Dolphin Browser HD - best Android web browser screenshot

The Story

Why restrict yourself to the standard Android browser when there are so many alternatives to try? These are, admittedly, of variable quality but Dolphin HD is a classy affair. It promises to make web far easier to enjoy on your Droid by delivering many of the tricks that enabled Firefox to shake up the world of desktop browser. So much so, in fact, that something feels distinctly foxy about this dolphin. Firefox-inspiration comes in the shape of multiple browsing tabs, useful add-ons (such as ad-blocking) plus a choice of themes. The app claims to play Flash videos and offers neat gesture-controls too. This sounds deeply impressive, but let’s see what kind of splash it makes in the real world.

The Experience

Dolphin HD certainly starts well. It matches Android’s standard browser in that it offers a pinch-to-zoom feature and good tabs for juggling up to eight sites at once. It’s fast, too - a good couple of seconds quicker than Android's standard browser on busy web pages, albeit not quite as speedy as Opera. Flash videos look great as well, if not quite up to the standard of SkyFire. Adds-ons are a great selling point for serious surfers so long as they are practical and work well. The ones that Dolphin brings to the party enable you, among other things, to block ads, easily share bookmarks and even save web pages as PDFs. There are dozens more such features, many of which will be familiar to fans of Firefox. Gesture searching is another big plus. With this, if you flick your finger across the screen in a specific direction the app will then perform an action, such as navigating you through a website more efficiently or adding a bookmark instantly. You can even create your own gestures for favourite tasks. The only drawback with Dolphin that it is (almost) too clever for its own good: the basic menus can occasionally be confusing. It’s therefore not as easy to pick up and play with as, say, Net Front Life. Once you tune into what Dolphin can do, however, you’ll be surfing so slickly that you will feel like you could catch fish with your teeth. And maybe you can. [Not a valid template]

The Bottom Line

Seriously fast and by far the most flexible browser available for Android. A natural choice.

Additional Info

Version reviewed 4.1.0 Requires Android 2.1 or higher (Dolphin Mini available for Android 1.6)

User reviews

  • John Chorley, 19th Oct 2011

    The Good

    Very fast browsing speed, Great performance, Clean interface

    The Bad

    Colour scheme needs some work, no method of customising the interface, takes some getting used too

    The Comments

    This is probably the best web browser for Android as it’s fast, and doesn’t negatively impact performance, it also has a collection of addons.

    It also comes with a mode switcher which allows you to switch to see the desktop, tablet or smart phone versions of a web site.

    Although it has flash support, it is by no means the best, however you’ll forgive this as Skyfire which has better support for flash tends to crash a lot, Dolphin HD does not.

    Personally I would have liked to be able to customize the interface a lot more.

  • Simon Oatey, 9th Feb 2011

    The Good

    Clean & easy to use & add on's that really work

    The Bad

    not overally fast as stated in reveiw

    The Comments

    Well worth trying out.. have tried nearly all the rest

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The best web browser for Android


the good

  • » Fast, multi-tab browsing
  • » Superb add-ons
  • » Slick gesture-controls

the bad

  • » Some learning curve
  • » Not quite as fast as Opera
  • » SkyFire is slightly more Flash-friendly
User Rating

read user review (2)

Dolphin Browser HD

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