Losing the files on your smartphone is terrifying, there’s no doubt about it. It could be a software error that prevents your Android smartphone from booting or an accidental factory reset. It could also be an unsuccessful rooting attempt, hardware failure, virus attack, malicious attack by hackers through phishing or social engineering, or you dropping your phone and watching it get smashed to pieces. The thing is – it doesn’t matter how it happened. The data is gone, and you need to do something about it. But how, and what are the chances of restoration? We’ll discuss all of that in our FonePaw Android Data Recovery review.
Although the software is designed to restore data from Android devices, it isn’t an Android application. It requires a Windows program that can then detect your smartphone and perform a scan. With that in mind, the color combination is almost entirely white and dark grey, with only a few bright green elements. Kind of a weird combination, but it makes it stand out. You shouldn’t worry about the actual scanning process because it is simplified and intuitive, and won’t require reading a technical guide. The scan results are also neatly organized in categories and are a breeze to browse through.
Operating System Compatibility
FonePaw Android Data Recovery is available on Windows computers running versions XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10. It also supports more than 6000 Android smartphone models and requires a minimum of Android 2.3 installed. This is great news, and we praise their decision to keep supporting the defunct models. Also, you can install the software on a Mac computer and connect your Android device in the same way. And, although it is a separate software in the same family, you can also download FonePaw Data Recovery for iOS devices. That way, all your smart devices are covered and you won’t have to look elsewhere.
With this software, you can scan for data such as contacts, messages, call history, archives, message attachments, images, videos, audio, and documents. Plus, it is possible to restore WhatsApp data, particularly WhatsApp messages, and attachments. This is certainly a welcome feature, but we’ve seen competitors allow their users to scan for files from Viber, Kik, WeChat, Messenger, and other well-known messaging apps. FonePaw should take note and implement the support for those applications in the future, in our opinion.
Android devices use a wide variety of file systems that change often. Some of the most common ones are VFAT, YAFFS, YAFFS2, RFS, and Ext4. The software encompasses scanning for files on all of them, and you as the Android user don’t need to know the specific file system.
But we thought we’d throw in a disclaimer about a separate software named FonePaw Data Recovery. We mention it because it belongs to the same family and performs the same function, only limited to drives running Windows. In that case, file systems that are supported are NTFS, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, and EXT. So, if you have a computer struggling with data loss, it’s something to keep in mind.
Restore Files From a Broken Device
This is a feature we truly appreciate. Many times your phone is stuck in a boot loop or has trouble lighting up at all. It is also possible that the screen is broken, even though the smartphone works. In all of those cases, it’s a relief to have a computer to extract the data with. The process is identical – connect the device via USB and fire up the software on a computer running Windows or Mac. If your computer has trouble scanning, it means you need to enable USB debugging. We’ve described the entire process in our guide on how to recover Android phone after a factory reset.
Rooting your Android phone
Do I need to root my Android phone to recover data? The answer isn’t definite but there are a few guidelines. FonePaw Android Data Recovery can retrieve files from internal memory, SIM card, and SD/memory card. For the first two types of recovery, the scan will be limited by Android, and rooting your phone will increase the number of files that are discovered. For SD cards, rooting won’t make a difference.
Judging performance is always tricky and it depends on a lot of factors. Some of those are how cluttered the storage is, the model of your smartphone, the actual USB port and its speed of reading and writing data, and the specifications of your computer. We weren’t able to spot a significant difference when compared to the Gihosoft Android Data Recovery review we did. And we’re sure that minute or two, more or less, won’t matter once you see your files restored at the end of the scan.
The free version of the software is essentially a trial version. You are free to perform scans and preview results, although pictures cannot be viewed in full size. To recover even a single file, you are required to purchase a license.
Backup and Restore
FonePaw Android Data Recovery comes with a special feature that allows you to create a backup of your Android phone. This eliminates the worry that a similar disaster can derail your plans in the future.
We will mention the full prices of FonePaw products, even though a discount that ranges between 20% and 30% is generally present at all times. Also, all of the licenses apply to one computer and last a lifetime. With that in mind, to perform Android data recovery from internal memory, SD card, and SIM cards, you will have to shell out $49.95. The license to restore data from a broken Android device costs $39.95, while a Backup & Restore capabilities unlock when you pay $19.95. They can be purchased separately, and you’ll get greater discounts if you purchase volume licenses for multiple computers.
- A simple user interface with core features
- Great compatibility, going back as far as Android 2.3
- Eliminates the risk of data overwriting since the software is installed on Windows
- Has a separate software for data recovery on iOS, Windows, and Mac
- It can recover files from a broken Android device
- You cannot recover files for free
- Requires preparation (USB cable, drivers, enabling USB debugging)
- Recovering data from applications is limited to WhatsApp only
In conclusion, not a lot was left unsaid. Although recovering isn’t free, the trial version allows you to test the software beforehand. This is fair of them – you can see whether it can discover the files you need before paying to restore them. The price of licenses is also fair, in our opinion, and at a competitive level with what others offer.
FonePaw Android Data Recovery Review
FonePaw is an excellent data recovery software to recover data from your Android device. The process is fast and the success rate of the recovered files definitely makes it one of the top recovery tools available for the Android platform.