My Honest Review of Some Paid AI Tools I’ve Used So Far
Here’s why I canceled and kept some of these subscriptions so far.
Over the past months, I’ve tried many AI tools. While most of them were free to use, I didn’t think twice to pay for a subscription that seemed worth a try.
In this article, I’d like to share my experience with some paid AI tools that I’ve used so far and why I canceled some of them.
Midjourney: Probably the AI tool with the best price/quality
I found Midjourney by mere chance.
Before using Midjourney, I used free images from Unsplash as thumbnails for my online content. The problem? Everyone was using those free images, so I couldn’t stand out of the pack. That’s why I decided to pay $29/month for a stock image subscription. The paid images look great and I was kind of happy with the service until I discovered that I couldn’t cancel my subscription because of an annual commitment I wasn’t aware of.
That day I desperately looked for an alternative and I found Midjourney.
It wasn’t only Midjourney’s cheap $10/month subscription that made me love this AI tool, but its mind-blowing features. The first time I used it, I felt like a child playing with a new toy. You’d only have to describe what you want to get in an image, and voilà, you get 4 images to choose from.
Midjourney it’s the perfect tool to feed your creativity. You can create images from a dog in a space suit to Usain Bolt in different painting styles.
A few months after subscribing to Midjourney, I had more reasons to keep my subscription when Midjourney V5 was released. Midjourney V5 offered more realistic images and amazing new features such as outpainting to zoom out images, the stylize command, and high variation mode for creating multiple concepts based on a single generated image.
For all those reasons, I’m a happy Midjourney subscriber and I’m looking forward to coming updates!
Quillbot: It’s a good tool for writers, but it’s not irreplaceable
I had to admit that I’ve been looking for a tool like Quillbot for a long time.
As someone who writes content online quite often, I needed a tool to paraphrase sentences taken from different websites. Quillbot is a good paraphraser tool and also helps improve the vocabulary used in your text.
As a non-native English speaker, I tend to overuse the same words, but with Quillbot I could quickly find alternative words that fit well in my sentences. I no longer needed to Google the synonym for X or to look up the dictionary to see if the synonyms had the meaning I was looking for.
I was a happy Quillbot subscriber, but then I realized I wasn’t using its premium features that much.
Quillbot’s paraphraser has 9 modes. Two of them are free to use even without an account (standard and fluency), while the rest (formal, academic, simple, etc) were available only to paid subscribers.
My favorite premium modes were Shorten and Formal.
They worked fine, but then I came up with a prompt that helped me replace Quillbot with ChatGPT.
Here’s the prompt I used to replace the Formal mode.
Act as a language tutor. I’ll provide you expressions that native English speakers use in informal English and you have to convert the expression into neutral speech and also formal speech.
After doing some tests, I was satisfied with the results.
My prompt might not be as powerful as Quillbot, but, again, I barely used the premium modes, so it was enough for me.
Quillbot was good, but ChatGPT could replace it to some extent, so I decided to cancel my Quillbot subscription.
ChatGPT Plus: Why I canceled my subscription and resubscribed multiple times
If you’ve been following me for a couple of months, you know I canceled my ChatGPT Plus subscription more than once.
I don’t regret that.
As soon as ChatGPT Plus was released, I became a paid subscriber, but after a month of use, I canceled my subscription. Why? Back then, the subscription barely offered 3 basic things: availability when the demand was high, faster response speed, and priority access to new features.
I wasn’t willing to pay $20/month for that; however, a few months later plugins along with GPT-4 were released to ChatGPT Plus subscribers. That made me resubscribe!
Why? Plugins completely changed the way we work with ChatGPT. You could get access to the internet with plugins such as Video Insights and LinkReader to summarize YouTube videos and entire articles, respectively.
Oh, and if you were a data analyst like me, you had more reasons to subscribe because of plugins such as Noteable and Scraper.
There was only a big caveat, though: GPT-4 had a cap of 25 messages every 3 hours. This limitation made me think twice about staying a Plus subscriber, considering that plugins could be used only with GPT-4.
But then two good things happened: ChatGPT Code Interpreter was released and OpenAI increased the cap to 50 messages.
The code interpreter allowed Plus users to upload and download files. This meant a huge upgrade not only for coders but for regular users who wanted to upload images to create videos, extract text, etc.
Since that day, I’ve remained a happy ChatGPT Plus subscriber because all the features I was looking for were already available on the subscription.
Jasper: It’s better than ChatGPT for writing, but it’s too pricey for what it offers
As someone who creates content online, I thought Jasper was the best investment I could make. After all, they tailored OpenAI’s models to get better performance when it comes to writing.
However, after using it for a while, I got disappointed.
The best thing Jasper has are templates. Templates help you get started quickly with a task whether you want to create a blog post, Facebook ad, tweet, or LinkedIn post.
The problem is that some templates (at least those I used) were not what I expected.
For example, I expected the Twitter template to generate creative tweets, but it only created generic tweets with ugly hashtags. I could get the same performance with ChatGPT!
There were other templates that weren’t that bad, though. For instance, the blog post template, allowed me to add my own voice to Jasper by importing some of my articles. You could also complete sentences/paragraphs with AI-generated text with one click (my favorite feature), and customize the tone and style of the AI-generated text.
However, I felt that the text Jasper generated wasn’t always helpful if you write tech articles like me. I believe Jasper might be good for some niches, while useless for others.
I still think Jasper is better than ChatGPT for writing, but it’s not worth paying $49/month at least for the type of content I create.