Cyanogenmod on a Motorola Atrix

Cyanogenmod on a Motorola Atrix

Hopefully, everyone goes into something like the modding of their phone with some amount of trepidation. You risk invalidating warranties or (perhaps, at best!) just rendering the device unusable for a block of time while you make it better. If the phone is your only mode of communication you shouldn’t do this. If the device belongs to your business, you definitely shouldn’t do this!

In a previous post, I explain my logic for sticking with an Android 2.3.x operating system in CM 7.2. But, let met now describe my experience with Cyanogenmod on a Motorola Atrix.

Cyanogenmod on a Motrola Atrix

  1. If you read the aforementioned post, you recall a boot time of upwards of 5 minutes. This is unacceptable. With CM 7.2 on the same phone, it’s approximately 37 seconds from dead to a usable login process. That time is much better!
  2. In the above image, you’ll notice the status bar at the top. Notice that you can switch the battery meter to a number–not just a standard filled or emptied battery!
  3. I can change the governance of the processor.
  4. In the above image, you can see the widget bar. I had the same widget bar before in the stock Atrix ROM, but it didn’t have the option to turn off the data transfer via the Edge/3G/H connection! I do now!
  5. The fingerprint scanner works better than it ever has. Under the stock ROM, I might have to scan my finger 3-5 times to get access to my phone! Now, can hold up to 10 fingerprints, and the scan works on the first time if I hold my finger the way it SHOULD be help. They have done a wonderful job!
  6. The myriad of settings is simply overwhelming. For the first time, this phone is mine.
  7. Screenshots are built into the options displayed with the “Power” button. How cool is that?

I had concerns over battery life. With two kids, I rely on squeezing every ounce of battery life out of the phone for last-minute communication, pictures, video, and text messages to family. Couple that with email for work, phone calls to family (I have no landline), and even Skype (front-facing camera!); it really is a pivotal tool in my life. I especially had concerns once I read the following threads on the XDA-Developers forum (a wonderful resource)

However, my battery life has been as good as if it were the stock ROM. As of this typing, I’m at 17% of my battery. I pulled the phone off the charger almost 42 hours ago. Here’s what I’ve done.

  1. I’ve turned off tons of graphics effets. They take processor cycles which uses battery life.
  2. I’ve turned off tons of notices (status bar and blinking light). Same reason as before.
  3. The widget bar displayed is all about saving power.
    • When I’m in my office and can’t receive cell calls (no reception!), I turn off the data. I guess I could go to Airplane Mode
    • I turn off Bluetooth when not in use.
    • I turn off data when around Wi-Fi.
    • I keep the brightness set at “Automatic”. Probably the closest to a luxury I allow myself on the phone.
    • I keep the GPS unit off, but apparently it really doesn’t require much power.
  4. I set the display to go to black (and lock) within 30 seconds of use. There is no location of the phone while using social media.

I’ve not done anything with weird kernels or underclocking the CPU–although that sounds like a great idea. But my usage is about 2% of the battery per hour.
As far as general usage of the phone goes, I’ve noticed a handful of other things.

  1. The responsiveness of the phone is easily double that of what it was.
  2. The switch between Wi-fi and the mobile data network is much quicker.
  3. The usage of the mobile data network is much faster than before. The web browser is quicker than the stock one on the stock ROM.
  4. The camera is sooo much quicker than the one on the stock Motorola ROM.

The worst part of the change is the ridiculous amount of times that the indicator light blinks now. That may not mean anything to most of us, but any ridiculous quantity of battery usage is just that much usage.

10/27/2012 Edit:  Newest thing I discovered in this now mature CM ROM is the built-in Google Voice settings for voicemail.  Through the Settings>Call settings>Voicemail service you can choose for Google Voice to handle your voicemail, receive a much better playback front-end and get transcriptions of the message.
I hope this helps!


3 thoughts on “Cyanogenmod on a Motorola Atrix”

  1. Have you figured out how to:
    1. Have the power button push go directly into the fingerprint reading screen, instead of forcing you to swipe-unlock first?
    2. Have the pin-unlock as a backup option for those days when your fingers just don’t want to cooperate? 🙂

    Thanks for all the information on CM7.2 + Atrix!

      1. I don’t know if, on CM 7.2, you can do that. I have an Android 4.2 device that falls back to a pattern unlock if the facial recognition fails.

        I would like to go to an Android 4 on the Atrix–apparently it handles it well. Unfortunately, there is no true camera support nor is there fingerprint scanner functionale.

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