The ZX Spectrum computer was popular in the 1980s, offering a range of games and applications for users. Today, mobile devices like Android smartphones have enabled users to experience the same games and applications on-the-go. The best ZX Spectrum app for Android offers a nostalgic trip down memory lane, bringing back the charm of the retro gaming era.
With the advancement of technology, the best ZX Spectrum app for Android has come a long way, providing enhanced graphics and gameplay. The app allows users to choose from a vast collection of games, including classics like Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy, and enjoy them with updated features. The app also supports various input methods like keyboard, joystick, and touch screen, providing users with flexibility in gameplay.
The best ZX Spectrum app for Android comes with a user-friendly interface, making it easy for users to navigate through the app and find their favorite games.
We have compiled a list of 7 Best Zx Spectrum App Android for your consideration, which have undergone rigorous testing and evaluation by our team of experts.
Table of Contents
7 Best Zx Spectrum App Android
1. Speccy – Free Sinclair ZX Spectrum Emulator
Speccy is an emulator used for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum home computer. It has the ability to run software written for Spectrum home computers such as Spectrum 16k, 48k, 128k, +2, +2A, +3, Timex Sinclair, Sam Coupe, Pentagon, and Skorpion. This emulator is optimized for Android devices using ARM assembler and can run at the same speed as a real Spectrum. It also includes options for full screen portrait mode emulation, simulating TV scanlines and fuzzy TV display, recording soundtrack to MIDI files, and both physical and touch screen keyboard support. Additionally, Speccy includes NetPlay functionality for playing over local network or Internet, and a WorldOfSpectrum.org software archive browser.
The emulator supports snapshots (*.sna, *.z80), loading from tapes (*.tap, *.tzx files), with authentic tape sounds, TR-DOS, and a variety of other disk image formats (*.trd, *.scl, *.fdi, *.dsk), and supports 128k and Fuller sound chips. Speccy can emulate Cursor, Protek, AGF, Kempston, and Sinclair Interface II joysticks, using touch screen, physical keyboard, or accelerometer, as well as the Kempston mouse, ZX Printer, and other printers. It also supports GoogleTV devices running Android 4.
2. Xpectroid ZX Spectrum Emulator
The ZX Spectrum emulator now includes version 1.2.1 which has fixed the remapping issue with the Wiicontroller. Additionally, version 1.2 has been released which includes support for zipped files, fixing a multi-touch bug, and remapping of the Xperia Play keys. The update also enables the possibility to move to an SD card.
Version 1.1 of the emulator includes a new auto frame skip mode and improved multitouch responsiveness. It also enhances support for Android 1.5 cupcake and introduces a new landscape touch controller suitable for slower devices or devices without multitouch. The update allows for the redefinition of hardware keys, trackball support, and an improved touch keyboard.
Spectacol is a ZX Spectrum emulator that is free and uses the GPL v3+ license. It is based on the FUSE Spectrum emulator, which has the most extensive list of ZX Spectrum features. Spectacol provides accurate emulation for different modes, including 16K, 48K, 128K, +2, +2A, and +3. It also loads all ZX Spectrum files and enables quick load and save snapshots for games. Additionally, Spectacol features a poke finder, disassembler, and inline assembler, which allows users to modify games.
The FUSE emulator is highly efficient and uses only around 15% of the CPU on a Nexus 10 to emulate games. Spectacol adds several new features, including an online search that lets users browse thousands of ZX Spectrum games and apps. The search results can be downloaded locally and used to start the games offline. The UI is designed with gamepad controls in mind, and users can play all joystick-supported games using the gamepad. The on-screen numeric cursor and virtual joystick make it easy to start and control games.
Spectacol is still in the beta stage, and users can report bugs or suggest new features via the project’s GitHub page or using Menu->Help->Features and bugs. The application is ad-free, and the developer has no plans to add any ads. For more information, users can visit the project page on GitHub.
The PlayZX app allows users to select from thousands of Sinclair ZX Spectrum games and load them onto their Speccy through the headphone jack. Additionally, users can select local TAP or TZX files, convert them to sound files, and play them. This feature also enables loading games onto other retro computers with compatible audio jacks.
It’s important to note that this app is not an emulator and requires an actual ZX Spectrum to play the selected games. If users encounter issues with browsing and selecting their own files, it may be due to changes in Android permissions. Users can navigate to System -> Apps & Notifications -> Select PlayZX app -> scroll down to Permissions and allow Storage permission to resolve this issue.
Furthermore, users should ensure that their Android device is not connected to USB while using the app, as its ground needs to be floating with respect to the ZX Spectrum power supply. To prevent random notifications from disturbing the signal output, users should put their Android device in Do Not Disturb mode (not Airplane mode, as internet access is required). A good quality, preferably short, audio cable is recommended for best results. Users may also need to adjust the volume as results can vary between different devices.
5. Recreated ZX Spectrum
There have been reports of an issue with Google’s in-app purchase system for the Recreated ZX Spectrum companion app. Some users have reported that the system appears to request additional payment when reusing previously purchased in-app content, but several users have also reported that no additional payment is actually taken. The issue has been raised with Google and users are assured that any duplicate charges for in-app purchases will be immediately refunded if any are actually incurred.
The Recreated ZX Spectrum companion app is the official app for the only authorized, full-size recreation of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum personal computer. It is available for selected Android devices, including phones, tablets, and connected TVs. The app includes Chuck Egg, Sinclair BASIC, and a large game bundle, with new games and applications available with each update. Users are recommended to view the Operating Guide video before using the Recreated ZX Spectrum, which can be accessed through the app.
Help with using the Recreated ZX Spectrum with connected TVs is available at RecreatedZXSpectrum.com/Support. The app includes the three most significant ZX Spectrum games of all, as well as other games and applications from third-party vendors, which can be found on the Google Play Store by searching for Recreated ZX Spectrum. The app can also be used without the Recreated ZX Spectrum using touch screen controls, with information about the device and where to purchase it included.
The Recreated ZX Spectrum online web app can also be found at RecreatedZXSpectrum.
6. Speccy – Complete Sinclair ZX Spectrum Emulator
Speccy is a software emulator that enables Android devices to run software originally written for Sinclair ZX Spectrum home computers. It supports various models of Sinclair ZX Spectrum, as well as Timex Sinclair, Sam Coupe, Pentagon, and Skorpion home computers. Its features include full screen portrait mode emulation, soundtrack recording to MIDI files, physical and touch screen keyboard support, NetPlay functionality for playing over local network or Internet, and a software archive browser.
Speccy supports snapshots (*.sna, *.z80) and loading from tapes (*.tap, *.tzx files), authentic tape sounds, TR-DOS, and a variety of other disk image formats (*.trd, *.scl, *.fdi, *.dsk). It also supports 128k and Fuller sound chips, Cursor, Protek, AGF, Kempston, and Sinclair Interface II joysticks using touch screen, physical keyboard, or accelerometer, Kempston mouse, and ZX Printer and other printers.
Additionally, Speccy supports GoogleTV devices running Android 4.x (Jelly Bean), such as LG G2/G3, Moga, iCade, Nyko PlayPad, and other Bluetooth and USB gamepads, and Xperia Play gaming buttons. This is the premium, full-featured, ad-free version of Speccy that includes a fully functional World of Spectrum software repository browser, which is not available in the free version.
7. Spectaculator, ZX Emulator
Spectaculator is an emulator that allows users to experience the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, one of the most popular home computers of the 1980s. It includes the officially licensed ‘Stephen Crow Anthology’ of games adapted for Android, such as Factory Breakout, Firelord, Laser Snaker, Starquake, and Wizard’s Lair.
The emulator features desktop quality ZX Spectrum emulation, allowing games and other programs to run just like on a real ZX Spectrum. Users can save their game progress in four saved game slots and a single cloud save slot per game, with the option of cloud saves via Dropbox. They can also enter pokes for cheats, look up game hints, tips and maps, and play in black and white with TV screen simulation for an authentic 1980s experience.
The emulator allows users to type on a virtual ZX Spectrum keyboard, use external Bluetooth or USB keyboards, choose authentic cassette loading or fast play, program in Sinclair BASIC, and play using an external arcade controller. Gestures such as pans, taps, and swipes can also be used to control games. The app is localized into Spanish and has an in-app shop with licensed games from the original authors and publishers.
The full version of the emulator allows users to upload and play .TAP/.TZX cassette files, .DSK disk files, and .SZX/.Z80/.SNA snapshots.