Hello friends. I have had a dilemma for a year or so now regarding email clients on Android. They all seem to have issues and sacrifices. So I decided to test out the mainstream ones that I would trust with my email stuff.
Let me start off by acknowledging a couple things:
- I know, I know "Why not just use the Gmail app"? The Gmail app has a couple of key sacrifices I will cover later in my review of it.
- "My email client [X] works perfectly!" That's awesome! I want to hear from you, take the poll and tell me what you use and please share in the comments too. If your email client isn't on this list, I will add it! But you gotta fill in the poll for me to be able to do so.
- I am not meaning to put down any developers, users, or anything with this. This is a critical and objective look at common email clients I have used and they have sacrifices for me. It might be perfect for you and I want to hear about your positive (and negative) experiences with different clients.
- I AM NOT BEING PAID BY ANY DEVELOPER OR ANYTHING
- I am not able to test the Samsung Email App or the LG Email Client at this moment because I lost my old s8 I was planning to test it on and I don't own an LG Phone. I will hopefully find the S8 in the coming days and update with my usage.
- If you have pro's and con's of listed email clients here that I did not touch on, fill out the form at the end of this post! I will be adding to this post it is not meant to be stagnant.
- I will be making the results available for anyone to view at the bottom as well
- This post is formatted for Desktop, if you are having issues viewing it, pull it up on the desktop site.
- Added Outlook and Spark to the Poll because Imma dumb.
- Cleaned up a lot of entries (Mainly Fair, K-9, Nine, and AquaMail) and corrected information I was wrong about.
- Added link to the updated k-9 on F-Droid
Alright, lets get to the email clients I have used and tested.
- BlackBerry Hub/Inbox
- Sony Email
- Samsung Email
- LG Email
- AOSP Email
- k-9 Email
- Fair Email
- Aqua Mail
- Spike Email
- Spark Email
- Inbox (RIP)
Below is a breakdown with Pros, Cons, Notes of each client, Screenshots of the Clients (Home page/Inbox, settings, and maybe and extra page or two), and a link to where to get the email client.
- Devices: Pixel 4 XL, Android 11 & Sony Xperia 5 II Android 10
- I created a throwaway email to sign into these email clients with because I dont want yall to see goodies
I have no screenshots, everyone has this app basically. Find it on the play store or already on your phone.
- Very Smooth integration
- Comes with all android devices
- Easy to set up
- Notification actions are not customizable
- Has been having notification issues for many users
- Cannot add a Google/Gsuite account without adding it to your android device as a whole without some jank tweaking
- " One major con of gmail, and I haven't seen this behaviour anywhere else, is that when you Reply All, it does not show all recipients in the mail chain body. It only shows it was replied to you. Please understand that I'm talking about the mail body. The to/cc fields show everyone. It's bad for traceability. " - @imakesawdust
Gmail app works rather well. However, it is not exactly productivity focused or "ground breaking" like some other apps (Inbox, Spark, Outlook's Focused Inbox Default) A couple glaring issues I have with it were covered in cons but it does not let you change notification actions. I do not archive emails, I mark them as read or I delete them. Along with this, I cannot add an email account that has any Google integration without it adding that google or gsuite account to my device. For example, I cannot just add my school and work email without them being added to my Android device and thus removing access to some features on the device like assistant 2.0.
Blackberry Inbox (used to be Hub) Screenshots
| Link to BlackBerry Manager
- Very productivity focused
- Includes a helpful calendaupcoming events section in the inbox
- Has great customization options for creating custom "views" allowing you to curate different local inboxes to combine inboxes and folders from different email addresses.
- Can integrate notifications from other apps such as Social Media and Group Messaging apps
If you have numinous folders in your email account, syncing is weird and difficult.
- Search function is broken at times
- Sent folder syncing breaks occasionally
- requires you to have Hub+ services from Blackberry which is paid after a certain usage time period
- Otherwise requires Blackberry Manager to download both Hub+ services and Inbox
- Doesn't look the best but is ugly by any means
- Notifications have been weird recently; double notifications, grouping and not being able to ungroup.
This is a great all around Hub for your notifications from both email and social media/group messaging apps. It has weird screen formatting issues and for those with cutouts and notches, it can look weird.
It has serious issues with folder syncing becuase I have 10-20 custom folders in my personal gmail and I have to manually tell it to sync every single folder and it is not a single click but rather a couple click process.
During testing, I have found that you can indeed sync all folders with just a click or two.
Sony Email Screenshots
| Link to ApkMirror
- Very clean layout
- useful upcoming events footer
- Simple enough to set up
- syncs all folders without any issues.
- Supports oAuth for gmail accounts for simple sign in
- Will be shut down within a year most likely
- Having issues signing into some smtp settings, I got it working but it is a pita
My internship gsuite email will not sync smtp, same with a test gsuite account I created however, other gsuite emails seam to work. I have gone through and tried the 2fa, app password, enabling less secure apps, changed admin policies on the admin side. I cannot get smtp to work on these accounts with this client.
I got this to work finally, I had to make it think it was a gmail based account first then finally sign in by changing information. Outlook Screenshots
| Play Store Link
- Very secure
- Has the backbone of Microsoft
- Makes managing multiple emails pretty easy
- Has a Focus inbox (pro for some, con for me)
- Requires you to sign into a google account and add the account to your android devices.
- The focus inbox is crap imo
- It auto defaults to calendar notifications that I find annoying.
Outlook gets the job done. The UI is meh, I dont like some of their choices for features.
No screenshots as of right now | Play Store Link
- Easy set up
- Looks decent
- syncs all folders
- Samsung device specific
- Does not offer a lot of customization options
Notes: I am not a fan of the design of this app but it is not bad by any means. It is Samsung device exclusive. I do not like the auto default to calendar syncing.
No screenshots | ApkMirror Link
AOSP/LineageOS Email Client Screenshots
| ApkMirror Link
- Super Simple
- Clean looking
- Works with any account I have tried
- Will always be free
- Not simple to find
- Support will most likely be phased out
- Very little customization
This client is the simplest out of all of them. Not many customization options, straight forward setup. Unless you use a tweaked version, it doesn't natively support theme changing with device theme change.
| Play Store Link
- Support offered
- Syncing works very well
- Offers calendar cynic and views
- Tasks syncing and management
- Paid (Just a one time payment, I was wrong about that originally)
- Doesn't offer much customization even though you're paying for it
- Starting to look out of date
I personally don't think we should have to pay for such a simple app. If the service was decoupled from usage of the app, I would be okay with it. But a lot of features are locked behind a paywall. The material design is starting feel out of date considering you are paying for this.
K-9 Email Screenshots
| Play Store Link
| F-Droid link with Updated version
- Open Source
- Great control over settings
Out of date (on android 10 I get the app targeting earlier API Version warning every time I open it) There is a beta version that is in development that has material design!
- Setting can be confusing/not the easiest set up
I love the fact this is open source! But the primary app is very out of date. I really do not like the look of it and it plays weirdly with notches and hole punches.**Updated Notes:**A couple people pointed out that there is a beta version out that has a material design, I haven't tried it but will and will report back with screengrabs!
Fair Email Screenshots
| Play Store Link
- Open Source
- Very granular control over sync and email
- Being updated often
- Fair amount of customization
- Does not look the best
- doesn't play well with stricture GSuite accounts.
| Play Store Link
Shoves paid version down your throat
- Apparently the version on the Play Store is purposefully a two week trial.
- Pins paid banner to compose and sends them out as signatures (which I find really annoying if you want me to try a two week period, let me us the full features for a week or two then pin the banned back)
The constant annoying for the paid version which is already at a high price is a complete deal breaker for me, even though this is a two week trial. The fact that it pins it to your signature is absurd when you are supposed to let me try it for two weeks and see if I like it.
| Play Store Link
- Offers all in one solution for calendar, contacts
- Decent UI
- Has a ton of features
- The UI is IOS looking based
- It can get overwhelming
- Is bloated
- Has a paid version that they hide good features behind
I am impartial to this UI, but I wish it would have its own design following material instead of a Facebook and IOS mix. It doesn't look that good for me and is too busy. It does have a lot of features though.
| Play Store Link
- Very clean UI
- Easy to us
- Offers just enough without being overwhelming
- Does not have a ton of features
I really like Spark, I have hesitation of its security though. It looks really good and is pretty simple.
Additional Email Clients from you guys! Email by Edison
This is a Google Forms poll just to get an idea of what you guys use, what you like about it, and what you wish would be improved
about your chosen client. If you have not input for likes/dislikes, just write "n/a"
I left options for people who use two email clients (if you use more, just write about your preferred ones I suppose) but they are not marked as required.
I am not doing anything with this form other than just showing you guys what others voted and using the data to update the pros and cons lists of the email clients. It will be anonymous.
Box Pics TLDR
: Pretty much agree with Norman from Tested in the review
posted yesterday, with some additional notes on comparison to G1 and Q2. Background
: Previously owned a Rift CV1, Quest 1, & HP Reverb G1. I've also used a Rift S, Vive, and Vive Pro. We play a pretty even split between roomscale and seated simulator games. Beat Saber, HLA, IL-2, Elite Dangerous, and Project Cars 2 are my main games, but my wife mostly plays short single-player VR only titles like The Room, Down the Rabbit Hole, etc. We've had both the G2 and a DAS-modded Q2 for about week to compare, with intention of keeping the one we like better. PC Specs:
I9-9900k, Z390 Maximus XI Hero, RTX 3080 FE, 32 GB 3200MHz RAM, M.2 SSD, Asus RT-AX86U WiFi 6 Router. PC is water-cooled in Fractal R6 case that in total weighs about 40 lbs. Environment:
We currently live in a ~1400 ft^2 house with lots of small rooms. My PC normally lives in my office which is small room with an 8ft ceiling. I have an IPD of 64mm and I'm 6ft 3in tall with long arms. This is important for context later on... OrdeShipping Notes:
I pre-ordered from Connection on 5/29 within minutes of the orders going live. When orders started shipping on 11/11, my order stayed in "open." On the 12th after seeing no change I called Connection and was informed that several of the early orders were put on a "hold" status for some unknown reason and that my headset would be shipped in the next batch. I requested expedited shipping to compensate for the delay so they gave me next day air delivery at no charge. Can't complain too much other than I wish I had known there was an issue with my order... Panel/Lenses
: Compared to the G1, the lenses on the G2 are definitely an improvement, but the panel changes are more noticeable. The clarity in the sweet spot is slightly better (like 5-10%), but the larger sweet spot (feels like 50-75% larger) is more noticeable. In driving or flying sims, you're not going be reading text at like twice the distance you were before or anything like that, but you won't have to look quite as directly at a sign to read it. The colors and brightness on the G2 are way better, definitely more vibrant. The G1 looks a bit washed out in comparison. In Elite Dangerous, I almost need to look away from stars after a jump just because of how bright they are. It's difficult to overstate how awesome the G2 panel is. Definitely would pick it over a 1080p monitor. In terms of clarity, I would rank them G2>G1>Q2, but they are are all decently close to each other. In terms of colors, I would say G2>Q2>G1 with more noticeable differences. With the G2 there is virtually no SDE even when I'm looking for it in the sweet spot. Quest 2 PCVR:
I had a surprisingly good experience running Quest 2 Link in V23 with 90Hz at the default resolution. When I tried the Q1 with link in the Apr 2020, the compression, lower panel resolution, and 72Hz just produced unplayable experience in E:D for me. The Q2 with this last update is a completely different animal. Very smooth with very minimal compression. Honestly if I had to put a number on it, I'd say the G2 picture was about 15-20% better; noticeable, but not game-changing. Compared to the G2, the Q2 has a little bit of SDE, but I only notice it if I look for it. The sweet spot is smaller on the Q2 as well. Fairly comparable to the G1. We also tried Virtual Desktop with some roomscale games and were very impressed. Held a 30-40ms lag that was almost imperceptible. Might be deal breaker for competitive gamers, but for single-player it's very playable. Speakers:
The G1 speakers weren't terrible in my ears, but they weren't anything special. The G2 was much better. The depth and soundstage were impressive and wouldn't really see the need to replace them unless you wanted noise cancellation. Note that I did have issues with one of my G2 speakers. It would only work when turned to certain positions, frequently cutting out when I tried to adjust it. I removed and reseated it a couple times, but it didn't fix the issue. The built in Q2 speakers, while better than the Q1, are pretty hollow, but the DAS speakers are pretty much on par with the G2. Headset Comfort
: The G2 is by far the most comfortable VR headset we've tried out of the box. Honestly, the G1 is pretty good too but the cable can get annoying during quick head movements. The G2 cable is a huge improvement. When arranged well or hung from the ceiling, it feels like you are wireless. The Q2 stock is atrocious. The DAS mod makes it much better, but the extra weight would still be noticeable in longer play sessions. If you care about light from the nose area, the G2 is really great. Completely blacked out but I didn't feel any pressure on my nose. The nose cutout area is bigger than the G1, if that was a problem for you. The Q2 has a lot of light bleed, but honestly it didn't bother me that much. Controllers:
I like the button layout of the G2 over the G1, but that's pretty much the only positive thing I can say about them. The haptic feedback (vibration) is the same as the G1 which is, in a word, anemic. They make a lot of noise, but don't actually create convincing feedback. Swiping through blocks in Beat Saber just feels so hollow with the G1 and G2 controller. The lack of capacitive touch was also disheartening. In games where your hands are the primary interaction tools, the Oculus Touch controllers are just way more immersive and satisfying to use. Also, the ring placement on the G2 controllers makes my arm reach about 2 inches further than the Q2, which is problem for me when it comes to ceiling fans and room boundaries. Tracking:
The G2 tracking area is better on the side than the G1, so throwing and horizontal swinging is much better. The vertical tracking area is about the same though, with particular problems around waste level. In both Reverb headsets, if I let my arms hang naturally I would frequently lose tracking on one or both controllers if I was looking directly forward, or up. This isn't the end of world in and of itself, but sometimes when the WMR software loses tracking it will erroneously move or twist your virtual controller to completely different part of the screen. Very immersion breaking, and sometimes would take a few seconds or a pause to resolve. The Q2 tracking in comparison is virtually flawless. A couple small misses here and there, but they quickly fixed themselves without doing a huge virtual dance off. Software
: We are definitely not big FB fans, but when it comes to software support, Oculus has it's act together. Of the three OS and menu environments (Oculus, Steam VR, & WMR), Oculus is just way farther ahead of the other two. The menus and home environments are very stable, easy to use, and have a lot of nice built in features. The double-tap passthrough is a lifesaver when it comes to interacting with objects and small children around your play area. With MWR and Steam VR, I have to walk guests through everything and frequently stop to troubleshoot. My wife has about a 50% success rate in getting it set up with out me. With the Quest, I can pretty much hand them the handset, tell them how to find the tutorial, and away they go. The Quest Guardian setup is just leagues beyond WMR boundary system. Literally just walk into a room, draw a circle with the headset on, then boom, your done. It even remembers the area when you go back to it. The WMR setup is bit more laborious and will sometimes forget your area even if you don't move your setup. One area that Steam VR handily beats Oculus though is game cost. Paying $30 for a three year old, 45 minute VR title to play only the Quest is bit absurd. Thank goodness for Steam sales and Virtual Desktop. Ease of Movement
: So there are no surprises here, but the Q2 is really the best option if you need to move your play area somewhat frequently. A solid gaming laptop or well managed SFF PC might work too, but even then you are still dealing with cables and guardian areas. With my smallish office space, I frequently need to move my PC to play roomscale VR without worrying about hitting something (usually the ceiling fan). But that means I have to move my entire PC to a different room when I want to use it for roomscale VR. Using built-in games or VD on the Q2 means I can just hop over to a different room play in a different room with minimal setup. Our Decision:
We're keeping the Quest 2 and returning the G2. It was super painful boxing up the G2 to return back to Connection after seeing how beautiful the picture was, but for our usage case, the Q2 just makes more sense. I can't afford to spend 20 of 90 minutes of playtime moving a PC around and dealing with software problems. The question for us was not, "Is the G2 good?" It was, "how close can the Q2 get visually to G2?" For us, the answer is "close enough."
: For those that pre-ordered the G2 or are still considering it, I would highly recommend still getting it and trying out for yourself. Only you are going to know what level of tracking and visual experience is going to be satisfactory to you. If you find Facebook's terms and policies tolerable, maybe give the Q2 with PCVR a shot as well.
EDIT: Added more details on Q2 visual differences from G2