Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Firefox 4 Mobile Faster than IE8 on a PC

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 25 comments

Is Firefox 4 Mobile so fast that it could beat a browser running on PC hardware?

It is the freshest browser you can use on those phones at this time - it not only comes with a  clever interface to get the most out of a 3.5-inch screen, but also some advanced features such as a syncing option between your phone and a PC (at least as far as information such as browsing history and bookmarks are concerned.)

A big deal of the browser, however, is the fact that it is based on the same architecture as the desktop version of Firefox 4, which means that it is not only a great HTML 5 web browser with the best HTML5 support of any mobile web browser in the market right now, but it also comes with the new JaegerMonkey JavaScript engine. Mozilla claims it is about three times as fast as the standard Android browser (we found it to be about 2.5 times as fast on a G2 test phone). However, we found the comparison to web browsers much more interesting.  

In fact, our Firefox 4 Mobile scored a Sunspider time of 3375 ms on an 800 MHz G2 Android phone,  which is quite stunning. IE8 required 4679 ms on a Phenom II-X6 based hexacore PC, which may be a sign how outdated IE8 really is. However, if you are using Firefox 4 Mobile, keep in mind that the browser has some disadvantages as well: Compared to the standard Android browser, Firefox 4 Mobile does not support Flash.  

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Streaming Video & TVs forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
  • 2 Hide
    bhaberle , March 30, 2011 6:58 PM
    Keyword is IE8... not IE9 =) But still impressive. Lame that it doesn't have flash support but I blame that kind of stuff on Adobe.
  • 0 Hide
    icepick314 , March 30, 2011 7:07 PM
    slow as a molasses and crashes almost every time on Archos 10 1 internet tablet...
  • Display all 25 comments.
  • -1 Hide
    eddieroolz , March 30, 2011 7:48 PM
    Oh yeah, compare yourself to a 2-year old browser. Good going. Mozilla.
  • 6 Hide
    aspireonelover , March 30, 2011 7:50 PM
    techguy378This isn't a very fair comparison. IE 8 should have been run on Intel's very best Core i7 processor available. AMD makes really crappy PC processors.

    You are so biased.
  • 1 Hide
    dalethepcman , March 30, 2011 7:50 PM
    Quote:
    Compared to the standard Android browser, Firefox 4 Mobile does not support Flash.


    yet.

    http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/mobile/4.0/releasenotes/
    Quote:
    Currently, enabling the Flash plugin results in a compromised user experience across Firefox for mobile.
  • 1 Hide
    Kryan , March 30, 2011 7:51 PM
    It crashed because you have an Archos tablet... the Galaxy runs it no problem, as does my Desire and Desire HD (one is for work)
  • 5 Hide
    morethantoast , March 30, 2011 7:58 PM
    techguy378This isn't a very fair comparison. IE 8 should have been run on Intel's very best Core i7 processor available. AMD makes really crappy PC processors.


    Can't tell if trolling or just very stupid.
  • 0 Hide
    jojesa , March 30, 2011 7:58 PM
    Mozilla claims it is about three times as fast as the standard Android browser (we found it to be about 2.5 times as fast on a G2 test phone). However, we found the comparison to web browsers much more interesting.

    I do not how you arrived at that conclusion, since on my G2 Firefox crawls like a dying turtle.
    The browser included is a lot faster than Firefox over wifi, 3G or 4G or any other G.

  • 5 Hide
    Anomalyx , March 30, 2011 8:11 PM
    techguy378This isn't a very fair comparison. IE 8 should have been run on Intel's very best Core i7 processor available. AMD makes really crappy PC processors.

    Yes, because fair involves giving IE8 an advantage... ?
    The processor IE8 ran on was already a huge advantage, and you say that it needs a bigger advantage to be fair?
    morethantoastCan't tell if trolling or just very stupid.

    Methinks both.
  • 1 Hide
    brett1042002 , March 30, 2011 8:55 PM
    techguy378This isn't a very fair comparison. IE 8 should have been run on Intel's very best Core i7 processor available. AMD makes really crappy PC processors.


    Fanboys suck.


    morethantoastCan't tell if trolling or just very stupid.


    More like stupid troll.
  • 0 Hide
    Marco925 , March 30, 2011 9:44 PM
    techguy378This isn't a very fair comparison. IE 8 should have been run on Intel's very best Core i7 processor available. AMD makes really crappy PC processors.

    Highly doubt that would've made a difference... it's an internet browser... not Crysis.

    And i have to dispute you on that statement, the prices on AMD processors makes them an Extremely attractive option. and their share prices have doubled in the last couple of years.
  • 1 Hide
    _Cubase_ , March 30, 2011 11:15 PM
    IE8? What's with everyone releasing absurdly unbalanced comparisons?

    In other news, Intel's latest i7 processor whipes the floor with AMDs K7 in Cinebench
  • 0 Hide
    emjayy , March 31, 2011 12:08 AM
    Why are people complaining about the comparison? The take-away message here is that, in 2011, it's now possible for those typical clueless people who don't know squat about any desktop browser other than 'that little blue e' that came pre-installed to experience faster browser javascript performance on their brand new smartphone than on their significantly more powerful home PCs running IE8 or IE7. That's a significant tech milestone. So why compare to IE8? Because IE8 is the most 'popular' browser version out there; it's used by 30% of the planet's Internet users according to StatCounter. Many of the people who will be browsing from smartphones in the coming year will still be using PCs running the ancient IE8.
  • 0 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , March 31, 2011 12:44 AM
    IE8? Did we forget that IE9 is out? C'mon now.
  • 0 Hide
    melling , March 31, 2011 2:42 AM
    2.5% of PC's run IE9. Over half the world's PCs run XP so they will never run IE9. So, yes IE9 is a big improvement but no one uses it. Now Firefox 4 has about 50 million users in 1.5 weeks. Now that's got traction!!!
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , March 31, 2011 9:54 AM
    So FF4 mobile is faster than IE8.

    Well done, someone pass me another bag of apples and oranges.

    Next thing someone is going to tell me that OSX is faster than Windows 3.11.
  • -1 Hide
    melling , March 31, 2011 12:23 PM
    No one runs Windows 3.1. Why would anyone compare anything to that? IE8 is the most used browser in the world. For some reason, Windows users have a difficult time understanding even the simplest ideas.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , March 31, 2011 12:51 PM
    mellingNo one runs Windows 3.1. Why would anyone compare anything to that? IE8 is the most used browser in the world. For some reason, Windows users have a difficult time understanding even the simplest ideas.

    It was supposed to be a comparative example that something several years older on a totally different platform will not perform as well.

    But kudos for admitting you don't understand what the hell I was talking about.
  • 0 Hide
    rantoc , March 31, 2011 1:13 PM
    Fun that they tested vs the old Ie8, the released ie9 is about 15 times faster in this particular benchmark test running on the same hardware (Dell Optiplex with a 3.0 GHz Core 2 Duo Intel processor, 4GB RAM, Intel Integrated Video, running Windows 7).

    So with ie9 it would end at about 312ms compared to the old outdated ie8 (4679) or mobile (3375)

    Amazing what some code optimization can do!
Display more comments
Tom’s guide in the world
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • UK
Follow Tom’s guide
Subscribe to our newsletter