Magisto for Android review: A video editor that does the work for you

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Magisto: Magical Video Editor (Android)

(Part #: com.magisto)
3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Magisto creates polished videos from your footage, and requires zero editing skills on your part. Dozens of song options are built in, or you can use or own tunes. It supports all standard video formats.

The Bad Free users are limited to videos of about a minute in length. Twelve theme options are not enough. With the app's poorly designed video picker tool, selecting clips can get annoying and tedious.

The Bottom Line Despite its limitations and problematic interface, Magisto is great for quickly and effortlessly throwing together short, polished video compilations.

7.3 Overall
  • Installation and Setup 10.0
  • Features and Support 7.0
  • Interface 7.0
  • Performance 7.0

With Magisto, you can turn all of your stale mobile footage into a polished compilation video that's ready to be shared. With the help of Magisto's seemingly magical technology, the app analyzes your videos, picks out interesting clips, and automatically edits them together, complete with music and transitions. It requires no editing skills at all.

Right off the bat, Magisto makes things simple with two large buttons that let you either start shooting a new video or jump straight to your Gallery to sift through existing videos.

If you choose to shoot a new video, Magisto jumps to its in-app recorder, which can switch between front-facing and rear-facing cameras. Each time you start and stop recording, your new clip will be saved in a drawer on the side of the screen. From this drawer, you can see what clips you've recorded, and easily delete any that you don't want to include in your final compilation video. Once you're done recording, you can hit Next to begin selecting any other media you might want to include in your final edit.

The video picker interface lets you look through files in your Gallery as well as any media that might be stored on your Google Drive account. Since the app supports all standard video formats, you shouldn't have to worry about transcoding anything. All you have to do is pick the items you want to include in your final edit and let Magisto find the interesting parts to edit together. The problem is that the interface of this video picker is in major need of work. It gets annoyingly tedious, especially if you have a lot of content saved on your device.

Magisto's problematic video picker makes it tough to navigate and select items from your Gallery. Screenshot by Jaymar Cabebe/CNET

Since there are no filter tools in the video picker -- for example, Videos Only or Photos Only -- you essentially have to scroll through all of your stuff, then tap to select the media you want to include in your edited video. As you can imagine, if you have hundreds or even thousands of files saved, this can take some time. What makes things even more annoying is that there is no way to review only the items that you've selected before proceeding, which means if you suddenly decide to remove a clip, you'll have to scroll through your exhaustive list again to find and deselect it.

Once you've selected your media, Magisto gives you 12 different themes to choose from. There are specialized themes for holidays, as well as more general themes like Street Beats and Sentimental. Overall, the themes cover a broad range of moods, but 12 options just isn't enough. The good thing, though, is that each theme does come with a few different soundtrack options, which are all licensed for personal use (though YouTube or other Web sites might still take them down). Otherwise, you can always upload your own music, but you won't get to pick which part of the song gets used in your movie.

Don't Miss


Discuss Magisto: Magical Video Editor (Android)

Conversation powered by Livefyre