Firefox has been known as a slow, outdated browser for a while now. Then, Mozilla released Firefox Quantum. Once I used it, I noticed it was crazy fast: maybe even faster than Chrome. Let’s see if that’s true.
I ran 16 synthetic benchmarks. Quantum placed first on 9 tests, Chrome placed first on 7 tests, and Firefox 56 place first on 1 test.
(Blue is first place, Red is error)
Page Load Benchmarks
Chrome placed first on 4 of the 25 sites tested, while Quantum place first on 17 of the 25 sites tested.
(Blue is 1st place, Red is a server outside of the US)
The page load benchmark results are pretty crazy considering Firefox’s reputation for being the one of the slowest browsers, second only to Internet Explorer. Now it’s faster than Chrome.
According to Mozilla, the new Firefox uses 30% less memory than the old Firefox. I did some memory tests on my Linux desktop and found that Chrome demolished Firefox 57. Additionally, Firefox 56 outperformed Firefox 57. This disappointed me.
(Blue is first place)
At first, I hated the UI. The problem I had with it is not the aesthetics, which I enjoy. It’s with something called flexible space. This adds space between the buttons, address bar, and search bar. To me, flexible space doesn’t really serve a purpose and is just unused space.
This is easy to fix. Just click on the three lines icon to the right, bringing up the menu. Then click customize. This allows you to remove flexible space.
Another thing that kind of annoys me is the Windows 10 window border is messed up.
My window borders are set red, but the buttons are white. I looked up the issue, and the only way I can seem to fix this is to change my window borders to white. Other then that, I like the look of the new UI, especially the square tabs and the new settings menu. I also appreciate its customizability.
The Mozilla-Yahoo deal was finally terminated. Yahoo! for Firefox was ridiculously annoying. On Windows, the Firefox installer installs the Yahoo toolbar by default. Also, whenever I switched my search engine to Google, it would revert to Yahoo!. This was incredibly frustrating and made me choose Chrome over Firefox.
Pocket kind of annoys me. I like it, but I don’t like how it comes with Firefox by default. I honestly don’t think it’s something most people use.
Removing it is much harder than it needs to be. You have to go to about:config, search for “extensions.pocket.enabled“, and set it to false. For the average user, getting rid of Pocket could be an ordeal.
Firefox for Mobile
Firefox is unimpressive on mobile. The Quantum update didn’t really add anything to mobile. It did make the browser a little bit faster, but it didn’t do much else. Even then, on IOS, the performance of Safari is better than Firefox.
There is one feature I like, though: Firefox sync. Although the feature is on Safari and Chrome, Safari is locked to Apple devices and I don’t prefer to be logged into Google services all the time on Chrome.
Firefox Mobile doesn’t have extensions on IOS, probably due to Apple’s whims. The Andriod version of Firefox does support any extension that works with the desktop version of Firefox, which is nice.
Firefox Focus isn’t great. The browser does block ads and trackers but it’s as slow as a week in prison. Also, it doesn’t have tabs! Lacking a feature as simple as tabs is like having tea without a cup.
With all that said, I believe that Safari and Chrome are superior browsers, at least on mobile devices.
Is Quantum better than Chrome? I would it’s better than Chrome in almost every way, except on mobile devices. I definitely recommend Firefox Quantum over any other browser. Mozilla, you have earned a new user.