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8 best call recorder apps for Android

Call recorder apps have a variety of legitimate uses but it's tough to find an app that does the job well.
By
January 11, 2023
Cube ACR best dialer apps
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Call recording on Android is a finicky thing. It worked fine for many years. Google turned the feature off, then back on again, and finally off for good as of May 2022. Thanks to years of workarounds, regional restrictions, Google policy and API changes, and carrier restrictions, there is a lot of information out there, and a lot of it isn’t accurate anymore.

We rewrote this list from the top down in November 2022 after Google’s Accessibility ban. We can confirm that every app on the list below worked on both of our test devices, and we made over 140 phone calls in total to test apps for this. Here are the best call recorder apps for Android.

Some of these methods may not work on all phones in all regions. The list below was tested with a Galaxy S22 Ultra and a Pixel 6. Both are running Android 13. Testing was also done in the United States. Also, this list has a few apps from outside the Play Store. If you need help installing non-Google Play apps, we have a tutorial here you can use.

One final thing, no call recording apps work with Wi-Fi calling. You'll need to disable that in order for any of these apps to work.

The best call recorder apps for Android

Why is Android call recording so difficult?

Call recording is one of the stickiest topics on mobile. It should be relatively easy, but it’s not. It worked well until Android 9, when Google turned it off for the first time. It stayed turned off until Android 11. Technically, the functionality is still there now with Android 13. Some OEMs, like Google and Samsung, package call recording in the native dialer app, but only in some regions.

In 2022, Google changed a Google Play policy that prevents apps from using the Accessibility permission for call recording. That’s how the developers enabled the feature. Since this was the easiest method, developers have scrambled for workarounds since the May 2022 ban.

Years of policy, API, and functionality changes have left users with a slew of old tutorials and workarounds that no longer work, further complicating the issue.

So, in short, four things prevent people from recording calls. The version of Android your phone runs can prevent it entirely. Secondly, the region you live in can cause features to be turned off. Google Play policies make it hard for developers to release products that actually work. Finally, the lack of root access limits a person’s ability to bypass the previous three issues.

These days, there seem to be three major workarounds. The first is downloading an app from outside the Play Store that still allows for Accessibility use. The second method uses a plug-in or secondary app that uses the Accessibility API while connecting to the original app to record calls, thus bypassing the Google Play ban. The third is root access. Rooting isn’t the most popular thing anymore, so we focus on the other two methods below.

ACR Phone + APH

Price: Free / $2.99 per month / $10.99 per year

ACR Phone screenshot 2022
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

ACR Phone is a dialer app in the Google Play Store from the developer of ACR call recorder. It has a bunch of features, including caller ID, a call blocker, auto-dialing, and, of course, call recording. APH, which stands for ACR Phone Helper, is an add-on that bypasses the Google Play Store’s accessibility policy and lets you record phone calls. You need to have both installed for it to work. Call recording seems to be free, at least it was during our testing, so you don’t need to pay anything to make it work.

Here’s how I did it. I installed ACR Phone first and enabled all of the necessary permissions. Then, I installed APH and enabled everything there as well. Once done, I made a test call and activated the recording manually. The call was recorded without issue. You can get the ACR Phone app from the Google Play Store using the button below. The APH helper is available in the Samsung Galaxy Store, HUAWEI’s App Gallery, and as a third-party download here.

Call Recorder by Lucky Mobile Apps

Price: Free / $3.49

Call Recorder Lucky Mobile Apps screenshot 2022
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Call Recorder by Lucky Mobile Apps is another decent solution. It’s a standard, old-school recording app. It doesn’t overtake your dialer but runs automatically in the background. It requires accessibility permissions, so we’re unsure how Google hasn’t removed this one from Google Play. You just set the long list of permissions and let it go. The UI is clean, and the settings are easy to use.

In use, it automatically records your phone calls. You won’t have to start it manually, but you will have to get rid of old recordings yourself. The app costs $3.49 to remove ads, but the functionality is otherwise free. It’s a reasonably priced, functional solution. However, Google Play may take this one down. We’re not sure yet.

CallU

Price: Free / $3.49

CallU screenshot 2022
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

CallU is a call recorder app from SMSROBOT. It uses Accessibility permissions to record phone calls. We’re not entirely positive how it managed to escape Google Play’s new ban, but it still works as of the time of this writing. The setup for this one is pretty straightforward. You open the app, accept the permissions, give it overlay and Accessibility permissions, and then it automatically records your phone calls. The UI is a little clunky, but it’s functional and doesn’t take long to learn.

The recorded calls sounded fine to me, and it’s on par with the others here. It also worked out of the box without any weird manual triggers like many of the others. One of the best perks is the lack of a subscription. You pay a single $3.49 charge to remove ads; otherwise, it works for good. It’s definitely one of the best options in the space, provided it remains on Google Play.

Cube ACR

Price: Free / $2.99 per week / $19.99 per year

Cube ACR screenshot 2022
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Cube ACR is a popular call recorder that seems to still work despite the Google Play ban. It does this with an App Connector plugin that still grants accessibility permission but isn’t part of the main app. That means the whole thing is still available in Google Play with no additional downloads. In terms of usability, it’s quite easy. The app records calls automatically by default, so most of the rest of the settings are just tweaks.

When I tested this one, it seemed to be inconsistent when recording automatically at the beginning of a call. To remedy this, I switched it from notification to widget, which requires overlay permissions. Then, once the call started, I manually turned the recording off and back on again. It worked just fine after that.

The app has a free trial for seven days. After that, there are a few subscription options. We recommend the $2.99 per week option if you only need to record a couple of phone calls or the $19.99 per year option if you intend to keep it longer.

Pixelify Magisk Manager module (root)

Price: Free

Magisk Manager screenshot 2020

Magisk Manager is a tool for root users to expand the functionality of their phones. There are various modules that do various things, and a few of them do call recording. We checked out Pixelify. It adds a bunch of Pixel-specific features to phones, including things like wallpapers, Magic Eraser, Google Dialer, and a variety of other features. Google’s dialer has call recording enabled, and the module developer also enabled call recording in all regions.

This won’t work on every phone, and the developer says that outright. However, if it does, this is one of the easiest ways for root users to do it while also adding some other fun Pixel features. You need root, Magisk Manager, and Pixelify for this to work, so we only recommend this to knowledgeable users who know what they’re doing. You can download Pixelify here and Magisk at the button below. You’ll have to find root instructions for your device on your own.

True Phone

Price: Free / $4.99-$9.99

TrueCaller screenshot 2022
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

TrueC Phone is a reasonably decent option for call recording. It’s a dialer app, so you’ll be replacing the stock dialer app with this one. The UI is clean, if a little drab in some parts, and finding the options is simple enough. It also works well in terms of call recording. The app worked on both of our tester phones. However, it did have the worst call recording quality of any app on the list.

We left everything as it was for settings, and it seemed to work out well. It seems like it uses your phone’s microphone to record calls instead of recording natively. It’s not idea, but it’s louder and less muffled than most other apps that do it this way. You do need a second app to listen to recorded calls, like an audio player or a file browser app. The developer says they’re adding a dedicated player actually to listen to your calls in a future update. It does work, but it’s not as good as others on the list.

Your stock phone dialer (regional restrictions apply)

Price: Free

Samsung Phone Dialer screenshot 2022
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Some OEMs build call recording right into the stock dialer. The list includes Google and Samsung, HUAWEI, and several others. This is the cleanest method to record phone calls since it is first-party and integrated with your default dialer. The only issue is its availability. In some regions, you can only record phone calls from the stock dialer app. Unfortunately, the United States is one of the restricted regions, so I could not test this myself on either my Galaxy S22 Ultra or my Pixel 6. Still, it’s worth looking into your dialer’s settings to see if you can enable it there.

Other apps that might work

Drupe Call Recorder
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

We tested a variety of apps during the process. Some of them felt like they had some promise, but didn’t work on one or both of our tester devices. We want you to have as many options as possible, so the following apps may work, but we make no guarantees. It’ll be dependent on your region, phone, and version of Android.

  • Drupe (Google Play) — Drupe is a dialer app with a ton of functionality. There are options for call recording in the settings menu. However, I could not get it to record any actual phone calls. Thus, it has the feature, but it may or may not work for you. The only way to know is to try it and see yourself.
  • Showcaller (Google Play) — Showcaller is another dialer app that boasts call recording functionality. Like Drupe, it has a decent number of features. However, I was unable to record any calls with this app, despite there being an option for it.
  • Call recorders that record speakerphone — A good percentage of call recorder apps on Google Play record audio using the speakerphone. This results in muffled recordings from the other person’s end, but those can generally be boosted to acceptable levels in an audio editing app. It’s not ideal, but it does work.

If we missed any great call recorder 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.