HeyGen 2023 Review: An In-depth Analysis Of Features And Limitations

In this HeyGen review, I will explore the features and benefits of this cutting-edge tool for creating professional-looking videos featuring human avatars.

With HeyGen, you can easily create videos and talking photos without technical skills or editing experience.

I have thoroughly tested the product and will provide you with a confident and comprehensive review. My analysis will cover all the pros and cons of the platform, taking into account user feedback, to offer you a final verdict that will help you make an informed decision about whether this tool is the right fit for you.

Read on to learn more.

What is HeyGen?

HeyGen is a cloud-based platform for creating professional-looking videos from text input. This AI-based text-to-video generator provides realistic avatars you can use to make a video.

HeyGen (formerly Movio) started as a tool for creating spokesperson videos and rolled out of beta on July 29th, 2022. Since then, this company has produced over 32 version updates and added more than 100 new features.

This resulted in adding new features like Talking Photos, Face Swap, AI Outfit, and Custom Avatars Pro and Lite to satisfy almost every need about online video creation.

On April 1st, 2023, Movio was rebranded to HeyGen, with new elements like GPT4 integration and the ability to create a video from a url.

Check how HeyGen works in this video.

YouTube video

 

What sets HeyGen apart from traditional video creation?

  • There is no need for cameras, microphones, or actors: The platform already has virtual actors (named avatars) that mimic human behavior with gestures and lip-synching according to speech.
  • You don’t need complex editing tools or equipment: The system has an editing dashboard, and you can add image and video backgrounds, texts, sound, and music.
  • There are no localization costs: A single video can be shared among different viewers only by changing the spoken language with a pair of clicks.
  • Incredibly low video production costs: Production costs equal to a monthly pricing plan currently starting at $29/month.
  • You don’t need any previous experience: HeyGen features an intuitive dashboard to create a video in minutes.

What videos can you create with HeyGen?

Using HeyGen, you can almost create any video:

  • Social media videos.
  • Learning and courses videos
  • Video presentations.
  • YouTube videos.
  • Product demos and reviews
  • Training videos.
  • How-to guides
  • Onboarding videos.
  • Marketing videos.
  • Tutorial videos.
  • Headline-grabbing news videos.

Please note that HeyGen is not meant to replace traditional video creation, but rather serves as an alternative. While HeyGen offers a unique way to create videos, it does not offer the same level of possibilities as traditional video editors like AdobePro, DaVinci Resolve, or Filmora. These editors have a wider range of features that can be used in the video creation process to get an excellent outcome, with full control over the production process and the possibility of granular refinement.

You should consider HeyGen as a complement to your existing tools, instead of a replacement.

HeyGen main features

  • 40+ languages in 300+ voices.
  • 120+ diverse human avatars.
  • 400+ pre-made customizable video templates.
  • Up to 60 minutes per video duration.
  • Free-royalty music, graphic, and video assets.
  • Face Swap: Upload your photo and swap your face onto the AI avatar.
  • Talking photo: Upload your photo, type the text, and bring it to life.
  • 1 click Amazon URL to video: Create a video from Amazon´s url.
  • Auto captions and auto translations.
  • Canva integration.
  • ChatGPT integration for easy script creation.
  • Custom avatars: Turn yourself into a talking avatar to create your videos.
  • Branding kit.
  • PPT to video: Convert PPT files to video with voiceovers and many languages.
  • Proprietary API
  • Full video editor, including transitions.
  • Voiceover uploads: Record and upload your voice to create a custom avatar.
  • Multi-scene videos.
  • 1080p video download.
  • Commercial rights: You own the copyright of videos for monetizing or commercial purposes.

How to create a video with HeyGen

1-Once you log in to the platform, choose start with a template, start with an avatar, or url to video.

heygen dashboard

 

2-Select vertical or horizontal template from 100+ available; explainer video, social media, learning and development, and more categories. You can click on the template to play a preview video:

heygen avatar preview

 

The template includes an avatar, but you can change it and choose close-up, half-body, circle view, left, center, or right screen position.

3-There is a massive library of 132+ avatars with many ethnicities, genders, and outfits.

heygen avatar selection

 

4-You can paste your script on the text box or add an audio script. The audio script can be uploaded from a file or recorded from your PC microphone.

 

heygen avatar dashboard

 

5-Chose your preferred language (there are more than 40 available) and voice (more than 300 available)

heygen voice selection

 

HeyGen features Chat-GPT integration so that you can get your script in a snap.

heygen chatgpt integration

 

6-Add elements like images, icons, videos, shapes, and music.

You can upload your assets to match branding or a specific theme.

6-Preview your video.

Once you have your video ready, you can go ahead and preview it before submitting it. In this stage, the avatar is fixed with no animation (this is a standard behavior in this type of platforms) Click submit, and you get the video in your email some minutes later.

In our experience, rendering worked fast; a 1-minute video took 4 minutes to render.

 

What sets HeyGen apart from its competitors

Huge avatar library

HeyGen has a vast library of 120+ diverse avatars, which you won´t find in any other app.

Create Amazon product videos with a single click

Pasting the product URL from Amazon creates a professional-looking video in a minute. You can edit it later within the app.

heygen url to video

Face-swap videos

Upload your photo and swap your face onto the AI avatar. This is a feature only available at present in HeyGen and DeepBrain.

Talking photos

You can upload a photo and make it live with 300+ authentic human voices in 40+ languages and lip-synching. You can also find this feature in Yepic, but no other competitor offers this feature.

Flexible custom avatar creation

HeyGen offers two methods for creating custom avatar; check them out:

YouTube video

There are two options for creating custom avatars with Heygen.

Instant avatars

Free instant avatar: You can make it from your PC camera, which takes only a few minutes. Voice cloning is also available in 25+ languages.

Paid instant avatar: If you are willing to pay 49/month, you can get a custom avatar with higher quality, personalized support, and a dedicated AI model for the best lip-synching.

Studio avatar

A $ 1,000 yearly add-on only available on enterprise plans is a studio-level production with up to 4K resolution. You will need a green screen set-up and professional assistance for a better outcome.

 

Generative outfit

A unique and amazing HeyGen feature. You can use simple prompts to generate endless styles for your avatars. Just select an avatar and describe the outfit you want, HeyGen AI will generate unique outfits for your avatar. Some of them doesn´t look natural, but a nice add-on indeed.

Check how it works in this video

YouTube video

 

Flexible Pricing Plans

HeyGen offers one of the best pricing plan options, ranging from 15 min/per month to 300 min/per month. They also provide customized enterprise plans to suit specific needs.

And don´t worry if you run out of monthly minutes, a flexible credit system (unique to HeyGen) allows you to buy additional credits to go on creating.

Continuous product updates

HeyGen adds new features regularly and is quickly growing its market share.

 

What I would like HeyGen to improve

Onboarding and tutorials

You have access to “mini-lessons” or tutorials. Although this platform is intuitive and easy to use, I would like to see more videos and beginner’s resources.

Integrations

HeyGen provides a proprietary API and integrates only with Zapier. If you need to incorporate this tool into your current workflow, go for Elai.io, which integrates with Zapier and many other software. Hourone also offers many interesting social media integrations.

Workspaces and collaboration

It is only available on higher plans. This is crucial if you work with team members to avoid sending files back and forth. Once again, Elai.io and Hourone offer to manage users and workspaces depending on pricing plans.

Avatar gestures

There are no avatar gestures, an exciting feature Synthesia has recently added. Furthermore, Colossyan Creator is the only platform that lets you adjust AI avatars’ ages, emotions, and expressions.

 

HeyGen reviews and support

Support is handled via chat, and currently, customer service answers your queries within three hours. Not bad, but when you have an issue, you need to solve it as soon as possible.

G2 shows 316+ ratings and reviews with a 4.8/5 score, an excellent ratio that shows how the platform works from the user’s side.

heygen g2 rating

 

HeyGen pricing

HeyGen offers a flexible pricing scheme. You can try the platform for free with a 1-minute video, and the next paid plan is $24/month (billed annually) for 15 minutes of video creation.

heygen pricing

This basic plan includes 120+ human avatars, 40+ languages, 300+ templates, face swap, a branding kit, and almost every feature.

You can choose your preferred plan on a minute monthly basis, and prices per minute get lower as you sign up for more minutes.

HeyGen prices are not the cheapest you can find. Elai.io offers 15 minutes of video per month for $23/month billed annually, which is 50% more minutes for the same money. This price relationship reflects on higher plans too.

Best three HeyGen alternatives

Despite there are many similar platforms to consider, my top 3 list is

Synthesia

In my experience, Synthesia is one of the best video creation platforms you can find. With 130+ realistic avatars, 65+ templates, and 120+ languages, this software excels in creating a video with human avatars.

You won't find in Synthesia all the features HeyGen offers (no talking photos, no face swap videos). Still, the quality of the avatars and the overall platform performance are outstanding.

Read our Synthesia review here

Colossyan

I consider Colossyan a game changer in the video avatar creation business. There are only 30 avatars, 70 languages, and a lesser quantity of templates than those of HeyGen. But with Colossyan, you can set the avatar's emotions and gestures, set up to 4 avatars in a scene, and create a conversation with them. And the Chat-GPT integration is outstanding.

Read our Colossyan review here

Elai

Elai is the cheapest option, and we recommend it for personal and non-intensive use. With 80+ diverse avatars, 65+ languages in 450+ voices, and voice cloning in 28 different languages, Elai offers excellent avatar quality and lip-synching, with a complete set of native integrations.

Read our Elai review here

HeyGen Review: My take

This  HeyGen review showed how AI development leads to offering a complete suite of products featuring human avatars. Looking at their recent roadmap, it is clear that this product has immense potential to fill a gap in the video creation business.

Although Synthesia is the leading AI video creation company, we are sure HeyGen is becoming a strong contender. The platform shows many improvements and regularly rolls out new features and related products.

Of course, you can’t compare HeyGen against a professional video editings platform like Filmora or Adobe. Still, this software is not intended to replace those since it is designed for users with different needs.

Whether you need to create a video for training, social media, or any other use case, HeyGen deserves a try.

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