Safari vs. Chrome vs. Opera: Which is the fastest iOS browser?

Watch as Chrome, Safari, and Opera Mini are put through their paces in a real-world mobile-browser speed test.

Speed has long been the benchmark of good desktop browser, letting you spend less time staring at the loading bar, and more time clicking through links.

On mobile, that's no different, so we set out to find the fastest browser among some popular choices: Safari, Chrome, and Opera.

Designed by Apple, for Apple, Safari would seemingly beat the competition, but you might be surprised at what we discovered during our real-time speed test.

To make things fair, each iPhone 5S was connected to the same 4G hotspot. In addition, the caches and browsing histories were cleared from each respective browser. Finally, we had muscle on standby to ensure no cheating.

Here's what happened:

Play

In the end, the browser you choose will not only depend on its speed, but also its features. Here are a few to look out for in each browser:

Safari
Since it's the default browser, any links you open -- from an e-mail or a text message, for example -- will launch in Safari. And, in standard Apple fashion, there's no way to change that. Going with this browser means serious convenience.

Safari's Reading List is also a big plus. When you don't have time to read an article, tap the share button at the bottom of the window, and select "Add to Reading List." You can access the article later by tapping the Bookmarks button in Safari.

Chrome
Not only is Chrome superfast, but it also touts a long list of convenient features, including tab syncing and gestures. To use tab syncing, follow this simple guide.

Opera
The underdog, as we called it, is no stranger to helpful tools and settings. For a faster browsing experience, image loading can be disabled in the settings menu. That means zero photos on Web pages, of course, but if you can't make the sacrifice, there's an option to decrease the image quality instead.

About the author

Sharon Profis is a CNET How To expert who cooks up DIY projects, in-depth guides, and little-known tricks that help you get the most out of your tech. During her four years at CNET, she's covered social media, funky gadgets, and has shared her tech knowledge on CBS and other news outlets.

 

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