It put in a patchy performance when asked to identify families of malware with similar trademarks, identifying only nine of the 19 sets. A further four were partially blocked. See also: Group test: what's the best Android antivirus?
The SerBG Trojan would have a field day: Norton Mobile Security didn’t spot it at all.
Incredibly, the Norton Mobile Security app deters users from scanning the SD card they may have inserted, for fear of slowing down the malware check.
In all, the on-demand scan took 39.5 seconds to scan 1551 files, even with an SD card to consider. This was 13 seconds longer than without scanning the card.
Norton Mobile Security reported it had scanned just 131 files, which we found a worry, too. Reports to Norton Community Watch are enabled until you deselect the option; scheduled scans are weekly.
At launch Norton Mobile Security offers you the choice of Set Up Anti-Theft, Anti-Malware and Web Protection. The malware scanner component is available for free; the rest requires a paid upgrade.
The non-Lite version of Norton Mobile Security costs £29.99 per year and can be bought with a single click on the screen.
The in-app purchasing is easily the best implemented part of this very limited app. We declined.
Were Norton Mobile Security a sophisticated anti-malware tool that blocked most known Android threats, we’d happily recommend it. But its protectiveness falls far short of expectations, making it little better than a panacea. Must try much harder.