Firefox getting faster

One of the chief complaints about Firefox for Android has been its speed and size. But with every new release, it's gotten faster. And with every new release, it's gotten smaller. And Mozilla's Mark Finkle gives us a good look at just how much faster it's become with a series of benchmarks.

In the chart above, you see JavaScript benchmarks. And things are definitely getting faster. And after the break is a chart of page load times. Again, faster. Check out Finkle's blog post at the source link for more benchmarks and him explaining it all. [Mark Finkle's Weblog]

Update: Fixed source link

Firefox pageload times


Reader comments

How much faster is the latest Firefox beta?


Hey phil, that source link takes me to some HP shopping page for 6-cell Slim Fit Battery for Envy 14-1000 Series. FYI.

I also use the stock browser on my Droid X. Although I am a huge fan of FireFox on my PC, I am not a fan of it on my Droid.

That's interesting, but I would like to see a non-biased comparison instead of one done by a Mozilla employee.

So, according to these numbers, even Beta 4 was about twice as fast as the stock browser? Not in my experience. I tried it, and it took *soooo* long to start up at each use that I uninstalled it later the same day. It might be faster loading pages once it's up and running, but spending fifteen seconds or so looking at the Firefox logo whenever the browser loads was just too much.

Though Firefox has been faster at JavaScript benchmarks for a while now, page load speed and startup speed definitely lagged behind in older releases. But we're working a lot on those, and both are noticeably improved in beta 5. They should continue improving with each release.

I suspect part of that start-up advantage for the stock browser is the fact that it never really leaves memory unless you go in and Force-Close it.

Even doing that, it loads in under a second on my old Nexus One.
On Gingerbread, even after walking all the BACK arrows till the browser exits, something like OSMonitor (market) will show it idling with 41Meg or more (although it will be hidden from Settings / Applications / Running.

This is good news, because since Froyo dropped for the Epic a few days ago, my stock browser no longer works. I had to try out Firefox, and it was pretty clunky. I did notice a considerable improvement in Beta 5, though. Now if only Flash worked inside Firefox, I would have no reason to go back to stock.

Flash doesn't work on Firefox Beta 5?? Why bother than? It's taking a step back. One of the advantages of using android is flash.

The combination of being able to fake being a desktop browser and having flash would be excellent, if Flash worked inside Firefox. That was my hope, but alas not so much. Mayeb in one of the future releases they will include that.

Otherwise, it's a pretty decent mobile browser.

Edit: As a follow-up to this, due to mentions by others, I checked out Dolphin and it does exactly what I described above. I'm trying it out and seeing how it works.

idk what this chart is talking about, cuz on my Nexus, its soooo laggy and slow!! and no Flash? psht.....makes me feel like i have an iPhone! :p

How about throwing Dolphin HD in the comparison, and maybe Xscope (I think it's kinda popular)?

SITE STAFF: btw, please make it so I can login from the comment box. This way I don't have to scroll all the way to the top, click login, login on the next page, navigate all the way back to this page, click refresh so it acknowledges I'm logged in, and scroll back down to where I was in the comments.

What's this Galaxy S running "2.2" on this chart? Oh yeah some people have it ...

I've been struggling with my browser choice as of late and welcome competition. I like the Dolphin HD, but it fails on speed for me. For just reading sites and posting for forums I've been using Opera Mini for the time being. Since I don't have Flash yet that's not an issue.

Yea the firefox for android is about as bad if not better than firefox for desktop. I used to love firebox on my PC but after using Chrome I have a hard time using anything else. Firefox takes nearly 10-15 seconds to fully start up, after checking for updates it just checked for 10 mins ago. Chrome takes MAYBE 1-2 seconds to fully start. I just switched to dolphin browser mini from HD and its a great improvement. I was skeptical just cuz the name makes it sound inferior but its much better than the regular dolphin browser.

I liked Firefox on my phone. I'm a big fan of it on my laptop. but one of the reasons i rooted and rom'd is flash support. I might try firefox again once flash works.

sgs captivaate
firefly 2.3

Javascript speed tests are becoming the defacto method for browser devs to deceive people.

It may be 5,000% faster than the stock browser at processing Javascript, but if the pages and images load slower, Javascript speed is irrelevant. If firing up the app gives you a "loading" screen for 5 full seconds and is laggy for the first 30 seconds of use, Javascript speed is irrelevant.

I love Mozilla and Firefox (use Chrome as my daily driver tho), I just can't hang with waiting so long for the app to boot up, and no Flash makes it less capable than the stock browser, so why switch?

Tried it. Disappointed in speed. Buggy. Dolphin puts out the Fox's fire via its blowhole. (sure I'll try it again when it's v1.0)

As much as I love Firefox, no Flash support means I've already deleted it. Just need to get that worked into the application, and I'd become a believer...not til then...