In this series, we’ll try and take you through some of the custom ROM options that are there for the SGS. We’ll introduce you guys to two or three at a time.
Assuming your phone has been rooted and you have flashed ClockWorkMod recovery (if you haven’t do read this post. You need to prepare your phone to be able to flash a custom ROM onto it), flashing a new ROM is as simple as running your phone in recovery mood and installing the ROM from the zip file. Before you do that though, there are multiple Kernels and Modems available out there. In some cases, the ROM chef might have a preferred Kernel/Kernels that he/she has tested the ROM on, so it’s advisable to stick to what they’ve mentioned. That doesn’t mean you can’t try out other kernels though. Modems on the other hand, are optimzed for regions and carriers, so you can pick what ever you want. If you get the right one, your battery life and voice/data quality will be good. It’s kinda trial and error, or you can read up on XDA Developers Forum.
DISCLAIMER– WE TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY IF YOU END UP BRICKING YOUR PHONE, VOIDING YOUR WARRANTY etc.
Let’s start out with listing out a few of the Popular Kernels out there:
- Voodoo: Project Voodoo is the work of François Simond (@supercurio). He’s also worked on the Voodoo Sound Amplifier (which is a must have on the SGS). It comes with its own Lagfix, Colour and also has BLN support built in. If you want to flash the kernel, you can download it from the XDA Thread, which has versions that can be flashed from CWM and ODIN. Visit the Project Voodoo Page for more info. If you want awesome Graphics (with some battery life sacrificed in return), use VooDoo.
- Speedmod: Speedmod Kernel by hardcore is probably THE BEST kernel out there for battery life, without losing much on the graphics side. Along with its own Lagfix, it also has tweaks for improved battery life. You can read more about it over on XDA, where you’ll always be able to download the latest version. If you need an installation guide, check this out.
- Ultimate Kernel: The ultimate kernel by DamianGTO is the kernel you want if you want to OverClock or UnderClock your phone. It can run from 800 MHz to 1200 MHz, so you can underclock it if you want better battery life. It also supports UnderVolt. You can read more about the Kernel and Download it here.
All three kernels support the 350MB RAM hack.
Now, WRT the modems, check out this thread on XDA for the list of modems for each region, which explains which one to pick.
Onto the ROMS for today!
If you need a ROM that runs fast, smooth, and has decent battery life, this is the ROM for you. It’s a no-brainer! I currently use this ROM (currently on version 9.3). It’s probably the easiest ROM to install, and with version 9.0 onwards, it even has an app on the market that lets you configure it on the phone itself! Just search for the DarkyRom Configurator, or click here.
The ROM comes with a Gingerbread look and feel, is really really smooth, and has quite a few features.
Once you’ve installed the configurator, assuming you’re coming from a Stock Rom, it will WIPE your device whether you tick the Wipe option or not. It’s advisable to wipe your device when you update, so use Titanium Backup to create a backup of your device. The recommended kernels for Darky’s are VooDoo and Speedmod (which you can select from the app), or you can leave the option blank to run whichever kernel you want. You can also select which modem you want (JPY is the recommended one) or leave it blank and use the modem that works best in your region from the list above. You can also use the circle battery icon (which is what I’ve used) instead of the stock Gingerbread style battery icon, choose which Boot animation you want (the darky one or the Nexus Boot animation), whether you want the Samsung Social apps installed, Swype, Live Wallpapers, Extra Font Packs and all the 3rd Party apps (like SGS toolbox, etc).
[ad#ga-480-break]You can download the zip file for the ROM over at Darkyrom.com. Copy it onto your SD card (the 16GB built into the phone that is,not an external SD). Head over the configurator, select whatever you want, and you can Flash the rom from the darkyrom configurator app itself (just click on the Select zip and Flash option).
Update: The latest version is v9.5, which has a lot of tweaks! Download it here! IF you’re flashing for the first time, you can use the Resurrection Edition (download here), and then update to the latest version.
The Rom also has two way call recording built in. (WARNING: THIS MAY BE ILLEGAL IN YOUR COUNTRY)
All said and done, Darky’s ROM is by far the Smoothest rom I’ve used, and the fact that you can easily select what you need for it and Flash it directly from your phone itself makes it the First Choice (for me at least). Currently, there’s no way to update the ROM Over the Air, but that might be possible in the upcoming versions.
(The ROM version is Darky’s ROM 9.3, and is based on XWJS5)
Doc & Stefunel’s ROM Kitchen:
If you actually have read up on what you want on your phone, and want a COMPLETELY configurable rom, Doc & Stefunel’s ROM Kitchen is where you need to go. First up, head over to the XDA thread if you want to read whats new with the ROM. Once you’re done with that, head over to romkitchen.org, and cook up your ROM.
First up, you can select which device you’re on. This ROM currently supports the SGS i9000 and the at&t Captivate. Once you’re in, head to the generator and Pick your ingredients.
The current versions available are XWJS7 (v9.8.1) and ZSJPG (v9.9). Pick whichever one you want. (The version you see below is from an earlier 9.6.6 build)
Next up you pick the CSC file, which has all your regional settings, and any apps that were built for your region. Pick the one that’s suitable for your region and then head over to the kernel section. The recommeneded kernel here is Hardcore’s Speedmod, but you also have the option to pick Voodoo, Damian’s Ultimate Kernel and Fugumod kernel and Lastufo’s Kernel (I haven’t tried the last two).
Pick up the Modem that you want, (the choices have been simplified, they’re sorted by region), select which all apps you want to install (from the browser version you want, to whether you want the Samsung Apps, etc).
Tweaks for the phone are available too, from the Voodoo sound app, to Damians UV tweak, the LCD density changer, and a different WiFi WPA supplicant capable of AdHoc networks (the stock version will not detect adhoc networks). You can select the theme from a HUGE selection, the boot animation you want and which Ringtone Pack you want (Stock SGS, the Nexus S or the Cyanogen Mod Pack). Head over to Stefunel’s Youtube Channel to preview all the Boot Animations.
People who use this ROM swear by it. Personally, I’ve found that it’s not necessarily as Smooth as Darky’s, but with the different builds and modems available, it does have a slightly longer battery life (depends on how you use it of course).
Both these ROMS come with the extended power control panel,which gives you access to the download/recovery mode, Airplane Mode, and lets you turn off data and reboot your phone just by pressing the power button. It saves you a few steps everytime!
Pick whichever ROM you want, and if you’re not satisfied, come back. We’ll soon have a couple of other ROMs for you to try out! Catch us on twitter, we’re @myportableworld. And Do visit our Facebook Page.