Motorola Moto G5 Plus Forum

Which Mobile Browser to Use???

I'm curious to know which mobile browser you'd recommend using? I've been using Dolphin, which has been fine (great even) but after a recent update it has begun crashing repeatedly. I've been doing my research and I've been learning that if I turn off the Ad Blocking setting then it won't crash as often if at all (but then you're left open to the screen entirety ads among other things). I've also been learning that Dolphin isn't so great with privacy and data mining (correct?). I tried uninstalling Dolphin 12.0.2 and going with an older version from the XDA site but alas there's been little to no improvement.

So I've been looking at other browsers. I know to stay away from CM, the Cheetah Mobile browser, but what else is out there? I'm thinking about the stock Chrome browser that all Android devices come with but really don't care for it which is why I found Dolphin in the first place. I like the Samsung browser which I've seen in the Play Store and gave a test drive to. I also like Opera...

Also of interest. Apparently Dolphin is able to access my Google account and rebuild itself after a fresh install, whether I've uninstalled it and then installed it again or switched devices. This has been very helpful and allowed me to just pick up where I left off, but I've also become invested in the Dolphin ecosystem and it seems to be the only browser that'll access this. I'd like to just pull my favorites from one browser to another. Chrome won't do this, when I sign in I get an amalgamation of what's on the PC version of Chrome for both the computers I use at work and at home... I really don't want the two to commingle as there's stuff on both that I don't want on my mobile, and needless to say if I save a favorite on my mobile I don't want it showing up at work for unknowledgable eyes to possibly see.

So any help would be appreciated...


#1 kblanco, Nov 14, 2017
I've always been a dolphin guy myself for my everyday browser. I've known they collect data. There used to be a way too turn that off on a rooted phone by changing something in root settings. It hasn't worked on this phone though so I just took that as send them random stuff. I'm pretty sure they don't see your passwords or anything, just the porn you look at. Anywho dolphin's been crashing for me a lot too lately. I'm going more forward chrome and puffin ;)
#2 Shotgun84, Nov 14, 2017
I don't use "free" Chinese web browsers like Dolphin myself, really because I don't want the PRC govt. seeing what I'm looking at through my VPN.
#3 mikedt, Nov 14, 2017
Dolphin's Chinese? Thanks for letting me know. I'll hide my adult entertainment from them from now on :oops:
#4 Shotgun84, Nov 14, 2017
Dolphin's web page states it's being developed by Mobotap, a California company, and there's also a referral to its primary funding, Sequoia Capital, a venture capital company also based in California. Am I missing some kind of creepy tie in to China???

Regrading the OP's query, I'll just toss in my default browser, Firefox. It's my weapon of choice on my desktop and laptop to interact with the ever-increasing privacy and security failures in the Internet so it fits in nicely with my phone too.
#5 svim, Nov 14, 2017 is registered to Bei Jing Bai Na Xin Xi Ji Shu You Xian Gong Si, which is the Dolphin company in Beijing. Discussion about privacy of Dolphin browser and where it actually comes from has been discussed before on AF. It is a Chinese company with international ventures I think, and "Mobotap" in California aren't too keen on letting everyone know where they actually come from AFAICT.

Other "free" Chinese browsers I know are DU Browser(Baidu), UC Browser(Guangzhou UC Mobile Ltd), CM Browser(Cheetah Mobile) and 360 Browser(Qihoo).

I've been using Firefox myself, with the AdBlock Plus add-on.
#6 mikedt, Nov 14, 2017 Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
Chrome no issues
#7 Dannydet, Nov 14, 2017
Yeah I'm there with you. I've become really enamored with Dolphin and know my way forward and backwards. I figured that Dolphin datamined for someone one, not surprised that it's Chinese like you say. But I don't do anything on Dolphin that'd be a violation of my privacy unless they want to know my passwords to Android Forums, Android Authority or some such.

I'm leaning towards Opera but am open-minded about other browsers. I just want something that's stable. Maybe Dolphin will get its act together...
#8 kblanco, Nov 15, 2017
Well Opera is owned by a Chinese company as well now.

I still have a soft spot for Naked Browser. Won't win any aesthetic awards, but it's tiny, fast and I trust it. I used to like Ghostery, but that's not had a lot of maintenance lately and it shows (i.e. it's not very stable on my Pixel 2/Android 8).

Chrome is fast, but it's very Google, including insisting that it knows what I want on my home page even after I've used every "hidden" trick on the web to disable it's making these choices for me (I hate companies who think they know what I want better than I do and won't even provide a setting for me to tell them they are wrong).

Firefox was too slow on my old phone, but the new one can handle it fine. I'm trying out the beta version at the moment - not quite as fast as NB or Chrome, but more configurable than either and with a wide range of add-ons.

Syncing bookmarks between mobile and desktop is not one of my requirements, so I can't comment on that.
#9 Hadron, Nov 15, 2017
Syncing bookmarks between mobile and desktop is not one of my requirements, so I can't comment on that.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I have to admit that syncing isn't the end all be all. I mean I can just as easily create a new account in Opera or Firefox (which I'm on now as I'm evaluating it) and move my Favorites over URL by URL. It just would've been nice to login and they all be there is all. I don't know how Dolphin being a non-Google browser does it...
#10 kblanco, Nov 15, 2017
Thoughts on Firefox anyone. I'm on it now for mobile to evaluate it and it doesn't appear half bad... Can't find the ad blocker yet, but have only seen one ad so far...
#11 kblanco, Nov 15, 2017
Firefox, Samsung Browser and Via are my main stayers. Firefox for privacy, Samsung Browser for that epic contrast mode and Via for opening Google Now Feed since its small and fast. Just stay away from the likes of UC, CM and Next Browser.
#12 Jhayzone, Nov 15, 2017
I rely on Firefox as the default on my computers so the syncing to my phone is a bonus but I've recently been trying out Firefox Focus too and so far I like it using it instead.
#13 svim, Nov 15, 2017
Seriously what do you think of the Samsung browser? I like it and am thinking about either Opera, Firefox or Samsung. I figure either of the three will be routinely updated. I'm not so much concerned about data mining me because I don't do anything "confidential" on my browser. They'd just know I like the electronics magazines and politics if they were ever curious...
#14 kblanco, Nov 16, 2017
I've tried (and tested) many of the browsers mentioned, my choice after doing my own testing and research keeps going back to "Boat Browser" due to interface v features v footprint v functionality. There's features and functions I'd like to see included, but I've been happy with my choice. Other browsers I've avoided after simple research.
#15 BrickHouse, Nov 18, 2017 at 9:42 PM
FYI, Boat, being an acronym of Beijing Office Automation Technology. See my post
#3 and #6 in this thread about "free" browsers from the PRC.
#16 mikedt, Nov 18, 2017 at 9:51 PM
The posts you refer to had no mention of Boat Browser or the acronym. I switched from Dolphin browser mainly due to its consistent fc's and cache relayed issues. There were other factors involved with the browser itself as well.
#17 BrickHouse, Nov 18, 2017 at 10:22 PM
No, Mike didn't mention Boat specifically, but his point was that those comments were about "free browsers from China" and Boat is another one of those. I admit I'd forgotten about it - it was popular few years ago, but had dropped off the radar recently. If Dolphin's privacy issues didn't bother you then I doubt it's worse (Dolphin tracking people when in incognito mode was just asking for a backlash ;)). I note that Boat has not been updated for a year, so if you care about browser security updates it's possibly not the best choice.
#18 Hadron, Nov 19, 2017 at 9:01 AM
Boat had dropped of my radar as well, and and is why I didn't mention it along with all the other "free" Chinese browsers. I always use "free" in quotes for these things, because they do want something from you, monetization, which is data mining you, and selling it to whatever third-parties, basically the same way that Cheetah Mobile operates. Any data that's held on servers in mainland PRC, the government does have full access to it, that's the law here, and so I don't use these types of browsers, and I tell my friends here not to either.
#19 mikedt, Nov 19, 2017 at 9:13 AM
I've not had issues with data mining using Boat, unlike when I used others. Boat browser has continued development, the last update was recent. I've never liked Mozilla based browsers for several reasons, so I've avoided therm like the plague. I used Opera for a while (before it was owned by a Chinese company - long story/ had family in development) and enjoyed it. Basically, I'm not fond of the over rated, over fluffed, mainstream huge footprint browsers.
#20 BrickHouse, Nov 19, 2017 at 11:29 AM
That information is well noted and appreciated. ... So, what browsers have you tried and what do you think of them? Footprint - speed - user interface - features - security - visual appeal ... You've piqued my interest, I imagine there may be others aside from just me that might interested also.
#21 BrickHouse, Nov 19, 2017 at 11:37 AM
Have you read Boat's EULA and Privacy Policy, which come under the "Laws of People's Republic of China"? I don't wish to take any chances myself of the Communist Party of China finding out what websites I've been looking at via my VPN. BTW I'm not Chinese, I only live and work here.
#22 mikedt, Nov 19, 2017 at 11:42 AM
I'm currently using Firefox exclusively, both on my Android phone and Macbook Air via ExpressVPN. I have used Naked Browser as well though, which also isn't Chinese.
#23 mikedt, Nov 19, 2017 at 11:47 AM
That's curious, as the Play Store is showing the last update as 28 November 2016.

It's also showing it as including ads, which I don't think it did when I last used it (some years ago) but does at least provide a possible revenue model other than data-mining. That said I think it was still a trust issue that resulted in me dropping it, but can no longer remember any specifics.
#24 Hadron, Nov 19, 2017 at 11:53 AM Last edited: Nov 19, 2017 at 12:03 PM
No thanks, no Mozilla browsers for me. I despise them. Almost as much as iOS. (Former Mac tech here. Preferred os is Mac.)
#25 BrickHouse, Nov 19, 2017 at 1:12 PM