Imo Instant Messenger Review

Free Video and Voice Calls

Man with baby son (6-11 months) at home

 10'000 Hours/Getty Images

Imo counts among the large number of messaging apps competing for users. Although the app gets credit for its clean design and free HD-quality video chatting, it doesn't offer a broader ecosystem of utilities that differentiate it from its peers.

Imo on Mobile

Promotional image showing three Android screens of Imo in action.

What We Like

  • Free, HD video calling.

  • Large installed user base on Android.

  • Clean visual aesthetic for both Android and iOS.

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't do much beyond voice and video.

  • Stickers can be distracting.

  • In-app subscription model.

The mobile version of Imo supports HD-quality voice and video calling, in addition to text messaging with a library of stickers. You can even join group video calls.

Imo supports Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

The end-user experience for Android and iOS differs, as evidenced by online reviews. The Android version has been installed more than 500 million times; it enjoys a 4.3 rating with more than 5 million ratings cast. Overall, Google Play users seem to love Imo, rating it the same or better than its peer apps.

Apple's App Store reveals a different picture, with a rating of 3.3 with just under 35,000 ratings and a very large number of one-star ratings.

Of note: As of early 2019, Android users frequently complained that Imo didn't work correctly with Samsung phones; on any Samsung device, Imo generated audio glitches.

Imo on the Desktop

Registration screen for Imo on Windows.

What We Like

  • Imo offers apps for Windows and macOS.

  • The desktop apps sync with your mobile app.

What We Don't Like

  • You cannot install a desktop version without first installing a mobile app.

  • The desktop version does not natively support phone numbers based in the United States.

  • Desktop versions appear to be an afterthought, with less-precise design and fewer features.

The biggest challenge with Imo on the desktop is that you cannot run the app without first installing the app on your mobile device. Worse, if you live in the United States, the app (at least, version 1.2.50) doesn't support the United States in its list of recognized countries, even though Americans are free to download and use the mobile apps.

Although it's nice that Imo offers native desktop clients, they don't appear to be as fully featured as their mobile counterparts. They're updated less often, and the service's approach seems to be mobile-first.