We review the best free camera apps for Android phones and tablets, available to download from the Google Play store right now. From easy-to-use point n’ shoot camera apps to pro camera software packed with manual controls, filters and other features, these are the best Android camera apps in 2016.
Before we begin, we have to give a shout out to Google’s stock Android camera, which comes pre-installed on its Nexus phones (most recently the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X). It’s a super-streamlined and easy-to-use camera app, which shuns pointless bonus features in favour of simplicity. See also, the LG camera interface found on the LG G4 and Motorola’s camera app from the Moto G.
Love adding stickers to your snaps? Then Camera360 is going to be your new favourite toy. This colourful camera app allows you to download a selection of animated effects which are added in real-time to your photos (using either the front-facing or rear camera). Set your mates’ hair on fire, turn them into Easter bunnies and make them cry beautiful waterfall tears. Terrifying.
A Better Camera
A Better Camera may be quite a braggy name, but this camera app really is a solid all-rounder. The funky artistic interface boasts unique monochrome visuals, while impressive features like the Dynamic Range Optimisation and SuperSensor tools produce well-balanced shots in tricky lighting.
Sadly you do have to pay for a handful of A Better Camera’s features, including high-res panorama capture. Thankfully you can use the bulk of the app’s tools for free.
If you want to get Apple’s Live Photos on your Android device, then check out Camera MX. The Live Shot mode captures tiny videos when you snap away, so you can flick through the frames and pick the best shot, or share as an animated photo.
You can also add funky effects to your photos using Live FX Effects, which shows you in real time what your final shot will look like. This includes all the usual zany filters you’d expect, to turn your besties into Warhol-style paintings or pencil sketches.
We’re seriously impressed with Camera MX’s editing suite for touching up your photos, which has a wide range of tools for tweaking the white balance, colour saturation, skew and pretty much every other aspect of your shots.
If filters are your bag, Retrica’s vast selection should appease. The interface itself is clean and simple, with strong appeal for camera app noobs, while the ability to add stamps is a nice addition.
This open-source camera app is rammed with helpful features, including a stabilisation meter that marks an end for slightly slanty photos. If your shots are usually blighted with dodgy lighting or oversaturated colours, then you’ll love the vast selection of pre-set environment modes (daylight, fluorescent, snow, etc) and the exposure lock, which helps you get an attractive result.
If you’re an obsessive selfie snapper, then check out YouCam Perfect. “Become a beautiful cover girl in seconds!” the app promises when you first boot it up, and frankly, the results speak for themselves. I’d do me.
You get a seriously impressive range of beautification tools to work with, which can remove those bags under your eyes after a big night out and even reshape your entire face. Don’t bother with all that guffins though; you’re gorgeous just the way you are.
Read next: Best camera phones from 2015/2016
Did we miss your favourite Android camera app? Let us know in the comments below.