Best Android word processor: OfficeSuite 8 Premium
MobiSystems' OfficeSuite 8 offers a desktop-class word processing experience that no competitor -- even with Microsoft in the fray -- can match. The UI is clean, easy to use, and intelligently designed to expand to a tablet-optimized setup. Its robust set of editing tools is organized into easily accessible on-screen tabs on a tablet (and condensed into drop-down menus on a phone). OfficeSuite 8 provides practically everything you need, from basic formatting to advanced table creation and manipulation utilities. You can insert images, shapes, and freehand drawings; add and view comments; track, accept, and reject changes; spell-check; and calculate word counts. There's even a native PDF markup utility, PDF export, and the ability to print to a cloud-connected printer.
OfficeSuite 8 works with locally stored Word-formatted files and connects directly to a wide range of cloud storage services -- Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, SugarSync, OneDrive, and Amazon Cloud Drive -- enabling you to view and edit documents without having to download or manually sync your work.
The only real downside to OfficeSuite 8 is its pricing model and convoluted sales approach. Search the Play Store, and you'll find three separate offerings from MobiSystems: a free app, OfficeSuite 8 + PDF Converter; a $14.99 app, OfficeSuite 8 Pro + PDF; and another free app, OfficeSuite 8 Pro (Trial). The company also sells a dizzying array of add-ons that range in price from free to $30.
But wait -- it gets even more complex: The top-of-the-line OfficeSuite 8 version reviewed here is accessible only by downloading the free OfficeSuite 8 + PDF Converter app, then following the link on the app's main screen to upgrade to the Premium level. That gives you the most fully featured setup available -- but it now requires an ongoing $19.99 yearly subscription to maintain (a change from when we last reviewed the product earlier this year). Regardless of the app's quality, a recurring cost may be a tough pill to swallow -- especially if you don't have an expense account to lean on.
The best choice without a recurring fee is the $14.99 OfficeSuite 8 Pro version. That app is identical to the Premium app in UI and provides most of the same core features, with two noteworthy exceptions: a robust spell-check function (the Pro version's editor will identify misspelled words inline but not offer suggestions) and support for a full range of standard fonts. (The Premium app does have a few other additional features, like an integrated photo editor, PDF scanner, and custom predictive keyboard, but those elements aren't related to the core office experience and can easily be found in other third-party apps.)
To add those two noted omissions to the Pro version -- you'll probably want to get the fonts, at the least -- you'll need to pay $9.99 apiece for MobiSystems' QuickSpell and Font Pack add-ons, which integrate with the app and fill the respective voids. Adding both elements to the Pro version would bring your grand total to a one-time payment of $34.97 -- which, while not inexpensive, may be a better value than the Premium app's $20 annual recurring fee for most users. Adding even one of those two extra elements would bring the total to $24.98, which is reasonable for what Pro offers.
App: OfficeSuite 8 Premium
Price: $19.99 per year (via in-app upgrade)