Kevin Pei | 6/10/15
Notice: For the sake of simulating a regular user, I have Exodus 5.1.1 running on its stock Exodus kernel with no form of performance or battery life optimization (e.g. I don’t have greenify installed). Furthermore, I have battery killing apps like Facebook messenger and Spotify installed.
The Cyanogen of Cyanogen
I’m sure most of us have heard of Cyanogen one way or another. Cyanogen, the creator of Cyanogenmod; Cyanogen, the startup that will take Android away from Google. If you look on their website, they say “We’re all working together to create some of the most advanced customization, performance, and security technology available anywhere.” Funny thing then that Exodus has beaten Cyanogen at their own game don’t you think? Now I know, Exodus is based off of Cyanogenmod. In fact, if you were to tap the Exodus version number multiple times in the settings, you would find a lollipop proudly emblazoned with the words “Cyanogenmod”. That just makes it more impressive, however, as it means that a handful of devs have bested an entire company (not to mention the huge open source community supporting them) in their own product.
Look and Feel
I’ve seen many claim that Exodus is the smoothest thing out there; I’m not one of those people. In comparison to some roms like Oxygen, Exodus still has a certain amount of stutter and lag to it. Now don’t get me wrong, Exodus is pretty darn smooth compared to most of the competition, but it isn’t perfect.
What Exodus does accomplish though is an amazing degree of consistency. Whether you are checking your email, watching videos, or playing games, Exodus 5.1.1 maintains a more than acceptable framerate throughout. In the 11 days or so that I’ve been using the rom, I’ve only seen it really “stutter” once or twice. It’s a feat I’ve only ever seen Exodus accomplish, and it’s a true testament to the quality of Exodus’ devs.
In terms of looks, Exodus brings the standard Lollipop 5.1.1 interface. Nothing terribly new here folks – you get the standard customization options that you see with Cyanogenmod and then some organized into Exodus’ own categories. That being said, Exodus 5.1.1 does have a little trick hidden in its developer options dubbed “Morph Mode”. More on that later.
Just like Exodus 5.0, Exodus 5.1 has never crashed once on me. Ever.
In the battery life department, I’ve found Exodus 5.1.1 to accomplish the exact same consistency aforementioned in the previous few paragraphs. It’s not amazing (I’ve been getting 5 hours SOT), but it gets through the day and hits the red 15% around 8PM for me every single day (I wake up around 7). The following screenshots come from Saturday, where I simulated a day of extremely “heavy” use with plenty of YouTube watching and web browsing. Despite only getting a mere 30 minutes of deep sleep, Exodus trudged on with 5 hours of SOT by the time it hit 9%. Let me remind you, this is a completely stock configuration with no extra battery saving techniques on my part.
Features and Customizability
When it comes to customization, Exodus 5.1.1 should have most of you covered. While it isn’t the most feature rich rom, Exodus inherits the hallmark customizations available through Cyanogenmod 12.1. Things like clock position, quick settings layout, and privacy guard can all be found within the settings. Theme engine is also ever so present, allowing you to customize the look of this rom to your heart’s content. I won’t go through an exhaustive list of Cyanogenmod’s features here – you can read a cyanogenmod review for that. Rather, let’s take a look at two major things unique to Exodus: Rom Controls and Morph Mode.
In addition to the normal settings provided by Cyanogenmod, Exodus has a couple of its own tricks in a section it calls Rom Controls, where you can enable things such as an ad blocker and permissive selinux. One particular favorite of mine is the DPI setting that allows you to modify the DPI in 20 DPI intervals. It’s a nice touch that saves me a trip to the play store for a build.prop manager.
Exodus also features something called Morph Mode, a setting that quite literally “morphs” your settings menu into that of either Exodus, Cyanogenmod, or AOSP. Although this particular feature was not of much interest to me, it’s a helpful addition that is sure to satisfy those looking for a more familiar menu interface in Exodus (not that Exodus’ is hard to navigate or anything).
I like to think of Exodus as Canada. Like how Canada is a neighbor to the US, Exodus is a neighbor to Cyanogenmod. It may not make the news too often, but it certainly isn’t any worse than its more famous big brother. By choosing to focus on performance and stability, Exodus 5.1.1 is one of the most mundane and predictable daily drivers I’ve ever had, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In our epic pursuit of cutting edge features, it’s easy to forget how critical it is to have a reliable, stable daily driver that one can trust to last them through the day. And in that sense, Exodus 5.1.1 has succeeded beyond all expectations. By being so dependable without sacrificing 99% of the features that we have come to love in custom roms, Exodus is the poster child rom for most of us flashers who simply want a better experience than we have had before. As such, Exodus 5.1.1 has earned something that very few roms I’ve used (and boy have I used a lot of them) have earned, and that is my trust. The fit and finish that this rom achieves is nothing short of astounding, and for that it has gained the position of being my daily driver.
(Written by Kevin Pei – Oneplus Forum Moderator)
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