A Comprehensive List of the 10 Top Mobile Web Browsers

Mobile web browsers prioritize speed and privacy

Hand holding smartphone and touching the screen with search button. Magnifying glass icon.

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There are almost as many browsers for mobile devices as there are for computers nowadays, so it can be difficult to choose just one. Mobile web browsers differ in terms of features, but most of them have privacy features to make your mobile web browsing safer. 

The two mobile operating systems with the most browsing options are Android and iOS. Many of the mobile web browser apps on this list are available for both operating systems. All of them are free to download.

Google Chrome

What We Like

  • Well-known desktop 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.

  • Chrome's memory usage isn't optimal, on the desktop or on iOS.

The popularity of Chrome on the desktop plays a role in the popularity of the Chrome app on mobile devices. The app 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 navigate dangerous sites or download dangerous files
  • Incognito mode to browse the internet without saving your history
  • Voice search, when you don't feel like typing in a URL
  • Built-in Google Translate to translate entire web pages.
  • Data Saver feature that when activated lets you navigate the web using up to 60 percent less data as Chrome compresses images, videos, and websites.

Safari

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

  • Pretty much an Apple-only solution, in practice if not in theory.

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

Safari is a powerful mobile web browser with a clean user interface. It is the browser of choice on iOS 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 Safari Back and Forward buttons, the Bookmarks button, URLs, images on web pages, and lots of other places that expand the possibilities of the working in the browser
  • An option to save web pages for offline viewing in the Safari Reading List.
  • Auto Reader View, which 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.

Safari is part of the iOS operating system for Apple mobile devices.

Samsung Internet

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

  • Recent spate of low reviews.

  • Can't turn off the news on browser startup.

  • Samsung can't seem to commit to being an Android developer or a developer of it's own version of Android.

The Samsung Internet browser app is relatively new on the browser scene. Initially available only for Samsung phones, it has become popular with other Android users. This fast, smooth and safe browser includes:

  • 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

Available for users with Android 5.0 and higher.

Opera

What We Like

  • Genuine competition with a well-thought-out browser.

  • Tricks to optimize the mobile browsing experience.

What We Don't Like

  • A stand-alone browser that doesn't integrate natively into any operating-system stack with its universe of aligned partner apps and services.

  • Confusion between Opera and Opera Mini.

  • Android only.

The Opera app does more than display web pages. It blocks ads and compresses images for fast page loads. Also, Opera offers:

  • A built-in news feed to locate content 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 to add any website directly to your device's home screen.

Opera Mini

What We Like

  • Optimized for weak bandwidth.

  • Multi-platform support.

What We Don't Like

  • Not clear why there's Opera and Opera Mini.

  • Data savings, using a different company's servers to optimize your traffic, may track browsing regardless of Incognito mode or privacy-enhancing plugins.

Owners of iOS devices may miss the Opera app in the App Store, but they should look instead for the Opera Mini app. Opera Mini promises to let you do everything you want to do online without destroying your data plan. It blocks ads and offers an incognito mode. Other features include:

  • Fast browsing
  • Data savings up to 90 percent
  • Unlimited tabs
  • Smart night mode
  • Video boost
  • Latest News on the start screen

Firefox Browser

What We Like

  • A popular browser.

  • Sync between Firefox browsers 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 deep integration into either iOS or Android.

Mozilla's Firefox browser for mobile devices is full-featured, customizable and fast. 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 with added tracking protection that prevents ads from following you wherever you surf and doesn't save cookies or browsing history
  • Add tons of extensions (Android app only) to customize the appearance and capabilities of your mobile device, including ad blockers, password managers, and themes.

Firefox Focus

What We Like

  • Fast browser.

  • Focused on privacy.

What We Don't Like

  • These privacy and safety features should be included in Firefox.

Mozilla makes two Firefox apps for mobile browsers. Firefox Focus is its "privacy browser." This app has always-on ad blocking to block a wide range of common web trackers. It is noted for:

  • Fast web page loads because trackers and apps aren't downloaded
  • One tap that erases your history — no passwords, cookies, or trackers are stored
  • Next-level privacy is free and always turned on.
  • Lightweight at less than 5MB.

Microsoft Edge

What We Like

  • Deep integration with Edge on the desktop.

  • "Continue on PC" feature to transfer a browsing session to a computer.

  • Fast browser with flawless background syncing.

What We Don't Like

  • No inherent deep links into iOS or Android.

  • Not as focused on extensions.

Microsoft Edge replaced IE Mobile in Windows 10. 

If you use a Windows 10 computer, you need the Edge app, because it allows you to move seamlessly between your mobile and desktop Edge browsers even if you have an Apple iOS mobile device.

The Microsoft Edge app has features you are familiar with such as:

  • A Hub that organizes the web and cuts through the clutter
  • Reading View to reorganize content on a web page to make it easier to read
  • Built-in QR Code reader to pull up information at the touch of a button
  • Voice search
  • InPrivate mode

Dolphin Browser

What We Like

  • Fast, secure browsing.

  • Free and multi-platform.

  • Interesting side-bar design to highlight extra features.

What We Don't Like

  • Low market share.

  • Need to be running Dolphin plugin for desktop computers 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:

  • Flash player
  • AdBlock
  • Multiple tabs bar
  • Personalized search
  • HTML5 video player
  • Incognito browsing
  • Sync bookmarks, history and passwords across platforms and other browsers
  • Customize with gestures for specific websites
  • Voice search
  • Themes

Puffin

What We Like

  • By default, Flash is enabled. (Bonus!)

  • Data-saving compression algorithm.

  • Elegant design.

What We Don't Like

  • By default, Flash is enabled. (Security risk!)

  • Low market share.

  • A separate "pro" (paid) app for extra functionality.

Claiming to be "wicked fast," the Puffin web browser app shifts part of the browsing workload to cloud servers so 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. Puffin offers:

  • Encryption from Puffin app to 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
  • Color themes
  • News feed
  • Incognito mode
  • Visual gamepad