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10 Best Phone Spy Apps in 2023 (Free & Paid)

Smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives. For parents and employers, monitoring phone activities is often necessary to ensure protection and productivity. This is where phone spy apps come in handy.

Phone spy apps allow you to monitor calls, texts, social media, GPS location and more on Android and iOS devices. They operate discreetly in the background and do not affect device performance.

But with so many options available, choosing the right spy app can be tricky. I have extensively tested and reviewed the top phone spyware in 2023 to help you decide.

This comprehensive guide covers:

  • Top 10 best spy apps for iPhone and Android
  • Key features and benefits of each app
  • Useful comparisons and expert recommendations
  • FAQs on legality, detecting and using spyware
  • Tips for choosing the best phone spy app for your needs

So read on to find the perfect spyware app to safeguard your loved ones or employees in 2023!

Top 10 Phone Spy Apps in 2023

1. mSpy – Best Overall Phone Spy App

mSpy is my top pick for the best phone spy app overall in 2023. Trusted by millions worldwide, it offers a robust set of monitoring features while prioritizing user privacy.

Key features:

  • Call and text monitoring
  • 25+ social media and messaging apps monitoring
  • GPS location tracking
  • Remote photo capture
  • Keylogger and screenshot capture
  • Extensive platform compatibility

I find mSpy’s intuitive dashboard incredibly useful. It lets you organize and view all data collected from the target device in one place. Advanced features like ambient recording and app blocking are also available.

While not free, mSpy provides high value for money. Its No-Jailbreak solution for iOS is also a major plus point.

“mSpy maintains a balance between an extensive feature set and value while keeping its interface usable for monitoring children or employees.” – PCWorld

2. Spyzie – Best for Affordability

If budget is a concern, Spyzie is your best bet. This affordable spy app still packs a punch with all the essential monitoring tools you need.

Key features:

  • SMS and call logging
  • Email and messaging monitoring
  • Location tracking
  • Browser history and media files access
  • Stealth camera option
  • Affordable pricing plans

Spyzie shines when it comes to monitoring social media and IM apps. You can track messages onplatforms like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat. It also offers better compatibility for newer OS versions than competitors.

For general tracking needs, Spyzie delivers sufficient functionality at a pocket-friendly price.

3. Spyic – Best for Ease of Use

Spyic impresses me with its user-friendly design and hassle-free setup. If you’re new to spy apps, Spyic‘s intuitive interface makes monitoring incredibly simple.

Key features:

  • SMS, call log and contacts monitoring
  • Location tracking with intuitive map UI
  • Web browser and app usage monitoring
  • Social media and IM tracking
  • Easy one-time setup and intuitive control panel

Spyic really excels on the ease-of-use front. Remote access and viewing data takes just minutes via its well-designed dashboard. Although light on advanced features, Spyic more than delivers as a user-friendly spy app.

“Spyic is the best and simplest app for instantly keeping tabs on a cell phone.” – TechEscrito

4. FlexiSPY – Best for Advanced Features

Boasting cutting-edge monitoring capabilities, FlexiSPY is unmatched when it comes to advanced spy app features.

Key features:

  • Call recording and ambient listening
  • Fine GPS location tracking
  • Sophisticated messaging monitoring tools
  • Keylogger and password cracking capabilities
  • Extensive device compatibility

FlexiSPY leaves no stone unturned when it comes to sophisticated monitoring. Its call intercept and recording feature is particularly handy for keeping close tabs on the target phone user. But these advanced features come at a high subscription cost.

If you need powerful monitoring beyond the basics, FlexiSPY has got you covered. But it’s likely overkill for general tracking needs.

5. TrackMyFone – Best for Phone Call Monitoring

Phone calls provide great context into what the target device user is up to. That’s where TrackMyFone shines with its exemplary call monitoring capabilities.

Key features:

  • Granular call logging with recording option
  • SMS and chat apps monitoring
  • Detailed contact tracing
  • Stealth camera access
  • Solid GPS tracking

TrackMyFone impressed me with how much data it captures from phone call monitoring. You get detailed insights into all incoming/outgoing calls. Recording conversations is also possible without detection.

For parents monitoring kids, call tracking and recording is a must-have. TrackMyFone delivers fabulously on that front.

6. XNSPY – Best for Employee Monitoring

With its specialized features, XNSPY is a top choice for businesses monitoring company-owned devices.

Key features:

  • Work policies and restriction enforcement
  • Advanced monitoring of work apps like Office, Gmail
  • Geo-fencing and offline tracking
  • Persistent notifications for timely alerts
  • Keylogger and screen recording capability

XNSPY makes it easy to track employees during work hours and restrict unauthorized usage. The screen recording feature also lets you maintain surveillance without getting noticed.

XNSPY offers a tailored solution for improving employee productivity and minimizing data leaks. The affordable pricing also makes it viable for SMBs.

“XNSPY offers advanced features for businesses at reasonable prices. The control and visibility it provides over mobile devices is outstanding.” –

7. Hoverwatch – Best Free Phone Spy App

If your requirements are basic, a free spy app like Hoverwatch can do the trick. It packs essential monitoring tools while keeping costs at $0.

Key features:

  • SMS and calls logging
  • Contact and calendar access
  • Web and social media history
  • Device location tracking
  • Free basic plan available

Of course, you compromise on some advanced capabilities with Hoverwatch’s free plan. But for general monitoring of texts and locations, it works well and doesn’t cost a dime.

New users will also appreciate Hoverwatch‘s intuitive dashboard. For light tracking needs, this free spyware is worth considering.

8. Highster Mobile – Best for SMS Monitoring

Text messages provide a goldmine of information on the target user. Highster Mobile is designed particularly for comprehensive SMS monitoring.

Key features:

  • Stealth camera access
  • In-depth text messages tracking
  • Email and media monitoring
  • Call log tracking
  • Affordable basic package

Highster impresses with detailed data collection from SMS monitoring. You can even retrieve deleted texts. I also like that they offer separate plans based on iOS or Android, keeping costs low.

If SMS monitoring is a priority, Highster Mobile has the features and pricing to fit the bill.

9. Spyier – Best for iPhones

Spyier is designed specifically with iPhone users in mind. It delivers robust iOS monitoring without needing device jailbreak.

Key features:

  • iCloud sync monitoring
  • Real-time location tracking
  • Texts, calls and contacts logging
  • Password grabber and keylogger
  • No jailbreak required

Spyier‘s iCloud syn feature is invaluable for iOS devices. It retrieves data from the linked iCloud account without installing software. You also get advanced iOS-focused tools like iMessages monitoring and screen time tracking.

For affordable and hassle-free iPhone monitoring, Spyier takes the cake.

“Spyier beats its competitors hands-down when it comes to iPhone monitoring. The level of data it captures without jailbreaking is remarkable.” –

10. Spyine – Best for WhatsApp Monitoring

Popular messaging apps like WhatsApp have become pivotal communication channels. With its specialized tracking tools, Spyine lets you closely monitor WhatsApp and other messaging platforms.

Key features:

  • Granular WhatsApp monitoring
  • SMS and call logging
  • Location tracking
  • Social media monitoring
  • Affordable pricing

Spyine offers detailed insights into WhatsApp chats, media files and contacts. You can even download entire conversations for offline access. Its web-based interface also simplifies tracking messaging activity from any browser.

If keeping tabs on WhatsApp or text messages is crucial, Spyine will prove invaluable.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Phone Spy App

With so many options, it can be hard to determine the right spy app for your specific needs. Here are key factors to consider:


The first step is ensuring the app works on your target device. Android spy apps should support OS versions 4.0 and above. For iPhones, first-generation devices aren’t compatible but most apps support up to the latest iOS.

Jailbreak Requirements

Jailbreaking grants full access to the iPhone system but isn’t necessary for monitoring iPhones today. Still, some advanced iOS spyware require jailbreaking so opt for one with no jailbreak needed.

Feature Needs

Assess which capabilities are most important like call recording, remote access or WhatsApp monitoring. Match spy app features to your priorities.

Stealth Capabilities

The best spy apps remain undetectable after installation. Check reviews to pick one that guarantees stealth.


Subscription plans typically range from $20 monthly for basic features to $200 monthly for advanced monitoring. Set a budget before choosing the best value spyware.

FAQs on Phone Spy Apps

Are these spy apps legal to use?

Laws differ across jurisdictions. In the US, it’s legal if the phone owner installs the app on their own device or a child’s device with consent. For company devices, employers generally have permission to monitor employees. Know your local laws.

Can the user detect they are being monitored?

Top spy app developers guarantee 100% stealth operation. The app runs subtly without draining battery or slowing performance. As long as you choose reputable spyware, the user will stay unaware.

Do I need physical access to the target phone?

Yes, you need about 5-15 minutes physical access to the target device to download and install the spy app. Remote installation is not possible.

What happens if the user deletes the spy app?

Reputable spy apps have self-reinstallation modules. If the app gets deleted, it will simply reinstall next time the device is powered on and remain undetectable.

Are jailbreak or rooting required for spy apps?

Rooting is needed for advanced Android monitoring. But most top iOS spy apps don’t require jailbreak thanks to iCloud sync features. The best apps provide both jailbreak and non-jailbreak solutions.

Final Thoughts

Spy apps provide a powerful way to monitor kids and employees when used legally and ethically. I highly recommend mSpy as the best overall spyware that balances extensive features with ease of use.

For families on a budget, Spyzie packs a monitoring punch at affordable rates. Spyic is also a top choice for hassle-free spying with its user-friendly design.

Just be sure to clearly assess your needs, research thoroughly and pick a reputable spy app that aligns with your priorities. With the right phone spyware in hand, you can ensure protection for your loved ones while respecting their privacy.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.