The best PDF readers for Android let you view, manage, and work together on PDF documents on the go.
Opening files isn’t the problem it used to be. Even on mobile devices, you can read PDFs in most modern browsers. But you can’t do much more than that. The options aren’t as feature-filled as the best PDF editors or readers. Even the best free PDF editors have more tools.
If you’re looking for best PDF merger tools and other PDF power-user tools for your phone or tablet, you need one of the very best PDF readers for Android. These PDF viewer apps offer more functions and features. You can annotate and comment, digitally sign documents, insert forms, scan files using built-in OCR software. Some even let you make minor edits to PDF documents.
We’ve tested the best PDF readers for Android to help you stay productive wherever you’re working. As part of the review process, we've assessed each app's built-in tools and performance, platform availability, and highlighted pricing or subscription upgrades. We’ve also rounded up the best PDF readers for Windows and the best PDF readers for Mac for when you’re back at your desk.
- Best free PDF readers: View documents across Windows, Mac, and mobile
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The best PDF readers for Android 2023
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Adobe Acrobat Reader is one of the most powerful PDF apps. Even the basic free version offers more than enough functionality for most situations, and excellent document compatibility means you should be able to view even the most complex of PDFs as it was meant to be seen.
Open a PDF from the web or share a document from another app and Acrobat Reader quickly displays it in a simple viewer. You're able to scroll around the document, zoom in and out or use simple searches, and everything works more or less exactly as you would expect.
Advanced features in the paid-for version include form filling and signing, and you're able to annotate files, highlight text, plus you can add and manage PDF comments.
The app is designed to work with many other Adobe services and products. Some of these are free, including cloud storage when you sign up for an Adobe account, and the OCR-powered Adobe Scan app which enables using your device as a PDF scanner, turning receipts, business cards, whiteboards and anything else into searchable, editable PDFs.
The commercial extensions aren't always such good value. Converting files to and from PDF, reordering and rotating pages, are functions that other tools often do for free. Still, you don't have to sign up, and the free app delivers all the viewing functionality that many users will need.
Read our full Adobe Acrobat review
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Foxit PDF Reader is a popular Android PDF reader with more than a hundred thousand installs recorded on Google Play, and a high rating of 4.6.
It doesn't take long to understand Foxit's success. PDFs open quickly, you can control orientation with ease, text reflows to fit and you're able to tweak brightness and change the background to make for comfortable reading in all situations.
Simple annotation tools are on hand to assist in highlighting text, adding notes or drawing on the page, and Foxit's Connected technology enables sharing comments and changes with others in real time.
Form handling is a major plus, with options to fill out and save forms, import and export their data and submit forms via HTTP, FTP and email.
While Foxit's core functionality is free, a number of more advanced features are only available if you subscribe (converting PDFs, combining files, password protection, digital certificates, OneDrive Business support). That's no surprise, but if you're on a budget, keep in mind that some PC-based PDF editors can carry out many of these tasks for free.
Read our full Foxit review
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
pdfFiller offers one of the best PDF readers for Android, with an online version and apps for Windows, Mac, and iOS, too.
Simply viewing PDF documents is free, fast, and simple enough without needing to sign up - just upload the file and it’s yours to view. But pdfFiller is more than a PDF reader - it’s a fully featured PDF editor, and one that, after an extensive review, we found to be “a very versatile PDF document management system.” It delivers a range of features, such as online collaboration tools, PDF converter, and e-signatures. For easy access, you’ll find these, and more, along the ribbon at the top of the screen - although they’re also listed at the foot of the homepage if your needs are specific.
If all you need is to read a PDF on your Mac, the service is entirely free. However, once you want to edit, save, or export your files, you’ll need to sign up to one of three monthly/annual subscription plans. Enterprise licensing for teams is also available on request.
Read our full pdfFiller review
4. Xodo PDF Reader
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Xodo PDF Reader stands out from the underpowered masses for the range and depth of its feature set. Despite its name, the app isn't just about PDF reading: you can also create new PDFs via your camera, from images or Office documents. You can fill in, save and send PDF forms, or highlight text and add annotations of your own. It's even possible to collaborate on your document with others via Xodo's connect service (no registration required).
Supporting features include smart integration with Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive. That's not just about providing an easy way to import documents from the cloud: Xodo can also automatically sync your edits with the source file, ensuring it always has the very latest version.
There's another neat extra in Xodo's File Manager. Thumbnail previews and a Recent Files list give you speedy access to the documents you need, and you're able to freely rename, copy, move or delete any documents.
The core PDF viewing engine is what really matters, though, and Xodo's creation works very well. High zoom factors, page cropping and a full-screen mode help you focus on the content, Night Mode makes for comfortable reading in darker environments and versatile search tools and table of contents support enables drilling down to key areas of the file.
Best PDF reader for Android: FAQs
How to choose the best PDF readers for Android
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When choosing which PDF reader for Android is best for you, you’ll want to consider how you'll use the app. So, if you often fill out PDF forms, look for a PDF reader with excellent form-filling capability.
You’ll also want to be mindful of your Android device’s processing power — heavier PDF readers will use up more resources and slow your device if it’s not powerful enough.
It's also worth looking at what PDF software you currently use on other devices. If you're familiar with Adobe Acrobat on desktop, then it makes sense to opt for - especially if you opt for an Adobe Document Cloud subscription. Similarly, Foxit Reader may be a smart choice if you already use the excellent Foxit PDF Editor.
Do I need a PDF editor or a PDF reader on Android?
You can download PDF editor and PDF reader apps for Android - so if you're in and out of documents all the time, a more powerful editor may be the right choice. However, if you're largely working on shared files, signing and scanning, or otherwise just viewing files, an Android PDF reader should offer more than enough tools.
What are some alternative PDF readers for Android?
ReadEra is an app specifically made for reading a wide-range of documents, especially files intended to be read as books. This means the app is not only able to open and view PDF files, but also epub, mobi, as well as Word .doc and .docx files, RTF, plain text, and other text-based documents.
WPS Office is a free all-in-one office suite that can be used to read, edit, and create Word and PDF documents, as well as spreadsheets and presentation files. The PDF features are especially strong, with the ability to read, convert, and edit PDF files. There's also a document scanner included in the app.
Librera is another general book reader that allows most document formats to be read, such as PDF files. In addition to this it also includes neat additional features such as text-to-speech built into the app, as well as allow notes, comments, and bookmarks in PDF files. Password protection of documents is also included.
How we test the best PDF readers for Android
We test a wide range of PDF editors, readers, and tools, including the best Adobe Acrobat alternatives and the best PDF compressors. To determine the best PDF readers for Android, we looked at various aspects of each application.
We analyzed how much space they occupied on the device, the app boot-up speed, PDF file-launch speed (especially the heavier ones), and the amount of processing power they consumed. We evaluated the apps based on the simplicity and usability of their interface, support for different file formats, and advanced features, like form-filling and the best OCR software for document scanning. For the paid apps, we examined what features they offered during the free trial or in the free version.
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Mike is a lead security reviewer at Future, where he stress-tests VPNs, antivirus and more to find out which services are sure to keep you safe, and which are best avoided. Mike began his career as a lead software developer in the engineering world, where his creations were used by big-name companies from Rolls Royce to British Nuclear Fuels and British Aerospace. The early PC viruses caught Mike's attention, and he developed an interest in analyzing malware, and learning the low-level technical details of how Windows and network security work under the hood.