Hey all of you, today I wanted to write about some of the best Android launchers out there which most people haven’t heard of or tried. While you may be familiar with Nova, Apex, Go or ADW launcher, there are several others which are, if not better, as good as these more popular ones.
In this list we won’t be including Nova or Apex and will instead introduce you to 11 of best but generally lesser known free Android launchers you should download and try today.
#1. Atom Launcher
Atom Launcher has come a long way over the years and is one of the best free launchers available for Android devices. It’s clean, the user-interface is sleek, it doesn’t have any ads and there are tons of downloadable themes and customization options.
You can create your own theme if you want, and control basic functions via gestures. There are a lot of custom widgets available for Atom Launcher as well, making it a complete solution which will definitely give your device a fresh look.
#2. SF Launcher
If you’re looking for a fresh, streamlined user interface, you need to try SF Launcher on your Android. It looks a lot like Google Now and uses cards to display apps and widgets which can be scrolled aside for quick navigation. While this classic version works great for Android 4.0 devices, you’ll need to download SF Launcher 2 for more recent versions of Android.
#3. SF Launcher 2
SF Launcher 2 takes what was great about the original and makes it better. It uses the Material Design guidelines and is compatible with Android 5.0 Lollipop, providing the same swiping cards based interface that is both unique and fresh. However, you may run into performance issues, lags and freezes; so it may not exactly become your daily driver. Nevertheless, it definitely merits a try.
#4. Buzz Launcher
If you’re looking for a launcher with great customization options, you have to try Buzz Launcher. It boasts of over 800,000 free downloadable themes, which is the largest collection among all the launchers. Using Buzz Launcher is very simple – you browse through all the free themes or “Homepacks” and choose one you like.
The launcher then automatically downloads the required elements and sets up your device like the chosen theme within seconds. You can also create your own homepacks and share them with the community which is already quite active. All in all, you’re most likely going to love all the free themes Buzz Launcher offers.
#5. Hola Launcher
Chances are that you’ve tried Hola Launcher, but it’s on this list because most people still don’t know about it. If you’re using a low or mid-range Android phone, Hola Launcher can provide a significant speed boost at only 1 MB installation size.
The best thing however is that Hola doesn’t compromise on features either and you get a lot of customization options, including wallpapers and fonts. It also has its own unique set of options including Hola Box and a search function for ease of use. All in all, if you haven’t tried Hola Launcher yet, you must give it a go.
#6. Smart Launcher 2
Even though Smart Launcher has been around since 2012, it hasn’t gotten the credit it deserves. It’s always regularly updated by the developers and continues to improve in terms of performance.
Resource usage is also fairly low and the launcher has a good set of features. You can run apps with gestures if you want and Smart Launcher 2 is also compatible with all icon and theme sets that work with Nova or Apex launcher.
#7. Cheetah Launcher
Cheetah Launcher, as the name suggests, is pretty fast and has a lot of beautiful themes you can download and apply instantly. RAM usage is also relatively lower than other launchers and there are no in-app purchases or ads here.
The only issue is that you can’t use themes or icon packs from other launchers and there are a couple of bugs here and there. Nevertheless, if you want a fast, smooth and good-looking launcher, try Cheetah.
#8. C Launcher
C Launcher is another fast and efficient launcher which utilizes minimum resources and provides a smooth, fluid user interface. It has a useful search feature which allows you to find all the apps installed on your device and also offers a safe box, where you can place all those apps you want to keep private.
C Launcher also has its own widgets for weather etc and a free live wallpaper that’s not too bad. You can also create your own themes apart from downloading preset ones.
#9. Solo Launcher
Solo Launcher is lower on this list simply because there is a high chance that you’ve already tried it out. Nevertheless, it’s a great launcher and deserves a mention here. It’s not resource intensive, doesn’t hog your battery and provides a comprehensive set of features.
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It’s also been redesigned with Material Design guidelines, giving it a fresher look now and you can choose through over 5000 themes for the perfect look. Like I said, if you haven’t tired Solo Launcher as yet, you should do so right now.
#10. CM Launcher
CM Launcher is a secure, fast and completely free Android launcher that only takes up 1 MB of your storage upon installation. While it’s speed is a great thing, the notable feature is the presence of a built-in Anti-virus engine which scans apps for malware.
The major drawback however is the lack of customization options, which means you’re mainly going to be stuck with its stock appearance, which though passable, can get boring after a while.
#11. 360 Launcher
While 360 Launcher hasn’t been updated in a couple months, it’s a solid option with a lot of customization features including themes, wallpapers and lock screens. The user interface is also fast and smooth with a lot of animation options and the launcher also has its own set of widgets like clock, task manager and calendar.
One-tap RAM cleaner and a battery saving mode are also available as bonus features. However, we aren’t sure whether it will be updated further, so you may run into compatibility issues with new Android updates.
How many launchers from this list have you tried? We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. If you have any of your own suggestions for our list of the best Android launchers people should try, feel free to share by commenting below.