Thursday, September 29, 2011

CyanogenMod 7 for the Samsung Captivate

My journey through Captivate Rom's has lead me to CyanogenMod 7. This is one that I have been wanting to try, but have been a little nervous about the mixed reviews.

Well, I'm pleased to say that I have been running CM7 for a week now and am very impressed.

Installing CM7

You can find official installation instructions in the OP of the XDA thread [NIGHTLY][ROM][GRJ90] CyanogenMod 7 for Samsung Captivate (captivatemtd) and at the Samsung Captivate: Full Update Guide.

I was already on gingerbread boot loaders and I9000 ROM's so I went about it a little differently. I installed from Apex 10 and I9000 gingerbread boot loaders. 

The CM7 FAQ for SGS Users states that:

Note: As of Nightly 78 (Captivate), Nightly 77 (I9000), or Nightly 75 (Vibrant); the gingerbread bootloaders are now compatible with CyanogenMod 7 and external SD card is accessible. They are not required for the ROM to work properly and you do not need to flash them as the froyo bootloaders work just as well.

The first thing I did was switch to the I897 captivate gingerbread boot loaders found here. Worked quick and easy. (I9000 boot loaders may have worked, but I wanted to get on "captivate" loaders. Not sure if it made a difference or not.)

As far as flashing to stock I used [MOD] {One Click Odin} Stock I897UCKH3 with boog_kh3_kernel3, NO Bootloaders. I tried to flash CM7 without this step but the flash failed. This will get you to a basically stock ROM with the correct Captivate identification and partitions, while still keeping the gingerbread boot loaders if you decide to move on to another ROM later. The kernal has CWM, so from here you can flash CM7.

Of course I did a factory/data reset before flashing. 

There is an RC 7.1.0 that is considered to be stable enough for everyday use, but the latest nightly's work just as well if not better.

Should you try it?

CyanogenMod 7 is basically Vanilla Android. Nothing flashy, but I happen to like it. Performance is awesome especially when combined with the Glitch kernel, featuring Voodoo color and sound, and overclocking and undervolting.

One thing that I found pleasantly surprising, was that my GPS is working better with this ROM than any I have tried before. 

On the downside, I would have to say that battery life is CM7's biggest pitfall. It's not terrible, but you can expect to see between 4 and 5 percent battery drain per hour. I'm currently trying JuiceDefender to extend my battery life. Here is a little from the market description.
JuiceDefender - Battery Saver is a powerful yet easy to use power manager app specifically designed to extend the battery life of your Android device. Packed with smart functions, it automatically and transparently manages the most battery draining components, like 3G/4G connectivity and WiFi.
One thing that CyanogenMod 7  does have going for it, is a team of great developers who are continually improving upon an already great ROM. If your looking for performance and function, I recommend giving this one a try.
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