Five best Browsing Phones

We hear this mobile internet thing is taking off. Too bad that do-it-all touch-screen you're holding doesn't seem to do web browsing all that well. What you need is.... HSDPA support, a good-sized screen and possibly most important, a decent browser. For inspiration, check out our top five browsing phones


T-Mobile G1

Screen 3.2 inches, 320x480 pixels

Data connection HSDPA, Wi-Fi


The first phone to run Google's Android operating system is, expectedly, a pretty nifty internet device. Wi-Fi and HSDPA up to 7.2Mbps means fast web surfing wherever you go, while the G1 browser - based on the same engine as the iPhone's Safari - renders pages well. Like Google's desktop Chrome browser, the address bar doubles as a search bar. Load times could be faster, and it doesn't support Flash, but it can remember passwords for logins. As well, the G1 offers the best single-touch browsing experience there is - a flick of the finger scrolls a page, while zooming is accomplished via buttons brought up in a hidden menu bar, and a magnifying box you can drag to the area you want to enlarge.


HTC Touch HD

Screen 3.8 inches, 480x800 pixels

Data connection HSDPA, Wi-Fi


HTC's media phone is one of our favourite Windows Mobile phones, because the TouchFlo 3D interface makes the ol' OS look and feel that much slicker. Its sizeable VGA screen is highly responsive, and coupled with the Opera Mini browser, makes for smooth and finger friendly web experience. The browser renders pages in full, anti-aliases fonts so they look nice, and is one of the fastest page loaders out there. The navigation and address menu bars are hidden until you tap the top or bottom of the screen, maximising screen real estate, though the sensitivity of the screen did mean we often unintentionally called up the bars. Still, the size and clarity of the display is unbeatable.  


Nokia N96

Screen 2.8 inches, 240x320 pixels

Data connection HSDPA, Wi-Fi


While we're on tenterhooks awaiting the release of the uber-internet-phone N97, Nokia's video-friendly N96 will do - pages look decent on its QVGA screen, it's HSDPA and Wi-Fi enabled, and Nokia's in-built browser loads pages quickly and is Flash-enabled for a full internet experience, including easily streaming YouTube. The BBC iPlayer TV streaming app is a nice bonus, and the phone's massive internal memory (16GB) means smooth, fast overall performance. The browser also features Mini Map, visual history, and an RSS reader. If you're not a fan though, the Nokia's Symbian S60 OS means you can easily download another browser like Opera Mini, which, in our books, kind of represents the very ethos of the internet - freedom and ease of use, no?

BlackBerry Bold

Screen 2.6 inches, 480x320 pixels 

Data connection HSDPA up to 3.6Mbps, Wi-Fi, 480x320px (hi-res)


BlackBerrys may be known more for their powerful email capabilities but the Bold makes a good browsing phone too, with the biggest, highest-resolution screen in the line. Lord knows why RIM have chosen to omit 3G from most of their phones, but the Bold is the only one to support both HSDPA and Wi-Fi, and it makes excellent time at most internet processes - downloading email, streaming video and rendering webpages. Its browser isn't Flash-enabled, but it does make short work of page-loading. We like the trackball, which offers a mouse-like browsing experience and easy zooming. You can download attachments inside the browser too. It may be the only non-touch-screen device here, but it holds its own.


O2 Xda Orbit II

Screen 2.8 inches, 240 x 320 pixels 

Data connection HSDPA, 3.6 Mbps, Wi-Fi


A little out of left field, but the Orbit II isn't a bad browsing phone. Its browser is the last-gen Pocket IE (keep an eye for Internet Explorer Mobile 6, which will be Flash-enabled), which is a full HTML browser that can handle mobile and non-mobile sites equally well. As it's a rebranded HTC Cruise, it also features the finger-friendly TouchFlo Interface, making for an intuitive browsing experience. Of course, it's built on Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro, which means the interface does occasionally fail to work - that's when you'll make use of the handy stylus. The touch-screen isn't perfect, but the phone has some powerful internet features.



OK, OK, we weren't really going to leave the Apple iPhone 3G off. Its 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity means consistently fast data speeds almost everywhere, and its Safari browser handles the rendering and loading of web pages with near perfection. Best of all is the way you zoom using those pincer multi-touches. Plus, it's got that wonderful 3.5-inch panoramic display. There, happy?


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Mobile Choice

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