Good and EVO

Reader ROM Picks: Savaged-Zen(MOD) for HTC EVO 4G

Reader ROM Picks is a regular series that showcases G&E readers’ favorite HTC EVO custom ROMs.

Main This ROM pick was sent in by MildlyDisturbed.

If you’re looking for a Gingerbread-based AOSP ROM that isn’t too much of a pain in the butt to install on your HTC EVO 4G and that has speed and kernel configurability built in, then Savaged-Zen(MOD) RC2 or RC3-Rendition04182011 might be what you’re looking for. RC3 isn’t quite finished yet but I’ve been using the “pre-candidate candidate” since it became available on Monday and so far, it’s my favorite AOSP ROM.

It has working 4G/WiMAX, front and back camera, HDMI courtesy of HDMwIn, GPS, and 5-point multi-touch with no additional modifications or flashing. Although it doesn’t include Darktremor’s Apps2SD, the framework is there, which means partitioning your SD card and simply flashing A2SD will get you the wonderful ability to not get those “low on internal memory” warnings. IMPORTANT: If you’re going to do this, do it before you get invested in the ROM. You’ll thank me later. And beware, partitioning SD card = erasing SD card = Nandroid backups need to be moved to a computer.

Savaged-Zen(MOD) also includes a configurable power notification drop-down bar that lets you put what you want in what order you want.

GOV screen GOV-Freq change

Some of the govs  SZ-Screen on off animation

It gives you the ability with the shipped kernel and without the aid of SetCPU to change the CPU governors. It has built-in over/underclocking too. While it’s not as robust as SetCPU with profiles, I think it’s great for an awake and running profile.

HAVS - undervolt Sbc-havs

You can select whether or not you wish to use SBC, which doesn’t seem to be blowing batteries up like it was feared to do, and to give your battery a little extra oomph in the morning, you can configure HAVS levels right in the config screen for how many volts you want to try and shave off the processor.

The flashing and installing of this ROM (and the framework files) was the fastest complete ROM install I’ve ever done.


Note to Sense users

For those moving from Sense to AOSP, you might want to know that like most AOSP ROMs, you’re going to need to download two things: 1) the ROM itself and 2) all the Google apps. Both are linked and downloadable from Savaged-Zen(MOD)’s thread at XDA.

Also, for those moving from Sense, you’ll notice it’s a tad bare. Downright barren actually. When I first lost my Senses (see what I did there?), I came back to them pretty quickly because I found the AOSP dialer and lack of widgets downright depressing. But I got used to it.

LP  5 screen Launcher-Pro 3d app drawer

If you’ve been with other ROMs that are close to Sense-less, then you’re well versed in the wide variety of launchers out there. I personally use LauncherPro and Fancy Widget from the Market to ease my soul and provide the functionality that Sense’s widgets and Friendstream had and then some. That’s what you’re looking at above.

Oh, one more thing to the Sense-to-AOSP folks. Go ahead and do the GPS fix in your Sense ROM first to save yourself the 48 minutes required to go back to Sense just to dial ##GPSCLRX# on your phone.


Reader ROM Picks is a regular series that showcases G&E readers’ favorite HTC EVO custom ROMs.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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14 thoughts on “Reader ROM Picks: Savaged-Zen(MOD) for HTC EVO 4G

  • Avatar of GRRemlin

    Great review, but does this ROM have the 720p video recording? I know CyanogenMod 7 didn’t…

  • If CM7 doesn’t have something, then this won’t. It’s basically CM7 with some theming and a few other tweaks. Better off with CM7 in my opinion for having the most up to date AOSP rom, for example they list a wimax bug with SZ, which was long fixed in stock cm7.

  • Avatar of GRRemlin

    Bummer. Then I’ll stick with my Sense ROM for now…

  • I used this rom (RC2) for a week and loved it for one reason. Battery life! After a day of moderate use I was left with 65% battery when I went to bed. For that week I didn’t have to worry about charging my phone at work or before I went out for the night, it was beautiful. However, I switched back to CM7 because of the 4g bug that was not fixed and a problem in maps where the keyboard wouldn’t work correctly so I couldn’t search anything.

    CM7’s features and stability are nice but Savage-Zen is maturing fast and has amazing battery life. I would look for a stable version of this in the future if you want to see what it’s like to own an evo and never worry about battery life.

  • This rom looks like some kid drew it.

  • I have been using Kings R2 for about a month now. I use the phone continuously throughout the day – turn mobile networks on and off as needed – after 14 hours off the charger yesterday I was still at 58%. I have found nothing to complain about with this ROM at all. Just my .02

  • Thanks for the tip – I will try it out! Although since it is based on sense my guess is it hasn’t been updated to gingerbread yet. I don’t know if i can go back to froyo…

  • I’ve been using this for a week or so, and it is the best GB ROM I’ve tried (which is many.)
    Super snappy, amazing battery life, and way fewer issues than CM7.

  • I have not personally experienced the 4g bug or the maps issue. Heavily used maps yesterday, used 4g multiple times yesterday… however, as always with these things phones vary

  • Im the co-founder of Savaged-Zen. we are not based on CM7 at all… so if it doesnt havent we wont comment is inaccurate. the problem with 720p is how in 2.3.3 the way video recording has changed NO ONE yet has developed the 720p recording.

  • Joshua, I think this ROM is functionally usable but the aesthetic presentation could use some attention. What is being presented here is not a reprentation of the UI Google designed with regards to AOSP. Ultimately, anyone can design whatever they want of course.


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