Blinkist vs. Headway – What’s Better Value for Money?

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For centuries, books have been treated as reservoirs of knowledge. Storing our society’s most advanced understanding of ideas, literature holds an undeniable place in many of the world’s libraries, classrooms, and even homes.

These days, however, many book lovers struggle with juggling their love for literature with their fast-paced routines full of responsibilities – having become simply too busy to sit down and read a book purely to gain knowledge from it.

Book summary apps like Blinkist and Headway help solve this dilemma. By simplifying the key ideas of a book into a more condensed version, they allow readers to understand the material without having to dedicate hours of their time.

Though both apps offer a similar service, their execution is fairly different. To help you make a choice, we have put together an in-depth comparison of Headway vs Blinkist. Judging the apps over five different categories, we’ll be looking at the library collection of each app, the quality of summaries being offered, the usability of each mobile app, and pricing plans. In the end, we hope we are able to help you decide which app offers the best value for your money.

App Execution and Unique Features

Both Blinkist and Headway share the same goal – to provide condensed versions of non-fiction books enabling users to consume information more efficiently. However, the way in which these two apps execute their service is very different.

Blinkist

Blinkist is designed to help increase the knowledge of its users as well as those around them. There is a lot of emphasis on community-wide learning, with many opportunities within the app for readers to collaborate. One example of this is the feature of Spaces. These can be understood as mini book clubs, where readers can share book summaries, listen to audiobooks together, and discuss their readings with whoever is invited to the space.

Blinkist also places great emphasis on learning for the sake of learning, encouraging users to read information that will benefit them in the long run. For example, the feature Shortcasts involves summarizing long podcasts into short five to ten-minute long summaries. Guides are also helpful in this mission, combining relevant content to help readers reach a specific target. This can be things like being more proactive at work or establishing a more productive routine.

The blinkist logo on a black background.

Headway

Headway’s approach to their service is quite different from Blinkist. While Blinkist focuses on emphasizing the value of knowledge to its users, Headway is more interested in increasing its readers’ daily dose of learning. The goal is to gamify learning by making the app more interactive and addictive, encouraging you to remember more of what you have learned by making learning a habit.

To achieve this, Headway uses features like achievements, personalized challenges, and streaks which make a record of how much you have learned and what is required to reach the next step. Users are further motivated by the use of creative visual explainers and a breakdown of daily insights on what they have accomplished so far.

Library Collection

If you plan on using either of these apps as a means to gain knowledge, having access to a wide variety of content is very important. You want to make sure that you can use the app to browse through both your favorite books as well as new ones to ensure you are getting the most out of your membership.

Blinkist

Blinkist boasts a library of over 6,500 pieces of content, including fiction and non-fiction books, Shortcasts, Guides, and collections. Their most comprehensive collection is that of non-fiction books, including content on topics like mindfulness, nature and the environment, philosophy, marketing and sales, and health and nutrition. 

If you are a picky reader, Blinkist’s diverse book selection will ensure you always have a new book to read.

Headway

The number of books available in Headway’s library is nearly a fourth of what Blinkist offers, providing only 1,500 pieces of content for its users. The selection for users with regards to other genres is also quite limited, with the majority of books offered being non-fiction. 

However, it is important to note that Headway features the most current and top-selling nonfiction books on its app, along with unique, lesser-known literature that is difficult to find anywhere else. This variety of books makes it more interesting for users just starting out in the non-fiction genre, as they are not bombarded with information overload as soon as they open the app.

Quality of Summaries

When analyzing all the factors involved in a Headway vs Blinkist discussion piece, the quality of book summaries is without a doubt the most important category. 

The main selling point of both these apps is the fact that they provide concise summaries of books readers do not want to spend hours reading. If the summary they are receiving for a particular book from Blinkist or Headway is inaccurate or unengaging, then all other aspects related to the app won’t hold much weight.

Blinkist

Established in 2012, Blinkist has been around for about thirteen years now. They have had an ample amount of time to study their audience and make adjustments to their content quality as needed. The company is also larger in scale, with a greater number of employees—

more than 200—working on the app to bring improvements. 

These factors contribute to making the summaries on Blinkist exceptional. They provide both factual details as well as a creative edge, making them engage for the reader. The writing style for each summary is also deliberately similar to the book it is describing, helping you gain an essence of how the author intended his audience to feel while reading his writings.

All summaries at Blinkist also have audio versions, with every narration being done by actual humans and not AI

Headway

Unlike Blinkist, Headway is fairly new in the world of book summary apps, launched just four years ago in 2019. The app had to make up for its late start fairly quickly, which may have been the reason why their summaries are a bit more bland and factual in comparison to those provided by Blinkist. However, this difference is very minute, and overall, the app does a great job of summarizing content for its readers.

One aspect of Headway’s summaries that really gives it an edge over Blinkist is its use of visual imagery. Creative, eye-catching infographics are associated with most summaries, making the information easy to understand and remember- that too in a really fun way. In fact, Headway even won the International Novum Design Award for the brilliant illustrations featured in the app.

Like Blinkist, Headway also offers audio versions of all their summaries, though the voices are a bit more robotic as a result of the app’s early use of text-to-speech AI, which they are now working on improving.

Usability

In this category, we’ll be looking at how easy it is to navigate through both the Blinkist and Headyway apps as a new and returning user.

Blinkist

When you first open the mobile app for Blinkist, it starts off by asking you about your preferred topics, like meditation, psychology, economics, politics, etc. Then, the app displays titles and covers of different existing books and asks whether you would be interested in reading them. The ones you do like get saved to your library for later.

The whole process feels very polished, with a deliberate emphasis on the details. You can navigate between a customized home page displaying the titles Blinkist thinks would interest you the most, the explore page where you can browse through books from all categories, and finally, your own library, which features books you’ve saved for later.

Blinkist also offers its services in the form of a web app. You can use this to listen to the same book summaries you have saved on your mobile app from your laptop, with everything working together seamlessly.

For a more in-depth understanding of the usability of Blinkist, check out this video.

Headway

Like Blinkist, the Headway mobile app also begins by asking questions about the reader, though these include more personal inquiries like gender, age, and goals in life. It also asks you about how much time you can commit to learning each day, as well as what time in the day you feel most productive.

The onboarding process for Headway is much more personal, and results in the reader feeling like the app really caters to their needs and goals. Questions tailored to understanding the habits of readers are sprinkled all throughout the app, making the experience much more memorable as well.

With regard to the navigation of Headway, it is nearly identical to that of Blinkist, albeit with a few more colors thrown into the design. The web app also features the same quiz at onboarding and offers many of the same features as the mobile app.

Pricing

Now that we have compared Headway vs. Blinkist summary apps in terms of usability, features, library size, and summary quality, it is time to break down exactly how much each service costs. This is a key feature that will help you determine which platform offers you better value for money.

Blinkist

The premium version of Blinkist costs $15.99 per month for the monthly plan and $99.99 for the annual plan. If you pay for the annual plan upfront, it will cost you roughly $8.34 per month- nearly 50% less than the standard monthly billing rate.

You also have the option to receive a free seven-day trial during which you can test out the app, If you are unsatisfied in any way, you can always cancel your membership before the 7 days are up, and no extra fee will be incurred.

Blinkist also offers several promotions and deals throughout the year, such as during Black Friday, where the premium membership is listed at 75% off of its original price.

Headway

The rate for Headway’s premium membership is similar, at $14.99 per month for the monthly plan. Even the annual plan is nearly identical, costing $89.99 per year. Like Blinkist, paying for the annual plan means you will save a little over $7 per month, which is half of what you would be paying for the monthly rate.

Headway also offers a flash sale of 43% off after you have filled out the signup quiz, as well as a sale on Black Friday. They also offer a lifetime subscription on StackSocial at a one-time fee of $59 instead of $300 for a limited time.

I bought the lifetime family subscription, which costs only $149 for 4 users.

Headway Lifetime Subscription

$59 $300
260 days left
Buy a Headway Subscription for Lifetime!

An identical seven-day trial is also offered, which can be canceled at any time before the seven days are up.

Headway vs. Blinkist- Final Verdict

After dissecting both platforms in terms of app execution, library size, quality of summaries, usability, and pricing, we have come to the conclusion that the Blinkist app is a better choice for users passionate about learning. Offering a library size nearly four times the same as Headway’s with a price difference of just a dollar every month, the Blinkist app clearly offers its users a greater value for money.

This is not to say that the Headway app may not be a better choice for others. Some readers may not need a huge library to choose from and instead be bigger fans of the app’s focus on visual markers and game-like sequences. In the end, what matters is how you choose to use each app based on your needs as you continue to grow as a reader and learner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Blinkist work without the Internet?

Once you have added a book to your library, you can read it from wherever you want. Just make sure that when the book is downloaded, you are connected to a working internet connection.

Can I read a full book on Headway?

Headway is meant to be used as a supplement before reading a full book, providing readers with a short summary of a lengthy book. This can be useful before buying a book when you want to recall the ideas of a previously read book or if you simply don’t have the energy to read too many words.

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