If you have local videos stored on your Android phone, there’s no shortage of ways to give them a watch. But that doesn’t mean all options are created equally—these are the best video apps for Android.
Before we get into that though, we need to make it clear that these are apps for watching locally-stored videos. They are not for streaming services like YouTube or Netflix. This is all about watching videos stored on your phone, regardless of whether you shot them with your camera or downloaded them from somewhere.
The Best Overall: VLC for Android (Free)
When it comes to video players on pretty much any platform, it’s hard to not consider VLC. It’s open source, free, and can play pretty much any kind of video file you’d throw at it. All that combined makes VLC an easy choice for the “best” player on Android.
VLC also offers compatibility with subtitles and closed captions, as well as a media library, folder support, multi-track audio, aspect ratio adjustment, and a widget. It can also stream videos over your local network.
Not only is it a great video player, it’s also a full-featured audio player with EQ and support for essentially every audio format out there.
And it does it all for free. Just download it already.
The Best for Camera-Shot Video: Google Photos (Free)
If all you’re looking to do is re-watch the videos you took with your phone’s camera, then Google Photos is the way to go. It’s already a powerful tool for all your photo and backup needs, but it’s also great for watching videos—and even small edits.
With Photos, you can watch all the videos you’ve shot with your camera (and many others that are stored locally on your device, though the supported file formats are limited), share them directly with other apps, and trim or cut clips if you need to.
It’s a simple, but useful tool—and one that you probably already have on your phone. If not, however, it’s free in the Play Store.
The Best for Casting Videos: LocalCast (Free, Varying IAP)
Watching videos on your phone is cool and all, but it’s also nice to take advantage of the much bigger screen in your living room. That’s a huge part of what makes Google’s Chromecast such a nice thing to have, and LocalCast is the best app for a solid casting experience.
What makes it better than other apps? It has the best device support: not only does it support Chromecast, but also Apple TV, Fire TV, Sony and Samsung Smart TVs, Xbox 360/One, and all other DLNA devices. That’s a LOT.
LocalCast also has features that support cloud streaming, so you don’t have to keep content stored on your device—you can connect Drive and Dropbox to LocalCast for remote streaming.
LocalCast is free to try but uses a “pay what you want” model with a variety of options, including $0.99 a month, yearly payment plans of $5.50, $6.88, $10.67, or $21.30. There are also a couple of one-time payment options: $4.92 or $6.57.