Froyo on Nexus One destroys iPhone 4 in Javascript tests

Android 2.2 Froyo and iPhone 4 with iOS 4 are now available, so the inevitable battery of comparable tests have begun. Ars Technica has taken the initiative to test Javascript performance across operating systems, and the results are not looking good on the Apple side.

SunSpider results were almost 2x slower on Safari for iPhone 4 when compared to Froyo's web browser on a Nexus One, and V8 results were over 4x better on Google's offering. They chalk this up to a JIT update and optimizations included in Froyo, but the results are even more striking when considering the handsets used to conduct the tests.

Image credit: Ars Technica

At the announcement of the iPhone 4, Apple touted its use of their A4 chip, which also powers the iPad. It appears that despite the use of a higher powered processor, Apple is still losing the speed race when it comes to Javascript rendering. Although this doesn't look great for Apple's Safari browser on iPhone, it is based on the same Webkit architecture as Android's browser, so these new Javascript runtimes should be able to slot into Apple's offering as well, should they make the effort.

Pundits have argued that frequent updates tend to cause fragmentation within the Android handset marketplace, but this is a great example of what frequent updates can offer even older handsets, when they become available.

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King Mustard said,

Yeh, it's ridiculous. One video comparison now out: http://www.engadget.com/2010/0...the-browser-showdown-video/

Wow - a phone with a faster processor keeping up with a phone with a slower processor!! That's unbelievable!!!

Wait, no it's not. If the Nexus One can keep up with the iPhone 4 even though it has a state of the art, brand new processor, then I'd say Google's Froyo update has been extremely successful. I especially liked how the Nexus One loaded the BBC News website along with the Flash banner in the same time that the iPhone 4 loaded BBC News without flash. I thought Apple said Flash was incredibly slow?

King Mustard said,

Yeh, it's ridiculous. One video comparison now out: http://www.engadget.com/2010/0...the-browser-showdown-video/

Wow - a phone with a faster processor keeping up with a phone with a slower processor!! That's unbelievable!!!

Wait, no it's not. If the Nexus One can keep up with the iPhone 4 even though it has a state of the art, brand new processor, then I'd say Google's Froyo update has been extremely successful. I especially liked how the Nexus One loaded the BBC News website along with the Flash banner in the same time that the iPhone 4 loaded BBC News without flash. I thought Apple said Flash was incredibly slow?

Hardcore Til I Die said,

Wow - a phone with a faster processor keeping up with a phone with a slower processor!! That's unbelievable!!!

Wait, no it's not. If the Nexus One can keep up with the iPhone 4 even though it has a state of the art, brand new processor, then I'd say Google's Froyo update has been extremely successful. I especially liked how the Nexus One loaded the BBC News website along with the Flash banner in the same time that the iPhone 4 loaded BBC News without flash. I thought Apple said Flash was incredibly slow?

Arent both processors technically clocked at 1Ghz? (even though I guess it's throttled in both cases)

Julius Caro said,

Arent both processors technically clocked at 1Ghz? (even though I guess it's throttled in both cases)

They are, and there's really no good way to compare the speed of both unless they both run the same platform and the same test. Otherwise it's all speculation. Needless to say, they are both similarly spec'd.

I think this test is a very good sign for Android 2.2, and it does beat the iPhone 4 handily in javascript tests, but they both render pages at nearly the same speed, and that speed is fast. That's all that matters. Who cares about one benchmark that's better on one or the other, overall they are both great.

There are a ton of things that one phone does better than the other, but overall they are both very close to each other, and are both great mobile operating systems.

Betaz said,

They are, and there's really no good way to compare the speed of both unless they both run the same platform and the same test. Otherwise it's all speculation. Needless to say, they are both similarly spec'd.

I think this test is a very good sign for Android 2.2, and it does beat the iPhone 4 handily in javascript tests, but they both render pages at nearly the same speed, and that speed is fast. That's all that matters. Who cares about one benchmark that's better on one or the other, overall they are both great.

There are a ton of things that one phone does better than the other, but overall they are both very close to each other, and are both great mobile operating systems.

thank god finally sanity

Julius Caro said,

Arent both processors technically clocked at 1 Ghz? (even though I guess it's throttled in both cases)

The Apple a4 has a newer and more efficient architecture. Clock speed isn't the be-all-and-end-all of processing power

Good for Froyo, it shows the efficiency and the productivity against the iOS4, LOL coltmann had a seniors moment lol dont worry happens to all of us. ;D

Honestly, I'm a techie guy but I really couldn't give a @#^& if a phone renders javascript slightly faster. All I really care about is features that are useful and just work when they're supposed to, like a phone's antenna/reception....

qwexor said,
Honestly, I'm a techie guy but I really couldn't give a @#^& if a phone renders javascript slightly faster. All I really care about is features that are useful and just work when they're supposed to, like a phone's antenna/reception....
Just hold it as steve says it may work for you or they will release a firmware update that will show you more bars

qwexor said,
Honestly, I'm a techie guy but I really couldn't give a @#^& if a phone renders javascript slightly faster. All I really care about is features that are useful and just work when they're supposed to, like a phone's antenna/reception....

5 second difference is "slightly" faster?

RangerLG said,

5 second difference is "slightly" faster?


LOL this is on a special script you tard. if its 0.2 or 0.1 second to load a page, you will ofcourse notice it and base your buying impulse on that?

That's awesome. Problem is while rendering speed is nice, when it comes to mobile devices the speed of the network is by far the largest differential (and considering you can find Android phones on almost any carrier, another plus for Android).

lordcanti86 said,
That's awesome. Problem is while rendering speed is nice, when it comes to mobile devices the speed of the network is by far the largest differential (and considering you can find Android phones on almost any carrier, another plus for Android).

I dont think that's true. I have a 50 Mb connection and my 3G is always at 2 Mbps. The difference between Wifi and 3G is not that big when it comes to browsing. At some point the speed is just too fast for the phone to render stuff in time.

And you seem to somehow suggest that since android phones are on any carrier, the test could have been done with a 'fast carrier for android and a slow one for the iphone4?

Julius Caro said,

I dont think that's true. I have a 50 Mb connection and my 3G is always at 2 Mbps. The difference between Wifi and 3G is not that big when it comes to browsing. At some point the speed is just too fast for the phone to render stuff in time.

And you seem to somehow suggest that since android phones are on any carrier, the test could have been done with a 'fast carrier for android and a slow one for the iphone4?


My point was that the strength and quality of your mobile connection (3G, not WiFi) will make more of a difference in your mobile browsing experience than the browser itself (unlike the desktop). It helps Android that it's available on any carrier since you can buy a phone based on which carrier has the best network where you live.

Funny seeing people comment about hardware acceleration and that it cannot compare to the iPhone. You know what, I am willing to bed HA is coming to the Android as well. Even if it isnt, as long as there is a demand for it it will happen. Know why? Google gives the customers what they want...and even if they didnt, there are TONS of devs out there that can make this happen.

...it is based on the same Webkit architecture as Android's browser, so these new Javascript runtimes should be able to slot into Apple's offering as well.

the javascript engines are completely different and have little to do with Webkit. Safari plugs Apple's javascript engine (Nitro) into webkit, Android plugs in Google's (V8). this is a Nitro vs V8 contest and has little to do with mobile devices or platforms.

I don't put much into javascript numbers, but what is important to notice about these tests is the page display times, especially with a device running and rendering Flash content as fast as the device that incapable of rendering the Flash content.

I'm no fan of Flash in general, but what Jobs said about Flash and mobile performance was either a lie or extremely misinformed.

(I've been running Flash on an original Droid for over a month now, and even at the default CPU clock speed, it does fine in terms of performance and doesn't eat the battery. Overclocked to 1ghz, even the heaviest Flash sites containing Video and Games work just fine.)

Ultimately due to enormous development of the underlying OS in android iOS does not stand a chance. Google is going to come at Apple with everything they have. Plus who cares, the iPhoney is a pile. Im so glad outside the USA not as many are stupid enough to follow marketing like americans.

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