ESET Mobile Security & Antivirus is a basic free antivirus app for Android. Premium subscribers can unlock the full version, which is actually a very good security suite for your phone.
Free users locked out
During my testing, ESET impressed me with how quickly it could scan my phone. The app includes the company's Live Grid technology, which leverages other ESET users to help detect new threats faster. Other apps include this as well, like Lookout.
If you want to use ESET for free, you can, but you'll be missing out on the best features of the app. The free version limits you to on-demand scans and some anti-theft features. You'll be missing active protection, which is a big downside.
If you upgrade to the yearly subscription for $14.95 per year, you get automated scans, automatic updates of the virus database, SMS & call filtering, anti-phishing, security audits, and remote device wipe. Other apps certainly include more features but the ones ESET included work very well.
Good interface, but not great
ESET's interface is laid out with big buttons for its major features. However, the interface is a bit utilitarian with most of its options set up in a list. Lists are fine and work but it feels like filling out a survey.
I do like ESET's usability over all. Everything feels fast and works well. Initial set up can be a chore since you'll need to create an account to use its anti-theft features.
If you're using the free version, most of the apps features are labeled "Premium." I prefer this to an overly aggressive on-boarding for an app's premium version. It lets you know exactly what you're missing out on. If you decide you want its premium features, you can unlock it easily with an in-app purchase.
Get it for its speed and detection rate
If you're looking for fast on-demand scanning and some anti-theft features, ESET is great. If you're expecting more features for free, you're going to be disappointed. There are free antivirus apps that include more features, like McAfee and Sophos.