Iris mobile browser, just for kicks

A beta specimen for all you Windows Mobile browser buffs to try out.

Iris Browser by Torch Mobile

Here's a fairly new, fairly stealth specimen for all you mobile browser buffs. The Iris Browser is a beta-only offering produced by Torch Mobile, a start-up that presented at last week's Under the Radar conference.

While the beta for Windows Mobile phones 5+ is publicly available, consumers won't likely be able to download it themselves in its full incarnation. The company will convert beta testers' feedback into a more robust product to sell to manufacturers, who will brand the browser as their own.

I've been trying out the Iris Browser nonetheless--it's got a full enough feature set to stand up to many of the third-party mobile browsers out there. Built on the open-source WebKit code, it's got a lot of what we already see in Opera Mobile, Skyfire, and Mozilla's mobile Firefox alpha, Fennec: search, various rendering views, zoom, bookmarking, a mouse, find in page, image capture, and tabs.

Iris Browser's resolution is good, but page loading was on the slow side. Because its mostly void of branding, it looks a little plain, but beta testers may appreciate the singular way it bounces when you switch tabs and the way links bubbles like boiled water when you click. For those of you Windows Mobile owners intent on browser comparison, Iris Browser beta is worth an informational look.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.