Review by Andrew Kameka on Tuesday December 03, 2013.
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Among the many alternative camera apps available on mobile devices, VSCO Cam has stood out as one of the leaders for iPhoneographers. The photo editor and expandable filter camera today makes its Android debut. Android users may be unfamiliar with VSCO Cam, but it has long been one of my favorite photo editors on iOS because it has a more balanced approach. While some apps aggressively alter the image, VSCO Cam allows users to apply a filter but still change things like exposure, sharpness, contrast, temperature, and other characteristics in order to have more control of an image. It doesn't require the all or nothing of Instagram, and it still keeps things painlessly simple.
VSCO Cam for Android continues that by offering an app focused on taking better photos with a smartphone. Users can snap pictures by using tap to focus indicators, turning the entire screen into a shutter button, or importing photos from the Gallery and other places. Once users are satisfied with the images that they have created, they can publish to the VSCO Grid, a built-in social function that highlights photos shared through the app. The Grid isn't very social because it shows user-generated content without any real tools for interaction, so it's more like a social gallery than a social network.
There are times when VSCO needs to reload content seemingly sporadically, and the lag between sections of the app can sometimes feel laborious even on a fast device like the Nexus 5. Getting accustomed to the user interface takes a few minutes, but things start to make sense and respond accordingly once you have a grasp of how to make adjustments. This is the first version of the app, so one can only hope that things will get better as developers get more feedback and find ways to improve the Android version. For now, here's a quick hands-on video showcasing VSCO Cam.
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.