Poll: How often do you browse the Web on your phone?

Only a few years ago, browsing the Web on a cell phone might have seemed like an entirely futile endeavor. Displays were too small and cramped, data charges were too high, and networks were too slow. Since then, however, mobile web browsing seems to have really taken off. Not only do many phones now have large, colorful displays and the ability to run decent browsers, but 3G networks and unlimited data plans make mobile surfing fairly quick and reasonably cheap.

This observation had led us to our new poll, which asks just how often our readers browse the Web on their cell phones. Some of you may be shut-ins who mostly use your handsets as glorified alarm clocks (I know I am), but we’d wager that there are at least a few of you out there who regularly use phones to check news sites, use Google Maps, or even watch videos on YouTube—at least for those whose carriers allow that sort of thing. So, how often do you surf on your phone? Hit our poll either below or on our front page to let us know.

In our previous poll, we asked how many of you planned to purchase Blu-ray players in light of the recent demise of the HD DVD format. Not too surprisingly, a good chunk of voters—37%, to be exact—are waiting for price drops before indulging in a Blu-ray player. Others will need to invest in an HDTV first (13%), while some already have a player (12%) or plan to buy one soon (7%). In total, that’s 69% of voters who either own or intend to purchase Blu-ray players. As for the remainder, 18% are perfectly fine with standard-definition DVDs, 10% prefer to get their movies online, and 3% will stay faithful to their HD DVD players until death do them part.

Comments closed
    • ludi
    • 12 years ago

    My cell phone is a $20 Motorola GSM that autorecharges each month via an AT&T prepaid account which is both cheaper than any other cell plan out there, and sitll provides more minutes than I ever use. The phone has a user interface that makes Windows 3.1 look cutting edge and it has heard even less about the Internet.

    And unless an unexpected 10% raise comes along tomorrow morning, that’s all the phone I intend to pay for.

    • nstuff
    • 12 years ago

    voted using opera mini.

    • stdRaichu
    • 12 years ago

    The browser on my blackberry is a piece of shit. Thank heavens for Opera mini 🙂

    I was initially quite resistant to using the web on my phone, but now it’s a convenient perk that I wouldn’t like to give up (as long as I’m not paying for it anyway, data rates are still ridiculously expensive IMHO). Having nigh-instant access to slashdot and the register and so on is great for catching up on the news on the commute instead of spending work time doing the same thing. I still use an appallingly stone aged Nokia 6310i for my personal phone, it’s built like a tank and the battery lasts a week on a single charge.

    Incidentally, I can never read the TR comments on my crackberry. Is this intentional? if so, please stop it!

    • anand
    • 12 years ago

    About the only thing I use the web browser on my phone for is too check movie listings when we’re out having dinner and want to do something else after that.

    Every now and then I’ll fire up MGMaps (http://www.mgmaps.com/) too look up a map of an area.

    • timbits
    • 12 years ago

    wtf is a cell phone?

    • flomp83
    • 12 years ago

    It sure must suck for all the iPhone users who get nothing but crappy EDGE service while I’m cruising in the fast lane on my 3G Windows Mobile phone!

    • Firestarter
    • 12 years ago

    My phone needs at least 5 button presses to get anything done, except wasting money on WAP, which has its own dedicated button.

    • nagashi
    • 12 years ago

    A couple times a week when I’m waiting in my car to pick someone up or something. If I had an iphone, I’d do it a lot more. Every time I use one it becomes appallingly clear how awful every other mobile browsing experience is.

    • hans
    • 12 years ago

    I’m on Verizon so it wouldn’t be cheap. And I’d still be browsing on a sub 3″ screen.

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 12 years ago

      Same here, brother. I hear that.

    • just brew it!
    • 12 years ago

    I’d be more interested in the answer to the question: “How often do you browse the web on your phone while sitting in the john?”

    😀

      • nstuff
      • 12 years ago

      with my treo 750, it’s actually half opera mini browsing and half Solitaire. 😛

    • Shinare
    • 12 years ago

    High speed DSL internet for my entire house of 5 computers is $29 per month. Slow speed crappy small screen internet access for my ONE crapberry curve 8300 is $39 per month. You do the math.

    Zero internet browsing on my phone for me. If unlimited data was $10/mo they would have a customer. Not until then.

      • Nelliesboo
      • 12 years ago

      For $33 I get 24,000kbps at home and for $20 I get about 220kbps on my phone. They both seem worth it to me.

        • Shinare
        • 12 years ago

        You fail to see my point. My entire house is on the internet at blazing fast speeds for $29/mo. Why would I pay an additional $39/mo to get slow internet access on ONE phone with a crappy little ass screen and tiny keyboard. Its just absurd. Theres no need what-so-ever.

          • Nelliesboo
          • 12 years ago

          we all have diffeeent needs. I get unlimited data for $20 it works for me. Btw what speed is that blazing fast Internet you have?

          • stdPikachu
          • 12 years ago

          Completely agree. I only do it when my employer picks up the tab. Mobile data rates are extortionate for anyone non-corporate, even on this side of the pond.

    • fpsduck
    • 12 years ago

    My answer is based-on the place where phone service is cheap. (Everyday)

    Now I’m in the country which tech support is .. sucks.
    They even can’t activate the service for me
    so they lost the small income from me.

    • cegras
    • 12 years ago

    Too. Damn. Expensive!

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 12 years ago

    Most things I’d need the web on the go for I can access via text messaging. Weather, movies, scores, all accessible by texting google. Oh, and it’s free.

    Blade user here.

    • crazybus
    • 12 years ago

    I’ve got unlimited free access to a few sites with Virgin Mobile Canada. It works even if I have not money in my account. Google, MSN, Facebook all work. The Google Maps app is handy at times.

    • PetMiceRnice
    • 12 years ago

    I do not want a cell phone of any sort since I view it as an electronic leash.

      • Vrock
      • 12 years ago

      It’s only a leash if you make a habit of allowing inanimate objects to own you. You control the device, not the other way around. Don’t want to be bothered? Turn it off, or leave it at home, or hey, just don’t answer it when it rings! It’s amazing!

      • DASQ
      • 12 years ago

      You’re a tool of your own incompetence. Nothing more. The cell phone does not own you. Until it forces you to pick up, answer, or check it, it cannot force you to do anything.

    • Nelliesboo
    • 12 years ago

    I have an iPhone, so pretty much all day.

      • Alex
      • 12 years ago

      I have an iPhone, and I browse a few times a day. I’m happy with it!

    • StashTheVampede
    • 12 years ago

    My initial thought when I got my Treo 700 — I’ll browse it when I can. Unfortunately, between the Treo, it’s app and/or the other available browsers AND the possibly shitty Verizon network, it’s simply a waste.

    Can’t wait for next year — out of contract and GoogleOS phones that *may* work on the 700mhz spectrum.

      • continuum
      • 12 years ago

      I’m not on a Treo, but I am on an old Motorola E815. I’m online through Verizon’s crappy little web app every day though, since if you go to “weather” then “more” then the Weather.com link buried on the 2nd page…

      … you can get the holy grail, TRAFFIC REPORTS on your phone.

      • indeego
      • 12 years ago

      I have a 700w and when the contract expires in Oct I will be looking closely at google’s answer also.

      Windows mobile is a joke. The only reason I use is push/pull with Exchange, otherwise I have no attachment to this crap phone that nothing runs well ong{<.<}g

    • Hattig
    • 12 years ago

    I did browse the web on my housemate’s iPod Touch for 5 minutes before realising that I had a full computer a metre away. Still it is 4 minutes more than the entirity of my mobile phone browsing ever.

    • End User
    • 12 years ago

    Data rates in Canada are far too expensive for me to browse the web via my HTC Touch. My fingers are crossed that we will get the 3G iPhone up here paired with a decent data plan. I have my doubts.

    • Krogoth
    • 12 years ago

    I want some Colby please.

    • FireGryphon
    • 12 years ago

    My phone is for making voice calls.

      • BKA
      • 12 years ago

      Thats how I feel too. I’m as techy as they come. But the only thing I want my phone to do is make and receive calls. I’ve never even bought a cell phone. My first one was free that came in the mail to sign up with Worldcom, yes the company that went belly up. After that, my account was transfered to Cingular. Once a year I get a free phone upgrade and have to pay nothing. Sure its a phone that came out the year before but it still makes and receives calls. I also have roll over minutes that expire every month.

      Since I’m in the IT field, my co-workers are always showing me their new Blackberry’s and such. But I just can’t see paying that much for a phone. But then they can’t see why I buy and spend so much on computer hardware. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

    • Forge
    • 12 years ago

    I think I tried twice. The first time it failed to finish loading any pages, and I got dinged for about .27$. The second time I managed to get a page loaded but could only have 10-15 letters on screen at a time, so it was useless and frustrating plus it was about .75$! Win!

    Screw that. My phone makes calls, displays caller ID, and stores names/numbers. Anything beyond that is wasteful and unused.

      • willyolio
      • 12 years ago

      i agree. a phone sucks for web browsing (except maybe blackberries and the iphone). it’s also bad at being an mp3 player (too little capacity, sound quality sucks), and a camera (nigh-useless, except in japan, where they have those square-barcode-thingys).

      the problem is that many phone companies have tried to squeeze in these extra features, and in doing so they end up neglecting the phone part, so it ends up being pretty clunky as well.

      then i wish for a cellphone that’s just a cellphone, with all the design going towards being a phone instead of a web browser/camera/mp3 player, and people look at me funny.

    • no51
    • 12 years ago

    I wish TR had a mobile version…

      • mikehodges2
      • 12 years ago

      Get mini Opera and it will 😉

        • no51
        • 12 years ago

        that doesn’t help with the fact that it’d still load images. i want a mostly text website. i don’t use the web enough on my 8125 to warrant a data plan, but the times i do, i might as well have.

          • stdRaichu
          • 12 years ago

          Opera mini is different from most browsers in that you’re actually loading the images from Opera’s transparent proxy. This will typically resize/recompress images down from their original size to something more fitting for a mobile device.

          • mikehodges2
          • 12 years ago

          In settings, there’s a “Load Images” box, which can be unchecked 😉

          Seriously..get mini opera.

    • pikaporeon
    • 12 years ago

    If i desperatly need to get a phone number off facebook, it’s happened once

    • Hance
    • 12 years ago

    Never done it in my life. I really want to though. I figure if I picked up a phone that could browse the web and used it for a couple of weeks the novelty would be worn off and I could go back to my regular phone.

      • MocktheDevil
      • 12 years ago

      This poll needs to be two parts, the first as is, and the second what phone do you have. Surfing the web was painful on my other phones, so I hardly ever bothered. On my iPhone it is slick and easy (if not terribly fast), so I use it alot more.

    • indeego
    • 12 years ago

    bus.
    bathroom.
    boredg{<.<}g

      • Nitrodist
      • 12 years ago

      One word: iPod.

    • MixedPower
    • 12 years ago

    About the only thing I use my phone’s browser for is to check the Colts score when I’m at work and they’re playing, which averages out to less than once a month. I have Opera Mini installed on my RAZR, but the only thing I use it for is for showing off.

    • jehurey
    • 12 years ago

    Blackjack and IE mobile seem to do the job well enough for reading mobile websites, using Windows Live Search, and reading up on the news during my lunchhour.

    I pay $20 monthly for unlimited 3G service, the only thing I have to worry about is my batterylife.

    • 2_tyma
    • 12 years ago

    i use it to check movie times,weather, lil things i dont read the news on it
    sometimes look up something that iwll bug me till i get home so i do it on the spot

    edge is decent enough speeds, but not for heavy browsing

    • Corrado
    • 12 years ago

    I use it but not for web browsing per se. more for 411 and directions/addresses.

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 12 years ago

    I had free unlimited bandwidth for the first two months of my plan, and I used pretty often. Mostly because I could, not because it was actually useful though.

    But I don’t anymore.

    • dragmor
    • 12 years ago

    I don’t own a mobile phone. More hassle than they are worth.

      • koovoodoo
      • 12 years ago

      Same here. I despise cell phones ever since mine was stolen while I was trying to evacuate from a hurricane.

        • DASQ
        • 12 years ago

        Apparently someone needed it more than you do.

      • Vrock
      • 12 years ago

      Only if you let it be.

      The only phone I own is a mobile.

    • wingless
    • 12 years ago

    Verizon’s web service costs too damn much! My phone can play 3D games, movies, WMAs (not MP3s as advertised dammit), and do all kinds of stuff. Unfortunately I can’t put any of it on my phone myself. It all has to be downloaded on their network and they charge you for every little thing you do.

      • hans
      • 12 years ago

      That might not be exactly true. That’s just the approved way. With my LG 8300, I can use a microSD card. Check howardforums.com

    • herothezero
    • 12 years ago

    I can on a Blackberry, but I don’t; that’s why I have an air card for the laptop.

    • spuppy
    • 12 years ago

    Whenever I am on mass transit. I usually stick to RSS feeds and email though; Edge is too slow to really browse the interweb.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 12 years ago

    My BB can, but I never use it. I can get magazines delivered to it too apparenlty.

    • tomjleeds
    • 12 years ago

    Every day. But only since I’ve had an iPhone.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 12 years ago

    There should be an option “need to get cell-phone first”. Yep, still no cell for me.

      • neon
      • 12 years ago

      My phone has buttons for 123456789*0# and holes for the voices to come out of.

      Can’t see no internet there.

    • cygnus1
    • 12 years ago

    i’ve had web browsing capabilities on different phones for a few years, from regular phones to smartphones, and the novelty wore off a long time ago.

    it’s just so rare that i’m anywhere that my only option to look up something is my phone. and no phone, not even the iphone, is preferable to using a computer to surf the web, even with my unlimited data plan.

    i would rather break out my laptop and tether through my phone than bother using the web on the phone.

    • reactor
    • 12 years ago

    my phone can’t browse the web.

    As soon as the iPhone makes its way to Canada, I’ll be getting one of those – unless something better comes out first – and I’ll probably browse everyday with it.

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