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CyanogenMod Software Tour

Oppo N1 Review: Future-Looking Phablet Or Oversized Flop?
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If you feel Oppo’s ColorOS strays too far from stock Android, you can opt for the CyanogenMod version of the N1 instead. Installing a custom ROM on the N1 is a painless procedure, but you can also order it directly from Oppo with CyanogenMod pre-installed.

CyanogenMod default theme and version informationCyanogenMod default theme and version information

The customized version of CyanogenMod 10.2 for the N1 has an Android 4.3 core, a more recent version than what ColorOS uses. A lightweight skin, CyanogenMod preserves the design philosophy of Google’s Android, including the basic color palette, icons, and apps. Rather than trying to rebrand Android, the developers of CyanogenMod focus on bringing an up-to-date, highly customizable, and enhanced version of Android to people who wish to rid their phone of bloatware, or those who've been abandoned by their carriers and left with no official upgrade path.

Trebuchet 1.0, the launcher included with the N1 build, contains an abundance of customization options, including the ability to change the number of rows and columns on the home screen, set the number of home screens, hide icon labels, rearrange the Quick Settings panel, modify the Status bar, and many more. Unlike ColorOS, apps in the App Drawer can’t be rearranged or grouped into folders.

CyanogenMod also includes a theme engine for personalizing the UI and long pressing on the home screen opens a menu for changing the wallpaper.

CyanogenMod with Google apps and app switcherCyanogenMod with Google apps and app switcher

Unfortunately, CyanogenMod doesn’t fully support all of the N1’s unique hardware features. While O-Touch performance was disappointing with ColorOS, it’s crippled in the alternate OS. Gone is the ability to launch an app by double-tapping, replaced by a single long press to launch the Camera. Also absent is the ability to control music playback. O-Touch can still activate the shutter when taking pictures, but instead of the tap-hold-release trigger, it requires a double-tap. Of course, that action jiggles the phone and leads to blurry pictures. Scrolling with O-Touch (when it works at all; it works in the Browser app, but not the Chrome browser) is an imprecise affair, since smooth scrolling isn’t supported. Instead, there’s a single large scroll once a swipe gesture is complete, which, when coupled with the aforementioned hardware shortcomings, makes O-Touch a feature better left disabled under CyanogenMod.

The ColorOS gesture controls aren’t fully supported either. There is no gesture panel or any gesture capability once the phone is unlocked. Gesture controls do work when the screen is off, however, sharing the same four gestures with ColorOS: double-tap to wake up the device, draw a circle to launch the Camera app, make a “V” to open the flashlight, and music playback controls.

The N1’s O-Click remote is fully supported by CyanogenMod, but the option to automatically open the camera when the camera module is rotated is missing.

While lacking some of the features and functionality of ColorOS, CyanogenMod does have a few unique enhancements of its own. The DSP Manager app will enhance the sound generated by the N1. There are several functions, including an equalizer, bass boost, and loudness compensation that can be tweaked independently for headphones, Bluetooth, USB, and the built-in speaker.

CyanogenMod DSP Manager (left) and File Manager (right)CyanogenMod DSP Manager (left) and File Manager (right)

Another potentially useful feature is Profiles, which are context-aware groups of settings and preferences. Profiles can be created for any number of different environments, like home, work, car, or silent, and can be selected manually by long pressing the power button and selecting the Profile option, or triggered automatically when a specific Wi-Fi or Bluetooth network is detected, NFC tag encountered, or by a time-sensitive alarm. There are even third-party apps that provide additional methods for switching profiles.

CyanogenMod also provides some essential security enhancements. Similar to the Permission Monitor app in ColorOS, Privacy Guard provides granular control over app permissions. Another great security feature is the option for full disk encryption.

What’s Your Favorite Color?

Deciding between Oppo’s ColorOS or CyanogenMod depends on which features are most important to you. ColorOS fully supports all of the N1’s unique hardware features and includes gesture controls. CyanogenMod offers better security features and gives you more control over your phone. Both operating systems support themes, come with a variety of apps, including the usual assortment from Google, and can access the Play Store. If you have trouble deciding, Oppo makes it easy to switch between the two, so just try both!

Display all 15 comments.
  • -1 Hide
    wavetrex , July 14, 2014 2:34 AM
    Just a small comment about OLED, even if this might not be the place to write about it.

    Probably due to to imperfections in the transistors that control the OLED pixels, there is a very faint but perceptible in deep darkness leakage of energy toward the pixels.
    Yes, doesn't compare to the obvious light bleed of any TFT display, but the OLED "off" pixels are not truly off, they have a 0.00something-small level of light which could theoretically be measured by some very sensitive equipment.

    The eyes are certainly capable of seeing it...
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , July 14, 2014 3:51 AM
    Putting both flash LEDs on the same side so close to the image sensor seems like a missed opportunity to me: putting one LED close to each hinge with the camera in the middle would provide more even lighting and softer shadows.

    With the mostly passable image quality, that would not help the N1 much though.
  • -6 Hide
    Onus , July 14, 2014 5:32 AM
    Please don't put the letters "p" "h" "a" "b" "l" "e" "t" together in that order and treat it like a word.
  • 0 Hide
    WyomingKnott , July 14, 2014 6:00 AM
    @onus

    First time I read the term I had the image of holding my 10" Asus pad up to my face and talking into it. I suppose it's better than a shoe; cleaner, too.
  • 0 Hide
    shahbaz200 , July 14, 2014 6:52 AM
    Bad GPU, doesn't works well on this device, poor performance, other than that its good device.
  • 0 Hide
    BlankInsanity , July 14, 2014 7:49 AM
    please respect my opinion, but I don't see why phones need to go bigger. i the 90s phones used to be huge and this was a problem for mobility and so as the years went by they created smaller form factor phones. Now here we are repeating that mistake. A phone is ment to make a small footprint when hidden on it's user such as a pocket. You don't put your tablet in your pocket, I don't see why'd you make a phone out of it. this is just my opinion
  • 0 Hide
    jankeke , July 14, 2014 7:59 AM
    "please respect my opinion, but I don't see why phones need to go bigger. i the 90s phones used to be huge and this was a problem for mobility and so as the years went by they created smaller form factor phones. Now here we are repeating that mistake. A phone is ment to make a small footprint when hidden on it's user such as a pocket. You don't put your tablet in your pocket, I don't see why'd you make a phone out of it. this is just my opinion "

    True but people couldn't watch porn on their phones back then so it made sense to make them as small as possible. Not so now ... ^^
  • 2 Hide
    Matthew DiGiacomo , July 14, 2014 8:48 AM
    No offense Tom's Hardware but why are you reviewing this phone now? It's outdated and been on the market for almost 8 months.. No one really cares about it anymore.
  • 1 Hide
    falchard , July 14, 2014 11:24 AM
    The Camera is a smart solution meaning you won't need 2 cameras. Obviously it will need tilt support to tell it which direction is up.
    No removable battery is a shitty solution. Its the issue all phones face after 2 years, their batteries no longer hold a charge.
  • 0 Hide
    BlankInsanity , July 14, 2014 11:41 AM
    Quote:
    The Camera is a smart solution meaning you won't need 2 cameras. Obviously it will need tilt support to tell it which direction is up.
    No removable battery is a shitty solution. Its the issue all phones face after 2 years, their batteries no longer hold a charge.


    lol that's a scam the companies do to force you to buy a new one ;) 
  • 1 Hide
    zakaron , July 14, 2014 12:32 PM
    @WyomingKnott - reading your comment about using your Asus 10" pad, reminded me of those using their n-gage like a taco: http://www.cheatcc.com/images/news/oldngage.jpg
    Guess it is a little better than the shoe...
  • 0 Hide
    MasterMace , July 20, 2014 6:31 AM
    Sorry, this is behind at this point. 1080 screen is over a generation old, Sub-2.0 GHZ quad core is over a generation old, micro USB 2 is over a generation old, and it's not being helped by a non-removable battery.
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , July 20, 2014 6:49 AM
    Quote:
    Sorry, this is behind at this point. 1080 screen is over a generation old, Sub-2.0 GHZ quad core is over a generation old, micro USB 2 is over a generation old, and it's not being helped by a non-removable battery.

    1080-1200p is a pretty reasonable balance between cost and benefits under 10" and micro-USB is not going anywhere any time soon simply because the micro-USB3 connector is huge and it will take a while for USB3.1 ports to become widespread... and then you have the problem of many countries such as the EU choosing micro-USB as the universal charger spec, guaranteeing that micro-USB will stick around well beyond the new USB3.1 connectors.
  • 0 Hide
    Foxcat , July 20, 2014 11:56 AM
    Quote:
    please respect my opinion, but I don't see why phones need to go bigger. i the 90s phones used to be huge and this was a problem for mobility and so as the years went by they created smaller form factor phones. Now here we are repeating that mistake. A phone is ment to make a small footprint when hidden on it's user such as a pocket. You don't put your tablet in your pocket, I don't see why'd you make a phone out of it. this is just my opinion

    Amen to that, bro. Phones are made to be mobile PCs, and phablets are just not mobile phones...
  • 0 Hide
    ry470 , July 26, 2014 12:51 AM
    touch based smartphones existed long before icrap came along. You make it sound like they invented the whole smartphone concept. I used windows mobile for a long time and i loved it. Had a HTC wizard and TyTn and they were great.
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