New Symbian Browser: JavaScript Benchmarks and HTML5 Test Results

T-Mobile Astound Browser - W3C HTML5 test T-Mobile Astound Browser -

I’m pretty happy with the new “pre-PR 2.0” Symbian browser on the T-Mobile Astound version of the C7. Not only is the user interface nicer and the feature set improved but browsing seems a lot faster than the E7/N8 browser.

To get an idea of the HTML5 support in the new browser I ran the and W3C HTML5 test suites in the old and new Symbian browsers as well as in Opera Mobile 11 (on the Astound) and in an HTC Evo’s Android 2.2 browser.

E7 (old Symbian Browser) C7 (New Symbian Browser) Opera Mobile 11 (Astound) Evo (Android 2.2) 29 104 234 192
W3C HTML5 Test 17% 34% 75% 67%

The new Symbian browser did significantly better than the old one on the HTML5 tests but still lags the competition. I’ve been hearing for months that the new browser would include geoocation support so I was surprised that both test suites reported it missing in the new Symbian browser. An indication perhaps that this isn’t the final PR 2.0 browser.

Also missing in the new browser is JavaScript bookmarklet support. I tried a couple of very simple bookmarklets that share the current page on Pinboad and Delicious and they didn’t do anything. The same bookmarklets worked in the old E7 browser. As bookmarklet support was new in the S60 5th ed. browser I’m surprised it’s gone in this one.

To compare overall JavaScript performance I ran the Sunspider and Google V8 benchmarks on the same four browsers. The Astound had no trouble running the benchmarks. Unfortunately the E7 browser hung and was unable to complete either benchmark.

T-Mobile Astound Browser - W3C HTML5 Test detailed results. T-Mobile Astound Browser - V8 Benchmark Results

Here’s a table summarizing the JavaScript results.

E7 (old Symbian Browser) C7 (New Symbian Browser) Opera Mobile 11 (Astound) Evo (Android 2.2)
V8 (bigger is better) Fail 83.8 106 305
SunSpider 0.91(ms – smaller is better) Fail 9438.3 10911.8 4768.7

I’m impressed that the new Symbian browser essentially matched Opera Mobile which is noted for its JavaScript performance on all platforms. The Evo is much faster, no doubt helped by its 1 GHz Snapdragon processor.

For those of you who track such things the new browser’s user agent is:

Mozilla/5.0 (Symbian/3; Series60/5.2 NokiaC7-00.1/020.037; Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 ) AppleWebKit/533.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) NokiaBrowser/ Mobile Safari/533.4 3gpp-gba

It’s nice to see that the WebKit version has been bumped up to 533.4 from the E7’s 525.

The new browser is a huge step forward for Symbian.  It’s noticeably faster and the streamlined UI, improved fonts and multiple window support make it much more enjoyable to use. I’m just hoping that  the final PR 2.0 build of the browser restores bookmarklet support and adds geolocation as well.

4 thoughts on “New Symbian Browser: JavaScript Benchmarks and HTML5 Test Results

  1. Dennis,

    The new broswer on the E6 is reported to score 111 out of 400 in the HTML 5 test. Apparently, the full PR2.0 (Anna) update will bring performance improvements to the Astound’s browser too.

    Gimme! Gimme!!

  2. Thanks for this detailed report. Indeed, the new browser is much better. I’m hoping though that what ships with PR2.0 is even better than what is on the Astound, though I’d be satisfied with it if it isn’t.

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