When comparing Pulse SMS vs Handcent Next SMS, the Slant community recommends Pulse SMS for most people. In the question“What are the best messaging apps for Android?” Pulse SMS is ranked 13th while Handcent Next SMS is ranked 33rd.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Multi-platform/Unified Messaging
Pro Per-Conversation Customization
Pro One-time fee
Pro Good Material Design UI
Pro Encrypted messaging content on devices
Pro You can use the iOS app as long as you know how to sideload it
It is on GitHub and there's a way to sideload it with Cydia impactor and appsigner.io
Pro Can split a group text
Splitting a group text is a great option, so that follow-up can be personal and not everyone sees every response.
Pro Can text from a PC, Mac or tablet
Texting from another device allows one to not pick up one's phone every minute.
Pro Customizable appearance
Con Inconsistent and intermittently unreliable syncing with web app.
Forgets password periodically - dev insists that it doesn't do this - but it does.
Despite syncing via cloud there is no backup option.
Con The web and pc clients haven't been updated in almost a year. No support for gifs in the web or pc clients. Sometimes the web and pc clients are unable to login or do not sync messages.
Con No RCS support
But only Messages has that.
Con Lacks support for UWP on Windows 10
UWP apps aren't hard to build - Luke K could bring his app to the Windows Store easily and make a TON of people happy at work.
Con Name is confusing
In your app drawer you'll see "Next SMS" but in Google Play "Handcent" is the first word of the app. That might confuse some people.