Firefox Mobile: the best mobile browser no-one uses

I’ve always enjoyed riding the Firefox-bandwagon and that hasn’t changed, even though Google Chrome seems to be the browser of choice amongst the cool kids nowadays. And if only because I’m a faithful guy, I’ve been running Firefox Mobile ever since I bought a Samsung Galaxy SII as well. Sure it doesn’t do Flash, but I’m not that Flash-inclined anyway.

Now, I haven’t met too many people that use Firefox Mobile and indeed when reading about mobile browsers, Firefox is rarely if ever mentioned. But what if I told you that Firefox Mobile is by far the best browser on mobile when taking performance, features and security into consideration?

I won’t beat around the bush, here’s the pretty objective data.

browser hardware Sunspider v8 benchm. html5test score
Firefox Mobile 9b Samsung Galaxy SII 1421.9ms 832 314
Android 2.3 browser Samsung Galaxy SII 3454.4ms 369 177
Android 4 browser Google Galaxy Nexus 1983ms 1387 230
Mobile Safari iPhone 4s 2260.9ms 368 296
Opera Mobile 11.5 Samsung Galaxy SII 1699.9ms 461 285
Dolphin HD 7.2 Samsung Galaxy sII 3593.4ms 318 177

Some remarks:

  • the hardware is pretty comparable; all dual-core CPU’s and plenty of RAM.
  • higher is better, except for Sunspider which measures time (in microseconds).
  • I’ve got no screenshot or URL of the google v8 test results on my phone, but I’ll be glad to reproduce.
  • sunspider and v8 are javascript performance benchmarks.
  • html5test is an indication for support of “modern” browser features (html5, css3 and much more).
  • the features of the browser GUI arent’t measured byhtml5test, but I’m pretty pleased with Firefox Mobile in that respect as well; great tabbed browsing, plugins (including noscript!), sync-ing of all relevant data between desktops & mobile, …
  • I added Opera Mobile and Dolphin HD to the list. Opera’s not too shabby but not a winner either?

And last but not least; as Firefox Mobile isn’t native and since it’s on the same (crazy) rapid release cycle as the desktop-version, I consider it to be a lot more secure when compared to the slow evolving, rarely updated native browsers in Android and iOS.

My advice; if you’re an Android-user and you’ve got a recent handset or tablet, you really should consider switching to Firefox Mobile. It’s the best mobile browser no-one is using! Except for you?

4 thoughts on “Firefox Mobile: the best mobile browser no-one uses

  1. Frederik

    Firefox may be the fastest in benchmarksi on practice it feels a bit sluggish and it consumes a lot of memory my LG P990 so that other apps such as my launcher, get killed. This happens much less frequently with the default android browser. Firefox 9 beta starts to feel fast enough, finally, but memory consumption remains problematic. I hope it will be perfectly usable with the new versions with a native android interface because I would love to use a more Html5 standard compliant browser.

    1. frank Post author

      Well, 0.5 (128Kb for the GPU) vs 1Gb of ram will do that to you ;-) No, seriously, Firefox Mobile indeed is heavy on CPU and Memory, but on my Galaxy SII it really runs great!

      But still I’m also looking forward to FF Mobile 10 beta. Native Android interface will take some getting used to (I esp. like the menu’s on the left and right that are only a small swipe away, which will not be in FFMobile10), but the memory- and maybe performance-gains should compensate for that I guess.

  2. Tom Pester

    Hoi Frank. Ik denk dat je Opera Mobile nog niet hebt geprobeerd. Deze is echt wel de beste en is pakken sneller dan ff. Ik heb ook een gs2 en er is gewoon niets beters. Op de desktop is het chrome voor zn snelheid en ff voor de plugins.

    1. frank Post author

      Opera Mobile, juust! Toegevoegd aan het tabelleke, maar op basis van sunspider en v8 (maar da’s enkel javascript natuurlijk) niet sneller en ook minder “html5”-features. Maar zeker geen slechte browser, verre van!


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