Among the best alternative launchers for Android, a special mention goes to Smart Launcher 5. It may not be the best known or most used of all, but it is super light, fast, and pleasantly minimal. In addition, it is Made in Italy. This set of features make it extremely valid for those looking for a new design without sacrificing performance and autonomy.
Smart Launcher 5, light and functional
Smart Launcher 5 is a project by the Italian developer Vincenzo Colucci. Now in its fifth edition, has surpassed 10 million global downloads and offers both a Free version and a Pro version, which adds several functions.
On the main screen, the applications can follow a predefined arrangement (flower, circle …) or be sorted manually by the user, even within folders. Each icon shows the number of unread notifications and supports Double Tap functionality. By holding down on the app, in fact, it is possible to choose another application to start with a double-tap. The second application is shown in miniature, in the lower-left corner of the associated application.
The application drawer opens with an upward swipe, but this too is configurable from the settings menu. Smart Launcher 5 automatically reorders applications into predefined folders, i.e. Communications, Internet, Games, Multimedia, Accessories, and Settings. This saves a lot of time, especially if you have a lot of apps, but you can still create, delete and edit each category.
Themes and icons
Smart Launcher 5 is appreciated for its minimal design, but still offers a good level of customization. In addition to the many predefined themes, some free and some paid, it is possible to change every single color of the theme or automatically match it to the background. There are also some lock screens, but it’s a feature the developer team is still working on. Finally, the launcher supports all icon packs found on the Play Store.
Exploring each submenu of the Settings is the only way to discover all the customization options since there are so many. However, we list which ones may be the most interesting:
- the “Pages Management” menu allows you to choose which pages to activate with the swipes in the four directions (default: right for news, left for the widget screen, up for the App Drawer, down for the Search function);
- there “smart” search function is fast (already opens the keyboard) and allows you to search among apps, contacts, in the Play Store and even on the web;
- even in the Free version, you can set the gestures and transition animations between pages.
Most of the features are free, but there is one Pro version that unlocks several extra features, such as the following:
- removal of ads;
- additional widget pages;
- pop-up widget;
- “ultra-immersive” mode that hides the navigation bar;
- two-finger gestures;
- automatic screen shutdown.
The cost of the Pro version is 12.99 euros and guarantees access to all features and a subscription to future updates.