Folks over at Xiaomi have announced their all-new Mint browser for Android users. In what could be one of its primary features, Mint is claimed to consume limited system resources. What’s more, Xiaomi is making certain claims with regards to its speed, privacy, security and ad-free browsing experience. The app is listed on Google Play Store for download with less than 12MB in size. We decided to put it to test, and based on our findings, here is what we have to say about Xiaomi’s Mint browser:
At the time of writing this, Mint v1.3.0 has well over a thousand downloads. It requires Android 4.4 KitKat and above. We downloaded Mint via Google Play Store. Upon running Mint browser for the first time, it requires certain permissions that one can deny if they want. If you are looking to download certain files over the internet, you may have to grant Mint permission to access your phone’s storage.
Unlike Google Chrome and Firefox, Mint seeks permission in order to be able to manage phone calls, which seems a bit unnecessary for a web browser.
Mint has this minimalist interface, to begin with. On the main screen, there are shortcuts to select websites like Cricbuzz, Amazon, Flipkart, Swiggy and more. Xiaomi seems to have partnered with these websites so that it could display them as shortcuts on Mint’s home screen. Above those shortcuts is an address bar to input a website URL or search query.
Bing is the default search engine on Mint browser. But that is something you can certainly tweak inside the settings. Apart from the standard search feature, Mint uses Google API to provide users with a voice search option. However, it only appears on the main screen. Mint should have rather considered a floating microphone icon somewhere on the screen to quickly access voice search.
What should be alarming is the fact that a default home-screen shortcut to access Facebook leads to a custom login page outside of Facebook, which looks exactly like Facebook. We strongly recommend users to refrain from signing into Facebook from any such unofficial pages and always look for the URL in the address bar. It also showed us an advertisement that contradicts Xiaomi’s own claim about the ad-free experience. Check out the screenshot below:
The browser supports incognito mode. Users can add multiple tabs, much like any other browser out there. Mint users can log in to the browser using their existing Google or Facebook accounts. It is surprising to see Xiaomi prioritising Google as well as Facebook sign-in options over its own Mi account.
Inside Tools, Mint provides users with an option to reduce data usage. Inside Settings, users can tweak the default search engine, change the font size, set Mint as default browser and more. As for privacy and security, users can choose to remember passwords, accept cookies and show security warnings.
Xiaomi Mint supports a Dark Mode to reduce eyestrain while browsing in lowlight situations. We are happy to see Xiaomi taking efforts to promote its services and make them available outside its own ecosystem. Xiaomi seriously needs to up its standards when it comes to its own commitments.