Cool ICS v6 is an Ice Cream Sandwich/Sense 3.6 ROM based on the Virgin Mobile ICS ROM, but with a complete Sprint footprint along with many of the HTC apps that the VM ICS did not ship with.

Some of Cool ICS’s features include the Sony Bravia engine with XLoud, Beats Audio with Advance Beats Control, all partitions mount as EXT4 instead of Yaffs2 in an attempt to decrease boot time and increase performance, the TaKeCONTROL mod for CPU control, the LeeDroid Tweaks, and HDR, Panorama, Fast Click and 1250 ISO added to the camera.

The ROM after install has over 450 megs of free RAM. Even after installing my traveling pack of tools and running this, that, and the other for half an hour I had 340 meg free.

The ROM runs pretty sweetly fast as most of the ICS variants do these days, the scrolling is very smooth in the app drawer, and even Chrome looks like there’s been some improvement in how it renders. Still has some of the screen corruption issues that Chrome has become notorious for, but it’s quite a bit smoother screen corruption.

I was very interested when getting this ROM to play around with the camera mods as that is where the EVO 3D comes up short in my book. Now that I’m in possession of the 4G LTE, the ability to quickly take photos is something that once you get, you never want to go back to how the 3D takes them. Fast Click appears to be a mod to force the picture to be taken by holding down the shutter button, which can skip you the focus and refocus time. What that produced for me was seven very quickly shot out of focus pictures. The HDR setting for photos produced a kind of dull grainy dreary photo.

 

I’m not particularly impressed with what I managed to take in low light, back light, non-perfect conditions. In good conditions, the pictures were pretty decent though. This probably has a lot more to do with the camera hardware than the software can compensate for, but I thought I would touch on it. I don’t think the EVO 3D’s camera has been fixed by this particular ROM. Improved yes, fixed no.

Something interesting about this is the EXT4 mounting and alignment for the system. EXT4 is a journaling file system that has been placed in this ROM to replace the yaffs2 file system that the EVO uses stock. In practice EXT4 is very hard to clobber, but requires more data to be written when it’s writing. While setting the system partition to EXT4 seems like a great idea, I question the reasoning behind setting the data  and especially cache folders to EXT4. I didn’t write the ROM and it works perfectly well, so my questions pretty much are just questions. I think it outperforms anything I’ve run across in its class on Sense 3.6 boot times but will be keeping a stopwatch handy from now on.

Beats Audio has an advanced menu which allows you to cheat and set what type of headset you have. After mucking around with the settings I managed to get left-ear audio only from the system. Not sure if I messed up the thing by accidentally denying it superuser or not, but after I fingerflubbed and denied SU the audio was not happy even with rebooting. Second reboot everything worked, so just make sure to not deny it superuser if you’re messing with it. My fault, not the ROM’s.

Quadrants, which I generally will preface with not being a reliable indicator of how a ROM functions and performs, are not a reliable indicator of how this ROM functions. It’s quick, responsive, snappy, and my first Quadrant run was really really bad (sub 1000) but all subsequent Quadrants have been in the 2200+ category. I’ve had other ROMs with significantly better Quadrants on my 3D, but like I said, Quadrants don’t always translate well into what the user experience is. The experience is quite positive on this build.

While it may seem as if I’m picking at this ROM, it’s been a real fun one to play with and has consumed a large portion of my day seeing how it performs and what all it has to offer. There are nice little touches hidden everywhere, and from what I’ve experienced today other than what I consider to be the failings of the EVO 3D camera and base camera software, and the messing with a Superuser-requiring app and not hitting “allow”, this has been a fun, new-feeling ROM that has breathed some life into my little EVO 3D.

[cooldevs]