This post is about my experiences with the latest version of Cyanogen Mod on my Active. The xperia active is a nice phone. It is small, waterproof an it has a small lug which you can use to tie some ribbons. But above all it is really robust. You can drop it, it can get dirty but it still doesn’t look like an outdoor phone. It is the perfect phone for me and obviously also for many others. At the moment Sony stopped to produce it, the price of the phone exploded. But yet it is from 2011, 4 years old, which are ages in the mobile business. The hardware is not that important for me but at least for security reasons i would like to have an operating system which is up to date. Sony offered one official update from Android 2.3 to 4.0 but that was all. And the official system is full of preinstalled apps which you can not delete. That’s why I use Cyanogen Mod 9.1 as an operating system for quite some time. For a long time it looked like the active with its 512 mb of ram would be to slow for any newer version of android. But google supports slower devices again with Android 4.4 so this newest version of android should run well on this old device. Thanks to the LegaxyXperia Project there is a complete rom for every 2011 xperia device. This is an experience report about this custom-rom, it is not a tutorial how to install it. You can find a good tuttorial in the legacyxperia wiki. I used the the rom called „cm-11-20140620-UNOFFICIAL-LegacyXperia-satsuma“ and the google apps „gapps-kk-20131119-lite“ which you can also find on the website of legacy xperia. I will update this post from time to time when there’s a new version I’ve tested. You can find a List of ROMs I’ve already tested at the end of this post.
So how is the custom rom „cm-11-20140620-UNOFFICIAL-LegacyXperia-satsuma„?
It is much better than the last nightly build and can be used on a daily base. I’ve installed a lot of apps which are running in the background like WhatsAppp, Threema, a multiplayer chess game, CardDAV Sync, TapTalk and a lot more. The system stayed quick. Nevertheless it is still a new system which are always much quicker than an old and peppered with rubbish ones. After a few month of intense use I will see how quick it really is.
But at the moment the system is really quick and smooth and I like the new apps an features of CM11 a lot.
What about the battery?
I had to calibrate the battery because the phone always shut down at 36% of battery. After that the battery worked well. The battery drains on deep sleep during the night with no wifi and no gps was around 0,7%/h and during normal use around 1,7%/h. Sometimes it went up to 8%/h when I did much on the phone. These numbers look pretty good for me.
What didn’t work?
There aren’t much problems with this rom. Like I’ve mentioned above I had to calibrate the battery with an app, which is very simple. Taking videos is reactivated in this build and it works without problems. There are still some Problems with the launcher. After a reboot there are only 2 screens left and all icons from apps which are stored on the sd card are gone.
Where can I look for Roms?
A good starting is the xda developers forum or the free xperia blog. For every rom which is newer than CM10 the LegacyXperia Project will help. Don’t just use the word xperia „active“ as a device name but also „Satsuma“ or the number ST17i or ST17a when you search for roms. The xperia active is technically a xperia Mini with a waterproof cover. Xperia Mini is much wider in use and customs roms for it should run on the xperia active as well.
- Nightly build 20140619 – cm-11.0
It runs pretty good. As you can read above.
- Nightly build 20140611 – cm-11.0
Can’t be recommented! In this build the launcher „Tretbuchet“ crashes every second. You can use it if you install another launcher. You cant’t record videos and the battery drains very hard.
Runs very well. This Rom is the last one which is officially called „stable“ on the website of Cyanogen Mod. I’ve used it a long time. Unfortunately it is yet pretty old an lacks some features of newer android versions. If you just want to have a good running system take this Rom!