Retro Tech

The Pocket Surfer 2 downloaded webpages over pre-3G networks faster than any other phone

In the pre-3G era of smart phones, webpages were painfully slow to download outside of wifi. But the Pocket Surfer 2 was fast. How did it do it?

Retro Alex

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The Pocket Surfer 2 (2008) was an early smartphone that offered 20 hrs/mo of free internet and unlimited access for £5.99/mo.

What set the Pocket Surfer 2 apart from other phones on the market was through its internet speed. In the pre-3G era of smart phones, webpages were painfully slow to download outside of wifi. But the Pocket Surfer 2 was fast. How did it do it?

Every time a user attempted to visit a webpage on their Pocket Surfer 2, the internet service DataWind pre-processed webpages on their own servers as images. Then, the images were sent to the device.

This experience worked decently well for users, as the web was mostly read-only at the time. And if users wanted the actual webpage, they could request that instead.