While I have tried most of the third party web browsers for Android, I pretty much stick to Android’s web browser because I find that it is good enough for my needs. Truth is, I don’t use the web browser all too often on my phone because of apps like Facebook and Twitter. Each of the third party browsers for Android bring something unique that you might like. In an article titled “Battle Of The Android Browsers” PC World compares Skyfire, Dolphin HD, Opera Mini, and Mozilla Fennec. Here is a high level summary from the article:
- Skyfire provides Flash video support to Android phones that do not have Android 2.2. The video is transcoded on Skyfire’s servers and then served to the phone in an Android-compatible form. Even if you have Android 2.2 you might want to use Skyfire for watching Flash videos and and not load the Flash player on your phone, saving you from the worry of the security vulnerabilities of the Flash player
- Dolphin HD supports plug-ins similar to Firefox extensions that add functionality to the browser. It also supports gestures for entering commands
- Opera Mini provides tabs and compresses web pages before they are transmitted to the phone providing faster page loads for low bandwidth situations
- Mozilla Fennec is in early stages of development but should provide a look a feel that is similar to Firefox
In speed tests, Skyfire had the fastest average load times for live sites while the Android 2.2 browser has the second fastest load times. Opera Mini loads pages already cached on the phone the fastest.