Browsing on Lumia 800 – Internet Explorer Mobile 9 for Windows Phone works like a charm:
Internet Explorer been a name of nightmare for me since years and I should have not been looking forward to Internet Explorer on a mobile, but thanks to the developer version of Windows 8 that came with Internet Explorer 9 and changed my perspective about the name. (Nevertheless, one should never compare the desktop version and the mobile version at all, but in real, a common user does go by names.)
Lumia 800 sports Internet Explorer Mobile 9 for the browsing part that was first launched by Microsoft at Mobile World Congress 2011 based on rendering engine of its desktop counterpart. It features some of the UI changes as well like Address bar has been moved to the bottom of the screen (like Symbian Phones from past) and is now also present in landscape orientation. Internet Explorer Mobile 9, like its desktop counterpart, features full hardware acceleration. Microsoft shown many HTML5 demos (including Speed Reading) on the browser and security has also been enhanced with the port of SmartScreen Filter.
Tabs are here, bookmarks are here, recent items\favourites are here, option to share page is also here, not only this but you can pin the page as a Tile itself. So, it already checks almost all the boxes required for Mobile browsing.
For me, the real thing was the rendering of content, panning & zooming, HTML5 performance, text reflow etc and it came out as a mixed bag on stats at least. While I was happy about the performance from every angle and it outperformed my Galaxy S in speed of loading pages at least, on the negative side, you find a lot of standards missing like HTML5 score stayed lower at 141, no flash supported (Adobe already discontinued that so no big deal), no text reflow support (just like Email app) and you can’t even download files as it prefers to stream them. So, it doesn’t stand as a winner in my eyes.
It has an option to set the agent as Desktop or Mobile, but somehow all of the Google sites are able to bypass the same and Gmail will open in its less functional mobile browser mode only except if you choose to view legacy HTML mode.
I would say that if it manages to fix the above mentioned issues (may leave flash support) then for the rest of things, this would have been one of the best browser for me at least about the rendering part. Even on EDGE connection, loading of sites never been an issue for me. I hope things will change soon for better.
If talking about alternatives, then there are actually not many alternatives on Windows Phone. No Opera version for Windows Phones yet and Metro Browser though got a nice interface, performs well but is a paid app and in trial mode the annoying ad will stay on the bottom of the screen. But trust me, if Microsoft just adds support for downloading files, then I would easily choose Internet Explorer Mobile 9 any day over Symbian or even Stock Gingerbread Browser of Android.
Bing Search on Nokia Lumia 800- Trust me, you should give it a chance:
If you remember then you would have seen a Bing Search option in your Nokia Symbian phones as well, but I hardly know of anyone me who would have used that option rather than our popular Google search. Even in case of Desktop searches, I have read a lot of praises about Bing Searches and was even needed to go through the same from Business perspective once, but honestly speaking, nothing ever made me switch to Bing Search in past. So, why a complete section on Bing Search here in Nokia Lumia 800 review?
Obviously there is a reason and that reason is the integration and some of the unique innovations with Bing Search and Smartphone operations that led the decision to keep a dedicated search button at the bottom of all Windows Phones include Lumia 800.
There is no search tile or app and that was not needed either provided the fact that it always here in your search at the bottom of every Windows phone as a capacitive button. Tapping the same takes you Bing search UI that has a “Search the web” text input box at the top and three buttons at the bottom namely scout, vision and voice. Rest of part is filled with a unique innovation, a high definition image that will keep on changing at times (probably on daily basis) with some significant photo tagged with some information as rectangular boxes that will show up the text when you tap on them (check the pics).
voice is obviously the voice based search that takes the input from you and then try to make it out in words. The same didn’t did bad for the well know words like India or Youtube, but for the others it remained hit and miss, but I would say that is pretty much all the voice based solution I would have tried (famous Indian ascent).
vision is a very interesting idea to add up QR codes and Text Scan etc into one for making up over visual information present. Like you are in an unknown area, don’t know the language there and want to know what’s written on the signboard, just point the phone with vision mode towards the text and it can search or translate the same for you. The feature is somewhat like Google Goggles but first its integrated into cores, second it doesn’t need you to download a separate app for the same. Same about the QR codes, you don’t need to install a separate QR Code app to decipher them, its all already there inbuilt into Windows Phone Core. Nokia Lumia 800 really makes use of its open camera (without shutter) very well here.
scout as the name suggests works like your scout in the area you are right now. Detects you position via GPS (almost always ready with the location info already) and provides you the info for things around you in sections like eat+drink, see+do, shop and highlights. There are options to navigate to the places as well and good thing is, all of it happens within the same app. It was a great joy to see that the info was always relevant even in Indian surroundings and information was more accurate than it was in case of my Symbian^3 Nokia N8 Guides app.
As about the regular search results, then result appear on a dark background (as per your settings) with categories (navigation sideways like other Metro style apps) like web, local and images. The search box will always have a mic icon ready for you in case you ever feel lazy in typing and wanna just say the same. Local here not the search into phone content itself but it lists the results that near you by the GPS location.
So, as you can see, your idea of a Bing Search on Desktop might be some different, but on phone, it could soon change your perspective about searching things via your phone.