One of the best things about the new Mango update for Windows phone is the addition of the IE 9 browser. IE 9 on Windows Phone really takes mobile browsing to the next level. I know that I sound like a marketing guy, but it is really hard not to be excited about this once you get to experience it for yourself. The speed is the first thing that you notice, it is so much faster than any browser I have used on a mobile device to date.
Microsoft has provided a great site for testing the mobile browser. You can find it at http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/mobile/. I ran the same link on a Samsung Focus with Windows Phone 7.1 (Mango) on it, a BlackBerry Bold with the latest OS and an iPhone 4.3.3 just to see for myself. I didn’t have an Android phone for these tests, although if someone wants to provide a device, I would be happy to do the tests and include it in the compare. I had all three phones connected to the same Wi-Fi connection so I knew that they all had the same speed connection so that should not be an issue.
I tried all of the performance demos on the site on all of the phones and without exception the only phone that could actually run all of the tests was the Windows Phone with IE 9 on it. In most cases there were screen size issues with the BlackBerry and there were definite compatibility issues with the iPhone that kept it from functioning properly (buttons would not press, screens would not load at all, etc.).
Out of all the tests I could try, the only one that gave me definite results was the Speed Reading Test and even that could only use the first scree because the i could not click the button on the iPhone.
Speed Reading Test
On the main page, there is a link called Speed Reading, clicking on that page brings up a grid of squares that start to change into letters like a old digital clock to eventually spell out the phrase “Can Your Browser Speed Read”. This takes no time at all on Windows Phone (8.25 seconds), but takes a little longer on the Blackberry (51.03 seconds). My real surprise was that the iPhone came in dead last at over 2 minutes.
This is all well and good, considering that this is a Microsoft site, one could argue that it was optimized to use the features of their browser, but I also tried all of the other Phone OS’s sites as well with pretty much the same results.
So, what I am left with is that, from my own experience, IE 9 on Windows Phone gives me the best viewing experience that I have ever had on a mobile device to date.