Weekly App Review: Zello

Photo from zello.com
Photo from zello.com

Today, starts a new weekly series where I will review some of the best apps for college students and rate them from a 1 to 10 scale.

However, to make the series fair, there will be three rules to follow by:

1. Apps must be free to the user. However, this excludes apps that are free but have in-game purchases like Madden Mobile and Temple Run.

2. Apps must be low users of data, so that will disqualify  Madden from future consideration.

3. Apps must be on both Android and Apple Play stores.

So with that, let’s get started.

With this hurricane season being as bad as it has been, people have to get creative when the power goes out. So in comes Zello, the walkie talkie on your phone.  Zello claims that its app works with 4G, 3G, 2G, and WiFi, claims most apps can’t make. With over 50 million downloads in the Google Play Store and a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars, this app has the fame to back itself up. But does it have enough to stand with me?

The app has over 10 MB to download which isn’t too bad, and it did not take long at all for it to download for me.  I realize when I open the app, Zello wants me to create an account with a username and everything just like in college. Just something else you have to remember. It also wants access to phone contacts, photos, and text messages, another thing I don’t care for. After accepting its requests, it now wants me to create a profile. That takes me about 5 minutes to finish, and now Zello is available for use. Without even using it yet, I notice my battery level and see it is down to 88% from 95% in those 5 minutes.

When testing the audio, I am impressed that the audio I recorded was crystal clear compared to apps like Tango and Facebook Messenger. However, just like any app. when the cell towers go down, the app will not work.  So that means the app is only good for conservations and not even for storms when the power goes out. Now that’s a major bummer.

This app is just like Tango and Facebook Messenger which are just like Zello but with video chats. If you are trying to save on data plans, I would recommend for you to download this app; otherwise just keep your Messenger.

Rating: Five out of Ten stars: More like Jello