balxicon

Sponsored App Review: Balx Icon Pack

July 17, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

Description: Balx is an icon pack and theme for Android that’s designed with not only flat design in mind, but also the new colors and palettes shown off at the heart of Android L. With over 1,750 circular icons, 40 wallpapers to choose from – with Muzei support – Behang support, 16 different docks for Nova and other launchers, there’s a lot on offer with Balx. As you might expect, Balx works with all the major Android launchers out there and comes with a dedicated app to help users request missing icons and apply the new theme on their device. Is Balx your next favorite pack? Let’s take a look.

How it Works: As with other icon packs, you’ll need to download Balx from the Play Store, ensuring you have a launcher that supports custom icon packs, and then you’re good to go. Once it’s installed, just head to your launcher’s settings and apply the new theme.

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Once done, you’ll notice a nice change to the icons on your device. On my Nexus 5, the circular edges and flat look work well and the calm colors make my homescreen much nicer to look at.

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In the above screenshot, I have the Balx theme applied, along with one of the wallpapers, these can be accessed from the dedicated Balx app you’ll find in your app drawer. There are around 40 different wallpapers in there to choose from.

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There’s a little ‘Android L’ in these icons, but Balx definitely has its own look and feel.

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As you can see, pretty much all of my apps installed on my Nexus 5 have a nice new icon with Balx.

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If you feel like Balx is missing a particular icon, then you can always just send through a request form using the Balx app.

Opinion: I’m no stranger to icon packs and as I’ve spent some good time with Android L to boot, I can see where the designer was going with Balx. The flat design used here is nice and subtle and just a joy to look at, I would have liked them to be a little larger, but I expect that’s probably something to do with my launcher. THe long shadow used on each ion looks really nice and adds a level of ‘height’ to each of them, again similar to what Google showed off during I/O 2014. It’s nice to see someone take inspiration from something like Material Design and put their own spin on it, the end result here in Balx is a great-looking icon pack that has a great variety of icons included as well as some excellent wallpapers.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – The Balx app is pretty quick, but it did take a long time to launch the first time.
  • Features (4/5) – With over 1,750 icons, 40 or so wallpapers and a separately available Zooper skin pack there’s more than enough on offer with Balx.
  • Theme (5/5) – It’s great to see someone taking Material Design in their own direction, rather than just filling in the gaps, and Balx will look great on any device, as well as bringing a little bit of Android’d future to you today.
  • Overall (4/5) – It’s a shame to see the Zooper theme available separately, but this icon pack is brilliant and the flat, subtle designs use shadow to great effect while bringing with it some excellent color.

Pros

  • Over 1,750 icons ensures that most of your apps and games will get a fresh coat of paint with Balx.
  • 40 plus wallpapers all look good, with a nice twist on the Google Now mountains in there that’s easily my favorite.
  • Balx app makes it easy to request icons that will be included in the frequent updates that keep on coming.
  • Works with all major launchers and has a simple icon mask included, too.

Cons

  • Dashboard app takes a little while to get going.
  • Wallpapers don’t look too great on tablets.

Conclusion: Balx is one of those icon packs that can offer you a nice taste of what’s to come, while also bringing you a unique look of its own. There’s no denying the Material Design influence here, but that’s used to create an icon pack with its own identity. Unlike other icon packs I’ve tried in the past, Balx features some really nice wallpapers that are not only subtle, but just really nice to look at. That’s a simple way of describing all of Balx really, it’s just nice to look at and there’s very little to complain about here.

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