Javelin browser for Android review: a promising newcomer

Developer: Steven GohDownload: Android (version 2.3.8)
Category: ProductivityPrice: Free, with а $2.99 PRO upgrade, and in-app purchases

If you don't like the stock Chrome, or the preinstalled manufacturer browsers on your Android phone or tablet, there are plenty of 3rd party solutions to choose from in the Play Store. We even made a thorough comparison of their speed and extra features not long ago. There is a newcomer on the browsing block, however, named Javelin, which is worth taking for a spin, as it focuses on the actually useful extras, and is developed with secure surfing in mind.

Let's start with the convenience factors first. Javelin offers a Reading Mode, similar to Apple's Safari, or Samsung's Android browser. It strips the article you are reading from unwanted distractions like ads of dancing penguins, pictures, and even fancy formatting, leaving only scrollable, resizable text for your tired eyes to uptake. Next in line is the built-in adblock, which disposes of said dancing penguins, pop-ups, or other advertising paraphernalia that can quickly become annoying during your websurfing sesh. Javelin also opens up almost immediately, and offers one or two-touch navigation for all major actions to save you time. In addition, the developer has provided a few simple gestures to open, close, and navigate between tabs.

Now off to the security features - besides the usual incognito mode, which doesn't save your history, and fights cookies away, Javelin offers browsing via a VPN proxy service, which is with an in-app purchase, and is optimized to keep your connection's speed intact. Your account access is used only one time when you fire Javelin up, so that the developer knows where to send a support email, if needed. Furthermore, the location access is disabled by default, though you can allow it in the browser's settings later. Location is used by Google Maps, News and many other services you might not want privy to your whereabouts. 

As for the everyday stuff, Javelin sorts your bookmarks by the ones you use the most, and puts them front and center, with easy access just a right edge swipe away, and the same goes for your browsing history. You can easily share the current website from there, close all tabs but the current one, enable the ad-block function, or search for text in the page. Diving deeper into the settings, you can turn the navigational gestures on/off, and enable Adobe Flash. Yep, Javelin supports Flash, though you have to sideload the APK file from Adobe's Flash archives support site. That's the only time we noticed a glitch in Javelin, as when the Flash Player APK downloaded, it didn't prompt us to turn on the permission for 3rd party app installation from the settings, like other browsers do.

All in all, the new Javelin browser on Android really impresses with the attention to detail put into its interface, settings options, and navigational gestures. Access to everything you might need the most is made to be real easy, and Javelin's performance, such as rendering pages, or scrolling, is on par with Android's finest, as you can see in the Chrome vs Javelin Browsermark scores below. When we add the focus on secure browsing, such as the incognito mode and VPN options, Javelin becomes one of the most promising newcomers on the Android browsing ring, while the developer keeps adding options, smoothing out the interface, and squashing bugs. We can wholeheartedly recommend that you take Javelin for a spin, and judge for yourself what an indie developer with determination can do, even when faced with a complex task, like building a brand new browsing app.


  • Multi-pronged approach to secure browsing
  • Clean interface with simple gesture navigation
  • Fast VPN browsing option via an in-app purchase
  • Handy reading mode
  • Adobe Flash support


  • A $2.99 PRO version needed to unleash the full potential
  • Glitchy at times, and with small bugs

PhoneArena rating:

Developer: Steven GohDownload: Android (version 2.3.8)
Category: ProductivityPrice: Free, with а $2.99 PRO upgrade, and in-app purchases

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1. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

I like the UI of it.


Posts: 399; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

I like its* UI

8. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

It makes sense either way.

10. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

I like its UI.*

2. smallworld

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

I hate the 2 fingers swipe to switch tabs that a lot of browsers are adopting now because I mainly use my phone with one hand.

4. VyktorJonas

Posts: 40; Member since: Mar 26, 2014

it's optional, you can still switch tabs by tapping them, there are plenty of gestures that are just there, you decide whether to make use of them or just ignore

13. smallworld

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

The best way is still the old chrome side swipe with one finger.

15. maxmppower unregistered

I'm fine because i have two thumbs

3. VyktorJonas

Posts: 40; Member since: Mar 26, 2014

you guys forgot to mention is makes use of translucent bars while browsing, it's an awesome experience I've been using this app since it lauched and I love it

5. shaq1907

Posts: 4; Member since: Apr 25, 2014

I liked this browser but I cound't find "Enable Flash Plugin" menu in options in my LG G2. It has Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Firefox has flash support even in Android 4.4.2.

6. dratomic

Posts: 483; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

uc browser is fast. but its android ui is ugly compared to its windows' ui

12. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

If android's UI is ugly then its your own fault because unlike other OSes android doesn't enforce its UI on customers. It lets you chose ! On the other hand, if you prefer large over sized fonts its completely upto you.

14. dratomic

Posts: 483; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

stop right there buddy. i was comparing uc browsers' interface in two different platforms. currently i have a galaxy s2 as my main phone. a note 3 for my pleasure. and vertu constellation quest. do you see any wp devices?!

17. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Ooops....my bad. I misunderstood ya.

16. anleoflippy

Posts: 596; Member since: Jan 03, 2013

I think he meant to say that the UI in the Android version of UC browser is ugly compared to the UI in the Windows version of UC Browser. Not the general UI.

9. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

I could not get the Flash video to show the Fox News live stream. It just sat there saying buffering. I works fine with Puffin browser.

11. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

No thanks. It's basically just a spyware app. From a Reddit user who received an email asking for feedback from the Javelin developer: There is one thing that bothers me - why did I get your email? I never signed up for updates, was never told there will be any or never even had an option to opt out before starting to receive those. And what makes things even worse - I received your message to every email registered on my phone (As I understand - thanks to your "Find all accounts on device" permission). I would've probably ignored those emails, as I do regularly with the promotions and such, but one of the accounts you emailed was my work email (Microsoft Exchange account). This was not an email associated with my Google Play account. I understand that it's just an email, I understand that you might be just a developer and I get that there is an unsubscribe link at the bottom of each copy which I received. But the idea that you decided to broadcast your message to all of the emails which you collected from my device (personal and not) for the browser which supposed to be "for personal use" is a pretty questionable move on your part.

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