Browser war: iPhone 3gs vs Windows Phone 7

Eck. It was bound to happen. Someone put up an iPhone 3GS up against the prototype Samsung 'Taylor" Windows Phone 7 device in a mini-browser war.

Although a lot of press have been giving Mobile IE a 'not bad as we thought' review, it still pales in comparison to Apple's HTML5 based browser.

Now in fairness, Mobile IE may not be finished yet and in fact, is probably not, so we should expect it to perform better by release. On top of that, we know Mobile IE can be updated independently of the whole OS, allowing, in theory, frequent updates to improve the browsing experience.

Having said all of that, who here would not have liked to see WP7 beat the iPhone 3GS out? It sure would have been a nice ego boost and headline grabber. And without 3rd party browsers being available, at least for awhile (Microsoft has said they may be willing to work with companies to offer browser alternatives, if demand is high enough), we won't have much choice. Come on Mobile IE team!

Watch the full, somewhat painful video, after the break!

[NewsGeek via 1800PocketPC; Thanks Saijo]

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • This proves that WP7 will be a failure. All trolling aside, this is why we need options. IE is okay at best on my HD2. Opera has done a fine job refining it's browser and I can't think of a better mobile browser on any other platform. Hopefully we will see a Opera browser on WP7 within a few months after debut.
  • I've never been a fan of Opera on my Touch Pro 2. I prefer Skyfire and IE7 after that.
  • Malatesta, "Having said all of that, who here would not have liked to see WP7 beat the iPhone 3GS out? It sure would have been a nice ego boost and headline grabber." I know this is a WM site, but where's the objectivity?? You'd have been happy to beat a one year old device? And you think that would have been headline grabbing? It would have only been headline grabbing if that was an iPhone 4! The fact that it can't even beat the 3GS is just sad. I'm not sure who will choose WP7 over Android and iPhone except the MS employees that are getting them for free.
  • I'm not objective, this site is not objective. In fact, objectivity in reporting is complete BS, same in academia. It would have been headline grabbing because anything that makes the iPhone look bad grabs headlines, it's that simple. Not my choice, just the way the media reports on things.
  • Ok, objective or not WP7 beating out the 3GS does not make the iPhone look bad. It should make you question why WP7 is not comparing itself to the current competition. By that logic, I'm going to compare an Asus Eee netbook to the Apollo 11 flight computer and then gloat that the Asus can do more computations per second. That's just as rediculous of an argument as the one you're making.
  • What argument am I making? Am I bragging about how awesome WP7 did compared to the iPhone 3GS? No, far from it. If I wanted to obfuscate this video/results, I wouldn't have posted the article in the first place. I posted it because it is newsworthy and potentially a bad sign for Mobile IE. Do you think it would have done better against the iPhone 4? And FYI, the site that did the video is not a US site. The iPhone 4 is not available for a lot of international countries yet. Damn people, if you don't like what is posted here or how it is written, it's the internet...go get your own site and make your own videos. We just report on what is out there. Find me a video of WP7 up against the iPhone 4 with different results and I'll gladly post it. If we had our own WP7 device, we'd have done it ourselves.
  • The way you attack the commenter is child like
    IF you cant take the criticism than you should leave writing articles to people that are more mature.
    The reason you have not received a preview device is probably due to the immature people that are allowed to be editors on this site. plenty of other sites received devices. Also your logic on comparing the peview device to an iphone 4 if flawed. It should only be compared to an iphone 4 and not a 3gs so it can truely show how horrible mobile ie is. One last point. This is the internet, where people can visit what every site they want and say what ever they want about said site. If the people that run the site are not mature enough to handle critism than they are the ones that should leave. p.s. This as about as far from "reporting" as you can get
  • How am I "attacking the commenter"? By merely responding to him with the same tone? I can take criticism pretty well but I think the article written was pretty even-handed, that I will defend. Of course people can say whatever they want on this site--we didn't delete or edit what the poster said. And like you said, since this is "the internet" I too can respond to those comments, especially if I feel they are unwarranted or just wrong. If a commenter wants to dish it out, that's totally cool here, but certainly expect me to respond. For instance, if someone new here calls me immature, "child like" and takes a dig at our site/the writers and questions our "logic", I might have to respond to that in kind...especially if that comes off as attacking the writer, to paraphrase what you said. Your theory is wrong (but thanks for going for the cheap shot), we are getting a device soon, we have our confirmation already. We're just not Engadget, ZDNet, Slashgear or other top tier general gadget sites. None of the Windows Mobile specific sites received a technical preview phone yet. Finally, how is comparing it to the iPhone 3GS flawed again? How does it invalidate the results? It's a comparison to a very popular phone on the market--nothing wrong with that logic. The iPhone 4 comparison will come soon enough, don't sweat it.
  • Let me be clear. I am not attacking you nor the site. I've been reading this site for many years and I plan on continuing to read your blog. That said, I'll comment on articles in a way to advance the dialog beyond what the original blog contained. I agree with you that you should report on the results of the speed test; I just didn't agree with your conclusion, had WP7 won against a 3GS, that that was anything headline worthy. That would've only showed it was still a year or more behind the iPhone and Android devices that are already out. I can't speak for how much influence you or this site has, but it's clearly more than the influence I have. So, by raising these points I was merely pointing out the rather large deficiencies in the IE platform; and maybe MS should look into Webkit or something else to address the problem. You and WMExperts could advance that idea. Cheers.
  • Cagrino, instead of arguing about this on the basis of objectivity, how you go blast that guy from a few days ago ( THAT is what should piss someone off that worries about objectivity in an internet blog.
  • Can we have more info on the method of the test?
    Were they both on WiFi? Or cellular network? Same provider (AT&T)?
    I just tried loading on my WP7 and it loaded faster than both of these in your video.
  • NewsGeek did the tests, not our site (otherwise we'd have done a better job, natch).
  • Not a fair comparison. You are comparing a prototype device running a preview OS with a production device running a released OS which has gone through multiple updates.
  • Pretty sure I mentioned that in the 3rd paragraph. Even though that is the case, I'm not sure why that means Mobile IE shouldn't be capable of beating an old browser--we're about 4 months from release.
  • Well this is BS. The load times here has to do with the connection obviously. In the Engadget preview they said that the browser was just as fast as the iPhone. You post this like its the only clip out there showing IE for WP7 load a site. You might wanna look at these and the first link show it loading the new york time much faster. at 4:20 at 3:40
  • Keywords: "...I have some of this cached" in Miller's video Now *that* seems like a BS comparison too. And I don't see the iPhone in the second video,so not sure what it is comparing. Look, like I mentioned in the article, most sites have given Mobile IE pretty good ratings, but that still does not change what is seen in that video. Find me a video which contradicts what was shown and I'll gladly post it. Loads time and connection is one aspect, rendering is the other. HTML5/Webkit has proven itself. IE7 has not.
  • I find it weird you would question these clips and not the clip you post even though you have no idea how or in what conditions the test was done.
  • In Miller's video, he clearly states SOME OF THIS IS CACHED so I can readily dismiss those speed results. The second video compares it to nothing, so not sure what I'm supposed to make from it, relative to the iPhone. The video I linked to, I am assuming that it was not cached and both had the same connections--there is no other reason in the video to suspect otherwise as they are a good site. It seems like you just don't like the results.
  • Ok Mal, I get it. You still pissed because MS didn't send you guys a WP7 device to preview like the rest of the cool gadget blogs. I am as well, 'cos I think WMExperts is a really cool gadget blog too.
  • You raise some valid points and criticisms and I responded to your post. You don't like my responses, so you take a swipe at me personally. Nice, keep it classy.
  • If the browser does not end up being as good as Opera Mobile currently is on my HD2 or as good as the even nicer browser on Android phones like the Nexus One I will have no interest in Windows Phone 7. If they can't make their own browser good enough they should allow better ones to be installed.
  • This is a fake video i mean, even on WM 6.5 IE6 load nytimes 10 times faster that what the video show. And is not even close with other reviews out there. So, fake, fake and fake. Nice try apple funboy.
  • two thoughts: 1) browser wars will exist on the mobile platform as they do on pcs. fact of life. everything on the mobile platform is up for grabs. msft have a lot of catching up to do 2) now that carriers are setting upper limits on data plans, we ought to start evaluating browsers on their data sipping efficiency. carriers don't have the bandwidth to handle the uptake in data caused by smartphone. so any technology that can render websites more efficiently data-wise will have a selling point.
  • To be fair, everyone should have expected that MIE in WP7 doesn't do great when HTML5 comes into play. The hybrid IE7/8 (i guess it's like IE7.5) engine they use doesn't do much in that regard. But I don't really care, as much as some might want to make this sound like a deal breaker or the end of the world. The thing is this, average consumers don't know what the hell HTML5 even is, they just want a website to load and to work in a speedy fashion, two things that MIE will do fine. And second, the way MS has made WP7, as stated above, MIE, and basically most parts of the OS can be updated at any time without needing a whole firmware flash of the phone. If you're working on a new mobile OS and you don't have a finished rendering engine to use (IE9 isn't done yet), you have to go with what you have, IE7/8. That's just common sense people. It also takes lots of tweaking and optimizing/porting of code to get a desktop browser like IE8 which is x86 based to work on WP7 in a small, lighter and ARM based package. That said, after IE9 is done on the desktop, I expect a MIE version based on it's rendering engine a few months after that.
  • If you choose a Windows Phone 7 handset, then part of the deal is that the only browser will be Internet Explorer. There will be no SkyFire, Firefox or WebKit on Windows Phone 7.
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  • WP7Today The Truth About The Windows Phone 7 vs iPhone 3GS Browser Speed Test
  • Mobile IE is better than any other browser as it is safe enough to use.
  • Why on earth didn't Microsoft just go with WebKit? Come on. That would've made life so much easier...
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