JavaScript speed test: iPhone 3G S whips Palm Pre and Google G1

Users are very interested in smartphone performance because they are using smartphones more than ever. A new test compares JavaScript performance on the iPhone, Palm Pre, and Google G1. The iPhone 3GS was the big winner.

Workers have a keen interest in the speed of the new generation of smartphones, primarily because they are using these little handheld computers to do more work than ever before and so they are demanding much stronger performance. I recently pointed to a CNET test showing the Palm Pre beating the iPhone 3GS in two out of three speed tests.

Now there's a new speed test from Medialets that does a fairly rigorous comparison of the JavaScript performance of iPhone 3GS, Palm Pre, Google G1, iPhone 3G (with 2.2.1 OS), and iPhone 3G (with 3.0 OS). The iPhone 3GS comes out on top, by a significant margin. Ironically, the iPhone 3G running OS 2.2.1 was the slowest performer. Medialets also tested against a Mac laptop as a baseline. The image below shows the test results.

Here's why Medialets chose to base its test on JavaScript:

"One of the key challenges in conducting an objective evaluation of software performance across devices that utilize different operating systems lies in accounting for the fundamental differences in the various OSs... The common thread between [iPhone OS, webOS, and Android] is JavaScript execution in WebKit-the open source project that, in varying degrees, powers Web browsing technology for these three disparate operating systems."

These tests are far from scientific but they are interesting, and the Medialets test also appears to be generally supported by anecdotal reports from users. Look for more of these comparison reports this summer. I'd also like to see BlackBerry and Windows Mobile thrown into the mix as well.