Dr.Fone is an Android app that aims to make it nice and easy to recover deleted files, messages and a lot more after they've been deleted whether on purpose, or by accident. Dr.Fone supports the following file formats; FAT16, FAT32,exFAT,EXT1,EXT2,EXT3, EXT4. Dr.Fone can be used to recover all formats of images and video, as well as allow you to put back SMS messages that you've deleted into your default messaging application. It's an app that does require users to be rooted, but it allows users to upload files to cloud storage services such as Google Drive and Dropbox. Using the familiar Recycle Bin concept a lot of users will know and love from their computers, Dr.Fone has scheduled clean up options for monthly, weekly or daily clean ups. With support for internal storage as well as microSD cards, there's also a Desktop application that can help with the rooting of your phone as well as provide other features.
For those looking to see what this is all about, they just need to download Dr.Fone from the Play Store and then fire the app up to see what it's all about.
I was a little surprised to see that there was no introduction to how the app works or anything like that, but there's a simple menu layout that gives users a few different sections of the app such as image and video recovery, as well as Pro features like the ability to recover SMS messages and even deleted Contacts. To get started, users just need to choose what type of content they want to recover, and then they can choose which formats they want the app to look for.
You can choose more than one sort of file extension, but for whatever reason Dr.Fone will warn you that this might slow things down or otherwise mess the process of finding your deleted content.
After this, the app will go through the process of recovering your files, and it's here that I realized that Dr.Fone is essentially useless without a rooted phone. Not everyone is happy to root their smartphones, and while it does have some benefits, it might not be the best idea for most users.
I was taken aback by this a little bit, but then I remembered – and was again informed of – the Desktop app that will root your phone as well as take care of some other things for you.
Those interested in using the Desktop app can take a look at the Wondershare website, but it's pretty pricey, and not everyone will find that much value in the overall package here. Even so, it is nice to see that there's such an option available to users that aren't rooted. The Dr.Fone desktop app is packed with a number of handy features, besides the ability to root your phone – which is a bold promise to make, given that some devices are much tougher to root than others – and it looks good on either Windows or macOS systems.
Once the app does recover the content that you were looking to get back again, the app will even let you upload it to Cloud storage options, making it safer and easier to keep track of so it doesn't get lost once again.
During the scanning of these files, their thumbnails and file names will appear in real time, which can give users a real sense of hope if they've thought that their content was lost for good, and it's a professional touch to the app as well.
This isn't just designed for files and images however, as Dr.Fone can be used to recover lost SMS messages as well as deleted contacts, too.
There's also the auto clean up options as well the Recycle Bin feature. With this enabled, users can recover files such as images, SMS messages, videos and more from the Dr.Fone app before they're gone for good. This gives users 30 days to recover files quickly and easily.
After taking a look at what Dr.Fone can do, it's clear to see that this is an app that will have an eager audience looking to give it a try and recover some of their lost content. After all, some of these programs cost a hell of a lot more than even the admittedly pricey Desktop app does here, and there are free functions that allow for image and video recovery here, too. There is one major drawback with the whole platform however, and that's the requirement to be rooted. Not everyone is rooted these days and the average user – which also happens to be the same type of user more likely to accidentally delete something – is definitely not likely to be rooted. Which then leaves them the expensive option of paying for the Desktop app and the rooting their phone. Which could also interfere with banking applications and other apps that don't want to be used on a rooted smartphone. There are ways around this of course, which is to use the simplistic Recycle Bin feature of Dr.Fone, which does work well, but there's little in the way of help for those that aren't rooted and are looking to recover a good deal of lost content.
- Speed (4/5) – The app runs pretty well overall and the recovery of items is pretty speedy, too. It's also simple to use and doesn't take long to get started with.
- Theme (4/5) – Dr.Fone isn't going to win any awards for its looks, but it sports a simple Material Design that blends in well and is pretty easy on the eye.
- Features (3.5/5) – While it does deliver on its promises, it only really delivers for those users that are rooted. For those that aren't, it can be an expensive way of getting some deleted files back.
- Overall (4/5) – Everything here works well, and it's the sort of functionality that a lot of users will be expecting to pay a lot more for. It does work better for those that have been able to root their device, but it does still have a lot on offer for those that aren't rooted and the Desktop app will take care of that for them, too.
- Simple and easy to get to grips with, as well as being easy on the eye will help make this appealing to the average user.
- Allows users to recover both images as well as video in a myriad of different file formats across lots of different file systems.
- Makes it easy to recover from either the internal storage or a microSD card.
- Desktop app makes it easy to root as well as manage a person's device.
- Only works on devices that are rooted, which will definitely put off a lot of users.
- Desktop app appears to be expensive compared to other options.
All-in-all, Dr.Fone is an app that does what it says it does, but it does so with a few caveats here and there. For instance, the app only works for those that are rooted, and the Desktop app which can do this for them is also quite expensive. Of course, with features such as the Recycle Bin and the option to upload to Cloud storage, Dr.Fone is also something of a prevention app, as well as something that can help recover lost content.