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Android 2.2 far faster than iOS 4 in JavaScript

updated 12:30 pm EDT, Wed July 7, 2010

Nexus One trumps iPhone 4 in some web tests

Android 2.2's browsing performance is now much faster than on any iOS device, a new round of tests has discovered. In JavaScript, used most often by web apps but also by many other sites, a Nexus One running 2.2 was twice as fast as an iPhone 4 in the universal SunSpider test run by Ars Technica and over four times faster in the V8 test.

Apple's mobile version of Safari has often been touted as the fastest, but the loss of a speed edge has been credited largely to an upgrade of the rendering engine in Android, which as of 2.2 uses the same Chrome engine as the desktop. The OS itself has a slew of extra upgrades as it now has a just-in-time compiler and other optimizations that speed up apps on the same hardware.

Hardware may not necessarily be a factor. Apple hasn't detailed the clock speed of the A4 in the iPhone 4, but any drop below the Nexus One's 1GHz may be offset by the significantly newer, faster graphics core. Both phones have 512MB of RAM.

The speed may only apply to a pure install of Android 2.2, as Flash 10 bogs it down to where a previous-generation iPhone 3GS with 3.x firmware is noticeably faster.

By Electronista Staff


  1. lkrupp

    Junior Member

    Joined: May 2001


    Okay, I give up...

    I'll buy the damn Android instead of the iPhone because it outperforms on some test. Design and usability, the ecosystem, the pleasure of using the device, it doesn't matter anymore. Only test results and specs matter. There, does that make you all happy now?

  1. kvocal

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2003


    Battery life

    Do we know what this means for battery life?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: Okay

    So, are you also so annoyed when the iPhone beats another phone in a bunch of other meaningless tests? Or does it bother you only when the iPhone doesn't come out on top?

  1. Athens

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: Jan 2003


    All that matters...

    Competition makes for a better product in the end for us. Next version of Mobile Safari will beat Andriod 2.2. Andriod 3 will beat next version of Mobile Safari. Repeat. If the other's didn't catch up or beat the iPhone the iPhone development would def slow down. Praise competition.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009



    The iPhone doesn't annihilate all other mobile phones? HOW CAN THIS BE??


    This must be some Google sponsored BS FUD. Meaningless test.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009


    re: Battery life

    >> Android's battery life is c***, no matter the javascript engine that you use.

    Ohhhh... Sour grapes Steven?

    Hey, Android users can always carry a spare battery and swap it in about 10 seconds... Makes for a versatile phone when you are doing big boy stuff like business stuff when you cannot get to a charger.

    Battery life for a 3GS isn't that great either so don't try to fool anyone. It's funny to watch all the iPhone users run around the office at about 15h00 looking for a charger. Almost like clockwork.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009


    I much prefer...

    The original title for this article on

    "Android 2.2 demolishes iOS4 in JavaScript benchmarks"

    Sounds so much more dramatic. Why the title change Macnn??

  1. chas_m



    Yay Android!

    I doubt this one spec is enough to sway me, but hurrah for serious competition. I love Apple's products but I'm all for a good healthy competitive arena to keep all players on their toes.

  1. mytdave

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2000



    Good for Android. I see no problem with this. Competition is good. I'm betting Apple will release a software update in the near future with a Javascript performance increase of their own. It's a game of leapfrog, and we all benefit. I'm a fan of the iPhone myself, but I say keep up the good work Google.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: No it doesn't

    Competition doesn't necessarily make out for a better product! How do you explain the Beta vs. VHS match in which a lower quality product came out to win?

    Competition gave the consumers choice, and they chose the format that offered higher flexibility, longer recording times, and cheaper prices. Was the image the best? No. But that's just one point among many.

    I know it's hard to understand that, coming from an Apple world where you are expected to pay top dollar and get high quality, but if you notice in the PC world, there's still a large majority of people opting for cheaper over 'better'.

    But do you really think Windows would be as 'good' as it is now if not for the competition from Apple?

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