Whether you’re using your Android as a portable movie theater or just viewing homemade clips, it’s important that you use the video player that best suits your needs. Convenience, performance, flexibility — all of these things matter. Why settle for less when you don’t have to?
There are so many video players to choose from, which is great at first glance but proves to be a double-edged sword thanks to the paradox of choice. Long story short, having too many choices can make it more difficult to pick one, thus resulting in stress and dissatisfaction.
Allow us to alleviate some of that burden by narrowing down the field for you. Here are some of the best of the best as far as Android video players are concerned.
With over 2.3 million ratings on the Play Store giving this app a near perfect score, MX Player is without a doubt the most popular video player on the market. The best part is that the free version has no limitation on features, though it is supported by ads (which can be removed by the pro version for $6).
What makes MX Player so great? The two most notable features are hardware acceleration and multicore decoding, which both serve to improve performance by a massive margin as long as your device supports those functions. Plus, it supports nearly all of the most popular video and subtitle formats.
Other convenient features include gestures for zooming and panning around video, scrolling through and resizing subtitles, and a Kids Lock function that prevents actions like making a call or switching to other apps while video is playing.
VLC Media Player has long been one of the most popular cross-platform media players, but it wasn’t until 2012 that the team went public with a beta version of VLC for Android devices. Two years later, the app is still technically in beta development, but it has progressed quite a bit in that time.
Right now, VLC For Android supports most of the popular video and subtitle formats. It can perform hardware acceleration, but only a limited set of supported hardware, so it may or may not be available for your device. Other than that, it has a clean interface and it works well right out of the box.
But the biggest draw for this app is the team behind it. Over the past decade, they’ve proven themselves to be capable of developing a media player that’s as powerful as they come yet available without a price tag. Give it a few years and I wouldn’t be surprised to see VLC For Android at the top of the market.
DicePlayer has all the foundational elements that are expected of a modern video player: hardware acceleration, subtitle support, and the ability to load a wide range of video and subtitle formats. It’s pretty basic but extremely functional, making it a strong contender if you’re looking for something with no frills.
However, it does have a unique feature called POP-UP Play that switches from fullscreen mode to a small floating overlay player, which allows you to use other apps (such as a browser) while still watching your video. This overlay player can be dragged around and resized if necessary.
Like MX Player, BSPlayer supports both hardware acceleration and multicore decoding for strong video playback performance. It also supports nearly all formats for video, audio, and subtitles. So what distinguishes this app from the other?
What immediately caught my eye was the automatic subtitle finder. As soon as I loaded the video in the screenshot above, BSPlayer prompted me with dozens of potential subtitle matches from its online database. This is extremely convenient if you’re like me and prefer to have subtitles all the time.
Another standout feature is the ability to play videos straight from uncompressed RAR files or directly from shared drives on a network over WiFi. Supported “network drives” include external USB drives, Samba drives, and PC shared folders.
Nearly all features are available in the free version but it is ad-supported and the pro version is a bit pricey at $6.75. The pro version also comes with experimental support for Chromecast.
Which One Is For You?
If you like to multitask, you’ll love DicePlayer’s POP-UP Play feature that lets you watch while doing other stuff. VLC For Android is great, especially because it’s open source software, but you should only use it if you aren’t bothered by bugs and beta software.
BSPlayer works the hardest to provide a convenient experience that requires no effort on your part while MX Player is simple and clean with a huge userbase. Both are supported by ads though, so be prepared to fork over a few dollars to unlock their pro versions, unless ads don’t bother you.
Which one do you like best? Or maybe your favorite player wasn’t mentioned here? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Share with us in the comments below!