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Which Web Browser Should You Run On Your Android Device?

Web Browser Grand Prix: Android Circuit

The time has finally come to bring the Web Browser Grand Prix to Android. Google's scrappy little Linux-based mobile operating system enjoys massive success (particularly when you consider the first Android-based phone was sold in 2008). Although it started as an underdog to the iPhone's iOS, it's now the dominant smartphone platform.

At this point, the Android browser line-up is quite diverse. We have several familiar names from the desktop world, along with a handful of less-known contenders. Chrome, Firefox, and Opera all make the jump from the PC to Android. Mobile favorites like Dolphin, Maxthon, and Sleipnir also make an appearance.

Dolphin sports Jetpack, a new HTML5 engine in the form of a first-party add-on, which launched with some pretty outrageous performance claims. We're including the stock Android browser as well, since Chrome has yet to officially replace it on anything but the Nexus line.

How Will Android Differ From iOS?

Unlike Apple, Google doesn't impose a Draconian policy on developers. Third-party rendering and JavaScript engines get the green light on any Android-based device, jailbroken or not. This means that Firefox is free to use its Gecko rendering engine, and Opera isn't limited to a "mini" browser.

Except for Safari, Which Browser Should You Be Running On Your iPad And iPhone? had a ton of identical scores. Don't expect to see that under Android. This platform is as open as any current desktop operating system.

  • 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