Real iPhone Web Browser Roundup
First and foremost, there aren’t browsers for the iPhone not depending on the Safari WebKit engine. What does this mean? There’re some fundamental restrictions (still, as of OS) plaguing Safari and, accordingly, all browsers based on it. The most important being the lack of text reflowing capabilities allowing for nicely reflow the text when you zoom into a page with pinching. Some other browsers (for example, later Opera Mobile 9.5+ versions) on other mobile platforms (in this case, Windows Mobile) do offer this functionality. But still you can download https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pdf-scanner-app-scan-docs-id/id1495971405 only in App Store. This, unfortunately, also means there will still be some Web pages or forums almost impossible to read with Safari. Some of the examples are listed HERE (see "2.1 Real-world rendering tests"), in my article on how Safari compares to Windows Mobile Web browsers (and the multiplatform Opera Mini); for example, THIS Thinkpads.com thread.
Similarly, there isn’t full Flash (Lite) support either, something already existing on Symbian S60 (Flash Lite coming bundled pre-installed with the Web browser) and Windows Mobile (a "hacked" version of Flash Lite 3 can be installed in some later Opera Mobile versions). This also means no online YouTube-alike works with iPhone OS 3 not even the ones that do work with the Flash Lite 3-enabled Windows Mobile or S60.
The built-in Web browser in the iPhone is still the most recommended one unless you have some special needs, which I’ll explain later. For example, unless you’re absolutely fed up with
the always-visible top and bottom bars taking up some (but not much, contrary to what some developers state) screen estate or the
inability to easily open and load pages in the background or the
limited number of pages you can store in-memory (as opposed to some other and, in this respect, better browsers) or the
inability to just download files (of types handled by the iPhone) into the file system it will only pass the online files to the respective handler application in streaming mode, which, in most cases, won’t allow for saving.
These aren’t the only problems with Safari when going over the feature chart, I’ll explain more of its shortcomings.
Nevertheless, if you can live with the problems of the browser, I recommend it the most as there simply isn’t a worthy contender to it. It’s only very rarely that you will want to switch to an alternative browser to, for example, quickly download some files into the file system of your iPhone so that they can later be read played back sent to another computer Internet-enabled phone without having to download them again or you really need to keep as many tabs open as possible.
Note that there’re a number of welcome fixes and additions in iPhone OS 3.0. First, it’s definitely better when it comes to handling memory (but in no way as good as some of the alternative browsers). It also allows for opening links in a new tab (if you don’t just quickly tap a link, but tap-and-hold for about 1 second) something that has been sorely missing from earlier versions. Nevertheless, it still lacks some essential features like full screen mode or background page loading.