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10 best video player apps for Android
Video streaming has taken over in a big way. A lot of people have Netflix, Hulu, VRV, and even YouTube subscriptions as their primary video streaming services. However, there are still plenty of us out there with video files on our phones. Viewing videos isn’t nearly as difficult as it used to be. Most video player apps can play the most popular video codecs without issues. That is unless you use some weird codec.
Even if you do, you still have plenty of options to view it. Let’s check out the best video player apps for Android. Kodi is a good option that we do not include on this list because it operates as more of a media player. We have that list linked up toward the bottom of this article.
The best video player apps for Android
Price: Free / $4.99
AllCast is a video player that specializes in sending your locally stored content to your Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Xbox 360/One, and other DLNA compliant devices. Along with videos, it also supports other types of media. It has a bit of a rough start, but has quickly become one of the most stable casting apps out there. The free version has a five-minute limit for content while the pro version has no limitations. You can also turn your Android device into an AllCast receiver (capable of being casted to) with the AllCast Receiver app.
Archos Video Player
Price: Free / $0.99
Archos is one of the more popular video player apps on Android. It supports most video file types, including MKV, MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, etc along with various subtitle file types like SRT, SUB, ASS (yes, for real), SMI, and others. Of course, there are other features as well, like server and NAS support, external USB storage support, and more. The app also includes a relatively modern interface, simple controls, and information from sites like IMDb, themoviedb.org, and others. In practice, we didn’t find any real issues with it, although some Google Play reviewers have. In any case, it’s a solid option with a cheap pro version.
Price: Free / $5.99
BSPlayer has been around for longer than most video player apps and has continued to be one of the best in all that time. It features multi-core hardware decoding, hardware-accelerated playback, and support for streaming from network (DLNA) devices. On top of that, there is subtitle support, the ability to play files from compressed formats, and you can even have a pop-up window if you want to. The free version is ad-supported, but has all of the features. There are also additional plugins for even better support. The full version runs for $5.99.
Price: Free with in-app purchases
LocalCast is a competitor to AllCast and they perform a lot of the same functions. That includes streaming media from your device to a Chromecast, Xbox 360/One, Roku, Fire Stick, or Apple TV. Along with AllCast, it allows for streaming from cloud storage (Google Drive, Dropbox), and it should work on most DLNA compliant devices. It does only have the codecs that the Chromecast supports. That should be most major codecs these days, though. Even so, it’s one of only a few respectable video player apps that perform this function.
MPV is a free and open-source video player that swings with the best of them. The app comes with support for most video codecs, subtitle support, network stream support, and even modern features like picture-in-picture mode. We like this one because it keeps the experience reasonably clean while also providing enough power to do what you need to do with it. We think VLC is a tad better overall, but MPV is certainly no slouch in this space either, and it’s a good option for folks who don’t want to use VLC for whatever reason.
MX Player has long been one of the most popular video player apps. It supported more formats long before other video player apps thought to do so and it was also among the first to include things like hardware decoding, hardware-accelerated playback, and other such features. It still has all of those things along with gesture controls (including pinch-to-zoom), subtitle support, a kids lock to keep your kids in the app watching their Disney movies, and it supports virtually every codec out there. Like MoboPlayer, it comes with additional plugins to add more functionality if you need them.
The only downside to this app is that it was purchased by another developer a couple of years ago. Since then, the developers have removed the premium version of the app, and then included advertisements. The video playback stuff still works well, but without a way to get rid of ads, it’s not nearly the slam dunk recommendation it used to be.
Price: Free / $4.99 / $4.99 per month
Plex is currently the best answer to the question of what to do if you have a lot of videos and only 32GB of storage on your phone. Plex allows you to set up a server on your computer and then it will stream content from your computer to your smartphone. It’s a bit unique from other video player apps, but it also doesn’t require you to keep your files on your device. That frees up valuable storage space for other stuff. The service is free to set up, the mobile app costs $4.99, and you can get an optional $4.99 per month subscription to unlock all of the Plex Pass features.
VLC has made a name for itself as one of the must-have video player apps. It has a slew of unique features, including the ability to stream videos if you have the URL. It can also play some obscure video formats, like DVD ISOs. Unlike most, it also has all of its codecs built in without the need for additional plugin downloads. Other features include subtitle support, full media support (including audio), multi-track audio, and more. There is also a beta version in case you want to try out the latest features. This is the one we’d recommend first, as it is one of the best.
Video Player All Format
Price: Free / $3.99
Video Player All Formats is a basic video player app. It’s also a bit of a diamond in the rough. It boasts support for most video codecs. Some of the other features include Chromecast support, a night mode, a privacy folder, and variable speed playback controls. It seems to tick all the right boxes during our testing. Additionally, it boasts no banner ads although there are some in other spots. You can unlock the ad-free version for $3.99. It’s definitely one of the weaker picks on our top ten, but it’s still good enough to be here.
Xender is a combination of a file transfer app and a video player. You can share music and movies with people in your general vicinity without using mobile data. Additionally, the app can play most movies and music files without much difficulty. That makes it a decent option for those kinds of things, although it doesn’t have any advanced viewing or playback controls like many dedicated video player apps. It’s a good one-two punch for those who need to share media with their friends and then also watch or listen to that media. It’s free and it’s surprisingly popular.
Your device’s stock video player
Your device’s stock video player has made great strides since the old days. These days, they’ll play just about everything. You already have it in your app drawer. It already takes up storage and you usually can’t get rid of it. You might as well at least give it the old college try. Android in general gets better and better video codec support every year, including HDR VP9 as of Android Pie. OEMs usually put support for all of this stuff in the stock video player. Some of them can even play streams like VLC. In any case, give it a real shot before switching to something else. It’s usually the path of least resistance.
If we missed any of the best video player apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments. You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.
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