Android 2.2 tests reveal stunning speed gains

May 12, 2010: 4:57 PM ET

According to Linpack for Android benchmark results, Android 2.2 (codename 'Froyo') is 450% faster than its predecessor.

Credit: Android Police

Until now, the biggest update to Google's Android OS 2.2, expected later this month, was Flash support. But Android enthusiast blog, Android Police, got a hold of a copy of Android 2.2 and ran some benchmark tests on it.

They found that the new OS alone flew through the Linpack for Android benchmark a full four-and-a-half times faster than Android 2.1 on the same hardware, which in this case, was a Nexus One.

Android Police attributes the speed gains to a Just in Time (JIT) compiler which should have an effect on application speed, as well as system boot time.

Obviously any speed gains will also help it handle Flash, which has been panned as a resource hog by Steve Jobs and others.

It should be noted that just because a benchmark says an OS is faster doesn't necessarily reflect directly to the OS.  From LinPack:

What is the purpose of this app?
This is a simple benchmark test to show performance relative to other phones for a standard calculation.  Linpack has been used for years on all types of computers, with a version used to rate the TOP500 computers in the world.

What speed is better?
A higher number is better.

Does having faster speed improve the android phones or what?
Yes, it should.  The Dalvik VM has a huge impact on the Linpack number.  A better number on the same device would indicate that a new version update has improved performance.  Or it could show that something has gone terribly wrong if the number goes down.

With that in mind, here are some numbers:

  • Nexus One running Android 2.1 gets about 6.5-7 MFLOPS
  • HTC Hero averages a measly score of about 2 MFLOPS
  • Nexus One with 2.2 Froyo: 37.5 MFLOPS.

Other (likely Google Internal) Android users have gotten up to 40 MFLOPS on the Nexus One running Froyo -- a full 20 times faster than the HTC Hero by comparison.

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Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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