Wallpaper worth the money

As gorgeous as some of the stock wallpapers in our Android smartphones are, we sometimes yearn for more. There are myriad options online, but it isn't always easy to cut through the clutter. Here are eleven handpicked wallpaper apps for Android that are well worth the money, especially since you can get access to hundreds of options for the change in your pocket.

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Poly

Price: Free

With thirty minimal and abstract wallpapers to choose from, Ryan Kelly's wallpaper bundle Poly looks absolutely amazing on larger smartphones. A handful of the backgrounds feature a circle that outlines your favorite clock widgets with some added flair. If you're a fan of polygon artwork, then you'll want to give this free app a spin.

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Trinity Wallpaper Pack

Price: 99 cents, 63p

With more than four dozen triangle and pixel wallpapers to choose from, these range from vibrant and splashy to muted and minimal. At only 99 cents, the Trinity Wallpaper Pack is breathtaking on any device. All wallpapers have at least a 1,800x1,600-pixel resolution and scale well for tablets, too.

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Behang

Price: 99 cents, 59p

With more than 340 wallpapers and growing, Behang keeps all of its backgrounds stored in the cloud so you don't have to worry about wasting storage space on your device. Broken into a number of categories, there's something for everyone. The app also works as a portal into other wallpaper bundles. See Nóloc for a prime example.

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NowPaper

Price:99 cents, 59p

You know those cute little graphics that rest atop your Google Now cards? This app includes high-resolution (1,920 x 1,080) wallpapers inspired by that exact look. Although nowPaper works fantastically well on its own, integration with Muzei (free) makes icons refresh on their own.

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Infinite Walls

Price: 99 cents, 58p

Sure, its name might be a bit of a misnomer, but with nearly 350 wallpapers to choose from, it's hard to find fault with Infinite Walls. Broken down into more than a dozen categories, this one shines on even the highest of resolution smartphones. We're looking at you, LG G3.

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Wolz

Price:99 cents, 59p

With 250 wallpapers and growing, Wolz is a cloud-based application divided into eight popular categories. Updated regularly, you'll find stripes, polygons, textures, blurs, and more. Theses wallpapers pair nicely with the developer's custom icon packs. You know, if you're into that sort of thing.

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Mixt

Price: Free

Fans of gradient wallpapers will appreciate the simplicity of Mixt, a free application that does one thing really well. All you do is pick two colors and set the combo as your wallpaper. There's nothing else to do except enjoy that gorgeous new backdrop.

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Blur

Price: Free,99 cents, 59p

It might not sound all that awesome at first, but applying a blur to your images can have a tremendous effect on your home screen. This goes doubly for custom icon packs and fancy widgets. Available in free and paid (99 cents, 59p) versions, Blur adds depth to an otherwise flat design. We say cough up the buck and enjoy the overlay patterns.

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Tapet

Price: Free

You will have plenty of fun playing with Tapet and its endless number of wallpaper designs. Rather than offering static images, this one randomly generates designs with any number of patterns and colors. For maximum fun, set the app to create something fresh as often as every five minutes.

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Origami Live Wallpaper

Price: 99 cents, 76p

As one of the only live wallpapers on this list, Origami Live Wallpaper lets you create animated, fading, and pulsing backgrounds. With nine themes and dozens of variants to play with, there's no telling what you'll you'll get. A handy widget makes it a breeze to swap things up on the fly; hit the random button and leave it chance. See something you really love? Back it up and return to it later!

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Fracta

Price: $1.99, £1.18

Perhaps the newest of this bunch, Fracta ($1.99, £1.18) gives users 20 themes to play with, each of which can be tailored to no end. Always colorful and never distracting, these live wallpapers can also feature a 3D perspective shift. As a fun way to put space between your wallpaper and icons, the app is also available in a free, stripped-down version -- though it's worth the money to go whole hog.

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What's next?

Changing your wallpaper is only the beginning of a custom-designed Android experience; perhaps now you'll try your hand at something a little more involved. We've put together a handy list of apps that can add even more flair to your Android home screen, some of which are free. And if  you're ready to graduate to a custom launcher, check out these handpicked icon packs.

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