If you don't have at least one file explorer installed on your device, then I'm not sure how you actually use it (if you an even call it "using"). However, there are a veritable plethora of file managers in the Store, so choosing one as your primary can be a real task.

If you're on the side of the fence that most of us here at AP are, and have tried nearly every reasonable-looking file manager in the Play Store, then you've probably gotten to the point where you don't even check out new offerings any more, right? That's exactly how I was about an hour ago, before we found Solid Explorer Beta. I'm just going get it out of the way now: this is the most full-featured file manager I've ever used on an Android device. And it's awesome.

Screenshot_2012-04-30-16-02-08 Screenshot_2012-04-30-16-02-58 Screenshot_2012-04-30-16-03-15

Just to give you an idea of what SE can do, here's a look at its feature list:

  • Two independent panels for browsing
  • Drag and Drop inside and between panels
  • FTP, SFTP and SMB/CIFS clients
  • File sharing via FTP
  • Support for ZIP, TAR.GZ, TAR.BZ2 and RAR archives
  • Creating ZIP and TAR archives
  • Dropbox and Box support
  • Bookmarks
  • Root access
  • Indexed search, also available from the system (that means that you can search for files from the Google Search widget/app)
  • Detailed file and directory information

Pretty impressive, no? As if those aren't enough, the dev also dropped a shortlist of upcoming features into the app's Play Store listing:

  • Multi language support
  • Image preview on remote places
  • Ability to set a cloud service as default panel
  • Holo themes

Screenshot_2012-04-30-16-03-27 Screenshot_2012-04-30-16-04-59

Far too often, though, we see apps with an impressive list of features on paper, and then they end up being crap in practice. I can tell you now: this isn't one of those apps. In fact, I've been messing around with SE for the past hour or so, and only encountered one issue: it crashes when trying to access a system folder (even after granting the app root privileges). Initially I thought this just may be a glitch on the Transformer Prime, so tried it on the Galaxy Nexus and had the same issue, so perhaps it's an ICS issue (it's worth noting that Artem didn't have an issue access system folders on Gingerbread). Either way, the app is still in beta, so I'm sure the dev will get it sorted out soon enough.


Aside from that one issue, everything else works as advertised (did for me, anyway). The two-pane view is excellent, drag and drop works flawlessly, indexed search is incredible - the list goes on and on. One of the best things about this app, however, is the cloud integration (Box/Dropbox), so you don't have to navigate your cloud app, download a file, and then go back to the file manager to actually manipulate or execute it.

The app is free in the Play Store - I highly recommend give it a shot.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • http://meatcastle.com/ Youre My Boy Bloo

    I will consider this so long as they promise to make sure that over time, they do not slip into becoming more of a GUI browser like the other big boys have. I had to detach my file browsers from the market because every time one of them did an update they would come out looking like some iPhone monstrosity.

    I want a file browser because I want pure file browsing, please just give me power features and not turn it into some Frankenstein desktop environment.

  • Bill

    How does this compare to Astro File Manager?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      No comparison. Solid easily trumps Astro.

      • Paul Werner

        What about compared to Total Commander (even though this isn't in the Google Play Store)

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          I'm a huge TC fan (ever since the 90s), and I was extremely excited about TC on Android. Ever since then, I was not compelled to install any other file manager. Until today.

          I'm not ready to announce my verdict by far, but Solid is... a damn solid contender, which I could end up being as good or even better than TC, and its UI is gorgeous. The fact that it has drag and drop and TC doesn't speaks heaps - the lack of it in TC has been a big downer.

          • Mikey_H

            Hmm, ok Artem, I'm going to try this out. I tried a whole load of different apps before TC came out. Haven't looked at any others since... TC just works.

          • Paul Werner

            I know this is a bit late to reply on this but I'd check it out if I didn't already set up all my bookmarks on TC already. I also use TC on my PC (lol, almost sounds like "Tepe for my bunghole"). I may eventually check it out though since you rate it so high

  • spydie

    not integrated with its own mother... Google drive?  geez

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      Google Drive APIs aren't yet available. Give it time.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        I think Android devs can hack around it, and I'm curious to see if they actually could get the current set of Java APIs to work on Android, but I've yet to see an app that implements them.

      • http://twitter.com/homncruse Aaron Burke

        Sadly, I'm not optimistic for Google Drive APIs. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but we're still waiting on those Google Music APIs and useful Google+ APIs (public posting view-only APIs don't count).

        ^^ Said with love, truth, and marginal disappointment, not intending to troll or flame.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Why are you not optimistic? The SDKs for Drive are out for a number of languages, including Java. They didn't do one specifically for Android and chose to concentrate on making Chrome apps for some reason, so I'm waiting on that, but it's much closer to reality than, say, Music or G+ - it's practically already here.

      • ga_st

        it should still work with google docs ones,for now.

  • New_Guy

    Don't think I could ever leave Astro as long as the app is so awesome...

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Btw, my UI is the opposite of Cameron's - it's light by default and very easy on the eye. Very refreshing app, and drag-and-drop multi-pane UI is sweet.

  • Aaron

    So is this better than total commander, even for root functions?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      See my response to Paul regarding TC.

  • Vega Omega

    How does this compare to ES File Explorer?

    • Dinoshark

      It's better IMO. 

  • spydie

    I have a galaxy note.  the app fails to read the optional SD card.  from the root directory of the phone, The internal memory is called "mnt" then you click on "internal memory" to read the phones folders and that works fine. But when I go to the root directory and pick the "sd card" (for my second directory panel), and click OK, then close the app and restart it, it aways comes up and says "unable to read root directory" and only displays the mnt/internal memory.  The second panel is blank.  However, if I pick one of the folders inside the SD card, like "bluetooth", then it reads that fine.  It just won't read the root directory of the sd card.

  • FirefighterMatt56

    I've been playing with this for about 20 mins now and I can honestly say that I may ditch root explorer for this. (Once the system folder thing gets fixed of course.) It is completely awesome with the double panel that I don't have to copy/paste things and go through a ton of menus.

    • bjn714

      It is very nice. I still like root explorer for quick tasks. Also they just updated it and now it scrolls much better after they added hw acceleration.

  • Aki I.

    any opinion compared to ES file explorer?

    • Jen Calma25

      i'am gonna ask the same question, :D
      and no sugarsync support for this app, 

    • Dinoshark

      Longtime ES File Explorer user here. 

      I'd say it's better. Much more polished (in terms of UI), root support and DropBox & Box integration. It feels snappier than ES too.  

      • raindog469

        I tried Solid today. Yeah, it's prettier. It's also twice as big as ES and can't be moved to the SD card. I uninstalled it, but will try it again on my tablet where I have more space.

  • Johnathan Higginson

    Sorry to be the a#%hole, but in the second paragraph the app title which is italicized, reads "Sold" instead of "Solid". I concur though after using it, its my main explorer. So long Astro you had a good run on my devices 

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Not at all - I'm a grammar nazi myself and appreciate when people point these out. Fixed it up for Cameron.

      • Inferno986return

        Wouldn't Nazi have a capital "N"?

        Sorry Artem but I had to pick that out.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          I didn't want to capitalize as to me that'd refer to and resemble the real Nazis more than it needs to. But I see the irony of your note :)

  • Hari Krishna Dulipudi

    AnExplorer app is the best ICS themed app i have seen so far

  • diem

    Honestly, this is AMAZING!! Great UI, awesome features and still a beta?? Wow.. Btw, Root explorer works fine here, even renamed a file. 
    Just keep in mind that this will probably go paid after the beta. And it really does make sense for it. At least no tricks like File Expert, they call it a beta from the beginning.
    Then again I might be wrong and it could stay free.. 

  • Northstar17

    Ghost Commander is what I've stuck with. Its open source. It needs a UI overhaul but works flawlessly on GB and ICS.

  • Pascal Rosin

    Total Commander has some more features, the only ones I did not find on Total Commander are Drag'n'Drop and Video Thumbnails, plus this one looks better. But a very nice feature of Total Commander is the ability to put a short-cut to every file or folder to your launcher screen

  • Pascal Rosin

    Total Commander has some more features, the only ones I did not find on Total Commander are Drag'n'Drop and Video Thumbnails, plus this one looks better. But a very nice feature of Total Commander is the ability to put a short-cut to every file or folder to your launcher screen

  • Lbpiscool

    This app is....amazing.

    Root explorer
    androzip (needed good zipping)
    And astro (mainly for checking out what's eating memory)

    Owned all those apps. The UI and drag and drop is sick. Thanks AP for pointing it out!

  • Hal Motley

    This is actually quite a solid file manager (though I am not ready to give up on Rhythm Software's File Manager) and has some pretty intuitive features. I really like how easy it is to "jump" from place to place in one tap!

    If anything that needs improvement is the "Organize" system. It would be cool if you could emulate the way my current file manager does that. Because it's a bit cumbersome having to go to "Select" then go to "Delete". Also there should be an "Up" one level button.

    Anyway good work and I hope to see this app get better and better!

  • Mikey_H

    Ok, having tried this out for the past 24hrs, SE is fantastic. It exactly how TC should be, with great cloud integration, drag and drop and a nice slick interface.

    Issues with it (I'm on a GS2 with ICS):

    1) Trying to do anything in the system files will crash it, but only the first time. After the crash you can restart the program and edit/move/delete etc but it will crash every time on initial start up.

    2) You lose a whole load of 'send to' options if you select more than one file, which is just silly.

    Other than those two things, SE has replaced TC for me, great find Cameron :)

  • Dave Sleep

    I haven't see this one mentioned and it is now my go to file explorer. X-plorer.
    Free, check2 panels, checkRoot, check.Google Drive™, Dropbox, SugarSync, Box.net , checkRoot, FTP, SMB, Sqlite, Picasa, Zip, Rar explorer, checkView APK files as ZIP and  Seamless work with Zip (as if it was normal folder) check.I find it has everything, looks good and works really well.I would really suggest giving it a go.https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lonelycatgames.Xplore&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5sb25lbHljYXRnYW1lcy5YcGxvcmUiXQ.. 

  • Dramitjohari

    I havent tried this but feel Xplore by LCG is a solid Competitor. Whats the House opinion

  • ChumbleSpuzz

    Crashes while mounting shared folders on my PC via samba on my rooted Transformer TF101. Anyone else able to mount SMB shares?

  • Major_Pita

    Wonder how long it's going to take people to get tired of the blue & white on black color themes. I don't even have ICS yet (sill waiting...) and I'm already getting a little bored with Holo. (LOL)

  • Freak4Dell

    I really do like the UI, but there's some pretty major bugs. It keeps crashing when I try to access my laptop via SMB, and yesterday I accidentally started a copy operation, which I cancelled right away, but the operation is stuck and won't let me do anything else until it finishes. The problem is, it doesn't actually try to finish. Trying to stop it again does nothing. Even exiting the app doesn't seem to do anything. I had to clear the app data to get it to finally clear the operation.

  • http://twitter.com/LinkofHyrule89 Matthew

    How do you do drag and drop? When I hold on a file it just opens up another menu.

    • Freak4Dell

       Hold on the icon of a file instead.

  • Jrocker23

    I like the app alot but for some reason it was killing my battery, I don't know why or how. I unistalled it and my battery is acting normal again. I will wait for a few updates & try it again.