The Best Browsers for Android | PCMag.com

Posted: 04/24/2011 in Android, Browsers, Google, Internet, Suttronix Updates
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Your Android phone didn’t ship with the best Web browser. That isn’t to say that Google hasn’t bundled a good all-around browser. The stock browser supports multiple windows, bookmarks, and a host of sharing options. Add to this JavaScript, and, if you’re running Android 2.2 or later, Adobe Flash, and what you see on your phone looks a lot like what you see on your desktop. But that doesn’t change the fact that a mobile browser can be so much more. That’s why we’ve reviewed and rounded up the most talked about alternatives.

Android Means Choice

There’s a flurry of activity in the mobile browsing market. Cult-favorite Dolphin continues to lap the competition with rapid-fire updates to their Mini and HD browsers. Mozilla recently released Firefox 4 for Android alongside the desktop release. And, in the same week, Opera revved their Mobile browser to version 11 and refreshed their massively popular Mini browser. Now is the time to consider out the fruits of the competition.

Regular or Mini?

For this roundup, I’ve explored five alternatives to Android’s stock browser: Dolphin Browser HD 4.5, Dolphin Browser Mini 2.1, Firefox 4, Opera Mobile 11, and Opera Mini 6. The easiest way to sort these browsers is by cleaving them into two categories: traditional, full-featured mobile browsers—Dolphin Browser HD 4.5, Firefox 4, and Opera Mobile 11—and smaller, data-frugal Mini browsers—Dolphin Browser Mini 2.1 and Opera Mini 6. Mobile browsers tend to deliver a more desktop-complete mobile experience with advanced feature sets and support for embedded video, whereas Mini browsers tend to prize performance and backward compatibility.

However, boundaries prove porous with closer examination. For example, while Firefox 4 isn’t classified as a mini browser, Mozilla disabled support for embedded video in order to improve performance. Dolphin Browser Mini 2.1 wears the mini moniker but supports Flash, and, in my testing, failed to miniaturize load times.

Browsers Benchmarked

I’ve benchmarked these browsers wherever possible, and in the case of the mini browsers—not suited to JavaScript tests—I’ve performed real-world testing. Take a look at the reviews, performance charts, and slideshows. What you think you want may change, but, no matter what, you ought to find an exciting alternative to that dusty old stock browser.

via The Best Browsers for Android | PCMag.com.

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