Review: Maxthon Cloud Browser looks good but performance is poor

Organize your browsing activities in this attractive, but sputtering mobile browser.

Maxthon Cloud Browser works in a number of ways very well, but in the one that counts most, there are issues. Time after time during our tests, the browser would slow down, pause, freeze up between menus, or fail to load the home screen right away. None of these things caused crashes or made it impossible to reach the sites we were testing (mostly search engines and news sites like Yahoo!) but the inconvenience was a frustrating barrier and a sharp contrast to the very fast built-in Safari browser.

Maxthon Cloud Browser gets a lot right, however. When you first open it, you'll find a tile set with a number of categories and topics and hot stories for each of those categories to choose from. There are also popular sites at the top you can access with a tap, and all of this can be customized to make quick access to any of these sites very easy. It's one of those desktop-style features that can be translated perfectly to a mobile browser and Maxthon does it well. But the performance issues start creeping in early. Again, Maxthon never crashed during our tests, but it did pause numerous times while loading and the browser buttons didn't always load right away or when the screen was swiped, making it hard to go back, save, or reload on command.

Maxthon Cloud Browser is a decent browser just in need of some fine tuning. With a faster response time, it could be a really solid alternative browser for the iPhone. For now, the delays may be enough to keep most users from switching.

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