5 of the best mobile browsers in direct comparison

Who makes the best mobile browser? We’ll compare mobile versions of Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Safari, and Opera to find out.

Since your mobile browser is your lifeline to information wherever you are, speed, security, privacy and ease-of-use are the keys to a good experience. So which one is the best mobile browser? Let’s compare the top players — and see which one best suits your needs.

Security and Privacy

Which mobile browser keeps things confidential?

Security and Privacy Firefox Chrome Edge Safari Opera
Private Browsing mode Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Blocks third-party tracking cookies by default Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Blocks cryptomining scripts Yes No Yes No No
Blocks fingerprinting scripts Yes No No Yes No
Blocks social trackers Yes No No Yes No
Dashboard to review blocked trackers Yes No Yes Yes No

At a minimum, your mobile browser should provide some version of “private browsing mode,” which automatically deletes your history and search history. In this area, all seven of the browsers compared here score points.

Another mobile feature that should be a given is the ability to prevent websites and companies from tracking your browsing and shopping data — even in normal browsing mode.

Blocking third-party trackers isn’t just important for privacy — it also helps pages load much faster, without those pieces of code attaching themselves and slowing your browser down.

From the chart above, it’s obvious Firefox offers the most complete privacy and security toolset of the five browsers and provides a dashboard overview of your overall security and privacy online.

Features

What can your browser do for you?

Features Firefox Chrome Edge Safari Opera
Autoplay blocking Yes No No No No
Tab browsing Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bookmark manager Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Automatically fills out forms Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Automatically fills out payments No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Search engine options Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Text to speech No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Reader mode Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Spell checking Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Web extensions/Add-ons Yes No No No No
Dark Mode Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Desktop Mode Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Find on page Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Image Search Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Voice Search Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Add to Homescreen Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
News Feed No Yes Yes No Yes
In-app VPN No No No No Yes

A main ingredient to a well-made browser is its functionality. What can it do? Almost all five browsers are equal when it comes to tabs, bookmarks, auto-completion of fields, but only Firefox and Safari offer add-ons/extensions, which are kind of like apps for your browser to make it more private, powerful or just more fun.

Syncing

Does your browser play well with other devices?

Syncing Firefox Chrome Edge Safari Opera
OS availability Yes Yes No No Yes
Mobile OS availability Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Syncs with mobile Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Password management Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Primary password Yes Yes Yes No Yes

The mobile version of Safari, which is pre-installed on Apple’s mobile devices, is only compatible with other Apple devices like iPad and laptops. Firefox, Chrome, and Opera work across all platforms including iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux, with the exception of the Edge browser which isn’t compatible with Linux-based devices.

Almost all of the mobile browsers compared here allow complete synchronization between mobile and desktop devices.

The good news for iPhone users is that Apple has recently allowed iPhone users to choose their own default browser, so now users can sync their devices across platforms if, for example, they install Firefox on their iPhone and Windows PC.

Conclusion

Based on the criteria we outlined — privacy, features, and syncing — there’s really only one mobile browser that satisfies all three, and that’s Firefox. While similar in the features and syncing categories, Firefox stands apart in privacy, because we feel it’s the essential component that allows you to just enjoy the internet — exactly the way you like it.

Our recommendations aside, finding the browser that’s right for you will always depend on your individual needs and what you value most as you navigate online.

The comparisons made here were done so with default settings and across browser release versions as follows:
Firefox (84) | Chrome (87) | Edge (45.11.1) | Safari (14) | Opera (61)
This page is updated semi-quarterly to reflect latest versioning and may not always reflect latest updates.

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