Print 17 comment(s) - last by Myrandex.. on Apr 30 at 5:11 PM

Weak point of an otherwise strong phone is definitely the browser

I received my Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1VLumia 900 LTE over the weekend, after initially being informed it was sold out and on back order.  That message appears to have been a mere glitch in AT&T Inc.'s (T) systems.

First let me start by saying that I love my new phone -- it has thus far been a much superior experience to Gingerbread.  I will post my in-depth review shortly, but first I would like to highlight that Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), and co. have some potential issues to address.
I've been busy playing around with the phone over the last few days.  While I did not encounter the dreaded connectivity glitch, but I have been frustrated by the poor quality of the stock browser and some apparent bugs in it, not found in other mobile browsers.

Compared to mobile Safari and mobile Chrome, I would describe the mobile version of Internet Explorer as fast and usable, but difficult.  Admittedly, part of the problem is the learning curve.  After dealing with an icon list to bookmark in mobile Chrome, using the text "Add Favorite", which is a part of a slightly longer list in mobile IE felt more challenging.

More troublingly, the browser seems to be struggling to properly render fonts at their expected sizes on some webpages, including our articles (though the homepage appears to render properly).  While our code clearly defines the font size and the span size for articles, Windows Phone appears to be keeping the font size in pixels, even if the full span size is shrunk via the zoom level.

This seems a clear issue isolated to the mobile Internet Explorer browser.  Text that does not contain pixel size code in their HTML tags appears to be handled correctly and displayed at a reasonable size.

Text rendering bug Text rendering bug
(Highlights added for emphasis. [Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC])
The net result is that some items on webpages look huge, when they look small on other mobile browser or on desktop browser (including desktop Internet Explorer 9).

The browser also, auto jumps to the top of the page on some webpages on some websites and scrolling can be jerky.  Both issues interfere with navigating websites.  These issues are not encountered in the mobile versions of Safari, Chrome, Opera, or Firefox.

Yet another ubiquitous issue is that I find that text entered into various Javascript-driven authentication dialogues (text boxes) is not saved -- nor is there an option to save -- forcing you to laboriously type them (username/password/etc.) by hand each time.  Documentation led me to believe it should be saving these kinds of information, but simply isn't.

The "Incognito Browser" does not have the jumping/scrolling bug, plays video, and protects your privacy.  Thus I recommend it as a temporary replacement for Microsoft's fast but very buggy/poor mobile Internet Explorer browser.  Sadly, though, even this option is perfect as the Incognito Browser appears to use the stock rendering engine from IE and still goofs on the text.

Incognito Browser

I am reaching out to representatives at Microsoft and Nokia with regards to these issues.

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RE: Problems?
By JasonMick on 4/12/2012 11:03:25 AM , Rating: 1
I do however see the issues rendering DailyTech, although it doesn't ruin the experience for me by any means. Is there any other site that you can say has this issue though? Just because Chrome and Safari suppose you want text to be a certain size, does that make IE wrong to suppose you want another size? Maybe you should just be specifying what size you want to begin with, if most of the other text is like that anyways? Or perhaps let the browser decide for all of it?
To give a second example a ubiquitous email web client (Zimbra) I use renders perfectly okay in mobile Safari and Chrome, but exhibits bizarre behavior in WP7 in which the browser snaps back to the left or right side when you try to scroll. As the text of the emails is too wide, it snaps to either side.

Again, you can argue "oh most sites work", but a number do not. If you have examples of sites that work only in Windows Phone, by all means please point me to your slideshow, I would be curious.

But have you really compared to the latest version of mobile Chrome? My experience is heavily based on mobile Chrome, which I JUST switched from.

And in my experience the WP7 browser is fast, but has issues with a number of webpages -- not just ours.

Note: I'm not a web developer, and I haven't torn through your code to see where the problem might lie. All I know is my browsing experience on Windows Phone 7 has been fast, responsive, and better than any other browser I've seen on a phone
Again, my point is that if Apple and Google can make a browser that properly renders sites, why can't Microsoft?

You can complain about difference coding-wise all day, but at the end of the day, the question is which browser renders pages the best.

I agree WP7 is fast and scrolling is smooth. But in my experience there's all sorts of bizarre auto-scrolling auto-snapping behavior on many webpages that makes them difficult to navigate -- behavior that is not present in mobile Chrome.

And there's numerous rendering issues, as mentioned.

Does it work well? My impression thus far has been "no".

Fast and smooth means little if the controls are jerky and the compatibility poor. Fast =/= Good

RE: Problems?
By nordicpc on 4/12/2012 2:30:52 PM , Rating: 2
My site is, and the main slideshow on the front page is the thing I was referring to. The scrolling of the images is smooth as butter on my lowly 1.0Ghz Trophy, but every other device I've seen it on is choppy, even dual-core phones with much more CPU power.

Granted, just about everyone I know with an Android device has found unsatisfactory performance with their stock firmware, and has gone to Cyanogenmod for help. I haven't seen Cyanogenmod 9 alpha, based on ICS, so maybe Google got it right with their latest browser. iOS wasn't any better.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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