I previously wrote that Samsung's Galaxy S8 apps are better than Google's -- and now Android L and later owners can install Samsung Internet for free.
Apple iPhones include Safari as the default web browser while most Android phones have Google Chrome as the default. Samsung Galaxy owners have had the Samsung Internet browser available for years. Other mobile browser options include Firefox and Opera.
After using them all on various devices, the best I have found is the Samsung Internet browser.
You might think Google Chrome is the best for Android devices, but it is not well optimized for mobile and only adds in features found in Samsung Internet if you jump into hidden settings and even then the performance is not consistent. Here are several reasons why Samsung Internet is best:
- Controls at the bottom: With today's large screen smartphones, it is much easier to use the browser with the main navigation options at the bottom. Back, forward, home, bookmarks, and tabs are found on the bottom of the Samsung Internet browser.
- True full screen viewing: Most browsers have a "full screen" mode that then still shows some controls or menu options. As soon as you start scrolling down a page with the Samsung browser, the entire display fills with your internet content and you enjoy the internet as it was designed.
- Reader mode: One reason I like Safari on the iPhone is for its integrated reader mode that strips out and reformats content for an optimal reading experience. Chrome hacks can give you a similar, but limited experience, as well, but Samsung's browser supports it by default and it works very well.
- High contrast mode: This modes makes browsing the web for those with impaired vision much better and it is easily toggled by tapping the Settings > Accessibility option in the browser settings.
- Desktop syncing: Samsung Internet supports tons of extensions, including a desktop Chrome extension, so you can sync your Google Chrome desktop bookmarks with the Samsung Internet browser.
- Easy support for content blockers: I understand ad review supports many sites, but sometimes it is overbearing and you want to block ads or content. Samsung Internet supports content blockers with suggested ad blockers provided right within the browser.
- Experimental features: Similar to Chrome flags, enter internet://flags in the URL line of Samsung Internet and enable features such as WebVR, Web Bluetooth, WebGL 2, and many more.
If you own a non-Galaxy Android L and above smartphone, then I recommend you visit the Google Play Store for the Samsung Internet browser beta, version 6.2, and give it a try. You might agree with me that it is the best on today's smartphones.