Not all apps are free, however. In fact, many of the most useful apps require at least a few bucks, and some feature-filled productivity apps can have price tags of $15 or more. In these cases, it’s best to read some reviews before spending the dough, but where can you turn for advice?
Life of Android
This general Android blog and review site focuses heavily on news and apps. The front page usually contains the latest information about the big names on the app market, and also sometimes provides general information about upcoming Android releases and best-of lists.
When it comes to reviews, Life of Android has the best sorting and rating system of any site I’ve read. Each review appears in miniature format, along with the score and a list of pros and cons. The full reviews are generally 250 to 500 words long and provide quite a few screenshots. The site seems to average one review a day overall, although some days will see the release of two or three reviews, while others will see none.
One of numerous sites in the AppStorm network, Android AppStorm is a blog that provides a great deal of information about Android in general, including How-Tos and some fairly decent editorials about the future of the platform. It makes for good reading if you’re interested in the future of smartphones.
The reviews can be accessed by category. In terms of volume, Android AppStorm can’t match the competitors on this list, and searching through reviews isn’t particularly easy. However, the reviews are extremely detailed, with lots of photos and information.
AppStorm also does roundups that highlight the best apps of a given type. These articles are extremely helpful if you have an idea of the type of app you’re looking for, but you’re not sure how to go about finding it.
Androinica is a major Android blog that covers just about everything on the platform including news, and the phones themselves. There’s a lot of content being generated by this website, and that includes app reviews. They seem to put up several app reviews and/or app roundups a week. Androinica also sometimes does video reviews, and they’re reasonably well done.
The main downside to Androinica compared to others is a lack of easy sorting of reviews and a lack of definitive review scoring in the form of a numerical score or a thumbs up/down recommendation. That’s not to say the site can’t reach a conclusion – it’s just not as clearly stated, which makes it hard to judge apps at-a-glance. Fortunately, the reviews are fairly short, so it should only take a few minutes to read them.
This is the site you’re most likely to run into if you Google search for Android app reviews either in general or for a specific app, and for good reason. Although there’s news and blog posts on this site, app reviews are its strong suit.
Review volume is heavy, with most weekdays seeing at least two reviews go up, and sometimes as many as three. In addition to that, Android Tapp offers easy browsing via category and shows the app’s review rating in the preview. This makes judging apps at-a-glance quick.
Most of the reviews are of good quality and around 500 words, and some of the reviews include video supplements that show the app in action. Although all of the sites on this list are good, if I had to pick just one on the strength of the site’s reviews, Android Tapp would be the winner.
The next time you’re thinking about downloading a paid app, but you’re just not sure if you want to spend the money, check out these sites. Hopefully one will have reviewed the app in question and be able to give you a helping hand.
If you have an iPhone, check out our post on iPhone app review sites. Also, as usual, if we’ve missed your favorite, set us straight in the comments.
Explore more about: User Review.