Top 5 Smartphone Spying Apps of 2021—A Comparative Review

If you are searching for the best spying app or spyware, then you must already know that it’s a monitoring tool for smartphones. But that is not where your difficulties lie, right? You want to get the best fit for your needs and, at the same time, do not know how to figure that out.

You might need a tool to know where your kids are and what they are doing, keep an eye on your employee’s phone usage or something else entirely.

However, one thing is for sure and that is you have nothing to worry about. Because this article will help you discover all the answers you need to decide which phone spying app is perfect for you. We have compared and reviewed the top five smartphone monitoring apps available, for both Android and iOS devices, in 2021. So, it does not matter what kind of mobile you use, this article can be beneficial for most smartphone users out there.

You can find each of the spyware apps discussed in succession, starting with our best pick and then moving on to your other possible options. Let us mention it again, once you are done reading this article you will know what service you need to get!

Let’s delve deeper into the matter, shall we?


XNSPY is our top pick in the list of five top phone spying apps for this year. And there are not only one or two but several reasons why it snatched the first place. Parents can use its services to monitor their kids’ phone activities. While employers can opt to deploy it for employee monitoring. But what makes it the top place holder? Let’s see:


The XNSPY monitoring app is certainly the most affordable service in the industry. We did not find any other phone spying tool to offer so many highly sought-after features at such reasonable rates. As both, iPhone and Android users can get the basic version of the app at USD 4.99 per month. Even though the basic package does not come with all its features but takes care of all essential monitoring needs. But if you want all its more than 30 features, you can go for the premium version costing USD 7.49 monthly.


It’s highly compatible. Works with all Android phones and tablets supporting Android v4.0 and higher. Similarly, iOS devices using iOS 6.0, and above, are within the intended devices for the spyware.

Features of XNSPY:

Call Logs Monitoring: A very basic but essential feature that allows you to view all incoming, outgoing, or missed calls. The date and time stamp information for these calls is included under this function.

SMS and IMs Spying: Important functions that enable you to read all texts and IMs and even go through any correspondence done over Instant Messengers such as Viber, Skype, and Facebook Messenger, etc.

Social Media Tracking: XNSPY also gives you access to the social media apps being used on the targeted phone. So, you can know what is being sent and received through the networking apps like Facebook and Instagram.

Emails & Browsing History: Another set of features that are crucial for monitoring emails and browser or search history. It even gives you a compiled result of the five most visited websites using the monitored device.

Remote Phone Access: This function opens up the possibility of recording calls and phone surroundings, taking screenshots, locking the phone, or wiping its data out. Blocking apps is also possible using this feature.

GPS (Location) Monitoring: Provides you with real-time location and GPS history. Makes another feature geo-fencing possible and that is the part of the next function.

Instant Alerts: You can add certain words, locations, or contact numbers in XNSPY watch lists. After which, using its unique feature instant alerts, the app will let you know if anything occurs related to the mentioned terms in the watch list.

Multimedia Files Access: A useful function to view all media files such as audio clips, videos, and pictures stored in the monitored device.

Keylogger: Records all keystrokes on the target device.

We mentioned all its features in detail because this app delivers almost all the features its competitors do and more. So, once we mention them here, we will not have to explain them over and over.

Installation, Support & Final Say

Both jailbreak and without jailbreak versions are available. For Android phones, physical access is required at the time of installation and not after. In the case of iOS devices, you will need to know iCloud credentials (no physical access) or use iTunes for making phone back up (that requires you to have the monitored phone connected to a Mac or PC).

With all its high affordability, great features, 24/7 customer support, and viable 10 days’ return policy, we give it a rating of 9.8 out of 10.

2. Spyera

Another reputable spying app is Spyera. Competing with all its intuitive suite of features, you cannot ask for more when it comes to your employee’s or child’s phone tracking. However, there is a solid reason why it could not compete with our top contender.


Let’s get straight to the point, it’s costly. Even though the app offers great functions for child and employee monitoring, we find it to be highly expensive. Currently, Spyera is not being offered in different versions but it does come in various price packages. So, all you get is a single version with all its features in either a monthly or yearly based subscription.

– For iPhone and Android phones, you can buy the app at USD 89 a month.

– iPad and Android Tablet users can get it for USD 69 with its monthly package.

– While it is also available for Windows and Mac at the price of USD 49 per month.


Highly compatible. Supports all Android phones and tablets installed with Android version 11 or lower. In the case of iPhones and iPads, you can expect it to work with all iOS versions, including 14.x. All the latest versions of Windows and macOS are supported as well.

Spyera Features:

This spyware app offers almost all the previously mentioned functions other than the instant alerts:

  • Call logs
  • Call Interception (Allows you to listen in on a phone call on the targeted device)
  • Texts
  • Social media & IMs spying
  • Browser history
  • Emails
  • Geofencing
  • Remote phone monitoring

Requirements, Support & Final Verdict

You are required to have the Android device on hand during installation after that you can monitor through its dashboard. While Apple users only need to know the Apple ID & password for accessing the target phone’s iCloud service.

Similar to XNSPY, Spyera also offers you a 10-day full refund policy. All in all, we give it a rating of 8.5 out of 10.

3. FlexiSpy

Landing at third on our list, FlexiSpy is one of the best phone spying apps right now. The main reason it cannot compete with its other two competitors, mentioned earlier in the article, is that it does not allow employee monitoring anymore. Otherwise, it’s a great tool for parents that want to monitor their children’s phones.

How much it Costs?

Compared to Spyera, much less, because it offers different versions with affordable packages. Still, it loses to our top pick in that regard. Giving away its lite version monthly at USD 29.95 with limited features. Premium package for USD 68 per month and extreme version at USD 199, quarterly, allowing access to more of its features. A special offer is also available for iOS users, as they can buy the extreme package at USD 19.99 on weekly basis.

How Compatible is it?

Fairly compatible. Operates without any issues on all Android phones except some feature limitations apply for Android versions 8 till 10. Supports all iPhones and iPads. Windows and macOS monitoring apps are offered as well.

Its Features:

Provides you with most of the features its other competitors provide. However, it has two unique features that we must discuss: RemCam and SpoofSMS.

RemCam, short for Remote Camera, is a unique function to FlexiSpy phone tracking app that allows you to take pictures with the target device remotely. While SpoofSMS feature enables you to send incognito text messages.

Installation, Refunds & Rating

To install the app, you need both the iOS and Android devices in your possession. Otherwise, you cannot proceed with the jailbreaking/rooting procedure. Calling FlexiSpy customer support is recommended for easy installation. Its refund policy is not the strongest and can only be claimed if the support team cannot help you with the app’s successful deployment.

We think a rating of 8.2 out of 10 is fair for this monitoring app.

4. mSpy

Coming in fourth place, mSpy is yet another renowned spy app. Similar to the current FlexiSpy service, mSpy phone tracking is intended for parental control only.

Pricing Plan

At the moment, only a premium package is available to be purchased on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. You can get access to all its functions every month for USD 48.99. If you opt for the quarterly subscription, you will pay USD 27.99 per month. While a yearly subscription will put its cost at USD 11.66 per month.

Compatibility & Requirements

For iOS with jailbreak:

  • Compatible with iOS 7 till 9
  • The device must be connected to the internet
  • Physical access required

For iOS without jailbreak:

  • Compatible with all iOS
  • Internet must be enabled
  • No physical access required if you have Apple credentials
  • Otherwise, you need the device on hand

For Android users:

  • Supports devices with Android version 4.0 and above
  • Connected to the internet
  • Physical possession required for installation

mSpy Parental Control Functions

You get the same spying app features such as getting access to call logs, text messages, GPS tracking, web history, online messengers, social media, media files, etc.

However, this is a great monitoring app for parents because it offers you a special content filtering function. Using this function, you can disable or block any content deemed bad for your kids such as pornography or violence.

Customer Support, Refund Policy & Final Review

If your claim is eligible, you can receive a complete refund within 14 days following the day of your first mSpy subscription. While customer support is available around the clock.

With this, we rate this phone spyware app at 8 out of 10.

5. Minspy

At the bottom of our list of current top spyware apps, we present Minspy—a tool that puts user experience above everything else. The app offers an easy-to-use and browser-based dashboard, so you can view all its fetched data with the utmost ease.

Subscription Cost:

The app is being offered in three different packages. You can subscribe to the basic package for the price of USD 39.99 per month. Its premium version can be purchased at USD 9.99 a month. But this offer is for a limited time only. Also, a family package is available that costs USD 69.99 every month and allows you access to the complete range of its functions.

Functions of Minspy:

The only reason this app is not ranked higher is that it offers no unique features, in comparison to all the other top spying apps on our list.

Compatibility, Requirements, Refunds & Rating

Supports devices with Android version 4.0 and higher. While physical possession is required to install the app on them. On the other hand, only supports Apple devices with iOS 7.0 and above. And iPhone users will need their iCloud credentials for installation, no physical access is required.

Worst refund policy among all its competitors mentioned. You will have to wait 60 days before you get a refund and that’s only if your claim is eligible. It’s hard to find that out because you get no live customer support as well.

We rate Minspy at 7.8 out of 10.

Overall Comparison

App Price Compatibility Unique Features Refunds (Claim Time) Rating
XNSPY Affordable High Watch list (instant) alerts Yes (10 days) 9.8
Spyera Expensive High Call Interception Yes (10 days) 9.6
FlexiSpy Expensive Medium RemCam & SpoofSMS Yes (N/A) 9.5
mSpy Affordable Medium Content filtering Yes (14 days) 9.4
Minspy Expensive Medium None Yes (N/A) 9.2

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