What's the Best Mobile Web Browser?

Mobile web browsers prioritize speed and privacy

Today, there are almost as many web browsers for mobile devices as there are for computers. We've tested them all to help you determine which is the best mobile web browser for you.

Most of these web browsers are available for both Android and iOS. Check the app requirements to make sure they are compatible with your device.

Hand holding smartphone and touching the screen with search button. Magnifying glass icon.
OlgaLebedeva / Getty Images

Google Chrome: Google's Official Browser

Google Chrome for Android
What We Like
  • Well-known browser with large market share.

  • Many desktop features migrate to the mobile version.

  • Data Saver tool makes browsing faster and more bandwidth-efficient.

What We Don't Like
  • Google collects your personal data.

  • Relatively high memory usage.

The Chrome app for mobile devices automatically syncs everything from your desktop version of Chrome including your browsing history, login information, and bookmarks. This full-featured app offers: 

  • Safe browsing that warns you when you attempt to visit dangerous sites or download dangerous files
  • Incognito mode to browse the internet without saving your history
  • Voice search for when you don't feel like typing in a URL
  • Built-in Google Translate to translate entire web pages
  • Data Saver feature that uses up to 60 percent less data as Chrome compresses images, videos, and websites

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Safari: Apple's Answer to Chrome

Safari for Android
What We Like
  • Optimized for iOS.

  • Sync browser data through iCloud.

  • Interface options designed to harmonize with the logic of iOS.

What We Don't Like
  • The Android version isn't as user-friendly as the iOS version.

  • No meaningful ties to products and services outside the Apple ecosystem.

Safari is the browser of choice on Apple mobile devices because it is part of the operating system. It's been around since the first iPhone, but Safari's features are updated with each iOS release. Among its newer features are:

  • A setting to prevent cross-site tracking by advertisers
  • Long-press options for the Back and Forward buttons, bookmarks, URLs, images on web pages, and lots of other places that expand the possibilities of working in the browser
  • An option to save web pages for offline viewing in the Safari Reading List
  • Auto Reader View that removes formatting and stylings to present a clean presentation of text and images
  • A Block All Cookies option 
  • Safari syncs passwords, bookmarks, history, tabs, and reading lists on all your Apple devices.

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Samsung Internet: Not Just For Samsung Phones and Tablets

Samsung Internet for Android
What We Like
  • Works well with Samsung devices, although it's available for all Android devices regardless of manufacturer.

  • A handful of bells and whistles to improve the mobile browsing experience.

What We Don't Like
  • Can't turn off the news on browser startup.

  • Not optimized for non-Samsung devices.

Initially available only for Samsung phones, this browser is now available for all devices running Android 5.0 or higher. Samsung Internet includes the following features:

  • Protected browsing to prevent you from viewing known malicious websites
  • Web payment capability
  • Amazon shopping assistant you can turn on to get the best shopping deals
  • 360-video capabilities
  • Support for content blockers
  • High contrast viewing mode for users with impaired vision

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Opera: A Stand-Alone Alternative

Opera for Android
What We Like
  • A stand-alone alternative to built-in mobile browsers.

  • Lots of options to optimize the mobile browsing experience.

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't integrate naturally into any mobile OS.

The Opera app does more than display web pages. It blocks ads and compresses images for faster page loading. Opera also offers:

  • A built-in news feed to find content that you'll enjoy
  • A Save Data mode to load pages quickly on slow networks
  • Private browsing tabs
  • Force zoom on any web page for comfortable reading
  • Add-to-home screen feature

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Firefox Mobile: Sync With Firefox for Desktops

Firefox Mobile for Android
What We Like
  • Sync with your desktop version of Firefox using Mozilla's sync capability.

  • Plenty of extensions on Android to fine-tune browsing experiences.

What We Don't Like
  • No extensions on iOS.

  • No natural integration with iOS or Android.

Mozilla's Firefox browser for mobile devices is full-featured, fast, and highly customizable. If you use Firefox on your computer, you'll appreciate the access you have to your saved passwords, browsing history, and your bookmarks. With the Firebox mobile app, you can:

  • Send tabs between mobile and desktop devices
  • Enter Private Browsing mode to prevent Firefox from saving cookies or browsing history
  • Add tons of extensions (Android only) to customize the appearance and capabilities of your mobile device including ad blockers, password managers, and themes.

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Firefox Focus: Faster, More Secure Browsing

Firefox Focus for Android
What We Like
  • Super fast browsing.

  • Focused on privacy.

What We Don't Like
  • Not as many features as regular Firefox.

  • Privacy features should be incorporated into regular Firefox.

Firefox Focus is a stripped-down version of Firefox that prioritizes privacy. At less than 5 MB, this lightweight mobile browser comes with the following benefits:

  • Pages load faster thanks to the built-in ad blocker.
  • No passwords, cookies, or trackers are ever stored.
  • Enhanced privacy features are always turned on.

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Microsoft Edge: The Successor to IE Mobile

Microsoft Edge for Android
What We Like
  • Syncs with Edge for Windows.

  • Transfer a browsing session to a computer.

  • Fast browser with flawless background syncing.

What We Don't Like
  • No deep integration with iOS or Android.

  • Limited extensions.

If you use a Windows 10 computer, you need the Edge app. The "Continue on PC" feature allows you to move seamlessly between your mobile and desktop Edge browsers, even if you have an Apple iOS device. The Microsoft Edge app has features you are familiar with such as:

  • A Reading View that reorganizes content on a web page to make it easier to read
  • InPrivate mode for private browsing
  • A built-in QR Code reader
  • Voice search via Cortana

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Dolphin Browser: Sync With Other Browsers

Dolphin Browser Android
What We Like
  • Fast and secure browsing.

  • Free and multi-platform.

  • Interesting side-bar design to highlight extra features.

What We Don't Like
  • Low market share.

  • Dolphin plugin for desktop computers required to take full advantage of syncing capability.

Dolphin is a fast personal web browser. It simplifies mobile browsing and offers plenty of features to tempt users away from the better-known browser apps. These features include:

  • Built-in ad blocker
  • HTML5 video player
  • Voice search
  • Customize with gestures for specific websites
  • Sync bookmarks, history, and passwords across platforms and other browsers

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Puffin: The Fastest of the Fast

Puffin Browser for Android
What We Like
  • Flash is enabled by default.

  • Data-saving compression algorithm.

  • Elegant design.

What We Don't Like
  • Low market share.

  • Must pay for the pro version to access extra features.

The Puffin web browser app shifts part of the browsing workload to cloud servers so that demanding web pages can run super-fast on mobile devices. As a result, Puffin loads web pages twice as fast as the other popular mobile web browsers. To use the app on iOS, you have to pay for Puffin Pro, but the free Android version offers the following features:

  • Encryption from the Puffin app to the Puffin server, so even using public nonsecure Wi-Fi connections is safe
  • Complete immunity to viruses
  • A 90 percent bandwidth savings on regular web browsing
  • Multiple color themes
  • Incognito mode
  • Visual gamepad

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