Recently, I’ve made a transition from the official stock ROM for my Xperia V to a CyanogenMod ROM. What triggered a relapse of my Geek Syndrome was the usual complaints that people say about their phone – it lags, battery life seems to be deteriorating, and insufficient storage to install apps. In my case, it would seem that all the above applies, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought – until I had to use the custom ROM on a daily basis.
While I am very much familiar with the process of installing a custom ROM, I hardly experienced using one for an extended period of time, as usually I only install it on older phones. Usually, the stock ROM is sufficiently fast and hassle-free enough for me to use till the end of the phone’s lifespan, but as time goes by, the amount of apps which I use regularly increases, and also with the regular updates for the apps, leads to a shortage of storage space on the phone. Also, with the amount of apps which came preloaded on the phone which I do not use at all (which is very little on Sony’s phones, as compared to other manufacturers like Samsung), it makes for a compelling reason to switch to CyanogenMod for my daily usage.
Once I had CyanogenMod installed on my phone though, it was as though I were using a new phone, albeit without the bells and whistles that came with stock ROMs. It was faster, had features from the stock Android ROMs present on the Google Nexus devices and occupied less space than the default ROM. However, that is with some drawbacks – I had to learn how to use the default apps that comes with CyanogenMod, as I was too accustomed to using Sony’s default Gallery, Phone, Contacts and Camera apps. Thankfully, with the Google Play Store, this problem was mitigated as I could use a third-party app to install apps which I am more familiar with, or find that it is superior to the stock apps provided with CyanogenMod.
Other than the occasional phone reboot (as usually CyanogenMod ROMs are a “work in progress”, unless otherwise stated as a “stable” or “final” build) and/or non-critical bugs, everything was running fine, and with this ROM, it seems as though the product lifespan of my phone has been extended for 3 to 6 months, just in time for my next phone purchase after a year and 8 months with my current one.
In the end, as reality sunk in, I went back to the stock firmware – mainly because of the stock camera features which allowed for better quality photos taken, as compared to CyanogenMod. If the stock camera feature were to be made compatible with CyanogenMod, it would be the killer feature for me, and as well as many others.
UPDATED 19 Sep 2014: I ended up going back to CyanogenMod again, as the improvements to the camera app made it possible for me to take better quality photos, and the miscellaneous improvements and features trumped the photo quality issue.