Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My experiences with CyanogenMod7 on the HTC EVO 4G

So last week a buddy of mine (who also owns an EVO) said to me, "Hey, when is Sprint going to get their act together and release a Gingerbread update for the EVO?" And I responded, "Well, actually... I just saw a leak of the Sprint ROM go up on XDA recently. Do you want to give it a try?"

And after discussing the possibilities, benefits and risks of rooting and flashing his EVO, we actually decided to ignore the Sprint leak (for now) and give CyanogenMod 7 a go.

The main reasons:
1. The Sprint leak really doesn't seem release ready. Personally, I've played around with questionable leaks in the past on my Hero, but I wasn't about to drop that onto my buddy, who is probably capable of dealing with the intricacies of a not-quite-release version of android, but likely has less free time to screw around with it than I do.
2. I freaking love CyanogenMod. Cyanogen (the guy, not the ROM) and his team has earned a reputation for putting out quality android ROMs, both in stability, performance, and added features.

So last weekend I flashed CM7.0.0 onto my EVO, and this morning I finished flashing the latest update for the EVO,

My thoughts so far:
Gingerbread on the EVO is nice. Generally, the taskbar, menus and other android-specific UI elements have been standardized and given some nice touch-ups to improve the general look-and-feel of the OS. And my phone so far has had far better battery life than I did while running Fresh 3.5 (a Sprint-Sense-UI-based ROM).

CM really adds some nice UI tweaks as well. I LOVE the PowerControl widget in the notification/task bar. I love the new customizable lockscreen (you can set up a shortcut to launch an app directly from the lock screen).

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, whenever I venture away from the Sprint Sense UI I do miss their nice calendar agenda widget. I have the CalWidget running in CM7, but visually and functionally you just can't beat the Sense UI experience there.

Some other perks of CM7:
- All of the glory of Gingerbread on the EVO
- Customizable lockscreen gestures
- An updated (stock android) camera app
- An updated (stock android) music app
- A download manager (helps if you haven't installed a File Manager app)
- Improved power management
- built-in over-clock/under-clock support
- built-in JIT compiler support

So I plan to stick with this as my daily ROM for at least a few weeks. If XDA finds a better leak of the pending Sprint update, or any of the ROM developers manage to release a nice GB + Sense-UI variant based on the Sprint leak, I may give that a shot for comparison purposes.

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