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Mozilla Firefox Quantum for Android is here with a bad first impression

Mozilla Firefox version 57 for Android has arrived incorporating part of its brand new "Quantum" features. But, so far, it ain't looking good.

Published onNovember 15, 2017

Mozilla has been talking up Firefox Quantum for more than a year now and it has been running it in beta on desktop for a number of weeks. The new browser officially launched yesterday, though it isn’t slated to arrive in its final form on Android until Firefox version 59. However, part of the new features have already been injected into the recently launched Firefox version 57 for mobile.

Firefox Quantum is a reimagined version of Mozilla’s internet browser, said to be significantly faster and more efficient than its competitors, while also delivering a new design. In Firefox 57, Mozilla has incorporated only part of the Quantum improvements, including elements from the new Photon UI — with a slightly cleaner look than before and less color — and support for Chrome Custom tabs, as well as some performance improvements.

However, it lacks the Quantum CSS renderer to deliver the reported 2x speed boost — and it really shows. Check out the video I made below.

This isn’t the last word on the Firefox v57 experience — I’ve only tried it on one device while writing this news story — but it’s enough to give an impression of where Firefox is currently at. Distinct input lag and chronically slow loading times were among the initial problems, as well as a basic failure to load anything at the start; it’s a far cry away from my experience with the desktop version (which I bloody love).

As I’ve stated, the core speed increase hasn’t yet been implemented, but as of right now, that wouldn’t stand to be the cherry on top of an already delicious cake: the latest version of the Firefox mobile browser appears to be drastically underperforming.

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This is the earliest state of the software on Android so it’s no surprise that it’s a bit janky; I don’t doubt Mozilla will improve it in the future. That said, I’d advise against using it on Android presently.

Firefox 57 hasn’t rolled out in all Play Store locations just yet, but if you do want to check it out, you can pick up the APK file here.

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