Handcent SMS


Co-written by Kara Monroe

Handcent SMS is a free sms application available on the Android market. It’s ad supported and offers support for both SMS & MMS.  Handcent doesn’t apply any extra charges for using it, but your normal SMS and MMS charges will apply.

After successful install on a Droid and Nexus One, we were able to exchange messages with only a few problems to cell phone numbers. The first attempt to send a message on the Nexus One resulted in a Force Close.  After more extensive testing, there were a few other random ForceClose messages occurred on both Nexus One and Droid.

A few attempts to send messages, both SMS and MMS, to a Google Voice number failed.  These messages were never received either in the Handcent interface or the Google Voice interface even though Handcent offered reports for messages delivered successfully.

Handcent outshines the device-based text messaging in customization options.  The application looks polished. There are different styles (iphone, handcent, and android) for viewing the messages. In addition, the customization of notifications is much more detailed with Handcent over the notifications available on the device itself. You can customize different LED colors and different sounds/vibrate patters based on sender.

We liked the option to search content by keyword and a notification that a new SMS arrived.

Battery doesn’t seem to be a problem on either the Droid or Nexus One. When phone is “locked” Handcent brings up a message box that allows you to reply without unlocking the phone (no need to move the slider).  This was a nice feature, although the app on Droid froze the screen once and I couldn’t unlock the phone. In addition, there was one Force Close on the Nexus One phone for the undelivered messages, and the only thing I could do was kill it from the Advanced Task Killer.
In the end, our conclusion was that Handcent app does have some nice features (customizable notifications, notification message box over the slider, etc.) however at this time until the problems with the application are fixed, doesn’t warrant taking up space on our devices.


  1. I have been using Handcent for about a week now on my Incredible. Fortunately I haven't had those problems at all with missing messages, freezing or force closes. I couldn't figure out how to turn off the notification for the regular SMS feature that came on the phone. I went through settings, but it still gives me both notifications.

    • You have to open the stock text message inbox and turn off notification fron there. Then you will only get the notifications from handcent. I’ve been using it for weeks and love it. No fc issues at all. I only wish you install skins/themes.

  2. Used it on Hero with very little problem. Upgraded to HTC desire then handcent started to send texts to the wrong people, support is practically non existent as they have not replied to 3 emails.

  3. I have been using it for ages on a couple of different phones, the latest being the Droid. I have never seen a force close with it, and it seemed to have sent out every single text I have done. First rate application.

  4. I have had my droid since december but had to get a substitute because the software program ruined my telephone when it up to date itself. So for sure having troubles & discovered this excellent website lol i do have a questio tho…my ram storage is gettin smaller & smaller..is there nethin i can do to assist get sum again?

  5. Howdy all just discovered the site and thought I’d say hello. I like loads of you’re waiting for my Incredible to be shipped. I ordered it online on 6/9 and they preserve telling me it will ship this Wednesday 6/30. Fingers crossed that it does this ready is killing me! I’m soo glad this site may be very informative to me. Thanks

  6. Whilst I like a bodily keyboard, after dealing with the Samsung Captivate for approximately 15 minutes, it is laborious to head back. Presently I’m debating whether to go to Verizon for the Droid X, cross to Dash for the EVO, or stick with AT&T for the Captivate…selections, decisions.

  7. love handcent, but i just had a business trip and now that timezone is stuck in handcent and all my texts are showing up 2 hours later. can someone help me fix this?

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