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Which Web Browser Should You Run On Your Android Device?

Load Times

Page Load Time Composite Score

The page load time composite is derived from a geometric mean consisting of the start, uncached, and cached page load time. Test pages are are not live in order to reduce the variation between iterations, but instead hosted from a local Web server.

Norwegian browser Opera Mobile takes a small lead over Chinese browser Maxthon in page load times on Android, earning a first-place victory. Japanese browser Sleipnir places third (at 2.7 seconds), followed by the stock Android browser in fourth. Dolphin takes fifth place at just under three seconds. Strangely, Google Chrome, the speed demon of the desktop, places sixth on Android. Firefox falls to last place with a time of 3.3 seconds.

Start Time

Start time is how long a browser takes to launch and render the home tab. Yahoo! serves as our start time test page, and it is loaded in cache before testing. Start time results are the average of three iterations; obvious outliers are re-tested.

When starting and loading a page, Chrome places first, followed closely by Opera Mobile in second place. Maxthon takes third place, with Sleipnir, the stock browser, and Firefox close behind in fourth, fifth, and sixth. Dolphin comes in dead last, one-and-a-half seconds behind the others.

Load Time

Pages from About.com, Amazon, Ask.com, craigslist, Google, LinkedIn, and Wikipedia join the Yahoo! homepage to round out our page load time test pages. Results are the average of five iterations.

Uncached

Browser history and cache is cleared between iterations and the browsers are restarted in order to achieve uncached page load times.

Maxthon takes the lead for uncached page loads, averaging just 2.3 seconds. Dolphin earns second place with Opera Mobile very close behind in third. The stock Android browser takes fourth place, followed by Sleipnir in fifth. Firefox is in sixth place at almost 3.2 seconds, and Chrome drops to a very distant last place.

Cached

Opera once again achieves a substantial lead, finishing the cached page load in just 1.8 seconds. Sleipnir is in second place. Chrome, Dolphin, and the stock browser place third, fourth, and fifth (respectively), all three completing the test in around 1.9 seconds. Maxthon is close behind in sixth place. Firefox once again finds itself in last place, this time at 2.8 seconds.

Drill Down

The charts below contain the load times of all eight individual test pages for each browser.

Notes: Chrome trails behind on most sites when not cached, with Google.com appropriately being the only strong point. The poor cached page load times for Firefox are also not confined to a single test page, occurring on most sites.

Image 1 of 2

Uncached

Image 2 of 2

Cached

  • mayankleoboy1
    "Stock Android Browser" is a myth. There is NO "Stock" android browser.
    Each device manufacturer (Samsung, Asus, Lg, HTC) customise/modify the "stock" browser to match the SoC, the TDP, power saving, and specific browser benchmark targeted, for that device.

    So this "Stock" browser is actually a modified browser, customised by ASUS to work better with a Tegra3 SoC, in some specifc benchmarks which Asus thinks are more important than others. Its not a representative of all android devices.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    Sunspider and Kraken are crap benchmarks. All browsers target these benchmarks for specifc optimisations, that are never actually used on the web.
    Reply
  • aznshinobi
    9539316 said:
    "Stock Android Browser" is a myth. There is NO "Stock" android browser.
    Each device manufacturer (Samsung, Asus, Lg, HTC) customise/modify the "stock" browser to match the SoC, the TDP, power saving, and specific browser benchmark targeted, for that device.

    So this "Stock" browser is actually a modified browser, customised by ASUS to work better with a Tegra3 SoC, in some specifc benchmarks which Asus thinks are more important than others. Its not a representative of all android devices.

    When you're running a Nexus device, it's a stock browser...
    Reply
  • adamovera
    mayankleoboy1Sunspider and Kraken are crap benchmarks. All browsers target these benchmarks for specifc optimisations, that are never actually used on the web.SunSpider is the next to go for sure, but I haven't heard a ton of criticism regarding Kraken yet. Between BrowserMark, Peacekeeper, and RIABench, we could withdraw all the vendor-developed JS tests.
    Reply
  • tiret
    give me a browser with flash support then we'll talk
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    ^ coming soon to firefox. Project Shumway.
    Reply
  • tiret
    ^ interesting. lets hope it works out... my gf is rather pissed that she can't play farmville on my galaxy tab.
    Reply
  • fwupow
    I've already figured out that Chrome isn't so hot, but the reason why Chrome still wins for me is that it synchronizes bookmarks, passwords, history and a bunch of other stuff across all my computers and devices. That is an indispensable feature for me.
    Reply
  • wildkitten
    tiretgive me a browser with flash support then we'll talkSince Adobe themselves has ended Flash development for all mobile platforms, I don't think you will see many browsers keeping support for it for long. Likely in a year, maybe 18 months, you won't see any support for Flash as, well, what's the point.
    Reply
  • Firefox Beta has flash support once you download and install the flash apk - I have it working well on my Nexus 7
    Reply