Mobile Safari vs. Opera Mobile vs. Skyfire: Who's the Fastest?

Illustration for article titled Mobile Safari vs. Opera Mobile vs. Skyfire: Whos the Fastest?

Three of the best mobile browsers that act like grown up ones are Mobile Safari, Skyfire and Opera Mobile 9.5. Even though the latter two (both for Windows Mobile) are still betas, Laptop Mag decided to toss them all into a race anyway, seeing which could deliver piping hot content the fastest. They ran Opera and Skyfire on an AT&T HTC Tilt, so everyone was surfing on the same 3G network with beefy hardware. Spoiler: Skyfire delivered pages in one third of the time it took Safari or Opera. It's because Skyfire cheats.

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Unmentioned in Laptop's piece is that the Skyfire browser actually shows you a page that has been pre-crunched by Skyfire's servers, so it's essentially showing you an image. And yeah, since the browser itself isn't doing any heavy lifting, it's going to fly. But stuff like text entry is annoying, since you have to input text, send that back to Skyfire, and then it comes back to you. Flash works the same way, but hey, at least it does flash. We're not really sure what's up with Opera Mobile 9.5 taking twice as long as Safari to render a page, but maybe that's 'cause it's big boned feature packed. [Laptop Mag]

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DISCUSSION

How is it cheating? If it provides me with the end result I need in a way I'm happy with, I'm lost as to what the downside is. I use Skyfire heavily and I love it. The Opera 9.5 betas are pretty impressive, but the bugs are serious and weird. The browser constantly causes issues with things unrelated to it, like closing other applications, and disabling all of my phone's notifications. Eerie.