Siyah Kernel (tiny) review (v4.1Beta4)

I have seen the word “Siyah” thrown around a bit on the XDA forums, never really knowing what that was, and me being a bit lazy, I didn’t research it, until a friend of mine brought it up, and said he wanted to flash it but didn’t know how, so I decided to flash it myself and tell him (and all you good folks) the results!

Flashing the Siyah Kernel itself could not possibly be any easier, you just download the latest kernel from here (Make sure it’s the S2’s and not the S3’s), reboot into recovery, and flash it as you would a normal rom! I usually wipe both cache, and Dalvik cache, not sure if it’s necessary though.

After flashing you will notice how smoothly every thing is going, yes, even smoother than the stock CM kernel, a LOT smoother even! It has the potential to make the battery last even longer than your most battery saving settings since Siyah makes underclocking (and overclocking) a breeze! You have clock frequencies ranging from 100MHz to 1600MHz, and if you download ExTweaks as well, you can modify the voltages of, well, pretty much anything in your phone!

The latest Siyah also flashes CWM based touch recovery for you! So if you’ve been intending on switching to the touch recovery, this will do it for you! (It’s a lot prettier, if you’re wondering). The one thing that drains the battery, is the screen, which pretty much makes more sense than seeing “Android OS” on top of your battery drainage list, I still managed to have it last an entire day and 4 hours at 200MHz – 1200MHz which is the normal.

One thing to note though, after you flash a new rom, (in my case it was a new CM10 rom) make sure you re-flash Siyah as CM’s kernel replaces it.

Now the most epic feature of Siyah is its support for dual booting! This will pretty much allow you to install two custom roms (let’s say ICS and JB) and switch between them whenever you wish to! You can install a battery saving ICS one and the latest JB for example, or you can do like me, and dual boot MIUI v4 and CM10!

The process of dual booting itself is really easy, all it requires is patience, and a fully charged battery. All you need to do is basically make sure you have at least 2.5GBs free on your internal SD card.

1. You then have to download the other rom you want to flash (pretty obvious) and save it on either your internal or external SD card, won’t matter.

2. Reboot into recovery and go to Dual Boot Options.

3. Select Wipe 2nd ROM data/cache, this will take the longest, probably 7~10 minutes, so don’t freak out.

4. Go back outside, go to advanced, and select Wipe Dalvik Cache.

5. Now after you’ve done all that, select from Dual Boot Options “Install 2nd ROM from Internal SD card” if you’ve saved the other rom on your internal SD, or “Install 2nd ROM from External SD card” if you’ve saved it to your external SD.

6. Navigate to the secondary rom, flash it, reboot.

7. press the volume down or home key for secondary rom boot, don’t press anything for primary rom boot. TA DA!

Personally I didn’t really dual boot for anything other than geeking out, if you’ll do it for the same reason, you have my respect, if not, well, you still have my respect nevertheless.

Let me know what you folks think of Siyah, or of any other kernels out there, I’d love to try out some of your favorites and review them here! Have a good day, folks!

UPDATE: Overclocked the phone today to 1600MHz and the minimum to 1500MHz through ExTweaks, kept crashing, A LOT! Though when I lowered the maximum to 1500MHz and the minimum to 1000MHz it didn’t crash, though the battery was draining in front of my eyes, which was admittedly, a bit surreal. Anyway, Benchmarks time!

Quadrant read a nice back to pace 3065, which was very nice to see, after all the 2xxx’s I’ve had over the past few CM9/10 roms with their stock kernels.

Vellamo, however, read a 19xx score! Which is almost an all time high for my humble Galaxy SII! Psyched? Indeed I am, good folks! Flash away, now!

Apple’s iPhone 4S vs. Samsung’s Galaxy SII

I’ll be posting a video review this time around as I think it’ll be better at conveying what I’m trying to say, more visual aids = better reviews! (I guess)

Anyway, a couple of things I forgot to mention in the review (seeing how nervous I was, getting better though!)

iPhone’s new notification center is a straight rip off from Android, that’s as clear as day light, so there’s no arguments there, also Siri, as nice as it was, wasn’t actually as responsive as one had hoped, you actually have to give her a few tries before Siri actually understands what it is you want. After digging a little through my GSII I stumbled upon a similar, yet very under developed feature called Voice Talk, with “Galaxy” having also a female voice, and talking to you like Siri, Siri is a bit funnier though, to be honest.

Both phones have front facing cameras, iPhone’s a VGA one, while the GSII has a 2MP camera.

Something was a bit weird on the browser front though, in the video, Engadget loaded faster on the 4S, while when I tried it the first time, I tried loading GSMArena on both phones at the same time, the GSII loaded the page significantly faster, also, YouTube is MUCH faster on the GSII than it is on the 4S.

The UI lag on the GSII, while unnoticeable, will definitely be gone by Ice Cream Sandwich’s release. (it’s like comparing a game running at 30 FPS to one running at 60 FPS, GSII being the 30).

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWNLj8BtmAE%5D

Shopping for a new smartphone?

Well, I can for damn sure tell you one thing, it won’t be the Nokia N9, no matter how shiny or nice it looks

Cool story, bro.

IT'S SO FLUFFEH!

The reason why I started with this, is simple, my sister’s been having some sort of Nokia N9 fever for quiet a while now and has been asking about it, A LOT! Now as to why NOT the N9 is fairly simple, MeeGo OS, I personally have never tried this OS before, but I have tried my trust worthy ‘Droid, and some friends’ iOS devices, and a Blackberry at one point or another, and the risk when buying a smartphone with an obscure OS, as such, is that you won’t be able to find a lot of applications to fill that bad boy up! Spec wise, the Nokia N9 is impressive (for a Nokia), a 1 GHz Cortex A8 chipset with a PowerVR GPU, that’s not a combination to be messed with! But the one drawback here is the OS, I won’t be saying how the OS in not stable, or not efficiently implemented that it slows the phone to the speed of a lazy snail on a Sunday afternoon distracted by a bee flying around in circles, but I will say that it will not be a wise purchase, unless all your hopes and dreams end at playing “Angry Birds Magic” (in which case… I have bad news for you…), but for those, like me, who have a soft spot for Nokia handsets (remember the 3650?)  you can all wait a little longer and start getting your hands on the newer Windows Phone 7 based Nokias that will launch pretty soon.

Which brings me onto my next point, Windows Phone 7, I’ve had an Imate Jammin once, with Windows Mobile 5, loved the phone, hated the OS, seriously, it was slow, clunky, lagged beyond reason, and was all in all horrible, and I didn’t exactly hear poems about Windows Mobile 6 or 6.5 either, but as far as Windows Phone 7 is concerned, it’s a pretty solid OS, and currently taking the market by a storm (for more WP7 love, check the links after the article), still of course lagging behind Apple’s iOS, but that’s only because Apple made a contract with the devil long ago

That is one bad-ass devil!

If you’re not, however shopping for a Nokia, then I would most definitely recommend the Samsung Galaxy S II, Samsung Galaxy S, or Samsung Galaxy R, now I know that the Samsung Galaxy Note is just around the corner, but it’s not very practical, unless you have Chewbacca’s pants, but since the pants are a relic that shall forever be lost, I say it should be a bit smaller to not mess with Tablet territory, the Galaxy S II is big enough, but I do admire the amazing screen resolution of the Super Amoled HD (1280×800? Yes please!), and since they all, save for the Galaxy S, sport Android’s Gingerbread, you’ll be really having a beast of a smartphone (for more Android love, check the links after the article)!

Android/Linux appreciation

Microsoft appreciation

Geekery, Programming, and whatnot