Three months from now, it will be a full year since we last took it upon ourselves to explore and compare mobile browsers in depth. This time around, we’ll be kicking things into a higher gear. Heck, it’s probably fair to say that this is a whole new ballgame, as the scope of examined categories is far larger. Said otherwise, while you and us will revisit the same type of synthetic and real world performance benchmarks, functionality, features, general UI responsiveness and design will, this time around, also factor in.
We had to take shortcuts, though. Simply put, there are just way too many browser apps available right now, and that makes it practically impossible to examine them all well enough. So we had to pick. But instead of simply relying on popularity, or speed, or features, we thought it’s best to cover the entire spectrum, and also include newcomers, that may not have yet won themselves massive audiences, but chances are, they will.
But enough with the disclaimers. Let’s talk facts.
Note: The test device of choice is the OnePlus One.
Interface and design
Last time we explored mobile Android browsers, the focus was on speed. That made a lot of sense back then, especially considering that less than a year ago, poor performance was still an overarching issue with most low-to-mid range smartphones. Today, things are different, and even the cheapest devices out there are speedy enough to mostly swing the discussion in the other direction — the design of the interface, and how easy it is to use.
In general, it’s absolutely correct to say that this is an area that has seen pretty much zero change in a long time — what we have on our mobile devices is, for the most part, a miniaturized version of our desktop browsers. We have an address bar on top, tabs usually sit there too, and a giant box of white space waiting to be filled with content. We found it absolutely strange that of all the browsers we’ve tested, including the ones that didn’t make the shortlist, only Habit Browser had the address bar located on the bottom, thus making it easy to reach. We’re not saying its implementation is perfect, but with the average Android phone now dangerously close to the 5-inch mark, this is becoming an issue. But let’s talk about the contestants in turn — go right ahead into the slideshow below.