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Old April 9th, 2012, 09:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs up My review of ICS after using for the easter weekend

To start My Original install was
PDA I9100XWKI4
CSC I9100XEUKH2
2.3.4

Upgraded to
PDA I9100XXLPS
CSC I9100OXALPS
4.0.3

It is an unbranded uk version that I use on the orange network and updated using the official (Kies) Poland release.

I got fed up of waiting for the official release for my S2 so decided to update using Odin. After reading the forum advice first I did a back up of data followed by a factory reset and cleared the cache.
For anyone wanting to upgrade like this I can say it was simple (using the instructions and downloads from Sammobile) but if you are doing it remember it does effect your warranty.

Battery - a lot of people have commented on this. It does seem to run out quicker but I have been showing it off to other people so the effect was probably exaggerated. I haven't found it to be a major problem.

Face unlock - Seems to work perfect when I use it except in low light which is to be expected but in these circumstances i have opted for the pattern unlock as a back up. Face unlock is new and it doesn't save that much time from pattern unlock but is a great feature to show off to your mates.

Long press on home screen - much better and just swipe to close an app.

speed and smoothness - This was my biggest let down. It is still quick but it has lost some of the smoothness of gingerbread. There are times when it lags a bit, and it is normally when an App is about to crash and force close. I think this will be resolved slightly as more phones come onto ICS and apps are developed with ICS in mind; a lot of apps would have been designed and made with GB in mind and just altered to work with ICS.
Also ICS being new it can only get better.

Over all look - Things look brighter and sharper than on GB. I now feel that the screen is being used to its full potential. If you are looking for major change about the way it looks then you will be disappointed, but if you are looking for familiarity with increased screen quality, you will be happy.

Apps (Just some points on default ones)

Email app -changed slightly and 1 thing I found annoying was that I cant downsize the view to fit on my screen, apart from that and a few changes to the looks, it is pretty much the same.

Camera app - all was supose to be different but it seems to be the same one I had on GB. Disappointed and confused
Widgets in general - Not much change but for those that use Buddies, this has disappeared but there is a widget call contacts which also gives google+ updates. everything else I used seems to be there with not much change. ! great thing worth the mention is that a lot of the widgets can be resized to ow you want them

I think everyone can make their on mind up on whether they can wait or not.
My wife and I both had problems with GB and ICS has solved some of these while new 'issue' (and I use the term issues lightly) have arisen.

In conclusion - I am personally happy with upgrading early and will upgrade to the official version for UK unbranded when it is released but many people may find it worth the wait for a version that 'might' be less buggy.

Hope this helps

I will give an updates if I find something new worth mentioning or if my opinion changes after a week or so

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Old April 9th, 2012, 09:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice review chillibean!

It reinforces what I already thought about Android ICS, 4.0.3.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 09:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It's a rainy Bank Holiday Monday here in my part of the U.K, missus has gone off to the cinema with the kids, I stayed home to clean out the very large tropical fish tank.

I'm now sat down with a view to installing ICS. I really don't think I'll bother for now, I'll stick with CheckRom V6 and N.E.A.K kernel. I like the way it runs with the Jkay mods and one or two others from The Kitchen so why bother ? GB (I actually like TW) does more than it's job, and while I will update I feel no compelling reason to do so at the present time.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 12:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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hey there, the ICS had an other update which solved the scrolling problem and wi-fi, Bluetooth crash. Though while using wi-fi the phone still heats up. no idea if someone else is having this last problem :S.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 01:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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nice review. liked the bit bout the smoothness and scrolling, which IMHO is piss poor compared to GB. and the battery life is like watchin the clock count down on a shuttle launch.

im stuck on GB for now until ICS is sorted out. the S2 ICS stock isn't even themed like the Nexus etc. i have tried loads of diff custom ICS roms (Andy, Sensation, Batista, Pure, Wanamlite, Omega), and not one compares or adds anything to Checkrom. i would say wait for an update, but the word avoid is a better choice.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 02:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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first off; I appreciate the thanks. I get a lot from the forum and wanted to give a little back.

Today I have had my phone off charge since 11am now (20:00) it is still showing as 70%

not had or made any calls but WiFi has been on all day and had a few app updates. Also gone on twitter and FB a couple of times.

Yesterday I did have a warm battery while messing with phone (a lot) but today it is cool.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 12:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi chillibean,

Can you help me out and point to what guide you followed in upgrading your phone to ICS? We have the same PDA and CSC number, so I guess I need to follow what you did for my phone. Please send me the link to the guide or forum.

Thanks!
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Old April 10th, 2012, 01:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Good review mate! It pretty much reflects my ICS experience. It's still far from perfect, but it's a lot better than in the 'old' alpha and beta days. A few things:

- The battery is still an issue that needs fixing
- The scrolling is still sloppy (though it's improving!)
- The Gmail app/widget has replaced the email app for me, since it fits a lot better and looks overall nicer

I could never go back to boring GB after being on ICS since late Jan; I'm just a sucker for new technology; but I can understand those who prefer to have a complete, solid and customisable rom for as long as possible. It's still been less than a year since the SGS2 even came out, and GB was still a bit buggy until 2.3.5 came out (eg 2.3.3 had those heating-up issues) so one day soon, we'll have complete and solid ICS roms and all will be well
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Old April 10th, 2012, 02:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Pressing the home button randomly brings up voice talk, and it's annoying voice. AHHHGGGG!!!!
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Old April 10th, 2012, 02:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by max0603 View Post
Pressing the home button randomly brings up voice talk, and it's annoying voice. AHHHGGGG!!!!
Oh good, it's not just me then ...

On a positive note, the random reboots i had before seem to have stopped.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 05:42 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Also, after upgrading to ICS battery usage is bad, really bad. It was fully loaded at 6:30 this morning. At noon it was 49% (standby only!) and the battery is constantly warm.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 06:01 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I am at ICS a few days now and at first battery life was horrible (~8hours)
but now i am at 70% after 16hours with W-Lan and Mail. Seems it needs some time for callibrating the battery.

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Old April 10th, 2012, 07:17 AM   #13 (permalink)
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If anything I'm finding my battery lasts longer since going to ICS (although it's hard to be certain since I don't use my phone an equal amount every day), there's certainly not much difference one way or the other for me though.

Touching on the over all look being disappointing- I think this is more down to Samsung's disappointing use of ICS. As soon as I upgraded and found that everything looked and felt basically the same I switched to Apex launcher (which from what I understand is quite close to stock ICS just with more customization options) and i'm far happier, it really does look and feel significantly nicer than TouchWiz to me.

I also don't get on with facial unlock, it's a fun gimmick, but I don't want to have to hold the phone up in front of my face to unlock it, so I switched back to pin after a few hours.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 07:27 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks from me too chillibean.

Having only had an android phone for a couple of months, I'm still getting used to it in any case, and was wondering whether the upgrade would be worth doing - a lifetime's career in the IT industry has given me the experience to know that untried upgrades can definately be a leap out of the frying pan into the fire !

Given that I've had no problems at all with gingerbread, and it does all I need, having read your review, I'm going to sit tight for now and see what develops.

Cheers mate !!
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Old April 10th, 2012, 07:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Everything i needed including the guide were on sammobile website
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Old April 10th, 2012, 07:44 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormlight View Post
Also, after upgrading to ICS battery usage is bad, really bad. It was fully loaded at 6:30 this morning. At noon it was 49% (standby only!) and the battery is constantly warm.
Update:

At 2:30pm battery charge is down to 29% (still standby only). I turned off "auto-update apps" in the "play shop" and that got rid of the battery constantly being warm.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 08:40 AM   #17 (permalink)
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have just tried the Hydrog3n 4.0.4 ICS rom (AOKP based). must say, well impressed for ICS based. very smooth (used latest Siyah ICS), and the touch screen sensitivity & scrolling is on a par with GB. very lite as its AOKP, but they provide a good gapps package to get all the google goodies back.

the new inbuilt custom features are excellent. everything from changing font size, touch nav on screen, kernel tweaks, sounds, colours, display plus much much more, a total plethora of rom tweaks.

easily the best S2 ICS rom i've tried to date. but..no FM radio app which i use on a daily basis at work. apart from that, will be keeping an eye on updates.
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