A few days ago we posted some preview performance numbers from the LG Optimus G with Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 quad core Krait SoC at 1.5 GHz. While OpenGL ES 2.0 performance was where it should have been, one of the things that stuck out was that JavaScript performance in both sunspider and Browsermark was not near where what I was expecting. As always, there's always that caveat which we make note of when testing pre-release hardware that things will change prior to launch, and in this case performance in some areas will increase in the final shipping LG Optimus G software.

I had a long discussion at dinner with LG software engineers responsible for the stock browser, who noted that JavaScript performance will indeed improve in the final shipping version. They let me play with and test an LG Optimus G with an updated software preload running a newer version of the stock browser, with the latest of Qualcomm's V8 JavaScript engine libraries. The software version provided on the LG Optimus G I've been using for the past few days and used for testing was the latest at that time, but still not final, and included an older version of Qualcomm's V8 library. I've re-run the two tests and things have indeed improved. 

BrowserMark

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark 0.9.1 - Stock Browser

I discussed stock browser performance for some time with LG's software engineers, and asked specifically about why OEMs change the stock browser. They explained that often the app gets tweaked to improve stability and performance compared to the stock Android browser, fix rendering errors that they've identified in numerous popular Korean portal pages, and of course make changes to the UX they feel are necessary. Getting to the final browser shipping state is often a function of making tradeoffs between stability and performance, and in the case of JavaScript that means including Qualcomm's V8 JavaScript engine libraries in the browser APK, which were updated in the LG Optimus G I re-tested this evening. I was told that there are going to be more tweaks as well before the final shipping software is ready, as the handset isn't in mass production quite yet. There are some other features possibly coming as well, specifically WebGL in the future for the LG Optimus G, and possibly at launch for other upcoming LG phones.  

The other major browser-related feature I got a chance to see today was a feature requested by myself and other tech journalists during LG's event this week: Q-Slide for YouTube. If you haven't followed, LG has included a feature they've dubbed Q-Slide which allows for full screen video to be played via an overlay with user-controllable transparency atop another application. The use case they're targeting specifically is one which is very popular in Korea – watching TV DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) content while on public transportation alongside messaging or browsing the web. 

Well, in addition to the aforementioned updated V8 library inside the version of the browser I was shown was the ability to use Q-Slide for any YouTube video or HTML5 Video element video as well. Since the European and US markets don't have any equivalent to DMB, Q-Slide needs to be compatible with other video playback sources beyond the stock player, and the browser team worked to make this compatible before launch. 

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  • Azurael - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    Damn, they beat the One X running HTC 2.17/Android 4.0.4. 1475.4ms... Still, we've got 4.1 to come yet :) Reply
  • shadeh - Sunday, September 23, 2012 - link

    Don't worry ! I've already tried a htc test rom on jelly bean. The stock browser scored a whooping 1196.x ms.. The browser has really improved. It would be my stock rom, but sadly (as far as i'm informed) radio is currently not working due to older hboot.

    Can't wait to see another leak.
    Reply
  • toyotabedzrock - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    What about Chrome performance and an upgrade to 4.1? Reply
  • amdwilliam1985 - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    While they're(LG) working on optimizing the software, they can also put some efforts on efficiency.
    I think Android is more than powerful enough with a lot of neat features, I think we should focus on battery life and efficiency now.
    Reply
  • snoozemode - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    Seems to me that Q-slide is the answer to multitasking on small screen devices. Reply
  • aryonoco - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    I concur, most tech savvy people will not be using the stock browser so testing on other browsers that are more in popular use makes more sense. Pretty much everyone prefers Chrome so why not test on that?

    Besides, what are you exactly trying to test, the latest software optimisations or the SoC? If the latter, then using a third party browser that's not modified by manufacturers and actually is the same browser on different devices would make a lot more sense than the OEM-modified one.

    Also, please give Firefox a new chance and perhaps include its scores as well. I find recent versions of FF (after FF15) to be a very capable browser on Android which actually gives Chrome a good run for its money.
    Reply
  • owned66 - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    it should be two times faster than the S3 !!
    i guess we need to wait for cyanogenMod devs to take advantage of it
    Reply
  • kyuu - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    I'm not sure why people are expecting to see a linear improvement going from 2 cores to 4. Twice as many cores does not equal twice the performance in any real-life scenario. Cyanogen mods are not going to be able to change that (though they could improve the threading somewhat, possibly).

    Or am I misunderstanding?
    Reply
  • 1008anan - Saturday, September 22, 2012 - link

    I learnt something about Java script performance.

    When do you think we get something like Q-slide inside the US? Do you think Google will add a similar feature to future Android Operating Systems? How can we download an application or feature like this to our existing Android phones?
    Reply
  • evan_hit - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    hi brian
    why don't you consider V8 benchmark (version7) suite from google (http://v8.googlecode.com/svn/data/benchmarks/v7/ru... or the earliest octane benchmark? The test documentation is also very clear and it test more complex javascript compare to sunspider. but unfortunately there are some compatibilty issue with google latest javascript benchmark i.e:octane, that will skip older browser or older OS
    Reply

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