Perfect Viewer (for Android) review

Perfect Viewer is a highly customizable Android digital comics reader that offers many reading modes.
Photo of Perfect Viewer (for Android)

There are numerous digital comics readers of varying quality in the Google Play store, but the free Perfect Viewer is one that stands out from the pack thanks to its numerous customization options. Perfect Viewer lacks an integrated store like the Comixology’s Comics app, but it supports numerous comic-friendly file formats, import methods, and reading styles. If you fancy yourself a digital comic book enthusiast, but don’t want to be locked into Comixology’s ecosystem, Perfect Viewer is worth a download. Note: The premium Perfect View app ($3) allows users to apply limited colors to black-and-white images.

Getting Started With Perfect Viewer
Perfect Viewer is an open-format comic-book reader that supports several DRM-free file formats including CBR, CBZ, RAR, and ZIP files (PDFs aren’t compatible by default, but you can download a plugin). The app, as a result, is a solid tool for reading indie digital comics and Image Comics’ new DRM-free catalog. You’ll need to download the Comics or Marvel Comics app if you want to read the latest All-New X-Men.

That said, you can transfer comics by connecting your Android device to a PC and dragging and dropping files. You can even also up Perfect Viewer to check for newly added comic files when you launch the app—very cool. If your Android device has a memory card slot, you can load comics via removable storage—perfect for sharing books with friends or preserving onboard storage space.

Your digital comics collection lives on an attractive virtual bookshelf that displays cover thumbnail images, but you can tweak the comics to display the images of your choice. That represents Perfect Viewer’s appeal. There are a ton of options available (such as two-page display, numerous portrait and landscape modes, layouts, start positions, and dimension tweaking) for those who really want to dig in and customize the experience. The downside is that the option menus are a bit dense and somewhat confusing.

Turning the Pages
Still, Rucka and Lark’s Lazarus #1 looked great on my Samsung Galaxy Note II’s 5.5-inch display. Word bubbles and captions were legible, but those who want to take a closer look at the words or art can zoom by dragging the page around the screen.

Tapping the left or right edges of the screen, naturally, turns pages, but you can also navigate comics using the Perfect Viewer Quick Bar. Activated by tapping the bottom portion of the screen, Quick Bar lets you quickly scrub pages (moving a slider so that you quickly access a particular page) or jump from book to book. Perfect Viewer remembers the last page you read before exiting the device, and returns you there to continue reading when you fire it back up. You can also favorite pages so that you can return to them at any time. There’s a lot to like here.

The Final Caption
Now that a big-gun publisher like Image Comics has kicked DRM to the curb, multi-format Android digital comics readers will become even hotter commodities. If you’re in the hunt for one, consider Perfect Viewer as it’s a very solid reading tool despite lacking Comics’ huge catalog.


Verdict
Perfect Viewer is a highly customizable Android digital comics reader that offers many reading modes.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc