Samsung has now made its previously Galaxy-exclusive Samsung Internet Browser available for owners of Google Pixel devices and all Nexus phones running Android 5.0 and later versions of Google’s OS. The app is still primarily optimized for Samsung Galaxy devices and was previously available to non-Galaxy Android users in beta form, but this release pushes the browser into a more stable experience for the aforementioned devices. Samsung Internet Browser is somewhat similar to Google Chrome, though it also ships with some differing features.
The browser is based on the same open-source browser framework that’s powering Google Chrome – Chromium, meaning it’s equipped with many of its features, such as those that allow for easy mobile web payments or more intuitive, gesture-based navigation. However, it does also have one or two extra features over Google’s browser and a slightly different design. The first difference is its pronounced focus on privacy and security, as Samsung claims its browser will help users protect those two aspects of their internet browsing through DuckDuckGo and content blocker support. DuckDuckGo is a search engine option included with Samsung Internet Browser that is fully privacy-focused, while still managing to retain many other features that users have come to expect alongside from modern search engines. On the content blocking side of things, Samsung’s Internet Browser supports third-party filtering apps, including blockers like Disconnect.me, which is also available on the Google Play Store and blocks certain ads and prevents tracking via cookies. Samsung Internet Browser also includes Content Blocker Status UI, so that users can keep track of the content being blocked. Another area where Samsung’s browser differs is in its “Quick Menu” option. Quick Menu is effectively a standard browser menu, allowing for resizing, sharing, tab control, and other convenient functionalities. However, when it is activated in the browser’s extensions settings, it becomes what could best be described as a floating, in-browser widget, meaning it can be moved around and users can comfortably adjust everything on the fly without having to reach for the top of their respective devices.
Overall, Samsung Internet Browser looks like a great option for privacy-minded Android Users who still want a relatively Chrome-like experience. Google is also currently in the process of creating its own ad-blocking and privacy features for Chrome but those simply aren’t ready yet and there’s no way to know how extensive or privacy-focused any of them will be. For Nexus or Pixel users who want those kinds of features right now, Samsung’s offering is now available for download from the Google Play Store.