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Review: Perfectly Clear for Android

by Chris Gampat on 08/24/2012

We’ve given our first impressions on Perfectly Clear for Android, put it up against its Lightroom counterpart, and also reviewed its iPad app. For the past two weeks we’ve been testing the app quite a bit. As what can arguably be called the Anti-Instagram due to the fact that it works to beautify your images, Perfectly Clear is also an app that shows potential of much more promise if a few kinks are ironed out.

Features

Perfectly Clear allow you to take an image and use various parameters to try to improve it. Many of the enhancements come standard to the app, but others need to be purchased in a business model almost synonymous to Hipstamatic’s.You’ll first boot up the program and then either shoot a photo or take one from your gallery. Perfectly Clear will then try to work on it automatically and give you the options of making according edits. When you’re done, you can choose to either upload the image to Facebook, Twitter, email it, or simply save it on your phone.

Interface and Ease of Use

The app’s interface is a bit intimidating at first but once you wrap your brain around it and give it time and some patience, it can actually be quite easy and fun to use. In fact, using the app can be funner than Instagram despite the fact that you don’t get the organic feel of film renderings. Once an image (or multiple images from your gallery) are selected, Perfectly Clear will sprinkle its magic dust on it (which in our tests, proved that it needed to go back to Dumbledore for training). Shortly afterward (and depending on your phone’s processing power), it will allow you to make your own edits.

The app lets you flip back and forth between the original and edited image using a simple swipe of the screen that really is very nicely added in.

The bottom row includes some quicker fixes like tint, adjusting the darks, or applying presets that you may have added before. This area also includes some extras that need to be paid for like the beautify option.

Then you can unlock even more using the tab for the row right above the bottom. This row will let you adjust the exposures, depth, sharpness, tint, skin tone, and more providing you once again pay for the extras. These are all done using slider tools that come on the right of the image to fine tune each adjustment to your image once the rendering is all finished. If you want o put an emphasis on performance though, you can turn off the rendering preview.

Perfectly Clear’s tragic flaw still comes in the fact that one cannot zoom in on their image to see just how oversharpened it may have become during the editing process. In my tests, Adjusting the sharpness level about an inch forward made some of my images over-sharpened and pixelated.

When sharing an image from mobile device to mobile device, this is perfect (pun intended). But when you send the image off to a computer with a real monitor, you’ll start running into problems with the way the images look. For clarification, I set all of my images to be their original size upon exporting. The user has the option of resizing to be smaller upon export if they so please.

You can also monitor your phone’s performance and see how it fares against other devices.

The app crashed on me often during the early stages but now it seems to work fine. This review has been published after the third update has come out, and it still gives me errors when I try to upload my images to Twitter or Facebook; which can be very frustrating.

Once I’ve shared my photos manually on Facebook though, I felt a bit empty. Perfectly Clear lacks one of the major things that Instagram has: a community where people can give you feedback and comments. Perfectly Clear honestly needs to build a community and this is something I mentioned in my Lightroom review. For the Plug-In, users should be able to share presets with one another the way Adobe allows settings to be shared amongst customers.

I see no reason why I can’t post a photo and show people what I’m doing in a news feed of some sort; especially when the sharing option seems to be broken. Hopefully it gets fixed sooner or later.

Image Quality

Here are some images I edited in Perfectly Clear. All images have been posted at their full size for your viewing. Simply click on them:

Conclusions

Perfectly Clear is an extremely affordable app, but on a day by day basis I still found myself reaching instead of Instagram. The images I share on there are given the vintage look treatment or I’m taking images that I’ve shot with my cameras and sharing them with my friends and followers. But at that point, I’ve already done a ton of editing to them and optimized them perfectly for sharing purposes.

In fact, sometimes Perfectly Clear’s Lightroom Plug-In is used. It is best used on batches of images that need retouching to skin in my opinion and for the person like me that wants to sit there and color each image to my own liking based on the principles that apply to color theory.

While I love Perfectly Clear; the major flaw that keeps me from continually using it on a daily basis is the lack of a community. If the company pitched itself to the photo community and became almost 500px or Flickr-like in terms to the community aspect combined with showing off all your edits to your friends, I think the app would sell like hot cakes.

Perfectly Clear for Android is available in the Google Play Store for $0.99 as an introductory and will move up to $1.99 afterward. The portrait package unlocks are another $0.99

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