The Test Video Chat Apps: Skype, Hangouts And Co.

You can use video telephony who wants to see his counterpart during a phone call in the eyes. We looked at the most important Android apps for it and show their advantages and disadvantages.

In times of Selfies and Snapchat it comes more and more to present themselves and to present. That does not stop even before simple phone calls – the keyword is here: video telephony. Instead to hear only the voice of the person you see each other during the conversation in the face. Can pros and cons have. So you thought about probably twice whether it is assumed a VideoCall of the new swarm, if even just the bee Maja shirt is clean at the laundry day. On the other hand, meetings can be very different if you can’t see the partner in negotiations in the eyes.

Well-known companies and outsiders

In our test, we have reviewed ten video chat apps. Including also an offer of Facebook was next to the most famous provider of “Skype”. Google offers two solutions for video telephony, which differ widely in the feature set with ” duo ” and ” hangouts “.

The apps by ” imo”, ” line”, “Tango “and ” Viber go more towards the social network.”Wechat “communications market leader in China, but also in this country already established.” The app offers some interesting features. As oldies under the test participants, a video calling feature offers last but not least also the well-known direct messaging service ” ICQ “.

By the way there is in the mother of all Messenger, ” Whatsapp “, yet no video chat function. Rumors about a beta version with video telephony on the Internet are circulating but.

You need: camera-phone and app

All solutions tested by us can be used with the mobile device. There’s also the most party also PC clients for video telephony. We have listed this in the table in the line “Platforms”.

For mobile applications, you need a mobile device – Smartphone or tablet – with front-facing camera. It exists in almost all current smartphones – thanks to the Selfie trend. The resolution of the camera is for video telephony, but of course can have effects on the quality of the image. Otherwise, you need the app of the corresponding provider, which you can find for free on the Google play store for video telephony. Not every developer specifies which version of Android it is assumed: most require but Android 4.0 or higher.

The video calls are free of charge, by the way, if you make calls over Wi-Fi. Otherwise, the usual fees apply according to your mobile phone rates. There is not an additional cost due to the video data, only extras such as masks or effects can cause additional costs.

Another important precondition for video calling is your conversation partner: he must have installed namely mostly the same app as you. Exceptions are here Google “Hangout”, “Skype” and “Viber” – However, the talks are then subject to a charge.

Registration via mobile or landline

Have you loaded up a video telephony app from the store play on your mobile device, you need to register after the first start. Usually enter your mobile phone number to do this. After that, you will receive an SMS with a verification code, which confirms your number.

Who here would like to omit his cell number, can put a landline most providers. You will then receive an automated call with the verification code that you enter during registration instead of SMS. Alone on the Facebook ‘Messenger’, Google “Hangouts” and “Wechat” it is not possible, to register with a landline number.

Tip: Four Messenger apps compared

This “Wechat” allows alternatively an E-mail address or a proprietary Wechat ID.Particularly flexible at the registration is “Skype”: Here you can register by E-mail address, mobile phone number, landline number or special Skype ID and login. And “Line” the counterpart to confirm, that it would like to appear in your contacts.

You can transfer your contacts by the way most of the Smartphone Contacts. In part, such as “Line”, this works even without effort on your part the same when setting up the app.

Mute and group chat

Aside from Google “Duo”, “ICQ”, “Tango” and “Viber” admit with all apps also video Group calls in part up to ten people. In fairness one must note that Google duo for the video dialog is designed, and ICQ has already shown the video chat in Vista.

In addition to the group chat option you can turn on separately from and again the camera and the microphone in the video calling apps during a call. Exception form here Google “Duo” and “imo”. Only the camera can be (de) activate at “Wechat”.

Renewed calls can be active over the course. Appear here then also unanswered calls – your and that of the person.

Tools such as encryption & co.

Eavesdropping scandals have sensitized the users of digital media in recent years regarding the safeguards in its communications. Mail or phone – no one should get if possible what it discusses. This is no different with video telephony. The apps tested by us therefore ideally have an end-to end encryption. There are restrictions here from the Facebook “Messenger” and “Wechat”, that offer the feature only for private chats.”Tango” completely omitted on encryption. Most vendors display a small lock icon, if a secure connection exists.

In their facility and function scope during a call, the tested apps are by the way pretty similar. In our test, however, we have found differences, not necessarily related to the main purpose.

For example, at the Facebook ‘Messenger’ you should mention that you need a Facebook account to use. If you want use a popular video chat app without having to belong even to the “Club”, is right here. The same applies to Google “Duo”, which requires a Google account. Also, “Duo” as a special feature offers the ability to switch seamlessly between cellular and Wi-Fi.

Another additional feature in “Duo” calls Google “Cuckoo”: with her, you see a Vorabstream of the caller, unless you already have to answer the call. A pure phone without video is not possible with “Duo”.

“ICQ” allows the caller to change the camera, about to offer the perspective of the caller to the interlocutor. Also “Tango” has the camera Exchange in baggage, this abundant masks, effects and games.

“Imo” and “Viber”, text messages can be send during the video call. “Viber” also changes as “Duo” seamlessly between Wi-Fi and mobile phone. Also, the app must be disabled to receive calls, and you can redirect calls to another device. “Viber” Pack conveniently in an own menu item masks, stickers, and other effects.

Tip: Best alternatives of Whatsapp for Android

“Line” shows some rather annoying idiosyncrasies: get many messages in their own right after signing up, your contacts are automatically added to, and the app interferes with quiz questions. There are in-house apps and games in an own menu item.

“Wechat” is somewhat dubious in terms of data protection. Although developers, as already mentioned, about safety precautions to write. The functions of “Shaking” and “People close to” leaving the Zuverlässigkeit doubt: “Shaking” do exactly that with your Smartphone and get assigned to a random chat partner then. The function of “People close to” shows the “Wechat” user in your environment. Both functions meet people with strong networking desire. Who wants to chat but sure, should refrain rather by “Wechat” – also, because the servers in China.

Registration, video and audio quality

With what data you log on when the video telephony app depends on what information you have registered. As noted above, available on Google “Duo”, “ICQ”, “imo”, “Line”, “Tango” and “Viber” options, mobile or landline number to choose from. “Wechat” a special ID is added in addition, ‘Skype’ an ID and your email address. Only the Facebook “Messenger” and Google “Hangouts” log only a mobile phone number allow for. Note: “Wechat” a contact via QR code is add. But only works if both people actually face each other.

What of the audio and video quality, so depends on this hardware from your mobile device. The same applies to the microphone and the speaker and the audio quality. But: “ICQ” and “Wechat” in our test the Facebook “Messenger”, showed some dropouts, “Tango” even strong image error. Particularly impressed us, however, have Googe “Duo” and “imo”.


Conclusion: What app suitable for whom

In our test we have been dealing with ten video calling apps, which have all their pros and cons:

With over 32 million downloads of Facebook ‘Messenger’ is the most widely-used app for video telephony. For they also speaks, that it requires a Facebook account.Disadvantage: The stream had significant failures in the test.

In contrast, Google “Duo” impressed with clear picture and good sound. Also the “cuckoo”-function, lightning fast call setup, as well as the seamless transition from Wi-Fi to mobile phones and vice versa liked us very well. The downside of this app is but also its concept: no group chat.

You get that with “Hangouts” by Google. Because the app on every Android device is installed, the distribution may be as high as in the Facebook ‘Messenger’ – However “Dissemination” does not automatically mean “in use”.

Some older vintage than chat client should know “ICQ”, The eponymous messaging app offers practical interest groups for public (text) chat rooms. Their video calling function had also, like the Facebook ‘Messenger’, image problems. Group chats are not currently possible, but according to “ICQ”.

Very clearly, as far as the menu structure, is “imo”, Here, you have also the possibility to send during a video call text messages. As the only app in the test does not turn off microphone and camera for “imo” however.

“Line” turned out to be extreme chatterbox, unless with messages in their own right, senseless trivia questions or other messages. Also we didn’t like that the app takes over unasked all contacts. After all: The need to confirm before the conversations start.

With “Skype”, of course, we had the mother of all video telephony apps in the test. The service proved extremely flexible regarding the registration formalities. In addition, he – allows also calls to non-Skype-Kun the fee – and had a good stream quality.

For those who prefer something more playful and colorful it, is the perfect video calling app in “Tango”, Equipped with many masks, filters and other effects, “Tango” offers the most fun while chatting. Big disadvantage: “Tango” in the test delivered a bad, very coarse video screen. Also bothered us the advertisement and that the chats are not encrypted. Last but not least, we missed the group chat.

“Wechat” is to the number one chat service, China. Accordingly, the servers in China are. As regards security, provider Tencent promises encrypted private chats. Functions such as the random chat or the display of “Wechat” user being close to can doubt but on data protection. After all, you can easily add contacts via QR code.

Like Google “Duo”, also “Viber” enables the seamless transition from Wi-Fi to mobile and back. In addition a practical redirect to another device. For “Viber” customers for free, you can use “Viber Out” available for a fee, in addition to other nets make phone calls. Disadvantage: no group chat.