Dolphin Browser HD - Thanks, Flipper!
Tested version: 2.3.0
Latest version: 9.4.1
Requires Android: from 2.0.1
"Cute, smart, very sweet, has a lot of charisma...” No, I’m not describing myself; we’re talking about a dolphin here! It’s enough to make anyone jealous—people of all ages seem to go nuts over those adorable sea creatures. But dolphins have been getting the short end of the stick of late: every time you open up a can of tuna it’s full of oil, all the fish are dead, including the dolphins. The tuna fish mob must have hired BP, it would seem.
Luckily, the protagonist of today’s test review hasn’t had to deal with the same hardships. No oil, no fishing nets to fear, only the occasional shark that’s also doing laps through the same browser pool. Today we’re reviewing Dolphin Browser, now available in the HD version.
What can Dolphin Browser do, and is it good enough to replace your current browser on your Android phone? Find out in this test review.
Features & Use
This version is the follow-up to the already very successful Dolphin Browser, and let me start off by saying that this version offers even more functions than the original.
The Standard Android Browser is nothing to sneeze at, but it doesn’t exactly offer a whole lot of features. I can imagine that especially Firefox add-on fans might lament the lack of functions on their Android phones. That was one of the first things I noticed about this new Dolphin Browser version: it finally has Add-Ons, in the same vein as Firefox. At the moment the amount is not yet astronomical, but they’ll increase in number in the future, due to the growing amount of installations of the browser.
The Add-Ons currently are:
• Amazon Search
• Google Reader Notification
• Text Sizer
• Read it later
• Browse faster
• YouTube Search
• QR Share: turns your link into QR Code
• Google PR: displays Page Rank
There are a lot more Add-Ons that can be browsed and the installed fro within the browser.
I especially like Tabbed Browsing, which allows you to jump between pages quickly and efficiently. Dolphin seems very serious about everything being as convenient as possible. If you so wish, you can make use of the Password-Manager which keeps track of all your passwords so you don’t have to retype every time you log in.
Actually, we have a question for our community: Dolphin supports Multitouch, but we couldn’t figure out whether this is the case for all phone models. We’d be grateful for feedback in the comments section.
Another very useful feature is the possibility of creating bookmarks simply by pulling sites onto your own list.
In order to make usage even more simple, Dolphin has included Gestures in its browser. You can set the gestures yourself if you want to; some commands are already assigned gestures, but you can reset them. This means that you can set gestures for your favorite websites. SUPER practical!
There are many other features such as a RSS Detector, new Themes for the browser, or browsing using the entire display. It would take too long to mention everything, which is why I heartily recommend checking out this great piece of software and exploring all the functions yourself.
Screen & Controls
Dolphin sets the bar very high indeed. Not only is the user interface design ultra chic, it’s also very easy to use. So for all of you out there waiting patiently for Fennec to launch (Firefox’s browser for phones), this might be a good alternative. It’s not only quick and easy to use thanks to the gestures, but also because many of its functions are integrated into the right and left side of the browser window. In order to access them all you need do is pull the window to the right or left.
On the left side you’ll find
• Most frequently visited pages
• Option to pick active pages
• Set up most important functions
On the right side there’s
• Settings for the Add-Ons
• Switch to full screen
A word of advice: if you love your current browser you might want to give Dolphin (HD) a miss—because you may never want to go back. That was the case with me… and two or three of my colleagues. User interface, functions, speed—all excellent!
To sum it up: Dolphin HD is my standard browser of preference and I can recommend it to you whole heartily. Thanks, Flipper! Keep up the good work!
Speed & Stability
Dolphin is incredibly fast and I didn’t experience any crashing.
Dolphin can be downloaded free of charge from the Market. There is a bit of advertisement.
I dedicate into mobile application development.