Thanks to my issues with phones recently, I have become addicted to tinkling with Android phone operating systems. Once I get one, the first thought that comes to mind is how to root it, and install a custom operating system on it. The ability to actually remove all the heavy bloatware that comes with a stock firmware on a phone, is a huge relief!
After all the stress of downloading and installing a more recent firmware on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, I still was not satisfied with it. We recently switched to using Glip in the office, and part of the smooth transition was the ability to work remotely, on the go. Glip would not download on the Tab, so I had to think some more. The highest stock firmware for it was 4.2 you see, and that is nowhere near what gives these days, when everyone is considering 6.0 as old and going for 7.0 nougat. So I got an offer to trade it in, add some money and get a more recent phone.
I took the chance, and got a Samsung S4, only to get home and find that it did not have any Google Apps on it. As Google is the main place I backed up my phone to, I had no choice but to return it. What I got back was even worse - its highest firmware was 4.1. The WiFi was not working either.
This time around I took matters into my own hands, and downloaded and installed custom OS with 5.1. It was a success. The UI was a breeze, and the WiFi seemed better. But I still had issues - Glip would not download on this either!
In other news, I had issue with my laptop - just refused to come on one day. You can imagine how I felt, no laptop, no phone, it was as if the whole world was against me. After the second laptop repair shop requested to refer the 'case' to yet another shop, I knew I had to do something fast, or lose my mind. So I requested for my Hard Drive, put it in a HDD case, and got another laptop. As luck would have it, I was able to sell the latest phone at the same time, to add money for the purchase of the laptop.
Some hours later, I bought a Tecno W3 LTE phone. It had my requirements: Android Marshmallow 6.0, 4G network. What I did not bargain for was the fact that I could not easily root it, or customize it.
Candid review of Tecno W3 LTE:
Plus: It has Android 6.0 OS on it
Minus: Its OS is actually customized for the brand, called HiOS. This means its not standard, and you can hardly fiddle with it. You cannot even root it easily, if ever.
Plus: It has an SD card slot, and 8GB internal space.
Minus: Apps install on the internal space compulsorily. From what I understand, its a general Android OS thing. This would have been no issue if you could root the phone and tweak it, but since you cannot, you are stuck. This is especially a bad situation if you are like me, an app junkie.
Plus: To get rid of the space issue, you can format your SD card as internal storage.
Minus: Formatting the SD card means that it becomes locked to the phone - it is now useless if you try to use it in any other device. Pointless as far as I am concerned.
So I am still eyeing the phone, and wondering if its worth the trouble of fiddling with it. I still have memories of how fluid the S4 was though. If only I could get a used one again, and fiddle with it this time.... dreams.
Please share your phone tweaking and addiction stories with us below.
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