Realcalc Fullscreen
Realcalc Fullscreen

I might have said this before but I’m an Electrical Engineer. I studied for four and a half years (long story) back before the internet was king. When I started graphing calculators were cutting edge and rare and the HP was king. For this reason I opted for an HP-42S, it was brilliant because unlike the sharps my friends had, it used Reverse Polish Notation and therefore they couldn’t work it. I was a geek, through and through. So when I want a calculator on my phone, I want it to look old school but I don’t want to put bloatware or useless things to take up valuable storage space. I want a calculator to work, to be clean and simple. I found Realcalc and haven’t looked back.

What does the App claim it can do?

Realcalc - Conversions
Realcalc – Conversions

The authors claim that it is the most popular calculator in the play store with 20 million downloads. They claim that it looks and operates just like a hand held calculator with memory, constants, unit conversions, hexadecimal, binary and octal modes. If you really want you can switch to RPN mode. If you purchase the app you can operate with functions, customisable conversions and constants. The purchased app will also allow you to view it in landscape mode and promote further development. The other listed features include:

  • 10 memory storage locations
  • Result history
  • Percentages
  • Trigonometry functions (Sin, Cos, Tan etc)
  • External Keyboard Support
  • Full built-in help
  • Fractions*
  • Degrees/Minutes/Seconds*
  • 12-Digit Display*
  • Homescreen widget*
  • Samsung Multi-window Support*
  • 32-bit internal precision*

Note *: Only available in the paid version.

Does the App REALLY do what it claims to do?

Realcalc ConstantsIt is the best scientific calculator that I’ve tried, and I’ve tried a few. This is my go-to calculator, in fact I even disable the stock one that comes with Android. I recommend this calculator to all my friends and I recommend it to you. To say that this app is a scientific calculator that makes your phone feel like a calculator is very true. I wouldn’t go as far to say that it makes me forget that it’s a phone, but Realcalc sits really well at home on a smartphone. The interface is easy and the buttons are the right size on a 4.5″ screen. I don’t think it would be the right interface on a phablet and I know it’s not right on a tablet, but the smaller phones are made for it. I seem to recall that I have had this app installed since I had my Huawei Deuce, years later I’m still using it.

OK, I haven’t actually stated if the app does what it claims, so forgetting all that I’ve written above I will simply tell you that it does. It look and operate just like a handheld scientific calculator with all the standard features you would expect in a scientific calculator apart from possibly charting.

What do I like most about the App?

I like it’s simplicity. Realcalc is quick, simple, easy and has a decent conversion calculator built in. In my industry where I’m constantly having to deal with various measures from the US to the UK to Australia the ability to easily convert units is a must. Realcalc looks the part and packs in the requirements without making things hard to get to or looking awkward.

What’s not to like about it?

Realcalc Settings
Realcalc Settings

When reflecting on what other people need for their calculator needs I remember that the imaginary numbers are completely omitted. You fellow engineers will know what I mean. There’s no way to calculate (345+i566) = x∠θ if you have need to calculate the real electrical power. I know some basic scientific calculators that have this option (although sometimes it’s a bit convoluted). This I believe is the only real shortfall of this calculator. Fortunately I don’t need this functionality in my day job.

Apart from the lack of “i” there’s nothing really that I don’t like about this little tool. You can use App2SD to move it off the device to the SD Card. The basic scientific functions are there, including the RPN (which I use only to show off). As a scientific calculator it does what I want. I don’t want it to make coffee, and so it doesn’t have that feature while a lot of other apps out there try to pack everything into it including the kitchen sink. The authors of Realcalc have kept to the mission… to make a scientific calculator that sits on an Android phone.

What are the little niggles (What would make it perfect)?

Well, I say there’s a conversion calculator and while it’s good I’m sure that the interface to it could be a bit more polished.

Why did I decide to keep/remove it?

I’m an engineer, I need a scientific calculator. I keep it because there’s nothing better that I’ve found on the play store.

Would my wife use it?

My wife probably wouldn’t use it because she has no need for Tan or Sin or Cos. Could she use it, yes. The interface is simple and the options clear.

Version Reviewed

Version: Realcalc Plus 2.3.1