Sophos is an unique choice for an Android antivirus because it’s completely free. There is no paid version and all its features come unlocked, making it one of the most complete free antivirus apps for Android.
Privacy, anti-theft, and antivirus
Sophos' latest release puts it on par with the best virus detection rates, according to AV-Test. Sophos scans apps as you install them, but won’t warn you about suspected apps like Norton. You can also schedule scans for your phone, which will look through all of your installed apps and files on external storage like SD cards. To keep up to date with the latest virus definitions, Sophos updates itself using the cloud. Users can set the app only to update on Wi-Fi to save data.
Anti-theft plays a big part in Sophos' feature set and it’s pretty robust. You can set a friend’s phone number as a verified number to remotely control your phone via SMS in the event it’s lost or stolen. You can lock, show a message, and wipe your phone via text message. The app also sends you the last known location of your phone if the battery is about to die. This is a nice safety net to help improve your chances of tracking down your device.
For parents, there’s some basic web controls in Sophos that block inappropriate sites. Parents can also lock down specific apps with passwords to hide sensitive information or just for an extra layer of security. You can also rest easy knowing the app protects users against malicious websites.
In terms of privacy, Sophos provides advice and warnings about apps that may be infringing on your privacy. Privacy Advisor detects apps that have access to your contacts, ID information, and more. While most of the warnings are false positives, it could help to catch an app that has permissions it shouldn't.
Bland interface, but it works
While the interface of Sophos is nothing to look at, its feature set make it worth the download. The interface is, however, utilitarian but everything that needs an action is highlighted with an exclamation point next to it so you know what steps to take to secure your device.
It's not the most friendly interface for newbies as it contains a ton of features and setting it up for the first time is fairly involved. Still, tech nerds and those who want that level of control will appreciate Sophos.
Good balance of features but complicated
Overall, Sophos is a great security app for Android that’s completely free. Downsides include the lack of backup features and overzealous warnings about your device’s security. The app may be easy to use for advanced users but may feel overwhelming for newbies.
Still, it’s nice to have a completely free option available with no ads and no nags for you to upgrade.