7 Best Android Web Browsers
Google's Android operating system has gone from strength to strength over the years and it is now a feature rich platform. Along with the apps, the platform has a rich ecosystem, with more than 2.8 million apps (as of March 2017) available on the Google Play Store. There is an app available for every other feature you wish for, you name it!
It is the same case with browsers, as a number of browsers are available for Android. Even though Google ships Android with a pretty capable Chrome browser, we all like alternatives, don't we?
Choosing a browser is a challenge, to be sure, but hardly an insurmountable one. Everyone has different criteria when trying to find the best Android browser. Some want the fastest, while others are looking for a browser that will consume as little data as possible. To simplify things, we have picked the most streamlined, intuitive, and robust mobile browsers we could find for Android. It is not an exhaustive list by any means, nor a definitive one -- after all, like the web, the number of mobile browsers grows by the hour. But it's a good starting point.
So without further ado, here are the best Android browsers you can get, whatever features or experience you are looking for.
1. Google Chrome
The first browser in the list is none other than Google's own Chrome browser that comes with nearly every Android device. Google pre-installs the browser on Android devices, so chances are you have it already and chances are, you love it as well.
Being a product of the biggest tech giant, Chrome provides ample features to tinker around the web browser. Chrome has most of the features needed for normal browsing, includes built-in Flash, HTML 5, incognito window, and Data saver (have to enable).
Chrome really shines if you have got a Google account. Once you have signed in, it will sync all your histories, passwords & bookmarks across any device seamlessly using your Gmail account. It also remembers your usernames and passwords, if you allow it, and autocompletes your search inquires with a personal dictionary of learned spellings. But you need not sign in to benefit from Chrome's other, labor-saving conveniences. It grants all users tabbed browsing and a rendering engine that sandboxes individual web pages, ensuring that the instability of one does not affect the rest.
It makes your online presence easier with cross-platform, and the fast web page rendering engine makes it hands down choice. Well, the jaw-dropping features might not be the best Android browser, if your smartphone is not powerful enough. Google Chrome requires sufficient system memory and horsepower to get it going, to say less it is a memory hog.
Although it is resource intensive, the features it offers, and the security it provides makes the cons insignificant. Best part, it is updated regularly which weed out potential bugs, so no hindrance is likely to be encountered.
- Tabbed browsing.
- Sync history/bookmarks across your devices.
- The private/incognito mode feature is available.
- "Do not track" is a built-in option.
- Data saver is built-in for optimized data usage.
- Voice search & better integration with voice assistants like Google Now & Allo.
- Multiple gestures supported are supported.
2. Mozilla Firefox
Firefox is a stalwart of the browser domain and, as such, offers a very solid experience. But more than that, its comprehensive features list makes it a close contender for the top spot. Syncing the mobile browser with the desktop version works brilliantly, and it offers tons of customization options, from reorganizing your home panels to a host of fully-integrated add-ons.
Perhaps the undisputed headliner is support for extensions, or third-party tools that augment browsing in a variety of ways. There is the pop-up & ad blocker -- AdBlock Plus, for instance, along with the text-to-speech engine -- Speechify and password manager -- LastPass. And that is just scratching the surface.
Extensions are not Firefox's only unique contribution to mobile browsers. Its night-viewing mode dims the colors of web pages in order to minimize eye strain. Firefox for Android also features a robust set of privacy controls that allow you to, among other things, block advertising networks from tracking your browsing habits. And the seamlessness of Firefox's bookmark, history, password, and tab synchronization are second to none.
It has a built-in flash player and much like Chrome, you can sync your browsing records with a Firefox account. Elsewhere, Firefox comes packed with the usual array of privacy and sharing options, and the reader mode provides a clean way of displaying articles without any clutter.
- Well-organized browser for Android.
- The sync option to synchronize history/bookmarks.
- A wide variety of Add-ons supported for better usage.
- Private Browsing included.
- Safely store passwords and form-filling access.
- Various supportive gestures.
- Flash supported.
- Do not track feature.
Opera is nothing if not a resilient company. Despite its single-digit share of the browser market and a $1.2 billion takeover by a Chinese consortium, the firm's mobile efforts are very much alive and kicking. "Do more online with Opera for Android," is Opera's slogan, and with more than 50 million installs from the Play Store, it appears that many believe in it. Opera has been around on desktop for almost 20 years and the Android version offers many of the same great features, plus some helpful extras.
Opera browser syncs across multiple devices so you can take the same browsing experience from your smartphone to your PC. It also includes typical functions such as bookmarks and private browsing.
The most recent version has a built-in ad blocker which, as you might expect, blocks pop-ups, interstitials, and banner ads you would otherwise encounter on any given website. Opera's new search bar supports the standard array of queries -- i.e., the web, pic, video searches -- but also supports QR code scanning.
However, it is Opera's data-saving features that really set it apart from other Android browsers. Opera Turbo, a feature comparable to Chrome's Data Saver, compresses data -- up to 80 percent, Opera claims -- in order to boost your browsing. Opera can compress videos when viewing on mobile, so they use up less of your data (but still provide a great viewing experience), in addition to saving a few bytes when viewing regular pages.
It is not the fastest browser but once a page opens you almost always get the whole of the page at once; there is no waiting around for extra images to load.
- Clean and clutter-free user experience.
- Easy tabs navigation especially tablet mode.
- Private tab browsing.
- Opera Turbo -- Renders web pages faster and save the data.
- Pop-up blocker and filters anonymous ads.
- Manage all your downloads easily.
- One clicks user agent switcher.
- Sync all your data with single sign-in.
4. UC Browser
You might be pretty well acquainted with UC Web's UC Browser, it is a very popular browser, especially in India and China. The key to the fast browsing experience with UC Browser is data compression. Its interface is not the most beautiful in the world, but it does its duty without any problems. UC Browser brings the usual array of features and adds a great file and download manager into the mix.
You can also customize browser theme, and switch to night mode if you need. The turbo boost resonates with Opera Turbo but does the job well.
You will be able to sync bookmarks and tabs between devices using the same Google or Facebook account. However, the browser is ad supported and it may be huge turn-down for many users. The browser is free. Too many promotional contents and notification may annoy anyone, if this is not a concern then UC Browser has your name written on. and it deserves a try -- you will not come away disappointed!
- Easy and smooth browsing.
- High-speed download.
- Incognito Mode.
- UC Turbo for faster browsing.
- Flash supported.
Maxthon is among one of the best Android browser, which is available on a number of platforms and is known for its cloud-based sync feature. The browser lets you sync your data on any device. There is also a "Cloud Tab" feature, which lets you resume your tabs from where you left off on another device.
Browsing speed is optimum, and the smooth user interface runs parallel to it. On the other hand, it supports all the feature like Incognito Mode, Flash and other practical stuff that is preliminary for smooth browsing.
Maxthon's home screen features your favorite websites along with "NewsBites", which are basically RSS feeds from different publications. You can choose to add your own feed. In addition, it has features like Magic Fill (fills the form details automatically), user agent switcher (switches between mobile, desktop, and tablets), images off, AdBlock Plus (still in the beta mode) and more.
The browser also comes with features such as sharing over Facebook, Tabbed browsing and a super cool Fetch mode, which automatically loads the next page on the website you have just opened, making things a lot quicker.
Maxthon browser comes with a number of other features, which you should definitely check out.
- A straightforward and intuitive user interface.
- Browsing was Faster than we expected.
- Automatically fill forms with Magic Fill.
- One click user agent switcher.
- Vast sync options.
- NewsBites for the latest news.
- AdBlock Plus (Beta mode)
6. Dolphin Browser
Dolphin browser for Android is one of the oldest browsers available on Android and it has gained a great level of adulation and rightly so. The Dolphin browser brings a unique experience onboard with some great gesture support.
The browser lets you draw letters or specific gestures to open the website you want. The browser also comes with a cool "Sonar" mode, which lets you search with voice. Dolphin Sonar lets you perform complex voice queries like "search eBay for Nike Shoes" and "go to Google.com".
Moreover, gesture browsing allows you to associate finger-traced characters with websites (e.g., "T" for Twitter). And Webzine, an answer of sorts to Flipboard, aggregates more than 300 web sources in a variety of disciplines within an offline, "magazine-style" digest.
It offers one tap share, tabbed browsing, sync option to share settings and pages between mobile and laptop. Send to device option allows you to send links, numbers or text from PC to mobile. WiFi broadcast enables sharing links over WiFi. The browser also supports over 60 add-ons.
- Easy sync bookmarks/history.
- Browser store for installing web apps and add-ons.
- A variety of gestures is supported.
- Voice search is packed.
- Custom rendering engine.
- Flash player is supported.
- Classic and list style tab browsing.
- One-tap sharing.
- Highly customizable UI.
Brave Browser is another app that is concerned about the privacy of its users. It blocks all the Ads and other trackers that track the user behavior and brings you safe and secure browsing. It also offers optimized data and battery experience.
The browser reduces page loading time, improves performance, and guards from ads infected with malware. Brave shows a 2x to 4x speed increase on Android, so you will see a direct reduction in both battery and data plan consumption. Brave also protects users with leading privacy and security features such as HTTPS Everywhere (encrypted data traffic), script blocking, 3rd party cookie blocking, and private incognito tabs.
You do not have to wait till the web page completes loading, you could browse others in real-time. You could redirect the link to a particular app such as Google Play Store, etc.
- Built-in AdBlock
- Blocks pop-ups
- Battery optimization
- Data optimization
- Tracking Protection
- Https Everywhere (for security)
- Script Blocking
- 3rd party cookie blocking
- Private tabs
- Recent tabs
With the usage of Internet on the rise, a great browser is what we need to make sure our experience is up to the mark and well, we have listed what we think are the 7 best Browsers for Android devices. What's your favorite Android browser? Do you use a safe and private browser? Or do you just care about speed? Tell us what you think is the best Android browser in the comments section below...
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