Samsung

Samsung’s Android browser is awesome, actually

Samsung's Android browser is awesome, actually

There is a stigma attached to apps from phone manufacturers. They tend to feel like useless bloatware. However, Samsung Internet—the company’s blandly-named browser—is an exception. It’s actually pretty good, and it’s not just for Samsung Galaxy phones.

This widespread availability is a sign that a Samsung app is more than just a useless alternative to an existing Google app. When Samsung makes it available for other Android devices, just like it does with Samsung Health, you have to be careful. So let’s dive in.

RELATED: Why should you use Samsung Health

Browser extensions

Samsung Internet Extensions.

Check this out: Yet another Android browser that got extensions before Google Chrome. Samsung Internet supports add-ons from the Samsung Galaxy Store. Admittedly, few of them are actually useful, but there are a few ad blockers you can use.

Adblock and Adblock Plus both have versions specifically for Samsung Internet. This is probably the best and easiest ad blocker you can do on a mobile browser. If that’s really important to you, that’s reason enough to give Samsung Internet a try.

Custom context menu

Shortcuts menu.

Modern browsers have tons of options and it’s important to make these options easily accessible. Samsung Internet offers a large menu of shortcuts that can be customized to your liking. It’s similar to Android’s quick settings.

Some of the shortcuts include secret mode (incognito), dark mode, show desktop, temporarily unblock ads and many more. You can customize the layout of these shortcuts by going to Settings > Layout & menu > Customize menu.

More layout options

Layout options.

Here’s another feature Chrome users have been asking for all along: Samsung Internet is another browser that has an address bar at the bottom. It’s so much easier to reach, especially on bigger phones.

Samsung gives you the option of having it top or bottom. Even though you have the address bar at the top, the navigation bar is at the bottom. If you want to get really fancy and have a big phone, Samsung even lets you show tabs at the top of the screen.

Tab layouts.

In addition to this, Samsung Internet provides three options to display tabs on the tab page. You can see them in a condensed vertical list, a stack of vertical cards, or a grid. In general, Samsung Internet is very flexible in its use. I really like that.

Smart features

Smart features.

In general, Samsung Internet has a lot of cool and smart little features. Things you may have never thought of before. There is a built-in QR code scanner, you can disable video autoplay, the status bar can be hidden for more screen real estate, you can choose where the scroll bar appears.

You might not find all of these features useful, but they are there if you want to try a few things. Chrome is a fairly polished product that doesn’t have much room for customization. Samsung Internet is the exact opposite. You can make it look the way you want and enable some things you can’t find in other browsers.

Disadvantages

Samsung Internet is not perfect. Its biggest drawback might be its biggest advantage for some people. Since there is no desktop version of Samsung Internet, it does not support syncing of bookmarks and passwords.

Samsung Internet supports autofill through apps such as 1Password, but it won’t work with your Chrome sync data. This is a big problem for some people. The good news is that Samsung Internet supports synchronization between Samsung devices. So if you use it on your phone and tablet, all your stuff will be there.

Ultimately, this is the main reason why people don’t switch browsers often. While Samsung Internet may have many features, many of which are better than Chrome’s offering, it’s not a Google product and that matters. If you’re not sucked into Google’s ecosystem, give Samsung’s browser a shot.

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