Home » HTPC » Kodi Bello Skin review: clean and minimal skin for your HTPC

Kodi Bello Skin review: clean and minimal skin for your HTPC

There are lots of options if you are looking for skins for Kodi, and they are all so different that we need to look at them in detail to see if they fit our taste. Some people like their skins to have a certain theme, like a movie theater appearance, which is what you can achieve with the Back Row skin for Kodi, while others take pleasure on having a skin that’s configurable enough to allow for variations of it without having to change the plugin you use, like the Nebula skin for Kodi, which includes two theme variations. In this Kodi Bello Skin review, we take a look at the Bello skin, an interface plugin for Kodi that makes your screen look nice while you browse your media, with several visualization options, and sadly, some shortcomings. [Read: 6 Best Kodi skins in 2015 to enhance your media center]

Kodi Bello Skin main menu
The main menu of the Kodi Bello Skin looks gorgeous in purple tones, though it can still be customized with backgrounds.

The good thing about the Kodi Bello skin is that the interface is intuitive and familiar, taking on features from other skins that make navigating its configuration options a breeze. You can configure its menu and submenu interface and, for example, set the Kodi Genesis Addon to a menu item, to be able to watch movies with way fewer clicks than if you didn’t have the shortcut. In this Kodi Bello skin review I saw that this feature is even more critical for this skin than it is for other ones, as it doesn’t have mouse support; tough detail to like, as this hampers your navigation a little bit if you are used to a touchpad on a wireless HTPC keyboard or a device such as the Lynec C120 air mouse.

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Kodi Bello Skin review: a nice option (when you get used to it)

Bello Skin Review customize
The items on the main menu of the Bello skin for Kodi can be customized to your needs.

It might be just me, but having your mouse move across the screen as if its cursor were invisible is not what I would call “being non-mouse compatible”. It’s a detail that results in confusion, because you might be hovering over a button or option without even realizing. This detail is nothing to worry about if you don’t use a mouse (or if you do, but disable mouse input on Kodi prior to using Bello), so the colorful Kodi Bello Skin might still hold nice things for you in store; and believe me, it does. [Read: Kodi Neon Skin review: vibrant colors for your HTPC]

Skins for Kodi Bello Plugin
The Kodi Bello skin settings are in no way overwhelming or hard to understand, and the settings menu is clear enough to use.

In this Kodi Bello Skin review I realized that this is a good option to consider if you’re interested in learning how to customize XBMC/ Kodi, because it allows for some configuration options without being overwhelming about it; so if you’re new to XBMC and can overlook the lack of mouse support, then you should consider this skin as an option. The visualizations offered blew me away, because there are some really interesting ones, with and without 3D appearance. You can see more about them in the pictures below.

Kodi Bello Interface 3D wall
The 3D wall visualization is eye-catching and lets you browse your media in an interesting way.
Bello Plugin for Kodi posters
The posters visualization lets you focus on one cover at a time, and browse easily through them.
Bello Interface Kodi skin Netflix look
The Netflix visualization for the Kodi Bello Skin shows you fanart, movie ribbon and information in the same screen.
Banner visualization Bello Kodi
The banner list visualization shows you ratings for your movies as well as the movie cover and information about it.
Kodi skins thumbnails Bello
Thumbnails are a good way to browse menus in most skins for Kodi, such as the ones in the Kodi Genesis Addon.
Interface Kodi Bello cover slide
The slide visualization on the Kodi Bello plugin lets you look at covers and uses fanart as a background, in a beautiful effect for a smooth media browsing.

Kodi Bello Skin review: do you recommend it?

Kodi Bello GUI Playback menu
The playback menu looks nice with the Kodi Bello Skin, and holds lots of information, but there’s no functional seeking bar.

During playback it is hard to control things like audio amplification or subtitles, since sometimes the arrow keys didn’t allow me to focus on these menu items. This might be just a matter of getting used to the Kodi Bello skin, and the problem might disappear as you get accustomed to controlling every menu item with arrow keys. Needless to say, the search bar on the playback screen doesn’t work (because you can’t click it), but as is usually the case, there are fast forward and rewind virtual buttons. My opinion about this skin would be that it depends on the user. Try it, test it, and see if you like it. The visuals offered by this skin might very  well be a powerful reason to put up with these kind of annoyances, because they are among the best I’ve seen in the Kodi skins and background customization options currently available.

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About the author

Alejandro

Alejandro is an electrical engineer, working as a software developer and part-time writer. He has a passion for technology, languages and games, and has been around the web since 2004.

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