What is the best file manager
A file manager is one of the important and frequently used applications on a typical Android phone. Although most phones have one by default, users still prefer third-party file manager apps like Solid Explorer, ES File Explorer, and FX Explorer because they offer so much more than the ability to view files.
Today we pit two powerful competitors against each other: Solid Explorer and FX Explorer. I have been using Solid Explorer for some time. My colleagues and friends often boast that FX Explorer is a better option. So I compare them to find the best file manager.
1. Interface and design
Starting with Solid Explorer, the app sports a two-panel hardware design that lets you browse two different locations of your phone’s storage from the same window. The dual panel automatically activates in landscape mode. This is generally absent in most file management applications by default.
By default, when you open the app for the first time, you will see All Files with a drop-down menu for quickly choosing file types. In standard portrait mode, you can swipe left to access more shortcuts to access directory structure levels like internal memory, external memory, and LAN server.
FX Explorer offers a better design which immediately won me over. You don’t see any files or recent files when you open the app. By default, the app will show all folders with file types, your local server, neatly categorized bookmarks and storage areas on the home screen.
Split view only works in landscape mode in Solid Explorer. You can also turn it on in portrait mode, but you’ll have to swipe up from the bottom to switch. On the other hand, FX Explorer divides the screen into two halves, which is very functional and useful for smartphones with a larger screen. Not only that, by pressing the “+” icon in the left sidebar, you will create up to 6 open windows for different folders at a time in separate windows.
Multiple window support will make it easy to move files to your device or to the cloud. You can also drag and drop files in Solid Explorer, but I would say FX Explorer has a better interface.
Solid Explorer and FX Explorer both come with default themes and icon sets that you can purchase in separate packs as add-ons. These are priced at $ 0.99 per two.
2. Cloud storage and file transfer
Solid Explorer and FX Explorer both have a few tricks up their sleeves. The first is cloud storage. Both apps allow you to add cloud storage accounts from Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc. In Solid Explorer, you tap the “+” icon on any screen to add a cloud storage account.
In FX Explorer, tap on the Cloud Storage option under Internet & Network. Solid Explorer does, however, support more cloud storage services. So check if it includes your favorite. Both apps will allow you to access encrypted files and you need to enable the fingerprint sensor on your phone as a security measure.
You can move files using the convenient drag and drop feature. However, if you want to transfer files via FTP, you will need to upload a additional application for Solid Explorer. FX Explorer has the FTP option built into the application. Setting up and connecting to a system on the same Wi-Fi network is easy for both file managers.
Another feature that users mainly look for is the ability to hide files and folders on their smartphones. These files can be personal or professional. Both applications hide files well.
Both file applications support the FTP, SMB, and WebDav protocols. The pro version of FX Explorer includes FX Connect which adds NFC support to connect two phones and Wi-Fi Direct function. Using the latter, you can now transfer files from one device to another using FX Connect to a local access point. Very similar to how Xender works.
I often transfer a lot of images from my PC to my mobile and vice versa all the time. Fortunately, FX Explorer offers web access. You need to enter an IP address displayed in the app in your browser, create a secure connection and start transferring entire files or folders from the PC to the device instantly.
Solid Explorer compensates for this with an option to rename files in bulk, but you cannot do this in FX Explorer.
Finally, Solid Explorer comes with OTG support (separate plugin that costs $ 0.99) which allows you to easily browse USB drives. This is not possible with FX Explorer because it does not support OTG.
3. Management of file types
Solid Explorer relies on third-party applications to open and view pictures, videos, and other types of media files. On the other hand, FX Explorer supports viewing media files natively and can open most files.
Both Solid and FX Explorer can create or extract ZIP and 7ZIP formats as well as extract TAR or RAR files, even if they are encrypted. FX Explorer also provides a robust text and hex editor where you can control font values, background color, etc.
4. File encryption
Solid Explorer is better at encrypting data. Long press any file to choose the encryption option and enter a password or choose to open it using the fingerprint reader. FX Explorer does not have a file encryption function.
Both apps are free to use with add-ons to enhance their functionality. Solid Explorer offers a 7-day free trial and the upgrade will cost you $ 1.99 after that.
Even FX Explorer offers a 7-day free trial. After that, you’ll have to shell out $ 2.99 which unlocks features like network, cloud, media, and the ability to share files.
Explore your world
Solid and FX file explorers are amazing apps and are quite similar in terms of features and price. It is difficult to recommend one over the other. The Pro version of FX Explorer has FX Connect and web access. But the file manager supports less cloud storage services and does not support multiple windows.
Solid Explorer supports more cloud storage sites, provides file encryption, and is less expensive. I think the UI is a personal choice as both apps offer a functional design which is pleasing to the eye.
Next step: Use Solid Explorer on your Android phone? Here are some amazing tips and tricks to get the most out of this file explorer.
Last updated on January 22, 2019
The above article may contain affiliate links that help support Guiding Tech. However, this does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains impartial and authentic.