The LG GW550 runs Windows Mobile 6.5 and so comes with the latest version of Internet Explorer Mobile built-in. This browser comes with the following advantages:
- Flash support (Flash 9)
- ActiveX Control
All the above are features adapted from Internet Explorer 8 for PC.
Internet Explorer Mobile has the reputation as the most bashed mobile web browser, so I was eager to see if this new version is any good.
Flash is OK
For flash, I threw my regular Flash test site at it – The Ozone Cinemas website. Take a look for yourself:
As you can see, all the Flash elements on the OzoneCinemas website were rendered in all their full glory. Sweet.
I also tried out GSM Arena’s site. You can see that the vertical Flash advert on the right of the page loaded fine. The top horizontal one didn’t though. Perhaps that required Flash 10?
Errr… what are those supposed to?
Zooming works fine. In mobile mode, Internet Explorer Mobile also fits text within the boundaries of the display, so that you have no need of side-scrolling as occurs on a number of mobile browsers.
However, you can also set the browser to render websites in desktop mode – the same way your PC would render them.
At least two of the homescreen layouts, Sliding Panel Media and Sliding Panel, display a menu for Internet Explorer Mobile. You can add/remove bookmarks to your homescreen, which improves accessibility.
How About 3rd Party Browsers?
I did give a couple of 3rd Party browsers a spin. The popular Opera twins – Opera Mobile 10 for Windows mobile and Opera Mini 5 – were the natural test subjects.
Both rendered pages fine, as expected, and in addition Opera Mini 5 delivered faster rendering. However, and its a big one, when entering text in a text box on a webpage, pushing the line-break key resulted in the cursor exiting the text box. As such, I could not create paragraphs.
Probably not a big deal for others, but a deal breaker for me. My job requires lots of text entry when browsing. After trying out several times to see if there was a workaround for this, I finally uninstalled both.
So far, I am happy with Internet Explorer Mobile. But that is not to say that it has no weaknesses.
For one, Internet Explorer Mobile seems a little bit more sluggish than either of the Opera twins. It also does not support multiple tabs. But I can live with those. You have to decide what you can or cannot live with and roll with that.
In previous Windows Mobile devices that I have used and/or reviewed, I always put aside Internet Explorer Mobile. This is the first time that I have been able to use it and not dump it for a 3rd party browser. Perhaps the text entry bug with the Opera browsers had something to do with it. Perhaps not.
But in all, Internet Explorer Mobile 6 delivers a good mobile web browsing experience.