CyanogenMod 7 on Galaxy S – Part II

This is my second shot at CM7 on my Galaxy S GT-I9000. This time around I installed the 18.03 nightly build, which was the most recent available in the CyanogenMod repository and is also much improved over the 11.03 build that I had tried last time around. The improvements are very substantial, from a daily use point of view the difference is night & day.

As last time, I ll simply list out all of my observations and thoughts on CM7, starting with the positives.

  • Since installation of the 18.03 build, CM7 is as stable as it could ever be. I ve had zero reboots and zero force closes of any application thus far. Skype runs fine on this build.
  • The phone feels fast, really fast. In my use of the phone so far with CM7, I’m yet to notice any UI sluggishness. The screen ON/OFF animations never get old.
  • The display gamma problem that I had alluded to in my earlier post is also fixed. My dark themed wallpapers look great.
  • Other display glitches, like the screen not redrawing sometimes after a button touch(which leaves the pop-up in the middle of the screen slightly faded) are much reduced now. This used to happen quite often in the earlier build.
  • All the other shortcomings still remain like the barebones camera, mediocre phone app, inability to record 720p videos, choppy 3D benchmarks in Quadrant(but still high scores). Auto-brightness is as before, screen doesn’t dim enough in low light.
  • Last time I had not bothered to take any look at the battery performance of CM7 what with the instability and all. With the 18.03 build, I get manageable battery life. With few calls, a bit of surfing and having background updates ON, I get just about a days worth of juice out of it. Mind you, I’m sporadically connected by WiFi and usually tend to keep cellular data OFF, so the results are still a bit skewed. Also, keeping the phone idle with WiFi turned ON causes substantial battery drain – I observe about a 15% drop overnight. Not impressive in the least but I can live with it.

To me system stability and UI slickness are the most important factors while deciding on a ROM. Having a feature packed ROM which makes my phone feels sluggish or reboots once a day is no good.

Overall, therefore, I’m very impressed with CM7 and recommend it whole-heartedly to anyone who is on the look out for a slick Gingerbread ROM for their Galaxy S. Although still in Beta, it is stable and has just about enough battery life to be used on your primary phone. Things can only get better hereon for CM7. Now that the platform is stable, the developers of the ROM can focus on the 3D graphics driver and fine-tuning the ROM. And once the debug code is pulled out, the battery life should also be much improved.

These are exciting times – going through different builds of CM7 during its development and to see the great strides the development team is taking to bring out the most popular custom ROM in the Android world for Galaxy S. I cant wait for the day when the final build is officially released.

These are couple of wonderful videos: –

 This a guide on how to go about installing CM7 and;

this a decent video review of the ROM.

All the required files and builds for CM7 are available here. Enjoy installing it!

 

Update: After having used CM7 regularly over the past two weeks, another issue I ve come across is that when a call is answered, the calling party can barely hear me. I guess it has something to do with the microphone experiencing severe attenuation for answered calls. It works fine if I make a call instead.

Comments

3 comments on “CyanogenMod 7 on Galaxy S – Part II”
  1. Xcalibur says:

    I just stumbled across your blog and wanted to say well done! Ive been running Darky’s v10 for a few weeks now and it has proven to be a great experience, except for a few minor issues. Ive been looking at CM7 for a while now and from what you say it is coming along nicely but still has a ways to go. I wonder have you tried Darky’s v10 and how you think it compares with CM7? I recently went on holiday and because of this turned off the 3G and only enabled the WiFi to connect through the hotel WiFi. In this configuration, the battery was still at 20% after 4 days which i found quite impressive. Anyway keep up the posts, as a fellow SGS owner i enjoy seeing your experiences with CM!

    1. adarshatwar says:

      Hi Xcalibur,

      Yeah, I tried Darky’s V10 (and v10.1 too). Its fast and has great battery life as you said. However, as I’ve alluded to in another post, I run SPB Shell 3D as my launcher. On Darky’s, for some reason, SPB Shell got paged/swapped out of memory very frequently – running music player, messaging, angry birds resulted in this. So each time I hit ‘Home’, SPB would relaunch(it takes a while too).

      CM7 is faster, manages memory better(my observations during daily use) and has a better color profile(to my eyes; stock/darky have very saturated colors). The drawbacks as of now with CM7 are battery life(it simply doesn’t compare with Darky’s) and the camera app. But there is hope – when I wrote the post I was on the 18.03. Now, I’m on 25.05 – in about two months the CM7 team has improved battery life by about 25-30% and has brought 720p recording to the phone.

      Bottom-line is that CM7 improves much faster than Darky’s. The current nightly builds of CM7 are excellent an I expect an official release to be out very soon.

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