Right, we all know just how much faster 3G data speeds are in comparison to EDGE speeds. Theoretical speeds are one thing, straight-up throughput numbers are impressive, but what about the most important aspect of any device’s wireless data connection – actual web-browsing performance? Unless you’re one of the harder-core mobile warriors that uses their mobile phone as a wireless modem (tethered to a laptop), chances are your cellphone’s data connection is predominantly used to serve up webpages on your handset’s display. So, just how much faster does a 3G data connection allow you to surf the web? Or, conversely, just how much does the iPhone’s EDGE-only data connection slow down the web-surfing experience? (Hint: not that slow)
Well, we set to find out exactly what kind of load-times you can expect in real-world situations and with real-world devices. For this test we used an AT&T Tilt 8925 (HTC Kaiser TyTn II) on AT&T’s 3G network, and squared it off against an Apple iPhone on AT&T’s EDGE network. Webpage load-times were the focus of this test, and load-times were rounded down to the nearest second. Load-times were recorded from the moment the page started to load until the status-bar indicated that the page was finished loading (until the progress indicator-bar disappeared).
Hit the link for the video.
Webpage load-times are bottlenecked by the device’s processing power and page-rendering technology. This should result in similar load-times between the iPhone and the Tilt.
What we found was completely expected. There’s more at play then just throughput. The iPhone’s web-kit based Safari browser allowed it to load pages almost as fast as the AT&T Tilt. We used the Pocket Internet Explorer that comes pre-installed on the Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional-based AT&T Tilt – and it proved to be the device’s downfall. Both devices had similar processor speeds, so that aspect was fairly controlled for in this test.
Check out the video below to get an idea for real-world load-times.
- The AT&T Tilt loaded the ShopBop.com webpage in 37 seconds, whereas the iPhone took a whole 26 seconds.
- IntoMobile.com took 51 seconds to load on the Tilt and 83 seconds on the iPhone.
- Load-times for CalBar.com were the most comparable – 15 seconds on the HTC Kaiser and 18 seconds on the iPhone.
On that note, keep your eyes peeled for a follow-up test with the Opera browser!
We can’t wait for the 3G iPhone…