Android devices are always getting faster, better and more awesome. What good is all that processing power and large RAM when you don’t even use it for spicing up your device? A 3D launcher for Android is made for those powerful smartphones and tablets which can run even the most demanding games and apps with ease.
So if you have a top-tier Android device, Next launcher is the best 3D launcher for Android you can install.
I’ll be honest here; the Next Launcher can run on mid-range devices too but without all the eye candy. The traditional launcher (without 3D effects on) is not that great especially when you compare it with the fastest Android launcher and the most lightweight launcher for Android. But once you turn on the 3D, well that’s a whole different story.
The launcher was tested on a Samsung Galaxy Note III smartphone and Samsung Galaxy Young. The app worked fine on Galaxy Note III but crashed repeatedly on the Galaxy Young due to its demanding resource requirements.
Our Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Google Play Rating: 4.3 out of 5 Stars
Pro Version – $16.99
You want fancy? You got fancy. The best 3D launcher for Android is incredible when it comes to smooth animations and great looks. There are a lot of themes for the app and some icon packs are amazing. The live wallpapers are reactive to the home screens as well as other factors like gravity (via gyroscope in your device) etc.
The animations are the real star in this great Android 3D launcher.
The “Lite” version of Next Launcher is actually a timed trial. The developers have decided to keep this hidden in order to dope people into thinking this is a free version with some features missing. That is, however, not the case, once the trial period is up. You will be forced to purchase the Pro version of the app.
This is extremely hard for people who have already invested a lot of time cultivating the best look for their home screens. Another big issue is the price; the developers are asking a rough amount of $16.99 which is a bit too much.
The Bottom Line
Next Launcher is the best 3D launcher for Android; there is absolutely no doubt about it. The launcher actually makes your Android device futuristic. But the free version is a timed trial and the paid version will be expensive for many.
As there is no equal and close competitor to the app, it is our only option to enjoy a 3D launcher on Android. If you have the funds, then by all means go for the paid version, since it is amazing. But if you can’t foot the exuberant asking price, you are stuck with the timed trial.
Jumping to 3D – 4 out of 5 Stars
After you have successfully downloaded the Next Launcher on your Android device, open the app from the app drawer. Immediately you will be taken to a whole new launcher with a very different outlook.
While there are some neat effects applied on the launcher, it will not feel 3D-ish. When I first started the launcher I was immensely disappointed with it. What I saw was just another launcher.
But once I went hunting deep into the options, I found that the launcher boots up in what it calls “classic mode”. The classic mode has a few 3D effects but it is fundamentally rooted in two dimensions. After I clicked on the Switch to 3D button, the app politely reminded me that it will require a powerful device.
The 3D Experience – 5 out of 5 Stars
The 3D experience of this 3D launcher for Android is remarkably beautiful. I’m one of those people who prefer a simple black car over neon strips and spoilers. I was worried that the 3D would be tacky at best and cringe worthy at worst. But I was pleasantly surprised by the eerie grace in which the Next launcher handled 3D.
Right off the bat you will notice the dock. The dock is perhaps the most impressive part of the Smart Launcher. The metallic design makes it look premium and very beautiful. You can see some apps listed on the dock as well as an app drawer button.
Swipe upwards and new icons pop up with a very smooth animation. I found myself swiping up and down for around 2 minutes. It is embarrassingly juvenile but thoroughly satisfying to see the icons pop up and go back down.
The App Drawer – 4 out of 5 Stars
Tap on the app drawer button and you will be presented with another great animation. It turns out the metallic dock was housing all your apps and they pop up with gusto. The app drawer looks great in 3D especially if you activate the gravity settings in the options.
There is another great feature in the app drawer: the auto folder maker. Once activated, the app automatically and I shall add, intelligently places apps with shared traits into one folder. Sure this is not a highly accurate way to bundling apps, but it does come close.
Deep Customizations – 5 out of 5 Stars
Next Launcher may not be the most customizable launcher for Android but it still manages to include great customization options. You can easily change the theme in any of the launchers available on Android but Next Launcher takes it to the next level (pun intended).
Changing themes is easy and dramatically changes the whole look of the app. From the icons to the wallpapers and how the animations behave, all is changed.
The live wallpapers need to be installed first, but oh boy, they sure are a treat to see. They react to your every tap and swap very convincingly.
One feature which even impressed me was the “Edit Icon” one. I have never seen this depth in any of the launchers I tested.
Extended 3D – 4 out of 5 Stars
The best 3D launcher for Android embraces the 3D-ness wholeheartedly. If you need to extend the 3D to widgets, you can do that easily. However you will need to install the widgets from the Play Store.
I tested the music player which is also made by the same guys who made the Next Launcher. This is definitely one of the greatest looking music widgets I have seen. You just have to experience it yourself to know how well it looks. I tried to capture the feel in a screenshot by tilting my smartphone here:
It Wants Everything – 2 out of 5 Stars
I don’t see any reason for a launcher to be snooping around my contacts. There is not a single reason for the app to access my location either. Sure, the weather widget might need my location but as it is a separate widget hosted on the Google Play Store, I fail to see any reason. The app apparently also needs to access my email address as well.
What Next Launcher Users Feel
“This launcher definitely makes your phone impressive to your friends! It’s fun to customize and play with and just all around cool. Everybody I show my phone (HTC ONE M8) to thinks I have some kind of special phone and want to know how they can get one.”
This is exactly what my friends who use the iPhone think when they see my smartphone. This guy really nails down the feeling of using a unique and cool looking launcher. Most of the users are satisfied with their experience.
“I’m sure I purchased the pro version. But the app is not registering my purchase. This is really disappointing”
Most of the low ratings are due to some transaction error. I purchased the launcher a while back when working for another site and didn’t have a problem.
Maybe because I used Google Wallet funds instead of a direct bank transaction. But the complaints are extremely few in number. Some people are complaining about the app running slow on their phones, I suspect they have a budget smartphone.
Using the best Android 3D launcher is a great way to grab attention. In a world where people are constantly mistaking Samsung TouchWiz UI as stock Android (thanks to the popularity) an Android 3D launcher will be able to help you stand out.
Embracing the real joy of Android is what makes this platform special. Check out the best 15 launchers for Android for more options. Make your Android your own and express yourself through the portable digital portals.