App: Textra SMS v3.44
Developer: Delicious Inc.
Back in my Note 2 days, I was having trouble with severe lag in the stock messaging app as my group threads built up. I tried several different messaging apps to rectify the problem with improvement in some cases, but none of the apps I tried totally got rid of the issue. Before giving up hope though, I came across Textra, which highlighted speed and beautiful customization as key components. It delivered on that promise, as I did not have to deal with lag and got a surprising amount of customization options to boot. At the time the app was both free and ad-free, but now you can get a free version of Textra SMS with ads, with the option of paying a one-time $0.99 upgrade fee to the PRO version, which is the version I am reviewing here. On a comparative note, Delicious Inc. also offers chomp SMS with a wider scope of features with the same experience, but Textra is known to offer better performance with the exclusion of those optional extras for a more nominal price.
As mentioned before, a big selling point of Textra is the speed of the messaging. The app is easy to setup (including a brief tutorial text sequence from the Textra crew), and requires very little in terms of system resources, handling SMS messages even in multiple large group threads with ease. This includes easy-to-respond-to overhead notifications if you want to quick reply to someone without going fully into the app itself. Textra also makes it very easy to insert pictures, audio, and emoji with a simple "+" button beside any message you are composing and a drop-down menu from there.
By default, Textra's messaging system has a very clean, colorful look, but it offers quite a bit of customization within that package if you wish to tweak things. A few basic examples of this are changing the look/color of the font, changing the theme color scheme, changing the style of the (many) emoji available from Android to iOS, and timing when you wish certain messages to go out per each conversation if you wish. It also has a free plugin that allows you to add more emojis for further fun in that regard. On a small negative point, if Textra has a weakness, it's simply in that it doesn't bring anything particularly new to the table as far as SMS messaging apps go and it might not be quite as comprehensive on features as some other apps or Delicious Inc.'s chomp SMS. However, it is a very nice package as a SMS app which offers a lot of customization options for the user and that can work very efficiently on older Android devices. I definitely recommend giving it a try, particularly if you are having issues with SMS messaging lag.
- High customization.
- Clean and attractive look.
- Free emoji plugin available.
- Great messaging speed even on older devices.
- Doesn't do anything new.
- Not quite as feature-laden as some other SMS apps.
Device/OS used: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 / Lollipop 5.1.1, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 / Kitkat 4.4.2
Purchase at Google Play
Purchase at Amazon
Mobilism: Textra SMS v3.44 build 34493 [Pro]