Why and how I installed a new ROM for my Moto G

On my 23 birthday, I damaged my phone due to over drinking the day before and had to get a replacement phone. I decided to get a Moto G because it had the title of being the best budget phone around. I was hoping my old phone could hold up till I get one of the better phones such as LG G3 or OnePlusOne but that didn’t happen and I realised I couldn’t survive a day without my phone (I tried, for 3 hours and failed). So began my quest for an affordable replacement.

To save money, I got a O2 locked version which thankfully worked with my giffgaff simcard. The phone did meet up to my expectations especially after reading many reviews. I liked the responsiveness of the phone and the long battery life.

For a month and a half I used the stock ROM and was generally quite happy with it. The only thing I wished was for it to have more storage space, expandable or not. I use up about 3GB for offline wikipedia and dictionary, which doesn’t leave me much for other media.

I read somewhere that Google is having phones that have in built memory instead of expandable ones is to steer people towards using their online cloud services. As a sidetrack, in the US, online streaming services, and cloud storage are very popular and having phones with in built memory makes sense. In Asia, most people take their media with them, and that’s why companies like Samsung whose phones mostly have expandable storage are doing so well. I would think UK is somewhere in the middle in the take-you-media vs streaming spectrum so such phones can influence the market.

Anyway, back to the story. One thing I hate about stock Android ROM is that when an update is available, the OS nags you to update. It stays in the notification bar and it keeps prompting me to update. I appreciate the reminder to keep software updated. But I would like the option of staying on older versions and not be constantly nagged about it. After a few days I gave in to the annoyance and updated to the new Android Kit Kat and boy was that a mistake…

The biggest annoyance is the lost of signal from my giffgaff sim. I suppose the new OS had some stricter network checking. This in turn affected the battery life because it spent more time trying to look for a signal. Secondly, it affected my mobile data because when a signal is lost and reestablished, the mobile data connection might not work anymore. This means I had to frequently restart my phone just so I can have mobile connection. These problems were described in this article too.

The annoyance built up until one day I decided I had to do something. I would have stuck with stock ROM if there was an option for me to revert back to the stable OS. Doing a factory reset would mean losing my data, and if I have to lose my data, I might as well start anew with a custom ROM, and so I did.

The process was very straight forward compared to the old days when installing custom ROM required you to scour forums to understand what you are doing. The process is summarised below:

  1. Unlock bootloader (which allows installation of other ROMs)
  2. Root the phone (giving full access to the phone)
  3. Install a custom recovery (to provide the interface for installing stuff)
  4. Find a ROM

I decided to go with Ehndroid ROM because it listed the improvements so I could judge whether it was ideal for me.

 

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