UPDATE August 27, 2019: CamScanner has been infected with malware. Do not install CamScanner. See the notice here:
The review below was posted Feb 26, 2018.
This review is part of the Smartphone Scanner Review series, where I compare the top-rated smartphone scanner apps for Android. Many of these apps also have Apple iPhone versions which may have slightly different operation or features.
CamScanner is a smartphone scanner app from INTSIG Information Co., Ltd. It’s available in Free, Premium, and Business versions and also has various levels of cloud storage available.
Full Review Notes
Advertisement and Limitations
The free version is advertising-supported with limited features. The Premium version is a subscription at $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year. The Business version is also a subscription. Details about features and pricing are on their website.
The advertising is fairly intrusive. Here’s a sampling:
The free version watermarks your PDFs with a “Scanned by CamScanner” notation at the bottom of each page.
Some features must be purchased with “C-points”. It appears that you receive 1000 C-points per month, and you can earn more by doings some social activities on Facebook and Twitter, recruiting new users, or leaving them a positive review. It appears you can also buy C-points, but I can’t find a price listed. You can use your C-points for monthly cloud storage, greeting cards and ID card scanning.
The capture screen has options to make greeting cards, PPT, documents, ID cards or scan QR codes. I can’t find any documentation that explains what a “PPT” is, but I’m assuming PowerPoint. On the other hand, I tried it, and it didn’t seem any different than making a document. The greeting card option is silly, and just an opportunity to upsell templates. There are very few templates available, and most of them cost 600 C-points each.
The ID Card setting costs 200 C-points per page.
The capture process is unnecessarily complicated with options you don’t need. It includes an option to turn the shutter sound on and off, a grid overlay on and off, an option to set the camera to landscape or portrait, and a bubble level to see if you are holding your phone flat. The last two options are particularly dumb, because the whole point of a scanner app like this is that you don’t need to hold your phone perfectly flat or pick an orientation, the cropping and editing software is supposed to take care of that for you.
You can capture in either single page or batch mode. I found the results to be reasonably good. The auto-cropping and auto-rotation worked well.
The edit screen has seven color modes, a contrast / brightness / detail adjustment, rotation and OCR. You can add notes and watermarks, re-crop and share a single page. It’s a lot of options, I think it’s too complicated. You also have a weird thumbs-up / thumbs down button prompting you to rate the quality of the scan. By the time I got to this screen I was already so frustrated with the interrupting pop-up ads and upgrade offers, I really didn’t feel like participating in their survey.
Saving & Sharing
On the save and share screen, CamScanner sometimes sneaks in advertising that looks like one of your documents, so it’s easy to click on an ad by mistake.
The number of sharing options is complicated and split among several menus. The most useful items are reserved for the paid version.
CamScanner is a top rated app and has a premium price. It’s more than 10 times as expensive as many scanner apps I’ve reviewed. To live up to its reputation and price tag, it should be spectacular. Unfortunately, it’s only average, no better than many other free or $5 applications. I see nothing here that justifies the monthly fee. It’s interesting that I see many websites online offering pirate versions or crack codes. I’m not sure why it’s worth the effort to steal it, it’s not that awesome.