I've had my new PDA (a used Dell Axim X50v) for a few weeks and have spent some time with three browsers: Opera, Minimo (from Mozilla), and of course the included Internet Explorer from Microsoft. This isn't an exhaustive review of them but there are some things you might be interested in, and I have a few questions that hopefully someone reading this might know the answer to.
MSIE is pretty good, though limited in features, though not much more so than the others. Being made by Microsoft, it works pretty well with their OS (Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition)--it loads pretty fast and everything is sized nicely. (Not all apps work well on the X50v's 640x480 screen--more on that later.) The three layout modes--One Column, Default, and Desktop--work pretty well.
Other than the fact that there is a 'back' button but 'forward' is hidden under a menu (a move I assume meant to save screen space on smaller-screened PDAs) my main gripes are things that the other browser's don't address--there is no way to save the page or image you're looking at, or the ability to right-click on a link and 'Save link as...' like you would with any desktop browser. I'd love to be able to save pages, images, and documents as I find them for alter viewing. Since it has wireless built in and I've got 2 GB (!!!) worth of storage (1 CF card and one SD card) it seems silly that the only way I can look at content offline is to either sync it with a desktop or copy files onto one of the cards with a card reader.
Opera was the next browser I tried. Since they now give away their desktop browser, I was surprised to find that their mobile browser seems to only last for 30 days unless you pay. No great loss. Opera's biggest feature--the ability to zoom a page's content (text and images)--works as badly on a handheld as it does on the desktop. It's a great idea, especially on a PDA, but someone at Opera needs to go back to Math class: 125% is about 2 or 3 times larger than 110%. I've had similar (bad) luck with the zoom feature on their desktop browser. I like the built-in orientation-changing feature--something that's built into my Tablet PC but takes several clicks on this handheld--and the multiple windows (tabs) are also great, but otherwise there's no particular reason to use it over the included IE, especially since money is involved. ;-)
Which leads us to Minimo, the mobile browser from Mozilla. As much as I love seeing that little Mozilla icon, it takes forever to launch and slows down my (624 MHz!) Axim like you wouldn't believe, even when it's not in the foreground. I can't give you too many details about it since it doesn't seem to want to launch right now (and I don't feel like resetting my PDA, which is what I think I had to do last time to get it to work*) but the one thing I remember most is that it was totally NOT designed with any kind of resolution-independence in mind. Most of the controls were TINY and a few, like radio buttons, were HUGE. Again, no save-this-page or -link feature that I could find, so between that and the slowness, no reason to stray far from IE.
So, that's my brief overview of the Pocket PC browsers I've tried. Are there any others that are any good? Am I missing out by not using the two I've mentioned so far?
* One gripe about this PDA/OS in general: I understand the idea of leaving apps running to make switching faster, but why isn't there a good way to exit them when you really want to? I leave the Switcher Bar running but most of the times when I use it to quit an app I get the the ``"Program X" is not responding`` message, whether the app is from Microsoft or a third party. I'm sure I killed Minimo at some point which is probably why it doesn't want to come up for me, but no other apps have refused to 'come back from the dead' like this.