App and game reviews by Mobilism's Android Reviews team
Jan 21st, 2016, 6:53 pm
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App: X-plore File Manager v4.01.10
Developer: Lonely Cat Games
Category: Tools
Price: N/A
IAP: $1.35 - $21.60

X-plore File Manager is a fast and efficient solution for Android system management that boasts an expansive feature set in a small package of less than three megabytes. As my extensive personal tests have covered dozens of other file managers, including the very attractive Solid Explorer, X-plore offers a more thorough experience aimed at power users who require functionality over form. Completely missing are scores of icon packs, plugins, themes and various add-ons that tend to bloat apps and use much more memory than necessary. Impressive speed, abundant features and streamlined operation is the primary focus of X-plore; combined with unique and thoughtful ideas, make this app pleasingly different from other offerings in its class. Let's explore X-plore to see why...

Two simple color schemes of either black/gray or aqua/blue are available for the interface that is displayed in directory tree style folder listings, which lends an overall quickness to browsing and fast navigation. It is a dual-pane system that can be swiped horizontally in portrait orientation to switch between windows of source and target destinations, or swapped with a handy button in the configurable scrolling function menu. The dual panes are readily visible in landscape orientation with no need to swipe back and forth. This vertical scrolling function menu contains the majority of operations needed to manage files and windows, which has its separate editor to toggle and sort each button to suit your particular needs. Also, a number of typical and convenient functions exist in a popup menu accessed by long pressing files and folders to bring up relative options during usage. Given a couple hours to adapt to this interface, mundane operations became more efficient, less backtracking occurred pulling out of folders and access to network and cloud locations was a breeze. As there are no cute animations or breathtaking effects while navigating, my file management tasks appeared to speed up dramatically, as did file transfer times.

Heavy network and cloud users won't be disappointed at the wide range of supported protocols and services offered built-in, needing no external plugins whatsoever. Box, Dropbox, Drive, OneDrive, Copy, Mega, Yandex, SugarSync, Dump Truck, WebDav, Picasa, MediaFire and the elusive Amazon cloud are available with multiple accounts supported for each, as can be seen in the screenshot below. Full WLAN, SFTP, SSH Shell, DLNA/UPnP, SMB, FTP and WiFi file sharing are also included to communicate in nearly every possible protocol possible. File transfer speeds are quicker than most other file managers I have tested with not one single transfer error, bottleneck or issue in the dozens of gigabytes tested as of this writing. With your windows set accordingly to their normally preferred locations, a check box can be clicked to select the entire contents of a folder and sent off in a matter of two simple clicks. Rather than long pressing files and folders to select, responsive check boxes reside to the right for both, resulting in a fast 'tap and go' result for optimum speed. Between this quick 'Select all' method and the zero delay of these individual check boxes, bulk and selective file transfers are pleasantly speedy and efficient due to the streamlined interface.

X-plore also includes built-in media viewers for images, music, text, video, Rar, Zip, 7zip, Tar, Hex, SQLite databases, APK as Zip and more, all of which can be toggled and configured in settings. Root exploration and management is fully supported if you have superuser status on your device, which can be toggled in options, as well. File sharing is completely supported by Bluetooth, email, or whatever your device supports, from any location with a long press to access the popup menu. Thumbnails will appear for image and video files, as well as special inset icons on folders for special locations such as favorites that can be chosen by long pressing to access the menu and added to your list. Favorite locations are placed chronologically on the Home menu among all location options and can be renamed and deleted, but not later sorted or organized as of this writing. Not to exclude app management, there is also an App Manager to list relative information of installed apps and to batch uninstall as desired, saving time versus deleting them manually. To aid in storage management, a simple push of the space analyzer on a current location will graph out with percentages file allocations in that particular storage location.

Getting to some unique, extremely convenient and time saving features, X-plore paves the way on the unbeaten path of their relative competitors. Of great importance to KitKat users, X-plore will automatically create a KitKat sandbox location listed among the menu of various location types. As apps no longer have write access to the SD card directly with that OS version, this custom location is a virtualized space utilizing the SD card as a clever workaround. This means that all those apps that refuse to be moved to the SD card can now actually reside there using this virtual location. Their relative generated data may also be stored there as in the days of old. To delete this virtualized location, you simply clear the app data in Android's app settings, but caution must be given as it will delete everything stored there. My favorite feature of X-plore is an import and export option for all global configuration settings you incur past the defaults. Exporting your settings into a tiny Zip file, it will save all settings relating to buttons, cloud locations and passwords, network locations and credentials, favorites, UI theme and every option you set in settings or created manually within the app. Instead of taking an hour to set up X-plore with your configuration on a new device or upon reinstalling, it takes only a couple seconds to locate and import that Zip file. Other developers, please take note; this is how it's done!

For the somewhat inglorious aspects, utilizing the built-in archive extraction method is a bit tricky and awkward. As you may view Zip, Rar, Tar and 7zip archives as folders easily enough, extracting these relative files requires the other pane to be set to the target location. You cannot simply and intuitively long press on an archive and select an 'Extract here' option as implemented in most file managers. Sending the archive to my Rar app worked a bit faster so that I could get that option and simply extract to a default location in mere seconds. This also applies if you are transferring files on the same storage location as there is no cut and paste method available. You must use a second window pane to transfer or extract to anywhere else. Also, the inability to reorder favorites as desired can be a hassle if you have many. Adding your favorite locations in order and keeping them that way is really the only option at present. As X-plore is activity developed with numerous updates per week, I am confident that any minor shortcomings will be ironed out over time and given the same amount of consideration as the existing wide array of features have seen. Given the scope of incredible functionality this app provides, these little nitpicks can be easily be forgiven in lieu of an outstanding overall experience.

As seemingly thorough as this review appears to be, there are so many features and options available that this limited space barely suffices. Daily use still reveals more hidden caches of useful features packed into this dynamo of a file manager that it's now my primary solution for Android. I would certainly categorize X-plore as a tool for intermediate to advanced users that require great and specialized control of their devices within all methods of inherent protocols and services. The fact that X-plore weighs in at under three megabytes in APK form is astounding for what it does, and does so very well. For those who desire a straightforward approach and all inclusive solution to file and network management with all the bells and whistles, but minus the lights and tinsel, X-plore goes where no file manager has gone before. It's also quite a bit faster than most for the added benefit of time management, as well.

Pros:
  • Impressive list of supported network protocols.
  • Ability to import and export all configuration settings.
  • Offers the most amount of comparative cloud services.
  • Offers a KitKat sandbox location for SD card utilization.
  • Very useful built-in file viewers for nearly every format.
  • Fast, efficient and organized file and network management.
  • Extremely small app size considering overall relative functionality.

Cons:
  • No way to reorganize favorite locations after adding to the list.
  • Archive extraction and same location transfers can be awkward.

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Reviewer rating: Image
Device/OS used: Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note 3, Nexus 7 2012, Nexus 7 2013 / KitKat v4.4.2, KitKat v4.4.4, Lollipop v5.1.1

Purchase at Google Play
Purchase at Amazon
Mobilism: X-plore File Manager v4.01.10 [Donate]


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Jan 21st, 2016, 6:53 pm
Jan 22nd, 2016, 1:31 am
still one of the best file manager for android...hope to see an official material design soon. :thumbup:
nice review bro Shardz!! :)
Jan 22nd, 2016, 1:31 am

Do not forget to thank and support the developers! If you like the app, buy it!
Jan 22nd, 2016, 1:37 am
Balatan wrote:still one of the best file manager for android...hope to see an official material design soon. :thumbup:
nice review bro Shardz!! :)

It really is one fantastic app and I fell in love with it very quickly! Thank you very much for bringing it here and introducing us to something so incredible, as well as the modified versions, too! I appreciate your kind comment and support and can't wait for the next versions. Keep up the great work!
Jan 22nd, 2016, 1:37 am
Jan 22nd, 2016, 7:04 am
Looks like the once great ES file explorer has fallen far behind.
Jan 22nd, 2016, 7:04 am
Jan 22nd, 2016, 11:38 am
Using X-plore from my very first phone with Android (Galaxy S2) 4 years ago and still love it!! The best file manager
Jan 22nd, 2016, 11:38 am
Jan 25th, 2016, 2:58 am
Disk4mat wrote:Looks like the once great ES file explorer has fallen far behind.

I've had the free version of ES Explorer installed for years as it's such a well rounded package and is most difficult to beat at that price point. Then ES Pro came along recently and offered nearly nothing new except more control over the Home page and the omission of ads. Another issue I had was that it would prompt me for a password when I set a WLAN location as a default page upon starting the app. Even though it does have my credentials saved, it would prompt me anyway. Since I have a ton of cloud accounts, X-plore is the one package that supported every one of my accounts so that I could delete those cloud apps for good. I'm now down to X-plore and Solid Explorer as I finally uninstalled the rest. However, ES Explorer is still a fantastic package in its own right and it's still in the Big Four, depending on your needs.Thanks for the comment and mentioning ES Explorer!

CarelessWhisper wrote:Using X-plore from my very first phone with Android (Galaxy S2) 4 years ago and still love it!! The best file manager

I somehow missed it and ended up purchasing Astro File Manager as my first foray into system management. The first thing I did was email the developer and ask for a night mode as everything was blinding white. He replied after a few days saying, "That's an interesting idea. I will consider it". Years later, still no night mode available and I deleted it long ago. Now I'm finally living large with power like fortunate users such as yourself who had the insight to buy into something properly designed. If there was a review available of Astro at the time, I'd be three dollars richer today. Thanks for the interest and comment, it's much appreciated!
Jan 25th, 2016, 2:58 am
Nov 16th, 2016, 11:05 am
Been using this since 7-8 years. It made a long way from Symbian to Android.
The Best for Symbian OS and now for Android too.
Nov 16th, 2016, 11:05 am
Nov 18th, 2016, 2:11 am
priyatam90 wrote:Been using this since 7-8 years. It made a long way from Symbian to Android.
The Best for Symbian OS and now for Android too.

It really is my favorite file manager for any platform at this point. It's fast, efficient, chock full of useful features and can be import and export all your settings, including cloud and network passwords, with the click on a button. It's easily the first app I install on a new system, and it's used more than anything else on the entire device.
Nov 18th, 2016, 2:11 am
Apr 15th, 2017, 10:40 am
with the older version it try to dial up the internet don't if the later version it yet..
Apr 15th, 2017, 10:40 am

Samsung:
S3.
S10+ 128gb + Galaxy Buds.
Android TV Box x2.
Gear 3 Watch.
Google Home Hub.
Apr 16th, 2017, 5:56 pm
ktx-nz wrote:with the older version it try to dial up the internet don't if the later version it yet..

The programmer did indeed include code that visits the Google Play store product page occasionally, usually once per day when you first launch the program. All the versions appear to do this, which means that function is probably encrypted and well-hidden with no ability to make it stop doing that. The app is so amazing, however, that it's worth putting up with this slight inconvenience.
Apr 16th, 2017, 5:56 pm
Aug 11th, 2017, 7:15 am
I use this on my old tablet. I find it works really well with it (even though the tablet is laggy).
Aug 11th, 2017, 7:15 am
Sep 11th, 2017, 1:25 pm
Can't set the permissions when multiple files are selected; nevertheless a nifty file manager.
Sep 11th, 2017, 1:25 pm

Currently Reading:

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Nov 10th, 2017, 10:37 pm
Shardz wrote:
ktx-nz wrote:with the older version it try to dial up the internet don't if the later version it yet..

The programmer did indeed include code that visits the Google Play store product page occasionally, usually once per day when you first launch the program. All the versions appear to do this, which means that function is probably encrypted and well-hidden with no ability to make it stop doing that. The app is so amazing, however, that it's worth putting up with this slight inconvenience.


It doesn't do that now so must have been fix as I still use this app all the time and love it to, its the best one around for sure.
Its a little like "Directory Opus" for the Pc which I have also.
Nov 10th, 2017, 10:37 pm

Samsung:
S3.
S10+ 128gb + Galaxy Buds.
Android TV Box x2.
Gear 3 Watch.
Google Home Hub.
Nov 11th, 2017, 5:04 pm
ktx-nz wrote:It doesn't do that now so must have been fix as I still use this app all the time and love it to, its the best one around for sure.
Its a little like "Directory Opus" for the Pc which I have also.

Yes, you are correct! It stopped visiting the market quite a few versions ago, which is great as it was getting frustrating. I still have a few other file manager apps loaded for good measure, but I'm thinking of deleting them as X-Plore is the only one I use. They added so many great features that it has become an all-inclusive package that exceeds the rest in functionality.
Nov 11th, 2017, 5:04 pm
Dec 27th, 2017, 12:22 pm
Been using since Nokia N-73. Except for moving or copying heavy files sometimes,still my first go to.
Dec 27th, 2017, 12:22 pm