Samsung Internet Browser recently made history when it crossed the 1 billion downloads milestone on the Play Store. This is more than the combined downloads of Opera and Firefox browsers for Android. The competition between Samsung Internet Browser and Google Chrome seems to have intensified.
For most users, Google Chrome is the obvious choice. It also helps that Chrome comes pre-installed on a lot of Android smartphones. Chrome is also available on other platforms like Windows, Mac and iOS making it cross-platform compatible.
Samsung Internet Browser comes pre-installed on all Samsung smartphones which enjoy a huge user base. On the flip side, it only works on Android-powered smartphones so there is no cross-platform compatibility here. Even so, users seem to be happy. Let’s find out why and how it compares with the omnipresent Google Chrome.
Chrome vs. Samsung Internet Browser
1. User Interface
As a Chrome user, you need to have a Google account in order to get the most benefit out of it. Sure you can use it without a Google account too, but then you will lose on sync features. Once you do log in, you will see a minimalist design with a search bar in the middle. Google will show relevant news based on your browser history below that. In the middle, there are some recently visited websites.
Samsung Internet Browser also has Google as it’s default browser however you can change it to anything you want. The address bar is at the top while the Google search bar is in the middle. What is nice about Samsung Internet Browser is that settings like bookmarks and tabs are accessible at the bottom of the screen. Why this is useful? On a large screen smartphone, it makes it easy to access these settings without having to adjust the phone in your hands.
Rest of the options like additional settings, find, and so on can be found by clicking on the menu icon on both the browsers. Samsung Internet Browser also puts the back and forward buttons in the bottom tray so you can move back and forth while browsing web pages. Attention to accessibility is key here. Finally, there is the tabs icon to switch between pages and tabs.
2. Reader Mode
If you have ever used the Safari browser, you will know that it is an excellent browser to read articles. This is because it comes with a reader mode that simply works. While Chrome misses out on this much-needed feature, Samsung Internet Browser offers it just near the address bar. Notice all the ads and other media in the below screenshot?
The moment you click on the reader mode icon near the address bar, all the ads, and other media is removed from the page giving you a clean reading experience. This makes it really easy to consume content. No distractions.
Reader Mode also blocks or rather removes ads from the page. Google Chrome for Android doesn’t come with the reader mode.
Also Read: How to Change Browser Location Country
3. Sync Your Life
This is where Google Chrome shines but note that Samsung Internet Browser is not really that far behind. Chrome is available on Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and even Linux distros like Ubuntu. This makes Chrome truly accessible and with the number of devices that we use every day, Chrome becomes irreplaceable for a lot of us. All you need is a Google account which most of us already have.
Samsung Internet Browser found a solution to this problem with the help of a Chrome extension. This Chrome extension will let you import your Internet Browser bookmarks to Chrome and vice versa. Makes it easier to use Samsung’ s browser on Android. If only Samsung had a browser for Windows too but that is not happening, at least any time soon.
If you are using Chrome on all operating systems, Google will also sync your browsing history, saved passwords, auto-fill form profiles, addresses, and payment details. That’s a lot of information and all of it will be available across all your devices.
Samsung found a solution to this problem by releasing the Samsung Pass. A password manager for Samsung devices as well as apps like Internet Browser that uses biometric logins, such as fingerprint and iris recognition to unlock or fill forms from saved profiles like passwords and addresses. This means you can log in to websites using your fingerprint. But then again, it will only work on Samsung browser which only works on Android smartphones.
4. Night Mode
Another important feature that Chrome seems to be missing at the moment which is really sad seeing how popular night mode has become in recent months. Quite a few popular apps have a night mode which makes sense because it saves battery, makes it easy to read, and puts less strain on the eyes. Not to mention that it looks really cool. Google says it can save up to 43% battery in the YouTube app.
While Google released a dark mode theme, not true dark mode though, for the desktop browser, there is still no solution available for the apps. Samsung Internet Browser comes with a night mode that makes it super easy to read articles and browse the web in general.
WebView is a Chrome feature that was released by Google to allow apps to showcase web content. What? Have you ever used an app where clicking on a web site link led you to a page that instead of opening separately in the Chrome app, opened right inside the app you were using? Yeah, that’s because the app is using WebView.
This is a handy feature to have because it saves time and reduces RAM usage. You don’t have to open a new app to view web pages. The app will use WebView, part of the Chromium open source project, to open web pages right inside the app.
Samsung Internet Browser doesn’t support WebView which means if you open a link inside a third-party app, you will have to keep Chrome installed. If you open the link with Internet Browser, it will open a separate app which will take time and consume more resources.
6. Common Features
There is some overlap between the two browsers. For example, both Chrome and Internet Browser allow you to browse the web anonymously. Google calls it the Incognito Mode while Samsung calls it Secret Mode. I guess they had to name it differently!
Other common features include the ability to search for words or phrases on any given page, bookmark or save a page for offline reading, browse different sites using multiple tabs or windows, and request the full version or the desktop version of any site that you are browsing.
Also Read: 7 Best Open Source Browser for Android
7. Un-common Features
Samsung got a lot of things right with the Internet Browser. For example, when you are on a really long web page, scrolling up and down the page can be tiresome when you are using just your finger. To solve this problem, the Internet Browser comes with a slide button on the right. You know the kind we see on our desktop browsers?
Moreover, Samsung browser also supports extensions such as ad blockers, QR code scanner, picture-in-picture mode and much more.
There is no slide icon in Chrome which leaves you with just your fingers. Ideal for short scrolling but if the page is really long and you have to go back and forth, it can be a pain in the… fingers.
Samsung Internet Browser vs. Chrome
Here is the low down. If you are looking for a cross-platform browser that can sync history, passwords, bookmarks, and every other detail about you, Chrome is probably the best browser at the moment. If cross-platform compatibility is not an issue and you just need a cool browser for your Android-powered smartphone, Samsung Internet Browser is a pretty solid app. There are a lot of features that other browsers including Chrome are missing at the moment.