BrokenOS was recommended to me by several people, including Greg0410, and I really didn’t believe in all the hype.. They talked about this ROM like it was the best ROM we’ve ever seen for the OPO and I just didn’t believe it, but I do now. In my 9 days on BrokenOS it has become my favorite ROM to date and I’ve obviously enjoyed using it a lot, I’m honestly not ready to leave it because I feel like there is more to experience, so I won’t. I’ll be spending another week on BrokenOS and I will update this review with my findings when I’m done with it, so sorry, no new ROM review from me next week.
I’ll do a quick general overview of the ROM and my experience for the lazy ones first, and go more in depth later.
BrokenOS runs on an AOSP 5.1.1 base and has a lot of features, this is one of the most customizable if not the most customizable AOSP ROM available.
Performance is amazingly good, and so is battery life. I’ve been averaging around 6 hours of SOT every day with regular usage, usually higher. (browsing, listening to music and texting through WhatsApp, Hangouts and Telegram)
There are a few minor bugs which I’ll list here;
- Sometimes (1/10x) the home button doesn’t respond to the first tap.
- Disabling heads up notifications doesn’t fully work, as in I get heads up notifications on Telegram even though I’ve disabled them, but not on WhatsApp.
- Applying ad-blocker host files fails a few times but does eventually succeed.
- The ‘Advanced Settings’ sub-menu in Display doesn’t do anything.
Audio from the 3.5mm jack isn’t as loud as other ROMs, thankfully AK kernel lets you boost the audio, sadly you need a third party app (Synapse, which requires UKM to be flashed before, or after installing it. It won’t work without UKM.) for it as Broken Kernel Tweaker (Kernel Auditor) doesn’t have the option. If you’re planning on playing with the kernel settings I highly encourage you to use Titanium Backup to Freeze or Uninstall Broken Kernel Tweaker, flash UKM and install Synapse from the Play store. It will crash upon first launch, it always does, just re-open it. Synapse has way more options than BKT does and it fits in with the dark Broken Layer that I used, which is an unofficial layer put together for BrokenOS by Greg0410.
UI Feel/Smoothness: Good.
BrokenOS is a very fast ROM, it does have the occasional stutter when you pull the notification drawer down or when you unlock the phone, but overall it feels incredibly fast. Some people think it’s because the CPU is overclocked to 2880Mhz by default, but I say no, that’s not why. I ran my CPU at the normal 2.5Ghz for 3 days to test that and when I went back to 2.88Ghz I felt no real difference in UI speed.
“Is overclocking bad? Will it kill my phone? Is it unstable? Will my CPU die faster?”
No, no, no and
yes no. It’s not a big increase in clock speed or voltage, it’s just a bit of extra speed when you need it. The CPU cores rarely ramp up to 2.88Ghz and when they do it’s usually not all of them. Your CPU might die a little earlier than normal, but you have to understand that CPUs live for many many years. I’m not sure about mobile processors but desktop processors often live for 10+ years, so unless you’re planning to keep your phone for a ridiculous amount of time you won’t ever have the CPU die.
When you apply a layer your settings and sub-settings menus will lag upon opening them for the first time, presumably because it has to load the new layer. This only happens once, and I think it happens on all ROMs that use Layers for themeing so it’s not a big deal.
Battery Performance: Extremely good.
Battery life, the big question that everybody always wants to know before they flash a ROM.. Well, I’m happy to tell you that BrokenOS delivers BIG TIME in this department. I’ve never had battery life this good on a 5.1.1 ROM. My usage mainly consists of browsing with Chrome and texting through WhatsApp, Telegram and Hangouts. I also listen to music using Shuttle and I use V4A with the Super High Quality driver. Most of my days are spent inside on WiFi with 20-30% brightness, but I also do go outside most days for an hour or two in which I usually have my phone out for 30-50 minutes on LTE and full brightness.
Here’s the eyecandy, guys. 9 days worth of battery stats screenshots.
Customisation: Extremely good.
This part is where BrokenOS truly shines, okay, no that isn’t true, battery life is where it shines… But it shines on this part too! BrokenOS is a very shiny ROM.
As you can see, this ROM is packed with features, tweaks and mods. You can change so many things, it’s ridiculous. I had to change my DPI to 250 in order to fit all the sub-menus of the “Broken Pieces” menu into one screenshot. All the features I’ve used work, the ad blocker fails to update the hosts files a few times before it finally succeeds but it does work. I don’t think I really need to explain all the features since they have a little description text under them so I’ll just let you read them yourself.. The thing that really caught my eye were the Init.d scripts, unfortunately I haven’t used any of them because I have no idea what they do and I don’t feel like it’s worth it to look them all up, but if some of you do know what the Init.d scripts included in BrokenOS do please feel free to leave a comment.
There is a screen recorder built in as well, and it works extremely well, I wish all ROMs had this. The framerate and quality are very high and the file sizes aren’t very big either, around 25MB per minute. There’s only one little annoyance which is the fact that it leaves Show Touches on if you forget to disable that before stopping the recording, so you’ll have to go into developer options and disable it.
Stability and Reliability: Extremely good.
I’d happily use BrokenOS as my daily driver for the rest of my OPO’s life, it is rock stable. I haven’t faced a single random reboot, system crash or hang in 9 days, even when I basically never reboot my phone. I usually have a system up-time of 100h+ before I reboot to flash something or whatever.
I had some very annoying crashes and reboots when initially trying to install V4A, but once it was installed it worked fine. V4A is a mod so I can’t really blame the ROM for that.
Awesome ROM. No major bugs, amazingly stable and fast, incredible battery life and a ton of features. What else do you want?
Developers, if you’re reading this, please try to fix the small bugs I listed in the start of my review and I’ll love you and your ROM forever.
BrokenOS G+ community: https://plus.google.com/communities/116521990967962635243