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MIUI (ICS) for Galaxy Note review (Custom Rom – ROOT required)

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MIUI has been my favorite rom, long before the Note was even announced. After trying out multiple other custom roms on my HTC Desire HD (Inspire 4G) I’ve fallen in love with MIUI. Some of the best features for me were Speed, Clean and Bright look, Easy Backup and Restore features, Music controls on the lock screen, MIUI themes, Light weight and low memory requirements, etc.

Image of MIUI 4 for Samsung Galaxy NOTE

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After getting Galaxy Note, I was almost happy with it. However, Samsung’s Touch Wiz interface is just horrible (in my opinion) and it’s too deeply integrated into the Android OS on the Note. So deep, that using other launchers is not a viable option – you are still stuck with all the Sammy’s system apps – dialer / lock-screen / contacts, and others.

And for the longest time ALL custom roms were just cleaned up versions of stock TouchWiz roms. However, ever since the first ICS leak for Note, a multitude of truly custom roms began popping up on XDA and other dev forums, including AOSP, AOKP, CyonogenMod, and MIUI!

This review is for a beta build of MIUI Revolution (Android 4.0.3) by Livewings. It is based on early MIUI build, and original ICS leak for Galaxy Note

As we reported in our early post, the official ICS with Premium S Pen Suite for Galaxy Note will come out sometime in Q2. However, great Android developers all over the world have been hard at work to give us first taste of ICS on Note, and now there is an almost fully functional MIUI rom that can be used as a daily driver.

MIUI 4 Revolution video hands-on:

MIUI Revolution for Galaxy Note – installation:

I will not go too deep into installation of MIUI on the Note, as it’s very technical, and is outside the scope of this article. Whatg you should know if you plan to try this yourself – your note must be rooted, and you will need to first install the original ICS leak repack by ChainFire, to install and preserve proper ROOT on you ICS rom. All the links to installation instructions and downloads will be at the end of this review. All in all, the installation takes about an hour, assuming everything goes well.

Features that DO NOT work yet (in MIUI Revolution V1B):

First, let me mention again that this is a BETA release, and some features still do not work, or need a work-around to function properly. This is in part because of AOSP bugs in Android 4.0.3, unfinished MIUI base, and lack of certain files, drivers, and kernel source code for the Galaxy Note (both ICS and GB). For this test I used MIUI Revolution V1B by Livewings. Later version will fix many if not all bugs, and as soon as official ICS for Note and final MIUI builds come out, things will get much better.

– HDMI Output
– Video Recording (AOSP BUG) – use
– Flash Video (Samsung Kernel bug)
– WiFi Direct
– No S-Pen apps from Samsung included in this rom (S Note / S Memo / S Planner, etc)

Also, since all current ICS roms out the are still based on the original Chinese Galaxy Note (i9220) ICS leak, the CPU is clocked at 1.2GHz, versus international Galaxy Note’s (N7000) standard 1.4GHz.

All other bugs (such as USB mass storage, etc) have been fixed in previous versions.

image of MIUI 4 (ICS) for Galaxy Note

MIUI Revolution – First impressions

WOW – MIUI for Galaxy Note is beautiful and fast… when on Nova launcher – MIUI lags, which can get annoying. Current MIUI launcher is ported from Gingerbread 2.3, and is not a native MIUI 4 launcher. Until MIUI team finishes native MIUI 4 launcher, we will be stuck with this one, and it can get VERY laggy at times.

While this beta is almost fully functional, it is still buggy, and I experienced MANY random reboots, as well as laggy MIUI launcher.

Reboots can be caused when you launch too many resource-intensive apps. In my case I had ScreenCast screen recording app running along with launching many other apps. However I also experience reboots without screencast running.

Despite bugs, this is an excellent rom, considering what the dev had to work with – an even bugguer original CL1 leaked rom, bugs in AOSP source, in Samsung kernel & unfinished MIUI base.

I can’t wait for official ICS for Galaxy Note to come out, along with official MIUI 4 builds, and then a fully cooked MIUI for Galaxy Note – that will be my everyday rom! But until then – I’m back to Gingerbread – DarkyROM 3.3 which has served me well for more than a month now! (I used to be an obsessive flasher, so > month is a long time).

Additional Resources for MIUI Revolution:

Below are links to installation instruction and download sources, if you want to try MIUI on your Note.

WARNING: Rooting, flashing new / custom roms and doing other modifications to you phone will void your warranty and can permanently damage your device. Do at your own risk – we take no responsibility if you damage your phone or loose data or anything else.

With that said, here is a link to Livewings’ thread on ICS Forums: http://www.icsforums.com/forum/showthread/502 – there you will find installation instructions and download links to all the files needed to install MIUI on your Note. Good luck!

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March 29th, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Samsung Galaxy S3 render image leaks

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Galaxy S3 – the successor to the most popular (most selling) Android smartphone – Galaxy S II is about to be announced. Rumored announcement dates have come and went, but it’s no doubt this great device is coming soon. And now there is a leaked render image of this phone, out in the wild – take a look.

image of leaked Samsung Galaxy S3

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Galaxy S3 will be a beast of a phone, and will probably beat the current “specs king” – a yet unreleased HTC One X, that comes with a quad core 1.5 GHz nVidia Tegra 3 chip (Dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 in the LTE version of HTC One X), 4.7″ 1280×720 HD display, 32 Gb of internal storage, and an 1800 MaH battery pack.

Rumored Galaxy S3 specifications:

Galaxy S3 is expected to have the following hardware, and will be running Android 4.x – Ice Cream Sandwich:

Processor: Exynos 4412 – 1.5-1.8 GHz Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 with MALI 604 graphics processor, manufactured using 32nm process.

Screen: 4.8″ Super AMOLED Plus HD display with Gorilla Glass 2 (on-screen soft buttons – no hardware capacitive buttons, just like in Galaxy Nexus).

Cameras: 12 MP rear camera, and HD front-facing camera.

Memory – RAM: 1 GB, which is currently industry standard for high end smartphones.

Memory – Storage: Expect to see this phone with 32 GB of internal memory, and (most likely) Micro SD expansion slot.

Battery: Battery size is still unknown, but it should be in the range of 1800-2200 MaH – enough to get you through the day, considering low power consumption of 32 nm processor.

Thickness: Galaxy S3 should be only 7 mm thick, which will make it one of the thinnest smartphone on the market.

There are also rumors that later iterations of Galaxy S3 will come with dual-core 2 GHz Exynos 5250, which is based on a newer (and much faster) Cortex-A15 ARM architecture. LTE versions might be built with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 or NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, coupled with its Icera 410 LTE modem.

At this point we will just have to sit tight and wait for big boys at Sammy to finally decide to announce and release its new flagship device – after all Galaxy S II is getting pretty old, and it’s time for an upgrade! I just have to wonder what kind of a beast the Galaxy Note 2 will be – I can’t wait…

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March 14th, 2012 at 4:13 pm