Best Free Image Editor for Android

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Introduction
As smartphones get bigger and better so do their in-built cameras and with the plethora of image editors available for Android there is now no need to transfer all those images/ photos from your Android device to your PC if you wish to edit them. Using one of the great freely available image editor apps you should be achieve pretty much any effect you desire, whether it be the usual photoshop-esque image editing like improving an existing photo by lightning it or removing red eyes or something a little more fun like creating a pop art collage out of a selfie, there is an image editor app on Android to meet your needs. 
 
Discussion

PicsArt is a great fun image editor app with lot's of features plus social and sharing options.

PicsArt has a camera app built in to add added function to your android devices existing built in camera with feature like sequence shot.
With so many great features I'll start with the actual image editor part of the app . With PicsArt the user can add lot's of really great different filters and effects to their images as well as stickers and borders. I have found there to be plenty of options for each effect etc lot's of choice especially  for a free app. There is also an option to add border to your images. Another really great feature not all android image editor apps have is PicsArt has the option to add text to your image either as an overlay or as a speech bubble, very useful as a productive tool or just for fun.
 
PicsArt also has a draw/ paint feature either  draw on an existing image on create your own master-peace on a blank canvas. PicArt also has a collage making feature so you can create collages out of your photo's.
PicsArt also has a tool option which contains tools to rotate, crop, free crop, shape crop, flip and re-size your images. PicsArt also has a range of tools to help you correct photos your photos such as red eye, blemish fix, teeth whitening, sun tan, face fix ( which helps to smoothen the look of the skin) and even an eye colour changer. 
 
Images you want to edit with PicsArt don't even need to be stored on your android device, you can upload images direct from Facebook, Dropbox, Picasa, Flickr or from your PicsArt account. I found the image processing time to be quite speedy and once your image is created you can share easerly to alot of different sites such as Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Twitter, Dropbox, Foursquare, Blogger, Wordpress and of course PicsArt. The image can also be sent via email or SMS, or just saved to your SD card.
 
The PicsArt account (although not required to use the app) mentioned above gives the user the option to upload and share images with other PicsArt users, To sum up PicsArt is like Photoshop express and Instagram combined which is why it is my new top pick. There are more PicsArt apps available which can complement use of the app, I have listed them in the quick selection guide and a Gizmo's review for PicsArt viewer can be found here.

 

I have always been impressed with the on-line image editor Pixlr and now they have developed an Android app which is equally as impressive and like PicsArt great fun to use and full of features and effects.
The first thing I notice that I like is the minute you open the Pixlr Express you are asked if you want to take a picture or use one you already have and what's really great is that the picture can be from any where, on your device or from images you may have stored in the cloud ( as long as you have a cloud storage app on your device, like for example the Dropbox app ). Picture chosen on with the editing .

Like PicsArt Pixlr has lot's of effects choose from and as well as  the ability to add an overlay and / or  border to your image. Pixlr also enables you to add different types of text to your image as-well as stickers if you want to for fun. There are also many different effects to add like for example add a vintage look to your image.
If you just want to use Pixlr as an image editor like in the traditional sense of improving, lightening, removing red eye  etc, Pixlr has lot's of solid tools under the adjustment section, tools like red eye tool, sharpen , blur, auto-fix, vibrance, touch-up and colour tools. Some of the tools I had the most fun with was the colour splash and focal blur tool, I love having a black and white image and just picking out the colour of one object in the photo it's easy to do and looks great. Also under the tools section you can crop or rotate the image.

I think Pixlr has a really easy to use user-interface , it's also real easy to un-do any changes you made in case you messed up your image so you can experiment worry free. Pixlr is as good as PicsArt in the image editor stakes the only reason I placed it second is it's missing the social aspect that PicsArt has and a lot of users are looking for that in their apps these days.  
When you have edited your picture and have it just the way you want it you can save/download the image as different quality / file size which I think is a really useful feature because some users have mentioned to me the low resolution of the final image in some other image editor apps. Pictures can also be downloaded as JPEG or PNG which is great to be given the choice. Images can also be shared directly to other apps you may have on your device like Facebook.

 

I had great fun using the Cymera image editor app. Although it doesn't have as many effects and filters as Pixlr and Picsart. Cymera has all the basic necessary tools needed to crop, rotate and even straighten out an image. The straighten out tool could come in handy as we've all taken a great photo but for want of a better word is a little 'cocked eyed' this tool will fix that.
 
As mentioned there aren’t as many effects and borders but more can be downloaded free. By only downloading the effects etc that you will use should save on device memory. 
In the effects tab there are options to add a border, lighten or add a filter to your image, as well as a blur tool.
In the correct tab there are tools to improve your image by adjusting brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpness as well as a handy auto level tool.
Now to the fun part of the app. In the decoration tab you can apply stickers and text to your images as well as paint/draw on them, there are a good number of stickers already available but there also more to download free if you wish.
 
Cymera has some beauty tools, slim yourself, cover blemishes with the concealer tool or even add makeup. There is also a tool to make your eyes bigger ( although I thought it made me look like a alien but each to their own ). There is even a tool tool to give your subject a smile which I thought worked well. In the beauty tab there is also a fun hairstyle tool to try different hairstyles on yourself, this is one for the girls as there are only female hairstyles, there are only a limited number available but there are more available to download free.
 
The user can share an image from their android browser and edit it app but you need a Cymera account to do that. There is no social login option. Images can shared to other android apps you may have installed but no built in share options apart from to your Cymera account. Apart from these two features you don't need a Cymera account to use the app.
Last but by no means least Cymera has inbuilt camera so you can take a photo and edit it straight away in the app or even better edit it before you take it by using one of the many shoot modes like fish eye or college. The inbuilt camera supports a timer and anti-shake function.
 
Cyera also has a really functional image viewer to help you find the image you wish to edit easier. The user can search for the image via date or name/face as well as location tag. 
All these features packed in a very attractive easy to use GUI.
 
 
Camera360 Ultimate is a little different to the other image editor mentioned in my review as the filters/effects can be applied before you take the photo. Camera360 Ultimate has a camera app with lot's of effects and filters built-in so when you open the app you are given the option to take a photo and the filters/effects can be applied before you take the photo so you get a preview of what the edited image will look like. The built-in camera app has an energy saving mode.
 
It is also possible to edit existing images you may have on your device.
Not all of the filters and effects are available to apply before you take a photo using the app built-in camera but a good number are like tilt-shift, colour-shift, funny effects like fish eye filter and mirror image filters.
Under the effects section which is called magic skin which is designed to improve the final photo with the use of these easy to apply filters useful for the ever popular 'selfie'
If you wish to edit an existing image you will have much more options available to edit your image and there are some new and different effects and filters available to what the other image editors I have reviewed have, so if you fancy a change give Camera360 Ultimate a go.
 
Some of the effects and filters include as listed above magic skin and various filters to add colour or effects to the image. There are filters that enable you to give your image a retro feel making it look like an old photograph or black and white as well as filters that blur the image so it looks like a dream shot from a 1940's film. The colour picker tool allows you to chose one colour in the image and highlight by making the whole image black and white apart from for example the red parts of the image, it's a quick way to make photos look special especially when used with other filters.
As with other image editor apps Camera 360 also has a collage tool to quickly make collages out of a number of images.
More fun tools include the 'huge head' tool which gives the subject of your photo a big head which is supposed to make them look like a baby. There is even a ghost filter to add a spooky ghost to your image which is the first time I've come across that while reviewing image editors.
 
As well as some of the fun effects and filters mentioned above there are some enhance filters which quickly improve the image by applying a filter.
As with most other image editor apps sharing your edited image online with various social network sites is easy with the share button. Share the image with other apps you may have installed on your device or link your Camera360 cloud with your Facebook or Twitter account (as well as other social networks and image sharing websites). I linked my Camera360 cloud to my Facebook account and my edited photos could be shared even when I didn't have the Camera 360 app open easily. You can also view images in the Camera360 cloud on your PC the app doesn't have to be open.
 
The last thing I'd like to mention is Camera360 supports Sony lens style cameras which connect to Sony Android phones, as I don't have one of these types of phones I was unable to test this feature but if you do have you should definitely check it out.

 

Apart from the free web-based Photoshop Express Editor, the same developer has offered to mobile users a free and excellent image editor Adobe Photoshop Express for running on your mobile device.

This app makes full use of multi-touch gestures and is designed with ease-of-use in mind for editing your digital images on the go. You can just drag and drop a handle to crop your photo to a smaller size, touch and turn it clockwise or anti-clockwise to rotate, straighten a shot, or swipe up/down or left/right to flip an image.

Best of all, you can get fine-grained controls for exposure, saturation, tint and contrast by simply sliding your finger across an image, and as you're doing so, you see your editing result on the spot.

Some basic built-in effects and borders are included for quick alterations in this app although it has fewer choices than those available in other apps such as PicsArt and Pixlr-o-matic.

 

PicSay - Photo EditorAward winning Android image editor PicSay - Photo Editor now offers a version of its professional photo software for free.

PicSay is jam-packed with effects as well as enabling you to add text and speech bubbles to pictures, making it perfect for e-cards and presentations on the go. All you need to do is tap the picture to bring up the menu giving you the options of; effects, word balloons as well as titles, stickers, export via Bluetooth, gmail, google+, MMS as well as options to share it via installed apps that support photos.

One of the most amazing features of this software is the ability to "fix" photos using classic features of editing software such as tint, hue, saturation and toning. This enables you to clear up blurry or discolored photos

Many features are included in the free version. This software is ideal for anyone taking casual pictures to send to friends or family while on holiday or away from home.

One of the only issues I had with this software was the image quality: it was restricted to SD, with the only available resolution being 427x320. Both High (640x480) and Maximum (1024x768) definitions are only available in the Pro version.

 

Pixlr-o-maticWith the most impressive GUI of all these applications, Pixlr-o-matic is full of filters and effects not found in most other image editing programs, and these in particular can be used to create really heartfelt pictures.

One thing I didn't notice in the other programs was the ability to take pictures directly through the application, instead of switching apps to take the picture and then switching back again. The other crucial thing I noticed was the wide range of filters for the shots. These allow you to change the picture as a whole instead of having to apply effects bit by bit to the whole photo. You can still do these patch effects, by navigating the GUI using the small taskbar at the bottom. 

This software is extremely good, giving you access to features usually only featured in Pro versions, including the ability to save high definition photos. On the downside, buttons are fixed to the size of the screen instead of a default size, meaning that on smaller screens the text becomes difficult to read. The variety of ways to send photos are more limited than PicSay, making it a better choice for home users than for users on the go.

 

Pho.to LabIf PicSay - Photo Editor is for on the go, and Pixlr-o-matic is for home, then Pho.to Lab is for fun. With over 450 effects, montages and filters, it is definitely something you can use with friends, with lot's of sharing options this a fun and social photo editor app. Unfortunately, the free version applies a watermark to the photo, which can be noticed easily. These can be removed one by one, making it a painful process. Every time you remove the watermark however, a dialog opens up asking you to buy the full version. Apart from this, the application had the slowest photo processor. Here is a image processing speed guide:

PicSay: 0.48 secs
Pixlr-o-matic: 1.60 secs
Pho.to Lab: 24.40 secs (+12.00 secs to remove watermark)

If you are looking for fun, casual photos when you have plenty of time, I would suggest Pho.To Lab. If you are looking for something a bit more personalized, I would recommend one of the above applications.

 
 
More apps to be reviewed:

 

 

Related Products and Links

You might want to check out these Gizmo's articles too:

 
Quick Selection Guide

PicsArt - Photo Studio
5
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Combines a web service with a stand-alone program
This app has lot's of features, effects, tools etc the most I've seen available in a free image editor app, plus all the image sharing options.
The effect and filters and in a separate part of the app to the edit image options. You have to select your effect or filter then select save then edit the image which sometimes can be a fiddly.
http://picsart.com/
3.15.1
Varies with device but around 6.13MB up to 20MB
Unrestricted freeware
Android (now also available for iOS)
Pixlr Express
5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Easy to use user-interface, lot's of effects and image editor tools.
None that I have come across as yet.
http://pixlr.com/
2.2.1
6.9MB
Unrestricted freeware
Requires Android 2.2 and up (also available for iOS)
Cymera
4
 
Combines a web service with a stand-alone program
Easy to use GUI and fun to use.
Less effects/borders than some other apps but this is made up for by other features such as the built-in camera app.
1.4.8
19 MB
Unrestricted freeware
Requires Android 2.2 and up (also available for iOS)
Camera360 Ultimate
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
The user can edit photos as they are taken with the app built-in camera.
There doesn't seem to be a simple 'undo changes' feature in the app.
https://www.camera360.com/
4.8.6
21MB
Unrestricted freeware
Requires Android 2.3 and up (also available for iOS and WP8)

Camera360 has a web app so without downloading the app you could try out some of it's image editing features http://web.camera360.com/

Adobe Photoshop Express
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Ease of use, allows for cropping, rotating, straightening and flipping photos, fine-grained controls for exposure, saturation, tint and contrast.
Limited choices for built-in effects and borders.
2.0.500
22 MB
Unrestricted freeware
Android 1.5 and up (also available for iOS)
PicSay - Photo Editor
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Large number of effects, abilitiy to "fix" photos and easy to send photos.
High and Maximum Quality pictures only available in full version and not enough fonts for text.
1.5.0.1
1.2 MB
Unrestricted freeware
Android 1.5 and Up
Pixlr-o-matic
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Excellent GUI, great filters and special effects and can save photos in High Definition.
Hard to read text on small phones, not many ways to share/save photos and large download file size.
http://pixlr.com/o-matic/
2.2.1
6.5 MB
Unrestricted freeware
Android 2.1 and Up
Pho.to Lab
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Amazing effects, photo montages and features not normally found in free products
Long processing time, watermark on photo
http://android.pho.to/
1.7
4 MB
Unrestricted freeware
Android 2.1 and Up

 

Editor

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Juxxize. Registered members can contact the editor with any comments or questions they might have by clicking here.

 
Tags

best free digital image editor for android, best free photo editor, top free mobile photo editor, top free editor for photo, best free image editor for mobile device, edit photo on smart phones, edit images free on android devices, edit photos free on android

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Comments

by Tim001 on 3. July 2013 - 20:48  (108951)

hi guys. I'm done testing picsart... I do agree.. its beautiful , its diverse ... but there are three issues that surface on low end devices...
the Internal memory, processing speed, data usage (if you are a minimalist)...
it was designed for social networking... and hence is heavy on data...the app is relatively smooth. however applying effects is slow and CPU intensive. that's not the only problems I experienced..
the loading of the images was tricky (probably because of RAM limitations) the best way is to parse it as a file path.(via a file manager) ..
image quality is a lil better than Adobe PS Express ...

by Juxxize on 4. July 2013 - 11:41  (108963)

Adobe express is a solid image editor but after testing PicsArt and now Pixlr I just thought they were better with more options and tools, in using both I have found that Pixlr seems to have a smaller memory footprint probably because it doesn't have the social aspect to it like PicsArt does. My device is just a cheap tablet running ice cream sandwich Android 4.0. I did find that in both apps loading the image took no more than 10 seconds and the effects were applied within a few seconds.

by Tim001 on 26. June 2013 - 21:33  (108743)

Hi, I'm using a low end android device with a custom ROM. I am a fan of Adobe PS express( because of its smooth UI and responsiveness.) However I am not sure if I am the only one who noticed the dramatic loss of image quality after editing,
it bothers me.
I'm also checking out picsart;

by Juxxize on 28. June 2013 - 10:41  (108770)

Hi there Tim001, I'm just in the process of reviewing / trying out Pixlr app , it has the ability to save images in different quality / file size.

by JasonNeo (not verified) on 10. October 2012 - 3:32  (100565)

Hi,thanks for the review...
But is there a photo editor for android which can paste text to an image along with a white/color background,so as to make photos with name/date printed in the bottom.This can be easily done with adobe photoshop and photoready in windows xp.If windows xp could do it 12 years back,why is there no android app that can perform this task even today?...

by Juxxize on 27. December 2012 - 12:51  (104021)

Hi I'm in the process of looking at and reviewing PicsArt which does have the ability to paste text onto an image/ photo.

by BerkuT on 10. March 2012 - 4:28  (90162)

Good work. May I suggest you to add PicsArt? I have been using it for a while and I am more than happy with the results. Even though it needs an active internet connection to work at its fullest, it works fine offline (some features get limited, however).

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