A while back I rooted my Samsung Galaxy S2. I decided to root the phone and swap the rom out after getting frustrated waiting for Android updates to firstly get updated again by Samsung, and then bastardised by t-mobile. This would usually involve a varying range of irritations; from whacking on uninstallable applications that I would never use, to renaming the stock browser to "web n walk".
Aside from the application bloat irritations, the actual sweet goodness at the core (the latest release of the Android OS) was still something that I looked forward to. However, it takes time for Samsung and your mobile operator to get their changes in, and this can often be months. For example, Ice Cream Sandwich was officially released on the 19th of October 2011. It eventually landed on t-mobile uk branded Samsung Galaxy S2 handsets in June the following year. A painful 8 month wait.
So, after lots of careful consideration and lots of research, I rooted my phone and installed a custom rom using some of the awesome information available over at galaxys2root.com.
The rooting itself was quite straight forward. I then selected a custom rom that I had heard several rave reviews about - Resurrection Remix.
After installation and initially playing with it, I was very impressed. But as the weeks went on I started to notice a few bugs of varying degrees of irritation. Some were a little annoying. Others were rage inducing. I was also getting worse battery life and plenty of apps just didn't work.
But I still stuck with it. Why? It was so much faster than the official rom.
After a few months, I decided I'd better check for a newer version of Resurrection Remix with the hope that it would fix some of the issues that I was experiencing.
There was. I considered it, did my research, and found that most users were satisfied with it. A Google search for "resurrection remix [version number] issues" was my research.
After installation and a few weeks of use, I was much happier. I was now getting much better battery life and many of my apps that did not quite function properly previously were now working as expected.
I'm currently still on Resurrection Remix version 2.7. Some parts of the rom are great, but others are not - there are a few annoying glitches. One of the worst is that I cannot update the gmail app. Frustratingly, this is even though the rom's community is one of the biggest out there.
If you are thinking about running a custom rom on your android phone, consider the following:
- Are you prepared to have a not as polished experience?
- Have you done enough research into the apps that you use and if they will work?
- Are you comfortable that the rom may not have been tested as heavily as official roms and that you might run into a bug that will leave you thinking "how the heck did that one get through?"
I personally now would not recommend going the way of running a custom rom. Sure, it's fun playing around with your phone and seeing how it runs under a highly customisable, non stock rom, but if you use your phone heavily and rely on it to work, I just don't believe it's worth the risk of running into a frustrating glitch.
I think that from now on, I'll be sticking with the stock roms but will be rooting so that I can use apps like Titanium Backup, and so that I can uninstall unwanted bloatware apps.