ESET Mobile Security for Android is offered as a direct download from the company’s website. If you look hard, you’ll find a free trial after email registration. 

With most of ESET Mobile Security for Android's malware-detection test results in either the 90 percent-plus or 65-90 percent categories, ESET gave a decent account of itself. A couple of clear dips (Exploit.Lotoor went almost totally undetected) pulled it down the score table. See also: Group test: what's the best Android antivirus?

ESET Mobile Security for Android is clearly designed for smartphone use; on a tablet it works in portrait mode.

On-demand device scanning took less than 10 seconds, but checked through only 459 of our files. Nothing suspicious was found, even though we’d allowed the installation of apps from unknown sources in order to load ESET Mobile Security for Android itself. The Settings menu lets you specify a deeper archive scan (1 to 4 are possible) and to activate ‘proactive protection’. 

Trusted friend options help you recover your password if you’re locked out of your device, while SMS commands are said to allow you to initiate remote locking, password changes and data wiping. 

OUR VERDICT

Combining reasonable malware-detection and tools to lock your handset if it’s compromised, ESET Mobile Security should guard an Android phone reasonably well. We’re not convinced it does more than the free tools though.

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