More BlackBerry Bold Browser Speed Trials Raise Questions, Problems

11 Comments

Iphone 3G BlackBerry Bold Wifi Browsing Chart

While BlackBerry Cool was the first website on the Internet to bring you competent speed testing of the BlackBerry Bold and iPhone 3G web browsers, it seems as though our initial tests were not as definitive as we would have liked them to be. This past week, we have been working with Kevin from CrackBerry.com, who has been trapped in BlackBerry purgatory trying to get any sort of positive browsing experience. While we suggest you read his two long and passionate posts on the subject (which describe crackberry addiction better than anything else on the Internet), here are the problems in a nutshell:

– The BlackBery Bold from Rogers has some serious issues when you attempt to enable Javascript support while browsing the web over 3G.
– There has to be some sort of issue with the Bold and WiFi/HotSpot Browser that pops up under specific circumstances. I don’t know what is yet, but I’m sure there’s something up.

While we were initially surprised to hear that Kevin had been having such problems, because we had not encountered them at all in our testing. However, out of BlackBerry unity, we agreed to give him some help and adopt his testing methodology. Once we did, it became clear that we were facing (some, but not all of) the same problems as Kevin. Which means that something is going on with the BlackBerry Browser.

Browser Testing Ground Rules

– Four series of tests: 3G with Javascript Support Off, 3G with Javascript Support On, WiFi with Javascript Support Off, WiFi with Javascript Support On
– The same 10 sites to be used for each test, in the same order
– Each series of test would be preceded by a battery pull, browser cache/history wipe
– The BlackBerry Browser was set to mimic the user agent of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, so only desktop versions of the site would be accessed.

iPhone 3G BlackBerry Bold Broswer Speed Charts

iPhone 3G BlackBerry Bold Browser Speed Chart

Browser Testing Results

– The first thing to be noted is the lack of data for two sites during the 3G speed testing with Javascript on. This is because I repeatedly received errors while trying to access the sites, corroborating the issues Kevin had been having. I was also unable to continue testing until I pulled the battery, as clearing the cache and browser history did not eliminate the constant ‘hourglassing’ that appeared in the OS, slowing the device to a crawl.
– It’s clear in the chart that whatever the problem, the iPhone 3G is significantly faster than the BlackBerry Bold at rendering websites over 3G with Javascript on. In addition, while the iPhone 3G results fall into a fairly stable time-range, the Bold results vary wildly from site to site.
3G web browsing with Javascript off tells a different story, however. While the results are quicker for both devices, they are also much closer comparatively, with the Bold actually beating out the iPhone on certain sites. It should be noted that the default setting for the BlackBerry Browser is with Javascript off.
Unlike Kevin, I had absolutely no problems hitting websites with the BlackBerry Browser using Wi-Fi, with Javascript on and off. While the results still vary wildly from site to site on the BlackBerry Bold with Javascript on, the majority of sites load as quickly or quicker than the iPhone 3G. It should be noted that I was also getting a weaker Wi-Fi connection than Kevin, but still beating out his BlackBerry Bold times.

Browser Testing Final Analysis

– Don’t browse on the BlackBerry Bold with Javascript on!
– Regardless of what’s happening on the BlackBerry Bold, iPhone Internet Browsing is consistently fast.
– When Simon stated during our video test that your personal results may vary, he wasn’t kidding. If you have the time, conduct your own testing and post them in the comments below. The more data we have, the better the chance we have of getting to the bottom of this.

  • Jorge

    Now I pretty understand why RIM employees prefer the Javelin. Wifi performance much better than 3G, and if you are 80% under wifi, the choice is clear.

  • Jorge

    Now I pretty understand why RIM employees prefer the Javelin. Wifi performance much better than 3G, and if you are 80% under wifi, the choice is clear.

  • marc fogel

    Do you think this is an ATT problem or a Blackberry problem. Would you buya Bold in Sept or would you wait. Who is the second carrier going to be?
    Marc

  • marc fogel

    Do you think this is an ATT problem or a Blackberry problem. Would you buya Bold in Sept or would you wait. Who is the second carrier going to be?
    Marc

  • Derek Cathcart

    The Bold is the most disappointing RIM product I have ever had. The battery life is abysmal…… or as my buddy put it after 10 days of use, “battery life is excretable and the phone is the Bold is drech”…..

    drc

  • Derek Cathcart

    The Bold is the most disappointing RIM product I have ever had. The battery life is abysmal…… or as my buddy put it after 10 days of use, “battery life is excretable and the phone is the Bold is drech”…..

    drc

  • Bobby G

    Derek,
    Turn off your WiFi and GPS and watch your battery life increase by 50%.

    Bobby

  • Bobby G

    Derek,
    Turn off your WiFi and GPS and watch your battery life increase by 50%.

    Bobby

  • Derek C

    WiFi and GPS both off.
    WTS, am now on my third Bold (first one was defective >or that was what I was told>> WRONG!

  • Derek C

    WiFi and GPS both off.
    WTS, am now on my third Bold (first one was defective >or that was what I was told>> WRONG!

  • raina2010

    Keep continue the articles.Thank you so much…