Google Chrome is one of the most favored browsers for many phone users. The fact that you can sync all your extensions and bookmarks across PC and mobile makes it a hot pick. However, the story is a tad different for Samsung users. Today, almost all the Samsung phones bundle its in-house browser named Samsung Internet Browser.
Lately, the company has introduced a swatch of modern features to the Samsung Internet Beta browser. So the standard features like Downloads rub shoulders with modern features like Dark mode.
Hence, it only makes sense to put both Chrome and Samsung Internet Beta face to face with each other and see which Android browser is best suited for your needs.
Let's start with the size of both the apps. On my Galaxy S10, Google Chrome measured 159 MB while the Samsung Internet Browser Beta has occupied around 129 MB storage.
What do you dislike most about apps today? I hate being forced to use both my hands even to perform a simple Google search. Thankfully, developers have started noticing that issue and now design apps that are usable with a single hand.
Samsung Internet Beta suits one-handed use. All the essential buttons like Back, Forward, New Tab, and Settings are in the bottom ribbon.
So even if your phone's screen is tall, you can easily shuffle between multiple tabs via these options. Also, the settings menu is within your thumb's reach.
The only issue is that the address bar sits high at the top. So if you want to search for something or visit a new website, you will have to stretch your thumb or use either of the hands.
Google Chrome places most of its important functions at the top of the page. Sigh, you can't use it with one hand.
Whether you have to open a new tab or switch between the open tabs, your fingers must travel to the top of the page. The silver lining is Chrome Flags, which allows you to put the address bar at the bottom of the display.
Apart from that, the basic functions like switching between the open tabs or going back & forth between pages remain the same.
You simply have to flick between the open tabs to visit the tab of your choice.
Downloads and Saved Pages
Chrome continues to offer the same design with the three major options like Bookmarks, Downloads, and History grouped under the three-dot menu. Also, to access previously saved pages, users have to open the Downloads section.
That is acceptable if you only save pages to read later. However, if you have the habit of downloading wallpapers, APK files, and image files, it would be tricky to spot the one for offline reading.
On the other hand, Samsung Internet Beta offers a dedicated Saved page feature which stores all the saved pages for offline reading.
You'll have to tap on the Saved pages button in the Settings menu.
Also on Guiding Tech
Dark Mode and Reading Mode
As my colleague Mehvish says, there are two kinds of people in this world — one who love dark mode and the others who don't. If you belong to the latter category, the lack of a dedicated and easily-accessible dark mode in Chrome won't bother you.
But if you do love dark mode, you will feel at home with Samsung Internet Beta's dedicated Dark mode. It does not only look aesthetically pleasing but is also good for the eyes.
On second thoughts, it'd be wrong to say the Chrome doesn't feature Dark mode. It does offer a dark and simplified viewing experience. The only issue is that the feature hides under layers of settings.
Also, when it comes to avoiding ads and other distractions, users must switch switch on the Simplified view. On the upside, Chrome bundles an additional reading mode (Sepia) and a bunch of other fonts.
As you may have assumed, Samsung Internet Beta comes with a dedicated Reading mode. You can simply enable it via the icon at the top. However, it won't let you switch other color tones. You'll have to be content with changing the font size and the font.
Interestingly, Chrome for iOS has a dedicated Reading List to save web pages for offline reading. Hopefully, Google introduces the feature soon on Android.
Note: Do note that Reading Mode or Simplified view is only available on supported web pages.
Data Saver Mode
Google Chrome enjoys the upper hand with data saver mode. The browser has a built-in data saver that you can enable when you're running low on data, or when you have a spotty internet connection. It compresses web pages, and consumes less data.
All you have to open the three-dot (or overflow) menu, go to Settings and enable Data Saver. From now on, the overflow menu will display the amount of data saved on each transaction.
You can even see the total data saved for all the web pages you visited in the past.
Sadly, Samsung Internet Beta doesn't have a data saver feature yet. That feature won't matter much if you are on an uncapped internet or Wi-Fi connection. However, it plays a significant role if you access the web while on a capped data plan.
Data and Password Sync
One of the key advantages of sticking to the Google ecosystem is its data sync facility. Be it bookmarks, passwords or past queries, you can sync them all across multiple platforms.
Google Chrome enables sync features by default. You need to make sure that you've logged in using the same credentials that you use on your PC.
As you might have expected, password or data sync is not directly available on Samsung's Internet Beta. Mind you, I said directly. There's a nifty little workaround that involves using a Google extension.
Aptly named Samsung Internet, this extension syncs bookmarks between your PC's Chrome browser and your phone's browser (Samsung Internet Beta).
The only catch is that you have to sign in using your Samsung user ID and password in both. And as far as password sync is concerned, you'll have to rely on a password manager.
Also on Guiding Tech
Being bombarded with ads while browsing is annoying. In this case, Chrome adopts a systematic way by blocking the ads which are not compliant with their ad policies. These options are available under Settings > Site settings > Ads.
Do note that Chrome doesn't disable all the ads, just the intrusive ones.
On the other hand, Samsung Internet Beta doesn't have a built-in ad blocker. Instead, it relies on ad blocker extensions to streamline the browsing experience. The list of available extensions are sufficient, and all you have to do is download a trustworthy one.
Also, you can access these extensions right from the Settings menu.
Which One Would You Choose?
It's almost impossible to escape Google's sprawling web of apps and services. If you use Chrome on your PC, switching to the same on Android makes more sense for seamless browsing.
However, it all depends on what you are looking for. Both browsers offer essential features like Dark mode, Reading mode, and a way to block ads. I found Samsung Internet Beta to be more attuned to my liking. I loved the one-handed mode, readily available dark mode, and felt that the pages loaded a tad bit faster.
Next up: People say that Samsung Notes is better than Google Keep, but is it so? Read the following comparison to find out which is better for you.