[Vivaldi Browser] 1. Vivaldi Browser Review. A true hipster’s web browser from start to finish!

This is a review of Vivaldi Browser. From its origins to its features, it's a true hipster's web browser. I love it because it's so feature rich and unique.
Vivaldi Browser

Vivaldi Browser

Vivaldi Browser Review. It has so many features, so much personality, and so little recognition…

I’m not just running WordPress sites, but I’m personally interested in web browsers. So, I’ve used Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and even dabbled in Brave Browser. However, despite using the web browsers mentioned above, I eventually returned to this web browser. That’s the Vivaldi browser.

There’s a lot to talk about with the Vivaldi browser, and I’ll be writing about it a lot. To start with a conclusion, “This browser is the best!” Honestly, that’s not the case. However, I think that Vivaldi Browser is a web browser designed for people like me. Although some people have more experience with this browser than I do, I’ve been using Vivaldi browser for years and want to share my detailed review.

  • Throughout this article, there will be a lot of content comparing my experiences with Firefox, Edge, Chrome, and more. While some may not be familiar with Edge, there are probably many who haven’t tried Firefox, so please bear with me.
  • To be honest, I haven’t used Naver Whale(Korean web browser) because it’s a Vivaldi browser clone, and I’ve only briefly mentioned Opera in this review, as I haven’t used it much.

Table of Contents

Vivaldi Browser Logo
[Vivaldi Browser] 1. Vivaldi Browser Review. A True Hipster's Web Browser From Start To Finish! 1
Vivaldi Browser Games
Vivaldi Browser Game, Still Wondering Why They Made It

We consider the Vivaldi Browser a kind of spiritual successor to the Opera browser. Of course, Opera still exists, but…

A web browser that places a great emphasis on personalization.

First, the co-founder of the Opera browser has created the Vivaldi Browser. The Opera browser is still in the top 5 browsers because there are still some people who use it. (Honestly, Samsung Internet would have been number 5 if it had a PC version.) However, Opera was acquired by a Chinese company, so I’m not sure about its security. Therefore, I think they created the Vivaldi browser as a spiritual successor to preserve the purity (?) of the past.

People say that the Vivaldi Browser inherits many aspects from the Opera browser.. Vivaldi’s browser is not like the more popular browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc. which have a “very simple framework and fill in the gaps with extensions.” Instead, it is built from the ground up to be very hipster. Of course, the Vivaldi browser also supports Google Chrome extensions, but it’s crammed with so many features that you don’t really need to use them.

This development philosophy has been consistent, and even seemingly unnecessary features are quietly being added over time. Other web browsers might ask, “Why is this there? Other web browsers are constantly adding things that make you wonder, “Why is this there?

Foremost, it comes with a built-in tracker and ad blocking. However, for ad blocking, uBlock, which is already popular, seems to be more powerful in terms of performance. There are many ads that it can’t remove, and on the flip side, it sometimes blocks ads unnecessarily…

The theme is also very customizable – for starters, you can control the colors. In the past, you could only change colors to some extent, but recent updates have made the color palette much more diverse, and you can even download themes created by other users. People say Firefox is the most personalized browser, and Edge is a little more themed, but when it comes to customization, Vivaldi is the king.

Most of these personalization features and the numerous other functionalities mentioned apply to the Vivaldi browser’s Android version, as well. I’m happy that the theme seems to synchronize as well, but I think it looks better on a larger screen like a desktop.

Vivaldi Browser Tab
A Tab Within A Tab Reminiscent Of Inception…

Personally, I like the tabs feature the best in the Vivaldi browser.

I actually write Vivaldi browser because of this feature.

One reason I personally use Vivaldi is because its tab features are the most robust among existing web browsers. Google Chrome is making its tab features simpler, and Safari doesn’t focus on tabs as much.. However, Vivaldi, in its typical hipster fashion, takes the opposite approach and pushes tab functionality to its limits.

For instance, in Chrome or Edge, when you open many tabs, the later ones get squeezed to the right of the screen to where they are not visible, making them inaccessible. In contrast, Vivaldi allows tabs to become smaller while remaining clickable. By the way, Firefox excels in this aspect. You can scroll through open tabs using arrows on the left and right. Double-clicking the arrows lets you scroll fast without making tabs too small. Oh, Firefox…

Furthermore, Vivaldi makes it easy to group tabs together, automatically bundling those with similar website addresses, like YouTube videos. Moreover, these days, it goes beyond that level, creating a nested tab-like experience. Grouped tabs appear below the existing ones, providing a manageable structure. In the past, you could minimize tabs by hovering over the tab count that bundled them together.

However, nowadays, it’s become something like Inception, which can be considered quite innovative in its own right. It’s also possible to make grouped tabs visible on the screen simultaneously and implement similar features. You can get quite detailed, even going as far as scrolling them downwards or covering the entire screen with tabs, allowing for some remarkable customization…

Vivaldi Browser Sidebar
For Example, The Sidebar That Naver Whale Copied…

It has a good interface and features that Naver Whale is secretly copying.

It’s probably number one among all web browsers in terms of built-in count…

In addition to the tabs, it’s nice to have a separate window for managing downloads, pages viewed, etc. I know that Naver Whale copied the overall UI including this part. Unlike Chrome or Edge, which require opening a new window to manage downloaded files, Vivaldi provides a sidebar format on the left side (which can be customized) for easy access and convenience.

As mentioned earlier, despite having many features, Vivaldi is continually adding more. Within the Vivaldi browser, you’ll find separate sections for a calendar, email, subscriptions (RSS), and a reader. However, all four features have powerful alternatives, so I’m not sure if we can replace them… To briefly mention, for instance, there are many alternatives like Google Calendar and Outlook for calendars, and various software options for email aside from Outlook. And then there’s Feedly for subscriptions. And for readers, apart from Pocket and Instapaper, Edge’s ‘Collections’ seems to be more powerful.

Those who are accustomed to using these features, they will likely continue to do so… Personally, among these features, the subscription (RSS) functionality still seems to lack quite a bit. A lot, actually… Nevertheless, since Vivaldi frequently releases updates, I believe it will eventually improve.

Not every update of the Vivaldi browser has been immediately convincing. There were a few things that I secretly wondered why we were updating, and one of them was games built into the browser. I used to question, “Why on earth?” However, after experimenting with Opera recently, I understood the reason – because this feature was also present in Opera… Additionally, there have been updates related to color changes in the browser during gaming collaborations with Razer Again, I was like, “Why don’t they add this?” but it’s a feature in the Opera browser. I’d say it’s a spiritual successor…

Recently, a notable update introduced translation functionality, integrated with the Lingvanex app. The translation interface wasn’t very useful initially, but the developers improved it, and now it’s usable. You can access the translation tool through a sidebar.. Originally, this translation tool was a paid service. I was wondering how Vivaldi could provide this service, but I guess they had an investment or something. It was also a little mysterious how Vivaldi operates on its own, but it has surprisingly wide feet… But as I wrote in my review above, at least the Korean translation sucks.

In addition to this, there is also an alarm feature within the browser, which I don’t like. Among other features, there’s even a browser pause function (probably to encourage focus on tasks), which I personally don’t find useful, but some may appreciate it… Moreover, it comes with a built-in page capture feature and Picture in Picture (PIP) functionality. Note that this feature used to require a separate extension to be installed in Chrome. I’m not sure at this point… There is also a notepad feature, but I personally don’t like it.

It used to be really just notes, but at least now it has some really basic formatting. There are undoubtedly more features that I haven’t mentioned, as there are really numerous features… Furthermore, it’s even better because it supports Chrome extensions, which are considered a basic feature of modern web browsers. And, of course, there’s a secret mode.

In late 2022, there was yet another update introducing Vivaldi Social, essentially adding social media features. However, this feature is not yet integrated into the browser itself; it’s a site created by the development team. Perhaps in future updates, some functionality that integrates with the browser will be added, but to be honest, it’s unclear how they intend to expand upon it beyond simply opening a window. In fact, besides well-known platforms like Twitter and Facebook, there are quite a few lesser-known social networks out there. However, most of these less mainstream ones tend to disappear without a trace. I hope Vivaldi Social doesn’t meet the same fate.

Vivaldi Browser Secret Mode
The Secret Mode That Is A Basic Feature Of Web Browsers These Days.

The more you use the internet, the more you realize the shortcomings of the Vivaldi browser.

Vivaldi browser does have several drawbacks. The criticisms on Namu Wiki seem a bit oversimplified; it’s likely they were written by someone who doesn’t use Vivaldi extensively. Firstly, the Vivaldi browser is said to be a fast browser, but despite its extensive functionality, it doesn’t subjectively appear as fast as you might expect. If I were more of an expert, I might have conducted tests, but as a non-expert, I can only describe it based on personal perception… In reality, when you simply open two web browsers side by side for comparison, you can see that it’s not slower than other browsers at all. However, for some reason, when used independently, it feels somewhat sluggish… That’s the recurring impression.

However, the real downside of the Vivaldi browser is that it uses chromium, but for some reason, it appears to have an unfamiliar structure, resulting in subtle incompatibilities with several websites. You’ll come across phrases like ‘This browser does not comply with web standards. Please use Chrome, Edge, etc.’ more frequently than you’d expect. Honestly, compared to some, these issues are relatively mild, but there are still quite a few websites where Vivaldi struggles to gain access. I use the browser normally, but when it pops up like that, I get annoyed.

Furthermore, I’m not sure if this is an extension of these drawbacks, but there are more frequent instances where card payments don’t work within the web browser than one might think. I use Shinhan Card, and there are cases where the app card payment window either doesn’t pop up or doesn’t appear at all… Additionally, it’s quite common to encounter situations where the address search window doesn’t appear when making purchases or registering on online shopping websites. Furthermore, for some reason, my blog appears slightly different in Vivaldi compared to how it looks in Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and other browsers.

Consequently, when I encounter issues with my blog, I sometimes use multiple browsers simultaneously for troubleshooting. While this is an essential step for compatibility, the fact that Vivaldi’s structure is somewhat different makes it feel distinctively necessary to verify.

Another disappointment is the lack of an iOS version. There are related questions on the official website, and the responses show that there’s no iOS version because Chromium isn’t compatible, and they’d need to use other tools. It’s written like this, and then you’re arguing with the logic, “Why is there an iOS version when most other browsers use Chromium?”.

I’ve been rationalizing it with thoughts like, ‘Naver, Microsoft, and Google have top-notch talent, so…’ Brave browser has a development team comprising some exceptionally talented individuals, after all… Honestly, the Vivaldi browser would probably love to develop an iOS version itself. However, it’s noteworthy that there is a Mac version.

Aside from that, the interface itself isn’t bad, as the web browser wraps around the entire screen, but if you like things to be clean or simple, you might be disappointed.

  • Someone on Namu Wiki(Korean famous wiki) seems to have made significant revisions to the section about drawbacks based on what I wrote… It’s strangely satisfying(?) in a way. Thank you!

It’s undervalued, that’s for sure. A web browser that should definitely be mentioned a lot more than it is…

Not only the function but also the movement itself is hipster.

If you look at their recent posts, you’ll see that they’re working with some kind of driverless car company. In addition, the default search engines in the browser can also be set as the default search engines, not just Google and DuckDuckGo, but also some strange ones you’ve never heard of. They are extraordinary browsers that all have their own personality. However, I wonder how many users are using this in Korea and abroad. The latest update brought back a new search engine, but who the hell makes these things…

Fortunately, they have a somewhat widespread presence, and frequent updates suggest that they won’t fade into obscurity anytime soon. While their recognition is undoubtedly low, one can still consider it a blessing… According to the official website, they have around 2.4 million active users (recently increased by 100,000, wow!). To be honest, this is a rather small number, but considering that Vivaldi users tend to be those who have specific reasons for using it instead of other browsers, excluding those using browsers for professional purposes, they can be considered loyal users.

Of course, there’s some concern with the Mozilla Foundation, which oversees Firefox, appearing to be somewhat shaky recently, but considering that it’s a nonprofit foundation, I assume that’s why it’s facing those challenges.

It’s clear that Vivaldi browser has distinctive characteristics and clear advantages, which is why users tend to return to it after exploring other browsers. I hope it lasts forever… I think it would have been a lot better if they did something with coins like Brave Browser, but I guess they didn’t think that far ahead. I mentioned it earlier, but to be honest, the revenue structure is quite weak, and it’s a cause for significant concern. It was the Vivaldi browser, a true hipster’s browser that had us both excited and worried.

Vivaldi Browser Summary

Good point

  1. Has the most out-of-the-box features of any web browser in existence
  2. Not just more features, but more “unique” features
  3. It’s fast for its wide range of features.

Disappointing point

  1. Something feels slow when it’s objectively never slow
  2. Some sites or windows won’t open or don’t show up at all.
  3. No iOS version
  4. It may be frustrating for those who like brevity.
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