Google Chrome vs. Samsung Internet: Should We Change?


Google Chrome is by default, literally and figuratively, the web browser of choice on most Android devices. But there are other browsers out there, and the one you might not have bothered to blink on if you don’t have a Samsung smartphone is Samsung Internet. “A Samsung browser? No thanks ”you might think, but we wouldn’t be quick to get down on our knees. While Samsung isn’t exactly known for its top-tier software apps, this browser is an odd bright spot in the portfolio of mobile apps also run by the company.

Samsung Internet has some unique and compelling features that might cause you to change, as long as you aren’t completely married to Chrome for things like managing passwords. And even if you are, Samsung Internet makes the switch, not without pain. But we think it’s a browser worth reviewing, and we’ll compare it a bit more to Chrome – what it adds and what it loses – in this article.

Custom chops

It’s a small touch, but Samsung’s Internet having the page controls at the bottom of the screen makes a lot more sense than where Chrome puts them at the top. It’s much easier to use with one hand, especially on today’s larger phones. You can also customize the bar and the options behind the hamburger menu for a bespoke experience, which Chrome doesn’t allow you to do.

Samsung Internet’s user interface is clean and its dark mode outperforms Chrome’s in making more dark websites on average. What’s the point of dark mode if tons of web pages always appear crisp white?

As a journalist who knows the importance of online advertising, it pains me to say that the optional built-in ad blocker extensions from Samsung Internet are very good and make setup very easy. It’s technically possible to block ads with Chrome, but Google isn’t making it easy.

As you can see above, applying an ad blocker to Samsung Internet (center) allows you to show more content on the screen compared to Google Chrome (right).

Samsung’s Secret Mode offers more options than Chrome’s Incognito Mode, with anti-tracking and a biometric lock feature to prevent websites from following you around the web and people using your phone from spying on your phone. private navigation. I also prefer the list view for tabs that Samsung Internet offers over a map view, which in my eyes is still a messy way to display browser tabs on mobile.

Synchronization is not easy

It is true that Chrome makes the login and password information much easier to sync, because you just need to log into your Google account. But if you use a password manager, Samsung Internet also supports autofill (but not Google’s). I set it up for autofill from my 1Password account and although you have to set it up manually, it works great. If you navigate between operating systems, this might be a better solution for you than using Chrome for everything, and it’s definitely more secure.

One thing Chrome beats Samsung Internet for is cross-platform bookmarks. Since there is no desktop equivalent for Samsung’s app, you are forced to configure from scratch or use Google Chrome’s Samsung Internet Extension to import your Chrome bookmarks on desktop to Samsung Internet on mobile. I’ve done this successfully, but it’s not the most elegant solution – new bookmarks added to the desktop don’t sync automatically, forcing you to re-import manually. So, you should always rely on Chrome in some ways if you want full sync between devices.

Chrome has simpler bookmark syncing, but if you use Samsung Internet on your phone and tablet, you can sync bookmarks, passwords, and everything in between if you sign in with Samsung Cloud.

Chrome also has a built-in “easy mode” in the app that lets you save browsing data whenever possible, which is good if you have a low data plan. Samsung Internet lacks this which means you will have to go to your phone’s data settings to find any kind of data saver feature.

Smarter than your average

If you explore the “useful features” of Samsung Internet, you will find what is promised. The app has autoplay videos by default, an option for advanced video controls, an option to move the scroll bar to the left or hide it completely, a QR code scanner option and a toggle for opening link in other applications. Add to that the easy scaling of text and the ability to display tabs under the address bar and you’re faced with a clean browser that offers a lot more customization than Chrome. Ironic, then, that the app’s default search engine is Google, but you can change it to DuckDuckGo, Bing, Baidu, or Yahoo! Xtra if you really want to live in the wild west of search results. There is also an option to add more search engines.

The application is also quick and easy in my experience. This is of course subjective, and I’m not saying Chrome is slow, but on my Galaxy S21 Ultra, but Samsung Internet is more responsive and opens links from Twitter and other apps when set as the default browser .

Chrome is no slouch, however, and if you’ve got a Pixel (or any Android phone for that matter) you might find it hard to justify using anything other than Google’s browser. , and it’s good. This isn’t a “ditch Chrome” ultimatum, but the benefits of Samsung’s alternative are obvious.

You might read this and think that Samsung Internet seems too complicated a browsing experience, and you might be right if this is just not the way you use your Android devices or if you prefer not to use the products. Samsung. Chrome is a well-oiled machine these days, but it’s surprisingly basic on mobile, and if you want more browser customization, then Samsung Internet has a clear advantage, even if it gets you working for it at first. After setup, it becomes a smooth, good looking, high performance Android browser that I have grown used to using on my phones through Chrome.

Google Chrome and Samsung Internet have both received many updates and new features since this article was first published. With that in mind, this article has been updated with new screenshots and edited to reflect current browser competition.

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