Skip to main content

A look inside the Samsung browser

Depending on what carrier you bought your Samsung phone from, chances are you may not even have Samsung's built-in browser (simply called "Internet" in the app drawer). Galaxy owners on Verizon, for example, only have Chrome to choose from out of the box, but if your phone happens to have the Samsung browser you should know it isn't a complete throw-away experience.

The browser is quick, surprisingly lightweight and integrates with the fingerprint scanner on modern devices on approved websites. We'll tell you all you need to know about it — read on.

Samsung browser on the Galaxy S6

Samsung's built-in browser is pretty basic, which is what you want from an app that's pre-installed and can't even be disabled. The browser doesn't try to do anything revolutionary in terms of interface — you get a utility bar at the bottom with basic browser controls, and an address bar at the top with a "more" button to launch a settings interface. There's no "new tab" page with recently-visited sites like there is in Chrome, but you can quickly access tabs and bookmarks from the bottom bar.

The browser's simplicity is actually one of its biggest features — add in fingerprint login and it's a good package.

The "more" button is where you'll access more advanced functions, like sharing, adding to bookmarks, adding shortcuts to your home screen and requesting a desktop site — pretty standard stuff for any browser. If you go deeper into the settings you won't find much — a way to set your default homepage, default search engine and a couple advanced settings for JavaScript and pop-up blocking.

One hidden feature of the built-in browser that everyone with a Galaxy S5, Note 4 or Galaxy S6 can take advantage of is using in the fingerprint scanner to authenticate and sign into approved websites. If you've trained the phone to recognize your fingerprints previously (and checked the "web sign-in" box in security settings), when you sign into a site like Facebook with your username and password you'll be prompted to associate those credentials with your fingerprint.

That means the browser won't auto-fill the information into the site from that point on — which would let anyone with your phone log in automatically — and instead asks you for your fingerprint first. Unfortunately it only works on websites that have specifically enabled the feature with Samsung, but it's something that other browsers don't offer — and with how good the fingerprint scanner is on the Galaxy S6 it may be worth using.

Samsung browser on the Galaxy S6

The Samsung browser is quick, doesn't have too much unnecessary fluff and offers an interesting feature with fingerprint authentication. Even though it's only available to you when it's pre-loaded on the phone and in most cases it can't be disabled, the Internet browser from Samsung may actually be worth using instead of one of the more fully-featured but potentially confusing options from the Play Store.

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • One thing i don't understand is Samsung phones come with BOTH samsung browser and chrome? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Just an ol throwback thing I guess. I personally thought that stock browser thing was history and modern phones only came loaded with Chrome. I've heard some people say the reason Samsung does stuff like this is so when (and if) they move to their own operating system people wouldn't notice the visual difference. Like the article says, It's simple and gets the job of browsing done. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lg and HTC have their own stock browsers too. It's been that way for some time Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • I'm not trying to bad mouth HTC or LG but when I think of Android and phones I think of Samsung and Motorola. The Nexus 6 and the Note 4 are my favorite phones. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Im a diehard sammy fan and id consider the g4. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm a die-hard buttons on the side person. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Naaahh.... Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • If LG didn't put the damn touch sensor in the actual glass so that it's useless if you even get a small cracked in it I might consider it. But what's the point of a phone that can't function in a pinch if an accident like that happens? I've seen too many customers come in with even a little nicks in the glass on their G2s and G3s complaining because they can no longer use it to ever buy an LG. I've only broken a screen once, but I would have been insanely pissed if that phone had suddenly been rendered useless. Just because they still have the removable battery and expandable storage doesn't mean you should buy one. Posted via the Android Central App
  • This is servo based browser. Servo is a new web-engine made by mozilla and samsung. Its main feauture id effective parallel execution of web page rendering. Other engines (blink, webkit, etc) can only render singke page in a single thread. Thus, servo has higher performance and this means samsung browser also performs faster than others.
  • Because Google REQUIRES all Android manufacturers who wish to include access to the Google Play Store to have like 20-30 mandatory Google Apps on their devices. That's why Samsung devices come with two browsers... they are required to include Chrome... otherwise they would more than likely not have it installed.
  • This is the kind of crap Microsoft got smacked for with Internet Explorer. But Google gets a pass. Pathetic!
  • Not really. They don't need to use Google's apps and services with Android. They can choose to not have them. Wasn't the case with Microsoft.
  • Actually, Google's apps are required to be installed if you want to sell a phone that uses Google's Play Store.. Of course you don't have to use them... but an OEM can't sell a phone that has access to the Play Store with them being Installed and shown on the Home Page...
  • Well, there's a pretty significant difference between "required" and "you really want to but don't have to".
  • Not once you reach a certain market share, hence Anti-trust laws.
  • Not quite. IE was actually monopolizing ANY Win rig you could buy. Netscape, the early days of Mozilla , etc were all compromised in one way or another. AOL would eat your rig and never give it back. But that was a 'choice' to install. Google owns Android. While open source, they're still able to govern what's included within the stock OS j stall. There 'grouping' now with G apps is pretty sweet (Note 4, I'm using) and Sammy's browser is a night and says difference between today and the original Galaxy and Note devices. It was essentially unusable. Today it's as the author notes, lightweight and efficient. And a LOT less intrusive then Chrome. Or Safari.
    That said, using Chrome or Safari can be beneficial if you're fine with sharing your information. And it's not mission critical IP or you're hiding something, using credit cards or banking apps, et al.
    Up to the end user as everyone's mileage varies. Touchwiz has made some phenomenal strides though to be sure
  • 20-30 mandatory apps? C'mon, be realistic. Play Store, Search, Browser, Calendar, Gmail... and that's about it. I might have missed one or two... but seriously, it's nowhere near 20-30 apps. They're inconsequential at best. Your claim is nothing more than hyperbole.    
  • Here are the articles. You should check your facts before criticizing someone and embarrassing yourself.
  • Neither of those present any proof of concept or evidence. They only make a claim. Which I've yet to see on ANY Google certified device. Including my recent purchase of a new device that only has a small smattering of Google's apps pre-installed.  
  • It's at least 10 now. Drive, photos, gmail, Chrome, Google plus, search, books, newstand, maps, games, play store, talkback, music, and YouTube. So 14 by my count. Posted
  • A few of those haven't come pre installed in the last couple of devices I've purchased.   Not to mention, that's still not 20 - 30 apps.  
  • If you had bothered to read any of those articles... you would have seen where it said the terms are redone recently to include MORE apps... so an older phone you bought a few years ago would obviously have less preinstalled Google Apps.
  • Imagine purchasing an iPhone and throwing a fit because the iPhone came loaded with products from Apple. Just wouldn't make sense and neither does throwing a fit over Android being loaded with Google products. Google owns Android. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah, no. I was referring to phones I've purchased within the last 6 months.  
  • 14 on a note 4, that is closer to 20 than 4, I think. Posted
  • Of the 14 you mentioned the only two I don't use are talk back and news stand. The rest I do use and are incredibly useful. I don't see how anybody could efficiently even use an Android device without them. Posted via the Android Central App
  • On the flip side, I use Chrome, music, maps and the play store. I have flirted with axing chrome and maps, but have been unsuccessful liking the replacements. The Samsung browser is close, and I'm using it more and more. Posted
  • @twolastnames, I went threw something similar about a year ago. I ditched Chrome for Firefox thinking I would get more useful features. It didn't work out like that at all so I tried yahoo search, and Dolphin. Both came up short. In Dolphins defense it was actually pretty cool but had to much stuff going on at once. I also tried using the stock browser but that totally sucked. So I went back to Chrome and haven't looked back. I also did the same thing with maps and a couple other Google apps long story short nothing comes close to Google's products. (No I'm not trying to be the Richard Yarnell of Google either) Posted via the Android Central App
  • I find fleksy to be as good as google keyboard, sammy browser to be as good as chrome, spotify to be as good as all access... Etc etc Posted via the Android Central App
  • Can you download whole albums on Spotify if so will they play in third party music player Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yes Erik, you can D/L entire albums as well, use them (tunes/albums) on third paTry apps. I often use dJay on both Android and iOS. It's able to pull tracks from your local or Spotify library.
  • One mans useful is another mans bloat, that why I get fed up with people going on about Samsung 'bloat' yet give Google a pass for its junkware.
  • To be fair, Play Store is an essential part of Android, without it, you can't get apps unless you go to a website and download apks or sideload Amazon app store. I use most of those apps, Google Music, Youtube, Games, Maps, Search, GMail etc. The rest I have marked as "Hidden" in the Touchwiz app drawer.
  • Comes with Samsung browser because of Samsung and chrome because of Google. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Because OEMs have to install some Google Apps - like the Chrome Browser. If Google wouldn't force the OEMs to pre-install such apps we wouldn't see so many duplicates. Maybe the EU will change this...
    I actually prefer the Samsung Browser over Chrome because its performance is better on websites with integrated media and it opens videos in a very nice way in their video player app. The only reason why I sometimes use Chrome as well is the tab syncing to the desktop.
  • Hopefully the anti trust thing doesn't change this. If OEMs would stop bastardizing Android we wouldn't have these silly knockoffs. I totally support Google. Imagine if you created something and other people wanted to make money off of your idea without paying you? Sorry but Google owns Android and that's just the way it is. Instead of complaining why don't those in the EU create their own version of Google? If companies don't want to install Google apps then they shouldn't be allowed to use Android. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You can't really feel sorry for Google about Android. They could have made a closed OS like apple and microsoft, but chose not to. Recently though, they have been trying to close it off, which sucks because the android of today might not be as good as it is with only Google designing it. Posted
  • That's very true as well. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It was never in google's best interest to make android closed source. They just want as many people using their services as possible for advertising and data collection. Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • +5
  • When Google bought it it was open sourced. Almost impossible to put the genie back in the bottle. And a lot of Android is closed off Posted via the Android Central App
  • Both browsers is a good thing. Chrome doesn't make text easy to read but is good otherwise.
  • It's because of Google Mandates. Really, I haven't used a Samsung Phone (or any HTC Phone, for that matter) where I preferred Chrome to their Stock Browsers.
  • I'm not sure about the S6, but chrome is so much faster on snapdragon variant samsung phones Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • The stock browser is faster than chrome on my S6. Although on most websites it is impossible to notice a difference, on some ad-heavy (eg. xda forums) or image heavy (tumblr blogs) chrome lags, but samsung browser works just fine. Also, according to SunSpider benchmark, samsung browser is about 5x faster than chrome.
  • I agree. Where I also notice a huge difference are pages with embedded videos. The Samsung browser performs much better on them than Chrome. Sometimes Chrome won't even play them.
  • Ya, I can see how samsung's browser may be much better optimized since it's in-house hardware. I have an exynos variant Tab S and I can't use Chrome on it because it's just too slow and choppy. The Samsung browser works great though. But on every snapdragon device I've had Chrome straight up smokes Samsung's browser. Even more so on LP Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • Did you try downloading that Samsung specific chrome "add on"? Chrome device support library it's called on my note. It may have another name. Posted
  • That app hasnt been updated since early 2014, so I wonder if it is even needed anymore.
  • TBH, even on older Snapdragon phones the Samsung Browser performs better, so I don't see that changing on the newest chips. Both, the Rendering and JavaScript Engines for Samsung Browser benchmarks *and* performs better in real life use. In addition to that, they have always had some useful features that Google seems years-late on, like implementing a proper Reading Mode or Reading List (HTC has this, not sure about Samsung since my Note 3 didn't have it and I didn't upgrade to an Android phone). Even on my S2 (Snapdragon 3, S3 (Snapdragon 4) and Note 3 (Snapdragon 800) the Samsung browser wins, even with the Chrome support library installed. My friend with an S4 (Snapdragon 600) uses the Samsung browser for similar reasons. Chrome performance and RAM usage is ridiculous.
  • The samsung browser always wins out on browser benchmark comparisons between the 2. Real world performance on the other hand is completely different in my experience and many I've known. I personally can't even tolerate the lag in samsung's stock browser on the S5 and note 4 after having used chrome extensively. There's a huge difference in speed between the two. Other than that I actually like it. Unfortunately it just can't keep up Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • You sound desperate in a pathetic way, to push a false narrative based on... your opinion... I've had almost all Samsung flagships, and their browser has always outperformed Chrome, in real world use. There is no such thing as intolerable lag in that browser, at all. Both the HTC and Samsung Internet Browsers run circles around Chrome performance-wise. Chrome is an abomination and Google seriously needs to get it together. It has rampant and widely-known performance issues.
  • Well said. Sometimes it's tough discussing anything with a 49'er fan;)
  • I think it is because Google ditched WebKit for something else where as Sammy still uses a form of Webkit in their browser. As we know, Safari (well optimized browser, performs great with sunspider) is also a Webkit based browser. Yes I agree, Google need to really optimize Chrome, maybe revamp the engine?
  • I've owned the Note 4 since launch. The Snapdragon US version. You're facts are incredibly wrong. I believe Sunspider's scores are nearly 300% quicker (using Sammy's 'Internet' vs Chrome. While it's handy for syncing tabs and laptops or your desk...and so,e of the compression algorithms used 'look' like it's working quicker, Sammy's built in browser is a significant jump in performance, on the Note 4. The Note 3 ...six one way, 1/2 dozen the other ( for me ) --- & Note 1, the original, Sammy's browser was useless.
    These aren't subjective opinions either 9erfan (from a SeaChick'n fan ;)).
    Just check out some of the professional review sites and scores. Anand, Ars, etc. if it's been a while since you've used it, pull it out and spend a week with it. I believed the same as you until I got the Note 4 last fall, used Chrome, read the Anand review and switched over. Haven't used Chrome in six months.
  • I've always found the stock Samsung browser on my old Note 2 and now Note 4 just work best compared to any other browser, in particular Chrome which always seems to be a lag fest and sucks up an ever increasing amount of system memory the longer it's used (stock browser doesn't!). Also, something not mentioned about the Samsung browser on a Note device is that it's the ONLY one that supports S-Pen hover scrolling (ex. hover near the edge of the screen to scroll that direction). Because of that, I can't see Verizon removing the stock browser from future Note devices (like they did with the S6) without a serious backlash! (why the hell they removed it in the S6 anyway is beyond me! Stupid!!!).
  • The stock samsung browser on the Note 4 and S5 is a straight up lagfest. Chrome runs circles around it. Especially on LP Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • Like I said, that's NOT been my experience on a Note 2 and Note 4 (forgot an OG Note 10.1 as well!). Stock Samsung browser kicks Chrome's ass performance wise on all those devices even with the Chrome Device Support Library enabled (on the Note 4). Heck even on an OG Nexus 7 I used to have, the old AOSP browser (that the stock Samsung browser is based on) kicked Chrome's ass as well! So to me Chrome is complete garbage and I refuse to use it anymore!
  • Is it possible that Chrome is faster on Snapdragon devices, while Samsung's stock browser is better on their own SoT? My Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 2013 are both pretty fast with Chrome, but S6 is faster with stock Samsung browser. (of course I cannot try samsung browser on Nexus 5; who knows, maybe it would be even faster) Oh and BTW, on S6 samsung browser is based on Chromium (which I believe is different from AOSP)
  • Don't believe the SOC as anything to do with it. My Note 4 has a Snapdragon SOC but old Note 2 and OG Note 10.1 are Exynos and the OG Nexus 7 is Tegra based, yet the stock Samsung/AOSP browser outperforms Chrome on all of them.
  • It absolutely does have to do with the SoC powering the device. Certain applications, and especially browsers need to be optimized for different hardware. This is one reason that chrome is typically slow and choppy on samsung exynos variant tablets but usually outperforms the stock browser on snapdragon variant phones and tablets. LP took it to a whole new level though. I won't even touch the Samsung browser on my note 4 anymore. It's too slow and doesn't stay in memory nearly long enough Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • It doesn't matter. Most Samsung devices are Snapdragon in the US. S2, S3, S4, S5, Note 1, Note 3, Note 4... It doesn't matter. The Samsung browser has always given better Rendering and JavaScript Performance. On SNAPDRAGON devices. It's likely one of the main reasons why Samsung kept developing their own browser - cause they are actually quite good at it and the results speak for themselves. Companies that had fairly shoddy browsers like Motorola and Sony ran to Chrome for Android. Companies with decent ones like HTC and Samsung kept developing their own. I don't think it has anything to do with the SoC in the device. It has more to do with the fact that Samsung is likely doing a lot more to tune the performance of their browser than Google is, and it's easier for them to do so because they only tune it for their own devices that they load it on, not virtually every Android device on the planet. Chrome on Android is not a well-optimized piece of software. Despite doing a lot less than the Samsung Browser, it still takes up a ton more resources, and performs worse. Samsung isn't the only OEM that has managed to outperform Chrome with their own stock browser, either ;-) And one or two other OEMs that are doing it, only release devices with QC SoCs in them. What's your explanation for that?
  • It's amazing how experiences can differ. On my last 3 samsung phones the stock browser has been a joke compared to the speed of chrome. The difference in performance is immedietly noticable. It is however an entirely different story on the last 2 samsung exynos tablets I've had. Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • You forgot the most important thing...reading mode. I'm not sure many browsers have this. I know of only one more, but can't recall the name atm. I'm mainly interested in ones that are fast and have this feature. Otherwise, they don't do the job for me. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I would use it but it won't sync with my Chrome bookmarks. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Actually it will. Use the Xmarks plug in with Chrome, then associate a Firefox account with Xmarks. Then sign into the Firefox account under accounts on the phone and bam.. S6
  • It also should be mentioned that Samsung's stock browser is based on Chromium (so not AOSP if I'm not mistaken?). If you go to "about:version", you get Chrome version 38.0.2125.102.
  • Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Dolphin, etc. keep getting updates, including security updates. Samsung browser won't.
  • I'm pretty sure Samsung updates their browser every time they do a FW update, in addition to some maintenance updates (the ones that come over the air with hardly any change log and a small size from the carrier ;-) ). They've been moving more and more of their built in apps to their app store (and even some to Google Play, go Samsung?) so I wouldn't be surprised if they end up putting the Internet Browser there as well, as HTC has done recently.
  • Anyone not seeing the "Web sign in" feature on the note 4? I don't see it. Also, although unrelated, I cant seem to set up android device manager. When I go into "device administrations" and try to check the android device manager box, the box stays empty
  • Firefox because of the usefull add-ons.
  • I wish Verizon had not removed the Samsung browser from the S6. I prefer it to Chrome because it is faster, supports fingerprint log in to sites, and has FULL SCREEN. Why Chrome still has no full screen option is beyond my understanding. ~ 64 GB S6 ~
  • I'm not concerned with which one is faster. Unless one takes ten minutes and the other just one, the difference doesn't matter. I prefer using Chrome because of how all my browsing history is saved and then when switching to tablet, laptop or different phone it is up to date. I would like to believe that I would be all things Samsung but after my experience with my gear s I'm feeling like the playbook experience all over again (some would relate, long story) . I don't see myself straying from the note series but if I do I like that I have everything set to all things Google. Posted on my Sexy Note 4
  • That makes total sense. Once your deeply embedded in the Google ecosystem you can basically pick up any Android device punch in your Google account info and your up and running vs punching in numerous accounts and juggling around your info. I prefer to keep things streamlined. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Can anybody post link to that wallpaper ?
  • I personally enjoy the stock Sammy browser!
  • Anyone know why samsung stopped allowing us to sync our chrome bookmarks with their stock browser? I would be using it if they hadn't done that Posted via the Android Central App
  • Install Firefox on your computer, it will load your chrome bookmarks, and the Sammy browser will sync Firefox bookmarks. Posted
  • Seems efficient...
  • Or just use Firefox and do away with Googles junk Browser.
  • I counted 27 google apps that came with phone Posted via Android Central App
  • Sweet! Posted via the Android Central App
  • First off what phone are you talking about? Second off if your device came with 27 Google apps then your device must be the most productive device on earth. I just counted and I have 24 Google apps on my phone, some of those apps I installed myself. I have to ask, how did your device come with 27 Google apps? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Sounds about right, nexus devices have at least 20 pre-installed not counting the dialer, keyboard, contacts, clock, calculator, or the Google which are essentials upon starting with any device. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Does the browser still support Air Gestures?
  • Just waiting for the carriers to start plopping their own browser on there.... Posted via the Android Central App
  • I tend to use the OEMs browser if at all possible. Chrome is complete garbage. No other app cause so many issues with freezing, slowdown and frankly its just a bad browser anyway.
  • I'm using my Galaxy Note Edge and coming from the Galaxy S III, the browser seems improved. A little faster loading and designed a bit better. Posted From my Verizon Galaxy Note Edge via the Android Central App. And Don't Eat The Yellow Snow!
  • I really don't know how secure the fingerprint security is because I was teasing my wife about it that she couldn't get into my phone because I have the fingerprint security. Well she used her finger and it let her into my phone. >:(
  • lol wow, some form of miracle there! It's a sign! You two must never ever divorce!
  • This is really a nice article with genuine information. I refer your regular post updates to keep me alert about upcoming things. Thanks.
    <a href="">Each and everything about Pune</a>
  • How can I add more diccionarios to the pop up feature of the browser. All it has is English.
  • The Samsung browser works fine until you are reading something and you get a text and go away for a moment, and when you come back, the tab automatically reloads and I have to waste time searching for where I left off reading.
    The same thing happens when I am writing something, like a post on facebook for instance. If I exit out of the internet to go do another task, when I come back to it, it reloads the tab and I lose all that I had previously written. I can find nothing in the settings that would allow me to disable auto reload. It is extremely irritating.
    This is a data waster too, for those without unlimited data...... Hmmmm.... maybe the carriers pay Samsung with a piece of the data overage action, it all makes perfect sense now!!! lol
  • Now you can Sync Bookmarks and Tabs from Samsung Web Browser to your favorite Desktop/PC Browser as well :-)
  • i uninstalled my stock browser 'Internet' by mistake, I have in back up apps, but I can't install it , it says ' installation failed" how can i get it back???? is there any other good browser instead of it??
  • I suggest the regular Opera for Android app but Chrome works too as a back up!
  • Samsung Phones come with 2 different Browsers. One is Chrome one is Samsung. Sometimes one Browser is quicker or one has Network Difficulty... Bam.!.switch to the other one . Nice to have two options for different tasks OR as a backup Browser. You have 2 shoes...why not 2 Browsers ?
  • I find chrome on android getting slower & slower, Samsung Internet & Opera never give me this problem!
  • I really miss this browser, is there any way of installing it in an LG??
  • Yes, you can sideload it by finding the app online and then downloading it go to Settings> Security and allowing/ticking Unknown Sources box then find the apk file and open it up! APK can be found here and is safe to use!
  • Thanks a lot for your answer but but not work, doen´t even install.