When it comes to best free web browsers for Android, Google Play store has plenty of options to offer. Of course, you can’t make a selection blindly, as there are a number of things to consider e.g., features, performance, security, etc. Some browsers may excel in one or more areas but end up lacking in another, thus compelling you to make a compromise. Settling for a compromise is rarely a wise move, especially when you consider the nature of data you may be sharing via the web browser.
A Deeper Look into Web Browsers
Although the “one web browser suits all” luxury is not available, a few names come pretty close to it. Before we start looking at those names, it is important to discuss the features and factors that set one web browser different or even better than another.
It is important for a web browser to have robust security protocols in place to ensure the privacy of user’s private and sensitive information.
Bookmarks and history enables users to jump to their favorite webpage quickly with apparent ease and keep tabs on their surfing.
Tabs make the experience of online browsing convenient by enabling users to open various websites in the same browser window, and then simply switching between.
By letting users organize their favorite websites via the speed dial feature, a browser takes the convenience on offer to a whole new level.
Pop Up/Ad Blocker
Blocking the annoying pop ups and ads ensure a smoother and more satisfying experience for users.
Cookies are beneficial for many reasons, but it’s always a good idea to give users control over their management.
The version of Android with which the web browser is compatible plays a huge role in its usefulness.
A great web browser attracts a large number of users and positive feedback.
Price is a factor that plays a massive role in making or breaking a deal.
The Testing Lab
We scanned Google Play Store to handpick some of the most popular web browsers for the Android and tested them against a pre-defined standard constituting of factors discussed above. The results of our test have been summed up in the table below.
The popularity of Google’s web browser for the Android platform hardly comes as a surprise. Long gone are the days when it was somewhat sluggish. Chrome has undergone a series of much-needed changes over the years, transforming into a superb browser with a barrage of great features. It’s light (though not the lightest), offers terrific performance, lets you cross-sync your open tabs as well as bookmarks on various devices, allows cookies management, and has some pretty strong security protocols embedded into it. You’d definitely want to try Chrome out if you’re looking for a gratifying web surfing experience on your device.
Light, fast, and rich in features, UC Browser by UCWeb Inc. is designed to deliver a smooth online experience on Android devices, irrespective of the screen size. It even has a download management tool integrated into it to help you download and manage various types of files with ease. The full screen video mode ensures a better viewing experience, whereas the night mode serves to protect your eyes in the dark. Although UC Browser lets you view and manage your history and cookies, you can avoid the hassle altogether by switching to the incognito mode, which allows you to browse the web in private. The browser has a simple yet attractive layout, optimized especially for smaller screens. UC Browser is definitely something that you’d want to try out.
Getting noticed in the presence of big names like Chrome and Firefox is an accomplishment on its own for Dolphin Browser. It offers great functionality, assisted by a handful of useful features that include but are not limited to Gesture, Sonar voice service, and cross-platform syncing ability. The variety of options available in Dolphin Browser will really make you feel in total control of your web browsing experience. Of course, the integrated security protocols are reliable enough for you to trust it with your private information. It’s hard not to get impressed by what Dolphin Browser has to offer.
Mozilla’s offering for the Android platform is just what you’d expect it to be, gratifying. As always, Firefox Browser has everything covered, be it functionality, performance, features, security, and interface. Most notably, it comes with the multi-platform syncing ability, though that is just one of the many treats in the package. Of course, it has lots of add-on available, letting you customize your browser and consequently your online experience to your liking. The only real gripe that you may have with Firefox is the amount of load it puts on memory. It’s not exactly a deal-breaker, but Mozilla sure needs to make it a tad bit lighter. All in all, Firefox is definitely something that you would want to have on your device.
Used the desktop version of Opera and loved it? Well, then, you’ll definitely love the mobile version of the browser just as much. It brings most of its features to the smaller screen, along with its characteristic swiftness, beautiful interface and smooth performance. The support for Opera Link is there, thus enabling you to sync your speed dial, bookmarks and other preferences with the Opera browser on your desktop. You’ll also find plenty of great add-ons on Opera’s mini-app store, including utilities, games, and simple enhancements. If you haven’t experienced the greatness of Opera just yet, the mobile version of the browser is just the thing to get started with.