With just about two percent of all Android devices currently running Ice Cream Sandwich, manufacturers and carriers took their sweet time pushing out the latest and greatest flavor of Android. In the US, one of the few devices to receive the ICS treatment so far is AT&T’s HTC Vivid. As it turns out, the ICS package brings more than a bunch of new features and a snazzier design. HTC Vivid owners will notice a significant performance bump when making the jump from Android 2.3 to Android 4.0, with up to 66% improved performance according to benchmarks performed by VentureBeat.
Below is a run-down of the various benchmark tests performed, and their results.
Benchmark test used: BrowserMark
As we can see from the above chart, there is a very obvious boost in browser performance from Android 2.3 to 4.0, with ICS scoring around 24% better than the previous version. HTC users, expect quicker loading pages and, overall, a snappier browsing experience.
Software and Hardware
Benchmart test used: Sunspider 9.1 and Quadrant Standard
As you can see, the Vivid with Android 4.0 processes JS code up to 66% faster than with the older version. This is a very large improvement in speed by any standards, proving that ICS is the best available version of Android in features and performance. There is a very small increase in hardware performance, which is understandable, considering that the device hardware remained the same.
Benchmark tests used: NenaMark 1 and NenaMark 2
NenaMark is a benchmark test used to measure hardware accelerated graphics performance for Android devices. NenaMark 2 is the successor of the base version, aimed at testing graphics performance of high-end devices.
The device running ICS saw a 20% boost with the Nenamark 1 test and a 41% performance increase with the Nenamark 2 test. The results of these tests are good news for users who are into graphic-intensive mobile gaming.
Benchmark test used: Basemark OS battery test
The Basemark OS battery test runs a slate of available trials, while simultaneously monitoring battery endurance throughout these tests. The benchmark set includes system tests, graphics tests, media decoding tests, and program startup tests. The device needs to be fully charged before running the Basemark OS battery test.
One of the biggest complaints about HTC devices the world over has been the poor battery life, with many blaming the heavy layering of the HTC Sense 3.0 UI running on Android 2.3 phones. The HTC Vivid Android 4.0 update also brings with it Sense 3.6, which is said to bridge the gap between Sense 3.0 and the far more streamlined Sense 4.0. The boost in battery performance is immediately noticeable, with almost an extra hour of high-stress usage available, which translates to even longer lasting battery life for regular users.
If there were ever any doubts about Android 4.0, they can be safely dismissed now. The ICS update brings with it not only better software, but also large performance boosts in every major ”department.”
The only question remains, when do I get to take a bite out of the increasingly savory Ice Cream Sandwich?
We have answered that question for you as well. You can see a list of devices expected to receive the ICS update here. If you’re subscribed to the AT&T, you can see if your device is going to receive an official Android 4.0 update here. And if the official route does not work out for you, custom ROMs is the way to go, with CyanogenMod releasing a handy flowchart to see if you will be eligible for a CM9 update, based on Android 4.0.