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Web Browser comparison: iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S III vs One X vs Lumia 900

Web Browser comparison: iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S III vs One X vs Lumia 900
No longer a concern for the world’s most popular smartphone, Apple’s always-beloved iPhone has finally been outfitted with 4G LTE connectivity to present itself in the same light as some of its renowned rivals in the landscape. Naturally, the ability to browse the web is arguably one of the most prized features with today’s modern smartphones, as they can now take advantage of speedy LTE networks littered throughout the world. However, if we take cellular connectivity out of the equation, mainly because LTE isn’t prevalent in many markets, we’re pitting some of the best smartphones out now against one another to find out exactly which one provides us with the most balanced experience.

On tap for this web browsing comparison, we’ve got the Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X, and the Nokia Lumia 900. Broadening the scope as usual, all three major platforms are well represented in this faceoff – giving us a good idea on how they all perform against one another. In addition to the customary benchmark tests, which gives us insights to their technical prowess, there are other factors that we explain that help to refine and complement the true web browsing experience we desperately crave. So without any further ado, let’s dive in and see what these beauties have to offer.

The Contenders:

  • Safari (iPhone 5)
  • ICS Stock Android Browser (Galaxy S III and One X)
  • Internet Explorer (Lumia 900)

Benchmarks:


BrowserMark Ringmark (features/tests)
Apple iPhone 5 186,755 55/263
Samsung Galaxy S III 103,091 55/236
HTC One X 96,118 55/236
Nokia Lumia 900 31,862 26/95


Before we dive right into the nitty and gritty, we decided to run a couple of browser benchmark tests to show us on paper how this quartet fares against one another. However, as we should point out before proceeding, it’s worth knowing that these benchmark tests don’t necessarily represent the true performance of these browsers on an everyday, normal basis. First up on the chopping block is Ringmark, which basically checks whether a specific browser supports a variety of basic and advanced protocols/technologies that many apps nowadays rely on – such as HTML 5. Meanwhile, Browsermark works on the same premise, since it measures the performance of things like CSS, HTML5, JavaScript, and WebGL. Although the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S III, and HTC One X all perform almost similarly to one another with Ringmark, while the Nokia Lumia 900 seems to be left in the dust, it’s Apple’s pride and joy that blows away the competition in the Browsermark benchmark test.

Apple iPhone 5
Web Browser comparison: iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S III vs One X vs Lumia 900
Samsung Galaxy S III
Web Browser comparison: iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S III vs One X vs Lumia 900

Apple iPhone 5

 

Samsung Galaxy S III

 


Page Loads:


PhoneArena.com NYTimes.com NationalGeographic.com IMDB.com Average
iPhone 5 17.1s 7,5s 9,9s 5,6s 10,02s
Galaxy S III 30.7s 6,8s 8,1s 5,9s 12,87s
Galaxy S III (no flash) 20.5s 3,8s 2,6s 4,5s 7,85s
One X 1min7s 30,8s 8,9s 7,5s 28,55s
     One X      (no flash) 50.2s 4,8s 3,7s 3,8s 15,62s
Lumia 900 53.5s 14,9s 30,8s 19,3s 29,62s
 
Alrighty folks, without question, the first thing we have to check out before anything else, which is also probably the most important item with most people, is none other than page loads. As we all know too well, all four smartphones are 4G LTE capable, but seeing there are many discrepancies that can arise from that, we decided to test out page loads via Wi-Fi connectivity – to make it a bit more fair, since it’s relying on the same connection. One by one, we loaded up our web site and some other highly visited ones as well, to see how they fare against one another.

Amazingly, it seems as though the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III cough up the fastest speeds, while the Nokia Lumia 900 seems to take a significant amount of time with most of the sites we checked out. Strangely though, the HTC One X took an extraordinary amount of time loading our web site, but didn’t seem too strained by the others. Worth noting in this comparison, we had both Android smartphones enabled for Adobe Flash support, which of course, contributes to longer times than its Flash-less rivals in Safari and Internet Explorer.

HTC One X
Web Browser comparison: iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S III vs One X vs Lumia 900
Nokia Lumia 900
Web Browser comparison: iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S III vs One X vs Lumia 900

HTC One X

 

Nokia Lumia 900

 


Navigational Controls:

If there’s one thing we can agree upon with all four devices, we have to say that navigational control is no problem whatsoever with them. In fact, all four smartphones are soundly responsive with their navigation – providing that oh-so lovable amount of movement with things such as kinetic scrolling and pinch zooming. However, considering we have to be a bit more meticulous comparing the four, we find the HTC One X dishing up the least amount of fluidity with its performance. Honestly, it’s not bad at all and almost negligible, but when the other three handsets exhibit buttery smooth executions, the HTC One X’s minor blemish does stand out a bit more.


Rendering on the go:

Showing no pause or delay with its rendering of complex web sites, both the Apple iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III take a commanding lead in this department, as they’re both adept in rendering on the fly. Whether it’s zooming in/out or merely scrolling to the bottom of a page like a mad man, these two class-leading smartphones are supremely quick in rendering text and various multimedia content. With Internet Explorer on the Nokia Lumia 900, it maintains a very similar performance, but on very few occasions, there is a slight delay before it’s able to render – resulting in a one-second delay in displaying items on-screen. Unfortunately for HTC’s flagship, it clearly has some nagging hitches to its rendering performance, since it’s occasionally delayed. Specifically, it’s most noticeable when pinch zooming with its blinking like actions.


Real Estate & Detail:

In terms of details and clarity, the iPhone 5 undoubtedly has the edge there with its highest pixel density amongst the bunch – while the Nokia Lumia 900’s WVGA resolution softens things up tremendously. And of course, with the two Android smartphones in this comparison, they have the balanced combination of high resolutions and large screen sizes to make them the ideal candidates.


Other Noteworthy Features:

Indeed, a lot of emphasis is placed on each handset’s web browsing performance, since as we all know, it’s the bread and butter in what makes the experience so meaningful. Still, there are other tertiary features that aid to complement the experience. With the two Android smartphones, they have support for Adobe Flash to give them that desktop-like experience. Yes, Adobe’s long famous multimedia platform has already made its exodus from the Android scene, but nevertheless, it’s available on these two beauties.

Interestingly enough, all four smartphones employ their own interpretation with sharing functionality – like being able to share a page via Twitter, Facebook, email, text, etc. However, the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X boast the deepest level of sharing versus the bunch, since they’re Android devices and all. Additionally, with the exception of the Nokia Lumia 900, all the other smartphones have a “Reading Mode” that makes pages easier to read.


Conclusion:

Here we are, at the end of a long journey finding out exactly which handset packs along the overall best web browsing experience. Taking all things into consideration, we have to say that the most balanced device for the occasion, has to be Samsung’s offering in the Galaxy S III – though, all are undeniably proficient with the job on hand. Speedy load times, admirable benchmark scores, ginormous display, deep sharing functionality, and a high resolution display pushes the Samsung Galaxy S III just a smidgen ahead of its rivals. Being the new kid on the block, the iPhone 5 flexes its muscles with its commanding benchmark scores, superb details, and speedy performance – making it a great all-around performer as well. Obviously, seeing it’s part of the Android family, the HTC One X is still a wonderful device as well, but there are some rendering issues that prevent it from rising higher. And finally, there’s the sole Windows Phone included in the mix, the Nokia Lumia 900, which is capable of getting the job done – albeit, it doesn’t push the envelope as much as its competitors.

66 Comments
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posted on 04 Oct 2012, 03:09 51

1. Wiki_jaan (Posts: 661; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)


s3 without flash rocks

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 07:57 26

31. Danre (Posts: 85; Member since: 02 Sep 2012)


Android is best platform for internet browsing.

Android rocks..........

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 09:10

43. abhishek48 (Posts: 164; Member since: 19 Feb 2012)


I think these tests are bull shot as my lg thrill loads phonearena.com in 15 secs on wifi 12 mbps, yeahh so my lg thrill 4g is better than all phones

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 09:36

44. Raymond_htc (Posts: 430; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)


bare in mind ur using 4G... Not 3G.......

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 10:36 1

46. abhishek48 (Posts: 164; Member since: 19 Feb 2012)


Dont yoy read the article and comments properly, they are using wifi so am i they have not mentioned their widi speed mine is 12 mbps whicj is avg.. so all these tests are bulls**t

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 08:32 10

35. denied911 (banned) (Posts: 361; Member since: 31 May 2012)


test international SIII on JB, I have it for a week now (Poland ;)

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 10:16 3

45. maryaaadil (Posts: 146; Member since: 07 Apr 2012)


Still waiting in India.
:-[

posted on 05 Oct 2012, 01:22

58. tegradragon (Posts: 68; Member since: 23 May 2012)


Or you can visit Kolkata or Bangalore. They've got Airtel LTE there.

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 03:10 4

2. VJo003 (Posts: 316; Member since: 11 Mar 2012)


Nokia's performance is a share...
Was really hoping it would be a 3 horse race.
With all the news of nexus phones in the air...
I Suspect these numbers will become obsolete very fast.

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 15:07 2

49. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 819; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Windosws phone 8 should refresh the competition. Looks like IE really has no chance against other browers.

******
JOHN V: how fast is your internet connection?

You mentioned that you were on WiFi... but exactly how fast is your Wifi?
I think this is really a KEY THING to include in a test like this... don't you?
*****

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 03:14 45

3. luckysrinu (Posts: 13; Member since: 04 Sep 2012)


Looks like phonearena.com is optimised for iphone5

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 03:44 13

7. eisenbricher (Posts: 964; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


lol!!

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 04:03 14

11. kitpogi (Posts: 7; Member since: 17 Jun 2012)


PhoneArena! is FOR iPhone any day...no doubt, always have been...

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 07:49 3

28. PAPINYC (Posts: 2044; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


More like iPhone is optimized not to load those silly & stupidly annoying "flash-embedded" commercial banners, also known as iAds, that bogg-down their website loading on any device, mobile or otherwise. PhoneArena should do the speed comparisons on Google's search page like everyone else.

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 03:20 16

4. infernal88 (Posts: 113; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


are u sure u did the browsermark test for the S3 with real S3 !!! ...cuz i get more than that on my stock S2 ...:/

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 03:54 13

10. hung2900 (Posts: 714; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)


It's US variant with dual-core S4 SoC. Int version with quad-core Exynos will blow iPhone 5 away.

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 04:29 9

13. infernal88 (Posts: 113; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


oh totally forgot about the US variants ...:S my bad...still i think a Snapdragon S4 should do better than the old exynos 4210

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 05:36 1

19. Hemlocke (unregistered)


Uh, no. The international does better, but still gets smoked. Let me repeat myself: With the exception of Geekbench, the iPhone 5 owns the SGS3 in ALL benchmarks, including the quad-core international version.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6324/the-iphone-5-performance-preview

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 05:56 5

21. XPERIA-KNIGHT (Posts: 2384; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)


yea but the quadcore international galaxy isnt a quadcore S4 pro........so try saying that with a phone like the optimus g which does have an quad S4 pro

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 06:04 3

22. AliNSiddiqui (Posts: 309; Member since: 19 Sep 2012)


http://www.sammobile.com/2012/09/22/the-samsung-galaxy-s-iii-crushes-the-iphone-5-in-benchmarks/

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 06:17 2

24. Hemlocke (unregistered)


Like I said, Geekbench is the only benchmark the SGS3 manages to slide by in, and it gets destroyed by the 5 in ALL other benchmarks.

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 07:51 7

30. whysoserious (Posts: 313; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


Well, how could you rely on these benchmarks if they're inconsistent to begin with?

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 13:28 1

47. jironda (Posts: 4; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)


Remember...benchmarks are worthless if real life performance is not like benchmarks.
Sorry but, on web surfing, GS3 wins, period, the above results speak for themselves.

Other story is gaming, where I'm sure iPhone's more powerful gpu will make a huge difference.

And just in case, you should notice that for some reason they didn't measured the Optimus G on all the benchmarks, which is the most powerful android phone to date I think. On Egypt HD at 1280x720 is almost as fast as iPhone at 1136x640. Anyway, both crush de GS3 on this department.

But then again, the scope of the article is web browsing, not gaming, and the S3 wins at that, even when the browsermark and sunspider benchmarks favor the iPhone. Reality beats artificial tests.

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 07:33 1

26. infernal88 (Posts: 113; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


well i didnt say that the iphone score is wrong just that in browsermark a 103 000 for S3 is way off "atleast fo I9300" .had one to toy with for a while and in 4 tries it was between 140 000-180 000

i get around 110 000 in my S2 "i9100"

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 18:19

52. jlbrazil (Posts: 7; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)


It's incredible how people can't accept how the iPhone 5 is faster than the S III. They pretend that the S3 is faster (Because in they're mind, an iPhone can NEVER be faster than the sacred S3), and when someone says the truth they give lots of thumbs down.

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 21:06

53. ae4ever (Posts: 5; Member since: 08 Feb 2012)


WOW!! a 4 month old phone gets beat by a brand new phone!! No way!!

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 03:20 4

5. tiara6918 (Posts: 1246; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


It would be a better web browser comparison if the devices were the new flagships-one x+,lumia 920(which aren't out yet) and note 2. But anyways,all these four devices performed well...

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 03:21 1

6. darkskoliro (Posts: 886; Member since: 07 May 2012)


HTC phones have a tendency to take forever to load web pages, although they visually seem to be perfect already. Anyone know why??

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 03:48 1

8. Ronoc039 (Posts: 26; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)


Lumia 900 took one up the @$#...

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 07:46

27. -box- (Posts: 3568; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


Considering it is the only single-core phone of the bunch, and doesn't have WiFi enhancements like the ip5 (or new Kindles, for that matter), I think it held its own pretty well. It's also $50-150 cheaper on contract that the basic variants of the other phones.

Looking forward to Lumia 920 v GS4 (or Note2) v HTC One X(whatever the new one announced earlier this week was) v LG Optimus G v iph v ATIV S v WP8X. Battle Royale!

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 08:40

36. denied911 (banned) (Posts: 361; Member since: 31 May 2012)


sensation xl with cpu from l900 is faster
internet explorer simply sucks on pc and mobile
on my 1 year i5 laptop i have results in IE worse than Gnote!!!
firefox opera or chrome are easy 4 times faster

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 03:53 10

9. ilia1986 (unregistered)


GS3 in the lead, as always.

The next big thing has been here already for 4.5 months!! :D

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 04:11 1

12. SemperFiV12 (Posts: 600; Member since: 09 Nov 2010)


As PA reported, I will be using the Nokia Xpress browser when I purchase my Nokia Lumia 920... And other times I will use the NEXT VERSION of Internet Explorer coming with WP8.

I have been extremely happy so far with my HTC Trophy's IE performance. Leaps and bounds better than my Droid Incredible's browser performance (yes I know it is an older model phone... The Lumia 900 is also relatively older to this test... and the 920 should just about be better than anything I've ever had, as well as on par with the best on the market).

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 07:50

29. -box- (Posts: 3568; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


I tried the Xpress browser last night, and while it is crazy-fast, it also isn't high-resolution, so it's good for text, but not photos (granted, it is still in beta).
That said, IE on my 900 is the most satisfying browser I have yet used. Not the fastest, but most satisfactory. Never crashes (though Facebook in its infinite wisdom sure seems determined to try with their stupid special coding), very quick, and the address bar on the bottom is very comfortable, no reaching to the top of the screen to surf elsewhere.

Using it right now to post this, in fact.

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 08:42 1

37. denied911 (banned) (Posts: 361; Member since: 31 May 2012)


Opera Mini FTW
ops i forget that it isn't available on wp ;D

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 08:43

38. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


does it have a text reflow?

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 04:31 1

14. phil2n (Posts: 466; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


i thought if you are the latest you are the fastest.

whats going on apple?

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 04:33 1

15. psysect (Posts: 49; Member since: 27 Sep 2012)


onex + will have the best Web Browser..its even more powerful then iphone 5.

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 04:34 1

16. rizevnarastek (Posts: 313; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


@ Phonearena: What versions of the of the handsets did you use and what version of software was on those handsets? Just saying, because my brothers One X (global) opens up everything faster then my friends SGS3

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 08:29

34. true1984 (Posts: 493; Member since: 23 May 2012)


i'm guessing they used the AT&T version

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 04:36

17. adk199 (Posts: 23; Member since: 04 Oct 2012)


I had a brief encounter with the iPhone5 yesterday and tested the usual sites like engadget (desktop version). It seemed quite good but when i tried to scroll to the bottom of a site it only flew a few chapters down at a time and it actually took some time to get to the bottom of a page compared to my GNex (JB) and SG3 (ICS) that just fly down immediately. I wonder if somebody can tell if this can be changed somehow in the settings because it was a bit annoying. Otherwise very solid browser on the new iPhone5. Instant pinch to zoom and razor sharp text :-)

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 22:28

55. tha.fox (Posts: 100; Member since: 30 Nov 2011)


thats the #1 thing i hate most on the iphone u have to scroll like 5 times to get to the bottom of pages. You the first person to ever notice that other than me I feel lol

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 04:56

18. Miley_3d (Posts: 16; Member since: 02 Oct 2012)


Everybody says everythings about these phones.
But i LOVE Nokia Lumia 920, Because PureView with 920 is Beautiful for me.
Next Subject is Windows Phone 8 is Lovely, too

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 05:49 6

20. bloodline (Posts: 686; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


what about the s3 with jelly bean.... come at us iphone 5

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 08:45

39. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


..and make that a quadcore one

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 06:12 3

23. protozeloz (Posts: 5328; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


John V! :D I know you are a diligent guy, you think you could compare Browser Next Time with 4.1 (Either S3 or Note 2) and Windows 8 Browser? Also a test with chrome would be nice and it may come pre-installed in a near future on new devices. Thank you! and nice comparison

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 06:20

25. E34V8 (Posts: 39; Member since: 16 Dec 2011)


S3 BrowserMark score is 161710, not 103,091 . Look at the anandtech tests -http://www.anandtech.com/show/5810/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-performance-preview

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 08:45

40. denied911 (banned) (Posts: 361; Member since: 31 May 2012)


international has 180.000 us has less

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 08:19

32. Mobile-X-Pert (Posts: 565; Member since: 20 Dec 2010)


The Lumia 900 is the only single-core phone that can hardly stand up against these beasts.

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 08:47

41. denied911 (banned) (Posts: 361; Member since: 31 May 2012)


funny, xperia tipo with cpu from L610 can beat L900

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 08:28 2

33. true1984 (Posts: 493; Member since: 23 May 2012)


"In terms of details and clarity, the iPhone 5 undoubtedly has the edge there with its highest pixel density amongst the bunch " Wait, compared to the one x thats only 14 pixels. Are people really going to notice that?

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 09:04

42. darkkjedii (Posts: 9316; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Nice comparison PA.

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 13:43

48. ChiX017 (Posts: 308; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


Please as a registered user of this beautiful site; I request the comparison be re-done with a Lumia 920 or something with IE10 on it. We do not want another unfair comparison like the iPhone 5 vs Lumia 900

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 15:17 3

50. US_Eminem (Posts: 12; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


Comparing old wp7.5 and old ICS with new ios6........very clever PA

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 15:36

51. bucky (Posts: 1222; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


How long do you think they would have to wait for those handsets to get JB?? Lol

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 22:32

56. tha.fox (Posts: 100; Member since: 30 Nov 2011)


If someone fails to get a JB update and its a big deal to them they obviously picked the wrong phone! Anyone who cares enough about these updating to new operating systems would most likely buy a flagship phone. fragmentation affects only those who buy low end androids. Apple has almost no fragmentation because they keep giving ppl the same phone in disguise.

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 22:20

54. rusticguy (Posts: 2811; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Have done a lot of benchmarks on Apache/LSWS server using those 1kb (or maybe even less like "Hello World") files. Found that these benchmarks are useless in practical realtime usage scenario.

posted on 05 Oct 2012, 07:01

59. gaurav231089 (Posts: 4; Member since: 23 Aug 2012)


Comparison has some error...My Omnia W loads full phone arena in 27 seconds test rite now and Imdb in 15 seconds full website

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 01:36

60. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


i feel pity on lumia 900!! hope nokia could make the new "xpress for lumia" a good browser and alternative for IE!

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 06:35

61. ikkuh (Posts: 33; Member since: 22 May 2011)


hehehe thanks to phone arena the iPhone can keep up with the SGS3.
Without phonearena.com the SGS3 is twice at fast:
iPhone 23 seconds
SGS3 10.9 seconds

How strange isn't it? :)

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