Disclaimer: The following review was commissioned by KineMaster Inc. and I received compensation for this post. I maintain journalistic control and all views expressed herein are my own.
Whether you’re a vlogger, a scrapbooker or just someone who always likes to capture the moment, you’ve probably used your phone or tablet to create videos at some point. Am I right? Now, how many of these videos have been largely underwhelming? It’s not easy to get it right on the fly, when the lighting can cause issues, audio sounds like you’re reporting from inside of a toilet paper roll, or you have a case of the shaky hand syndrome.
What makes matters worse for those of us who are sticklers for quality is that video-editing apps to date seem to be watered down versions of their PC counterparts. So what is a boy to do when they want all the features of PC software on their mobile device?
Whether it’s for polish or the quick n’ dirty, I have an itch for video editing on the fly that no app has been able to scratch. Enter KineMaster, perhaps the most robust video editing app on the open market today. They boast control so vast and complete that the app can rival PC video editing software such as Final Cut Pro. That’s a big statement. Does KineMaster have what it takes to pack polished punch and roll with the big boys? Let’s take a look at the app’s features, design, video quality and price to find out.
When it comes to features, I was absolutely blown away by what KineMaster has to offer. What you’ll find with most video-editing apps is that the files require a certain degree of desktop editing in order to get the finished product you want. What that means is, you’ll need to do a certain level of work either cropping the video, or adding your effects and background music before you make the finishing touches via your app. Not the case with KineMaster.
KineMaster sports a really well-functioning multi-tracked timeline to support all of your audio and visual components, and have control over them simultaneously. It harnesses the full power of your Android device, supporting multiple media imports at once, and it really plays well in the mobile space through one touch tools for cropping, splitting clips, rotating and adding transitions.
There are a slew of options at your fingertips with KineMaster: you can adjust a clip’s brightness, contrast, colour saturation, all while overlaying titles, animations, effects and even credits. Basically, everything you would come to expect if you’ve used video editing software on your PC.
The built-in voice recorder works well, and if you hate the sound of yourself on recordings, you can always choose from the stock music library as well. It’s great for setting the mood when you just can’t find the appropriate song in your music library.
In a word, clean. The user interface of KineMaster reminds me most of Windows Movie Maker. It’s simple, and fairly intuitive. There aren’t a lot of buttons on the screen, which I personally prefer. What’s even more refreshing is how straightforward the app is: what you intend to do is exactly what you get. Splitting clips, adding music and overlaying effects can all be done within a few clicks, and the video preview updates in real time.
What’s particularly useful and unique is the level of functionality that Kinemaster’s design allows. For example, you’re thinking of adding a transition effect to your video, but you’re not sure if ‘3D Effect’ is what you think it is. No problem. Highlighting the effect triggers a preview, and once you apply it, if it’s not how you intended the effect to play, simply click the ‘undo’ button and you’re back to where you were in one touch.
Adding video, images and audio couldn’t be any easier. The app handles multiple media imports very well, with little to no lag or performance issues, but I did notice it often led in consumption of RAM amongst my active apps. Really though, video-editing is a resource-intensive activity and this should be expected from such software, regardless of the platform you’re using. Exporting is just as easy, and you can upload your finished file to all of your favourite social media channels right from your device, although the free version exports with a pesky watermark on it. Everyone’s gotta make money, right?
KineMaster in Action
Seeing is believing so I put KineMaster to the test this weekend. Take a look at the video I made in about 7 minutes using the app on my Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone. Not that it’s a ‘must-have’ but I highly recommend anyone who takes a lot of video or edits a lot of video on their device opt for more memory via the expandable microSD slot. I found myself in a bit of a pickle on the brink of creating my Picaso in video form, so do ensure you have ample space on your device before you start your project.
I determine the value of an app based on how much you have to shell out for the software. But KineMaster’s pricing structure is a little bit different – it’s subscription-based. Unfortunately, that makes things fairly pricey over the course of say, a year. I’m a strong believer in paying for quality experiences such as this, but apps like KineMaster warrant a one-time fee, not a subscription model.
I would love to take advantage of this powerful app on all of my devices, alas, it’s only available on select Android devices. It’s a missed opportunity for an app far superior to iMovie.
All in all, KineMaster is everything you could want in a mobile video-editing app. Its rich features live up to the high expectations it set by comparing itself to PC video editing software, if only the price wasn’t comparable too.
Have you used KineMaster? What do you think? Tweet me @adamrodricks or let me know in the comments.