'll be a massive boon to anyone using a handset with limited storage. 

Finding Spotify Lite could be a challenge, though. The slimmed-down app has officially launched in only 36 countries thus far, primarily in Latin America, Middle East, Africa and Asia, where low-cost phones are more prevalent.

MORE: Spotify Free vs. Spotify Premium: Should You Pay to Play

At first glance, Spotify Lite doesn't appear to have scrubbed much of substance from the standard app. Mainly, the list of settings is shorter — you lose some secondary functionality, like Car View, gapless playback, crossfade and Canvas, which loops full-screen animations in the Now Playing screen for more popular artists and tracks.

Where it counts, though, the Lite version has everything you'd probably need. Users can still download music at a quality level of their choosing, and Spotify Lite in particular provides rough estimates as to how large each file type will be. Libraries are now viewable in a Favorites tab that aggregates artists, playlists and songs.

(Image credit: Future)

Additionally, Spotify Lite allows users to set custom data consumption limits, where the app will warn them if they go over a threshold. For anyone on a strictly-capped wireless plan, this should also be extremely helpful.

While Spotify Lite isn't available on the Google Play Store in the United States, I was still able to sideload the app, log into my account and use it without problems on a Pixel 3a.

(Image credit: Future)

I did notice some slight differences compared to the Spotify experience I was used to. Album artwork is lower resolution; artist pages lack elements like similar artists, biographies and world rankings; and the app's home screen doesn't show trending public playlists — just the automated, Spotify-generated ones personalized to your taste.

Personally, I'm a proponent of Lite versions of most software, especially in the case of social media apps like Facebook, because they tend to shed lots of extraneous, battery-wasting features I never touch. That said, the normal Spotify app hasn't proven to be a resource hog in my experience, so I'm not planning to switch. For those using an outdated phone or stuck on a particularly limiting data plan, Spotify Lite could be worth a look.

Adam Ismail is a staff writer at Jalopnik and previously worked on Tom's Guide covering smartphones, car tech and gaming. His love for all things mobile began with the original Motorola Droid; since then he’s owned a variety of Android and iOS-powered handsets, refusing to stay loyal to one platform. His work has also appeared on Digital Trends and GTPlanet. When he’s not fiddling with the latest devices, he’s at an indie pop show, recording a podcast or playing Sega Dreamcast.