Mobile browsers need to be small and light enough to run quickly on a mobile device with limited resources. And, for many smartphone platforms, the Webkit rendering engine does the job quite well. The iPhone’s Safari browser is based on Webkit and does a class-leading job of surfing around the various interwebs. It’s just not as good as the Palm Pre’s Webkit-based mobile browser.
The iPhone Safari browser is smooth and accurate. More importantly, Mobile Safari is darn fast. Unfortunately, the iPhone’s web browser can’t keep up with the Palm Pre’s web browser. jkOnTheRun noticed that, during the Sprint Palm Pre webcast last week, Sprint demonstrated the Pre’s web-browser prowess by loading up sports website big12sports.com. It took the Palm Pre just 8 seconds to completely load a complex webpage that took our iPhone 3G well over 20 seconds to load! If you thought web-browsing on the iPhone’s Safari browser was as good as it gets, just wait until the Palm Pre goes live.
The Pre web browser is fast. That much is certain. But, what accounts for the difference in load-times? The Pre’s speed advantage might lie in its OMAP3 processor that likely trumps the iPhone’s older ARM processor. Or, we could be looking at a previously cached version of the big12sports.com webpage. In either case, the Pre apparently schools the iPhone in at least some page-load tests.