I remember the days when the coolest cellphone was the smallest and most compact one and in the course of a few more years, out came PDAs; some with phone functionality and some as a personal assistant. The screens on those things were huge but they made for some very good multimedia players, something that carried into what we now term as Smartphones. Phones were again headed for an increase in screen size and a larger screen soon became sought after. Phones were soon judged by their screen quality and the ability to play videos. Today however, most smartphones have decent screens in terms of both side and resolution and furthermore, their CPU, GPU and RAM specs are also adequate enough for the job. So now the question isn’t which phone plays videos better but rather whichapp is able to play videos better than the other. Of course, a countless other questions arise, like, ‘which player will support 1080p playback?’ or ‘does this player support subtitles?’ or if you’re more aesthetically conscious, ‘which player has the best UI?’. In what follows, we will try and answer these questions and a few more, as we list down some of the best Android video player apps out there today.
Arguably the emperor of all players, MX Player is by far the most versatile and well known video player out there for Android. The latest MX Player v1.7 has brought about a new and powerful decoder called ‘hardware+’ in addition to the existing hardware decoder. In addition, it has introduced better support for Tegra 3 based devices as well. Perhaps the most notable new feature is the ability to play videos in the background, meaning the audio keeps playing even if you exit the app.
MX Player, as expected, played almost every known format we threw at it, but surprisingly, it was unable to perform well playing a 1080p MKV or 1080p AVI file on a Galaxy Nexus running Jelly Bean and the SGS 2 running ICS. But, throw a 1080p MP4 file in and voila, brilliant playback and video quality! Given the ease of setup, number of supported formats and the ability to download a decoder for your platform if required, it is understandable why this has been the player of choice for many Android users.
An amazing feature is gesture control that eliminates the need for dragging tiny controls on the control bar for moving forward or backward, changing brightness and volume etc. as all that can be done simply by swiping your finger on the screen in specific directions.
- Background play with controls in the notification menu.
- Subtitles support.
- Tegra 3 support.
- Automatic codec downloads.
- Swipe gesture controls.
- No DTS support.
- No floating window.
For a complete review, check out our review of the new MX Player for Android.
This is the player that was able to handle that 1080p MKV format pretty well actually. Not as smooth as one would like but compared to MX Player, the video was pretty fast on QQ Player. I use the word fast because interestingly, MX Player seems to be trying to play every frame and with QQ Player, you can feel that the player is skipping frames occasionally to compensate for the performance, which for some may not seem that bad. Also, the quality seems to have been compromised on high-res videos.
Performance aside, the UI is quite impressive with slight animated previews of the last video played. It also sports a Private List option where you can maintain a secret and protected playlist of your own. This can be good for your private or erhmm…confidential video collection. QQ Player supports gesture controls as well.
- Private File List.
- Gesture controls.
- Beautiful UI.
- Screenshot support.
- No streaming function.
- No background playback or floating window.