Best of the Mobile Net

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Symbian S60

Symbian's S60 browser renders pages quickly but has trouble streaming video.

Symbian's S60 browser renders pages quickly but has trouble streaming video.
Photograph: Rob Cardin
Second fiddle to Safari is Symbian's S60 browser, which we tested using the Nokia E61i. (In America, Symbian is almost completely exclusive to Nokia handsets.) It made the most of the E61i's relatively low-resolution display and lack of a touch screen. (Note: Nokia plans to add support for touch screens to S60 in 2008 for use on touch-screen devices.) Like Safari, S60 attempts to portray Web pages exactly as they look on your PC. It lets you use the phone's navigation pad to scroll horizontally and vertically through the page and incrementally move an on-screen pointer. This works better than it sounds, but getting around on a large page is tiring.

S60 renders both mobile and full Web pages accurately and exceptionally quickly--a bit faster, in fact, than the iPhone on every site we tested. That said, many large pages caused the phone to stutter or lock up for a few seconds, and S60's tantalizing promise of being able to stream video via its integrated RealPlayer application resulted in a no-show. Both in my experience and according to reports posted on numerous discussion boards, the browser shows an error message when you try to stream video, no matter what the video's format is or what type of connection you use.

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