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Sponsored App Review: ZERO Launcher

October 24, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

Description: ZERO is a new Android Launcher that aims to be simple, light and fast while also offering the same sort of functionality others offer and some stylish themes and animations. In a crowded market of launchers for our Android devices, ZERO takes a little bit from one launcher, some more from another and brings them all together with its own outlook for what the perfect homescreen should be. There’s a premium theme unlocked every day for free, some compelling animations and a focus on being light and fast (the 1MB or so file size drives that point home nicely) with loading times of under a second on most devices. The question is though, is ZERO too focused on being light and fast? Read on to find out.

How it Works: You’ll first need to download ZERO from the Play Store, and after that you’ll be able to take a look at what’s on offer. Just like other Launchers, you’ll need to set ZERO as your default home launcher if you plan on using it for long.

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After you’ve done that, you’ll see a laid out launcher with a cool-looking theme and an arrangement of icons and folders on screen.

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One of the things I noticed right away, that I didn’t necessarily like either, was the complete abscence of an app drawer, instead your apps are flown all over the place with some of them put into folders, but the majority of my apps were simply put into a folder labelled other.

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Still, it’s super-easy to move around icons and you can do more at a time, which is something I feel is missing from every launcher out there.

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Another big feature of ZERO are the cool animation effects and these can be customized and changed easily in the settings. I found these really cool, and they were quick and never stuttered when I was using the app.

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Speaking of changing settings, you can do so really quickly just pressing and holding on the launcher, you can change a lot of settings like this here.

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Last but certainly not least, is the vast array of different themes available for ZERO launcher, of which you’ll be given a free one each and every day.

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Opinion: I’ve used a great many Android launchers since I started using the OS back in the days of Android 2.2, but they often fall into two different camps. The ones which try too hard and offer far too many features and those that simply don’t offer enough. ZERO happily sits in the middle, it has all the visual flare and whizz bang effects that you could want in such an app, and it has the key features too. It’s super-quick as well, I was a little skeptical at first but wow, this is a speedy launcher. I liked the overall look and feel, it was easy to navigate, easy to customize and the icons look nice, too. I wasn’t a fan of losing the app drawer at all though, but a lot of launchers from Asia seem to be doing that, and I don’t know why. Still, if that sounds good to you then ZERO shouldn’t disappoint you at all.

Ratings

  • Speed (5/5) – Easily the fastest launcher that I’ve used in a long time, ZERO ran great on the Xperia Z3 I have here and lower-end devices, too.
  • Features (4/5) – A nice blend of what you’d expect and some light touches that make a lot of sense, ZERO has those little extras you want, but none of the extras you’ll never use.
  • Theme (4/5) – With lots of different themes available (a free one every day) ZERO is easily customizable at every turn and it’s really slick.
  • Overall (4.5/5) – An excellent middleground, ZERO offers all the features you want from a 3rd party launcher and none of the extra stuff you’d never use. It’s a really compelling mix and it looks great and runs super-quick.

Pros

  • Really, really fast. Loads quickly, super smooth and it’s quick to set up, too.
  • Lots of cool animations that help to show off the speed of your smartphone.
  • Free theme every day, with hundreds to choose from.
  • ZERO can be changed to exactly how you like it, and even features a Material design look out of the box.

Cons

  • I really missed the app drawer.
  • It didn’t seem clear whether I could change icon packs with those installed from the Play Store or not.

Conclusion: Really speedy, with a ton of options you genuinely want in a launcher, ZERO seems to have created an excellent blend of what people want, and what people will use. Some launchers load up with gestures, a million different settings and more. ZERO on the other hand is just enough, there’s no shortage of settings here, but it’s not overloaded. The animations are cool and this is one of the fastest launchers, if not the fastest that I have used in a long time.

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