UC Browser is one of a handful of "third party" or "independent" (read: not Chrome or Firefox) browsers that gets positive reviews but isn't necessarily well known. UC Browser is quick and offers a nice set of features, but it doesn't have much to make it stand out against its larger competitors.
Ideal for newer smartphones. UC Browser, which is compatible with Android or iOS, performs well and at a good speed, according to a handful of reviews on the browser. If you've got a newer phone with 2 GB or more of RAM; the browser's new technology supports accelerated page loading for the fastest experience. The browser is enormously popular in China but as one of the smaller independent browsers in the U.S. (compared to Dolphin and Opera Mobile) UC Browser isn't included in many comparative tests. Still, reviewers agree that it's a worthy contender with solid compression technology that minimizes data usage. (One older review from PCMag.com found the browser was buggy, but newer reviews don't mention any performance issues.)
Easy download management. UC Browser's calling card is arguably its download management, which is basically on par with an excellent download manager on a desktop. You can download (and even pause) multiple files simultaneously; you can also choose which you want to save or download to the cloud. Tabs are well supported (albeit a bit buried in the design) and moving between different tabbed pages is quick. UC Browser automatically loads a version of the page based on the quality of your mobile connection, a useful tool for travelers who might be stuck with a poor connection. There's a standard speed dial page with shortcuts to your favorite sites, and a "night mode" for browsing in the dark.
Browsing in the great unknown. UC Browser offers an "incognito mode" that doesn't record your history or caches. But, like many mobile browsers, speed -- not privacy -- is the top priority of UC Browser. Other than private browsing, not much appears to be built into the browser in terms of privacy or security. Because of these limitations and without many standout features, reviewers say UC Browser is a solid alternative to a stock Android browser but can't compete with bigger browsers like Chrome or Dolphin. For those concerned about privacy, Internet Explorer (Free) is our best-reviewed browser for privacy on a desktop and Dolphin Zero (Free) offers all-private browsing but with very limited features.
UC Browser is popular in China and India, and India's NDTV provides an in-depth review. The reviewer praises the fast page-load time as well as features like the download manager.
Review: UC Browser review, Gopal Sathe, March 8, 2014
In this older review, PCMag.com gives UC Browser 3.5 out of 5 stars, or a "good" rating. The browser was fast and had the best download manager among mobile browsers, but Flash, zoom and other features didn't work. Dolphin wins the Editors' Choice award for Android browsers.
Review: UC Browser 8.0.5 (for Android), Sara Yin, Feb. 22, 2012
CNET editors give UC Browser for Android 4 out of 5 stars, or an "excellent" rating, praising its speedy tabbed browsing and features. The tabs are in a menu and can be difficult to find, but UC Browser is a much better performer than Android's default browser, according to the review.
Review: UC Browser for Android, Chris Page, Nov. 5, 2013