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Symbian web browser sluggish?? Javascript to blame

| October 20, 2010 | 49 Replies

 

While this is by no means an empirical test, I’ve seen mention in a number of places on the web that the main reason for the dismal performance of the Symbian Web browser is the lack of adequate CPU power, I can categorically say that this is a false assumption. I’m currently using a regular old Nokia 5800 here in the US of A and have been having problems loading certain, *full* websites while still maintaining a degree of usability and not wanting to toss my phone against a wall.  Before you people come at me saying “Just use Opera!!!11222!”, the default browser is still the one that comes up everytime I hit a link in any program, email, IM conversation, etc in spite of my having changed the default browser to Opera. That said, I stumbled across a comment the other day that really stuck with me for some reason. In essence it said “Turn off Javascript and the browser is soo much faster!”

 

Well I tried it and by God does it work wonders. The Engadget homepage that would take an age to load and render and would require me to manually stop the loading in order to even use it half-way properly finished loading in a matter of seconds and scrolled magnificently, regardless of the measly 434Mhz processor. Those of you with N8’s or other Symbian powered devices are urged to try this for yourself to see just how big a difference this minute change can make to the general usability of the browser.

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That said, there are caveats to this, some Javascript-heavy sites may not render with all the flash, bang, whizz etc that may be expected though in my experience the majority remain unchanged. Also, Disqus does not work unless Javascript is turned on (big loss eh!). Let’s hope that the upcoming Web-browser for S^3 devices comes with a damn competitive Java-script rendering engine amongst other things!!

This improved web browser would also have the knock-on effect of improving all WRT based applications and widgets, including the Social and FourSquare apps. Just food for thought.

 

 

NB:

The current browser on my 5800 gets a Sunspider score of  ~130,000 as compared to a Motoral Droid with a score of ~34,000 ms (Higher is worse!) and I from results I’ve seen around the internet, processor speed is nigh on irrelevant in this case.

 

 

So much for “the browser is one of the places where the N8 is definitely bumping up against the raw limits of its “mature” processor” eh. Chances are that with an improved Javascript rendering engine this statement will have to be retracted.

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Tags:

Category: 3rd edition, 5th Edition, Android, How to:, Nokia, Nseries, Rant, S60, Symbian^3

About the Author ()

So you've read something I've written. yay!! As you already know, my name is Andre and I'm currently a student based in Atlanta. Much like Jay, I pretty much blog here in my free time. Follow me on twitter @andre1989 or contact me directly at Andre(at)mynokiablog(dot)com. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions.