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A noob's journey to find a custom ROM for best battery life Galaxy S2 GT-I9100

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By ferenczoltan, Junior Member on 31st January 2014, 03:49 AM
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Greetings All,

First post here so I hope I don't f#@% up.

I know there've been a million threads closed about this because everyone's setup and usage is different. I found it really frustrating to not get an 'answer', thinking to myself ‘why not compare apples with apples?’ ie stock vs custom ROM with the same usage. So I thought I'd share my experience for anyone else frustrated with the lack of “The Answer”

I bought a refurbished (new screen, battery and back cover) SGS2 GT-I9100 unlocked with Vodafone stock ROM. I was getting the battery warning at 4 hours (!) after a few calls and texts, about 15 min of FB, same for Gmail (WiFi on/Data off at home), and about an hour of driving with Google Navigation and playing music (Wifi/Data/GPS on). Battery usage showed that next to the screen at #1, GPS/Navigation was the biggest drain followed by playing music. All the other stuff was insignificant by comparison.

By uninstalling and disabling everything Samsung, Vodafone, and stuff I didn’t use, it stretched to 6 hours. 50% improvement but still unacceptable as I wanted to get at least a work-day plus travel ie 10 hours.

So a custom ROM was required which started the saga of rooting. Did hours of research and unsuccessfully tried a few through a Samsung developers’ program (Odin?). I finally resorted to spending money and sent the IMEI# to online services. Some said the phone was rootable, some not. I paid my twenty-five bucks to 1-ClickRoot and it didn’t work (but I used it to root my wife’s Motorola Mileston2) and finally rooted the SGS2 with Framaroot (I think it was either free or the price of a can of Coke). Couldn’t have been simpler – downloaded the file with the browser, explored to the (apk?) file and opened it, tried the first 2 vulnerability options unsuccessfully and on the third, success. Rebooted – voila.

I tried a few custom ROMs that, while they were highly recommended and had all the customisable bells and whistles and ‘great battery life’, I didn’t like the UI. Plus I just wanted a ‘normal’ phone with a good camera (I’m a hobby photographer) which could also browse the web, use GPS navigation, play music, have custom ringtones and pics for contacts, and the ‘important’ stuff for me at the bottom of the home screens - phone, messaging, contacts, browser and apps. I didn’t need to be able to customise virtually everything on the phone and some of these ROMs were 400-900MB compared to under 200MB for most.

Which brings me to CyanogenMod 10.1 (CM10.1). The UI is closer to standard (plus many more options) so I found the transition from the stock ROM easy. And with the same usage PLUS an EXTRA hour of Google Navigation/GPS/music – 10 hours easy with 20-33% battery left (!). Added a high capacity battery (2600mAh over 1800mAh factory, same physical size) and I now go from 0700 to 0100 the following day regularly – 18 hours with 1-9% battery left.

Hope this helps…
Cheers,
Ferenc
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31st January 2014, 04:29 AM |#2  
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25 bucks for rooting
Eek i get about 5hrs + screen on time wid ics 4.0.4 xwlpt wid speedmod kernel....
Btw since u are hobby photographer.. The camera app on cm10.1 sucks when compared to that of the stock...so does the picture quality ...
No regrets here??
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31st January 2014, 03:53 PM |#3  
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Best battery would be NeatROM +Apolo Kernel IMO
31st January 2014, 04:00 PM |#4  
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I've got two ROMs that deliver really nice battery life:

1. XWKE7 2.3.3 Samsung Stock (somehow it doesn't deliver such a good battery life now)
- This once got me through 3 days of regular usage with roundabout 10% left. Somhow "Android OS" drains me now, so I get two days maximum.

2. CM10.1 stable + DorimanX 9.14 kernel
- Got a tip about this combo from a friend, and well, it rocks. If you want an up-to-date version of android and great battery life, choose this.
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1st February 2014, 12:11 AM |#5  
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There is various things you can do.I use rooted stock rom, running custom kernel and have all the crap stripped out.
I find custom roms better in some things and worse in others=overall not worth it for me.
You try what you like, but a GB rom c/w speedmod should be good.
1st February 2014, 07:32 AM |#6  
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That 25 bucks though...

Best Combo would be NeatROM (Extra-Lite) JB + Apolo Kernel 4.13 (Extreme V2, if possible for your phone and won't reboot)
Last edited by souler456; 1st February 2014 at 07:35 AM.
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2nd February 2014, 04:16 PM |#7  
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weirdly enough but best power consumption I ever had on SG2 was with CM11 from 10-Dec-2013 by Wayland_ACE
(I've used mostly CM nightlies starting from 7.2)
Later versions from here http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2597199 much worse for some reason...
Not enough time to investigate fully yet, but BetterBatteryStats shows very similar picture...
Now just flashed this one - http://download.cyanogenmod.org/get/...HTLY-i9100.zip .... we'll see...
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Last edited by gvovs; 2nd February 2014 at 04:22 PM.
4th February 2014, 09:06 AM |#8  
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CM 11 with ART runtime solved all my leakages during sleep mode. (Some apps like "stocks" were draining power when Dalvik was used)
10th February 2014, 07:56 AM |#9  
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CM11 nightlies seem to be good and stable, the only issue is: phone doesn't enter a deep sleep after charging(stuck on 200MHz). Shut down & power up solves, yet very annoying issue.
10th February 2014, 08:02 AM |#10  
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One thing, GB tops in battery life...
But i dont like it(GB theme is ugly)
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