SE Xperia X1 vs HTC Touch Pro – browsing experience

Today we look at the browsing experience in these two competitor phones. They both use the Opera Mobile 9.5 browser, build 2005 on the Xperia X1 and build 1522 on the Touch Pro. For this test I used default settings, with no added software tweaks. The conclusion may surprise you, and  I am aware the outcome may be different after some configuration changes and 3rd party software, but most users will not know about these.

As can be seen in the video, text entry without a stylus is nearly impossible on the Xperia X1 in portrait mode. By necessity you have to slide open the keyboard. The same situation does not apply to the HTC Touch Pro.

We are loading the Slate website, a web property apparently inaccessible to Opera Mobile according to Gizmodo.

When it comes to rendering the page its clear the zoom level is lower on the Touch Pro than the Xperia, resulting in the device showing more of the page, both in portrait and landscape mode. Of course due to the higher resolution and higher zoom level, the text is more readable on the Xperia, but you still need pretty good eye sight to read text at those small sizes. Additionally zooming is much easier on the Touch Pro, which uses the navi-wheel to zoom in smoothly in and out. The Xperia uses the OK key to zoom in, but there is no key to zoom out with, and because the OK key is tied up with zooming you cant use it to minimize Opera anymore.

Edit: I have just discovered one can zoom in and out using the volume keys also, but again not as smoothly as the navi-wheel.

On the Touch Pro the text also reflows to fit the zoom level, a feature which is strangely missing from Opera on the Xperia.

All these issues combined results in the browsing experience being much slicker on the HTC Touch Pro than the Xperia X1, despite that device’s larger, higher resolution screen.

As mentioned earlier, installing a 3rd party keyboard or even the same one the Touch Pro uses, and fiddling with Opera Mobile’s settings on the Xperia may cause both devices to behave similarly, but again, these are really issues Sony Ericsson sorted out before releasing the device.

Both the Xperia X1 and HTC Touch Pro are available on Expansys (affiliate link).

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