Samsung Internet is a new web browser for Google Android devices that Samsung released as a beta preview version today to the Google Play store.
You can download and install the web browser on Android devices running version 5.0 or higher. The browser is not limited to Samsung’s own line of devices, but should install fine on the majority of Android devices. It did install fine on a Xiaomi Mi 4c for instance.
Samsung notes however that only Samsung Galaxy and Google Nexus phones are officially supported by the Internet browser.
Samsung’s browser is based on Chromium, and you will notice similarities with other Chromium-based browsers such as Google Chrome. The web page notes that it is based on Chromium 51.2704. This means that the browser is based on an outdated version of Chrome. The most recent version for Android is 56.0.2924.87 at the time of writing.
Samsung Internet browser for Android
While Samsung Internet resembles Google Chrome and other mobile Chromium-based browsers for the most part, there are differences that are probably most interesting to Android users.
Samsung Internet ships with a set of extensions for instance that you can enable without having to install them first separately.
The following extensions ship with the browser:
- CloseBy — Recommends websites and other information based on the objects and places around you in the world. Requires Bluetooth, and will show CloseBy notifications.
- Content Blockers — Not installed by default, but content blockers will be picked up if installed on the device.
- QR Code Reader — A browser extension to read QR codes in the browser directly.
- Video Assistant — Gives you some control over media including changing video modes, rotating the screen, or casting videos to the TV.
The browser ships with other features that you may find interesting. I ran into issues though trying to figure out how to enable some of them.
The Google Play store page indicates that Samsung Internet supports Amazon Shopping Assistant for instance. This can be turned on in the browser according to the description to compare products you encounter on the Web with Amazon’s offering.
I was not able to find out how to enable it though. Amazon Shopping Assistant is available as a browser extension for other browsers as well.
Other features supported by Samsung Internet are web payments (based on Web Payments API support), 360 degree video support for use with GearVR equipment, a password protected secret mode, and progressive web apps indication badges.
The settings and options are quite bare bones though. It supports the changing of the homepage and search provider, auto form filling, the managing of website data, clearing browsing data, a popup blocker, and a couple of extra features, but that is about it.
The main issue that you may have with Samsung Internet is that it is using an outdated version of Chromium. The extra features are certainly nice to have, provided that you need them or find them useful enough.
Now You: What’s your take on Samsung Internet?