Droid Incredible ROM review: CM7 RC1

This week's ROM Review brings two Android staples together -- the HTC Droid Incredible and CyanogenMod.  These two go together like peanut butter and jelly -- each makes a good thing better.  And it's a great way to get some Gingerbread on your DInc.

Android Central forums' super moderator and self-proclaimed VP of Entertainment Brett took the time to give us the run-down this time around, and you can read his review after the break. Thanks Brett!

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CyanogenMod 7  

When it comes to the Droid Incredible or any HTC Android device, Sense UI is one of the key reasons many users love it. It has many great standout features and customization options (if you are rooted) that make it hard to even consider flashing a vanilla version of Android. After only a few weeks of owning my Dinc (coming from an OG Droid) I didn’t think I would ever move away from Sense unless I had to

Then Gingerbread was released by the CyanogenMod Team, being the first group of developers to put out a solid and stable build for the masses (before any OEM release, might I add). I wanted to try it out but was not planning on keeping it for more than a few hours. In the past I was never a huge fan of CyanogenMod ROMs because for some reason it would never run correctly on my Droid. Well, it has been over a month and I have not flashed anything other than the newest CM7 nightlies and I am currently running RC1. CM7 is hands down the fastest and most functional ROM I have ever flashed on my Dinc.

Let me start this off by saying that even though this is a review directed towards the DInc, almost all of what I am going to discuss can be said for almost every device that has an official port from the CyanogenMod Team. Don’t worry if you are reading this review but are currently using a different device, many (if not all) of these great features are available on other device specific ports. So lets get started.

A big part of CM7 that sets itself apart from many other roms is its customization options. You are able to customize so many different things within the CyanogenMod settings and almost all of them with ease. You can change the power controls that are located in the notification dropdown, switch the lock screen with one of the pre-loaded alternatives (including one that seems to be inspired by Sense), enable your DInc to wake up by just pressing the optical track pad and as many other things. 

Another one of CM7’s standout features is the ability to change your themes through its very own app called Theme Chooser. Initially when you open the application you will notice 3 choices of themes to choose from. These themes include a stock version called 'System,' a Cyanogen themed version called 'Cyanbread' and a slightly altered version of the stock version called 'Androidian.' All it takes is a quick selection of the theme you want and you are done. No need to wipe caches or flash anything through the recovery when changing the overall look of your theme. Quick, simple and unlike anything I have ever seen. 

Now, when you are picking a ROM to flash you always want to find one that will perform well without experiencing any lag, overheating of your CPU and doesn’t have a problem with randomly rebooting your device. CM7 is no slouch in this area with it’s almost seamless transition between different apps all without any need to over clock your cpu and possibly overheating your phone. It is able to keep up with the best of them without the rapid drain on your battery and straining it’s resources. Even when using Sense I would experience some overheating (without over clocking) and things would lag within an app  causing the occasional freeze/force close. I am not saying I have not experienced any lag or apps freezing but it seems to be happen far less frequently than when I was using Sense based ROMs. 

I can truly say that I am completely satisfied with this ROM and have not found any reason to switch to a different ROM. I was used to flashing a new ROM every few days, so this says a lot about CM7. If any of you ladies and gentlemen are ready to try something new, why not give CyanogenMod 7 a chance. Give it a full days use and I can almost guarantee that you will find yourself not wanting to switch back. 

Oh, and I almost forgot. I have a gift for all of you guys who took the time to read through my very 1st rom review. You may notice a special icon that I have set for my app drawer button  on my home screen. I didn’t create the image obviously but I did do some editing to it in order to make it work as an actual icon. You are going to need a launcher that has similar functions to ADW EX or Launcher Pro that will allow you to change what the icons on your home screen/dock look like. Hope you guys enjoyed this and maybe I’ll write another review in the near future.

 
Lloyd icon
 
CM7 1  CM7 2
CM7 3  CM7 4
CM7 5  CM7 7  CM7 8  CM7 9  CM7 10
 

 
There are 51 comments

Nice review

kevlars9 says:

Haha how many phones do you have !?

Droid hungry says:

The launcher you have in the pictures at the bottom of the page is that the launcher that comes with this rom? I flashed a gingerbread rom on my eris and it look like the one on the top.

ls377 says:

The one at the top is the one that would come up first. I'm sure he's customized the ones at the bottom.

Jerry has and phil have verizon and tmobile i think... so they have all droid phones and htc... android devices...

enzofall says:

lol phil does not have t-mobile...if you listened to the podcasts you would know why....

How's the battery life?

ScottG says:

I have found it to be significantly better than when I ran stock Froyo w/ Sense. When I go to school I keep my phone in my pocket all day and usually it goes from 100% down to about 50% by the end of the day (I haven't cycled my phone's battery that well...), but with this ROM it barely loses 5%. Really superb, I would suggest you try it out.

Droid hungry says:

If I can get my screen to look like the first picture after lloyd, I will be all over this thing.

How difficult was it to root the HTC Incredible & then load Cyanogenmod 7? Did you run into any trouble during that process?

NYC Dude says:

I'm running the latest CM7 on my Evo. Only thing I don't like is text reflow after pinch to zoom sucks.

Try Unrevoked3 then unrevoked forever. It was pretty simple to root my Evo.

http://unrevoked.com/#inc

jjt250 says:

Go to Settings>CyanogenMod settings>Interface and at the bottom, there's a setting called "Reflow after pinch in" that you can check and uncheck. This is on DInc so it should be there on the Evo.

NYC Dude says:

I know. Problem is it doesn't work the way its supposed to

NYC Dude says:

I know. Problem is it doesn't work the way its supposed to

ak110707 says:

How did you select the honeycomb lock-screen? It looks sweet!

russell5 says:

where do you get the honeycomb lock screen? it doesnt seem to be with the honeybread theme.

grifforama says:

What a terrible review.
All you focused on was the theme changer ?
Seamless transition between different apps ? What does this mean ? With any other ROM I've used on the dinc, and I've used a lot, there is always seamless transition between different apps....
You don't mention that 720p recording is still not available ?
I'm sorry, but this wasn't really a review.

Bizdady says:

For those asking about the Honeycomb style lockscreen check out my thread over at Xda. I have a zip for RC1 and Nightly 6.
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=959602

ssethv says:

I have been apart of this thread in the forums since the start...I have Flashed countless ROMs and Completely agree with the great write up. grifforama, if he would have gone over everything it would have taken hrs, because there is soooo much customization possibilities...

I will agree that it is extremely stable... thanks again Crondable for starting the thread. It has made my Hinc faster and better battery and just overall better... like a new phone... freakin sweet!!!

CHECK OUT THE THREAD... seriously. if you need help just read through the thread first and see if your question has already been answered, if not the just ask and we all will be happy to help :)

sandtiger says:

Can you test and see if this allows Bluetooth on during airplane mode? I've not seen a Rom for my nexus one that allows this.

ScottG says:

That's because airplane mode is supposed to disable all wireless communications... including WiFi, 3G, GPS, Bluetooth, etc... so there's a reason you can't find any that include that feature lol.

jiggaman says:

I have been flashing the nightlies since it came out. I have to say I love this rom. I like that I can easily change my lock screen and my themes. The rom is super fast. I find that launcher pro runs better than the adw launcher that comes with the rom. Great job Cyanogen team!!

rawkerdude says:

Anyone know how to get that dock with the text instead of icons? Iv'e found some icon packs but none that I really like but this one is good. I'm trying to go with a minimalist theme.

chefkeyser says:

I've been looking for this too. Any luck?

wkupike2000 says:

Kernel? What is the best kernel to have with this? Thanks!

jammin says:

Will a wipe.through Rom manager be sufficient to flash this Rom?

ScottG says:

Nice review. I have been running this ROM since the moment it was released, I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of this ROM. My phone runs a lot smoother without the Sense overlay and the battery drain isn't quite as bad as before. I would suggest this to any DInc user right now, it's possibly the best ROM you can download.

eman5oh says:

Does anyone know what clock/weather widget is used in the top left screen shot?

rawkerdude says:

Probably Beautiful Widgets from what I can tell.

Wanda says:

Do you have to download all the g-apps after flashing this?

jarobusa says:

yes.

ricbon says:

whats my first step? im using stock froyo on launcher pro+...i want to root and run this rom to hold me down till summer for my next upgrade if that?

ssethv says:

For your first step you should always check the "forums"... but here is a fist step for you

http://www.androidcentral.com/root

you CAN run wifi in airplane mode on DINC .... fyi

Lummix says:

Anyone got a link to the G-Apps? Which ones are we using on this ROM? Also, did anyone lose service after rebooting, loading gapps, or anything else totally annoying?

Lummix says:

I have tried it 2 ways, I tried to flash it using Recovery, and also downloading it in ROM Manager and both times I end up without service. I'm going to call Shenanigans and say this ROM is broken.

PS: That stupid annoying ad you make us close had "Windows Phone 7" on it the other day. Are you advertising for Windows?

Lummix says:

Hey Jerry, I see you have full bars for a signal in your screenshots, can you list the process in detail that you took to get the RC1 on your Dinc? Maybe it'll help some of us who tried it and we won't call it a battery pulling, force close, nightmare from hell.

dpend says:

I went to this ROM a couple of weeks ago after having too many Bluetooth issues with the HandsFree built into my car on the stock ROM. With CyanogenMod... ROCK solid... best thing I ever did!

Lummix says:

What did you do, download it with ROM Manager, side load it and use recovery? I can't get mine to work. It say's no service. I get youtube force closing. Gmail same thing, it's a nightmare. What did you do exactly to get the ROM installed and from where?

dpend says:

Rooted first, installed ROM Manager, downloaded a Nightly via ROM Manager, let it back up the existing ROM and installed from there. Installed the new nightly every day for the next few days (just overwrote, didn't lose data, settings, etc) and then went to RC1. I get a few Random reboots now and again, often when using Audible or installing/updating app via the Market, but I'll take them any day of the week in exchange for Bluetooth that I can actually use in my car! Good luck.

Lummix says:

Thanks for the reply. I'm doing it properly and I can't seem to keep service. Oh, well.

I got it working fantastically the first time through, so unfortunately I can't share solutions with you personally, but from the sound of it it seems like you need to update the radio. I could be wrong.

http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/index.php?title=HTC_Incredible:_Full_Update_...

I followed this entire process and it worked.

maxwellsmart says:

I've been running this ROM since the nightly's started. Until yesterday I've never had a problem. I went into a movie (only 2 hours long) with 80% battery strength and walked out with 13%! Not sure what happened, but I'm going to watch for this issue again!

JagoX says:

I had a similar problem once or twice on my DX and figured out that clearing the clearing the Dalvik & system cache in CWM fixed it. Have you tried that?

JagoX says:

Hate to be harsh but that wasn't really a review...in fact calling this a review is an insult to reviews. :(

If you're going to review a ROM (especially CyanogenMod) that is known in the Android community for having *tons* of customization & stability improvements then you're going to have to spend the time noting...as opposed to just passively mentioning them.

I was kind of hoping this would've been a good review to show my wife since I'm trying to get her to ditch Sense on her DInc (w/ Redepmtive rEVOlution) and go stock with Cyanogen.

tluv00 says:

How do I get my Gmail to start sending notifications? I downloaded it with Gapps but it still will not sync nor will it hold my Facebook sync.

JagoX says:

That's a moot point now b/c that person's original issues were resolved

tluv00 says:

I am just going back to Virtuous.

wkupike2000 says:

What is the best kernel to have with this? Thanks!

vbrana24 says:

I flayed this ROM a few hours ago and love it. It's fast and responsive and looks great. I am using LauncherPro instead of ADW though. Love this ROM. I think I'll be sticking with Cyanogen for a while.