Best Internet Browsers for the z2 : Top 5
Alright, you just got the package with your Cowon z2 and ready the device for apps and such. With the device set up how you like, you comfortable sit down to enjoy a small bit of web browsing. Come to find out, the default browser ... sucks. HD Video and Heavy HTML5 sites [and HTML5 video] absolutely blow on the z2. There are a few like me who have a tablet and this isn't the case with our default browsers (ICS, HC)- we just rather have more options. Well, you aren't part of this tablet social group I'm talking about, your z2 just sucks surfing the web on the thing - your mini tablet thinking days are over! Or so you think...
I'm here to hopefully help people out in deciding how to get a more enjoyable experience with the z2 when it comes to surfing the web on the thing. This will of course deal with installing third party apps from the Google Play Store [and not] but once you are there you will notice - there are tons of web browsers, which one do you choose! Well then, I've done some thorough tests and narrowed it down to 5 Top browsers and it's entirely up to you if you want all 5 or be like me and have 3 (this of course excludes the default browser). First things first, let me explain the tests a bit (you are going to see a trend going on here) and what browsers to steer away from.
Test 1: Heavy HTML5 Site and HTML5 Video's: Eurogamer
Test 2: Interactive panes with Flash support and Flash videos: Gamespot and IGN
Test 3: Switching between 3 versions of a website - HD, Classic, Mobile : Engadget and Eurogamer
I first tried what I would call the Mini Browser set - Dolphin Mini, Opera Mini and Next, Boat Browser Mini. All Have clean, simple interfaces with built-in flash but doesn't mean a thing when it came to my tests. Also, HTML5 video often get's forced to the z2's own video app which doesn't support HTML5 video that well [at all]...
Dolphin Mini had some very good available options on the main screen, an integrated add-on's page is inside the toolbox to show even more, a welcome change over the cumbersome slide panes of the HD rendition of Dolphin. Not as clean as Opera's Mobile and Mini browsers but Dolphin was made for those who want alot of options available at their finger tips easily. Some of the add-ons that you would normally have to get in the HD Dolphin Model are actually built into the browser itself, which is nice and convenient. Yet Tiling on the HTML5 site looked somewhat bad and also Failed on HTML5 Video though, Flash sites do not have smooth transitions. Switching between the version of the websites were locked to the Agent you were using which is good, manual switch can still be done through the website itself.
Opera Mini and Next seems to follow the same footsteps as it's bigger Mobile app, if you were to have all three side by side each other, you may not be able to tell the difference between them, especially with their very clean interface. Not good in my book but it actually boils down to the already sparse available options Opera gives to the Mobile (more) and Mini (less) versions of their app. Flash sites and videos run great on the Opera Mini, transitions buttery smooth. It did have the same problem as Dolphin Mini, as it failed HTLM5 in generally everything, slow and crashed the HTML5 video. Switching between versions of websites was no problems again like Dolphin, tied to the User Agent but with only two options available to the user (Dolphin has 5, Opera has 2), you had to manually switch between two at least. [Opera Next is pretty fast btw but no Flash support atm so can't recommend]
Oh Boat Browser Mini, I really tried to like this thing, interface makes me want to gag. It is customisable but the pop up bubble's options are just ugly to look at (it has themes though). At least I can say it was less confusing than the full fledged one. Addon's from it can't be installed on to the mini version, so you will be missing some features unlike Dolphin Mini which had the features built-in. It will allow for a more streamlined model though and while things were quick on it, Force Closes were a big let down for me already and it does it alot. The full version does the same thing but even more, that's at a later time frame. Overall Flash is a bit jerky on this trip. Like the other mini's, HTML5 bombed on this one too. HTML5 video just shuts off within a few seconds of playtime and HTML5 site population is slow. Switching between the versions of websites was very reminiscent of the Dolphin Mini browser, Boat provides lots of user agents which are tied to the site as well.
So right now, I would give the mini's of the famous browsers of Boat, Opera, and Dolphin a thumbs down [thumbdwn]. Don't bother with them, there are better and I'll tell you soon !
Would like to get out the way of Google Chrome - 4.0 devices only right now, so don't bother trying to sideload an apk you found. It doesn't have flash anyway, so it's already useless.
Also while Firefox is worth mentioning due to it getting better ever day, it's still too buggy for me to recommend to anyone. There are four versions/ Release models of it to confuse matters even more - Stable, Beta, Nightly, and Aurora. Pick your flavor and test them out if you want but none are in a state of being top browser to use on the z2 or any Android device for that matter.
Ninesky and Boat Browser both share the same problem - crashes a whole lot. Restarted my z2 many times and had to restart a few due to them sucking the crap out the CPU and ram resources. It doesn't matter if there are quite a few good options they provide to the user or that Flash runs fine, the Crashes alone is the number one reason why I wouldn't recommend these whatsoever. HTML5 video doesn't even run through the browsers - they are forced to the z2's main video app, how sad.
With that out the way, It leaves it now to the list of the five best Browsers you can have for the z2 and I'll start from the worse to the best - Anyone can chime in to this thread and give their opinion and thoughts on the list but I'm hoping this help you guys out in finding the best web browser experience for the z2.
So there you have it, you can try these browsers for yourself but in my humble opinion, the top three ones I mentioned are the best you are going to get for the z2. I very well might revert to ONLY using Maxthon and Skyfire from now on for my z2. Hopefully you guys like this thread and please post your thoughts!
Prior MP3 Player | Cowon J3 32gb w/ 32gb Memory Stick
Current MP3 Player | Cowon z2 32gb w/ 64gb Memory Stick
Accessaries | Yuin PK1 150ohm Earbuds w/ Fiio E5 Portable Amp
Last edited by da1writer; 07-04-2012 at 05:21 PM.
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