ROM review: Senseless ROM 1.1 for EVO 3D

Since Revolutionary came out, I've been waiting for a good Senseless ROM to tie me over until CM7 gets an official port. My prayers seem to have been answered in scrosler's very own Senseless ROM 1.1. Being the vanilla loving, flashaholic I am, I factory reset and installed Senseless 1.1 today.

If anyone else is interested in going this route, (remember, you'll need S-OFF and twrp), here's what I've seen thus far.

First off, you'll notice the launcher is back to stock Gingerbread, as is the lockscreen. If your version is like mine, the homescreen is bare, save for a single, solitary Google search widget. Everything looks clean and familiar again. Open the app drawer and you'll be greeted with the same Gingerbread experience. Most of the Sense/HTC apps have been removed, however, which is certainly appreciated, since this is a Senseless ROM and all.

One of the first things I really noticed when back on the (relatively empty) home screens is how snappy everything feels. It's not that things felt sluggish on Sense 3.0, but this seems to just glide a little more. Chalk it up to the dual-core processors not having to contend with all of extra eye candy, but everything chugs along rather well.

Where things get interesting is inside the settings menu and notification bar, specifically. Take note that Senseless ROM isn't an AOSP ROM, so both of the aforementioned places still stink look like Sense. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just a reminder that there are still hints of Sense around the edges, despite our best efforts to remove and disguise them.

Despite the fact that performance feels great (and stable), I'm including benchmarks because people ask for them. I'm not sure if the Frankenbuild has some underlying inefficiencies that cause some results to suffer, so just take everything with a grain of salt. Also bear in mind that I'm not overclocked and have made no other enhancements to the system or the phone. This is clean, unadulterated Senseless ROM.

While we're still able to achieve a fairly strong FPS score using FPS2D, the number of deviations is high. I ran this same benchmark prior to flashing the Senseless ROM (was still running the stock EVO 3D ROM) and while I was topping out around 58 frames or so, the deviation was only around 5.6. Obviously you want to keep the deviations down, so I can only attribute this to something underlying in this build.

Quadrant and Neocore both scored fine, as I would expect. Neocore is pulling nearly 57 FPS, and I would hope so, considering the newer Adreno system inside this phone, coupled with the benchmark being for by Qualcomm to begin with. I'm not even sure I could surmise that these benches could be affected by the current ROM, but scrosler claims a "400+ [more] points in Quadrant on stock kernel," but I didn't run a Quadrant before I left the stock ROM. At any rate, I pulled a 2242 on this current bench, which means truly normal EVO 3D's would only be pulling around 1842, best case scenario. That sounds a little low to me, but if anyone could sound off with what their phones score at, I'd appreciate it.

Rounding up the benchmarks are Nenamark 1 and 2. Scores are 34.7 FPS and 23.9 FPS, respectively. Do these come in under par for stock devices? Again, I don't know, but this is where you'll be shooting if you go Senseless. Regardless of the numbers, though, I need to reiterate how strong the performance is. Scrolling is snappy, menus opening are quick. If you've used say, a Nexus S or any slew of the first generation phones with CM6/7 on it, you'll understand what I'm saying. I don't think you lose/trade anything off that'll dramatically sully your user experience by choosing to go Senseless, except maybe some arbitrary numbers. Not all is perfect in custom ROM land, however. Little things, like the GPS icon always being on are persistent, even though they don't hurt anything. Worse, however, is the Market. My Market app finds itself constantly refreshing while I try to click on apps to install or uninstall, or even just read their descriptions. There's also force closes about 20% of the time (still, only on the Market), but that just shows we're still a little rough around the edges. The developer also admits there's a list of bugs that have priority:

Known Issues / To fix later

  1. Hot restart in Shutdown menu doesnt do anything
  2. When an incoming call is recieved you will have to unlock the phone to see the caller ID and or Answer / Ignore the call
  3. Dialing *2 Does not work because SprintZone is removed
  4. HTC Update Menu will do nothing because its not installed.
  5. HTC Customizaiton menus does nothing becasuse its not installed.
  6. You will see two GPS Icons when using a GPS App. No biggie!

*Items 4 and 5 will be resolved when we mod the "settings.apk". Still waiting on / looking for help with this!

Overall, I think scrosler has taken a step in the right direction with Senseless 1.1, although there's still some (obvious) work to be done. If you're looking for a more AOSP-styled ROM for your EVO 3D, I'd definitely consider flashing it (make sure to nandroid, first!) to see if it fits your needs. It's fairly close to meeting mine, but I've heard a lot of good things about the Mik/Cho ROM + Net kernel, so I might give that one a run (and maybe a write-up) in a few days.

Score: 7/10

If you're interested in reading/learning more about the Senseless ROM 1.1, you can hop over to the Android Central EVO 3D Forums where I found it in the first place!

Joshua Munoz