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Best lock screen replacements for Android

Updated 1 February 2017 We took another look at alternate lock screen apps, and narrowed our list down to the best of the best.

Why ZUI Locker is the best

There are a fair number of screen lock apps that are currently available on Google Play, but it ought to be telling that ZUI Locker has over 240,000 5-star reviews. There's good reasons for that too.

It comes with a handful of stock themes, but that definitely isn't everything you have access to. Whether you want to look at pre-built themes, or use a personal photo on your lock screen, you've got the ability to roll with it. You can even ensure that widgets with the weather, time, and more are available.

The feature that really brings ZUI to the head of the pack is the Control Panel. By swiping up from the bottom of your screen, you can access your most-used settings, and quickly launch favorite apps. The perk here is that doing this doesn't unlock your phone in the process.

You can manage Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, control brightness, turn on your flashlight, and even enable Airplane Mode without unlocking your phone. If there are certain apps or games that you want quick access to, you can also add them to the control panel so that they are available with a swipe.

Jen is a staff writer who spends her time researching the products you didn't know you needed. She's also a fantasy novelist and has a serious Civ VI addiction. You can follow her on Twitter.

48 Comments
  • Samsung good lock app ,pretty good Posted via the Android Central App
  • aye. so far it's pretty groovy. ~posted by zhris.
  • I used Good Lock for a while, but it eventually got so laggy I had to give up. I really liked it other than performance.
  • Interesting. Will look into some of these.
  • Too bad AcDisplay is no longer updated, after MM was released, some apps started misbehaving with the lockscreen, i've been using it since launch.
    i tried using GlancePlus but it still has some annoying bugs.
  • I loved AcDisplay on my Nexus 5 but from what I remember when I first got my Galaxy S6 it just adds a 3rd lock screen on top of the "swipe to unlock" and the actual pin/pattern unlock (Yes, you can bypass by using fingerprint, but it's a bit heavy handed forcing users to do that to avoid that annoyance).
  • Any of the support fingerprint unlock?
  • Why does no one answer this? lol
  • Unfortunately, none of these support fingerprint lock, since they become more of a mask for your lock screen instead of an actual lock screen.
  • Samsung good lock. I've been using next lock screen for a while but didn't like ITN Samsung good lock was similar and I love it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I gave it a shot but I like Nova Launcher too much. I can't stand the static "All Apps" button and the way the apps are organized.
  • Good Lock isn't a launcher. You can use it with Nova just fine.
  • SnapLock is a really solid no-nonsense one that doesn't lag.
  • OnePlus 3 lockscreen is good enough for me but I will usually root my phone!!!
  • Next Lock screen is one I've been using lately that I really love. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I like my old school 2013 Moto X lock screen. I don't know how any other interactive lock screen would even work, anymore.
  • I think an important lock screen feature is to display an alternate number in case you lose your device.
  • Any that support fingerprint? Posted via the Android Central App
  • For Samsung (marshmallow) GoodLock is the best by far. Just try it.
  • I just did! And you're right, it's the best for a Samsung Galaxy phone!
  • AcDisplay? seriously? their last update was Updated July 29, 2015...
  • I know, right!! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Microsoft!! has a couple of entries:
    1. Next, a fairly useful but heavy locker-overlay (NONE of these are really lock screens). Until they finally get it right, keep location of "battery-saving."
    2. Picturesque. Fewer featured than next but much lighter and quicker. Built in Bing search and Bing news.
  • C Locker: Lots of options. Multiple unlock styles, multiple widgets can be applied to lock screen, minimal or preview notifications, separate wallpaper or use home screen one. I've tried all the others, but nothing compares.
  • ZUI Locker is really good, but I felt like it was a huge cause of battery drain. Right now I'm using Good Lock on my Galaxy S6 (I understand you only listed apps that all phones - in theory - can use).
  • Love the Samsung Good Lock. I hope this will be the new lockscreen for The Note 7
  • Using Good Lock as well. Only this I've his I had the ability to hide the lock screen apps, and pull them up only when needed from the bottom. Posted via my Galaxy S7 Edge!
  • Is there still use for lockscreens on phones with fingerprintreaders? You'll hardly see it anymore? Posted via the Android Central App
  • That's what I was thinking. I rarely see my lockscreen on my G5 with fingerprint sensor to unlock.
  • Using ACdisplay, awesome. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm using Next from Microsoft at the moment. But the problem with all these lockscreen apps, or every lockscreen app as far as I can tell, is they don't work with smart lock. I can't have my phone unlock without the pin based on my location, or connection to a Bluetooth device, like you can with the stock lock screen. It's unfortunate there's no proper API for this, but I can sort of understand why. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I stick with Active Display from Motorola. Why should my phone waste energy showing me a background if there is nothing to report? All these 'better' lockscreen apps do is compromise safety, privacy and standby duration. If downloading stuff like backgrounds every day, they also use data. Since Android is usually not impressively safe, privacy unfriendly and both power and data hungry, this apparently is not an issue for most users. But I care.
    So is this post just a rant or something? No. It's a bit of criticism on the article. This article focuses on changing the look and feel of the lock screen. How about speed, power consumption, security? Do these apps offer the same level of security as the default lock screen apps do? How much battery time am I sacrificing while the phone is idle, compared to stock? Most people don't care about these things until things go wrong. Like your phone getting stolen or lost or the battery doesn't seem to last very long any more. Before telling people that know almost nothing of the inner workings of their phone and it's connection to the worlds data miners, that's most of your readers, what the best apps are, you might want to check these things out. I know this site is not aimed at the people who can effectively protect themselves and others they associate with. At least the articles don't give me that impression. But that's exactly the point, your readers don't know about all that and are mostly unable to figure it out if they start looking themselves. Which is not strange or bad in any way, tech is complex and the shady company's that know all about you try to hide that fact as best they can. You as a company should know (far) more about it and take responsibility and check it out. It could be as simple as capturing the packet streams or as complex as a full penetration test. Most app builders don't really care about security as it seemingly only costs money, ergo most apps are not safe. Google tries to protect people by patching Android all the time. But most of us know by now that means nothing if the end user devices don't get the patches too. Don't hope the apps you recommend are safe, check.
  • I use the stock lockscreen that's on the phone. No point to using anything else Posted via the Android Central App
  • Come on AC you can do better then this. A post about lock screen apps that aren't really lock screens? For a real lock screen app, you know one that does have security for the lock screen, give Hi Locker a try. It has PIN, pattern, trusted devices and even finger print security. You can use widgets, customize and launch a number of different apps, change the wallpaper and on an on. It's even on sale at Google Play right now, receives timely updates and best of all works and functions properly with no funky screen jank.
  • Really enjoy Good Lock on my GS7 Edge Posted via the Galaxy S7 Edge
  • Don't use any. Too spoiled with using my fingerprint to unlock, and that seems to never be supported by third party lock screens. AC-Display, at least, can work on top of your existing lock screen as a notification tool. Though, it and all similar services (ie: Glance+, etc) used in a similar manner have an annoying habit of confusing the hell out of unlocking your phone with the built in lock screen (ie: pressing power to unlock sometimes goes to lock screen, sometimes doesn't, and you have to press power twice...which is annoying enough that I usually end up just forgoing these many very elegant on-screen notifications for when my display is "off"). I guess I just need to get a S7 already.
  • What about No Pause Lock on google play. App that simply allows you to lock your phone without pausing active app
  • I use CM Locker
  • Which is best power wise. I had MS's Next Lock screen installed for a while last year. But it was a real power drainer. Which is what I find with some of the third party replacement, really nice features and they look pretty. Then they kill my battery.
  • I like good lock by Samsung, terrible name but good app
  • Another good lock screen that I use is the cover lock screen. If you have the time you should check it out.
  • Used to be big into lockscreens and customization. However now that I have a V20 with the fingerprint scanner I hardly even see my lockscreen.
  • Big fan of AC Display. App that stopped me being jealous of Moto display. Great on AMOLED. I've stopped using it since I got my Pixel. I have actionable notifications. I do wish the Ambient Display would do something more similar to AC Display.
  • Im with you m8. Ac display and & a nice clock widget gave my note 5 a better always on display then the s7 has & its only on for a minute or so when i decide to look at it. Gives better notifications too. Makes it on a par with my note 7 but of course its not always on like the n7 but who wants burn in anyway which aod will cause
  • Best lockscreen for me is the one that has double tap to lock.
  • Well Zui didn't work at all for me, on an S7. I went through their three step setup process half a dozen times, and it kept telling me I hadn't completed the setup. Worthless. From reading the reviews on Amazon, it seems that it doesn't automatically lock your phone after a reboot, either, which makes it totally worthless as a security tool
  • In other words; nothing new under the sun
  • C Locker is my choice. I've tried all the ones reviewed here, but in my view C Locker beats the all. It's rich in features: Multiple unlock styles, shortcuts, notification styles, etc. Best of all, it accommodates widgets. It has very good customer support and frequent updates. Give it a try.