Apr 08 AT 2:40 PM Guest Blogger 35 Comments

xScope Browser: The fastest alternative browser for Android?

The Android platform has a handful of web browser options in the marketplace. Among these xScope seems to be the least known of the bunch. Don’t let its lack of name recognition fool you, as xScope has features and speed that really set it apart from other offerings.

In the speed department, xScope is a welcome improvement over the stock browser. Page load times were noticeably shorter and in general the browser just feels more responsive at any given time. While it’s page load times are not as fast as Opera Mini, the page rendering is far superior to the way Opera Mini renders sites. The browsers tabbed interface also allows for quick transitions between pages by simply swiping right or left on the tabs toolbar. Closing a tab is just as easy and only requires that you touch on the active tab to close it.

xScope also allows you to download any file using the browser and even allows you to download and store YouTube clips to your SD card. Downloads are neatly organized in a separate tab that you can bring up at any time from the menu button. Sharing a URL is also very easy, just long press on the URL bar and a pop up window appears allowing you to select Gmail, Facebook, text message, etc.

And if that’s not enough to impress you, xScope has a file explorer that lets you browse, move and delete files on your SD card. A Task Manager that allows you to see running apps and kill an app if necessary is also included. These features definitely go above and beyond the call of duty and aren’t typically related to a web browser.

Final Verdict

Those seeking a speedy browser with excellent pinch to zoom, tabs, accurate rendering and customized skins, need look no further. xScope delivers on so many features, there really is something for everyone here. Recommended buy.

The goods:

  • Speed
  • Does an excellent job at rendering websites and formats text to fit screen after zoom
  • Useful 1 finger implementation of “pin zoom”, as well as traditional pinch to zoom
  • Developer actually replies to emails and is very responsive
  • File manager
  • Download and save YouTube videos

Needs improvement:

  • The name of the app sounds more like mouth wash than it does a browser
  • The page load progress bar is difficult to see (Fixed in latest version)
  • No thumbnails previews of bookmarked pages

Special Notes: The latest version of the browser only supports Android 2.1, so search the Market for their older version that runs on Android 1.5/1.6. A free lite version is also available.

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Note: This review was submitted by Jon Morales as part of our app review contest.

Source: xScope Mobile

From time to time we invite guest bloggers to contribute articles about various Android topics. This is one of those times...

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  • http://Website John

    Sorry, I refuse to pay for a browser when Dolphin is free and does such a fantastic job as is.

    • Killa

      The lite version is free and has all the same features as the paid version accept for the file explorer and task manager.

      I like it way better than Dolphin.

  • http://Website sanford

    Tested ALL android browsers (dolphin is an adware, steel is stalled! Opera is fast but not rendering correctly). This is truly the best of all! Share screenshot!
    Consistently beat stock and fish browsers by 70%. On your phone, go to this page and test for yourself:
    In fact, a guy at xdev claimed that with Cyanogen Mode and 1.1G overclocking Droid, it is faster than iPad (9.3s vs. 10.4s).

    • http://Website dave

      Hmm. I just used your link to sunspider, and got the following results:

      Stock: 12597.6ms
      xscope: 13019.8ms

      I’m running Android 2.1 on HTC Desire, using wifi to eliminate variances in 3g signal, as I get poor reception at home.

      This equates to xscope being 1.03x slower than stock.

      This was my second run. The first one concluded it was 1.01x slower, which I consider negligible.

      The point is, it isn’t faster on my phone. It’s not much slower, but I don’t see the published results when running the test for myself. But I’ll probably stick with xscope because I highly value the ability to open links in a new tab simply by long pressing on the link – awesome!

  • http://Website dextroz

    DO NOT make negate points from a product because of something as subjective as a name. You begin to sound more like Q.

    You may make fun of it in your text – but it is NOT a con.

    • http://sweeterskins.net Lemon

      LOL, come on man, it’s pretty clear it was tongue in cheek…

    • http://Website noDextroz


      HINT: “negate” is a verb in this language.

      Good day. Rest your sore brain. That must’ve been difficult.

  • Drew

    I’m impressed

    Especially for a 1.6 user, the pin zoom is pretty cool

  • http://Website Bobbity

    Great app. Just made it my default browser. Thanks Guest Blogger and Androidandme.

    How is it that much faster than the stock browser?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Check their FAQ page: http://sites.google.com/site/xscopefaqs/

      They are using Sunspider Benchmark and claim it scores better than the default browser or Dolphin.

  • http://Website Utz

    Umm.. it does have a fileexplorer..

    But it also can’t be used to upload files or? Still “uploads disabled” i guess?

  • http://Website Al

    Steel browser is epic sweet.

  • http://Website Al

    Steel browser is pretty sweet.

  • http://Website ChaosKiller

    Thank you, I was not really impressed by the stock browser and for some reason dolphin didn’t do it for me either. I love this browser though. The developer responds really well to his mail (I got a reply within 2 minutes!). Really good to see a browser which is actually being developed.

  • http://Website Mike

    You can cross no thumbnail images of bookmarks off your list of cons because that option is there…. its just hard to find because it is a small button on the home screen… best browser on android IMO

  • http://Website Alvin

    I just purchased it. At only $0.99, it was a no brainer and WOW is this thing fast!

  • http://Website mark

    There are thumbnails for bookmarks. There is an option to have thumbnails or a list.

  • http://Website doog

    I love this browser, but one more con, at least for the 1.5 version: it can only store 11 bookmarks. Any more than that and they roll off of the bookmarks page.

    It’s a minor issue, at least to me, but it should be considered.

    • http://Website Paul

      I noticed the 11 bookmark limitation as well. Annoying but minor issue and will probly be fixed in the next update. Besides that I have found nothing wrong with it. I have made it my default over dolphin hd and not looking back any time soon.

  • http://immersive3d.wordpress.com KingLouie

    thinking of uninstalling Dolphin:/…recently made xScope my default browser:P

  • http://Website Jared

    I have thumbnails for website favorites…… I’m using the $2.99 version, maybe its only included in that one?

  • http://Website ChaosKiller

    The dev is really responsive and very nice. If you experience bugs just email him and it will get fixed (I found 2 typos yesterday and it was fixed today).

  • http://Website ChaosKiller

    “No thumbnails previews of bookmarked pages”

    Yes it does, there are 2 icons (the Az and the other one). The second one makes it possible to switch to thumbinals.

  • http://Website Norm

    QR Code link is broken. Was unable to find in Market but quick Market Search returned the correct result.

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  • http://Website Ray

    Will give it a try. Installing now.

  • http://Website talentzone


  • http://Website benski

    xscope broswer working with G2 phone?

  • http://Website JBF

    Great browser. The only thing missing is to bypass or enter a proxy server address. It is definitely the best one on the market.

  • http://Website george

    tryed the xscope light browser is cool except youtube sucks on it wont open vids, also how do you clear browser history on it.i do realy like that bookmarks show up on home page imediatly

  • http://Website gggirlgeek

    Hmmmm. Sounds interesting. But I wonder if it has a way to sync bookmarks with the PC? I guess I can always use my Xmarks app but it will probably open a new browser window rather than a tab in the window already running? And it’s inconvenient to hunt around for my Xmarks app while browsing.

    What about Lastpass integration as well?

    Any other extensions? Dolphin has a lot of extensions including Xmarks. So far it’s better than Opera for me because of this, and because Opera doesn’t seem to fit the page to the screen very often, even though I set it to view the mobile page by default. Stock browser does this nicely actually, as does Dolphin. Haven’t tried Opera mini yet though. Will try xScope soon.

    T-mobile G2 – stock, temp rooted.

  • http://xscopebrowser mark

    A beautiful thing when it works properly

  • bob zone

    cheeky that this link goes to thepaid version.
    guess we need to take this with a grain of salt.

  • http://www.browsers.it/i_migliori_browsers.html browsers

    You really make it seem really easy along with your presentation however I find this matter to be actually something which I think I’d by no means understand. It sort of feels too complex and very large for me. I’m taking a look ahead for your next put up, I will try to get the hang of it!