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The Best Browsers For Windows Mobile Phones

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Smart phones are getting popular amongst the busy working class.  It is now the portable computer for people to send email on the fly or surf the net for the latest news.  Those who have already bought a Windows Mobile phone would have found out that the Internet Explorer in the phone really sucks big time.  The layout of a web site is no where near comparable to a desktop PC. Luckily there are a few alternatives for us to choose from that are able to load the whole web site in full and not in mobile view.  I have tested these on a HTC TYTN II and HTC HD 2 to see how these mobile browsers compare.

1. Opera Mobile 10 beta :

Opera has been the first to create a decent browser for mobile phones and has not been disappointing in every version of its release. Other Challengers like Thunderhawk, Minimo or Netfront pale in comparison when taking into account the flash and java support.  Until now, Opera beta 10 has improved by leaps and bounds since it’s predecessor beta 9.  When I tested it, I expected it to be slower, yet it started up faster than it previous versions & although it has more features bundled with this version, the loading time was acceptable.  This browser had the best graphical interface I have ever come across in mobile browsers.

 

Pros : Fast and responsive to touch screen contact; single touch to zoom in & double to zoom out. Sliding up and down was smooth and quite impressive; this could match up to iPhone’s safari browser.  The start page has a quick dial menu similar to many desktop browsers that allow you to add a shortcut to it so that you can open up your favourites real quick.

 

Cons : It does not support flash fully and is unable to manage flash applications like those in Facebook. Only simple ones can be played. Complex ones like Battle Stations can only display the game, but you can not really play it as some of the options are displayed in flash.

It only supports 1 x zoom in and zoom out.   This makes it limited to just reading the text to a certain zoom size.  It must be zoomed in before you can touch any links.  Even if the icon is large enough to be clicked, you will stick need to zoom in once.

 

HTC HD 2 [ 1 Ghz Snapdragon processor ]

Start up time : 2.5 secs

Loading time : 11.5 secs [ The time it took to load one full Facebook home page ]

 

HTC TYTN II [ 400 MHZ Qualcomm processor ]

Start up time : 5 secs

Loading time : 30 secs [ The time it took to load one full Facebook home page]

 

2. Skyfire browser :

Skyfire is new to the mobile browser world.  I must say that this browser totally blew me away in terms of speed and capabilities.  I would recommend this browser to every one out there. This browser supports flash in full animation.  You can play flash videos from Youtube website right off the mobile browser and even flash games in Facebook.  I can even hear the sound as the video is being played.  I could not believe my eyes as I played my favourite Facebook game right off my mobile phone.

 

HTC HD 2 [ 1 Ghz snapdragon processor ]

Start up time : 2.5 secs [ another few seconds for it to load the main page ]

Loading time : 5 secs [ The time it took to load one full Facebook home page ]

[ It took 5 secs to load one screen load of stuff in Facebook home page.  But if you scroll downwards, it would be a wallpaper of square boxes.  You will need to wait half a second to load the next load of page you wish to view.]

 

HTC TYTN II [ 400 MHZ Qualcomm processor ]

Start up time : 3 secs [ around 15 more seconds till it reached the main page ]

Loading time : 8 secs

 

[ To load a full page load of content but another 2 secs per scroll down before it starts loading more content ]

Pros : It is able to open up a link without the need to zoom in first unlike opera but provided you have ultra aim.  It has multi-zoom, means you can zoom in a bit at a time unlike opera which has only 1 zoom in and 1 zoom out.  If your phone has a directional pad, a mouse cursor will appear and you can use the mouse instead of your finger.  It supports full flash which even iPhone does not support at the moment.  The menu interface is not blocking any part of the web page and you can view the entire screen.

 

Cons : The support for java seems to be a little flawed especially for those drop down menu boxes.  It would freeze sometimes and I had to try repeatedly, in fact more than 10 times to eventually bring out the menu.  This browser refuses to load if there is totally no connection.  The loading of a page seems slightly longer as compared to opera; perhaps it has a lot more flash content to load then opera.

There is one more mobile browser out there developed by Firefox which is called Fennac browser.  But I don’t recommend using it now as it is not officially completed yet.  It is only a prototype.  The loading time for it on a HTC TYTN II took so long that I almost gave up on it.  Almost close to a minute.  The loading of a page is not fast either; it seems to be stressing the device a lot. Eventually the page was loaded, but you cannot really surf without feeling a sense of frustration.  I gave up after just a few minutes.

Using it on the HTC HD 2 was a disaster.  It could start up within 10 secs, but it could not even start surfing.  It crashed with a box asking you if you want to send an error report.  What’s even worse is that it seems to screw up your Opera 9 browser’s settings that were bundled with HD 2 and even opera crashed as well.  I had to uninstall Fennac and reboot before everything went back to normal.

The evolution for mobile computing is going extremely fast and people will soon be expecting a full scale computer right in the palm of their hands. With such powerful Windows mobile browsers already capable of displaying more than just a basic web page, we can expect people to depend on these handsets more than a desktop in the near future.  Just imagine, watching a news broadcast while commuting on a train and reading the latest news online.  It is a lot more convenient that trying to hold on to a newspaper on a moving train.


By

This article was written by Guest Author Ng Chee Sian (Shingo). He is co-author on My Blog Review and has been the co-editor of Diy Computer Repairs for the past 12 months.

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    64 Comments

    • ShoppingMonk

      opera is best !

    • Amandeep Singh

      Nice share…

      I am happy with my iPhone 😛

    • Ng Chee Sian

      I wish to update users on a new browser I particularly liked. For users using Android phones or devices, you can use the “Dolphin Browser HD”. Get it from the Android Market for free. Flash fully supported and runs faster then any browsers I listed in this article.

    • Rohan

      This post needs to be refurbished.

      For Windows Mobile 6.X Standard

      I suggest :

      Internet Explorer
      Opera Mini v5.1.2

      Skyfire has discontinued its services ( in India also)
      Opera Mobile 10 is decent only in some handsets.

      • Ng Chee Sian

        There are specific “Opera Mobile 10” versions meant for touchscreen and non touch screen devices. If you find that a particular version is not going well for you, try the other versions.

    • Hire PHP Developers

      Hi

      internet explorer is the hottest web browser for the day and mostly used world wide for the computers but the mobile phones due to platform dependent its up to windows mobile phones this would be very better if we can use IE on all mobile phones.

    • Technology

      Good thinking!!!!!!!!!!! By this are using many features easily……..

    • Yen@iPhone 4 Cases

      Opera mini is the best browser for windows mobile phones. I personally recommend it.

    • sam@web design

      I am now going to install skyfire now as I got impressed with that from comments above.

    • sam@seo services company

      I am using Skyfire in my HTC. It is fast for me. I don’t know much about others.

    • Illinois CD Rates

      Who told skyfire is faster. No its false. Opera mini is faster than anyone.

      • Ng Chee Sian

        Yes, Opera mini is very fast, but it has quite a few limitations in case you did not realize. If you encounter a situation whereby the site requires you to read a “Capcha” Code, the code will not be clear enough for you to make out what it is.

        It will also have difficulty surfing sites that require a certain level of SSL authentication. Anyway, the Opera mini speed has already been integrated to the Opera mobile browser.

        Simply go to the settings of that browser and put a check on “Turbo” mode. And it will surf like Opera mini

    • Sundar

      I am using skyfire now. It is a fast browser. Also loads fast when compared to other ones.

    • Blogging Junction

      I will have to buy a Windows mobile phone to try them. I don’t have one yet 🙁

    • Babul

      Lot of internet’s great features are now showing up on most of the GPRS enabled mobile phones. It is due to the help of these browsers. Good share.

    • Law School

      The Windows Marketplace is another attractive feature that is offered by the new OS.

    • Ecommerceweb

      Many people do not realize that a mobile phone can cause as much of a privacy concern as a computer.

    • Sandeep Singh

      opera !! has always mobile favourite
      .-= Sandeep Singh's last blog…INDIA LOSES SANIA =-.

    • How to tell good seo companies from bad

      I think Skyfire is the best browser for windows mobile. It is really working.

    • Hari@How To Lose Weight

      Where can I download opera mini web browser for my mobile. Is it free?

      • Ng Chee Sian

        http://www.opera.com/mobile/

        But opera mini is very limited in features, I suggest opera Symbian mobile if your mobile handset supports the “.sis” extension for apps.
        .-= Ng Chee Sian’s last blog…Website Monetization =-.

    • Freelancing Marketplace

      Opera Mini is far and away the best web browser the mobile device market has yet produced.

    • Car Donation Baltimore

      @computer support
      What is the home site of Skyfire. I bought one windows mobile yesterday and looking for web browser.

      • Ng Chee Sian

        http://get.skyfire.com/

        Skyfire has the nokia version as well with the .sis extension. It will work almost as though you are using on a Windows Mobile phone. So long your Nokia phone is a Symbian 6 phone, it will be able to use Skyfire too. Examples of Symbian 6 phones are N-series and E-series.
        .-= Ng Chee Sian’s last blog…Technorati Blog Claim Pt3 =-.

    • Computer Support

      Skyfire is potentially the best of the bunch – but there is a new kid on the block…

    • Chicago Car Donations 

      Skyfire with its regular version updates just pips Opera Mobile 9.7 beta.

    • Lanzarote Holiday Guide

      Windows Mobile is taking its place as the premier phone OS in the world.

    • smoking effects

      I am going to buy a new windows mobile next month. I hope this post and all the comments here will help me to choose the right browser for my new phone.

    • Ng Chee Sian

      I am not sure if you walked in from a portal from a year ago, but welcome to the year of 2010. I may need to correct the readers that IRIS Browser has already ended its development. Read the development portion of Wikipedia

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_Browser

      Quote: The UI was greatly enhanced all the way up until 1.1.9 which was released on July 6, 2009. RIM acquired Torch Mobile on August 24, 2009[8] and Torch Mobile spokesman George Staikos has announced that Windows Mobile development will not continue.[5]

      And also the latest Opera browser is Opera 10 beta 3. You can download a newer version of that browser here.

      http://www.opera.com/mobile/
      .-= Ng Chee Sian’s last blog…Wordpress Blog Transfer – New Host =-.

    • Jewellery

      Opera Mobile 10 beta is faster at rendering pages. Good, right?

      • Ng Chee Sian

        Yes, Opera is one of the best universal browsers in terms of speed in loading and viewing quality. Now it needs to work on Java support and Flash plugin.

        For most general surfing needs, I recommend Opera. But since both are free, I suggest downloading them first and send them to your own email. They may start selling these browsers in future, who knows.
        .-= Ng Chee Sian’s last blog…Search Engine Optimization – Web CEO =-.

    • Claire

      IRIS Browser has recently stepped into the arena, while Opera Mobile have responded with a new version – 9.7beta

      • shingo

        I am not sure if you walked in from a portal from a year ago, but welcome to the year of 2010. I may need to correct the readers that IRIS Browser has already ended its development. Read the development portion of Wikipedia

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_Browser

        Quote: The UI was greatly enhanced all the way up until 1.1.9 which was released on July 6, 2009. RIM acquired Torch Mobile on August 24, 2009[8] and Torch Mobile spokesman George Staikos has announced that Windows Mobile development will not continue.[5]

        And also the latest Opera browser is Opera 10 beta 3. You can download a newer version of that browser here.

        http://www.opera.com/mobile/
        .-= shingo’s last blog…Jailbreak iPhone iPod Touch =-.

    • Adventure Holidays

      Opera Mobile is fastest, and therefore makes for a better basic browsing experience.

    • jenny@mobile phones

      Thanks for sharing this review. I haven’t tried these out but I was considering to. Your mentioning of the pros and cons really helps.

    • Tenerife Holidays

      The Opera Mobile browser has been seen as the default choice by Windows Mobile Phones.

    • Building and constructions

      @ Social – this is a new message for me. I thought it works also with Java phones.

    • Hire PHP Programmer

      The article is good provides information about Windows Mobile phone found out that the Internet Explorer and which is the best browsers for Windows Mobile Phones.I like the article very much and hope to see more of such articles as it is very informative.

    • social networking software

      I use Skyfire and it only works on phones that support Windows Mobile or Symbian.

    • Hotel Travel

      The big improvement is that all smartphone web browsers have implemented to any day now is the integration of the desktop interface with the mobile content delivery format.

    • electronic cigarette

      I am using skyfire browser for my mobile. It is working well. I am very happy to get it.

    • Video Games

      Skyfire makes one of the best browsers for Windows Mobile, a fully Flash compatible.

    • model beauty fashion

      I am using skyfire and it is the fastest and reliable mobile browser I have ever seen.

    • Compare Mortgages

      On my E71 – where the Nokia browser is so slow to load most pages as to be almost unusable – Opera Mobile 10 is a godsend. It works better for me.

    • cellphone shopper

      I didnt try it yet..but I want to get more feedback before I decide to have one..

    • real estate gardening home

      I am using Skyfire. It works perfectly for my phone. Thanks.

    • propane burner

      I recommend Skyfire. It compensates for a mobile device’s small screen by letting you scroll and zoom selectively on the page.

    • Rohit Sane

      I personally use Skyfire and Opera Mobile on my phone. These are pretty decent browsers and solve my day to day problems.

    • social network design

      The Skyfire Browser lets you browse the web like you do on a home computer.

    • Ramkumar

      I know Opera works great on Nokia makes, But Im using SkyFire, it is really a cool browser. Much better than the included Internet Explorer

    • Hami

      I didn't liked the new beta version of Opera on my symbian.. it was quite un-easy to use.. reverted back to the classic Opera available 😀

    • Mark

      Skyfire gives the Windows Mobile user a browser that is almost a replica of desktop software. It is its flexibility that has made Skyfire so popular. I am using it.

    • Ruchi

      Many of my friend using windows, I am going to share with them.
      Good post 🙂

    • Sriraj

      Opera Mobile is my fav. You’re right that it doesn’t quite work well with flash websites, but the whole look of the browser is amazing. The tabbed feature too is just great.
      Apart from Win Mo phones, you can get this to work with S60 5th edition phones too. Lower Symbian phones can have Opera Mini but that’s only good as the OSS browser.

    • blinkky

      I’m not using Windows Mobile….Maybe these can be useful someday =)

    • Anish K.S

      What about ff’s Fennec ?.

    • Akshay

      Looks like you made some error in your observations.How can a browser make a difference of 20 sec.
      You might have disabled images or something for others….
      Start up time is still understandable…

      • shingo

        If you noticed, the loading time is the time taken for the device to load a full entire page of facebook profile. With, its cache cleared of course. If you had entered it once, it would make use of its temp internet files to make the loading faster.

        It was a comparison between a 400Mhz device and a 1Ghz device. Thus a huge difference. I took the timing from the point the loading icon started spinning till it stopped . Even though the page seemed loaded, I wondered what was it loading in the background.

    • sriganesh

      good post, but its a big thing for me right now. but its good to have a tips before use it

    • sudharsan @ technoskillonline

      mmm good collections
      in addition you can also use Google wireless transcoder – http://hellboundbloggers.com/2010/01/11/access-all-websites-via-mobile/

      • NpXp

        Opera rules the mobile world. I can remember the times I was browsing through my mobile phones back in those days. I had a really good time and now I hardly use my GPRS :p
        .-= NpXp’s last blog…5 Best Free WordPress Plugins For Bloggers =-.

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