In the fast-paced, on-the-go world of today, mobile tech is key in so many areas, and not least in trading stocks and overall investing. A brokerage is going to struggle in the marketplace without a user-friendly stock trading app that offers high functionality and delivers an intuitive experience. The best apps appeal to all levels of trading skill — beginner, active trader, and longer-term investor.
In our analysis the best mobile trading apps in the U.K. were arrived at by testing the various and, in many cases, numerous features on offer, with the winners producing experiences that were both full of functionality and were fairly easy to use.
Not all mobile traders, we note, may prioritise access to the latest gizmos, bells and whistles. If you’re a trader who seeks an app that puts simplicity and a user-friendly experience at the forefront, you may also find solid contenders among apps that are ranked lower overall than our top picks.
In our 2022 Annual Review, we thoroughly tested 11 stock trading apps and reviewed each across multiple features. To shine in our analysis, a broker had to provide an excellent stock trading and investing experience across multiple usability categories. Testing was conducted using an iPhone 12 Pro Max (Apple iOS).
Best UK Stock Trading Apps 2022
- Best Overall Stock App
- Best Stock App for Investors
Saxo Markets offers a well-functioning platform with an array of investment opportunities featuring over 30,000 international products to trade across 40 global exchanges. The one downside is pricing, which is high. Read full review
SaxoTraderGO is an easy-to-use trading platform, with many tools on offer
Equally strong mobile trading app
Extremely broad product offering, including SIPP and ISA accounts
Hargreaves Lansdown has a wide range of sophisticated research accompanied by a comprehensive selection of investment options and a user-friendly mobile app. However, pricing is expensive, the charting tools are average and educational resources are only in line with industry standards. Read full review
Excellent research on stocks and funds
ISA and SIPP accounts are available
Invest across 20 international exchanges in shares, funds, bonds and trusts
Professional traders are brilliantly serviced with the tools and capabilities of Interactive Brokers. Less-experienced traders benefit from the low commissions and excellent research available in the web-based Client Portal platform. Read full review
IG stands out as a top U.K. broker, thanks largely to its excellent online trading platform. Strong functionality comes with industry-standard commission rates and fees, a huge variety of trading tools, and user-friendly mobile apps. Read full review
Wide offering of investment choices
Competitive commission rates
User-friendly, robust platform and apps
Commissions are not as low as at some newer competitors
For the price-conscious trader, FinecoBank is a solid share dealing option with a broad range of investment options; but educational materials and research reports are lacking. Read full review
One of the cheapest brokers for purchasing both global and U.K. shares
Broad range of products
Now offers ISA accounts
App and platform are only mid-range
Room for growth in education, research
Winner: Saxo Markets — Best stock app overall
Saxo Markets handily wins the title of top stock trading app for another year. The SaxoTraderGO mobile app is able to deliver the excellence of Saxo’s impressive desktop platform (which is at the top of our platforms and tools category) all wrapped up in your smartphone. Apart from some research data, such as broker forecasts, all the functionality of the desktop platform is available on the mobile app. You can quickly and easily enter trades, while price alerts and watch lists are all synchronized with the desktop platform. Read our full review of Saxo Markets.
Runner-up: Hargreaves Lansdown — Best stock app for investors
Hargreaves Lansdown takes the silver medal for its mobile app, offering traders a simple and effective way to trade on the go. This solid app has the ability to view stock charts in full-screen mode and the most recent in-house research for each stock. As Hargreaves has a strong research offering, this is a real bonus for investors on the go. Read our full review of Hargreaves Lansdown.
Podium finisher: Interactive Brokers — Best app for usability
Interactive Brokers makes the podium in bronze medal position and was close to taking second place in our annual review, given the wealth of technical analysis options and research offerings. The IBKR mobile app is offered in nine languages and includes more than 70 technical indicators. The mobile offering provides an easy way to trade, to research and analyse your portfolio without the intricacies of the online trading platform. Read our full review of Interactive Brokers.
Other stock apps tested
In addition to our winning brokers, we reviewed six other apps: Trading 212, Freetrade, eToro, DEGIRO, Capital.com and Interactive Investor. Here are our high-level takeaways for each broker.
Trading 212: Trading 212 is one of the disruptors in the U.K. (and global) stock trading world. The mobile app and overall experience is very user-friendly with a gamified feel. This along with “zero” trading cost (there are other fees) makes theTrading 212 app an attractive option to the beginner trader, though research and education offerings are basic. Read Full Review
Freetrade: Another disruptor in the U.K. investing world, Freetrade offers a solid, user-friendly, gamified mobile trading app — which is the only way to access your account, as there is no online or desktop platform on offer. The low-cost model allows trading of fractional shares and will appeal to beginner traders, though research and investment offerings are limited. Read Full Review
eToro: The eToro mobile app offers the user an efficient and simple means to trade. Navigating to markets, watchlists, or virtual trading is seamless and all of the technical indicators and drawing tools function smoothly. Read Full Review
DEGIRO: DEGIRO’s app is user-friendly and straightforward to navigate and allows creation of watchlists (Favourites) that automatically synchronise with the website. On the downside, pulling up an interactive chart takes you to a third-party website, which is inconvenient, and the charting tools are far from user-friendly in this format. Research offerings on mobile are also quite basic. Read Full Review
Capital.com: Capital.com provides one of the more user-friendly, if somewhat limited, mobile experiences in our analysis. The app offers average functionality and a decent charting package, plus access to news and analysis. But given that all trading activity is done via the app — there is no desktop trading platform — we feel it is too basic. Read Full Review
Interactive Investor: Although Interactive Investor's mobile app is efficient and user-friendly, it is on the elementary side. You are able to place trades, access watchlists (which synchronise with the desktop), view very basic charts and read current news and analysis. Better integration of research and fundamental data from the web platform would strengthen the app’s impact. Read Full Review
What is the best trading app in the UK?
Based on our analysis, these are the brokers with the best trading apps in the U.K.:
Saxo Markets - The SaxoTraderGO mobile app delivers the excellence of Saxo’s impressive desktop platform.
Hargreaves Lansdown - This robust app offers traders a simple and effective way to trade on the go, with the ability to view stock charts in full-screen mode.
Interactive Brokers - The IBKR mobile app is particularly notable for its charting, with over 70 technical indicators available.
IG - User-friendly charting, plus easy drawing tools — an unusual value-added on mobile.
Fineco Bank - Fineco’s robust mobile app lets traders view market updates, news, and charts for stocks, indices, futures, forex, and CFDs.
What is the best stock trading app for beginners in the UK?
The best stock trading app for beginners in 2022 is IBKR Mobile from Interactive Brokers, for both its user-friendliness and simple usability — important factors for the new trader. It also provides excellent charting, with more than 70 technical indicators on offer.
All of the top picks in our annual review of U.K. brokers offer free trading apps. For 2022, the best apps, in order, are as follows:
Saxo Markets - SaxoTraderGO
Hargreaves Lansdown - HL Mobile
Interactive Brokers - IBKR Mobile
IG - IG trading app
Finecobank - Fineco trading app
Which app is best for stock analysis?
The best mobile app for stock analysis in the U.K. in our review would have to be our overall winner, Saxo Markets and its SaxoTraderGO app. Nearly all the desktop platform functionality is available for the on-the-go trader, which means stock analysis can be done from the mobile app at the trader’s convenience.
For iPhone, the Saxo Markets mobile app comes out on top. The SaxoTraderGO app performs extremely well on the iPhone and duplicates a vast amount of the functionality from the strong desktop platform (which also tops our list in the category of platforms and tools).
What is the best UK trading app for Android?
Saxo Markets’ mobile app for Android is our best in class for the U.K. Practically all of the functionality from the desktop platform is accessible on the Android mobile app. It is simple and quick to enter trades. Watch lists are synchronized with the desktop version, as are price alerts. It’s a solid resource to have on the go for the Android mobile trader.
Are trading apps safe?
Trading apps are safe when offered by a reputable broker, such as those in our top picks for online share trading in the U.K. Such brokers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, which is chartered with ensuring safe practices by financial institutions. Additionally, the same safety protocols used for web-based trading portals are used by the apps, meaning it is only possible to access trading accounts with your distinctive and unique details. Typically, encryption and two-factor authentication further enhance app security.
How do trading apps make money?
Trading apps make money as all reputable brokers do: by charging commissions and fees, or profiting when the client crosses the trading spread.
To recap, here are the best UK stock trading apps for 2022.
For the 2022 StockBrokers.com U.K. Review, we assessed, rated, and ranked 11 U.K. share dealing platforms over a 10-week time period. Each broker was exhaustively tested on all available platforms and graded on 53 different variables. In total, over 17,000 words of research were produced.
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With 30 years of experience in institutional financial markets, Steve has won multiple awards from Technical Analyst Magazine, including "Best Independent Fixed Income" and "Best FX Research." In addition to his work with StockBrokers.com, Steve is the founder of The Market Chartist, where he provides market research for institutional clients; and is editor-in-chief for FXExplained.co.uk.
Blain Reinkensmeyer has 20 years of trading experience with over 2,500 trades placed during that time. He heads research for all U.S.-based brokerages on StockBrokers.com and is respected by executives as the leading expert covering the online broker industry. Blain’s insights have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the Chicago Tribune, among other media outlets.
Carolyn Kimball is managing editor for Reink Media and the lead editor for the StockBrokers.com Annual Review. Carolyn has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at major media outlets including NerdWallet, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. She specializes in coverage of personal financial products and services, wielding her editing skills to clarify complex (some might say befuddling) topics to help consumers make informed decisions about their money.
Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.