Retrica review: More filters than you'll know what to do with

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The Good Retrica offers an abundance of unique filters and shooting modes, giving you much more to work with than most photo-filter apps.

The Bad Both the free and pro versions of the app require an additional in-app purchase in order to save photos pulled from your photo library.

The Bottom Line If you're looking for a new app to apply filters and various effects to your photos, Retrica gives you tons of options.


7.7 Overall
  • Setup 8
  • Features 7
  • Interface 8
  • Performance 8

Retrica (iOS|Android) is yet another app with its own take on turning your smartphone into a retro-grade camera, but where filters are concerned, it blows many of its competitors out of the water. In fact, it contains more filters than I even knew existed (80 in total, 55 in the free version), a randomization mode, a blur effect, a timer and even interval shooting.

Though it's not going to have the expansive tools for image editing found in apps like Camera+ or PhotoToaster, Retrica is perfect for smartphone shutterbugs looking for filter options you can apply without a lot of hassle.

Right at home

The interface of Retrica is like most other camera apps. There's the standard viewfinder, with advanced controls for shooting modes and various effects located just above a round shutter button. To the right of the shutter button are two buttons, respectively titled Random and Filters (more on these in a minute).

The familiarity feels at home on iOS, making it a comfortable transition to anyone who rarely strays outside of Instagram or the Camera app.

Tapping within the viewfinder adjusts focus as you would expect, although the app lacks a control to adjust exposure. Lack of exposure control isn't a deal-breaker, as most filters lend themselves to pseudo-exposure adjustments, but with advanced camera controls being available to third-party developers in iOS 8, it'd be a welcomed addition to the app.

So many filters

Often times, the worst part about using a filter on a photo is trying to decide which filter to use. Especially when an app has multiple filters -- or in the case of Retrica, dozens of them -- you become somewhat paralyzed when it's time to apply one.

Retrica attempts to eliminate any indecision with the previously mentioned Random button. Tapping it will pick a random filter and enable or disable the vignette mode. With the app providing a live preview in the viewfinder, you're able to see what your photo will look like should you accept the serendipitous outcome.

With 55 filters included in the free version of the app, your odds of finding one to suit your photo are in your favor. Every so often when using the Random mode, you'll see a lock placed on the shutter button. This lock indicates the current filter being used is part of the Pro Pack. Unlocking the Pro Pack, which includes an additional 25 filters, will set you back $1.99.

In my testing I found some of the filters overbearing, while others added value to the photos. With so many different filters to choose from, it was easy to forget where a filter I liked was located. It would be great if there were some sort of history list or method to go back to recently used filters to eliminate this issue.