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The 5 Android browser apps you need to try out before you settle

Posted: , by Chris P.

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The 5 Android browser apps you need to try out before you settle
Browsing the web is perhaps the most quintessential thing that anybody does on a PC, and, by extension, their mobile. Whether it's your tablet or smartphone we're talking about, the odds are that you're spending a good  chunk of hands-on time inside a browser app. 

But navigating the maze that is the web is no picnic, especially when you consider the considerably smaller form-factor of something like a smartphone, and even a tablet. The lack of physical keyboard and a mouse means that you're pretty much left with a clumsy tool at your disposal -- hands. Extensions of our natural body they might be, but it turns out that they're not all that dexterous as we like to think, which likely explains the rush towards bigger screens. At least partially. Unfortunately, we're nearing the limit of how much screens can grow, and there's no reason to think that touchscreen are going anywhere for the foreseeable future. So are we damned to adapt or suffer? Not really. A distinct few browser apps out there are, arguably, better suited for use on a smaller screen. In our view, those need be extremely simplistic in their approach to the format (Chrome), or thoroughly and meticulously thought-out (Dolphin). In today's pick, it was our aim to shortlist the 5 browser apps that either strike a masterful balance between speed, ease of use, and functionality, or truly excel in one particular area, without completely massacring the rest. Take a look

Note: you can check out our complete Android browser apps performance comparison here.

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posted on 31 Jan 2014, 08:48 2

1. GeorgeDao123 (Posts: 53; Member since: 20 Aug 2013)


I am wondering why Opera is not in the post. To me, Chrome and Opera are the first and second best.

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 08:54 4

3. akki20892 (Posts: 3302; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


true...........i use both browser. mostly opera.

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 14:26 1

18. buccob (Posts: 1350; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


I used to have Opera since Blackberry times... and up to my third Android device in 2013... but last year they change to a newer look, with a better feel BUT they ditched a lot of functionality that I loved about the "Classic" app...

I used to love the shortcuts, turbo mode was an option EVEN on desktop mode... and keyboard integration was so good that you got a virtual mouse when using directional Arrows...
Finally I used to love the way you could open EVERYTHING on desktop mode, unlike Chrome that you need to check the option everytime...

Now I just settled for Chrome, since has also won me on my notebook and syncing is great... But since Chrome is such a RAM HOG and I still have an old phone, I mostly use Small Browser for Sony Xperias... a tiny floating browser which is extremely limited in features and you only get 1 tab... but it is fast, and floating so you can be on top of, say, twitter looking for links to open, while Small App is loading your current link on the top half of your screen...

So for me is: Chrome for heavy browsing and Small Browser for casual browsing....

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 16:50

21. varezhka (Posts: 5; Member since: 28 Jan 2014)


The new Chromium based Opera has been quite terrible. Same level of resource hog as Chrome without any of the nicer features of Chrome or the older Opera.

I am very glad that they at least kept the traditional version as Opera Mobile Classic on the Google Play Store though.

posted on 01 Feb 2014, 03:58

24. GeorgeDao123 (Posts: 53; Member since: 20 Aug 2013)


Well, I like the new Opera, but the traditional Opera is still better.

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 08:51 2

2. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7689; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Chrome all the way!

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 16:37

20. dratomic (Posts: 458; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


i dont know why i hate chrome for android so much. i even prefer uc to it!

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 08:58 4

4. NokiaFTW (limited) (Posts: 1900; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


I'd prefer Dolphin over Chrome on Android. On PC though, hands down Chrome is king.

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 10:37 1

12. ihavenoname (Posts: 1318; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


Chrome is unbelievably good browser. Mobile, I like Dolphin, too, but I use Chrome because it synchronizes so well between devices and has Finnish language.

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 09:01

5. AliNSiddiqui (Posts: 357; Member since: 19 Sep 2012)


AOSP browser all the way! All it ever needed was tab syncing and a name change to 'Chrome' and it would've been a thousand times better than the current chrome.

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 09:10

6. NIK01 (Posts: 20; Member since: 29 Apr 2013)


For one-handed-use, you need zoom-button onscreen, so Dolphin or Sleipnir or Boat.
Sleipnir even remembers zoomlevels, very fast, simple and some other great features....
I recommand to try out that one.

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 14:27 1

19. buccob (Posts: 1350; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


Chrome recently added the 1 finger zooming feature just like the one on Google Maps...

2 taps, but the second tap hold the screen and slide up (zoom out) or down (zoom in)

Great...

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 09:26 2

7. sinple (Posts: 98; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)


Chrome and FF somehow drains battery very fast while browsing.FF crashes more often than dolphin. Dolphin does not play some of the video but it has night mode. Puffin crashes quite frequently but plays supported video well ( it does not provide full support for daily motion).

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 09:55 3

8. _Bone_ (Posts: 2106; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


Dolphin works best on KitKat, by far the fastest, has a lot of add-ons, supports Flash and can do text reflow.

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 09:57

9. hafini_27 (Posts: 240; Member since: 31 Oct 2013)


AOSP browser forever!!!

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 09:58 1

10. SonyPS4 (Posts: 248; Member since: 21 May 2013)


Opera > Everything else

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 10:23

11. maulgandhi (Posts: 45; Member since: 11 Jan 2013)


Chrome All the way. To my surprise, why all the cell phone manufactures doesn't provide chrome as a default browser. i have had samsung and Htc phones, none of them comes with chrome. Im glad google and samsung made a deal, that will eliminate all the samsung crap apps.

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 10:46

13. Planterz (Posts: 677; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


Firefox does weird text formatting things on certain websites, where some text is tiny and other text is huge, when it should all be the same size. Chrome does the same.

I didn't care much for Puffin. I like the zoom window the other browsers pop up when you fat-finger links, and Puffin (when I tried it last) didn't do that.

Dolphin is my prefered browser. I prefer viewing desktop pages rather than mobile pages, and with Dolphin, the desktop pages look just like they do on my computer, without the weird text size formatting.

I also have the stock ICS browser on my phone (Droid Razr Maxx) with Flash, so it's my second choice if I need it for videos.

My phone is also rooted, and I use a root ad blocker, which makes browsing faster and less of a hassle, regardless of browser.

posted on 01 Feb 2014, 04:01

25. ojz0r (Posts: 8; Member since: 30 Dec 2013)


The text formatting works better if you decrease the font size to smallest in firefox settings.

posted on 01 Feb 2014, 05:39

27. Planterz (Posts: 677; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


I'll try that, thanks.

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 11:17 2

14. Killertech2099 (Posts: 138; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


Dolphin hands down i also like chrome but use it mostly for my pc

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 11:48

15. HildyJ (Posts: 95; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Firefox may not be the best browser for a phone but for my device ecosystem it is a single set of apps/applications that can synchronize passwords (as well as bookmarks and history) and can be customized to do a number of things via add-ons. Most importantly, one of those add-ons is AdBlock+. Also, I'm not entirely sure I want yet another company watching me browse in order to compress it.

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 13:06

16. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


I used to use Firefox on my Galaxy S3, but now I'm just sticking with Chrome on my Note 2. I've tried all of the browsers mentioned above and more and liked all of them so I'm too lazy to think about which one I like best lol.

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 13:17

17. alrightihatepickingusernames (Posts: 326; Member since: 29 Dec 2013)


I use Chrome, Puffin, and the previous AOSP browser sometimes.

I used to use Next because I liked the UI but the loading times were atrocious so I stopped using it.

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 21:05

22. networkdood (Posts: 6261; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


If you decide on Chrome, get Chrome Beta - also get Flash Fox, if you want a Firefox browser

posted on 01 Feb 2014, 02:25

23. isprobi (Posts: 193; Member since: 30 May 2011)


I tried all these browsers. Puffin is a browser unlike any other. The desktop rendering and Adobe Flash support are quite good. But what really makes the difference is the virtual mouse and gamepad. It is worth the $3 for the full version. The only complaint I have is it can get a bit slow when scrolling graphics heavy complicated sites like wsj.com.

posted on 01 Feb 2014, 04:03

26. ojz0r (Posts: 8; Member since: 30 Dec 2013)


I've alwats used Opera since i had it on symbian several years ago but since the new firefox update in december i use firefox all the way.
Adblock edge and ghostery is to great addons to ever give up.

posted on 01 Feb 2014, 16:42

28. CrabQQ (Posts: 2; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


Dolphin + dolphin jetpack = super browser

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