Review Of XXLP6 CM9 for SGS2

Posted by Ticehuac Acuauhtli On Thursday, January 26, 2012 No comments
*** UPDATE AS OF MARCH 10, 2012 *** A new CM9 build (20120308) is available for download via ROM Manager. For download links and quick reviews of all the latest CM9 builds for SGS2, check Reviews Of The Latest CM9 Builds For SGS2. All reviews made on that post will be short and include bugs and new features not found in build number 01252012. Download links included.

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It's been 6 hours since I installed XXLP6 CM9 on my SGS2. It is also known as build number 01252012. An older version of CM9 gave a taste of Ice Cream Sandwich but the bugs were too much for me, prompting me to revert to my previous ROM within just hours. But this right here, is a keeper. And I'm sticking with this ROM until the next stable ICS firmware comes up!


In fact, you can just skip my review and head on over to this comprehensive CM9 XXLP6 Installation Guide for ROM Manager and non-ROM Manager users :) Remember to check it out because you need to install gapps. Google integration does not come with XXLP6.


Final verdict of ROM below.


Screenshots at bottom of post.


Bugs & Cons (2 days after install)
  • Video capture doesn't work. The Camera app will force close after attempting to capture video.
  • Video playback doesn't work. Yes, that includes YouTube.
  • Touch light fails to turn off after plugging phone to charge. You will have to turn screen on and then off using power button to turn off touch light.
  • Touchscreen suddenly doesn't work with some games (based on experience: Fashion Story, The Game Of Life and Plants vs Zombies). These games also freeze but they worked perfectly on MIUI 4 Fresh which also runs on ICS.
  • Twitter contacts fail to sync. You can only sync Google contacts.
  • A red light flickers on the top right corner of your phone when using Face Unlock or making a call. Weird. I dunno what you call it, lol. Kinda looks like laser.

Pros & Features I Like (2 days after install)
  • ZERO Force Closes and no random reboots :) Yay!
  • Voice action features. Commands include "send text," "listen to," "call (mention contact)," "send email," "set alarm," "go to (name of website)," "note to self," and "web search".
  • Power button gives access to : Power off, Reboot, Screenshot, Airplane Mode, and Volume Modes. Again, let me emphasize on the SCREENSHOT.
  • WiFi and 3G work
  • No problem with signal strength which seems to fluctuate with unstable ROMs.
  • Bluetooth works. Successfully transferred files to my SGT (Samsung Galaxy Tab) :)
  • Notifications bar can be opened from lockscreen.
  • Face Unlock works WELL! As long as there is bright light of course so the front-facing camera can see you. Btw, you need to download and install gapps for this and other Google features like syncing your phone to Google. Download link is at this installation guide.
  • Google contacts sync works.
  • Smooth interface, doesn't lag.
  • Phone never heated up in the past few hours of use.
  • Battery drains normally depending on use.
  • Holo theme seen throughout - black and blue :)
  • You can customize your interface by going to System settings > Trebuchet. Only Homescreen, Drawer, and General are accessible.
  • Other games work smoothly (based on experience: Fruit Ninja and Tiny Tower)
  • Messages work perfectly. No failed messages as long as you have good signal. When typing a contact under "To" in New Message, available contact options appear. Example, if you type "Ed," friends named "Eduardo" and "Eddie" will appear for selection. This wasn't possible with the first alpha build of CM9 for the SGS2 - I had to search through contacts and send messages from there if they weren't in my Inbox.
  • Calls and phone dialer work perfectly. When making a call, you can hear each other pretty well. Tried and tested.
  • Music application is smooth. Music is audible and doesn't have disruptions when playing on loudspeaker or headset.
  • Yeah, loudspeaker works.
  • Music player has sound effects when on headset :)
  • When you play music on loudspeaker or headset, a widget appears on the notifications bar and lock screen. The widget lets you Play, Pause, Forward to the next song, and press Back to play previous song. From the notifications bar, you can also exit the Music app by clicking 'X' - so simple!
  • Notifications bar gives access to WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, Volume Modes, and Settings.
  • On notifications bar, swipe to remove notifications individually. Press "X" on top right to remove them all.
  • You can edit the apps placed on the dock, except for the apps drawer icon which you can't remove.
  • When you long press the menu button, you can access recent apps the Ice Cream Sandwich way. Swipe individually to remove app from the list.
  • Google Search widget stays on top when flipping through Homescreen pages. I personally love that about CM9.
  • The Gallery lets you view photos based on album name, time, people, date, and tags.
  • Gallery remembers your last 'sharing' option. For example, if you shared photos via Bluetooth, next time you share more photos the Bluetooth icon will be on the top right. No need to browse other sharing options!
  • When viewing a photo, you can scroll to the left or right on the bottom of screen to see all other photos from the same album.
  • Browser bookmarks are restored if you were using an ICS-based ROM (tied to your Google account) during bookmarking.
  • Browser automatically signs in to Google.
  • Browser is faster than my original Gingerbread ROM (XWKK2)
  • Lastly, flying Androids across your screen! :) Go to System settings > About phone and click on Android version 4.0.3 several times. When the Android appears on your screen, press and hold it, and wait for the geeky magic to happen!
Verdict

CM9 XXLP6 aka build number 01252012 is near perfection. It is a great ROM you can use every day, minus the videos and heavy gaming. You can use it to make calls, send messages hassle-free, browse the internet, take photos, and enjoy light gaming.


Please, don't forget to follow me on Twitter @shetalksandroid for more ROM Reviews :) I review test and stable builds for the SGS2 and SGT 7. I focus more on the SGS2 though because I use it more often.


[ Installation guide for CM9 XXLP6 ]

Screenshots

Slide lockscreen
Face Unlock works
Music widget on lockscreen
Homescreen
You can edit apps on Dock except for the app drawer
Dialer
Gallery viewing options
Photo viewing on Gallery
Notice how you can easily scan photos from the same album on bottom of screen
Camera works!
Apps view after pressing app drawer icon on homescreen
Widgets view
Access by clicking 'Widgets' on top right
or continuously scroll to the right from apps view
Message Inbox
Messages view
Holo theme on System Settings

Music player
Press menu button to access sound effects
Recent apps view after long pressing home button
Swipe to remove apps from list individually
Message box appears after giving voice command "send text"

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