Browsers many times come to a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer browser X or Y because of some exclusive feature or convenience. However, in some cases, the person didn’t even consider replacing their browser and trying a new one. This is especially true in Android, where Chrome has become the default browser for many people in more recent versions of Android, simply because Google made it so, and despite the known issues, problems and somewhat lacking performance. Well, maybe there’s a better choice out there – and today, we’ll be looking at it.
CM Browser is a very interesting browser for Android with a focus on speed and security. The name itself (CM) comes from “Clean Master”, as the built-in malware and anti-virus protection has always been one of the core features of the app. However, there truly is more to this browser than security. When we said it focuses on speed, we meant it – it’s a joy to use and performance is amazing, especially compared to the default Chrome browser. It also uses a lot less memory, so if you are using a device with low RAM, this browser is a great choice and it will allow you to easily browse multiple tabs at the same time without any issues.
Along with these features come a bunch of goodies – for example, it has a built-in downloader that is more reliable than the one included in stock Android, and gives you the download speed right on your notification bar. The browser also supports Incognito Mode, do-no-track settings, built-in translation, built-in video player and custom search engine customization. Just a bunch of stuff that will come in handy one day and it’s nice to have. Having said that, let’s take the usual tour:
You can install the app, for free, using this link. Once it’s installed, open the app and you will see this screen with the usual agreement statements. Accept to move on:
Once you do, that’s it! You can start browsing right away! You can also tap the button in order to get a short overview of the main features of the app, if you prefer:
Anyway, once you get to actually using the browser, it’s business as usual. The interface is familiar, yet has a personal style and branding to differentiate itself from other apps. Anyway, let’s open up a website:
As you see, it’s just a regular browser, but if you try and use it, you will see it is a much smoother and more pleasing experience compared to Chrome. The scrolling is instantaneous, and there are all sort of little effects and animations everywhere. Now, let’s take a look at some of the features. Tap the 3 dotted menu on the top to see some of the options:
As you can see, there is plenty to look at. One feature worthy of note is the fullscreen mode, which gives you more screen estate to browse with. Here it is in action:
You can try the other features to see them in action, but overall they all work quite nicely and are always easy to enable. Now, let’s take a look at the rest of the settings by tapping the three line icon in the bottom bar:
From here, you can see your history, manage your bookmarks, downloads and security, access the settings and exit the app completely. Let’s take a look at the bookmarks:
The app doesn’t immediately detect your existing bookmarks, but as you can see, it has an option to import bookmarks from Chrome. It’s easy to do and works nicely. Once you do that, all your old bookmarks will be there. Now, let’s see the settings:
There are more than a few options here, but most of the defaults are already set up correctly. You may want to change the download location or only enable preloading in WiFi, but most of the settings are already nicely set up. The app, being a browser, also comes with a really nice tab switcher:
As you can see, it enables you to create a new tab right there, get rid of your existing tabs with a simple tap and even switch right away to Incognito mode:
Lastly, not only is the browser faster, lighter and more responsive, but it actually renders content much better than the default Chrome webview, which has been long criticized for failing to implement text wrap and proper font scaling for ages, features that used to be there in the old Android browser. Here’s a comparison of Reddit on both of them (note the inconsistent font size and incorrect positioning on Chrome):
So, as you can see, this is a great choice as far as browsers go, and in some cases the difference is very significant and compensates the hassle of adapting to a new app. Feel free to let us know how you feel about this app in the comment section below!