Maxthon may not be a household name in the West, but the company makes a desktop web browser which is quite popular in China. And now Maxthon has released a mobile version for Google Android.

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There’s a lot to like about Maxthon’s Android app. It supports browser tabs, which show up at the top of the screen, allowing you to flip between open pages quickly — much as you would in the Dolphin HD web browser. You can also hit a tab button from the toolbar at the bottom of th epage to bring up thumbnail previews of open tabs, much as you would with the Opera Mini web browser.

The toolbar also gives you quick access to your browser history and a Home page pre-populated with links to dozens of Chinese web sites. Hitting the menu button on the right brings up more options, including access to your bookmarks, account settings, a download manager, or the built-in RSS reader included in the browser. If you don’t like all the toolbars, you can hit a button to enable full-screen mode.

Maxthon mobile lets users synchronize their data with the desktop version of the browser. It also supports gestures for performing actions such as flipping to the next or previous tab without moving your finger up to the tab bar. When you rotate your phone to switch from portrait to landscape mode, a lock icon pops up on the screen, allowing you to lock the new screen orientation with a single click.

While Maxthon is a pretty decent browser which is easy to navigate and which loads page properly, there are a few quirks.

Maxthon supports Adobe Flash out of the box — but some Flash elements don’t fit properly on the page. For instance, when I visited in the browser, some of the ads actually showed up on top of the browser toolbars instead of staying in the same window as the rest of the web page.

The browser also doesn’t seem to support pinch-to-zoom. Instead, you can double-tap to zoom, but this makes precise zooming actions difficult. Maxthon also eats up a bit of disk space. When I installed the app, it only used about 3MB, but after surfing the web for a few minutes, the data and cache filled up and the browser was using more than 8MB of space, which was enough to make it one of the largest apps installed in my phone’s primary disk. There’s currently no option to move the app to an SD card.

Maxthon is available as a free download from the Android Market.

You can find more screenshots after the break.

via Download Squad

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...