Comparing Android Mobile Browsers

Every Android smartphone consumer relishes in the fact that they can, and are encouraged, to play with their phone and optimize it. But what about the more simple user who can only download apps (instead of crack or develop) to make it more efficient to use. There are a selection of browsers that claim they’ll do this. Let’s see how they stack up.

Dolphin Browser HD

Android Market User Rating: 4.5 stars
My Rating: 4 stars

Dolphin was the second non-default Android browser I’ve installed (the first was Opera Mini) and is the only one I haven’t uninstalled. It runs fairly smoothly and has a Chrome feel. The downfall is that pages always seem to take longer to load on this browser, regardless of data connection.


Android Market User Rating: 3.5 stars
My Rating: 4 stars

Once upon a time, I used to love Firefox on the desktop. Then again, that’s because I was switching from Internet Exploder – er, Internet Explorer. Then I realized it was too heavy, had too many add-ons (yeah, that’s my fault) and just wasn’t as awesome as I once thought. The mobile version, however, resinspires me. I’m in awe of its (relatively) lightning fast speed. It’s easy to use and customize … it almost reminds me of the same feeling I once had a that long time ago when Firefox and I first met. The big downfall for me on Mozilla’s mobile browser app is the apparent lack of tabs – and even if I missed them and they are there somewhere, not being able to find them in a few clicks is really disappointing.

Opera Mini

Android Market User Rating: 4.5 stars
My Rating: 3.5 stars

I love the Chrome-esque quickstart bookmark icon tabs for highly frequented sites. Opera Mini automatically brings the sites I visited into focus and allows me to zoom in with ease, while not over doing the zoom. Not all sites optimized for mobile phones, however, show up well on the browser. But the functionality and ease of using their tab feature really looks great. Good marks for user interface, but still has to figure out compatibility with top 10 sites.

Boat Browser

Android Market  User Rating: 4.5 stars
My Rating: 2 stars

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My first thoughts after opening the Boat Browser were as follows: First, do I really have to use this? It looks so plain. Second, where are the Terms of Use and my approval of them? After typing in the web address of, it took me a minute to realize it wasn’t going to load automatically (even though I auto-finished it from a drop-down list of suggestions) and had to press an arrow button. I went to open a new tab as well, but I couldn’t really stomach more browsing at a less-than-stellar pace. I then remembered that there were “themes” available, supposedly, so went to find them. Apparently they only change the colors from a selection of 5 (without real customization). I’d say the highlight of using the Boat Browser is the easy in-app screenshot function … but that’s about it.


Android Market User Rating: 4.5 stars
My Rating: 3 stars

The first thing that annoyed me when launching the Skyfire browser was the pop-up letting me know that a feature of the app – specifically the video toolbar – was a premium feature and I’d be offered a free 3-day trial of the toolbar. I don’t like being teased into paying for something that is a feature of a free app. In the end, I can’t even play Youtube videos with their special video toolbar. #fail.

On the other hand, I do like that there is the ability to choose to browse websites as if you’re on a desktop instead of just a mobile phone. Certain websites (like Facebook) have very poor functioning when browsing from a mobile device.

Searching for more on mobile apps? Check out 10 Essential Android Apps, Pops Android App and the Top 4 Free Voice Recognition Apps.