Featured: Android App Review – Mimic Circus

June 7, 2012 - Written By Randy Arrowood

App Title
Mimic Circus by United Fun Traders


Mimic Circus is a newer photo filter app that allows you to select a photo from your photo gallery, or to take a photo with your camera app and apply funny, humorous or devilish overlays on your subjects faces.You can choose from 18 hair and mouth combinations that also include a Santa and devil overlay, or you can use the 39 individual hair, eye, mouth and glasses filters to roll your own look. You also have the option of choosing from one of the included 18 photo frames to add to your look, and 7 type styles to add a custom signature to your image.

How it works
First, it’s really important to note that this app does non-destructive editing to your photos. What does that mean? Well, it means that your original image isn’t altered to create these funny looks. The app applies the filters and saves out your image with overlays to its own directory, your original image is left untouched.

You begin using the app like you would any other image editing app, you take a photo with your camera or you import an image from your gallery. From there, your first option is to adjust the automatic crop that the app selects to show your subject’s face.

After your image is cropped the way that you like, you enter into the editing screen and begin to piece together your photo. As I mentioned earlier, you have the option to choose from 18 predefined hair and mouth combinations along the top row of filters or to piece together your image using the 39 individual hair, eye, mouth, facial hair and glasses filter along the bottom row.

You can pinch zoom the filters to shrink or stretch them so that they fit your image better. Spacing on the top row filters can’t be changed, so if the hair and mouth don’t line up just right with your image, hit the clear button and use the filters along the bottom row to add facial elements individually.

Hitting the little side arrow slider to the lower right of your picture opens up the options slider. In this slider, you have the option to add a Polaroid like frame from the the 18 available color styles, and to add a signature to the lower margin of the photo frame using one of the 7 predefined type styles. The little down arrow is the save button, and the half circle arrows is the share button. When you click share, the app opens the standard Android sharing menu that allows you to share your photo using any of the available options that are installed on your phone.

I’ve tried photo gimmick apps in the past, probably more than I’d be able to remember, but I usually never liked the results, didn’t get the reaction from people who I was looking for or the app just sucked. Changing my baby’s pretty little face into the devil got me all of the reactions that I was looking for.Most people who have a device with a decent camera take a lot of photos, and sometimes it’s just fun to mess with the people that you know and love. The images that I made with Mimic Circus got all of the responses that I was looking for, and that’s pretty important when you’re taking the time to try to make something fun and funny to others.


Speed – 5 / 5 – Mimic Circus loads images and applies filters very quickly.
Features – 4 / 5 – Would really have liked to see a red eye tool.
Theme – 4 / 5 – The circus tent theme grew on me a bit over time.
Overall – 4 / 5 – I don’t always overlay facial features on my photos, but this is the fastest app that I’ve ever done it with.


  1. These filters are flat. Make sure you select or take photos where your subject is looking straight at you, or at only slight angles.
  2. For the best effect, try to get a reasonably well exposed image. The feature overlays don’t offer adjustable brightness or contrast and overexposed or underexposed image might not look the best.
  3. Don’t crop the image in too tightly when you are importing or taking a new photo. The face detection feature had a few issues with sizing and placement when the top of heads were cropped out.
  4. Pinch to zoom the overlays to match up with the size of your subjects face.
  5. The hair and mouth combination overlays may not fit your subjects face. For little round baby faces or other non-standard faces you’ll want to piece the overlays together from the bottom row of features.


  • Crops to face, and the crop is adjustable on import.
  • Overlays are resized when you apply them to the size of the face that you are “improving”.
  • Overlays can be moved and resized for those little bitty faces. Or the great big fat ones too.
  • You can use combination filters that apply hair and lips, Santa hat and beard or devil features, or you can mix and match your own.
  • Photo frames and signatures are a nice add-on feature. I don’t recall both of those being available in the few other apps like this that I’ve tried.
  • You can view your faces that you create in the gallery app of your choice, but the app also maintains an album of your faces within the app. You can go back and share or delete an image that you’ve already modified from within the app itself.


  • Limited to a single face within an image. If you have a shot of two or more people, you can only alter one of those faces.
  • No tilt adjustment to the filter overlays. It’s coming in straight and that’s the end of that.
  • A red-eye adjustment would be great. The flash on your phone is not positioned in a way that best prevents a little red-eye. It’s easily fixable before you import, but in-app would be nice.

Back in the day, I used to do these types of image edits the hard way with Photoshop. Some of the first apps that I installed on my original Droid on day one were photo apps, and I’m still pretty quick to give any new photo app a try.

I had some fun with Mimic Circus after I spent a few minutes turning my baby into the devil. When I realized how much my wife hated that picture, I knew that I was going to like the app. Photos are an important part of how we remember the places that we go, the people that we meet and the things that we do. They are an important part of the way that we tell the story of our lives. Sometimes though, you want to take those memories and make people laugh.

Mimic Circus made me laugh.

Google Play Store Link: Mimic Circus ($.99) | Mimic Circus Lite (Free)