Windows Phone 8 latest SDK shows improved HTML5 benchmark, but still behind iPhone 5

Now that the Windows Phone 8 SDK is nearing full-public release and the OS is RTM, we can get a better idea of some of the HTML5 benchmarks.

We last compared these numbers a few months ago and while HTML5 compatibility has greatly increased from IE9 to IE10, it’s still not as robust as Android (ICS), iOS6 or BlackBerry 10.

The current build of Windows Phone 8 scored 319 (+ 6 bonus) on the HTML5 Test with iOS6 (via the iPhone 5) coming in at 360 (+9 Bonus). Of course all of that is ironically trumped by RIMs in-gestation BlackBerry 10, which has a super high score of 447 (+10 bonus) and while that is high, 3rd party browser Dolphin for Android (currently in beta) gets 450 (+3 bonus).

WP Central

Some of the latest features in IE10

  • IE10 for Windows Phone 8 - 319 (+ 6)
  • iPhone 5 - 360 (+9)
  • BB10 (beta) – 447 (+10)
  • Dolphin (beta, Android) – 450 (+3)

Does HTML5 mean that much? Yes and no. For one, the HTML5 feature list is in flux, although the test takes that into consideration when breaking down scores. In short, yes, having a higher score is better as it means when it comes to forms, data entry, rendering tables, etc. the more compatible the browser, the more accurate it will look. Does it mean that we will notice the difference? Maybe not but we wouldn’t lie in saying we wish Windows Phone 8 scored a little higher (even if it nearly tripled its IE9 score of 121).

Of course there are other browser benchmarks to consider, including speed and how the OS itself handles things. For that, we’ll have to wait a little longer. One thing though is for certain, the competition is not resting on its laurels when it comes to mobile browsers these days. And regardless of HTML5 tests, we're confident that IE10 on Windows Phone 8 will be a great improvement over its predecessor. 

Edit: A lot of people seem to be suggesting that the areas where IE10 on Windows Phone 8 is lagging are non-important, "experimental" features. This is quite far from the truth though. Most of the features missing compared to other platforms, including iOS6 are in fact 'Official HTML5 specifications'. Only 1 was experimental: Web Audio API.

Related and more information: iOS6 Safari currently beats out Windows Phone 8 for HTML5 features

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.

  • Wow, so why is IE in WP8 so far behind the others?
  • Microsoft chooses not to support some of the more experimental stuff in the standard because as soon as IE supports it, it basically gets a defacto stamp of approval, even if there are differences in how everything is handled between browsers.
    Pretty much a score above 300 is "good enough", as most web developers are rather conservative in support of bleeding edge standards. 
  • Most of those experimental features are all of Google's "look what Chrome can do" stuff.
  • I don't think it's all that bad of a difference... Although I would look for WP8 to be owning iOS every once in a while. :)
  • ie10 on win 8 will be hardware enhanced dont think that these test account for that just wait and see i doubt apple will beat win at anything. that said i hope that win 8 will support other browsers since it has better native support
  • +1000 and this is not a speed test, only a bare hrml5 "compatibility score" ;)
  • IE9 on wp7 is already like that too
  • Most browsers already are hardware accelerated.
    On Windows PCs, IE, Firefox, and Chrome are already hardware accelerated, as is Safari on Mac. Opera also has hardware acceleration but it needs to be turned on by the user.
    On mobile, IE on WP, Chrome on Android, Safari on iOS, and the Blackberry Playbook browser all are hardware accelerated.
  • I'm hoping that with the increased modularity of WP8 that we'll see the mobile IE release schedule fall more in line with that of the desktop. As someone who prefers mobile sites to apps, things like proper HTML rendering and javascript speed are very important to me, especially since I use Android and iOS devices from time to time and can notice the difference. Also, for reference, the stock Galaxy Nexus browser scores 281 points with 3 bonus points, and Chrome scores 369 points with 11 bonus points. The version of Dolphin on most Android devices probably doesn't boast anywhere near 450 points, so I doubt that's the "experience" most people are getting, for lack of a better word.
  • C'mon Microsoft... You have a chance to come out with a device that will beat all others and still screw up? Get back to the drawing board and come out with something that will be ahead.
  • Don't just give out random criticism. As others have mentioned many of the features Microsoft has left out are experimental and not necessary.
  • I'm sorry, but this is not factually correct. We compared the missing features the last time and the majority missing (compared to iOS6) were in fact, Official HTML5 specficiations and not "experimental".
  • Things are different this time
  • IE10 on mobile and desktop have the same score of 319 and 6 bonus points which would indicate similarity in IE10 performance on both platforms and with what we've seen so far about IE10 on windows 8 (metro and desktop), it works remarkably well.
  • So is there going to be Flash support for IE 10?
  • On WP8? No. Only Android had some Flash support, and Adobe killed that already too. It's just too impractical, apparently. Besides, Flash needs to die (which, btw, is one of only a few points I agree with Steve Jobs about).
  • I agree it needs to die but there are still thousands of sites that use it.
  • True, but that doesn't change the fact that Adobe discontinued it. Even my Nexus 7 with Jellybean doesn't have it, without some work.
  • Lumia running Tango gets 138 + 5 bonus, so at least there have been some improvements in our existing platform :)
  • Even if the scores does not matter much, it's still better to be in the top than the last. though the quality might be different in real life usage but the score sheet can be use as a marketing tools to cripple the browser when compare IE10 mobile to others.
  • There is no way for any platform to reign at the top of each category for long periods of time. This is just one area where they have beaten them, and the general consumer doesn't care
  • Daniel, IE10 more than doubled IE9's score. It's closer to triple it's score.
  • I have yet to be seated next to someone with an iPhone, browse to the same site and see any difference.
  • Try for flight planning. It's virtually unusable on wp7. You can't scroll around the maps. You can't select points by double-tapping like you can on iOS.
  • Works for me on my DVP. Single tap. You may be zoomed in too much.
  • Why does the post say nearly doubled when 319 is more than double 121?
  • What about html render speed ? That's whats more important, not only "compatibility" with strange html5 hidden features !!
  • It would be more useful if we could break down the results of the tests to show what's "missing" between them. It's very likely the the missing pieces are pieces that are in flux and rather than wasting resources on them now, they're waiting on final standards for HTML5. That said, HTML5 is one of those things that it'd be great if they'd crap or get off the pot about it. Finalize it, and let's get it rolling out.
  • We did compare that the last time. There was only one 'experimental' area which WP8 did not meet with iOS6. The majority missing were in Official HTLM5 specifications.
  • Unacceptable. (Just wait for the field tests.)
  • Who makes IE?..
  • Ah, finally, the ONE thing that's "better" on iPhone5. :P
  • +1
  • The real question is how noticeable and practical are these differences in score with any real sites.  I'd bet not much.  Until HTML5's features set is locked and finalized will we see the companies really strive for 100% adoption of the spec.
  • My Firefox browser  on my PC scores 331 + 6...
    so who cares? I have never felt Firefox sucks at compatibility (it sucks at some other things though)...
    these tests are good for Google to hail Chrome with bogus stats.
  • Got 138 on my Radar...
    Only thing I can think of not working is flash, can't say to have noticed anything else not working in the browser?
    Seems to be quick opening web pages and easy to use.
    But is this about security in browser and on the phone also?
  • hmm my samsung omnia Windows phone 7 version 7.10.8773
    score 138 :)
  • Same as clausbrdk, scored 138 with 5 bonus points on my HTC Trophy running Tango. 
  • I <3 WP but make no mistake, BB10 will be beast!
  • A beast that nobody will give a damn about. Without any apps or a proper ecosystem it will be a DOA.
    To make this complete...RIM neither has the talent nor the resources or marketing power of the big tech companies like Google, Apple or Microsoft...they will get their butt whooped and then become fodder for a big company.
  • Lol damn.. Well alright
  • Wish I knew exactly which specifications it doesn't implement. There are a ton of them and usually when a browser leaves them out its because they're specifications that they don't anticipate being widely used for a while. On well, I'm still happy to see IE coming up in the world. I had to lear web design when everyone and their mother was using IE6 and that was pure misery.
  • Hope wp7 sees an update so it doesn't fall behind that quickly. Even if it isn't ie10, just some improvements in ie9 would be welcomed (like word wrap).
  • This doesn't matter to me as I am not considering iPhone or Android. Blackberry, maybe, but unlikely. I am thrilled that WP8 shows such a huge gain over WP7!
  • my Dell VP with 8773 gets 138+5 not 121. I think we should wait for a real world number form a real device not the emulator
  • If you're comparing the SDK's phone VM to actual hardware, this is not a logical comparison.
  • Until I see a side-by-side 920 vs iPhone 5 I don't care. WP8 running on a VM vs the A6? Come on. 
  • Its nice to see more stuff getting supported. But i don't think the features that are currently missing are that "groundbreaking". I only hope to see those added input types in IE10, but i doubt they will be used much.
    There were a lot of html5 features missing from ie9 that were mostly css3 related. Stuff like gradients, box model and other stuff that is going to be used a lot by designers/programmers and that is very essential to get the same look on every platform. While there are alternatives for some items, it is always nice to see that you don't have to do weird stuff to get all browsers to the same level of performance, detail and design.
    One thing that i hope microsoft is implementing is updating browsers by patching or OS updates. Currently you are stuck with your browserversion until MS releases a total new version. Since HTML5 isn't ready yet, most browsers use their custom css rules to get some functionality going. Like border-radius (to get round edges), which needs a custom rule for every browser otherwise it wont work. So -webkit-border-radius, -o-border-radius, -ie-border-radius and -moz-border-radius (for safari/chrome, opera, internet explorer and firefox). Which is kind of a pain in the ass as you want your code to be as small as possible and as clean as possible.
    Currently jQuery Mobile is well fitted for WP7, but since the browser still lacks some features (like gradients), not everything looks the same. For IE10 it looks that most problems are in the past and we finally can say that IE10 supports 99% of the features the programmers use right now and going to use in the future. A big deal if i say so myself
  • I look forward to the day where we don't have to use browser specific border radius css rules. Those are such a pain. >_
  • I look forward to the new browser upgrades. I think most people may not be considering, if WP8's code is similar to the desktop version, then I would think that MS can and may put out over the air updates. This is assuming that what I read about over the air support is true. Just a thought
  • Daniel.  Lets not compare emulators to an actual device.   As others have mentioned, 121 is not accurate for Wp7 html5 test as their actual devices (and mine) get 138.  
    An actual WP8 device may score higher than 319 do to many reasons. (ie not all features implented in emulator)  I would look for something higher than 319 but less than 360.  
  • I don't quite know how to word this, as I know little about web technologies, but I really wish that ie mobile would support live interaction with a webpage rather than tapping on something and waiting a whole second to see its effect. The way it is handled right now makes it feel like I'm using some beautified version of opera mini from the winmo days... Anyone know what I mean?
  • My xbox360 got a 138 and 5 bonus points out of 500
  • I can't wait to see the final wp8 demolish iOS and wp7 is already killing iOS with Nokia Drive
  • I just got 143 + 5 bonus points on my Lumia 710 running Tango... How can the same browser get a higher score??
  • I am getting a higher score on my Samsung Omnia W too (138 + 5 bonus points). Tey used the Windows Phone 7 SDK rather than a real life phone which, naturally, will lead to a much lower score.
  • God dammit.
  • Since when does a working draft become a standard?
  • Right now, I don't care what the number is. It's higher than before, and WP8 needs to hit the streets sooner than later.
  • win 7.5 scores 138*
  • My HTC Titan X310e Black Edition has 138 + 5 bonus points...
    It isn't really right for all Windows Phones... This test must be done on every WP (some will be better, others no)
  • That´s just sad. My Nokia N9 scores 286 in the native browser, and 329 in Mozilla Firefox.  
  • It is sad to see that while Nokia is shooting for excellence, Microsoft isn't holding up against the competition.
    The Lumia 920 is awesome hardware, but the upgrade from 7.5 to 8 seems mediocre from what I have seen so far.
  • Erm. U can barely tell the difference. And, WP8 has support for much better hardware...
  • Apple is nothing .......they improved anything within 6 Microsoft still have a great chance of improving it.
  • Cool. 90% of consumers don't care. Does the website work?  If yes, then it is a win.
    Let's not over-nerd things.
  • The other browser are not weighed down by security and they're probably implementing features not fully supported.