All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

  #1  
Old 11-06-2006, 12:35 AM
Mixsynth Mixsynth is offline
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Talking N80 browser BETTER THAN IE7!

Just so you don't think I do this every upgrade: I've owned 8 Nokia phones since 1999, and never before have I felt the need to "gush" about any one of them in the way in which I'm about to. But this time, it's different.

Got my N80 yesterday, expecting it to be a subtle upgrade to my previous 6630 -- slightly better screen, reasonably improved camera, more memory, that's all.

But nothing prepared me for the web browser. I don't quite know what to say about it. I could say "I'm pleasantly surprised", but it's closer to "absolutely ***ing bowled over".

I thought the only web browsing experience I'd ever be able to enjoy on a phone for at least the next 10 years is view vastly simplified and scaled down web pages with no support for complex styles and layouts on the horizon. Now, I'm sitting here looking at the N80's rendering of a complex, image-packed, CSS-styled, javascript-enhanced website I've just constructed, and it's not in the slightest bit different from the rendering I get in the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox or Opera. Its CSS compliance beats Opera in many cases where Opera has "known issues".

What... the... F***... Have I just slept through 5 years???

OK, so I get over the initial shock, and start to look deeper. Not believing that its CSS support could be THAT good, I loaded up the Web Standards Project's Acid2 test to see how compliant it is. Sure, it didn't pass, but no browser on the Windows platform has yet passed. Far from outright failure, it did an admirable job, which surprised me enough...

...But here's the absolute jaw dropper.

Microsoft (yes, one of the biggest software corporations on the planet) are about to release their new "Internet Explorer 7" (IE7) web browser. Beta versions are already available, and I have the latest version, which is pretty much what we can expect to see when it's officially released. I opened up the Acid2 test in IE7 just out of curiosity...

The N80 browser beats it. Convincingly.

This is the "ideal" rendering (no Windows browser is 100% correct):


The N80's rendering (poor photo, but you can see how close it is):


IE7's rendering (oh, dear):


Just in case you don't understand the gravity of this:

-- IE7 is for full-size, high-performance personal computers,
-- The N80 browser is for a MOBILE PHONE,
-- The mobile phone browser is BETTER.

For those who are interested in web standards, the question that arises is: what have a corporation with unlimited resources like Microsoft got stuck up their a*se that prevents them from producing a standards-compliant browser for multiple-gigahertz desktop computers that can't even trump a browser designed for convenience surfing on a credit-card-sized mobile phone?

So: Nokia have not only blown away all other mobile phone browsers with their N80, but they have, astoundingly, built a better browser for a phone than Microsoft can for their Windows PC's.

11 out of 10.
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Nokias used:
1610 (Nov 99)
2110 (Mar 00)
6110 (Sep 00)
6510 (May 02)
7650 (Feb 03)
6600 (Feb 04)
6630 (Apr 05)
N80 (Jun 06)
6630 again (Aug 07) -- N80 got WSOD
5800 XM (Feb 09)

  #2  
Old 11-06-2006, 01:07 AM
dabotsonline dabotsonline is offline
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If I remember correctly, the latest S60 browser is based on Safari (which has passed the Acid2 test), which in turn uses Konqueror's KHTML rendering engine; so maybe that partly explains the decent rendering.

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Old 11-06-2006, 10:19 AM
The_Poet The_Poet is offline
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I don't use safari out of preference for Camino on the powerbook, but you have to ask how come a megabillion dollar corporation can't come up with a decent web browser, having said that of course if they weren't so crap we wouldn't have all these other decent browsers out in the market place:-)

(I am talking about Microsoft in case someone thought for some weird reason I was talking about Apple)
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Last edited by The_Poet; 11-06-2006 at 04:12 PM.
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  #4  
Old 11-06-2006, 10:24 AM
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Cash Cash is offline
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haha..even firefox is better than IE

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Old 11-06-2006, 10:58 AM
Mixsynth Mixsynth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Poet
I don't use safari out of preference for Camino on the powerbook, but you have to ask how come a megabillion dollar corporation can't come up with a decent web browser, having said that of course if they weren't so crap we wouldn't have all these other decent browsers out in the market place:-)
I really think some tech website should run a news story about this, because in the run-up to IE7 release, it's going to be a big embarassment that their huge, highly paid development team couldn't meet standards on a desktop PC after a year's development when Nokia's surely smaller team did it months ago for a hand-held platform!
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Nokias used:
1610 (Nov 99)
2110 (Mar 00)
6110 (Sep 00)
6510 (May 02)
7650 (Feb 03)
6600 (Feb 04)
6630 (Apr 05)
N80 (Jun 06)
6630 again (Aug 07) -- N80 got WSOD
5800 XM (Feb 09)

  #6  
Old 11-06-2006, 02:49 PM
Joar Joar is offline
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There seems to be an incredible hype about the Nokia browser. You have to remember that Nokia has not developed anything else than the user interface of this browser - the credits for supporting CCS fairly well on the browser is entirely down to KHtml - which is the rending engine that the Nokias browser uses, and which isnt at all developed by Nokia!

That said, Safari and Konquorer definately are more standards compliant browsers than IE. So then the nokia browser is too. Actually I thought Safari / Konquorer did pass the Acid2 test in full (http://www.sitepoint.com/blogs/2005/...e-acid2-race/). It could be that some parts of the rending engine has been changed in the Nokia broweser, so that the Nokia browser no long passess the Acid2 test.

Btw. the first mobile browser to pass the Acid2 test seems likely to be Opera - Version 9 of Opera for S60 passes the Acid2 test. The v. 9 of Opera for windows etc. also pass the Acid2 test (which, incidetially, was developed by Opera). Now, that is impressive!

http://my.opera.com/haavard/blog/show.dml/270863

  #7  
Old 11-06-2006, 11:41 PM
Mixsynth Mixsynth is offline
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It's not hype, I assure you -- it's purely my own personal experience that makes me praise it. Before I first tried it out the other day, I had heard nothing whatsoever about it. Also, it doesn't matter whose technology they incorporated into their software to make it so good -- the finished product is still excellent, and still puts Microsoft's best efforts to shame.

I'm glad Opera too will have a browser available that will shame IE7. We could have a situation soon where every mobile phone browser will render web pages better than IE7, which should surely destroy its respectability.
__________________
Nokias used:
1610 (Nov 99)
2110 (Mar 00)
6110 (Sep 00)
6510 (May 02)
7650 (Feb 03)
6600 (Feb 04)
6630 (Apr 05)
N80 (Jun 06)
6630 again (Aug 07) -- N80 got WSOD
5800 XM (Feb 09)

  #8  
Old 11-06-2006, 11:47 PM
The_Poet The_Poet is offline
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I have put Opera mobile on the N80 and so far so good, its clear even tho the type is small I may need to tweak the fonts if I can but even for an oldie like me I can still see the writing on the page:-)
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