Last week, I gave my views of the MIUI ROM for Android and it was quite popular so, after seeing a comment, I decided to continue this theme of Android ROM reviews. Here is my second; CyanogenMod.
This week, I have been trying out the CM7 ROM on my HTC Desire and I have to say it has certainly been a stable experience. I flashed the ROM to my device straight after my last article and have only had to charge it five times since then. That is a record for me, a power user, as I usually have to charge my phone every night when I run MIUI.
While the battery life is very good on the device, I like the ability to theme the UI of my phone. CyanogenMod's Theme Chooser does provide some pretty good features - allowing users to change the UI and other basic things - but I don't think it is comprehensive enough. It does not allow fonts to be installed - or certainly not with the same ease as other ROMs - or other aspects of the UI to be edited, but is very stable.
The 'stock' look of Cyanogen was very attractive to me. I love the unmodified appearance of Android Gingerbread with the contrasting black and white colours and orange glow. The simplistic and minimalistic look is very attractive and I enjoy using all ROMs with this design. It is very fast and sleek and allows the power of Android to shine through, without any unnecessary fancy effects and animations.
I talked about stability before, and that is a major selling point of CM7. It is one of the most stable ROMs I have used, with no force closes, no crashes and no random reboots. I like this in a ROM as it is what makes it usable - usable enough to make it a daily ROM.
We have been reported a few news stories regarding CyanogenMod and there does appear to be a great deal of change ocuring. The head of CyanogenMod joined the Android team at Samsung to help develop their Android customisations and more recently, they teamed up with Sony Ericsson to allow their devices to support the software. CyanogenMod is growing very quickly, as are other ROMs, and things seem to be going in the right direction.
As for my conclusions on the ROM; it is an enjoyable ROM to use, but lacks the aesthetics of alternatives such as MIUI. It is very stable and conserves battery life expertly, but is not revolutionary when compared to stock software. To be perfectly honest, if it wasn't for the extensive additional settings which define CyanogenMod, I would say it was just like stock software - and no better.
What do you think about CyanogenMod and why do you like it or dislike it? If you think I have missed anything out of this review, please add a comment below.