The best Android browsers, 2014 edition: speed, design, and features
0. phoneArena 23 Jul 2014, 09:49 posted on
Three months from now, it will be a full year since we last took it upon ourselves to explore and compare mobile browsers in depth. This time around, we'll be kicking things into a higher gear. Heck, it's probably fair to say that this is a whole new ballgame, as the scope of examined categories is far larger. Said otherwise, while you and us will revisit the same type of benchmarks, functionality, and features, general UI responsiveness and design will, this time around, factor into the final verdict...
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1. Duketytz (Posts: 534; Member since: 28 Nov 2013)
We all know the most important column is 'flash supported'
23. The-Sailor-Man (banned) (Posts: 1095; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)
Dolphin has it.
Besides Dolphin HAS incognito and full screen modes.
What a misleading article. LOL
It has night mode too.
43. TheOldOne (Posts: 190; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
Nope, it doesn't have incognito, at least in the laterst version. Full creen, yes.
Maybe you're reffering to a different browser?
47. Chris.P (Posts: 560; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)
Hm, that's an input error. Dolphin indeed has full-screen mode. I've edited the table. Thanks to The-Sailor-Man for bringing this up.
As mentioned, Incognito mode is gone with the latest version of Dolphin. It used to be in Menu> More> Settings > Privacy & Personal Data, but the structure is now different (Menu > Settings > Privacy) and the option is missing.
51. c312c (Posts: 1; Member since: 24 Jul 2014)
Incognito mode is most certainly still there, swipe from the right on any page to access the control panel and hit the eye-shaped icon.
57. Chris.P (Posts: 560; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)
Correction. Dolphin has now been updated, and access to Private Mode and Full-screen mode is back.
40. joey_sfb (Posts: 5824; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
Firefox support Flash as well. Been using it for awhile. Just install flash download like the rest and enable plug-in setting Always.
62. kzat82 (Posts: 27; Member since: 26 Dec 2013)
Flash support is less important than you think.
2. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2130; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)
Switching tabs is a hassle on all of the browsers tested/new browsers, compared to Opera Classic. Still sticking to it until switching tabs is efficient on the new browsers.
4. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)
On Chrome: press button/swipe down search bar to go to tab manager. Not a "hazzle" if you ask me. Also switching between two tabs is just left or right swipe on search bar.
5. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2130; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)
On Opera Classic, you press the tab menu and you can select tabs from there just by tapping. No need to scroll.
On Chrome you also have to stretch your thumb to the top of the screen and do more numerous actions.
20. Furbal (Posts: 1006; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)
Opera is my go too browser now. Just use tablet mode and it tabs just like a desktop. Very nice
39. buccob (Posts: 2573; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)
Also didn't Opera support Tab Sync by "Opera Link"???
I don't use it anymore so I am not up to date with the info so...
I used to love Opera but Chrome won me over on desktop and that leveraged mobile version...
3. Busyboy (unregistered)
6. isprobi (Posts: 666; Member since: 30 May 2011)
In a way this is not truly a fair test because some browsers have unusual features that are not on the chart. Like Puffin having special keyboard and mouse support.
7. mocir (Posts: 23; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
Yandex browser also has the address bar at the bottom. What I like about Next browser (Yandex too) is that you can swipe left or right to switch tabs like we used to on Chrome. Firefox and Dolphin are not worth it. I discovered CM Browser, I'll definitely try it.
9. drazwy (Posts: 204; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)
Indeed it does. It's what I've been using for my flash content. But since it's plugin based they didn't count it.
15. isprobi (Posts: 666; Member since: 30 May 2011)
But I believe it and most of the other browsers that support Flash require you to have Flash mobile installed on your phone. That version is no longer supported by Adobe. Puffin on the other hand supports desktop Flash through its servers as I understand it.
52. RandomUsername (Posts: 808; Member since: 29 Oct 2013)
Also, Firefox has a reading mode...
10. mayur007 (Posts: 566; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)
what i remember is uc browser is also a plugin based
may be i wrong... hvnt used it since long time though
11. antmiu2 (Posts: 316; Member since: 19 Jun 2011)
hi phone arena, please add naked browser to your testshttps://play.google.com/store/
12. alrightihatepickingusernames (Posts: 474; Member since: 29 Dec 2013)
Puffin isn't super fluid in my usage as it loads full desktop pages so I only use it when I'm getting bad service and it's performance will outweigh Chrome.
16. isprobi (Posts: 666; Member since: 30 May 2011)
But if you want your phone to be like a PC why would you not always want a desktop web site? I find mobile sites are usually limited in functionality.
42. alrightihatepickingusernames (Posts: 474; Member since: 29 Dec 2013)
Well I don't want my phone to be completely like a PC, I can appreciate a few mobile sites. Most of the time I will lean towards a desktop site, (for example, I'm using desktop PA on my phone) but it just seems more fluid in Chrome. I have lackluster LTE in my area, that's where Puffin comes into play, when Chrome can't load the page I'll deal with Puffin's issues.
Overall the combo is great though. I'm definitely not trying to bash Puffin. I highly recommend it, if it's benchmark scores aren't convincing enough!
13. sadiqahmed (Posts: 71; Member since: 11 Oct 2013)
Dolphin does have Incognito mode known as "Private Mode".
18. Chris.P (Posts: 560; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)
Not available in the latest version, for some reason. I knew it used to have it, so I kept looking.
The settings menu where it used to be located is now different, and even the official Dolphin FAQ points to the wrong location. Which version of Dolphin do you use?
31. SellPhones82 (Posts: 569; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
I noticed a few weeks ago that Dolphin wouldn't load some sites and would error out. They'd load just fine on Chrome and they loaded just fine on Dolphin prior to the update. Going through the setting it appears they stripped a lot of setting/features out of it. Think it's time to uninstall and try some of the other you've listed.
14. MarkArigayo (Posts: 240; Member since: 18 Dec 2013)
Dolphin Browser. Lighter and faster on my G2.
17. Neo_Huang (Posts: 1067; Member since: 06 Dec 2013)
"Note: The test device of choice is the OnePlus One."