1. nimrodity's Avatar
    For me the most important thing on a tablet is the browser,so i was happy when simplebrowser came out,the first real alternative which became short after my default browser.
    Today i bought secure browser just because i love testing browsers.
    Thats why i decided after long times of testing to compare the two,giving people a better chance to decide which one suits them better because they are different in a lot of ways.
    First i have to mention both a worth buying and way better than the stock browser,in terms of speed as well as options.

    Secure was on version 1.0.7.311 (thx to KermEd)
    simple on 1.0.10 (thx to HaTaX for the beta testing)
    PB Firmware is OS 2.0.6149

    1.Speed and smoothness
    All tests are done with javascript disabled,because i browse that way 90% of the time.
    Secure is hands down the fastest browser i have ever seen.Loading times are hardly there and its butterly smooth,cant remember seeing any sort of lags or anything else like that.Even portrait mode is smooth the same way.

    Simple is fast no question there,its also mostly very smooth.While smoothness is same like in the stock,loading times are noticable faster,smoothness in portrait though is not as good as in landscape,its stuttery.

    1-0 for secure
    if simple is superfast and supersmooth,secure is ultrafast and hypersmooth

    UI and Controls
    Secure has themes which is nice,but right now they are nothing spectacular,but the dev is working on it.
    The status bar is very thin and doesnt take away much real estate on the screen,thats good.But for now there are to much buttons to mi so its not that intuitive.But the app is very young and the dev promised to change that,so its just a minus temporarily for right now.
    The options menu is a big plus,it is very fast accessible and all options are avaiable on one page,this way everything can be changed very fast and easy,but i would like it a bit more if you could change options without hitting the OK Button.
    There is no fullscreen but i am totally ok with that,since i wouldnt use it much anyways.

    Simple doesnt have themes and doesnt look as fresh as secure,but therefore the control buttons are just right.
    All buttons there,not to much,great size and placement,using thr browser is very fluid and intuitive.
    The menu can be accessed over a button,secure with the menu swipe.But in contradiction to secure you have to scroll for all options,a lot.

    2-1 for secure
    this ones a tie,while secure has the better menuand fresher loom.simple has the better controls.
    But if secure gets the buttons changed it could maybe win this round,we'll have to wait and see.

    Options and features
    secure has a good set of basics,like optional javascript,private mode,browser agent,font size and so on.No optional flash but flash doesnt really affect the pb browser performance so no biggy.Nothing special there for now.You can use up to 9 tabs and access them very fast and easy,the tab button also indicates on which one you are atm.No download manager here atm

    Simple has all things secure has but some nice additions like ad blocking,text reflow,fullscreen browsing,tab animations,keep awake and so on.
    You can use up to 4 tab,acces is fast and easy,but i like the secure's away a tiny bit more,simples animations though are nicer for the eyes.No download manager here aswell but announced already,so it should come soon

    2-2 tie
    this one has to go to simple,it just has lot of really usefull features which secure lacks right now.

    Bookmarks
    secure has boommark editing but sorry to see no sorting.
    Bookmarks are shown paginted and not scrollable.
    The Bookmark page displays 8 bookmarks either in landscpape or portrait but the page only takes up the half screen,a bit of a waste.

    simple has bookmark editing and sorting,big plus.
    Scrollable but the scrolling is a bit stuttery.
    It displays 8 bookmarks in landscape and 16 in portrait.

    3-2 for simple
    simple wins because it has sorting and scrolling even though scrolling smoothness could be improved.
    Secure should really change the layout of the bookmark page aswell as the paginted non scrollable view.Paginated isnt the problem but hitting a button to go further is.If you could flick to change the pages like the menu in android ics or the newer htc sense versions for example that would be totally ok for me,maybe even better because this way you could avoid the scrolling anomations not beeing fully smooth like in simple.

    So its a close win in points for simple,but be sure to read the part which is more important for you,so you know which one suits you better.
    Its hard to decide which one is really better because for are great,way better than stock.
    Secure seems a bit more unstable compared to simple,but most of the stability is issued by the OS 2.0 betas which have a bad memory management.
    If secure gets the things done the dev promised to do,it has good chances getting the upper hand,but who knows with what great ideas Hatax comes up till then.
    Both browsers are relativly young and have done lots in a short time,both devs are working hard on improving their apps,thats nice to see.

    To make it short,if if are looking for the best in terms of speed and smoothness get secure.
    If you want better controls,bookmark handling and more options get simple,its that simple

    Right now,i will try to use secure a bit more to get a better feel for it and because i totally love the smoothness,which is the most important for me.But that doesnt mean i dont use simple anymore,the only browser i wont use much more i know is the stock.

    Both a clearly worth their money,i would recommend you buying both because this way you not just have the 2 best browsers out there right now ,you can also support those really amazing devs who put so much effort into their work and listen to what users of crackberry say to improve their apps.

    At last but not least another big thx to the awesome devs HaTaX and KermEd for their hard work and effort,keep going and show rim how its done right.
    Last edited by nimrodity; 01-17-12 at 05:24 PM.
    KOOLWATER, KermEd, HaTaX and 6 others like this.
    01-17-12 05:02 PM
  2. mayastig's Avatar
    a video review would be awesome!
    01-17-12 05:56 PM
  3. nimrodity's Avatar
    if i just had a cam i would do a review,the only good cam i have is the one of the pb
    01-17-12 06:12 PM
  4. BrownPride916's Avatar
    Good review it did not seem biased and compared the good and bad of each browser. I personally prefer simple browser because of the button placement.
    01-17-12 08:09 PM
  5. rmah's Avatar
    Thanks for taking the time to review these two apps. If you do not have an app, do you mind posting some screenshots to highlight some of your points (e.g. interface & buttons)?

    How well does adblock work? If there was a browser with an adblock that rivals the one for desktop firefox with the speed of secure as you say I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
    01-17-12 08:53 PM
  6. crimson621's Avatar
    Would either of these browsers be able to handle websites that are incompatible with the Playbook's native browser? (I'm thinking specifically of the Slingbox web portal.)
    01-17-12 09:02 PM
  7. teamfortress's Avatar
    Thanks for the review. i bought both and like Secure Browser more. Just wish it had a full screen feature like Simple Browser (plus bookmark management of course). Screen real estate is so important for a tablet of this size.
    01-17-12 09:37 PM
  8. KermEd's Avatar
    Awesome review, great feedback guys. I'm going to prioritize everything here.

    Not to compete, SimpleBrowser really is my favorite and I am envious of HaTaX's abilities and skills.

    Realistically - hope to see a service pack from me next week HaTaX much sooner I suspect. Thanks for the awesome comparison .
    bitek likes this.
    01-17-12 10:16 PM
  9. nimrodity's Avatar
    of course its thx to hatax that both browser are so good,he did most of the heavy lifting i assume,but thats why i cant understand why secure is superior in terms of speed and smoothness.what did you program different,maybe hatax could take this part of the code from you if thats compatible
    01-17-12 10:44 PM
  10. Chango_BB's Avatar
    it would be great if you guys merge the best of each browser,which will be almost everything. Maybe by having one alternative you guys can convince RIM to use the newly created version as the default for PBs.
    01-18-12 12:34 AM
  11. nimrodity's Avatar
    thought of that 2 but dont think its a good idea,the 2 are too different in lots of things.
    By merging them you would get propably get something changed what you like better on the other one,as long as they support each other and both get improved i think staying seperate is smarter.
    Also there is more choice and people can the take the one which better suits their needs.
    01-18-12 12:48 AM
  12. KermEd's Avatar
    of course its thx to hatax that both browser are so good,he did most of the heavy lifting i assume,but thats why i cant understand why secure is superior in terms of speed and smoothness.what did you program different,maybe hatax could take this part of the code from you if thats compatible
    Good question, he helps me when I find strange bugs that defy logic. But our code bases are completely independant.

    If i was to venture a guess - it could be the adblocking. it would add a bit of delay. Technically mine has more overhead and uses more RAM. Theoretically mine shouod be slower. Except i dont suspend tabs (its recommended we do - thats what the native browser does, but faster tab switching if i dont at a cost of RAM).

    But i think they should be close in terms of speed. both use the same webkit.
    01-18-12 08:37 AM
  13. bitek's Avatar
    it would be great if you guys merge the best of each browser,which will be almost everything. Maybe by having one alternative you guys can convince RIM to use the newly created version as the default for PBs.
    awesome idea. instead of competing. work together to get THE PLAYBOOK browser that would smoke Iphone,Ipad,Android,Windows Phone browsers out of the water.
    01-18-12 09:59 AM
  14. jproy12's Avatar
    Thanks for the review, I was wondering which one to choose from!

    JP
    01-18-12 11:57 AM
  15. rmah's Avatar
    After having time to look through their respective threads here on CB and digest the information here I've reached an impasse.

    Both have features that I really love and feel are missing from the stock browser. Simple has adblock, which is huge, and (from what I understand) Secure caches tabs so it doesn't have to reload when you navigate back to it.

    So for now I'm stuck with the stock browser :P
    01-22-12 12:46 PM
  16. nimrodity's Avatar
    Why stuck with stock,just get one of the two,the are both superior in every way,the only thing they haven't is a download manager but that will come too in future
    01-22-12 01:01 PM
  17. r0v3rT3N's Avatar
    I enjoyed the review!
    01-22-12 02:55 PM
  18. rcab's Avatar
    I have bought both and I give Simple a slight edge. I also like how Simple remembers my sign in for CB. I like the ad blocking feature. Since I acquired these 2 I have not used the stock browser unless the PB requires it. I appreciate the effort that each has put in to their respective browsers. I believe developers like these will make the PB much better and it is amazing how in a short time they can do so much while RIM is in a holding pattern until the 2.0 comes in Feb.
    01-22-12 03:28 PM
  19. SunnyFL's Avatar
    I have both browsers as well and use them interchangeably. I commend both developers for their hard work!
    KermEd and HaTaX like this.
    01-22-12 04:24 PM
  20. nimrodity's Avatar
    Since I use both frequently changing its really obvious that the things I love about one the other one is missing and vice versa.
    For example

    Simple has
    -text reflow,but secure will get it in next release
    -less buttons with more comfortable and easier usage
    -adblocking
    -bookmark backup /restore
    -setting per tab(really cool feature)
    -less visible and obvious loading bar

    But therefore secure has
    -themes and bit more modern looking ui
    -paginated menus and bookmarks,don't like the constant need to scroll on simple that much,and it's a bit stutter too
    -9 tabs + tab number indicator (this one's really handy)
    -open local file option

    But I am still thinking it's better for them tonstay separated.
    Though I would have a proposal,how about HaTaX and kermed continue to develop their browser like now but also develop one third browser with the merged power of the best of both,maybe the users here could vote what of which should make it in the merged browsers,I would have no problem buying the third one even if it would cost double because they do code it both.
    What do you guys think of that,is it possible of just a crazy wish.
    I know there could be the possibility that the separated browsers could suffer in progress by that or maybe the merged one,but in my opinion that could become great
    Last edited by nimrodity; 01-23-12 at 03:57 PM.
    01-23-12 03:53 PM
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