Bits And Bytes (week of 1/15)

petershihpetershih ZTE FanaticUnited StatesPosts: 378 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
<body><p>Welcome to our weekly <a _jive_internal="true" href="">Bits And Bytes</a> poll and discussion! Give your honest opinion, debate ferociously, and respect each other at all times...</p><p></p><p><strong>Question</strong>: If you had to pick one, would you prefer stock Android or the ability to choose from various community-developed custom ROMs?</p><p></p><p><strong>Context</strong>: In the complex world of mobile operating systems or anything really, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, many are in the camp that believe stock Android comes close. But there's also the camp that believes only custom ROMs are the way to go, enabling users to select from different permutations of stock Android. If you had to pick one option, which option floats your boat and why?</p><p></p><p><strong>Action</strong>: 1. Select one of the options below and 2. reply to justify your reasoning. Although there is no correct answer, please provide sound reasoning to support your selection. After a week or so, your Mod Squad will soon identify and reward those with the most thoughtful responses!</p></body>

Bits And Bytes (week of 1/15) 252 votes

Stock Android
42% 107 votes
Custom ROMs based on Stock Android
50% 127 votes
Custom ROMs based on OEM ROM
5% 13 votes
I don't care
1% 5 votes


  • DrakenFXDrakenFX Mobile United StatesPosts: 2,128 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    there should be 2 Custom Roms selection there,

    1- Stock rom

    2- Custom rom (Stock Android base rom)

    3- Custom rom (OEM base rom)

    4- I don't care.

    only reason why i added another option , is for the whole reason of Custom Rom can be base on many other Roms in this case Stock Android or ZTE MiFavor rom....but i choose Stock Android


  • petershihpetershih ZTE Fanatic United StatesPosts: 378 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Solid point, ​. Poll options have been modified to reflect the two different custom ROM options.

  • DrakenFXDrakenFX Mobile United StatesPosts: 2,128 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks Peter,

    I should wait a bit longer to vote for Custom Rom base on Stock Android , still i'll stick with Stock Android

  • fzrrichfzrrich United StatesPosts: 4,257 mod

    I voted for custom roms in Stock android.  I think over all we would have more options and I am excited to see what kind of roms the community will be able to develop and come up with. However if nothing else I think Stock is the way to go.  Less glitches and headaches and users can always build of off stock and customize to their liking.

  • DrakenFXDrakenFX Mobile United StatesPosts: 2,128 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    yeah, that option wasn't there at first but still, Stock android is good way to go

  • maulgandhimaulgandhi United StatesPosts: 519 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Most people are going to go for stock Android or Custom ROM based on stock Android. I really like what OnePlus has done for their devices with Oxygen OS. I really think custom ROM developed by third party brings a lot of innovative features to the table and these features can be implemented to ZTE devices. Since there isn't much development going on XDA for ZTE devices, having Custom ROM features on stock Android will bridge the gap that ZTE devices are missing.

    • Floating window options for apps, including launching floating windows from notifications
    • On-the-spot controls for pop-ups to enable or disable relevant settings
    • Live rearranging and removing of Quick Settings tiles
    • Custom visual elements and backgrounds from Hampus Olsson.
    • sRGB mode and such

    These features can benefit users from looking into Rooting and flashing custom ROM. Having such features will bridge the gap that ZTE devices are missing on xda community.

  • I vote for custom ROM based on stock android also, for many reasons:

    - There are a lot of cross-device developed ROMs, stock Android gives one base for all

    - Stock is all open source  and therefore  easy to modify

    - Stock is well documented and well researched by the dev community

    - Therefore it takes less effort of OEMs to support the dev community and document their custom stuff

    - Stock is regularly updated and is supported for a long time in contrary to custom solutions that quickly get abandoned by the OEMs and/or urges them to free resources to maintain their devices

    - Therefore Stock is more secure as it's maintained from AOSP directly

    - OEM customized ROMs tend to behave buggy with common  MODs as Gravity box, Magisk, etc cause lf their alternations

  • razor512razor512 United StatesPosts: 2,683 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I picked custom ROMs based on stock android

    In order to have a smart phone that appeals to the widest possible range of customers,it is important to have a smart phone that offers the widest possible range of customizability while still being user-friendly.

    Many custom ROMS have been able to achieve this to a decent extent though there is still room for improvement, much of that room being in the tablet space. For example, someone needs to figure out a good way to get the android 4.0.3 UI to be fully compatible with android 7.1.1. When it comes to tablets, as android 7.1.1 has a horrible UI for tablets (sooooooo much wasted vertical screen space).

    Reasons for custom:

    For many polls we have seen many this-or-that style questions though really, for android, the user shouldn't have to settle. While it is impossible to satisfy everyone with hardware, on the software side of things, it is truly possible to have the best of both worlds. For example, many custom ROMs will allow for a full range of kernel tweaks, while still being user friendly as the additional complexity is done in layers. It does not hurt the basic user who is just getting their first smartphone, to have an additional advanced settings menu. Just like how it doesn't hurt a first time PC user to have windows come with a registry editor and power shell.

    When the additional complexity is logically arranged in layers, users are free to go as many layers deep into the system as they are comfortable with. An extremely basic user can go years without ever having to worry about touching the terminal in android, or even have to know about it to do basic things, while a more advanced user can still make use of it on the same device. A basic user can enjoy a stock experience while on the same device, while the average user can have fun trying out a different kernel for even more control.

    Another benefit to catering to custom ROMs is the added convenience to all users regardless of skill level, for example, many users on the forums who ran into minor issues. Suppose the phone simply came with something like TWRP? All of a sudden, the trouble shooting step of a factory reset is not as big of a deal because the user can easily image the internal NAND, thus if the factory reset does not work, they can restore the complete backup and have the device back to the exact state as it was before (complete with all icons exactly where you left them, all login states preserved, thus saving all lengthy setup processes. This is something that benefits all users. Whether they need to do quick backup to test something with a factory reset, or creating a set of backups for different custom ROMS, so that they can easily hop between multiple custom ROMs, catering to a custom ROM ecosystem, enhances the user's control while reducing risk. The devices that get bricked the most, are the ones where the user has to follow a million steps to get the bootloader unlocked and a custom ROM installed.

    Instead of taking the "why?" approach to what users what, why not take the "why not?' approach?

    For example, if a user prefers the eye icon over the check box to view a typed password, then offer a toggle, that way both users who like it, and those who don't, will be satisfied. Or for the few who still want onscreen buttons instead of capacitive, Both are native android functions, thus a toggle satisfies both user types.

    Reasons for a stock based ROM:

    My reason for picking a stock based ROM, is that most people prefer a stock ROM. Since the first the pocket PCs from the year 2000 came out, right up to the smartphones released in 2017, I have yet to see a review where a non-stock based ROM was listed as a pro in a review conclusion, at best, it is not mentioned in the pro or con list, with a few minor complaints, and at worst, it is listed as a con.

    From messing around with making UI changes for a ROM, it is a lot of work, why put in all of that work for something that has a good chance of being listed as a con in a review?

    On the other hand, you often do not see complaints about UI changes in a custom ROM, and that is because in most cases, the changes are not done to make things look different, instead, they are done enhance the UI for a specific device.

    For example, my android tablet has no capacitive buttons, thus you are stuck with a nav bar at the bottom of the screen (as present in a stock/ vanilla android release). With the ROM I installed, the stock look was kept, but a few modifications were made. For example, since the nav bar will be taking up a certain amount of vertical screen space anyway, why not add a few useful functions to the bar, such as arrow keys that work with any keyboard, so if you make a typo, you no longer have to try and tap the screen just right to get the cursor right at the letter you want to remove, instead, you can tap to get close, and then use the arrow keys for more precise control?

    Instead of coming out with a different settings menu layout, you instead have a familiar stock one thus, just like how you can you can instantly be familiar with windows on any PC (e.g., windows 7 x64 ultimate on a $250 entry level system, will will feel as familiar in terms of navigation as a $10,000 top of the line workstation PC that you built. A stock android experience means that for a basic user who does not want to get used to android all over again because they switched phones, they can switch freely and instantly have a deep understanding of how to use the OS.

    UIs that were different just to be different, didn't work on the PC, (some companies tried it in the 90's and quickly gave up on doing that), which is why you don't see prebuilt systems coming with a non-stock UI. Though users are still satisfied, as for the one or two users out there who want a different look for window, just to have it look different, with no utilitarian benefits, they are free to do so, as the OS is not locked down, and if the user hates windows as a whole, they are free to simply install a linux based distro on their PC, or even the Mac OS, without any unlocking process.


    We trust even basic users to not have to go through a ton of risky steps to allow their PC to run a different OS, why not extend that trust to smartphones?

  • eladmitzeladmitz Posts: 35 ✭✭✭✭


  • THAT.

    Despite what most manufacturers would like the reality of the smartphone market to be, more and more people keep their phones over a long period of time. If not for their own usage, then for a friend, a family member.

    - Planned software obsolescence is one of Android's plague as of today, and custom roms around stock Android still are the way to go to avoid branding ZTE as a manufacturer which locks down phones in favor of branding, not giving away kernel/baseband essentials for a phone to get 5 years of use at least.

    - We all get it's hard to differentiate yourselves on hardware alone, but the Axon 7 has a gorgeous screen, wonderful front-firing speakers and much more for that price point... Just add a few OEM apps you can remove, wallpapers, and most users will be happy.

    - (Insert biggest competitor name here) started gaining a lot of traction in 2009 with a lot of marketing, but also with completely open phones, that you could unbrick in 1-click-software, resize partitions... I still have one of their phones, 6 years later, and with 768Mb of RAM, it still runs pretty smoothly on... Nougat, before my 6month-old phone got it. For me, that's the best example people can relate to : reliable, lasting phones.

  • In my opinion, pure vanilla compiled AOSP, with all the necessary proprietary drivers needed to make stuff work, with all the cutting edge features like Camera2 API ( which the marshmallow build of Axon 7 lacks), Daydream, Layers/Substratum/OMS, and with either all-Google basic apps like the amazing Google Dialer or Google Messenger or their AOSP alternatives. IMHO, the full-Google one would be way better, because things like Webview/Chrome and other most vulnerable apps would be always updated to their latest versions. Oh, and did I mention that vanilla android is pretty?

  • I very fondly remember using Google Play Edition ROM on my old HTC One M8. ZTE should do exactly like them - only put fixed Dolby and DAC control in.

  • lafesterlafester Loveland, COPosts: 9

    Stock Android for sure. Custom Roms will come regardless so having a good base to start with will just make things easier, and give people who want to stay stock a good experience.

  • cyruscyrus Posts: 7 ✭✭✭✭

    I voted for custom ROMs because to me a phone is a pocket computer and I should be able to do whatever I want with it. Community custom ROMs allow me to do that.

    Part of the reason I bought an Axon 7 was because I assumed there would be reasonable support from ZTE and we would be provided with a reasonable stock ROM to work with. We've been provided nothing, not even an official or easy way to currently unlock to bootloader. This was the first time I bought from ZTE, and because of the utter lack of software support (where do I even begin?) it's the last time as well.

  • snn5snn5 Southeast USPosts: 662 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Stock.  Works, easy to repair, easy to update, fast to update.  Done.

  • TEXASMADE1978TEXASMADE1978 United StatesPosts: 704 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I chose stock Android due to the fact that if I decided that I wanted other features I myself could use the stock base to build a stock based ROM that suits my needs. Your choices are unlimited with stock as long as you know what you are doing when it comes to building a ROM and adding whichever features that you like.

  • I have been on android since donut and I have almost always been on a custom build. Even with their downfalls I like them more than Oem builds. Motorola backflip had blur that was not very good. Samsung Galaxy,  infuse, S3 had TouchWiz not bad though I liked Cyanogen more. Note 3 had a locked bootloader, I had bootstrap and a custom Oem rom. I  couldn't handle that and switched to a  one plus one. Really liked that phone, I only switched to the Axon 7 because it had good specs and forward facing speakers that one plus still does not have. Miflavor has great sound but I don't like the lock screen, battery stats, lack of dpi change, and other things I can't think of now. Even with the messed up sound on the Broken OS build I like it more than the Oem or custom Oem builds. I can change dpi,  font style and size, theme it with substratum remove what I don't want. The most important thing with a community supported phone is that it gets faster updates and longer support. The one plus one had nougat very quickly after it was released not bad for a phone that came out mid 2014 and can't officially support nougat. I really hope ZTE gives support to the community so we can see some movement in the dev community the hardware they put together could be even better with aosp support.

  • jtma11024jtma11024 Bluffton, SCPosts: 91 ✭✭

    The OEM ROM is just bad.

  • Thank you

  • hollaphollap United StatesPosts: 8,377 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree...custom will come regardless.  Give me stock.  As clean an install as there can be, saving resources, and allowing the software team to focus on updates and patches. The software team should spend their time being proactive providing updates and possibly features over stock that can be disabled or removed., not reactive fixing their their own coding and causing delays to updates. Let's see how fast this hardware REALLY is.

  • frodriguez2010frodriguez2010 Enterprise Tech Support Engineer TexasPosts: 1,904 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I prefer stock. 

    But allow unlock of bootloader or an app that allows easy switch of ROMs, having custom or community based ROMs is a cool option.

  • tabletalker7tabletalker7 Posts: 167 ✭✭✭✭✭

    no brainer here - the custom rom community would love a total and complete stock rom - gives the community exactly what they need to make the custom roms

  • razor512razor512 United StatesPosts: 2,683 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I would love for a smartphone maker to really innovate and lead in this area, especially easy switching of ROMs.

    One of the more annoying aspects of ROM management, is when you want to dual boot 2 versions of android. It requires lots of custom partitioning and command line.

    Imagine if ZTE offered a boot manager which offered a non-DataMedia mode where you can have one large media partition, then then subsequent smaller partitions for the ROM and its own smaller data partition, that way each ROM could share the same pool of user files.

    And then in a bootcamp style menu, offer the choices of currently installed ROMs, with the option to add more, e.g., it can have 2 or 3 slots, where a user can click on a plus sign, and then select a ROM to install, and have the device handle the rest of the work automatically.


    Such a system would make it far easier to test alpha and nightly builds of custom ROMs, as you can have one boot option set to a stable branch, and another set to a nightly, and both builds will use the same media partition, thus photos and other user created content will still be available to both.

  • wizzuhwizzuh 48223Posts: 170 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for this poll.  It's a indication that ZTE is listening to us. Hopefully action is taken based on these results.

    Stock Android is my vote because  I want all native features of Android to work. Android pay, DRM issues etc...  These issues are very important for most basic/intermediate users and will allow the zte community (your biggest ambassadors) to recommend the devices to our family and friends.  Which makes zte more revenue on device sales.

    The axon 7 is an awesome device on paper,  but once we open the can of worms that is Mifavor opinions and recommendations go downhill fast.

    Thank you again for the poll,  clearly zte sees the frustration here on the forum.

  • vzwcdmavzwcdma Posts: 173 ✭✭✭


    Want Stock Android installed by default, but still allow the bootloader to be unlocked so users can create their own custom ROMs based off Stock Android if they so wish.

  • diamonddavediamonddave United StatesPosts: 394 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Custom Roms based on stock Android? How soon? June?

  • coldheat06coldheat06 United StatesPosts: 1,795 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I choose:  Custom ROMs based on Stock Android

    The reason I choose Custom ROMs based on Stock Android is because it will give you be best basis for a solid Custom ROM there are many times that a developer will try to build off of a OEM ROM and they run into additional issues due to the OEM ROM having bugs or other short comings.

    Keep it simple and fresh..... Custom ROMs based on Stock Android so that when a new Stock Android version comes out it will be easy and faster to update the Custom ROM.

  • pazdiegopazdiego Posts: 15 ✭✭✭✭

    I chose stock Android, less problematic for the developer team, and can be more focused, for example, on tuning battery performance, and stability in general.

  • maineferraromaineferraro MainePosts: 240 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I said Stock Andriod , I just think its easy to use and no problems updating , just easier for the first time user

  • Stock Android as well as will allow fast security updates and if open source is the perfect basis for custom development

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