Ask LH: Can I Get A Different Browser For My Windows Phone?

Ask LH: Can I Get A Different Browser For My Windows Phone?

Hey Lifehacker, I recently acquired a Nokia 925 and I’m having issues with the IE10 browser on the phone. It doesn’t seem to have the full functionality of a browser such as Chrome. Can you recommend any alternative browsers for Windows Phone users seeing as Chrome isn’t available? Thanks, Browsed Off

Dear BO,

Windows Phone has many attractive features, but versions of the most popular browsers are lacking. As you’ve noted, Chrome isn’t available, which means you can’t take advantage of its ability to sync history, bookmarks or tabs. The same goes for Firefox.

There are alternatives if IE doesn’t do it for you — just not from dominant browser developers. These are some of the more visible ones available for free:

There are plenty of others as well. I’ll be honest — the lack of detail and the grammatical errors on the descriptions for these apps don’t fill me with confidence, and many seem even more feature-limited than IE. However, it’s a relatively low-risk prospect to see if they fill the gap for you. If Windows Phone-toting readers have a particular favourite, tell us about it in the comments.


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  • UC Browser is the best alternative IMO. However just note that when opening links from emails/sms/whatever, it will still automatically open in IE10 – you can’t yet change the default browser.

  • Moving from Android to a Lumia 900 was the worst tech decision I’ve ever made – just the OS itself made me feel like I’d travelled back in time, and don’t even get me started on the dismal app support and diversity.

    Condolences, Browsed Off, because you’ve bought a lemon.

    • Er… the OS has dismal app support? No. It’s had bad support from the app creators of major networks/systems.. A very different thing.

      I also have a Lumia 920, moved from the Galaxy S2.. It’s an amazing phone, once I found alternatives to all my major software.

      It’s a very different OS, thus why unlike ios, android and blackberry OS – it becomes not only impractical, but a bad idea, to simply port another application to ‘just work’ on it. The OS offers many many unique tools that apps can and should take advantage of to be good on the system – and more of them complete this process and release their apps every day.

      Tissue for your issue, you just sound whiney.

    • What a stupid comment if you complain about 900. A lot has changed since WP8. If i had nokia 925 and moved to a Ginger Bread Android, that would be the same thing.

  • I actually find IE on there an absolute pleasure to use. Incredibly fast, renders quite well, mobile mode is quite good..

    It doesn’t offer bookmark or tab sync.. But then, that’s not realistically something I actually need on my phone..

    I wouldn’t mind gesture controls to make it more similar to Windows 8 though.. Like swipe in from the top to bring down the tabs.

  • I’m with Debyl on this one. IE is pretty good (never thought I’d ever say that) on my Lumia 920. I tried UC Browser, it’s ok, but something about it just feels like its in constant beta. It tends to always crash on me or run out of memory. This happens on web pages that load fine in IE. IE does lack a lot of features, but I’m hoping this can be fixed in future updates. but yeh I dont use my phone as my main browser. I prefer to use my tablet, work pc or laptop for that.

    • haha yep, there’s lots to like about UC Browser but I figured the crashing was just ‘cos I’m using a Lumia 620 (512 MB RAM). I like UC’s various options, start page and tab handling. Well worth investigating if IE’s not doing it for you.

  • The IE browser on WP8 is also in the “Blue” updates that are happening for nearly all ms products. Once the blue update is out, one of the cool features is the syncing of tabs across all ms devices. It will be a little while until the blue update is out, but once it is, the mobile IE will be more feature rich then most other mobile browsers.

    On a side note, I’ve never seen a mobile browser as good as ie current. Its just so dam “slick”.

  • Seeing as you’re on a Nokia phone, you might want to try Nokia Xpress. I usually use it when IE pisses me off. That’s not intended for the punk ass trolls that seem to frequently whine where whines don’t matter. Good luck with your search!!

  • You may want to try Touch Browser.. supports orientation lock, multiple tab, saved pages for offline viewing, full screen browsing, bookmark manager and more..

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