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Gmail vs. Newton: Which email client is right for you?

Newton Mail and Gmail logos
Newton Mail and Gmail logos (Image credit: Android Central)

It's been a long-time coming, but Google finally updated Gmail with a clean, modern design and helpful new features that stop it from feeling like a relic of the past. There's a lot to like about the changes Google made to Gmail, but for some folks, it may be too little too late.

If you're feeling underwhelmed by the new Gmail, one of your best alternatives is a client called Newton (opens in new tab). Newton's known for trying new and exciting things with its app to make email feel as efficient and fast as can be, but unlike most apps, charges you a yearly fee in order to access it.

Today, we're going to be taking a look at Gmail and Newton to see which one comes out on top.

Features

Starting first with features, there are a handful of things that you'll find with both services. Gmail and Newton allow you to snooze emails, browse/edit folders, customize the UI with various themes and colors, mark emails as read/unread, etc. If there's a basic email function you know, chances are Newton and Gmail both have it.

Gmail's big 2018 overhaul

Gmail's big 2018 overhaul

If you decide to go the Gmail route, you'll find your email broken up into three main categories – including Primary, Social, and Promotions. Emails are automatically filtered into these sections so you can more easily manage your inbox, and while it works well, for the most part, the Social and Promotions tabs can get a bit hectic if you don't regularly manage them.

Gmail looks a lot better, but functionally, it's mostly unchanged.

With Gmail's desktop site, you'll now find a handy toolbar to the right that offers quick access to things like Google Calendar, Keep, and Tasks. These shortcuts are especially handy if you use a lot of Google services and often create to-do-list or calendar events from your emails, and the implementation so far is pretty sleek.

Despite Gmail's new look and updated features, however, there's not much here you can't find in other clients. Fundamentally, this is still the same Gmail we've known for years. If you like the sound of that, you'll love what Google's done with it. If you want something more, that's where Newton comes into play.

Newton brings a lot to the table that you simply won't find with Gmail, and some of my personal favorite features include:

  • Read Receipts – Small checkmarks that show you exactly when your email was received and when/how often it was read. Newton also gets bonus points for allowing you to receive a notification each time a certain email is opened up.
  • Sender Profile – When you get an email from someone new and want to learn a bit more about them, Newton makes this process dead simple. Newton automatically builds small cards for anyone you get an email from, allowing you to see their full name, location, information about the company they work for, and quick links to their social media accounts.
  • Send Later and Undo Send – Newton also gives you greater control over how you send emails. The Send Later feature enables you to schedule when you want an email to be sent out, and Undo Send allows you to quickly pull back an email if you forgot to attach a file, found a typo, etc.

Newton's available on a host of platforms

Newton's available on a host of platforms

Two other big features that I've come to seriously love include Tidy Inbox and True Inbox. Tidy Inbox was released last July, and it automatically filters things like newsletters and emails from social media sites to a low priority folder. You can train Newton's software to help it learn which emails you want in your inbox and which ones you don't care about, but I only found myself having to do this once or twice. It's kind of like Gmail's Social and Promotions tabs but never having to look at them if you don't want to.

True Inbox is a more recent feature, and it organizes your inbox similar to what you'd find with a chat app. Emails are organized based on which ones you interacted with most recently, and new conversations you begin now show up at the top of your inbox rather than being whisked away to the Sent folder.

Speed

You might think that Newton would have a tendency to slow down with so many features happening all at once, but thankfully, you'd be wrong. Newton is consistently speedy, especially when using its mobile apps. Emails load instantly, navigating through the settings is buttery smooth, and it always feels as if its one step ahead of you. That's not to say Gmail is slow, but if you're a stickler for these sort of things, you'll greatly appreciate the added speed that's present here.

My only real performance gripe has to do with Newton's desktop client. When using the dedicated Mac app, it can take a few seconds for my inbox to refresh if the app's been closed for a while. As such, I'm occasionally left waiting for a few seconds while new emails pop up and old ones disappear if my inbox has changed since last using the desktop app.

This isn't a dealbreaker by any means, but it can still be a touch irritating at times.

Service compatibility

Gmail's long-offered excellent support for other email services, and this continues to be a strong point for it today. In addition to your Google account, you can also use Gmail to manage emails from iCloud, Outlook/Hotmail, Office365, Yahoo, and other IMAP accounts you have.

Newton is also well endowed in these regards, allowing you to use your email from Google Apps, Office 365, Exchange, IMAP, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, and iCloud.

Platform availability

An email client isn't any good if you can't access it on any of your devices, but this is something that both Gmail and Newton excel at.

Gmail and Newton's Android apps

Gmail and Newton have apps for Android and iOS, and Gmail can be accessed anywhere on the web at gmail.com. Instead of a website, Newton offers full-fledged desktop clients for Windows and Mac.

Privacy

Privacy is an awfully hot topic these days, and this is one area where Newton may lose some of its shimmer for certain users.

In order for Newton's enhanced features to work (referred to as Superchargers), copies of your emails are saved on the company's servers.

Newton reassures users that it has a "strict firewall" in place, uses HTTPS for its client-server communication, doesn't read or share your data, and all of your information is deleted should you choose to delete your Newton account.

For more information, you can read through Newton's full privacy policy.

Pricing

Here's where things can get dicey for some users.

As excellent as Newton is, its sleek apps and well thought-out features come at a cost. Following a 14-day free trial, you'll need to pay $49.99/year to continue using it. That comes out to just about $4 every month, and although I was initially apprehensive to the idea of paying for an email client, I'm well into my second year and haven't looked back once.

Paying $50/year for an email client isn't as crazy as it sounds.

For someone like myself that uses email for work and goes through dozens of messages each day from multiple accounts, Newton's well worth its asking price.

However, for folks that don't use email that heavily or simply don't want another bill to keep track of, it's awfully hard to argue with Gmail's $0.00 cost.

Which should you choose?

While I'm excited to see what kind of work Google continues to do with Gmail, I don't see myself leaving Newton anytime soon. The bundle of features included with the service is excellent, and while you can mimic a lot of them on Gmail with various add-ons and extensions, the simplistic way of which they're presented on Newton is what keeps me coming back.

Download: Newton Mail (free) (opens in new tab)

If you're a heavy email user and need something to help keep you organized, Newton's worth at least checking out. You don't need to enter any credit card information to get the free trial, and if you don't like it, you can walk away and go back to using something else.

I'd still say that Gmail is the best choice for most people (especially since its desktop redesign), but for those of us that tend to ask a bit more of our apps and services, Newton's a great companion to have.

Download: Gmail (free) (opens in new tab)

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

42 Comments
  • Newton is NOT worth $50/year, especially when there are options like Boxer and Aquamail that are just as good or better for free.
  • Aquamail is the only mail program that I have been able to use for my work email. That is other than the one officially supported by work. However, if I use the work one, they are able to dictate certain policies on my phone. Aquamail supports some types of email that others do not. What that is, I do not know.
  • Do they come with a desktop client that synchronizes accounts across devices?
  • If you care about privacy, use ProtonMail: https://protonmail.com
  • What about blackberry hub? I would take that over either of these solutions. Also for business and confidential emails, as previously posted. Protonmail.
  • One major issue is the Hub's lack of GMail support. No Archive feature, no tagging, and synchronizing (read, deleted, flagging/starring, etc) is pretty unreliable. I end up just doing the action in both hub, and web client usually. I have been on the look for something that supports GMail for a while.
  • Hub handles my Gmail just fine . . ?
  • I use it on a daily basis. I guess it depends on you definition of fine, as it does send and recieve mail. Lack of Archive feature is really annoying. When you flag an email in hub, watch how long it tags for the star to show up in your GMail inbox. Try deleting an email from GMail, what happens in the Hub? Nothing that email will stay in hub until you delete it from the Hub as well. Try moving an email to a folder from Hub, that will likley never get reflected in GMail web. Most email clients instantly synchronize with GMail. Hbu synchronizes instantly with Exchange accounts.
  • Archive feature is nothing but transferring your email from inbox to all mails folder. You can do this via the quick file option in the hub. You can even customise it if you want left or right swipe.
  • You are correct. However an Archive button is pretty much standard fair for mail clients these days, because of the ubiquity of GMail/GSuite. Seems silly to not have it at this point.
  • Again, I don't understand what is not there. Sorry. As I said, if you're in the main view of the hub, you swipe to archive. If you're in a mail, you tap the 3 dots on the top and tap quick file to archive. The first time you do a quick file, it asks you which folder is default where you need to choose All Mails. So, there IS the archive "feature" but it's just not labeled as archive instead it has a different name. So going back to your original comment, saying it lacks archive may be inappropriate.
  • Gotcha, thanks for the clarification, snosquirrel, I am a pretty simple user and shouldn't have commented . . .
  • I'm a Inbox type of person. Free.99
  • There is no way I'd pay $50 annually for an email client. I am OK to buy a onetime licence or so but not this much
  • I have never heard of Newton before, and at 50/year I will never care about it. These days I feel like it's Gmail for most people, outlook if you like folders over tags, proton for security, and your isp address if you're over 70.
  • Newton used to be CloudMail which was free and liked by a lot of people . . Most of who also left en mass when it switched to Newton and $50/yr subscription
  • I used Newton religiously back when it was CloudMagic. And one day it turned into Newton with precisely no prewarning, no explanation, and crippled unless you wanted to pay £50/year. Whether it's worth the price is irrelevant for me - I'm not gonna support a company that operates like that. Okay, they sent an apology out by email a week later for the message they'd caused, but email is a cluttered area and a week is a lifetime in technology - let then languish I say.
  • And the answer of which one is right for me... OUTLOOK
  • Here here . . . 👍
  • Absolutely. And Windows 10 Mail has improved tremendously, plus it's free.
  • Nine email is awesome and is only a 1 time $10 fee.
  • Agree
  • Outlook is free, so is bluemail, both of those are pretty robust solutions . . . If it's worth $50/yr for you that's great, but I can't say these others (and BB Hub) aren't just as good for a vast majority. And btw . . I wish Google play links would quit denoting apps like Newton as "free" - being free for two weeks doesn't make it free 😤
  • Cam Newton
  • He's a little more than $50/year I think 😉
  • I've tried many different email clients and none of them fit all of my needs, until I tried Newton. In my opinion, if you are one who utilizes multiple email accounts and exchange accounts, it's the best email client around and well worth the $50/year price tag. In my line of work, my clients often require me to use email accounts tied to their domain. As such, Newton is the only email client I've found that works seamlessly and quickly to sync my email & calendar events with my 4 gmail accounts and 2 exchange accounts. It's also one of the only ones that displays my various email signatures (which include hyperlinks and images) properly. The UI/UX is extremely fluid and behaves/looks the same on my Dell XPS 9370, Google Pixel 2 XL and my iPhone X. And, if I get a new device (or install a new ROM on my Pixel 2 XL), I can simply install Newton and login with my master account and it immediately syncs all of my email accounts, calendars and signatures. It's quite amazing and I haven't found anything that compares. With all that said, if I had a single Gmail account with no need for additional email addresses, I'd definitely just stick with Gmail. Especially with the fresh new design.
  • I am in the same boat as you. I think I am going to give Newton a whirl. I do think $50/yr is expensive. Half that price, would be a no brainer for my use-case.
  • outlook works fine for me
  • I am now done with GMail (or so it appears) on both the web and Android. Moving to Outlook.com. With Office 365, I get the Premium version of Outlook.com.
  • Newton is awesome on phone handling 4 email accounts with no problem and not Data hog. On the Mac and PC side not as good but I have never paid 50/yr I paid a 1 time fee of 75 for lifetime licence. Which they then refunded me $60 not sure why but been using it since cloud magic days and has been great.
  • Can you still get the lifetime license?
  • This post is basically an advertisement. Newton mail might be great and GMAIL still needs a lot of work so I'd like to see best free vs best paid articles (that would not look so obvious either). I'd also be happy for a best paid or at least a feature comparison table. Newton doesn't get on my shortlists because it's a reoccurring bill and those are what anyone on a budget (trying to save money, buy house, you got the idea) will look at closely and trying to eliminate or reduce. I've looked at free alternatives but never been happy, they have either been slugish, lack Snooze etc or they create extra unwanted artifacts (like new Snooze labels), which may be OK if they also have a desktop/browser version to hide those. I'm not interested in Outlook as I want to be able to access my emails anywhere.
  • "I'm not interested in Outlook as I want to be able to access my emails anywhere.' Do not quite understand this comment. Outlook has more option for accessing your email than any other client I know of. They have web, desktop clients for Windows and Mac. They also support more phone operating systems than Gmail. Gmail has a web app and supports IOS and Android. I do not use Outlook on my phone, but I found your comment quite confusing. On outlook.com you can have it retrieve your Gmail and send as Gmail, along with most other email services.
  • I use TypeApp, lots and lots of features and it's free!!
  • Changed to the New Gmail contacts and it is still not updating the contact list names to UNDEFINED, all of them. So to this point in time it is not worth changing as the contact list and sub list are not readable.
  • Nine email app (nine folder) best of all
  • A lot of these comments are only considering the phone app. But if you also need a solution for the desktop, there are not many alternatives. Outlook for desktop is a lot more money than this. Now Outlook is a one time fee, but if you upgrade your outlook every year or two the price is similar. If you get O365, which is over double the price, but you do get office. I have 4 gmail accounts, 3 for work and 1 personal. This is really handy. Plus when I set it up on another device, I just have to log into my Newton account, and all 4 gmail accounts are there, with proper signture etc. I don't know if Newton is the best, but off all the alternatives suggested here, Outlook is the only one that offers desktop + phone, and it doesn't sync accounts between devices. If there are alternatives that run on Windows/Mac/iOS/Android, I would love to hear of them, as $50/year is pretty damn steep. I would gladly pay $25/yr. My googling is not really showing any alternatives to this...
  • I use Newton because it works with amazon echo. it will read my email from 4 different email addresses. A hint, if you are testing Newton, after using it for the testing period, let it expire. You should get an email where you can get 50% off the first year within a few days. That is what I did :-)
  • Hmmm..... is this simply a paid aid (or otherwise compensated article) wrapped in skin of being a product comparison? Just seems odd to single out Newton for comparison and praise when there are other strong(er) alternatives and at a much lower price point. Like come on, $50/yr, really????
  • First u get 50% discount after a day of trial or so. Secondly I dont think there is any email client which works on android, ios, iPad, mac, windows all synced together for 50$ a year or rather 25% with discount. The price is for sibscription on all devices not one. I have just used an year of Newton and I have to say it has one of the best experience. I am still waiting for the discount on 2nd year before I renew. Personally saying its a great client for people who get a lot of emails.
  • gmail is a great app <a href="http://hotmailsigninaz.net/">Hotmail</a>
  • I am using Blackberry Hub and it is good. I like Gmail but hate that it is always in a conversation on the mobile app. Change that and I may use it. As for Outlook I really like this app but for one thing, Contacts. When I add a new contact to my Gmail account say from the web, I then try to send that contact an email from the Outlook app and the email does not populate. The outlook app does not always pull contacts from the native app. That is why I stay with the Blackberry Hub.