Try These Great Windows Mobile Browsers

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The default browser on Windows Phone 6.x operating systems is Internet Explorer but some manufacturers, like HTC for instance, are shipping their devices with other browsers defaulted, in this case Opera. Similar to Android, where the default browser is up to most of the expectations, so is Internet Explorer on Windows Phones but other developers managed to nicely integrate additional features and include them as proposed alternatives for Internet browsing, let it be better interface, tabbed browsing or speed. Find some we found interesting below and please note that they are rounded up taking the stock versions into consideration, as available for download, ran on stock HTC HD2 operated by Windows Phone 6.5, fresh out of hard reset for every test.

1. Internet Explorer (Stock):

IE


The stock Internet Explorer might suit all your needs, it’s lightweight, doesn’t have a cluttered user interface and performs well overall. We found:

– Above average page loading speed

– Landscape support via accelerometer

– No pinch to zoom

– Fast scrolling

– Smooth scrolling

– No checkerboard effect

– In-page Flash support with Adobe Flash Lite – occasional Insufficient Memory errors

– No Tabbed browsing

2. Opera Mobile 10:

OperaMobile10


Opera Mobile is a great contender offering a pleasant, at places a bit crowded interface with tons of customization options and settings, along Internet Explorer can be used on a daily basis as a default Internet Browser. We found:

– Relatively fast page loading speed

– Smooth scrolling

– Some checkerboard effect while scrolling

– Landscape support via accelerometer

– No pinch to zoom (versions shipped with HTC devices have pinch to zoom working)

– No Flash support on stock

– Tabbed browsing

– Speed dial

3. Opera Mini 5.1:

OperaMini5


If you prefer a more lightweight experience then definitely Opera Mini is for you, regardless of the processor’s power on your device and memory capacity. We found:

– Relatively fast page loading speed

– Smooth scrolling

– Fast scrolling

– No checkerboard effect while scrolling

– Landscape support via accelerometer

– No pinch to zoom

– Tabbed browsing

– No Flash support

4. UC Browser:

UCBrowser


We found the interface too heavy and rendering seemed off at times but the launch time of the application is remarkably fast. Overall, we found:

– Medium page loading speed

– Rendering is off

– No pinch to zoom

– No Landscape support via accelerometer

– No Flash

– Jerky scrolling

– No checkerboard effect when scrolling

– Tabbed browsing

5. Uzard:

Uzard

Uzard was loading up fast too and the rendering is on par with Internet Explorer and Opera Mobile but we don’t like the mouse cursor on the screen as well as the slow and choppy scrolling. We found:

– Medium page loading speed

– Choppy scrolling

– Needs time to catch up and load the page while scrolling

– Slow scrolling

– No pinch to zoom

– No Landscape support via accelerometer

– Flash Support via own Media Player

– Flip-like tabbed browsing

6. Netfront 4.1:

Netfront


Netfront simply wouldn’t load complex sites like pocketnow.com or engadget.com returning an Insufficient Memory error. We found:

– Fast page loading speed

– Minimal UI

– Most of the times ran into Insufficient Memory Errors

– No Landscape support via accelerometer

– No Flash

– Unreliable due to several errors

Skyfire, as we reported, announced killing Windows Phone support as of December 31, 2010. Nevertheless, we tried and hard as we did, we couldn’t get it to work. The browser wouldn’t connect to anything using neither Data Connection nor WiFi.

Fennec is still the baby project of Firefox for a long time now and with Windows Phone 7 out, we’re skeptical about whether it will ever enter a final stage. We tried this one too and, just like with Skyfire, we couldn’t get it to work hard as we tried. The browser wouldn’t connect to anything using neither Data Connection nor WiFi.

What is your favorite browser for Windows Phone 6.x and is it reliable enough to use it on a daily basis as your default one? We would recommend stock Internet Explorer or Opera Mobile 10 (or bundled for that).

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About The Author
Anton D. Nagy
Anton is the Editor-in-Chief of Pocketnow. As publication leader, he aims to bring Pocketnow even closer to you. His vision is mainly focused on, and oriented towards, the audience. Anton’s ambition, adopted by the entire team, is to transform Pocketnow into a reference media outlet.Given his background, and knowing his potential, something tells us he will succeed this time too! Stick around!