ROM review -- Serendipity for the Samsung Captivate

The Samsung Galaxy S line gets a lot of custom ROM love, and the Captivate is no exception.  The awesome hardware just begs to be put to task, and there's that whole Android 2.2 update issue for Galaxy S phones in the USA.  This time around Android Central forums adviser ls377 gives us a look at Serendipity 6.2 for the Captivate, and it's a stunner.  But don't take my word for it, head on past the break and have a read.  Thanks, Larry!

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Serendipity 6.2

When I first got my Captivate a few months back, the first thing I did was try to find the best ROM to flash. Most Captivate owners know the stock experience is lacking, and the restrictions imposed by AT&T can be annoying to any power user. After hours of research, I decided on Serendipity, from MikeyMike01 and ChanceM, for my first flash, and I haven’t looked back. The look and performance of this ROM is spotless, and has met all of my needs since day one.

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The first thing you notice about Serendipity is the heavy Gingerbread themeing. Don’t let the colorful wallpaper you may be familiar with from HTC fool you, the black and green status bar, Gingerbread launcher, and themed menus are all there, and they make your Captivate look and feel like Gingerbread. But Serendipity takes the darker theme introduced in Android 2.3 to another level. The included apps have a black theme, including the Market, Gmail, Messaging, and most of the stock apps. This color scheme looks great on the Captivate’s Super AMOLED screen. Serendipity uses the stock Android lockscreen by default, but one of the best features of many Samsung custom ROMs is the choice of lockscreen. You have the Android, Epic, glass, orb, and rotary lockscreens to choose from, and all five are appropriately themed. Throw all this together with some snappy transitions, and you get a thorough but not over the top theme. There’s even a red theme available for those of you who can’t stand Android green (if you don’t like black, then you’re out of luck).

Of course, looks aren’t everything. Every user needs great performance, and Serendipity delivers. Built off of the JS7 leak for the international Galaxy S, with hardcore’s Speedmod kernel, the ROM includes the latest software from Samsung, combined with tweaks from the developer community. All of the AT&T and Samsung bloatware, including Touchwiz, is absent in Serendipity. The ROM runs extremely speedy and smooth, with virtually no lag, and handles demanding tasks with ease. There are also various sharpness and brightness tweaks, and the kernel comes with Voodoo sound, which greatly improves sound quality and volume. The battery life gets me through a day with minimal charging. Oh, by the way, GPS locks almost instantly.

One of the coolest features of this ROM doesn’t even make it to your phone. The ROM has most of the Samsung apps taken out, and there are many options for battery mods and transition effects. It’s a pain to have to flash 3 or 4 zips, and push apps to the system partition, so the developers came up with an “add-on kitchen”. You can choose you themeing options and apps to add, and the kitchen packs them together in a single, clockwork flashable zip, streamlining the installation process. There are other useful features from the ROM, including backlight notifications, which uses the backlight for the capacitive buttons as an LED replacement, and the hacked camera app, which allows you to take pictures with the power button.

What I’ve talked about here is just the tip of the iceberg. Serendipity, in my opinion, is the best choice for a custom ROM on the Captivate. It brings out the hidden functionality in your phone that AT&T and Samsung failed to give it. If you’re worried about updates, Serendipity has you covered, with updates coming weekly, and sometimes as often as twice a day. If you own a Galaxy S device, and are disappointed by the software that has been provided to you, you should look into a custom ROM. The devs have taken a somewhat crippled phone, and turned it into a beast with unmatched smoothness and stability. Chances are, your phone has something that performs just as well as Serendipty.

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