Mindless Philosophy

Four of the best Android Internet browsers

by Darren Street

Created on: Friday September 20, 2013


As responsive websites are becoming ever more popular the humble internet browser is becoming the most important app on your Smartphone or tablet. I review the best of the current crop for flexibility and speed. It should be noted that all these browsers support most server technologies (PHP & .NET), JavaScript, HTML 5 and CSS. None of them natively support Adobe Flash.


Google Chrome Browser



This is the default Internet browser for most of us. It comes as standard on my Nexus 4 and 7 devices and supports phones and tablets running Android 4.x Ice Cream Sandwich.

What I like:

  • The URL bar scrolls with the window
  • Refreshing the page is obvious
  • The tabs and bookmarks are a great feature

What I don’t like:

  • It doesn’t want to render my web fonts properly and cuts off the bottom of Arimo Google font ( hey ho that’s webkit for you).
  • The font sizing is rendered a little larger than normal for some reason

Firefox Browser



This is currently my favourite. It renders perfectly including my web fonts.  It does however seem to be slower than most of the other browsers.  The tabs are organised neatly with access to the settings menu where you would expect it.

What I like:

  • Good access to tabs, recent URLS and incognito mode
  • Good add-on support
  • Excellent page rendering

What I don’t like:

  • No forward / back arrow buttons which would be nice.
  • Access to full screen mode

Dolphin Browser



Dolphin is a new breed of slick and simple to use browsers setting the standard and pushing the web for mobile devices. Its very impressive and fast.

What I like:

  • Swipe right for access to full screen and other add-ons
  • Good add-on support
  • Easy access to bookmarking, new tabs and page refreshing

What I don’t like:

  • The faded out dolphin hot key overlaid bottom left of the browser window
  • The tabs and URL box take up too much Browser Window space (if I was American I would say “Real Estate” but I am not, so I won’t).

Boat Browser



Boat browser has a great interface and access to your bookmarks is really simple. Its fast too with a cool bottom bar with access to forward / back buttons

What I like:

  • Backup and Restore feature
  • The hot up and down buttons that appear when scrolling
  • The URL bar scrolls with the window

What I don’t like:

  • Rendering is dreadful breaking the design of my website. The font size rendering seems to be way to big (a bit like the webkit browsers but worse)
  • The carousel on my website upsets the scrolling somewhat

There are many others including One Browser (which didn’t seem to work for me), Opera browser, UC browser and more. Some of them have cool features such as suppport fort voice searching, wallpapers and more. At the end of the day most of us aren’t really interested in the browser per se but more the content they display.

If you have a favourite browser drop us a comment (at the bottom of this post).


Darren Street (author) commented on 2 Oct 2013

Sorry Tested Opera which was rubbish & One browser didn't work at all.

Can't win'em all.

PJenkings commented on 1 Oct 2013

What about Opera, UC...The One Browser. Hardly comprehensive?

Thanks anyway.

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