Sense 5 homescreenYesterday we had a brief announcement about a fully working port of Sense 5 for the HTC EVO 4G LTE, and after a day of playing with it, here’s a quick recap of what fully worked and what didn’t.

The Sense 5 ROM we’re looking at today is the Sense 5 port for the HTC EVO 4G LTE, based on sun_dream’s Chinese port, released by yankees2450. Currently there’s another developer claiming that it is using their work without credit, so I’m not claiming it’s by any one in particular. We’ll see if this is another development-halting XDA blowup as the day rolls on.

This isn’t a review so much as a description of my experience. The ROM is really fast, and looks like it will be my ROM of choice for the time being, even with some issues.

Installation

I made a nandroid of my old working ROM, then did a factory reset, included a wipe of dalvik, data, and android_secure. I installed it using the latest TWRP while S-OFF, bootloader unlocked.

After the install, it jammed at the white screen. After two forced reboots (power+vol down for 10 seconds), I unplugged the USB cable from the computer and it booted past the HTC screen. What that was about, I do not know.

The ROM rebooted one time during install and has since then not had a single reboot.

Quadrant BenchmarksIssues encountered/fixes deployed

MMS: While my MMS appears to work, others were not so lucky. My messages were also delayed roughly two and a half hours, so I do not know what was up with that. SMS worked fine, although I do use Google Voice.

Power Saver notification: While it’s not a bug per say, it’s hideously annoying to always have the power saver notification in the task bar. I guess I’ve been spoiled by custom ROMs. The solution is to go to App manager > All > Power, and uncheck show notifications.

Keyboard crashing: I decided to switch to the Google Keyboard. This ended up being bad, with non-stop crashing and no way to select a different keyboard. Even going into the Swype keyboard caused crashing non-stop. The eventual solution was to disable the Google Keyboard and Swype, and reboot the phone.

Compass off 90 degrees: No fix yet. In latest test, the compass just seems locked.

Sensors don’t register tilt in some apps: I do not know if this is an app and Sense issue or what, since the sensors seem to be registering in GPS Toolbox.

Bluetooth doesn’t seem to like stereo profiles: For me it was random disconnects with the Jabra Freeway (which uses a stereo profile), while for others it’s using stereo speakers, and for some there is no problem. No solution yet.

Slightly off compassMagnetic field sensor out: No metal detecting for you.

HTC Setup: There’s a way to set the phone up by using a computer.  I tried this multiple times, but always received an error that the code I was using was invalid. I don’t know where the problem is on that one.

Gmail not set to sync: Set it to sync. No idea why it defaulted to off.

Benchmarks

Quadrant standard scored it at 6730, and AnTuTu registered 16450. This is without a tweaked, overclocked, tuned kernel, so there’s room for improvement, but it’s a really good place to start with.

Software added

While these things are my own choices, here’s the quick run down with links of what I added to get the thing up to my liking.

Notes from the day

Google Voice functioned correctly the entire day as far as I could tell. I don’t think it’s ever done that before, but I didn’t seem to have a time when it got killed by the task killer and didn’t come back correctly.

3G to 4G transition seems very slow. I’m not sure what the deal is, but it could be Sprint being Sprint.

Everything launches very fast. Battery life was absolutely average compared to the other Sense ROM I was running. Ingress is playable even with the compass off. Maps are also usable.

For those considering going to the early Sense 5 ports based on this, it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty darned sweet if you can deal with a few issues.