Here's a great idea put to use -- a Galaxy S (the international i9000 version) ROM built from a completely online kitchen. Doc and Stefunel have worked really hard on both the concept, and the ROM, and you can see the results of their hard work at their kitchen's website here. If you're not familiar with the concept of a ROM kitchen, it's a way to build a ROM with -- or without -- features you want. You select how to build it, and a script on the webserver packs it up and gives you the download link.
Now that you know what a ROM kitchen is, you can see what a great experience using one can be from Android Central forums member racdyn. He took the time to write us up a nice overview of his choices and how they are working for him. It's a nice look at an equally nice concept, and a big thanks goes out to racdyn for sharing with us all!
Want to write a ROM review for Android Central? We'd love to hear from you! Look here for details. Now head past the break for the review.
Samsung Galaxy S Lines are without a doubt one of the top Android phones of 2010. However, its existence was not without glitches. One of the main criticisms that the device faced was the laggy user interface in Samsung's TouchWiz.
Fortunately, things have evolved so much since then, to the point that at the moment there are even ROM Kitchens to allow end users like us to construct a truly customized ROM.
Doc & Stefunel's Magical ROM Kitchen allows you to choose the components of a Froyo-based ROM like the base ROM, the kernel, base apps, launchers, even themes, boot animations, and sounds yourself. The downloading process is straightforward; choose the components of the ROM from the options available, and the online kitchen will start baking the components together before providing the download link for you.
Installation uses the standard practice: Wipe data (non-wipe option is also available), cache and Dalvik cache before installation. I used Clockwork 188.8.131.52 for the installation, and installation went smoothly, without any problems.
Doc & Stefunel's ROM can be preloaded with tweaking apps such as Voodoo sound, Damian Tweak, LCD Density changer, Voltage Control, even different versions of Swype, Gingerbread Keyboard, and MIUI Music player. Integration of the multiple components are flawless, the ROM is stable, fast, and has not force closed any system apps for the week that I've been using this ROM.
UI Experience can vary depending on the launcher that you choose from the kitchen. I use Go Launcher because its got positive reviews and it has been stated that it is comparable to the popular Launcher Pro. I can say that Go Launcher provides a complementing user interface to the excellent ROM
Flipping pages in the home screens is smooth and lagless, even with multiple widgets on the home screen. The app drawer is not 3D, but it has three tabs on top which helps you to filter through apps by showing all apps, recently used apps, and running apps for you to find out which one of them is hogging all your memory.
One of the first things that I noticed with Samsung's TouchWiz when I first used the device was that when I pulled the notification bar, there are power toggles embedded on top of the notification bar for you to easily silent the phone, toggle on / off WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS. I'm glad that it has not been removed in Doc's & Stefunel's ROM as that has provided me with much more convenience compared to the stock Android.
Finally, there is the Lock Screen. The ROM includes the stock AOSP lockscreen which you slide from left to right to unlock your device. I feel that the stock AOSP lockscreen shows a strong Android personality as it is elegantly done and does not need to be changed, especially not with the hideous Samsung puzzle lock screen.
Battery life can vary depend on the choices that you make for your components, but I feel that my combination resulted in longer battery life when compared to the Samsung stock ROM. Slightly heavy usage on Samsung's stock ROM can last me from morning to the evening, but now with more or less same usage pattern, my battery can easily last for about one and a half days.
My verdict on this ROM: Doc & Stefunel's Magical Kitchen bakes excellent ROMs with flawless integration of multiple components into a single ROM. Customization can be done easily, and tools for tweaking are also provided if you feel the need to further personalize your ROM after you've installed it. However, be reminded that a bit of research may be required for you to understand more about the different components that are available in the online kitchen. Some of the components are optimized for certain countries, and if you feel up to it, trying out different combinations to find out the best, most optimized combination for your ROM can be both fun and challenging.
It is definitely not for everybody, if you want a straightforward, ready-made ROM that just works, it is not for you. But if you want a certain degree of control of what goes into your ROM and ultimately into your phone, Doc's and Stefunel's kitchen has done an excellent job creating a kitchen that bakes excellent, stable, and fast Froyo based ROMs. Try it on and see for yourself, this may provide the benefit of Android's openness to those of us that are less proficient in coding and can't create a custom ROM ourselves from the Android source.