: meh. I am usually a giant fan of stock browsers, and used one up until Froyo hit. This thing is just buggy and annoying. Also, a lot of you have used it so judge for yourselves.
: This is pretty much my daily browser, so I am obviously biased. Amazing gesture controls and a wide array of settings. Allows you to see tabs on screen, auto hide tabs, set tabs to always be on screen, etc. Same for the address bar. Full screen mode maximizes space for the website. Launch page gets you 8 shortcuts, search, URL, downloads, history, bookmarks links. Of course you can disable this launch page. Panorama mode loads each webpage to the "right" of the previous one, so a quick swipe from the left to the right pulls up INSTANTLY the page you were just on. Allows for VERY quick browsing.
UC Browser English
: Separate search and URL fields, not interchangeable. When you hit menu>Search you can't begin typing, which is annoying, you have to hit the text field. By the end of the test this annoyed me way to much to admit. Settings are confusing. A third of the screen is wasted with buttons and the name of the current site you are on and the notification bar. Full Screen gets rid of all controls. No address bar, you have to hit Menu>URL to enter a new address. Doesn't render a google search correctly. UA options annoying as hell. Had to manually type in URL's for some desktop sites. Startup page is a lesson in how to waste space. Built in file browser . . . don't get the need for that. Night Mode and day mode brightness settings, reading mode. Browser infuriated me personally. Took 5x longer to test than any other. Had to go to the mobile site on my desktop, then click the "full site" link, then chrome2phone it to my phone and choose this browser from the list I had installed for CNN and Engadget. And since there is no address bar to tell you the URL you are currently at, I had to do this for every test, as I wasn't using "refresh" to test the web page loading times. Flash appears to be "always on" with no apparent way to adjust this. I hate this browser.
: Seriously the most amazing array of settings that I have seen on a browser. Force closed on my constantly though. Had to uninstall it and re-install and reboot several times. Literally couldn't visit a single website without it force closing, which made testing . . . . difficult. The custom gestures are AMAZING. I personally have no use for them, but some of you will. Allows you to perform almost any action by a custom drawing of your choosing. Want to go to google.com when you draw a goat on the screen, this browser can do it. Not a fan of not having an address bar visible. You should install this thing just to see the plethora of settings and options, its frankly amazing. Couldn't get a single one of them to work since this browser refused to even go to one of its default bookmarks "google.com", but damn the possibilities if it didn't completely stink. If you could get this to work, please tell me how you did it.
Dolphin Browser HD
: Allows for extensive customizability with a ton of add ons that each add a certain functionality. Gesture controls are fantastic. Visible address bar when you scroll to the top of a page or hit the menu button. Tabs and address bar disappear as you scroll. One of the uglier browsers upon initial install, it allows for theming through the settings. A nice amount of UA settings allows you to visit desktop pages automatically. A bit of wasted space in the tabs and address bar. I personally was never a fan of Dolphin HD, but after testing it and looking through the settings and theming options, I am hard pressed to explain why anymore. Pretty sure you can make this browser into anything you want it to be. Don't have time to extensively customize this to my liking, but I recommend you check it out if thats your kinda thing.
Opera Mobile Web Browser
: Absolutely beautiful start page. Simple and well laid out. Trades Menu button functionality for a big red O in the bottom right corner, not a fan of that. Beautiful animation when you hit the URL or search text input fields. Hope my first google search on it was a fluke, as it took nearly 30 seconds . . . Absolutely DESTROYING the other browsers in the Acid3 and HTML5 and V8 tests. URL and search field slides away as you scroll down, but a sixth of the screen is absolutely wasted by the navigation bar. Luckily you can turn this off in the settings so that it only appears when you hit the menu key. I guess that is the functionality they saved for the menu key. URL field will not search like the stock browser does. Search field saves your previous search, which is a pain because you have to click on it and then delete it. Pretty sparse settings options. The fewest easily of any browser tested until this point. Holy java did it destroy the other browsers in sunspider .91. WOW. Easily the best yet in playing flash, but disappointingly has the worst flash controls. Double tapping does not fit the video to the window size. Nearly flawlessly played the flash video. It puts the stock browser to shame with its flash playback. For this reason alone you should all have it installed. Yet another browser that refuses to give desktop websites, and this one has no UA settings to change. If its anything like the windows mobile version there is an "about
:config" you can delve into for more settings, but its disappointing that they didn't include that in the main settings. Yep, opera:config gets you into more settings, but instead of telling you what UA you are spoofing they give you numbers, great, thanks opera. 1 is opera, 2 is firefox and 3 is IE6. Aaaaaaaand none of them seem to do anything for cnn.com. Had to use the chrome2phone trick. CNN optimizing for Opera or something?? Not using Turbo mode either. Had to run them twice and make sure everything was loading on the page. Looks like somebody isn't getting uninstalled immediately after I am done testing. May have spoken too soon, just crashed on me. Engadget also doesn't give me an option for the full site. WTH. The browser seems to get stuck sometimes loading a page. The page is fully loaded and scrollable, but the progress bar never finishes. No other browser has done that.
Edit: Just realized this browser is 30mb. That is gigantic. At least you can move it to SD, but still . . . Maybe the size is why its so smooth??
Opera Mini web browser
: Wow, this looks pretty damn similar to Opera Mobile. Who would have thought. *Acid3 test is kinda invalid because it rendered the page all sorts of messed up. It got a great score but it certainly did not pass the test. Not looking good for this one, html5 score is pathetic. It can barely render the browsermark test. Correction, it CANNOT render the browsermark test. Seriously, why does this browser even exist when Opera has one that destroys all of those tests and looks IDENTICAL. Also, doesn't look like this browser supports flash either. So far this is the most pathetic browser I have tested. It looks beautiful but is the only one that has failed these basic browser tests. Just failed sunspider. Wow. *And there is no option to clear the cache. So these results should be faster than the others. Yea, its basically just reading from the cache, these test numbers are worthless except for the initial page launch. CNN number is invalid, I will do the others with only the initial page load. There we go, back to normal. Upon reloading a page, it would always take 2.5 seconds, which is obviously just reading from cache, which you cannot clear. I would rather have the non functional Angel Browser installed than this browser.
:Immediately I hate this browser. The menu button is basically worthless because they load it with links to facebook and twitter and you have to scroll all the way to the right to get to options. And then the options only deals with the stupid links that the menu button brings up. Basically the menu button is completely wasted and the settings are hidden in a down arrow to the top right of the browser. Good amount of settings. Nothing special though. URL and search and controls hide while you scroll, which is good. When you search, it brings up a bunch of stupid links like facebook and stocks and twitter and amazon which consumes a quarter of the screen. Getting on my nerves and I haven't run the first test yet. Everything was going well in the Browsermark test, until it failed. God, that menu pops up everytime you do anything. Who needs a link to facebook THAT handy that its never more than an inch away and one tap from being launched? If I remember correctly, Skyfire does server side rendering for flash video content, so the flash test should be HEAVILY in its favor. And it gets the slowest sunspider .91 score of all the browsers. *OK, flash is weird on this thing. Its mediocre directly as a flash player. Worse than the stock browser but not awful. It gives you the option though, when a video is present, to tap a "video" button that is on that menu bar ive been talking about, and then they will basically transcode the video on the server and serve it to you in presumably HTML5, which is very smooth, but also a very wonky solution. At least the UA that is used allows for the full site option on all of the websites I tried. Force closes whenever I try and open bookmarks. Super.
Boat Browser Mini
: This is the browser that caused the thread where I came up with the stupid idea to run these tests and posted that I would. Better be worth it. Off to a good start. Minimalist look with a start page "about
:blank". Signs of good things to come? Menu button is actually functional, imagine that Skyfire developers . . . . Baidu option in the settings leads me to believe this is a chinese developed browser much like Miren. Very clean settings layout and a fair amount of settings, nothing special though. Haha, testing what the buttons did and apparently it doesn't like it when you try and bookmark "about
:blank", it crashes instead. Very iPhoney like feel to it, if that makes any sense. Love the universal URL and search bar, just like chrome has. Every browser should have that in my opinion. Weird, looks like a bunch of settings snuck out of the settings menu and made it to a seperate "advanced" menu. Not liking that your two choices seem to be to have the browser in full screen mode where you lose the address bar and navigation controls or having it in normal mode where the address bar tucks away nicely but the navigation controls needlessly take up the bottom fifth of my screen in landscape. Wow, this browser really doesn't like NYT.com.
xScope Browser - Web & File
: Copy chromes look much? Not that I'm complaining, but wow blatant. Hmm, menu button hides everything and puts it in fullscreen. Neat fly-in effects. Settings menu is annoying. Not a ton you can tweak, but a good amount. Theming seems to be available as well. Again, love the universal address bar. Wow does this browser waste screen space though. Almost half of the screen in landscape is taken up by the notification bar, address bar, tabs and navigation bar. No settings to auto hide these, which is lame. File browser is comical. Ever open up "c:\" in a browser on your desktop, thats its file browser. Tabs are visible on top, and their is also a button in the navigation bar. They seriously want to give you access to your tabs. Hmm, scrolling auto hides the notification bar, but leaves the gigantic tabs, address bar and navigation bar. Smart. Certainly scoring well in the synthetic benchmarks. Ugh, this waste of screen space is annoying me. Why are you not tucking away like a lot of the other browsers do? This thing was obviously not designed to play flash. It plays, but the window is all over the place. Double tapping makes it semi full screen, but then double tapping again does nothing. You have to pinch the screen to see the address bar or navigation controls again. Flash is not its strong suit. This is literally the only browser I tested that had the NYT hide its full screen page. Every other browser had the option to view the full site. Had to change the UA from "computer" to "ipad". Weak. This settings menu is seriously pissing me off its so terrible. This browser makes me feel like I am back in the Windows Mobile days with the extra small menus obviously not designed for input from the human finger.
: Universal URL and search bar is a plus. Not a fan of the default color, but there are theming options available. The address bar tucks away when you scroll leaving the tabs up top, which is how I usually like things, but there is a massive navigation bar at the bottom which I cannot remove in the settings without going full screen. There doesn't seem to be an option to set flash to "on demand" and I am unsure by looking at the settings whether it supports flash at all. Everytime you touch the screen you get a button popping up allowing you to go full screen and next to it is a button that allows you to go into WAP mode. This button changes to an "add rss feed" button if you are on a compatible website. Not a fan of the gesture drawing on the screen, but that is probably because I am not a big gesture guy. You can turn off gestures in the settings which gets rid of the drawing of your touch. There is flash and it works about the same as the stock browser. Would like to be able to set flash to ondemand though.
Dolphin Browser Mini
: Upon loading it up for the first time, it looks almost identical to Dolphin Browser HD. Gone are the right and left panels which I did not care for in Dolphin Browser HD, but left behind are AMAZING customizable gesture controls. The settings menu is simple and straightforward and fair amount to tweak. The add-ons from Dolphin Browser HD are gone. This is basically a simple version of that browser, which I kind of like. The menu button is simple and gives you quick access to bookmarks and settings. I don't get why they take up 30% of the menu with a tab switcher though when the tabs are always present at the top of the screen. Maybe if you were in fullscreen mode it would be useful. There is an options button next to the address bar which is really useful. Gives you the option to send/share/save a page and also a "find on page" option, which is awesome. One thing I don't like is that you have to click Menu>toolbox>settings, just an extra step and overall not that big of a deal. Toolbox gives you some great options like taking a screenshot of an entire webpage or backing up your settings or private browsing for those times that you don't want your phone logging what you are looking at.
: At first glance there seems to be very little to tweak in the settings for this browser. Once you get playing with it for a while, you see kind of why this is. This is a VERY well thought out browser. The address bar is also can be used for search by tapping the magnifying glass and choosing a service. Swipe to the right and it reveals your tabs on the left of the screen. Swipe to the left and it reveals your navigation controls on the right of the screen. The menu button brings up settings and add-ons, which look like they will be very useful. There seems to be a fair bit of checkerboarding while pinching to zoom and scrolling. Wow, this browser certainly is well built. 2nd highest Acid3 score and best HTML5, Browsermark AND Sunspider score. Aaaaand no flash support. OK, it seems like Firefox is missing User Agent switching in the settings. Had to download an add-on called "phony" to enable that feature. Kind of mediocre loading times for webpages, which is DOUBLY surprising because 1) Firefox isn't loading flash which almost all of the other browsers had to do, and 2) Firefox had by far the best cumulative benchmark scores. Wow, some cool site options when you visit a site. If you tap the site icon on the top left you get site options such as saving the page as a pdf, find in page and sharing options. ***Ran a bunch of tests on Firefox 5.0 beta, and it appears to be nearly identical performance wise to 4.0.1. They added a few new features and the browser seems to be a little smoother and more polished. Also, neither v4.0.1 or v5.0 likes Launcher Pro running in the background at all. Everytime I press the home button I have to wait for LauncherPro to startup again. May be an issue with my particular setup, although no other browsers did this.
Dolphin Browser HD v5.0
: Setting up this browser for the testing is a TREAT. The settings are vast and its easily the prettiest looking settings menu I have seen on any of the browsers. I hope the rest of the browser carries over these awesome UI elements. Really like the universal search and address bar. The browser looks pretty much like the Dolphin Browser HD that you know. The tabs and address bar tuck away when you scroll like the default browser. Looks like version 5.0 is scoring the exact same as the previous version in the acid3, v8 and html5 benchmarks, so don't expect any major performance boost by updating, but you can rest assured that you aren't going to update to something thats slower I guess. The amazing customizable gestures remain as do the add ons and the quick swipe left or right to access them or bookmarks respectively. Pinching to zoom seems to be improved in this version as well.