1. Android browser
Let’s cover the stock browser first for
comparison purposes, as it certainly has
its merits. It provides the foundations
from which Chrome Beta was born with
its ability to sync some data (such as
bookmarks) from the desktop Chrome
browser. In terms of its looks it’s strictly
functional and ordinary, but it renders
pages quickly, lets you take control over
the cookies and other data that each site
can log, and despite a lack of stand-out
features gets the job done with the
minimum of fuss. There’s an option to
save pages, should you be planning a
long period offline.
Average site load speed: 8.25 seconds.
2. Chrome Beta
If you’re one of the privileged few
running Ice Cream Sandwich, then you
can give the beta version of Chrome a
whirl. Like its desktop counterpart, it’s
fast across the ground and handles tabs
in a very intuitive way, as well as
including some nice gradients and
animations. You can sync open tabs,
passwords and other data between
desktop Chrome and mobile Chrome if
you’d like to, and the new tab page
gives you a choice between your most
visited sites and your bookmarks. As
with the stock browser, there’s a switch
to view mobile-optimised sites in full
desktop mode, should you want to
pretend you’re on a PC.
Average site load speed: 6.98 seconds
3. Dolphin Browser HD
Dolphin Browser HD has just about
every mobile browser feature you can
think of, as you’ll see when you launch it
— you can set Flash on, off or on-
demand, and have your phone emulate
a desktop PC, iPhone or iPad, and that’s
just on the first screen. It has powerful
gesture-control features, multi-touch
zoom, and voice input via the Sonar
plug-in — in fact the variety of available
plug-ins is one of Dolphin’s most
appealing features. It can seem like too
much for simple browsing tasks, but in
terms of comprehensiveness and
feature-set it’s very hard to beat.
Average site load speed: 8.36 seconds