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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Choose a browser

The default Android browser

Dolphin Browser HD

Chrome Beta

Android is great in that you can install pretty much any type of app you'd like on it, without restriction. That includes browsers. Whether it's Dolphin Browser HD, or the new Chrome Beta, there are some great alternatives to the stock Android browser.

With multiple browsers installed on your device, you'll be prompted to select which browser to use each time you try to open a link within another app. You can set your default browser by checking the box at the bottom of the prompt if you don't want to constantly be asked.

Let's take a quick look at some of the browsing options you have on Android.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The default Android browser doesn't offer much in way of customization. You're able to browse the Internet like you would expect, as well as set homescreen shortcuts to Web sites. One customizable feature in the stock browser is the ability to enable features through Google Labs.

To get to Google Labs while in the app, open the settings menu and then select Labs. A list of Labs-specific features will appear, and can be activated by checking the box next to the feature.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Dolphin Browser HD is a free app in the Google Play Store that allows you to fully customize your browsing experience. The app uses a feature called Sonar that allows you to browse by using only your voice.

Adding to the customization, you can create custom gestures that will carry out predefined tasks or take you directly to a Web site.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The Chrome for Android Beta brings the popular desktop browser to Android. You're able to sync open tabs between the desktop and Android version, browse in Incognito mode, and add bookmarks to your home screen.

The bad news about Chrome for Android is that it's only compatible with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

You don't have to settle on just one browser when you're using Android. You can pick and choose which tasks you'd like a particular browser to handle, further customizing your browsing experience.

For more tips on how to customize your Android phone, see our story here.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
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