Nokia Lumia Icon Review: Verizon's WP8 Flagship

Performance: Browsing & JavaScript

Next up, we have some numbers from the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark. According to the SunSpider website:

This benchmark tests the core JavaScript language only, not the DOM or other browser APIs. It is designed to compare different versions of the same browser, and different browsers to each other. Unlike many widely available JavaScript benchmarks, this test is:

Real World - This test mostly avoids microbenchmarks, and tries to focus on the kinds of actual problems developers solve with JavaScript today, and the problems they may want to tackle in the future as the language gets faster. This includes tests to generate a tagcloud from JSON input, a 3D raytracer, cryptography tests, code decompression, and many more examples. There are a few microbenchmarkish things, but they mostly represent real performance problems that developers have encountered.

Balanced - This test is balanced between different areas of the language and different types of code. It's not all math, all string processing, or all timing simple loops. In addition to having tests in many categories, the individual tests were balanced to take similar amounts of time on currently shipping versions of popular browsers.

Statistically Sound - One of the challenges of benchmarking is knowing how much noise you have in your measurements. This benchmark runs each test multiple times and determines an error range (technically, a 95% confidence interval). In addition, in comparison mode it tells you if you have enough data to determine if the difference is statistically significant.

JavaScript Testing
JavaScript Testing

Just as the Lumia 1020 and 920 posted virtually identical scores, the new 1520 and Lumia Icon did the same, although not by quite as slim a margin. Both nearly halved the better SunSpider times from their competitors.

Rightware Browsermark
Web Browsing Performance

Although the Lumia Icon did well in SunSpider, it didn’t do particularly well in BrowserMark 2.0, delivering a middling score that, while hanging with the top cluster of phones for the most part, was merely fifth-best.

Browser Testing
WP8 Browser Testing

The browsing tests haven’t been particularly kind to the Lumia Icon, but both the Icon and the 1520 show their stuff in the Microsoft Fish Bowl test. The 1520 did better with a score of 60 FPS, but the Icon was right behind at 55 FPS, which was 19 FPS higher than third place.

The story is much the same here as with the BrowserMark test; the Lumia Icon fell far behind the Samsung Galaxy Note II and the Galaxy S III and barely edged out the Lumia 1520.

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