Is it really faster? I decided to put a little test of my own. In this test, I will test both browser's boot-up speed and page loading speed. The hardware is my very own 3GS and wifi connection.
Initial boot-up would mean that the app will launch from a freshly restarted phone. Meaning there will be none of the app's data residing in the phone's memory.
Mobile Safari: Almost instantaneous from the moment I launched the app
Opera Mini: A notable difference of about 1-2sec slower compared to Safari.
Safari launches almost immediately. And also, a point to note is that there is no way of setting the Opera Mini browser as your phone's default browser. So if you click on a URL from say a text message or an e-mail, the phone will launch Safari. A big drawback for Opera here. Verdict: Mobile Safari
For this test, I cleared the cache and loaded 5 of my favorite websites and averaged out their time..
Mobile Safari: Average loading time of about 15seconds.
Opera Mini: Average loading time of about 10seconds.
Ok, so the Opera is faster when it comes to loading a website. Not surprising actually. Since that is what the Opera browser is known for anyways. Verdict: Opera Mini
There is something which I found out after using the Opera Mini browser for awhile. The Opera Mini browser lacks the smooth zoom-in/zoom-out feature which the Safari has. The Opera's zoom is either 0% or 100% all the way.
You can't zoom-in to say 20%, 65% etc. Which I personally find rather annoying as I like to zoom-in onto an article until the article fits perfectly to iPhone's screen width. Hence, all I have to do is scroll down to continue reading the article.
On the Opera however, I'd be scrolling left, right and down because the zoom will zoom in all the way to 100%
Because of that, Safari is still my browser of choice on the iPhone.
- Launches almost immediately
- Smooth zoom-in/out
- Slower in loading webpages
- Blazing fast webpage loading
- Slower start-up
- Clumsy zoom-in/out