Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Ace - S5830: On The ROM Hunt (Part 2)

Samsung Galaxy Ace - S5830: On The ROM Hunt (Part 2)
On the ROM hunt is a series of reviews to find the best ROM for regular daily use that provides stability, good performance and good battery life for the Galaxy Ace. Everyone's daily usage differs but here is my typical usage scenario:
  • 10-15 messages (including Whatsapp, SMS and/or Facebook messenger)
  • 5-30 minutes of voice call
  • 2-3 hours of casual gaming (like Scramble with Friends, etc)
  • 3G data always on (except when WiFi is on)
  • 3-4 hours WiFi usage
CM7.2-RC3-AA Update 4.7.12 (FireKernel-OC edition) (Link)
SPeriance ROM 01.08.2012 Final (Link)

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

CM7.2-RC3-AA Update 4.7.12 (FireKernel-OC edition)
This ROM comes with 2 other zip packs which you may want to download and install. They are the defaultui (which sets the clock to the right side) and a CM9 settings style fix. Make sure you remember to mount /system before you flash the zip packs else it won't take effect. If you don't want to flash the zip packs, its ok as well. I didn't flash the additional zip packs and I still think its a beautiful and smooth looking UI.

The developer of this ROM is not kidding when he said that the Xperia launcher is a fast launcher. Navigation from the homescreen and app drawer is super fast and smooth. I would even dare to say that the speed is faster than any other ROM that I've tested thus far. However, certain lags cannot be avoided. Heavy applications and multitasking is still asking too much from the single core 800MHz processor. There is only so much that software optimizations can help.

The battery life of this ROM is definitely better than average. While most ROMs I've tested so far can only last me from morning until night, this ROM lasted me until about noon the next day. That's a full 24 hours. There are times when it will stay stagnant at a certain % for a few hours before suddenly dropping. It does make me wonder if perhaps the displayed % is not getting updated properly. However, even then, this ROM's battery life is still above average.

Although during regular usage, 3G connection and WiFi were quite stable and usable, I did encounter a problem when I tried to do a speed test using the SpeedTest.net app. Ping and Downloads was able to complete, but the Upload would almost always return a Network Connection Error. It was very frustrating. I'm not sure whether the app was having issues with the ROM or simply the ROM's upload speed was so terrible until the app simply responded with a Network Connection Error. Regardless, it did not seem to hinder daily operation and as such, I do not think that it is a major issue.

Conclusion: A stable ROM with smooth and fast launcher UI. The battery life is also great. One thing that I would want to highlight is that the UI is a little unorthodox for regular users (for one thing, the power toggles were at the bottom of the notification bar instead of on top). But if you can adapt to that, this is a good ROM. One of the best ROMs so far. Oh. Did I mention that the ROM also does not use too much RAM and the preloaded stock apps doesn't take much of the system storage area, leaving enough for your usage.

Likes: Fast, smooth UI. Better than average battery life.
Dislikes: None really.

SPeriance ROM 01.08.2012 Final
This ROM is a Stock based ROM (unlike the previous few which were CM7 based). Installation is simple with just the typical steps that can be found on the thread. There are quite a few other zip packs which does some tweaking (boot sounds, animations, keyboards, etc) but are optional. It has the ICS style looks in the home screen but almost immediately you can see the resemblance to Samsung Stock ROMs. This may not necessarily a bad thing though.

Unfortunately for this ROM, I switched to it right after using CM7.2-RC3-AA which utilizes a super fast launcher. After experiencing that launcher, this launcher feels downright slow and sluggish. This launcher also does take some time to read all the apps (first time launching the drawer after power on) which is still acceptable but I do certainly wish it was faster.

Not being based on CM7 ROM has its downsides. Primarily, the lack of customization options for the lockscreen, performance settings, etc. Of course there exists other apps which can do the tweaks as well but after having those in CM7, it just feels a little lacking not to have it by default. The ROM feels pretty smooth in regular operations but lags are present in certain apps and under heavy usage. This is to be expected of course.

As for battery life, this ROM is no different from many other ROMs. It uses the BatteryExtender Kernel but I do not get amazing battery life with my usage. Don't get me wrong though, the battery is average. It can last me through the whole working day but it isn't going to win any awards in terms of battery life.

3G connection and WiFi is stable and I did not have any issues while using it. Unlike the CM7.2-RC3-AA ROM, I was able to successfully complete the speed tests using the SpeedTest.net app. The readings were lower than what I managed on the DroidAce ROM but I think that a stable connection while using is more important than any numbers in a test result.

Conclusion: If you like stock based ROMs, this might be the ROM for you. It is a good ROM with slightly above average performance and battery. However, it was not able to reach the heights set by CM7.2-RC3-AA's performance and battery life. On the plus point, however, you do get some Stock Samsung ROM goodies like swipe to call and SMS from the contacts. It also has the notification (like missed call, messages) enabled on the lock screen so you can simply swipe those to launch the Call Log or Messages app immediately.

Likes: Swipe contacts to call and SMS. Good battery life. Has notification enabled on lock screen.
Dislikes: Lack of tweaks in settings. Launcher and UI feels a little slow at times.

Update: I just encountered a situation where the SPeriance ROM gave up on me. Halfway through a game, it lagged, then restarted itself. After a reboot,it exhibited network issues. Then, it restarted itself again when I tried to launch an app. Might be a one time thing, but this certainly lowers the stability of this ROM for me. Keep a lookout when you're using it.

No comments:

Post a Comment