HTC made an excellent device with the EVO 4G LTE also known as just the EVO LTE or the Jewel. It’s good, real good, but like most devices, there’s always room for improvement; enter The Evilution-HD ROM. As I’ve said in a brief ROM preview earlier, developers Evil_DevNull and Sinister Tensai have teamed up to create a ROM as it should have been made by HTC based on Android 4.1.1. and Sense 4.9. It’s smoother, faster, and has battery life that’s counted in days, not hours. I (and by I, I mean my wife) have been running various versions of this ROM for the past two weeks and here are my impressions.
The Evilution-HD ROM looks very stock, but there’s some red and black accents to remind you that you’re running software that’s not OEM. You’re first hit with that “Quietly Broken” boot animation which is killer in itself (see below). Upon full boot, you’re greeted with the a wallpaper which has a classy red and and black polished design that fits perfectly (it’s actually taken from the unreleased Butterfly aka Butterfly Effects). There’s dark-themed Touchwiz-style pulldown toggles on top of the notification shade for various thing such as auto-rotate and WiFi. A quick tap above the toggles makes them hide out of sight.
As I said above, battery life is measured in days, not hours. My wife is on 3G about 90% of her day, and still managed to get about 1 day and 2 hours on a test with about 3.5 hours of screen-on time. In a mostly WiFi environment, expect to double that at least. mA idle draw is around 4 mA with the screen off, which is as good as it gets for mobile devices. What’s also nice for users is there’s no need to change kernels, change governors, undervolt, change I/O schedulers, add CPU profiles, or any of that jazz; the ROM is set to work best out of the box. Both Evil and Sinister say, “(2x the power 1/2 the draw)” which couldn’t be any more true.
The Little Things
Evilution-HD adds a few features that one doesn’t notice right away. There’s actually 22 Easter Eggs hidden throughout. I already mentioned one of them above, but when one taps above the notification shade toggles, they’ll hide. Another Easter Egg is to limit power button use, one can simply long-press the arrow to the left of the settings button in the notification pull-down shade to get the extended power menu. This isn’t really an Easter Egg, but the EVO LTE had a problem where SMS pictures that it’d send would often come out blurry, well Evilution-HD has fixed that as well and increased size limits to 5MB. Addition Easter Eggs provided by Evil including some that were listed are shown below.
Speed and Feel
Could a ROM on the EVO LTE get any smoother? The answer is no, I’ve tried them all. Evilution-HD has no lag whatsoever, it makes one forget the EVO LTE has only two cores at times. Quadrant scores run in the respectable 6K to 6.5K range with no compromise in battery life as I’ve mentioned many times before. The ROM also has full superuser permissions, so this means that no Superuser or SuperSU apps with prompts are required to run apps or functions that require root.
The few and far between gripes I have with Evilution-HD are mostly just my personal preference, so to each their own. I love dark/inverted themes, so I’d love it if the Sense menus were inverted with white text on black, but that’s just me. I’ve seen this with Sense 5.0 ROMs, but never in any 4.0 ones, so maybe that’s a Sense limitation. I’d also like an option to do something with the 3-dot menu bar that occasionally pops up in apps with some kind of capacitive button re-mapping (rumor has it that the upcoming “RedPill” mod fixes this somehow). Other than those few things, it’s rather flawless.
I rocked an EVO LTE for over a year and loved the device. There’s been some great ROMs, but I seriously think this takes the cake. I’ve since passed my EVO LTE on to my wife and she’s been using it as her daily since it came out. She’s not a flash-a-holic by any means, but she’s become accustomed to what works and what doesn’t in ROMs and she has said nothing but raving reviews of Evilution-HD. I’ve tested it extensively myself and can attest to its superiority. When I upgraded to an HTC One earlier this year, my wife wanted to get a One when her contract was up. Now she’s seriously having second thoughts about getting a new device anytime soon because Evilution-HD works so well and brought new life to her EVO LTE. If you have an EVO 4G LTE, try Evilution-HD yourself.
Come Get Evilution-HD in the AndroidSPIN Forums HERE
Don’t Forget about the Raffle
I’d also like to mention that both Evil_DevNull, Sinister Tensai, and AndroidSPIN are running a raffle. The winners will all win EvilDevnull & Sinister Tensai decals and be the first to test the mod pack codenamed “RedPill” for the Evilution-HD ROM. Additionally, first place will win an Anker 10,000 mAh external battery with an EVO 4G LTE case and second place will win an Anker 8,400 mAh external battery with an EVO 4G LTE case. Rules for entry can be found HERE.