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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.

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