Note: A guest post by Calvin Scott. More details about him after the post.
The default Android browser is not bad at all, and has one of the best website loading speeds of all existing Android browsers. Yet, compared to the alternatives, it lacks in features.
The following 7 Android browsers are all free, support Flash video (apart from Firefox), use tabs, and packed with many more handy features.
Check these awesome Android Smartphone stock browser alternatives out!
One of the fastest browsers on this list, Miren comes with an attractive UI optimized for small screens. After a web page is loaded, Miren enters a full-screen mode, with the address bar and status bar hidden. This saves essential space.
Tabs are easy to open and to close, and have a nice design. In fact, Miren has undergone a redesign not long ago, which has transformed it into one of the most attractive and powerful Android browser for Smartphones. It’s definitely worth trying.
A browser perhaps best suited for social media power users, Skyfire features a bottom toolbar through which you can quickly access a few Facebook features. For example, you can ‘like’ pages and share links quite easily.
With Skyfire switching tabs is also easy: you tap the icon on the upper toolbar and then tap on any of the thumbnails opened in the center of the screen to jump to a particular tab.
3. NetFront Life
Providing an intuitive browser experience, NetFront is unlike conventional browsers. It lets you navigate open web pages through a 3D GUI by making the browsing history and bookmarks look as if they are files in a cabinet, which you can flip through to find what you are looking for.
As it can be expected, NetFront Life eats quite a bit of resources and so requires a powerful Smartphone to run flawlessly.
4. Dolphin Browser HD
With full Flash support and plenty of features, Dolphin HD is a complete Android web browser. It looks much like Chrome, especially in terms of the tabs and the address bar. It works with gestures, which should help you get to your favorite site faster, at least most of the time.
In terms of add-ons, Dolphin HD may not rival Firefox, but it’s definitely up there.
Boat is notable for the way it handles tabs, which are found along the top, more or less, as they are found in a typical computer browser. New tabs are easily opened by tapping the + button on the tab toolbar and entering the website URL in the address box.
The cool thing about Boat is that once the website is loaded, the URL box and tab toolbar vanish, freeing up display space. From my own experience, I find Boat a bit slower than the default browser, though the cool tab feature compensates.
6. Firefox for Android
Firefox for Android is still far from being perfect, but since version 4.0 it has become usable. While Firefox for Android does not support Flash, it does come with a few interesting features, including excellent mobile-optimized extensions like Personas and tab and bookmark syncing with your computer’s Firefox browser.
The UI is not at all bad, the toolbars being placed to the right and left sides of the screen to free up some space. Tab interface and text rendering are good but not great. Scrolling, on the other hand, is excellent.
7. Opera Mobile
Opera for Android has most of the features you’d expect from a desktop browser, which is something that not many browsers on this list can boast. Opera Mobile can compresses website images, for faster loading speeds. The UI is O.K, with good tab management and with a favorite sites grid on start-up.
Vertical space management is not, however, very good, thanks largely to the bottom toolbar and separate search bar on the top.
Do you still use the default Android browser on your Smartphone? Why are you sticking to it? If not, what browser do you use?
Let’s discuss it in the comments section below.
Author name: Calvin Scott
About: Calvin loves to blog about gadgets, consumer electronics, and technology in general. Visit his site for brand focus.
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Tags: Android, Android apps, Android browser, Android browser alternatives, Android Smartphone browser alternatives, Boat, Dolphin Browser HD, Firefox for Android, Miren, Mobile browsers, NetFront Life, Opera for Android, Skyfire, Smartphone, smartphones
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