Posts Tagged ‘Gingerbread’

LG Optimus L3 E400 SunSpider and Quadrant benchmark

October 14, 2012

The Optimus L3 E400 is one of LG’s cheapest Android smartphones. Despite having been launched this year, the phone still runs the almost two years old 2.3 Gingerbread version of the Android mobile OS and LG apparently is not very interested in updating it to more current Android versions such as 4.0 ICS or 4.1 Jelly Bean.

As a low-cost offering, LG didn’t put in the L3 the latest and greatest hardware specs but bearing in mind this phone competes around the €100 price-point it can’t be expected to have much better specs than the ones it already has.

As usual, I’ve run the SunSpider javascript benchmark in the Android stock browser.

 

As expected, the result is nothing to be proud about at 4434.1 ms, worse than competitors like the previously tested Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman. Chrome would probably be faster, but unfortunately it isn’t available for the 2.3 Gingerbread version of Android which means the small LG can’t run it.

The Quadrant benchmark overall result is also average (1092 points). Considering the really low resolution of the screen at just 240×320 (~125 pixels per inch) I was expecting the Adreno 200 GPU to achieve better results.

In the end, performance isn’t just the selling point for this LG as other features (such as price, size or battery life) might have greater impact in the buying decision process.

 

Android lag

December 30, 2011

Recently I’ve been reading a lot of buzz on the web around the Android lag issue: some Google engineer started the controversy with a post on Google+ and then other devs wrote their own opinion on that.

First of all, I believe that if this subject was discussed widely on the web, it probably means that the problem exists! I want to emphasize this because first I was led to believe by some online forums that it was an issue exclusive to the Galaxy S I had. Apparently this might affect the whole platform and, as a consequence, more or less, every single Android device.

Second, the conclusion I get from all the posts I’ve read is that Android, unlike iOS or Windows Phone, does a lot of different stuff all at the same time instead of focusing on the screen response to the user when the screen is touched. It seems pretty obvious to me that the screen responsiveness is a major thing on a touchscreen device user experience. Google apparently doesn’t share entirely this view with their competitors and believe that, at some point in the future, the hardware will be so powerful that this problem will sort itself out.

In the meantime, I felt curious about everything I’ve read and made a short video where I try to see what’s the approach Google and Apple took on this by playing some CSS animation on both OS stock browsers.

By the way, on a side note, after watching this video I noticed something I didn’t before: recording the video at the same time, on the same place, connected to the exact same wireless network, the iPhone 4S shows a much higher level of signal reception compared to a very poor signal showed by the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman.

Is the iPhone WiFi signal level too optimistic or is the Sony Ericsson antenna really bad?

Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman hands-on impressions

November 28, 2011

Recently I had the opportunity to try one of the newest and cheapest Android phones from Sony Ericsson, the Live with Walkman.

When I tried it for the first time I had no expectations whatsoever because it’s being sold, as a prepaid cell phone in some European carriers, at a really low price that beats most, if not all, of it’s competitors (mainly Chinese companies like ZTE and Huawei).

What took me by surprise is that the phone turns out to be awesome!

I was completely convinced by the good build quality, by the rather nice camera (with 5 MP and 720p video recording) and ultimately by the performance. This low-cost Android handset has exactly the same hardware (SoC, memory, etc.) the more expensive Xperia brothers (such as the Arc and the Neo) have inside but because this hardware (SnapDragon 1GHz CPU, Adreno 205 GPU, 512 MB RAM) only needs to run a smaller (3,2″) and lower resolution display (320×480) the phone actually is as fast (or even faster) when compared to the older brothers.

If you run the Quadrant benchmark, as you can see below, it is able to score between low seventeen hundreds up to 1869, which is a great result for a phone that’s competing near the €100 price point!

I’ve also ran the SunSpider javascript benchmark and the result left me very impressed… again: 3342.7 ms!

Of course perfection is a thing one can always aim at but never achieve and this phone has one thing that keeps it from being perfect: the screen! I’m not complaining about the low resolution (which brings some performance benefits) but the contrast and the color reproduction is not really good (there is no mobile Bravia Engine) and the phone does not adjust the screen brightness automatically, so here you have the phone’s Achilles’ heel!

My conclusion after playing with it a couple of days is that this phone is actually a great bargain, does very well what most Android phones do (regardless of price), and even if the screen isn’t the greatest one around it’s still worth every penny!

Thoughts on Android 2.3.5 for the Galaxy S

November 24, 2011

As I mentioned before, I’ve been using for some time now the Android 2.3.5 update for the Samsung Galaxy S and it deserves some comments.

Good news first:

– The previously reported Android OS battery drain bug is apparently gone! This just means the phone does not drain the battery all by itself in a dozen hours or so, which was a huge problem. The Android OS process is now at a more reasonable 6% share of the overall battery consumption.

– The browser scroll now works properly as in any other smartphone in the market

Unfortunately, there’s a few problems with this firmware:

– As I said in the previous blog post, the TouchWiz launcher crashes randomly.

– The phone process is also crashing a lot, especially soon after the end of a phone call, as you can see in the picture below.

– The browser may now present a correct scroll behavior but the stability is worst than before, which is not good because the browser was never the most stable app in Android.

It wouldn’t be so bad if it did compensate the lack of stability with improved performance, but running the SunSpider javascript benchmark returned a result of 6505.1 ms which is a regression compared against the 6305.4 ms scored by Android 2.3.3.

Apparently stock browser javascript performance optimization is not a priority for Samsung, neither is improving the stability of the official firmwares they release for the Galaxy S.

Android browser kinetic scroll bug

October 31, 2011

One of the reasons why I started using other Android browsers was because of the kinetic scroll bug the Gingerbread update brought to my Vodafone branded Samsung Galaxy S.

As you can see in the video below, since the Android 2.3.3 update, the stock browser has a different kinetic scroll behavior. Instead of slowing down smoothly, the scroll now stops suddenly after a brief moment since the start of the scrolling, which I find annoying as hell…

Where is the Daily Briefing app / widget?

October 8, 2011

One of the most publicized feature of the Galaxy S smartphone was the Daily Briefing application (and widget). It was a Samsung exclusive pre-installed app that allowed the Galaxy users to quickly glance at the weather, the news, the stock market and at the calendar.

Most pre-installed software manufacturers put in their devices are usually not very useful, but in this case it was a pretty nice piece of code that actually served a purpose. And apparently a lot of people used it.

Vodafone, in the Gingerbread firmware update to the i9000 Galaxy S, simply removed the app / widget. Without a warning, or an explanation, Vodafone just made it disappear, one of the key features of the phone, the main Samsung app that appeared in most Samsung pictures of the model as you can see below.

Since it’s a Samsung exclusive app, if the user wants Daily Briefing back, he can’t find and install it from the Android Market and I can’t find it in the Samsung Apps store either, so the user will have to find an alternative on their own.