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Today the Tech Exploring team delves into the bountiful and versatile world of Android Screen Recorder apps. A simple search on the Google Play Store will reveal a plethora of choice, to the point where users could actually get confused on which app to pick. The team is on it, and this article will shed some light on what makes a good screen recorder and on which app has the potential to be the currently best screen recorder for Android.
Is This Thing On?
With its fifth iteration, Android Lollipop, the operating system opened new doors when it comes to screen recording. Before this version, Android users had to root their devices in order to use screen recording apps. Even presently, rooting is not a popular choice for many Android users due to the negative effects it has on the device’s warranty, as well as the possibility of bricking the device.
Lollipop changed all of that, however, when it integrated casting as a core component of the Android system. Recording became much easier and after updating, the average screen video recorder for Android required fewer resources and thus improved frame rate.
Lights! Camera! Action!
Realistically, there is no overall best screen recorder for Android tablet or phone. The reason why there are so many available user options on the Google Play Store is due to the fact that when looking for a screen recorder for Android, my needs will differ from yours, along with most of all other users.
When considering what the best screen recorder for Android was, the Tech Exploring team took the following criteria into account:
- Intended Purpose: Will the recording be public or private? Is it meant to be shared with the world on YouTube or just with a few friends through a cloud service?
- System Resources: Android phones and tablets usually have different components. How performant is the CPU? How much RAM does the device have? Can the GPU handle the recorder along with whatever is being showcased?
- Storage: Is the video being saved on internal storage for later sharing to a cloud or on external storage for later transfer and editing? How high is the available storage?
- Video Resolution: Tablets and phones also have different display resolutions. The best looking videos are usually the ones recorded at a 1:1 scale if the frame rate allows it. Later editing to 720p or 1080p is recommended but the average screen recorder for Android can automatically do this. Most of the apps, however, will slightly reduce quality. Personal videos not meant for a screen larger than a phone’s do not need to be 720p.
- Video Frame Rate: With YouTube enabling the playback of 60FPS for videos of 720p and higher, some screen recorders adapted and upped their game. The frame rate is important when capturing dynamic footage, such as games, and less important for generally displaying a feature of the OS or any of the more static apps.
- Video Duration: Screen recorders for Android usually focus on videos of a capped duration at one, three, or five minutes. Several can allow longer a longer recording and some even allow unlimited recording. The cap was initially present to ensure that the system’s resources and storage did not get to overheat from recording and saving for too long, but it then became a pricing marker, differentiating the free screen recorder for Android from the paid one.
- Sound: While the option is currently much more integrated into screen recorders than a few years ago, having microphone sound, is usually a matter of choice. Users who frequently edit their videos may not find the need for sound that important while users who record with the purpose of quick-sharing could consider this a critical app feature.
- Front Camera: Explanations, commentary with video, or just a reaction can entirely change the tone and content of any video. Even if the app has the option to also record with the front camera, it may prove too taxing on older devices and lower the overall quality of the video due to stuttering and laggy behavior.
- Operating System: Any Android system older than Lollipop still requires rooting. Other than that, every screen recorder for Android is optimized to run on a certain version. Just because an app has not seen an update in over a year, this does not make it a bad candidate for Marshmallow or previous versions.
The Best Screen Recorder For Android
The Tech Exploring team tried out over 30 apps present on the Google Play Store on several devices, both phones and tablets but our main focus were the following:
- Public videos for YouTube upload;
- No device was older than two years, no RAM was less than 2GB of RAM;
- The preferred type of storage device was the MicroSD card;
- The main video resolution was the device resolution or 1280×720, whichever proved smaller;
- The team opted for 30 frames per second, mainly due to the fact that we did not test any app which focused on dynamics; storage and system performance were also factored in;
- The average video time was three and a half minutes. We wanted the app to be able to record more than three minutes, and after adding an intro and outro, the edited video would be closer to five minutes;
- For our own voice recording, we mostly used headsets or post-recording editing;
- The front camera was only used for reaction videos; the team pushed apps hard with this test by using the front camera, device and microphone voice recording. Using intentionally dynamic 720p videos on the YouTube app, we recorded our reactions in 720p as well.
- We had one rooted Android KitKat device, and one Android Lollipop device; the other eight devices, two tablets included were all running Android Marshmallow.
And now, without further ado, here are Tech Exploring’s Top Five Best Android Screen Recorders For Phone And Tablet
With a rating of 4 and up to 50 thousand downloads on the Play Store, Telecine is definitely the least known screen recorder in our top five.
The app is lightweight and does not put a large amount of pressure on the system. The interface is great as well. Jake Wharton, the developer, added a set three-second timer and made the HUD go invisible when recording starts. Great features.
The only downside was in regards to the sound and front camera, and if those features do not interest you in the least, then Telecine could be the screen recorder for Android phone you have been looking for.
4. Lollipop Screen Recorder
With a rating of 4.1 and up to 1 million downloads on the Google Play Store, Rivulus Studios has made Lollipop Screen Recorder one of the best choices for Lollipop.
The interface and options are just great, and the app does allow for both sound and front camera. Recording. Living true to its namesake, the app works best on systems running Android Lollipop.
3. Ilos Screen Recorder
With a rating of 4 and up to 500 thousand downloads on the Google Play Store, Ilos Screen Recorder proved to be a reliable and lightweight solution. The free version is great and should satisfy the general needs of most users.
The developers, Icos LLC, are rolling out updates frequently and the bugs that users eventually bump into get quickly fixed.
Ilos does support sound recording but no front camera yet.
2. AZ Screen Recorder
With a rating of 4.5 and up to ten million downloads on the Google Play Store, Hecorat developed the recipe for video recording popularity. There is really no reproach we can bring to AZ Screen Recorder.
There is a slight delay on older devices and out of the top five, this app is the heaviest on the system. AZ does deliver, so it really is not an issue for devices which launched after December 2015.
1. Unlimited Screen Recorder
Unlimited Screen Recorder has a rating of 4 on the Google Play Store. It currently has less than one hundred thousand downloads. So why is it our top pick? It is by far the easiest screen recorder to pick up and use on almost any device.
Unlimited Screen Recorder proved to be just as reliable in quality as AZ Screen Recorder, but it used less than one-third of the system’s resources. We enjoyed using the app. The options are easy to set, and the video quality to video size ratio is great.
The only big downside of Unlimited Screen Recorder are the lack of front camera support, a feature which we soon realized is nowhere near as important on an Android Device as much as microphone support.
Unlimited Screen Recorder was developed by The Misty Games and currently still has in-app purchases.
The Post-Credits Scene
As previously mentioned, there is no one best screen recorder for Android. Each app has its pros and cons, and when it comes to which one to actually download, user choice is still the highest deciding factor.
For the most professional videos, the Tech Exploring team still recommends recording the video in the device’s natural resolution and then adding audio commentary and any additional video via software editing with the use of a PC. As far as Android devices have evolved they still have not entirely replaced the need for a desktop or laptop.
Do you agree with our selection or is there a screen recorder for Android that works even better for you?