Web browsers are one of the most important apps on any device. Having the right features and performance while browsing the web can literally change your entire experience. Finding the right one can be difficult because there are so many options and the face of the web is changing all the time. Let’s take a look at the best Android browsers of 2018 (so far)! You can also click here to see the best web browsers on most platforms!
Brave Browser is one of the newer Android browsers. It came out in 2016 and has a variety of features. There is an ad blocker built-in. Additionally, it can block third party cookies, block scripts, and it has HTTPS everywhere. Included is per-site settings just in case you need that. It also boasts optimizations for speed and battery life improvements. You can even keep track of all the stuff that it blocks. In real world use, it is highly functional and even occasionally fun to use. It also has most of the basic features like bookmarks, history, and a privacy (incognito) mode. The app is entirely free with no in-app purchases or ads.
Dolphin Browser has seen a lot of success on Androidy. It has a decent set of features as well. That includes theming, flash support, ad-block, incognito mode, and some tertiary features like gesture controls. There is also add-on and extension support if you need that. It’s not quite as engaging of an option as it was back when a good browser was hard to find, but it still works perfectly well for mobile use.
Ecosia is an environmentally friendly mobile web browser. It features all of the usual stuff like bookmarks, multiple tabs, a private browsing mode, and downloads. It pulls from Chromium’s open source project. Thus, it looks and feels a bit like Chrome as well. The big draw here is the cause. The browser donates up to 80% of its profits to plant trees. That isn’t a browser feature, but it’s definitely nice. This one is good for those who don’t need to browse the web often, but still want something that works well. The trees thing is a bonus. It’s also free.
Firefox underwent a change in 2018. The update, dubbed Quantum, promised to add stability, quickness, and a new UI. The results took a while to take effect but it’s been a very positive update overall. The browser also features cross-platform bookmark and tab syncing, excellent privacy controls, add-ons, and more. It’s an outstanding replacement for something like Google Chrome that works on multiple platforms. It’s also entirely free as usual.
Firefox Focus is one of the newer Android browsers. It’s arguably the better Firefox browser app right now as well. This is a security-focused browser app. Basically every session is in privacy mode. Some features include a one-tap history deletion process, a fairly decent ad-block, and it blocks most types of web trackers. This is definitely not something for people who need their browser to remember their sign-in info. It’s outstanding for basically everybody else, though. It’s also entirely free with no in-app purchases.
Of course we give the obligatory nod to the most popular Android browser. Many people have this pre-installed on their devices and opt to just keep using it. That’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do. It features syncing with Google Chrome on desktop along with the latest Material Design, unlimited browsing tabs, deeper integration with Android, and plenty of other features for both basic browsing and power users. There are four total Chrome browsers. In descending order of stability, you have the regular Google Chrome, Chrome Beta, Chrome Dev, and Chrome Canary. Choose at your own risk. Google Chrome almost always has the latest Android features before other browsers as well.
Kiwi Browser is one of the newer Android browsers. It uses Chromium as a base. Thus, you may recognize a lot of its visual elements and settings options. It also loads pages pretty well. Some of the other features include native ad blocking, a pop-up blocker, a night mode with a 100% contrast mode for AMOLED screens, and cryptojacking protection. There are some UI tweaks as well, such as the address bar resting on the bottom of the app instead of the top. It also does the usual stuff. It’s surprisingly delightful to actually use, although we do miss the desktop syncing available on the big name browsers. If you don’t need that, this is definitely one of the best options.
Lightning Browser has returned to this list as one of the best Android browsers. It features a lightweight experience coupled with a simple design. Additionally, it comes with various features such as ad block, theming, and more. It also boasts compatibility with Orbot as a Tor proxy. That’s about as secure as web browsing gets, folks. The support is a bit inconsistent but it does work. The free version is functional. However, you’ll have to pay for the pro version to get unlimited tabs and ad blocking. It’s also open source.
Lynket is formerly the popular Chromer browser. The rebrand came in early 2018. It’s still the same browser at its core. It lets you open web links from basically any app in Chrome Custom Tabs, even if the app doesn’t natively support Chrome Custom Tabs. Additionally, the app includes Web Heads, similar to Flynx or older Brave Browser. The one-two punch of Chrome Custom Tabs and Web Heads is enough to make this one of the more unique Android browsers. It works best for multi-taskers, frequent browsers, and people who really like Chrome Custom Tabs.
We’re probably going to catch flack for this, but that’s okay. Microsoft Edge is a legitimately decent web browser on mobile. It features a light, but effective sync feature with the desktop version. The app also works well with Windows 10 and Microsoft Launcher. Some other features include a Hub feature, a QR code reader, a voice search, and a private browsing mode. It’s not great for everybody. However, those tightly ingrained in Microsoft’s ecosystem probably won’t find a better browser that works with their other services. Microsoft is eventually migrating Edge to a Chromium base so it may get even better over time.
Naked Browser may look simple, but it’s no joke. It foregoes many of today’s current features in favor of speed and simplicity. Of course, that means some sacrifices had to be made. However, the developers made those sacrifices with an admirable lack of repentance. The browser does do the basics, like shortcuts, bookmarks, and history. Thanks to its scaled back nature, sites generally load fairly quickly. Those looking for something flashy won’t get it with this one. The developer is also a little grouchy with user feedback sometimes. Still, it’s one of the better Android browsers.
Opera has a couple of Android browsers. They’re both pretty good. The first is the standard Opera Browser. It features a partial ad block, video compression to save data, and a dashboard where you can have news and favorites stored. You can create an Opera account and sync data between this and the desktop version. Opera Mini is a smaller, more lightweight option. It comes with a Facebook notification bar, partial ad blocking, and more. Their latest, Opera Touch, comes with desktop syncing and more powerful features. Most of them have their own beta version as well. Like all software, these Android browsers have their ups and downs and have their own use cases.
We feel a little dirty putting an OEM browser on a best Android browsers list. However, Samsung Internet Browser is surprisingly good. It features swipe gestures, plug-ins, a quick menu, and some Material Design elements. Some of the plug-ins even allow for ad-blocking. There are also features for things like Amazon shopping, online shopping in general, and support for 360-degree video. This is likely the browser many Samsung phone owners see before they make Chrome their default. The app is labeled as beta. However, it’s more stable than some non-beta browsers even on this list. No, Samsung did not pay us to put this here.
Surfy Browser has a hipster name and not the biggest following. However, it’s a surprisingly decent browser. It features the usual niceties like bookmarks, history, multiple search providers, and things like that. You also get another layer of power user features like an ad-block, theming, and surprisingly fun toolbar customizations. The app’s claim to fame is the text-to-speech feature that reads website pages to you if you want it to. It’s not a bad way to go if you need something like this.
Tor Browser for Android is probably the best browser for privacy. It connects to Tor’s proxy network and hides what you’re doing from your ISP and basically everybody else. It surfs the web fairly well and it also blocks trackers, defends against surveillance, and includes multi-layer encryption. The app is in the very early stages of development at the time of this writing. It requires Orbot to use Tor’s network. However, future versions of this browser will be able to connect to Tor’s proxy network on its own. We’re comfortable enough putting this on here despite its early age. We do only recommend this for people who are serious about their privacy and power users who understand how this works.
If we missed any great Android browsers, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to see our latest app lists!