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Drops App Review: Learning A Language With Drops

Chad Emery January 18, 2023
8.7 TOTAL SCORE

An excellent way to learn new words!

The Drops app helps its users learn new vocabulary words quickly and efficiently. Its design is absolutely beautiful, and the science behind the app helps you store new words in your long-term memory. It only focuses on vocabulary though, so it’s best to use Drops as a complement to other language apps. Overall, I highly recommend using the Drops app to expand your vocabulary!

LANGOLY'S REVIEW 8.4

User Experience 9
Quality of Content 9.5
Features Available 7
Value for Money 8

USER REVIEWS 9

User Experience 9
Quality of Content 8.7
Features Available 8.5
Value for Money 9.7

PROS

  • Beautiful design and easy to use
  • Wide selection of vocabulary topics
  • Fun and engaging activities

CONS

  • The app only focuses on vocabulary
  • There's a time limit in the free version
  • No speaking or pronunciation practice
Disclaimer: Langoly selects and reviews products independently. If you buy through affiliate links, we may earn commissions that help support our testing at no extra cost to you.

Languages Available on Drops:

Ainu, American Sign Language (ASL), Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (Mandarin), Croatian, Danish, Dutch, English (American), English (British), Esperanto, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Igbo, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Portuguese (European), Russian, Samoan, Sanskrit (Yoga), Serbian, Spanish (Castillian), Spanish (Mexican), Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Te Reo Maori, Thai, Turkish, Ukranian, Vietnamese, Yoruba

Drops Overview

Drops is an app that helps users learn and remember new vocabulary words in their target language. The app divides words into different topics that cover most of what you’ll need to interact in everyday situations. 

The app’s design is beautiful, and the activities are engaging. It’s easy to see that the developers put a lot of thought into creating the app. But it shouldn’t be the only language learning app you use. While it’s great for building your vocabulary, there’s no grammar included. It’s a perfect supplement for more comprehensive language apps.

Drops Language App Logo

The Drops language app has been around for a few years, and the Drops team always seems to be working on adding new languages. At its core, the Drops app is a vocabulary app. Nothing more and nothing less. But it’s an excellent vocabulary app.

Through several different activities, you learn and practice a large amount of vocabulary words covering different topics. The activities are engaging and helpful, but they can sometimes feel a little repetitive if you use the app too much.

Drops Price

Drops has three different pricing tiers: monthly, yearly, or lifetime. The longer your subscription, the better deal you get. A Premium subscription costs $13.00 per month, the yearly price is $89.99 ($7.50 per month), and a lifetime subscription is $159.99.

drops price 2022

The price of the Drops app is similar when compared to other apps. If you keep an eye out throughout the year, you can also score a discount. You can often find discounts directly on the Drops website.

Drops Free vs Premium

Drops doesn’t have a free trial, but you can use the app for free for 5 minutes every day.  This isn’t much time, but it will give you a feel for how the app works to see if you want to purchase a Premium subscription.

In the Drops app free version, you can only access different vocabulary lists if you complete the previous topics. In the premium version, every topic is unlocked. Depending on how quickly you want to learn new words and which topics you want to study, it may be worth upgrading to the premium version. If you’re in no rush, the free version works perfectly fine.

Drops Review: Getting Started & Main Features

Learning how to use the Drops app doesn’t take much time. It’s easy to register as a new user and get started. After you create your account, Drops asks you which language you want to learn. You can only choose one language at this point, but you can add more languages later on. In both the free and premium versions, you can learn as many languages as you want. 

This screenshot shows the different options for Drops app languages.

After you choose your first target language, Drops asks you why you’re learning the language. You can choose options like travel, culture, or career. This is important to think about because your response tells the Drops app which vocabulary words you want to focus on. After you set your preference, you’re ready to start learning!

Drops Features: Language Learning Activities

The Drops app uses a few different activities to help you practice vocabulary, and each activity is a little different than the others. They all involve different swiping motions, and there are fun animations to help you remember the words. The animations are pretty cool and they’re a unique touch.

This is a GIF of the animations you'll see while learning a language with Drops. I wanted to show how to use it in this Drops app review because it's a really unique app!

I was surprised by the variety of vocabulary words the Drops app teaches. After using so many different language learning apps, I noticed that a lot of them focus on generic vocabulary, like introducing yourself, asking for directions, weather, and family members.

These words are important, of course, and the Drops app includes them. But it also includes a lot of other interesting topics and words. Some of my favorite topics include sports equipment, gardening, aches & pains, and natural disasters.

This screenshot shows the different topics you can study with the Drops language learning app.

The Drops language learning activities are engaging, which was refreshing. I like them because they actually help you remember the words you’re studying. They also keep you interested while you learn, which I’ve noticed is a problem with other apps.

For this Drops language app review, I wanted to include a lot of screenshots that show the app. This screenshot shows a lot of different letters, and you need to drag your fingers to correctly spell the word.

With Duolingo, for example, I was motivated when I first started using it. I loved that it was a game with different levels and challenges. But the activities got repetitive after a while. This eventually caused me to stop using the app completely (among other reasons).

This wasn’t the case with the Drops app. Between the different vocabulary topics, the unique colors and design, the memorable graphics and animations, and the variety of activities, I enjoyed learning a language with Drops at the beginning, and I still do now.

Drops Features: Track Your Progress

It’s always motivating to see the progress you’re making when learning a language. The Drops app lets you easily track your progress to see how many words you’ve learned.

This screenshot shows the news words I learned with the Drops language learning app. It shows the number of words, how accurately I learned them, and how much time I need to wait until I use the Drops language app again.

Drops can take you from Newcomer (0 words) to Conversationalist (2,000+ words) if you stick with it. 2,000 words is enough if you want to hold a decent conversation, and you can track yourself throughout the whole journey. You can also see the words you learn each day, how accurately you learned them, and how many new words you started to learn.

Drops Features: The Tough Word Dojo

Some words are more difficult than others to learn, and you may want to focus on them. Fear not! Drops has a feature that helps you focus on the words you’re having the most trouble with.

If you’re learning Japanese, you may know that a “dojo” is a place for intense and immersive training. In the Drops language learning world, the Tough Word Dojo is a place where you can practice (you guessed it…) tough words.

This is a screenshot of the Drops Tough Word Dojo. There is a ninja lifting weights. This app feature helps you focus on difficult words while you're learning a language with Drops.

The Tough Word Dojo helps you focus your study time on the most difficult words you’re learning. It uses an algorithm to determine which words you need to practice, and how often you need to practice them.

I found this feature to be useful, especially as I was learning how to write in Korean. I had never studied Korean before writing this Drops app review, so I struggled with learning the letters. Eventually, I got the hang of it though! After a few days, I was able to identify and write some of the letters without any help. 

This is a screenshot of the Drops language app when I used it to learn Korean. The Drops language app helps you write Korean characters correctly.

It’s important to note that the Tough Word Dojo is only available with a premium subscription. While it’s a cool feature, I don’t think the Tough Word Dojo is worth buying a premium subscription by itself. There are a lot of other features that make a premium subscription to the Drops app worth it.

Other Premium Features

In addition to the Tough Word Dojo, the additional premium features include:

  • Access to every language without restrictions
  • No ads and offline access for uninterrupted learning
  • All vocabulary topics are available from the beginning
  • Access to the Drops app listening game
  • Unlimited time for learning sessions
  • Choose the words you review
  • Ability to change how long each session lasts

Overall, I think these features make a premium subscription worth it. I love learning new vocabulary words, and 5 minutes a day isn’t enough. 

After I signed up for the premium version, I changed my learning sessions to 15 minutes. You can choose between 5, 10, 15, or unlimited minutes per session. Unlimited minutes may sound like the best option for some, but I tried it and started to get bored after about 20 minutes. I think 15 minutes is my maximum study time for learning vocabulary. 

This screenshot shows the premium features that have been discussed in the Drops app review.

I also turned on the pronunciation feature so I could listen to each word. It’s important to learn proper pronunciation from the beginning! I think this is an essential feature of any language learning app. 

Native speakers voice the pronunciation audios. Some apps try to automate their pronunciations by using computer voices, but this isn’t helpful. I like that Drops uses real voices.

After using the premium version, I think the added features justify the cost. I can’t say this for other apps (like Duolingo), but it’s a no-brainer for the Drops app.

Drops Review: Overall Learning Experience

The Drops app design is top-notch and it’s easy to use. It puts user experience at the top of its priority list, and it’s one of the main selling points. The colors and layout of the app are very welcoming and relaxed, and they also keep your attention. 

A screenshot of the Drops app welcome screen. It shows many different icons that represent the vocabulary words you will study while learning a language with Drops.

The Drops language app excels in teaching other writing systems. If your target language uses a different writing system, like KoreanMandarin, Thai, or Japanese, you’re in luck. 

Drops shows you how to write each of the characters. It also teaches you the correct order of the strokes and lets you practice writing them directly in the Drops app. There aren’t a lot of other language apps out there that do this.

Overall, I think the Drops app is a helpful tool to learn vocabulary quickly and have fun at the same time. It’s a great complement to more comprehensive language apps or courses that will teach you grammar and other language skills.

This shows an explanation screen in the Drops language app. When you're learning a language with Drops, you only learn vocabulary. You do not learn grammar or other aspects of your target language.

Even in their own words, the Drops team recommends using the Drops language app as a complementary learning tool. Other language apps, like Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, or Rocket Languages, can teach you more grammar and conversational skills. Drops is a great addition to these tools because it teaches you a lot of words they don’t.

I actually like this aspect of it. It does one thing, and it does it really well. I find that other language apps try to teach you every aspect of a language, and their content is average because of it. If you want to learn vocabulary, and you want to learn it well, Drops is a perfect choice.

It’s worth trying the free version and making your own decision. Try it for 5 minutes and see if it’s a good app for you. The Drops app is available for both Android and iOS devices.

Drops Review: Alternatives & Competitors

Drops is a useful app, but it’s good to see what else is out there. Some similar apps include Memrise, MosaLingua, Mondly, and Glossika. Most apps offer a free trial, or at least some free content, so you can try out a few to see what works best for you. Let’s take a look at some of these alternatives.

Drops vs Memrise

Memrise language app homepage

Memrise is another app that focuses on teaching vocabulary. It’s a more extensive app, and it’s really popular. There’s a LOT of free content, and you can also practice your speaking and listening skills with Memrise. I feel like Memrise is only good up until a certain point though. It tries to be a complete language learning app, but its strength really lies in vocabulary and flashcards.

I think the Memrise price is a little too high for what you actually get out of it – at least when you reach a higher level of fluency. Still, Memrise is worth a try. There’s a reason it’s so popular! To see if it’s right for you, you can read my complete Memrise review.

Drops vs MosaLingua

MosaLingua App Homepage

MosaLingua is another language learning app that focuses on building your vocabulary and has added a lot of additional features, too. I think the features of MosaLingua are quite unique. They expose you to authentic videos, music, and books in your target language. This makes MosaLingua a great option if you want full immersion.

The vocabulary and flashcards in MosaLingua are interesting, but I find the user interface of Drops to be a lot more engaging and user-friendly. MosaLingua only offers a few languages, but if you’re learning a language it offers, give it a try! To learn more, you can read my complete MosaLingua review.

Drops vs Glossika

Glossika homepage

Glossika is another app that’s main focus is vocabulary, but you focus on complete phrases rather than individual vocabulary works like you do with Drops. With Glossika, you learn your target language through immersion. You hear a phrase spoken by a native speaker and then you repeat it until you have it memorized.

Glossika’s price is more expensive than Drops without adding much benefit. If you only choose one vocabulary app, Drops is a better choice. To learn more, you can read this Glossika review.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Drops app?

The Drops app is a language learning tool to help you increase your vocabulary. It uses pictures and activities to help you learn new words and phrases, and it uses spaced repetition to make sure you remember them. The Drops app is only for learning vocabulary. It doesn’t improve your grammar, speaking, listening, writing, or reading skills.

Is Drops better than Duolingo?

Drops is better than Duolingo if your goal is to learn vocabulary. If you want to practice more skills, like grammar, speaking, and writing, Duolingo is better. However, it’s beneficial to use both. Doing this will give you a more well-rounded approach to learning a new language.

How much does the Drops app cost?

The Drops app costs $13.00 per month, $89.99 per year, or $159.99 for a lifetime subscription. Drops also offers several discounts and coupons throughout the year, so it is possible to pay less than this. The discounts usually coincide with major holidays around the world.

How effective is Drops?

In terms of learning useful vocabulary, Drops is very effective. The vocabulary lists contain common and important words and phrases, and the spaced repetition technology helps you remember the words effectively. However, Drops only teaches vocabulary. This means it is not effective at teaching you a language. You’ll need to use other resources to learn grammar and communication skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing).

Can Drops make you fluent?

Drops can increase your vocabulary a lot, but it won’t make you fluent. This is because Drops only teaches words and phrases. It doesn’t teach grammar, speaking, listening, reading, or writing. Using Drops with other language learning resources, like Clozemaster or FluentU, can help you become more fluent.

How long until you become intermediate with Drops language app?

If you study with the Drops language app for 15 minutes per day, you will know enough vocabulary to become intermediate in about a year. It’s important to note that only using Drops will not teach you a language, especially to an intermediate level. You will need to use other resources to learn grammar, speaking, listening, reading, and writing. 

About This Drops Review

This is an independent Drops review, and the company has not sponsored this article. To write this review, I purchased a one-month subscription to the app and used it for a few hours to thoroughly test its content and features. I also found additional information on the Drops website to verify my findings.

Chad Emery

Chad is the founder and editor of Langoly. He was a TEFL-certified English teacher for many years and has been an active language learner for many more. His articles have been featured around the web by organizations like the Government of Canada's Translation Bureau and Simon & Schuster. In his free time, Chad is an avid traveler and loves running in new places. Connect with Chad on LinkedIn.

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3 Comments

  • Perfect!Article note 10.

  • Drops has a nice style and is fun to use. It is only for vocabulary so you still need Duolingo or Babbel for the structured language course with grammar and speaking practice. I also use Blarma and Mondly, which do the same as Drops but in a different stye. I like variety!

  • For me it’s not been a total of 5 minutes for Drops. I have been able to do 5 minutes per language as a free user. I have Maori and Spanish so I can do 5 minutes each a day. Thanks!