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View Poll Results: What's Your Favorite Browser Now?
Stock Froyo Internet Browser 7 20.59%
Dolphin HD 18 52.94%
xScope 7 20.59%
Firefox 4 3 8.82%
Opera Mobile 11 1 2.94%
Skyfire 0 0%
Other 2 5.88%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old March 30th, 2011, 11:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question What's Your Favorite Browser Now?

Well, now with flash support on the Epic along with new and improved browser apps, I was curious to see which browser would be my new favorite. For the past few months, my favorite was Dolphin HD for more extended browsing (I like the gestures, too) and xScope for quick reads.

With Firefox 4 and Opera 11 (finally making use of hardware acceleration), it piqued my interest to give them a try against my two chosen browsers. I had Skyfire, but didn't like the social network bar at the bottom. Used it prior to froyo for videos, but uninstalled it after the update.

The test:

1) Make sure the default browser option is disabled so that I get a pop-up list of browsers when I link.
2) Use direct links from emails, Google News & Weather, Twitter and NewsRob Reader.
3) Use the same link for all browsers.
4) Changed each browser settings to match as much as possible, not all settings are available, with Firefox having the least options.

Test for basic functions and capabilities. Loading speed (relative, no stopwatch used), initial rendering of text, double-tap zoom, pinch-and-zoom, scrolling, multiple tab/page management and flash support.

I didn't really test the stock Internet browser for two reasons: 1) the current checkerboard effect, 2) the browser selection doesn't seem to stick after choosing the stock from the pop-up list, so had to repeat that step with many web pages.

Obviously, this is far from scientific but it is geared toward how I most use the browser.

Findings:

Firefox 4 - Fugetaboutit, too much aggravation. It's consistently the slowest of the bunch for initial load. After the page is loaded, it's always at the overview full page view. Double-tap barely brings the text in close enough to read without squinting. Pinch-zoom will do it, but the page is not rendered to fit the screen, so I have to scroll and pan. No checkerboard. The tab management is not as good because it's hidden to the left. When I tap a link to open in new tab, the tab is loaded behind the scene with no option to change. When I exit or hit Back, the tabs remain saved. So, upon coming back into the browser, I have no idea if there are multiple tabs loaded or not without first swiping to the right to see. No flash support. (I don't understand how people are liking this browser. It must work better on different device than the Epic.)

Dolphin HD and xScope Pro - Same as before. Initial load speed compared to Firefox is night and day. The initial load also renders the text to readable size and fits perfectly (most of the time) to screen. Both browsers have a setting for this. Double-tap and pinch-zoom renders text well and fit to screen. No checkerboard when scrolling or panning the page. Multiple tabs/pages are easily initiated and managed. Flash support in both, but could be better. Flash video will play, but it was very difficult to pause the video once it starts as it won't register my touch.

Opera Mobile 11 - Initial load speed is comparable to xScope, might even be slightly faster. The initial load unfortunately is the overview full page view, no option for auto-zoom. So an additional step is needed every time. Double-tap zoom and pinch-zoom works great, as the text is rendered perfectly to the screen. No checkerboard when scrolling or panning the page. Multiple tabs are easily initiated and managed. Flash support was fine and no trouble registering my touch to pause the video.

If Opera Mobile 11 has an option to auto-zoom like Dolphin HD and xScope to save from having to double-tap or pinch-zoom every time, it would be an easy choice for me as the one and only browser. Darn.

I'm keeping all three, with xScope Pro for quick hits, Dolphin HD for more extended browsing and Opera Mobile 11 for when I'm bored (and hoping they will add the auto-zoom option.)

So, what's your favorite browser now?

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Last edited by badankles; March 30th, 2011 at 11:32 PM. Reason: Added note about Skyfire usage
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Old March 30th, 2011, 11:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I like xscope but also been using miren more and more lately. Alot of features that are not the norm, the one draw back is font size is a little small big can be adjusted or double tap to bring to size.
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Old March 31st, 2011, 01:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Dolphin HD all the way! Skyfire is best for phones that don't have Flash player, though.
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Old March 31st, 2011, 09:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I just use the stock browser I guess, but it's probably time to try something new - ever since I updated to 2.2 the stock browser craps out on me like every other day and I have to reboot. 2.2 has been a pain in my ass

Also, yes to Skyfire being awesome for non-flash devices (I use it on the iPad and it's pretty good).
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Old March 31st, 2011, 09:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Dolphin HD for occasional passive browsing; the rest of the time, XScope. In my experience, XScope is the most usable browser of any you mentioned. For all its sexiness, Dolphin imposes its branding and has trouble with certain forms -- someting you don't want to learn halfway through a flash site or a detailed series of fields.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 12:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I use Zirco browser and quite like it. I have Firefox all set up & synched with all my bookmarks from my laptop but when I navigate to a web page (any web page) all I ever see is a blank page.

I'm rooted & on EB13...could this be because I'm not on EC05???
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 01:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ok, I guess with my most recent ROM update I'm on EC05...so I can't figure out why this is what I see when I try to use firefox:



And it's the same for ANY website I try to navigate to.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 08:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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@droidnewb, that is weird. i don't see any reason why firefox would do that unless the ROM your using excluded some system function that firefox expected to be there.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 08:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaspeneer View Post
Dolphin HD for occasional passive browsing; the rest of the time, XScope. In my experience, XScope is the most usable browser of any you mentioned. For all its sexiness, Dolphin imposes its branding and has trouble with certain forms -- someting you don't want to learn halfway through a flash site or a detailed series of fields.
Agreed, XScope is fast, looks very much like Crome and I like that it hides the notification bar.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 09:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badankles View Post
@droidnewb, that is weird. i don't see any reason why firefox would do that unless the ROM your using excluded some system function that firefox expected to be there.
I'm stumped.
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