[Week 5] – Brandon Mendoza’s Review

[ROM][5.1.1] CyanogenMod 12.1 Nightlies (June 29th Build)


CyanogenMod 12.1 Nightlies are the automated nightly builds by the CyanogenMod Community project. They’re considered bleeding edge as they tend to contain the latest changes and additions. A misconception about the nightlies, something I am also guilty of believing initially, is that because they are labeled “Nightly” that they are not stable. However, the majority of the time the nightlies are stable and definitely daily driver material. Don’t get me wrong it is still possible and it sometimes occurs where you can have “bad” nightlies or nightlies that cause issues or break something. CyanogenMod is constantly adding and removing things so it can expected that sometimes things don’t function as intended. However, most nightlies have proven to be fully functional and as stable, and in my opinion more stable, than the official and commercial Cyanogen build, Cyanogen OS 12.

When most people talk about ROM suggestions they tend to overlook the nightlies. This is understandable with plenty of ROM’s out there like PAC, AICP, and Blisspop that are full of features and customization, it’s easy to overlook the “vanilla” experience of the nightlies. However, in my time of a flashaholic addiction, I always seem to return to the nightlies. While custom ROM’s are always full of features and customizability, they tend to create bugs. Bugs that for whatever reason are created from the addition of the extra features. Most of the time I end up seeing it as a compromise or a trade off. Something that the nightlies always seemed to offer is stability. Of course I’m sure that bugs still exist and might appear but I find the nightlies offer the most stability and the better overall experience.

UI Feel and Smoothness:

There’s a beauty that comes with the simplicity of the CyanogenMod Nightlies. Like the goldilocks of ROM’s. The nightlies have enough additional features from the AOSP or a simpler ROM but not too many to the point where it’s overwhelming. Just the right amount. There’s the simple additional customization that we may require out of the ROM but nothing else unnecessary or additional. Having used multiple All-In-One ROM’s such as PAC, AICP and Resurrection Remix I know that a lot of options is great and fun, but it can be overwhelming and sometimes the different additions don’t interact nicely with each other or cause issues. When using the nightlies most everything works as intended. Moving around different apps and menus feels smooth and stable, it might not be as snappy or responsive as I had experienced in AICP but it’s still very stable and smooth. To continue the goldilocks metaphor, it’s just that perfect amount. Fast enough and responsive enough that the UI feels smooth but not too fluid to the point where things crash or the SystemUI constantly crashes, I’m looking at you AICP.

Overall the smoothness and feel, while simple and Vanilla is just that as previously mentioned, just at the right spot. There’s nothing spectacular about the performance of the nightlies but it definitely performs great in daily tasks and anything that’s required.

Battery Life:

First and foremost, as with all my ROM Reviews, let’s talk about my battery usage. I tend to be heavy user of my OnePlus One. Almost always WiFi and/ or LTE Data is turned on. Likewise, my Bluetooth connection is almost always on in order to connect to my Moto 360. My usage of my OPO includes web browsing, mostly for the forums and tech sites, multiple messages being sent from different messaging apps(SMS, Telegram, Hangouts and even Skype) and the once in a while game for a few minutes. Additionally, the only battery saving methods that I use are greenify, to hibernate apps that might drain battery, and Privacy Guard denying Google Play Services “Keep Awake” and “Wake Up”.

When doing my other reviews I tend to compare other ROM’s battery to those of these Nightlies. To me, the nightlies tend to be the base of my reviews. If my ROM reviews where a science experiment my control would be the nightlies. My average Screen on Time ended up being around 4.5 – 5 hours. My week of usage really fluctuated this week as I got as low as 3.5 hours of SoT to as high as 5.5 hours of SoT, the great difference being between the two days is just my specific usage those days. The battery life has been good relative to my usage and in comparison to previous nightlies that I have used and other ROM’s I have used and reviewed recently. As previously stated, the nightlies tend to be my control variable in terms of stability and battery life, therefore most of the time I compare ROM’s to them.

Day 1 SoT
Day 1
Day 2 SoT
Day 2
Day 3 SoT
Day 3
Day 4 SoT
Day 4
Day 5 SoT
Day 5

Overall Impressions:

Overall the CM12.1 nightlies are not spectacular. There are a wide variety of ROM’s out there that offer a plethora of extra features and customizability. The one thing that the nightlies do provide is stability and an overall great experience. Returning to the goldilocks metaphor, there’s just the right amount of custimazation and features needed, not too little that it’s too AOSP based nor too much that’s overwhelming. The battery life was good and definitely and improvement over other ROM’s. The “vanilla” expereince is something that’s often overlooked when comparing ROM’s, but it’s because of the simpleness that I find the nightlies to be the most stable of ROM’s I have used and tested. Of course there will always be the possibility of having a bad nightly, but generally most nightlies are stable and dailiy driver material.

The options and customization we have grown to like and love.
The Quick Settings Toggles.


The CM 12.1 Nightlies are the goldilocks of ROM’s. There’s enough features and customizability that most users will need and most importantly they tend to have the least bugs and be the most stable. It’s like the bigger and better brother of it’s commercial counterpart, Cyanogen OS 12. The battery is good and while oftenly overlooked, the nightlies prove to be a daily driver worthy ROM that I find myself always returning to.



  1. Thanks for the clear and consise review ,including all the stats to back up your review.

    This review my change my mind on trying night lies in the future

  2. theshinybeast theshinybeast

    Good on you Swirls,holding the fort
    .I haven’t tried nightlies in a while,there are just so many ROMs out there and I think we all just forget about them.Spoilt for choice comes to mind but after this review I think I’ll definitely give them a go again soon.It’s also possible that the eternal confusion between COS12 and CM 12.1 puts folks off even though they are quite different animals,as you mentioned.
    Top review again my good man.

  3. pbergonzi

    Thank you for the concise review, EpicSwirly.

    1. Brandon Brandon

      Thank you, and thank you for reading. Let us know if you need anything. :)


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