That seems to be the overwhelming opinion of our readers whose recommendations placed the MX Player on our Best Android Apps page. But will you be one of the satisfied users of this do-it-all movie player for Android? That’s the purpose of this brief review. So, download and install the favorite and test it out with your favorite movie even as you scroll down to the end of this review.
MX Player goes up against quite a few challengers like MoboPlayer, DoubleTwist, and then a few others like VPlayer, RealPlayer, and Meridian etc. It remains standing, and if download figures are anything to go by even wins the bout. When you go to the Google Play Store to install the app, you will see that nearly 230,000+ people have downloaded the free version of the media player. There has to be something good about it, right?
The Do It All Movie Player
MX Player comes packaged with all the popular codecs and video formats you can think of for instance – 3gp, avi, divx, f4v, flv, mkv, mp4, mpeg, mov, vob, wmv, webm, xvid, and many more. You can select extensions and the decoders for them manually too.
MX Player can scan your SD card in seconds and list only those folders and sub-folders that contain movie files. You can also specify the folder manually. A nice little touch is that movies which have been freshly copied can be made to display a NEW tag. Movie folders can also be grouped, though there is no playlist creation feature. You will also notice that the thumbnail preview displays the name of the last watched movie and finished movies in different color. By default an Edit menu feature is present which allows you to rename a video file.
Playing Your Movies
Start movie playback by tapping on the preview thumbnail of a movie. The user interface is very clean cut without any extra frills getting in the way. All the frills are hidden below the interface. The main features of the video playback are –
1. Along with the usual controls, MX Player also supports touch gestures. For instance, you can pinch to zoom and drag vertically on left half of the screen among other gestures. Play and pause can be toggles with a single tap. It also supports keyboard shortcuts.
2. You can also click on Display – Settings and go into the controls for all aspects of your viewing experience. See the screenshot for an idea.
3. A single button sequentially sets the video zoom levels ranging from Fit to Screen to Stretch. You can lock your selection and enjoy an uninterrupted movie.
4. MX Player comes with full subtitle support. You can sync subtitles with gesture movements. You can also control how the subtitle appears on the screen.
5. There’s a nice Background play feature that ensures that the video file plays in the background while you work on other apps. An audio option can be used for just the audio playback.
6. MX Video Player remembers resume position for all video files and gives you a choice of starting over or resuming from the last position.
The feature that’s most often cited about MX Player is its support for multi-core decoding. That is to say in simple words, the media player takes the full support of multiple processors to render the movie. That results in smoother playback and decoding of the codecs used in the movie file. MX Players says that according to test results on dual-core devices, it showed up to 70% performance improvement over single-core decoding. So, if you have a phone like the Samsung Galaxy S2 or Samsung Galaxy Note, you should be able to verify those claims.
Switch Decoding Modes between Software and Hardware
You can quickly toggle between software and hardware decoding modes with a tap on the button as shown in the screenshot. By default, hardware decoding is used as it is better in the way it uses full processor optimization to process the video while software decoding depends on the app which in the case of a mobile app might be weak.
I threw quite a few videos of different formats at MX Player and it handled them seamlessly. Video playback wasn’t a problem at all. What I like about MX Player is that I can use it immediately after install without bothering too much about file formats. It has a few nice touches that give me extra control over the way I switch on with my Android. For instance, gesture support and the ability to control subtitles are invaluable for a smoother experience.
MX Player has an ad-supported free version which in my opinion is adequate for the job. MX Player works with Android 2.1 and above. It also is supported on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Does MX Player have the oomph to be the default media player on your Android? If not, which video player is your first pick? Let’s argue in the comments.