It’s been a long time coming, and I have followed it since the beta (codenamed ‘Fennec’). Firefox 4 for Android came out a few months ago, but I’ve only now bothered to try it out properly and see if it could be a replacement for the almighty Dolphin Browser HD; It isn’t.

I know Firefox as the most stable, the most functional, and quite simply, the best browser in the world made by the worlds best minds in collaboration. Yet I’m not convinced that the same team made the Android version.

First, there’s the startup time. It takes at least 10-15 seconds to be able to browse, and I know it doesn’t sound like much, but Dolphin Browser HD only takes literally 2-5 seconds. As a primary browser, its unacceptable.

Next up is the lag. Damn does it lag! It clearly doesn’t use any sort of hardware acceleration and/or is terribly unoptimised. When you scroll, it lags. When you zoom, it lags. When you open a link, it lags. Not to mention the random crashes. And believe it or not, it was worse in the beta.

Worst of all, it has no plugin support. Many people buy Android phones for the Flash support. This is just unacceptable.

My grumbles aside, it does have a few redeeming  and cool features.

For one, it includes Firefox Sync, which is a new feature they included on the desktop version. Basically it does what you think it does; it syncs all the important Firefox user data: Bookmarks, Passwords, History, Tabs, and I think, preferences, which would come in very handy for people who use Firefox on multiple machines.

There’s also add-on support, which means you could potentially have all of your favourite desktop add-ons on your phone. Imagine the possibilities!

Overall, however, I’m very disappointed. It has such potential, yet its let down by pathetic performance and in some cases, poor design.

For now, I will reserve hope that it will rise above from its (in my opinion) beta status and become the great browser its older brother is.  *uninstalls*