The HTC Sensation has been a plenty fun phone since the guys gave us the keys. I flashed around with Sense ROMs like LeeDroid, Virtuous, and InsertCoin. They’re all very nice if you like Sense ROMs. Very rich and full of stuff. Also very big. As an example, I was downloading almost 360mb each time of Sense ROMs. Here’s a picture of InsertCoin. I think its one of the finer custom Sense ROMs out there for the Sensation.
Then CyanogenMOD released a so-called alpha version of their Sensation ROM which weighed in at about 90mb without the google apps. Download the apps for gmail, market, and stuff and the size went up another 5mb or so.
Of course, when CyanogenMOD releases something, the ROM cooks start. New ROMs blossom from the source and we have either unofficial Kangs or fully blown enhancemnets and changes. We’re still at the pre-nightly level for the Sensation but it promises to be fun.
Now I am running an offshoot as the so-called daily driver which weighs in about 95mb in size.
The difference is striking I believe. But would someone want to run a so-called barebones ROM compared to all the gooey goodness of the Sense world? I think there are a few good reasons.
Reason 1. The default AOSP look and feel is very quick and functional. People dress up the ROM with other launchers and themes which dramatically change the UI of the phone but still keeping the basic idea.
Reason 2. Download size. There is a difference between 360mb and 95mb. Ability to apply a new ROM is faster with the smaller ROM size. This is a subjective thing of course and your mileage could vary. You may decide its much better to stick with the Sense world. Its all about choices!
Reason 3. Speed of the device. I think Sense bloats things. While it provides a great UI, more functionality, better looks; the phone itself seems to lag even with dual core processors.
One day CM7 will arrive in nightlies and RCs. Until then we have a whole bunch of stuff to happen. We will have nightlies and then spin-offs of the nightlies. We’ll have different ROMs completely with a common base. The actual number of ROMs will multiply to some extreme and crazy level as CyanogenMOD matures on the device.
Then there is the entire MIUI thing which presents a completely different interface. A different feel to the phone, different applications sometimes. Its a alternate spin on use.
The MIUI look and feel gives the phone a brand new touch and frame of reference.
So many possibilities. So many themes. Android is definitely a hacker’s and tinkerer’s delight. This theme, that ROM, this kernel. Truly amazing and it really makes the entire endeavor more than just buying that next phone. The questions when buying a new android phone are so different. Is there Root? Will the developers come on board and start doing strange and whacky things? Will the community, themers, documentarians join the battle? It seems to be a interesting stew we cook with all the parts somehow contributing. Reminds me of Linux in so many ways. Done. Yet not done.
Totally freaking cool!