UC Browser 9.3 Android Web Browser Review

UC Browser 9.3 Android Web Browser Review

UC Browser is an award winning web browser for mobile platform. It is available for Symbian, Windows Phone, Blackberry, JAVA, Windows Pocket PC and iOS. It is one of the most popular web browser available for mobile and tablet pc. It comes loaded with many rich features smooth browsing performance. On Google Play it comes in two versions. The first is UC Browser for Android which is around 12.72MB in size offering you full features. The second edition is UC Browser Mini which is around 1.8MB in size offering you a portable and fast web browser with limited features. We are going to test the mobile android version here. The full version is ideal for those Smartphone’s which are bit better in hardware config. And mini is for entry level Smartphone’s. We will test both of them one by one and checkout the difference. The browser works on a unique kernel which was first designed in China for mobile phones to increase the web browsing capabilities. Later on it is integrated with the browser and distributed on various platforms. This kernel works at the core level in delivering ultra-smooth performance, rich web page view, and more clear readability.

Along with this as new edition appeared in the market, the UI is more enhanced. At the time of installation the browser app ask you to participate in the UX improvement program. This program allows the developing company to collect statistic date and enhance the browser features more. Also they work for offering the best bug fix update, malicious blocking, fast sync, better UI, etc. So if you accept it then you will get better fixes. The browser has a direct competition from Google Chrome which offers you GPU-Accelerated Rendering with V8 JavaScript Engine. Dolphin Jetpack claims to be 2x faster than Chrome and 5x faster than the default Android browser on its own HTML5 rendering engine. Opera another popular web browser works on Chrome engine emphasis more on download management and UI. The new beta edition which was released some months ago is now powered be Webkit.

We can really expect some amazing performance here. Compare to all of them the major difference lies with Kernel support. After testing out a number of different browsers, I found that UC browser works in more detailed way. It has an enhanced kernel integration that optimizes the input/output request in a much faster way. This is a core level function where the request is translated to data processing instruction and forwarded to the cpu. So you can simply assume how UC browser is better compare to all. We will now move ahead with more detail test of this browser. Before that just have a look on short feature list.

Features:

  • Add-On Support
  • Quick Read feature for offline reading
  • Pre-loaded Page Cache for fast browsing
  • Background Download
  • Stable Web Browser
  • Cloud Sync allows you to sync your bookmarks among different devices.
  • Video Preview while Downloading
  • Gesture Control for Video Playback
  • Auto-Resume Interrupted Download

Design & UI

UC Browser for Android:

Home Screen:

First I am going to test out the full version. it is bigger is size and comes loaded with all advance features. on a mid range Smartphone the output is decent. But on entry level phone which has a RAM of 256MB or lower, it is recommended to use UC Browser Mini. Because the full edition might hamper the output. The browser comes with a very decent user interface. It is quiet easy to use and understand. It has two home screens. The first on offer you a short bookmark layout of most popular websites along with your most visited. from long time UC Browser provides you listing of popular website in the browser itself. So if you are looking for some great mobile site you can tap on the Mobile Sites section and open any one instantly. It is a kind of drop down listing. At the top side you can see a grid type layout of 9 popular websites. This might be sponsored one. To see the second screen just swipe to right. This is Speed Dial. You can hook up some important sites n this page.

Speed Dial has an add-on called as Quick Reads. This is a new feature of UC Browser. Quick Reads allow you to sync the device with popular news website. It offers you an offline reading option. Once you sync that website, the app automatically syncs the pages and content. You can read the news anytime in the browser. just for once it is necessary to turn on wifi or mobile data to sync. That’s all. Content is available for offline reading also. When you tap on the application you can see some recommendation like The Wall Street Journal, CNN News, etc. This is pre-configured. There is no way you can add your own site on this part. This is the limitation of this app. Now you can get some instant update on the phone whenever your device is connected to internet. Later on the pages are synced and you can read it whenever required. There is a tiny download button at the top left side. When you tap on that you can see the list of website. You just need to add a tick mark on the left side and site will be available for offline reading. This feature is really helpful for those who keep a close watch on news and want to save their mobile data bandwidth. I sync the phone whenever I am on wifi and it collects all required features. To add a site just taps on the plus icon.

At the top left of View it Later screen you can see a tiny settings icon. This open up the auto download settings. Once you had selected the websites which you want to view offline, turn the slider to the right side. And done. The app will download the content and keep it saved. You can clear that later on. On the main screen before download button there is a + icon. This icon gives you list of categories from which you can choose a site. you can see the same in below list. This are pre-configured list. You cannot add anything extra here. It looks UC Browser will gets updates in future and more sites will be added. depending on your interest you can choose a category and add the site for offline syncing.

So this was the home screen of UC Browser for Android. It gives you simple list of most popular websites. You can add your own favorite bookmark in the speed dial section and open sites instantly. We will now move ahead with the top bar.

Top Navigation Bar:

At the top side lies an address bar which is most commonly found in many browsers. Before that lies a star icon. This is for bookmarking a website. UC browser here gives you more advance features. It comes with a cloud sync feature through which you can keep all your bookmarks a single place. In the second image below you can see the Bookmarks section and options to sync it with Tablet and PC. Also there is an UDisk listed at the bottom. You have to first create an account on it and then you can sync your bookmarks. UC Browser offers you a tiny add-on for Chrome and Firefox. It is a cloud like icon. Called as UC Sync. You can find that on Chrome Store on Firefox Add-on site. Once it is installed have to signup the page and add the account on mobile. Use mail registration while creating account on UDisk. This is an amazing feature, but issue lies with the registration. I am unable to find the English edition of account signup.

UC Browser Search Box: The browser offers us some pre-added list of under Search Box. When you tap on it you can see the site favicon with tiny down arrow. Tap on that and you can see more search options. The sites are added in this before. I am unable to locate options to add more sites to this place. But this feature looks a bit better. you can instantly search different keyboards based on categories which are listed on the top side.

UDISK: To use this feature you will need to download the desktop version of UC browser and link the UDisk account created. You can upload files also. In the browser you get a UDISK plug-in through which you can sync common bookmarks among different devices. so those who are using multiple browsers and wants important bookmarks can go with the UDISK feature. It is very easy to use and has a simple UI. From your mobile device itself you can upload files directly from camera, images and other files. There are two things here. under My Files you can keep files that you want permanently on different devices and on Temp-File Station you can keep files for temporarily which will be deleted at a time interval. My Files offer you 2GB storage space and Temp-File Station offers you 4GB space. So the feature is bit helpful for many. Along with saving your bookmarks you have choice to store image and files also. This feature is quiet smartly design.

UC Browser Add-On Bar: Next to the address bar lies a separate sector that provide more features. This is the add-on bar. from where you can add different plug-in. Overall there are around 18 add-ons available. We can expect more in future. You can launch the Add-on Manager by taping on that tiny settings icon. You can remove or modify the permission through it. To add an add-on just taps the plus button. Following is the list of available add-ons:

  • Facebook Uploader: Upload multiple photos on Facebook instantly.
  • Gesture: Control the browser with Gestures
  • QR Generator: You can create a QR code of a web page URL and share it with others.
  • Private Bookmarks: Lock your private bookmarks behind a password.
  • Browse Faster: Improve the browser performance by cleaning up memory.
  • Video Downloader: Allows you to download videos from HTML5 websites.
  • Unzip: Open up and extract files from .rar package.
  • Translator: Simple language translation service
  • WEB to PDF: Convert web pages into pdf and save them.
  • Auto Reload: Add auto refresh to a page. No need to manually refresh it again and again.
  • Save Page: Save WebPages in HTML format.
  • Speed Mode: Boost the browser performance offering faster browsing speed.
  • Auto Pager: Provide Seamless Reading
  • Adblock: Block unwanted ads from a web page
  • Screenshot: Capture screenshot of current window.
  • Clipboard: Clipboard Manager with History.
  • QR Scanner: Reads QR Code.
  • Share: Share web page with your friends in various ways.

All this add-ons are downloaded through Google Play. You can choose helpful one from this and test out. Some add-ons are amazing here. Like through Facebook UPloader you can upload your entire picture album instantly. The second one is Gestures. This is an amazing add-on through which you can control the browser and open up a page instantly. Like by writing f on the screen the browser opens up Facebook. In the same way you can add your own Gestures. When it is installed a tiny Gesture icons remain visible at the bottom right. Next to URL Gesture you can see Function Gestures. This section allows you to configure certain set of commands. So when you use the gesture it runs it. This feature enhances the accessibility on the browser.

Certain customized URL offer you more advance features to access different pages instantly. Like Google. When you open Google you will get a sidebar. This is Android feature. Through which you can access different Google Services instantly. Overall the cloud sync feature in UC browser is quiet effective. The only lies here is that you have to create two separate accounts. One is associated with UC browser and other one with UDisk. I thought both would work on single integrated account.

UC Browser Menu:

All other settings are placed in the Menu bar at the bottom. This is further divided into 3 more categories. They are General, Preferences and Tools. The General section offer you options like adding and viewing bookmarks, turning on night mode, choosing themes, checking downloads and running browser on full screen. Night mode feature s impressive. It applies a dark theme on the browser which enhances the readability. Night mode puts less strain on eye giving you vibrant text and low brightness features. You can also add some themes from this section.

The browser supports background download. So even if you exist the browser still it works in the background. This feature is not available in other browser. In the same place you can see an additional section called as Download Zone. From where you can download some of the best apps and games instantly. It has Hot App and Hot Games section. You can choose some of the top games and application instantly. The download speed depends on the type of internet connecting you are using. If you are on a mobile network, then this would be slower. the browser also features an auto-resume option. If the download is interrupted it resume it back when you internet is live.

The preferences section offers you all settings through which you can customize the browser. Under Settings you have option for adjusting brightness, configure fit to screen of zoom view, enable text only browsing mode, disable rotation and launch a private browser.

The last section is the tool section that gives you access to Data Usage. This internal app gives you information amount of data consumed on mobile network. It works fine and gives intact information so that you can keep the track of complete data usage on limited internet plans. You can also run update from this part.

At the bottom end lies as tab and home button at the end side. The tab button gives you list of all open tabs. It is quite comfortable that this button is provided separately. Overall the UI of UC Browser is smooth and impressive. All buttons are well placed. It is easy to understand. With basic features, the browser also comes loaded with advance features like Gesture control and Speed mode. You can cloud sync your bookmarks and files and share it among different devices.

Performance:

UC Browser for Android is fast and impressive. It works well in terms of page rendering and gives out lag free output. You can open multiple pages at a single time and there is no slowdown. It goes well with all pages offering you a clear view and great readability solution. For websites like YouTube, this browser has a customized design. You can see a sample YouTube page below. At the left side, same like Google Play you can see a side bar with number of different sections to find videos instantly.

Image quality depends up on the settings. If you had configured it as medium or low this will boot the surfing speed but reduce the page image output. For wifi this is not an issue but on a mobile network when you turn on high quality images the surfing speed is affected. For viewing a webpage you have to two options. Tap the menu button and go to Preferences. In that you will see Fit to Screen. This fits the page on the screen. It changes the layout and second is Zoom View which shows you the desktop version of web page with pinch zoom feature. I had posted the sample page screenshot below. The first one is Fit to Screen view where the page fits well to give you better readability. But it is longer to scroll and the second one is pinch zoom. That gives the full page on screen.

So this was the entire settings and features of UC Browser for Android. Here you can see it is loaded with tons of new things and advance output. you can manage your bookmarks, sync them on cloud, add your files, etc. The browser offers extended sharing options and fast performance also. Pages load quiet well on this. For flash this takes some time. Translated pages are also displayed well. For video streaming it is a good browser. You can save images instantly from the page. You can save the entire page in pdf also through a third party plug-in. UC Browser comes with rich interface and really cool features. It is powered by UC kernel that enhances the output and provides a solid gesture control.

UC Browser Mini 9.3 :

UC Browser Mini is a portable version. This is lighter and comes with fewer features. Like it does support add-ons. By default it comes with Speed Mode and QR Code add-on. The interface much different here. It is lighter and has a basic text mode layout. There are less flashy effects on it. This mini edition is ideal for low range phone. You can see them in the sample images below. This edition is designed for web browser only. A number of features like Cloud Sync, Udisk, Add-on-Management, etc are removed. So if your device is not able to run the full edition you can go with this portable one. After working on this for a while I prefer to stick with the full edition as it provides more things to do. At time you can install both the browsers in your mobile device. The portable edition has no way to add the add-on and make it more featured. So it remains limited. Overall the browser looks amazing and good in performance. We do not have lagging or performance issue on this one also. Video plays well on wifi.

Conclusion:

UC Browser is an ideal choice for tablet and Smartphone. It works well with rich features and fast performance. The best part here is that it is free. At a no cost the browser comes loaded with many advance features which you will hardly found in any other app. It works great and remains low on memory usage also. Compare to other popular browsers like Opera, Chrome, Dolphin, etc UC Browser looks more reliable also. Fast performance is not the only thing required here. It is also necessary that the browser is stable. Bookmark, cloud sync, udisk, background download, night mode, quick read, speed mode, etc are some of the unique features that makes it a must to have web browser for all Android devices. The benefit of using this browser is that it is available for 6 different mobile platform including Android. The new edition which is 9.3 is more rich and enhanced. Multi-tab browsing is smooth on it.  Older version was bit buggy when working on flash. But then new one is improvised. It might not be the fastest web browser, but it is also not the slowest one. The performance is amazing here. You can download multiple files and surf at the same time. We had able to play multiple YouTube videos and it did not crashed. The performance can differ on low range browser.

Pros:

  • Easy to Customize
  • Rich Features with amazing performance
  • Extra Add-on to Extend browser qualities.
  • Improved Readability and Clear view.

Cons:

  • Complicated Udisk Signup
  • DATA Usage App looks less accurate
  • Fit to Screen feature does not work for all websites
  • Not great for flash websites .

 

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