The Nexus 4 is the first Nexus handset from Google to pack top-of-the-line specs. The handset sports the absolute fastest mobile SoC available at the moment, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro clocked at 1.5GHz, an Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM.
However, even with such high-end specs, the Nexus 4 performs poorly in benchmarks. Many reviewers blamed this on apps and benchmarks not optimized for Android 4.2. In browser based benchmarks, the Nexus 4 performs poorly mainly because of the new stock browser in Android 4.2 — Chrome — which is not as optimized as the AOSP browser was.
Android users have a love-hate relationship with Chrome. For some the browser is super smooth, while on some devices it lags horribly. While Chrome is very smooth on the Nexus 4, I still prefer the stock AOSP browser, and hence, installed a custom ROM which includes the AOSP browser.
While most people will be content with Chrome’s performance on the Nexus 4, I actually wanted to see how the AOSP browser performs on the Nexus 4. So, how does the AOSP browser perform on the Nexus 4 compared to Chrome?
I will let the screenshots below do the talking -:
Chrome on the Nexus 4 scores roughly 1857 in SunSpider, 1272 in Octane, and 23191 in Kraken. Head over to AnandTech’s Nexus 4 review if you want to compare N4’s AOSP browser performance with other devices. The Nexus 4 with the AOSP browser comes pretty close to the iPhone 5 in browser based benchmarks.
Theoretically, the AOSP browser should load pages faster on the Nexus 4. In real world usage, the scenario remains the same. The AOSP browser definitely loads the pages faster, but the difference in speed is not very noticeable. On heavier sites like The Verge, the AOSP browser is super-smooth while Chrome definitely lags a bit especially when panning or during pinch-to-zoom.