How to Pick a Best Browser for Your Phone

Image: Screenshot

Perhaps you’ve been regulating a same browser given we initial unboxed your phone, or maybe we switch between them on a weekly basis: There are usually as many choices for browsers on mobile as there are on desktop and any runs a tiny differently. Below we’ve run by each vital browser available—from stalwarts like Chrome and Safari to newer browsers like Puffin.

If we wish to know that browser is best for your needs review on.

Benchmarking browsers

Browsers aren’t usually about cold features. They’re also about speed, and to that finish benchmarking browsers can be a good proceed of classification out a best one for your sold phone. It’s even how we started stating this story.


But benchmarks are essentially synthetic—which means after contrast facilities a benchmarks yield we with a measure rather than a time to completion. This means a easier for a browser to “game” a benchmark and get improved scores than they competence grasp in genuine universe scenarios.

So we should make a robe of contrast churned benchmarks usually to be safe. Fortunately many benchmarks are giveaway and super easy to use.

For a tests we focused on dual benchmarks in particular: The newer Basemark Web 3.0 and a aged stalwart, Peacekeeper. Basemark exam browsers by digest calm in HTML5, WebGL, JavaScript, and other web technologies, while Peacekeeper focuses privately on HTML 5. T


his disproportion in what a benchmarks exam resulted in some extravagantly opposite formula with no one browser entrance out forward on a Android exam device—a Nexus 6P. Though Chrome did conduct to come in second place on both tests.

Puffin flags and Opera soars—but Chrome is right on Opera’s tail. (Image: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo)
Opera is in subsequent to final place on Peacekeeper while Puffin is so quick we have to consternation what a heck is going on. Notably Chrome is still second fastest. (Image: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo)

When we tested a browsers on an iPhone 7 Plus we also found no evident winner—though Microsoft Edge managed second place in Basemark and initial in Peacekeeper, that would, theoretically, climax it a winner. Puffin, meanwhile, was totally unqualified of regulating Basemark on iOS.

Now matter how tough we tried, Puffin would not run Basemark. (Image: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo)
Puffin managed fourth place in Peacekeeper, while Edge usually hardly edged out Safari and Chrome for first. (Image: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo)

What this means is that we should do your investigate before settling on any one browser, and we should be crafty not to take any singular benchmark as gospel when selecting a fastest browser.

Google Chrome (Android, iOS)

  • App size: 182.0MB (Android), 59.4MB (iOS)

Probably a default choice for many due to a proceed it syncs all from a desktop chronicle of Chrome, pulling all your browsing history, bookmarks, login information and so on over to your phone regardless of that desktop handling complement we use. It’s as sharp and rapid feeling as it is on a desktop, and we of march get a common tiny Google-esque touches like a choice to hunt a web regulating your voice.

Other facilities of note embody a one-touch hunt underline (handy for looking adult terms quickly), a information saver mode for optimizing webpage sizes (via Google’s servers), and a download symbol we can use to cache whole sites for offline reading. As on a desktop, Google Translate is built right in, so we can get unfamiliar sites in your denunciation of choice.

Chrome. Image: Screenshot

As lovely as it was when it initial launched, a benchmarks we’ve run uncover Chrome isn’t always a fastest mobile browser, and nor is it unequivocally a many feature-rich—it’s a recognition of Chrome on a desktop, and a parsimonious formation with all Google, that creates Chrome for Android or iOS value your time, and also creates it tough to switch from.


That’s not to contend a mobile chronicle of Chrome is a bad experience: It’s speedy, a on-screen elements are smartly laid out, and a uncluttered interface is quite useful on smaller shade sizes. However, it’s unequivocally all over a app that creates it a elite choice for a lot of users, rather than what a mobile app itself has to offer.

Apple Safari (iOS)

  • App size: n/a

The browser we competence good be adhering with out of robe if you’re on an iPhone, Apple continues to supplement new facilities to a mobile browser, many recently some intelligent restraint of ad trackers and tighter Siri integration. As with Chrome, Safari is some-more appealing if we use it on a desktop too, as a lot of your things gets synced across.


That even includes open tabs, interjection to a flourishing strech of iCloud, and it’s easy to see since Apple loyalists wouldn’t see any reason to switch, generally as Safari is so deeply integrated into iOS. Okay, it’s not got a nicest-looking or many discerning of interfaces, yet it’s fine, and we can be certain that Apple is reduction meddlesome in tracking you’re browsing habits than Google is.

Safari. Image: Screenshot

Safari punched flattering good in a benchmarks, and facilities like a reader mode and a reading list are unequivocally useful. Ultimately yet it feels like it’s a same story as with Chrome—Safari is a good browser choice since of a parsimonious formation with other Apple products, not slightest your phone, rather than anything that’s indeed in a app itself.


With a flourishing change of Siri, that’s usually going to get some-more loyal over time. Considering a advantages of regulating a same browser on mobile and desktop, it’s startling that growth of Safari on Windows has stalled, giving Windows users another reason to use Chrome on iOS.

Mozilla Firefox (Android, iOS)

  • App size: 53.9MB (Android), 56.3MB (iOS)

Once on a time a choice to Internet Explorer and now a choice to Google Chrome, Firefox has a same cross-platform syncing tricks adult a sleeve as Chrome does, so if we use it on a desktop it creates clarity to use it on mobile too. It’s got several other neat facilities as well—like a toggle switch for interlude video calm from autoplaying.


Its thumbnail complement for open tabs is a tiny nicer than Chrome’s built cards approach, and as we would design it’s easier to switch to other hunt engines besides Google (from Bing to Amazon) on a fly. You’ve also got a far-reaching choice of extensions we can supplement on mobile, from ad blockers to plug-ins that change a demeanour and feel of a web as we go.

Firefox. Image: Screenshot

Firefox scores high on visible aesthetics, high on customizability, and has a lot of crafty ideas to offer—that support for a immeasurable series of extensions could be one reason to select this over Chrome or Safari. In terms of tender benchmark scores it did flattering good in a iOS tests and not good during all on Android, yet we’d suggest perplexing it out for yourself.


We were tender with Firefox in a time we spent personification around with it, in terms features, yet a doubt is: Does it do adequate to make we wish to switch from your default browser on mobile? Probably not—particularly if you’re already good invested in regulating Chrome or Safari on your desktop machines.

Opera (Android) and Opera Mini (Android, iOS)

  • Opera app size: 71.0MB (Android), n/a (iOS)
  • Opera Mini app size: 21.3MB (Android), 40.6MB (iOS)

Opera is a plucky, innovative loser for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and usually about each other height out there, yet for now it seems a engineering resources are focused on Android rather than iOS as distant as mobile goes. In fact iOS users usually have a lightweight, data-compressing Opera Mini to call on, rather than a full-fat chronicle of Opera mobile.


The full Opera, on Android, opens with a Google Now-esque news feed that we can invalidate if we don’t like it, and facilities a accessible ‘speed dial’ perspective for jumping to your favorite sites. Browsing and acid is sharp and clean, and as with a other apps we can emanate an Opera comment to sync bookmarks and browsing story opposite devices.

Opera Mini. (Image: Screenshot)

The categorical Opera app includes a information saving option, compressing sites around Opera’s servers before we get them, yet on Opera Mini for Android and iOS a speed and information application is a categorical offered point: It’s ultra-compact and lightweight, yet still includes ad blocking, offline pages, a simplified news feed, and a accessible night mode.


In terms of benchmarks it was a churned story for Opera, commanding a Android list in Basemark and attack a bottom of a iOS list in Peacekeeper. Like Firefox, it has some cold features, and runs fine, yet unless we unequivocally adore a data-saving or ad-blocking features, or use it on a desktop, it’s doubtful to offer adequate to lure we to switch.

Puffin (Android, iOS)

  • App size: 32.6MB (Android), 41.9MB (iOS)

Perhaps a browser that will be slightest informed to we out of all of those listed here, Puffin promises one thing: Speed. It’s warranted a repute for being lightning fast, and it certain feels faster than many as we daub around a web, with elements popping adult roughly instantly—by a time your eyes are focused on a page, you’re prepared to start reading.


All of that done us penetrating to put it by a paces in a few benchmarks, yet here it valid a many heavy of a browsers: It was a misfortune in Basemark on Android, by distant and divided a best in Peacekeeper on Android (something other sites have noted), refused to run Basemark on iOS, and was one of a misfortune in Peacekeeper on iOS.

Puffin. (Image: Screenshot)

That suggests it competence onslaught with newer web tech, yet as distant as a day-to-day browsing went, Puffin unequivocally tender us with a nimbleness. On tip of that, it has some unequivocally engaging features, like a gamepad conceal to assistance with your web gaming, and a modernized information saving apparatus that has particular settings for picture and video quality.


If we unequivocally wish a fastest page bucket times out there, Puffin could be value a demeanour (on Android), supposing we don’t need to sync all your things over from your desktop browser. It’s got adequate intelligent facilities packaged divided to make it a decent second browser to have commissioned on your phone too, usually in box we need it.

Microsoft Edge (Android, iOS)

  • App size: 66.9MB (iOS)

Brand new to a fray, Microsoft Edge has usually arrived for Android and iOS inclination in beta form. Anyone can pointer adult for testing, yet we need to implement TestFlight on iOS, and join a watchful list for Android: We didn’t make it to a front of a Android reserve in time for this essay yet we could during slightest put a iOS chronicle of a Edge browser by a paces.


Bearing in mind it’s still unequivocally most a work in progress, there’s reason to be confident about Microsoft’s chances, during slightest in terms of a tender benchmark figures—on iOS it came tip in a Peacekeeper tests and second in a Basemark tests. Whether you’re indeed going to find that adequate of a reason to wish to switch over is another doubt though.

Edge. (Image: Screenshot)

All a customary things is here, from a reading mode to bookmarks, yet unequivocally a categorical offered indicate of Edge on mobile is usually how cleverly it syncs with Edge on desktop. If we use Chrome or Firefox opposite your desktop and mobile devices, afterwards a few additional milliseconds of speed substantially aren’t going to be adequate to get we to give Edge a try.


At slightest it’s here for mobile now, and is solemnly sappy in terms of both facilities and fortitude on Windows 10 as well. If you’re a Microsoft loyalist and wish to use Edge as we burst between phones and computers, afterwards from a early impressions, a app can reason a possess opposite a best. The browser should be accessible for anyone to try before too long.

Which browser app should we be using?

A tiny disappointingly, deliberation a hours we spent benchmarking and personification around with these browsers, a finish end was a one we suspicion we would get to before we started: The preference of carrying all of your browsing life synced between desktop and mobile outweighs any kind of tiny speed boost or a peculiar cold or singular feature.


That means you’re substantially going to collect Chrome or Safari depending on a inclination we use and how invested we are in a Google or Apple ecosystems. With apps like Twitter and Facebook carrying their possess integrated browsers nowadays, and iOS creation it wily to use another browser anyway, there’s even reduction of a reason to switch to something else.

Ultimately a likes of Firefox and Opera need to get users regulating their browsers on both desktop and mobile, and it’s tough to mangle those kind of habits even if we can indicate to a benchmark feat or a dim mode feature. Puffin is considerable in some areas, yet has no desktop equivalent, putting it as a waste opposite a heavyweight apps here.

It’s still early days for Microsoft Edge on mobile, yet it has a Windows user bottom to make inroads in a market, and a apps demeanour discriminating from what we’ve seen. We’d inspire we to frequently check out choice browsers on your mobile and see how they fit you, yet we can’t guarantee that you’re going to find any constrained reasons to switch to them.

How to make a switch

If, after all that, we confirm that Puffin or Edge or any of a rest are some-more appealing than a browser that came with your mobile device than you’ll need to make an try during a switch.


Apple being Apple, we can’t switch a default browser on iOS, a one that opens when we daub a web link. Google does offer something of a workaround though: If you’ve also got Gmail for iOS installed, daub a menu symbol (top left) afterwards Settings, afterwards Google Apps, and we can set links inside Gmail open adult in Chrome.

In a batch chronicle of Android, we can set your default browser by opening Settings afterwards drumming on Apps notifications, Advanced, and afterwards Default apps: daub Browser app and a list of a browsers now commissioned on your device appears.

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Posted by on Oct 9 2017. Filed under Gadgets. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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