If there's one feature BlackBerry users have wanted to see improve on their devices more than anything else, it's the BlackBerry web browser. With BlackBerry 6 that wish can finally be crossed off the list, as the new web browser with WebKit rendering finally makes browsing the web on a BlackBerry an enjoyable experience. Compared to the old browser, it's a night and day difference.
But how does the new BlackBerry web browser stack up to the latest and greatest devices from the competition? I wanted to know the answer to that myself, so with some help from Dieter we cleared the cache on the BlackBerry Torch 9800, Apple iPhone 4 and new Android-based Samsung Captivate and put the devices head to head to head in a one take, no messing around web browser shootout. We tested the browsers both over 3G and WiFi (note - towards the end of the video where I jokingly say the BlackBerry browsing is being 3x more efficient, keep in mind that only applies to browsing over 3G - when browsing over WiFi the data is pulled straight in to the device vs. over 3G when it goes through RIM's servers which optimize and compress the data over the air). Read on for the results.
The results? Well... it's a good news bads new thing. The bad news: in our little test the BlackBerry Torch 9800 couldn't pull off even one victory against the iPhone 4 and Captivate. The good news is it held in there pretty darn well - close enough that I don't think you'll feel hard done. It's a matter of a few seconds, which is a massive step forward from our old native BlackBerry web browser. Reflecting on the results post shootout, Dieter and I both agreed this is probably an area where the Torch's 624MHz processor could be the culprit more than the web browser itself. If you put the same 624MHz into the iPhone 4 or Captivate the Torch would probably Torch them. Conversely, if you upped the processing power in the Torch it could probably match or better the competition as well. Final conclusion: it's a massive upgrade to the BlackBerry web browser and it paves the way for even more speed and performance as we see RIM move up to their next generation of hardware. In the meantime, as long as you're not doing head to head shootouts, you'll now enjoy browsing on your BlackBerry a lot.