How To Make a Video Call on Android

Video chat with your contacts on any Android device

What To Know

  • Built-in: Open the Phone app > select a contact, and tap the video icon underneath their name.
  • Google Duo: Select a contact and click the video icon. Duo sends them a live video feed, so they know who's calling.
  • If you don’t want to use Duo, there are many free video-calling apps available on Android. 

This article shows you how to make a video call on Android, including the built-in option, Google Duo, and third-party video chat apps.

How To Use Android’s Built-in Video Calling

Depending on your device and carrier, it’s possible to make video calls from your phone app directly. 

  1. Open the Phone app.

  2. Select the contact you wish to call.

  3. Tap the video icon underneath the contact's name to begin a video call.

  4. Wait for your contact to answer. If your contact’s phone doesn’t support video chat, you’ll automatically be switched to an audio call.

Steps to make a video call on Android.

The only downside to Android’s built-in calling is that you’ll only be able to start a video call with someone who also has this functionality.

How To Make a Video Call With Google Duo

Google’s video-calling app, Duo, is preinstalled on most Android phones. Duo is fully integrated with first and second-generation Pixel, Android One, and Nexus devices, which means you can use it right from your Phone and Contacts apps.

Duo isn’t integrated with all Android devices, making it less seamless than Apple’s Facetime, but it’s still easy to use even if you don’t have one of the devices mentioned above.

  1. Open the Duo app. If it’s preinstalled, you can use your Android phone’s search function to locate it. Otherwise, you can download it for free from the Google Play Store.

  2. Agree to the terms of service and give Duo access to your microphone and camera. The app will use your existing phone number to make calls.

    You have the option to sign in to your Google Account on Duo, which makes it easier to video call with your email contacts.

  3. Select a contact to call. Duo helpfully groups all of your contacts who have Duo together.

  4. Tap the video call icon. Duo has a useful feature called Knock Knock that sends the person you’re trying to call a live video feed of you, so they know who they’re receiving a call from before picking up. Duo also has a variety of filters and effects.

  5. Invite contacts to connect on Duo. If a contact doesn’t have Duo yet, you can tap Invite.

    Duo is available to download on the App Store, which means you can use it to make video calls with iPhone users.

Steps to make a video call using Google Duo on Android.

How To Video Chat on Android Using Third-Party Apps

If you don’t want to use Duo, there are many free video-calling apps available on Android. 

Two of the best alternatives are Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, as you likely already have at least one of them as a text messaging app. 

Making a call with both apps is a nearly identical process. Find the person you want to talk to, select the video icon at the top of the screen, and your call should begin. For a group call, both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp support video chats multiple people (Facebook Messenger up to 50, WhatsApp up to 8).

Steps to make a video call using Facebook Messenger chat screen on Android.

Alternatively, you can use video conferencing platforms like Zoom as a mobile video chat app. The one significant difference is that instead of directly calling someone, you’ll need to create a meeting and invite people. Zoom is a good option if you want to host a large gathering, as it supports up to 100 attendees.

To start a video call on Zoom for Android:

  1. Open the app and tap the New Meeting button.

  2. On the next screen, tap Start a Meeting.

  3. Select Participants at the bottom of the screen.

  4. To begin inviting people to your meeting, tap Invite in the bottom left corner. You’ll be presented with a list of your email and messaging apps. Find the person(s) you want to invite from one of these, and Zoom will send an invitation link so they can join your meeting.

No matter which video chat app you use, it’s best to connect to a Wi-Fi network, if you can. Video chats use a lot of data, so using a Wi-Fi connection won’t eat into your monthly data limit.

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