App and game reviews by Mobilism's Android Reviews team
Aug 13th, 2015, 8:20 pm

App: Solid Explorer File Manager v2.5.6
Developer: NeatBytes
Category: System
Price: N/A
IAP: $0.99 - $1.99

Solid Explorer File Manager is a sleek, stylish and modernized application for managing your devices, files, and cloud services, which boasts a complete implementation of Google's Material Design. Quite a few thorough file managers exist on the market today; more notably, the completely free ES File Explorer File Manager that dominates in popularity on Google Play. However, Solid Explorer has become uncontested in its fresh appearance and smooth functionality, and is undoubtedly the most attractive and streamlined file manager offering an equivalently full feature set. Full customization of the interface is a clear advantage as you can change the color scheme to your liking and even choose between a staggering twenty-eight quick presets depending on your mood or environment. There are also free and retail plugin icon sets available for download that give you a total of eight different stylish types of Material Design icons to dress up your folders nicely. As you navigate through the entire application, you are treated to smooth transitional effects and animated elements that clearly adhere elegantly to the overall modernized philosophy of Material Design. Swiping between windows to access a dual pane system, smooth hidden rollup menus and holding down on files and folders to access the operations menu are all part of the clever streamlining NeatBytes included for aesthetics. I'm personally not the biggest fan of Material Design, but the interface of Solid Explorer is simply beautiful and offers a splendid experience for mundane management tasks that may have completely changed my opinion. Upon choosing a black background, purple menus and dark pink captions, I scrolled and swiped through the app with sheer delight as it felt custom made just for me.

Solid Explorer utilizes what is called a dual file panel system to navigate quickly between two target locations that can include local storage, SD card, USB OTG, cloud, FTP, SFTP, WebDav or SMB/CIFS network locations. Additionally, Box, Copy, Dropbox, Google Drive, Mediafire, OneDrive, Owncloud, Sugarsync, Mega and Yandex cloud services are supported, which make this app very powerful and convenient. You may swipe between panels to copy or move files easily, or optionally have two panels showing at once for simple drag and drop operations. These locations can also be optionally saved upon exiting to display the next time you start the app, creating a fast pipeline for repetitive daily file management to the same locations. An option to enable root access exists that gives you full access to all system files in the same manner, though the uninitiated should be very careful venturing into this realm. An interesting option for folder icons will allow them to display mini inset icons of their respective apps, which is especially handy in the Android/Obb folder to give a visual as to which app the files inherently belong. With that option selected, it will display all known and supported app and game icons, which is a time saver with large amounts of installs. Between the clever visual design and the smooth operation of this dual panel system, file management is easier and faster than ever. As you move or copy files, there is a hidden operations panel you can display that elegantly lists thorough statistics for the operation with pie charts and all relative file and locational information. Otherwise, a small circular operations shortcut resides in the lower right corner that will display a working percentage of that operation. This shortcut normally offers the options to create a new folder, file or cloud server connection that will hide as you swipe and scroll through the file panels, effectively keeping out of the way.

Robust archive support includes the ability to read and extract ZIP, 7ZIP, RAR and TAR archives, even in encrypted formats, and you may create password protected ZIP and 7ZIP archives, as well. Detailed file information can be displayed in any folder or complete location with storage statistics and pie charts, which is especially useful for your cloud services. Another nice touch is a viewer for APK files upon installation that lists the version number versus any installed versions and other interesting and useful data. The Solid Explorer interface has a hidden menu on the left side, accessible with a swipe, that holds your storage locations, bookmarks and categorized collections with relative storage meters and statistics listed at a glance. Selecting an item in collections, then choosing the properties option pulls up a dynamic and beautiful statistics screen listing all relative storage information. For example, selecting properties in the Photos collection will treat you to a slide show of your images with pan and zoom effects as you can see exactly just how much space the relative files occupy. Even the image viewer is very well done and surpasses the quality of the stock image browser as you can share images directly or quickly set them as wallpaper with full pinch zoom gestures supported. There is an optional Cast plugin available that will present a viewing option as you select a video file, which is essentially Chromecast support that will conveniently broadcast your media on your TV. Categorized file sorting can arrange your photos, videos and music in one place for easy and quick access, and the included music player and image viewer will allow you to efficiently play content stored remotely. Whether it be files and media locally or remotely, there is a streamlined and stylish way to view or manage nearly everything you can imagine in one compact package.

As Solid Explorer is a robust and thorough solution on its own for $1.99, retail plugins include USB OTG, Mega cloud service, Shadow Icons, Paper Icons and Unfolded Icons for a total of $7.24 for the entire package. As this may be expensive for a file manager in the market, I would easily say that it is worth the price as there is nothing in its class that provides so many features with such a pleasurable experience. About a year ago, I tried Solid Explorer prior to its induction into the Material Design stage and was impressed back then, but opted to try other file mangers in my quest for perfection. I then recently revisited the new version with all the features, especially with interest in the wide cloud support, and immediately decided Solid Explorer would be my primary file manager of choice. If it could sway the opinion of a Material Design skeptic such as myself, then those who prefer that new look will absolutely marvel at its style and unique functionality. If you are ready to step into the next generation of file managers to enjoy an elegant and efficient experience, then I highly recommend Solid Explorer to be your choice.

  • An elegant, stylish and smooth file management solution.
  • Smooth and efficient dual file panels for enhanced productivity.
  • Supports a wide range of remote connections and cloud servers.
  • Included media viewers and statistics displays with storage information.

  • The entire package, including all plugins, is a bit expensive.
  • More available cloud server plugins would be more than welcomed.
  • Occasionally text isn't auto-selected when renaming files and folders.

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Reviewer rating: Image
Device/OS used: Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note 3, Nexus 7 2012, Nexus 7 2012 / KitKat v4.4.2, KitKat v4.4.4, Lollipop v5.1.1

Purchase at Google Play
Mobilism: Solid Explorer File Manager v2.5.6 build 200149 [Unlocked]

Aug 13th, 2015, 8:20 pm
Oct 26th, 2016, 2:20 pm
I love this explorer. Opening multiple OneDrive/GDrive has never been easier for me. And of course the ftp server plugin.
Oct 26th, 2016, 2:20 pm
Nov 3rd, 2016, 7:05 pm
skycreeper wrote:I love this explorer. Opening multiple OneDrive/GDrive has never been easier for me. And of course the ftp server plugin.

It's a fantastic file explorer app that offers a very sleek and stylish method to manage files, cloud services and network locations, as well as offer built-in viewers for many file formats. This app definitely stays on all my devices, but I have found X-plore File Manager to also be indispensable and to offer many more features for power users. It also offers more cloud services to choose from, though Copy is now defunct and no longer functional. Either app is amazing, though I find having both installed can be very handy, especially when SMB operations sometimes suffer from DNS issues on a host PC. One file manager always seems to get through no matter what.
Nov 3rd, 2016, 7:05 pm