Saturday, December 29, 2012

Octane JavaScript Benchmark Scores

Apple iPhone 5
Nokia 920
Google Nexus 4
In my last post, I showed HTML5 and CSS3 test scores for three super phones. Modern web apps consist of three parts: content, presentation, and behavior. HTML5 is the content. CSS3 is the presentation and JavaScript, the final leg of this tripod, is the behavior. The iPhone 5 and Nexus 4 are essentially tied in their implementations of HTML5 and CSS3, with the Nokia 920 hot on their tails. But what happens when we throw JavaScript performance into the mix?

Benchmarks can be problematic. They normally chose to narrow of a focus, which allows them to be exploited. More than one manufacturer has modified their code to exploit weaknesses in a benchmark and make themselves appear faster. Octane is Google's new JavaScript benchmark. Unlike others, it runs a suite of tests which mimic the behavior of real world modern websites. If you would like to know more about Octane, here is the link: Chromium Blog About Octane. If you would like to run the benchmark yourself, go here: Octane.

Here are the Octane scores for the super phones. Please take these score with a grain of salt. 


  • Apple iPhone 5 -  1403
  • Google Nexus 4 -  1267
  • Nokia 920      -   601 
  • Chrome 23 (OSX)- 12410


It isn't surprising to see the iPhone 5 leading the pack here. Apple spends a lot of time and resources keeping their JavaScript engine top-notch. The Nexus 4 is 10% slower, which is a bit surprising since desktop Chrome is so fast. But the total surprise is how far behind the Nokia is. Now it is entirely possible that I didn't execute the benchmark correctly. The other two phones, I own and know how to work. The 920 was borrowed and their may have been apps running in the background, stealing cycles from the benchmark. But then again, JavaScript performance has always been a weak spot for Microsoft.

I wouldn't base my decision to buy or not buy any phone solely on benchmarks. I would consider how the phone fits into my lifestyle a better measure. But benchmarks are cool. If you decide to benchmark your own device, please let me know the results in the comments section.