Monday, May 7, 2012

Android Cyanogenmod Pros Vs Cons

To get or not to get, that is the question.

I can only talk about my experience and as you can tell I installed the latest Gingerbread mod on November 2011 nightly version (never bothered to update yet but I will as soon as the new ICS comes out). I only had the stock Froyo for a few days because my mind was already made up to upgrade as I purchased the unit (on Wind tab from Wind mobile in Canada).

First, my hardware: LG Optimus 2x (which is the same as the T-Mobile G2X because the model is P999 not to be confused with P990 as it's some differences which no one really knows which. But don't confuse it.)

Now to my software
Android version: 2.3.7
Baseband version: M6600A-SCAUTNZ-2.0.9720T ~~
Kernel version
Mod version: CyanogenMod-7-11162011-NIGHTLY-G2X
Build number: GWK74

The only comparison I can have is the original that came from my provider (Wind Mobile in Canada), I would say that there are many benifits which I read, mainly what I needed was a decent battery and this one holds quite true as the battery lasts a full day even with modorate use, excessive use could get 10 depending on your usages, I had times where I used it to email attachments, stream youtube music (which still runs the screen so double trouble along with speakers, wifi and the processing of the video/music) and I got about 7 hours until it gets to about 10% at which point I charge it but I'm no expert on the charging optimums.

I really love the small tricks like the quick access to wifi, gps*, volume, brightness (hold the status bar in place and slide left to right to adjust) and visual additions this version has to the old one; small one is the transition to lock screen which is like the old tube TVs closing in the middle.

Huge customization space, ability to use gestures to go right into app functions.
For example; I use the S motion to start soundhound app right from the lockscreen and it goes straight into song recognition (similar to shazam) which saves a lot of time from the unlock, tap, and tap again to listen, the gesture goes right in to the listen mode. I also use a line to unlock which makes it quicker than pooling that ring in many cases.
More tweaks are possible that I either don't remember at the moment (will update if I do) or just didn't get to yet (even though it's already been like 5 months).

More options: There's many more options when holding down the power button. For example you are able to reboot (unlike the original software which only allowed to turn off) and you can now also take print screens which makes it much easier (not having to remember the key combinations). Very convenient.

Better piracy. I'm not sure if this was a problem with the locked OS but I had no problems installing apps for free that normally cost $5 (yes I'm that cheap.. sometimes :) if they don't deserve it).

Of course the Adobe flash functions pretty well, gives me a huge advantage over the iPhone counterparts which should be shaking in their apple

Issues connecting to a GPS and although I only had a few days with the original I try to recall but I think it was connecting to GPS albeit quite slowly (took about 5-10 minutes on the road, which already got us to the destination before it found the satellite). This can be worked around by using the 3g/4g data to locate which I find pretty accurate, but using the existing GPS would still be nice...

Camera is not optimal, the original Froyo seemed to be a little better and I read on article that it's specialized by LG so it has better functions - in particular I miss the zoom option (even though it's digital) during video making. Also not a huge fan of the mkv format even if it's open source it seems to pixalate/break during certain motions or sounds or even random (can't figure out why) which I didn't quite get the chance to test on the previous OS but I do remember it had zoom on video and either mp4 or avi (can't remember).

Dropped calls. Not sure why or if this is model, software or hardware specific but I had instances where the phone simply goes blank while on a call, even if the battery is half full, signal is decent it just seems to turn off. Screen turning off to save battery while on a call is perfectly fine but the call cuts out and pressing the power button turns the unit on. which implies it was off? very strange and hope the software can be updated to fix this because I don't see how this could even be a hardware issue.

Lastly, my friend wanted to test out his Rogers sim card but even though the device is rooted it would not allow him to connect to the towers, maybe this was a settings thing (which I might be able to fix now) or maybe the antenna's use different frequencies but either way it would be a con since the purpose was to unlock and allow any or all sim cards (I know some old ones will never work if the backwards compatible antennas frequencies are simply not there any more)

My verdict is, it depends on your needs, if you want a functional phone with longer battery life (like me) go with the mod. Of course this can change depending on your provider and manufacturer (I saw some great HTC which have a very neat OS called HTC sense and I wouldn't bother upgrading it if I got it).

Remember that certain knowledge/skill and due diligence is required so you don't brick your phone.
Personally, after about 2 hours and maybe 3-4 (if not more) attempts, I was successful and never looked back (mainly because I can't! lol). On the other hand if you prefer suprior video recording quality and slightly better still camera (maybe just better features with panorama but I downloaded an app in any case) and don't mind the compromise of battery life you may as well stay on the old Froyo in the case of this device.

So these are my thoughts, did you do an upgrade? what are your experiences? do share comments, questions with us and post em below. If you would like me to help you upgrade your phone and you live in the Toronto area drop me a line at the email listed at the bottom.

Thanks for visiting!

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