Top 5 Web Browsers for Android Devices

You know browsers are like your web glasses because it is browsers that you see the web through. Some people still like good old classic browsers, other are going crazy about the new glamorous ones. And despite the variety of choices and difference of worldviews and opinions we can claim that Android fans have a pretty good choice of web glasses for sure.

What are the most important features for a successful mobile web browser? Of course it’s got to be fast, multifunctional, light-weight, well-promoted, good-looking and don’t forget to offer something that others don’t have. The other way is it has to be a really famous web browser with superb marketing history and millions of fans around the world that do like mobile web surfing. Don't forget to check out the new post from friends called Best Android Browsers – Power of Choice.

Anyways the point is that Android OS has a very wide range of mobile browsers (not to mention the Browser - a default software that you can use on Android) and most of these Android browsers are worth your attention. It is hard to say that all of our today’s items have equal features but who said that life has to be that easy for mobile software vendors?

Fennec (aka Mobile Firefox)

android web browsers - fennec

Price: Free

Finally! Firefox is available for Android users and it’s a great news. We all know how good this software is but for now we can only state that present Fennec version is in the “pre-alpha” stage and there is a lot of boundaries and gaps. Mozilla developer Vladimir Vukicevic says:

  • We've only really tested this on the Motorola Droid and the Nexus One.
  • It will likely not eat your phone, but bugs might cause your phone to stop responding, requiring a reboot.
  • Memory usage of this build isn't great - in many ways it's a debug build, and we haven't really done a lot of optimization yet.This could cause some problems with large pages, especially on low memory devices like the Droid.
  • You'll see the app exit and relaunch on first start, as well as on add-on installs; this is a quirk of our install process, and we're working to get rid of it.
  • You can't open links from other apps using Fennec; we should have this for the next build.
  • This build requires Android 2.0 or above, and likely an OpenGL ES 2.0 capable device.
  • Edit: This build must be installed to internal memory, not to a SD card.

Despite all those sad limitations (that we hope will soon be fixed) Fennec still surprises with one awesome function - you can synchronize your desktop Firefox with Fennec with the help of the add-on called "Weave". Also Mobile Firefox combines address bar with search bar (similar to Chrome). Anyways this software promises to be really great and we can’t wait to try alpha.

It's time to play on Android

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Opera Mini 5

android web browsers - opera mini

Price: Free

Well looks like these guys know what they are doing because for now Opera Mini is the most controversial mobile browser. Yes it is free and it really fast and cost-effective. The secret is simple - the page that you want to download is rendered on your phone but it has compressed text and images. It means that you’ll get pretty fast download and won’t feel any quality loss. And of course other functions are great like working with bookmarks, tabs and so on.

* * *

SkyFire 2.0

android web browsers - skyfire

Price: Free

Latest release of this great mobile browser took place a few weeks ago and it looks like it is a really valuable software that will make your mobile web surfing rich and comfortable. Main advantage of the SkyFire is that you can actually play Flash video at your cell phone. Actually SkyFire web browser uses the company servers for rendering and that allows you to visit websites that other mobile devices can’t. You may also like their SkyBar that offers plenty of useful and socially friendly functions - that is always really useful for mobile phone users.

* * *


android web browsers - xscope

Price: $0.99

We definitely recommend you to check out this mobile web browser for Android. Though it doesn’t have some sort of impressive appeal you’ll be charmed with the superb functionality and a bunch of cool options that it has. Original slider for management controls in the header, fast tabbed browsing, multifunctional zoom, bookmarking function - these are only few advantages of this software. Don’t forget that you can choose custom themes for this application and may find it interesting to play with the xScope Web File Task Browser, but that’s a whole other story.

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android web browsers - dolphin

Price: Free
Frankly speaking this is an Android default web browser that was optimized with some extra cool options. The list of functions is similar to the one of its competitors but don’t forget that this software is built on default Android web browser and it means that it has chances to be more popular among many Android fans. Dolphin has multi-touch zoom, saves cache to SD card, presents great tabbed browsing, and supports various design themes etc.

* * *

And what do we have?

Of course comparing Android browsers’ situation with the one of iPhone we assume that there is a difference in variety of functions that are presented by software vendors. Opera is a true leader in this because it plays perfectly on both sides. As for the other players - well iPhone browsers mostly can’t beat Safari and also there is a privacy trend (or even a hysteria) when everyone is trying to protect their personal information - probably because of all those ‘Apple-is-watching-you’ rumors. So the Android provides loyal policy in this question and just proves that major functionality is more important for open-source projects than some small details. That is why we may conclude that Android browsers are generally equal and more interesting for the public.

It looks like any Android user will face a dilemma while choosing a web browser and not just because of their cons but also because of their pros. And this fact once again proves that Android will have a huge success in the future and we are waiting for more new great stuff for this platform, after all mobile Internet is our future. Cheers!

If you want to learn more about Android, you are welcome to read the post 11 Android Apps for Freelancers. Tools That Facilitate Your Work.

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Edward Korcheg

Edward is a professional technical writer who is also passionate about making stunning designs in Photoshop. You can find many useful tutorials in his collection of articles at MonsterMost.

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