Naturally, as the software is still in beta there are other features that need to be tweaked. For example, the initial preview of a page when you first visit a website has obviously been optimised for smaller devices. It looked great on the N85 and S740, but on the Zest’s larger screen, it was rather blurry and lacking in clarity and as far as we could see, there was no way to make the browser generate a high-resolution render. The browser is also a touch slower to start up than its rivals. In part this is because during it’s start-up phase it needs to connect to the Skyfire servers to authenticate itself. We’ve also heard that it doesn’t respond to the accelerometer on the HTC Diamond and Touch Pro, although not having these devices to hand we couldn’t check this.
A bigger issue going forward, however, is that it currently does not work at all on devices with WVGA screens. This is a screen resolution that’s becoming increasingly common and is already found on high-end devices like the Touch HD and Samsung Omina. It’s also a shame that there’s no version yet for Palm or Blackberry handsets. On its website Skyfire seems to indicate that it is working on a Blackberry version, but things look less hopeful for Palm OS support.
If Skyfire can iron out these issues over time, we think it’s on to a winner. Considering the fact that it’s free and will remain so at least in the near to mid term (Skyfire says it’s currently just trying to build a big enough user base before deciding on its core strategy for generating revenue), there’s really no reason not to load it up on your phone and give it a try.
It’s still early days for Skyfire, but what the company has produced so far is seriously impressive. It’s fast, easy to use and its support for streaming video formats, while far from perfect, is good enough to make it an application that’s worth having on your phone. If you haven’t tried it out yet, we suggest you do.
Score in detail