Introduction: Optimize Your Samsung Intercept
i am sure all you that own a samsung intercept have been disappointed with it after awhile. Cnet's customers' reviews are only one and half star. other company's low-end phones fall around 3-4 stars.
well in this instructable i will show you how to:
*clean up the phone's storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (super easy)
* replace the home launcher. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(very easy)
* root you intercept the easiest way. . . . . . . . . .(easy)
* uninstall sprint-sh*ts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(easy)
* live wallpapers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(intermediate)
* custom ROMs, kernels, and other goodies . . (intermediate)
* voltage control, optimizing CPU preformance (easy)
* fix boot-looping, bricking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(intermediate)
Step 1: The Specs. Explained and Compared
screen resolution. all screens have a certain number of pixels, or all the small points/dots of light . the more, the better.
The android standard is HVGA, or 480×360 pixels. this is a common resolution for low-end phones. (high end phones have a res like qHD, 960×540 or even full 720p displays!) but our phones are even worse worse than the low end standard. it is a uncommon resolution of 400×240. this means it is hard to make out smaller stuff on the screen such as angry birds, small text. and hurt your eyes a bit. not only that, but many newer apps wont display correctly because they are designed for 480×360 and higher resolution displays. so forget about angry birds.
Another important spec is the CPU, or central processor unit. it is like the 'brain' of the phone, it handles the bit and bites of info, and calculates information. our phones have a low-endarmv11 800 MHz CPU. it is a OK quality processor but it cant handle a lot. furthermore, this phone does not have its own separate GPU (graphics card unit), which is why this phone doesn't support normal graphics. to compromise, android is forced to use half the CPU resources (power) just to make the screen show up. as a result, the CPU has to work twice as hard to calculate and processes data/and run apps as well as draw out graphics.
The last major spec is the internal memory. you can think of this like the short term memory we have. in a phone, all the apps are saved their along with the data for them. (like your progress in angry birds). the more RAM, the more apps you can install, and the better the performance will be. in our phones, we have a tiny 192 MB of it. (in fact, Samsung states in the specs of this phone that it has 256mb of RAM, but i only have about half that) it is barely enough to keep up with one app running, let alone 3 in the background. it also means it is hard to install more than 7 good sized apps before running out of space. this amount of memory is bare minimum.
i can type out a lot of other specs and explain them like the so called "3g" networking, poor-quality camera, OS build, etc.
on top of the all the poor specs, the 2.2 android version samsung/sprint released 2.2 for the phone is as you probably know, it is full of bugs. so, i am sure we can all agree that either Samsung is sh*ty and purposely made this phone bad, or Samsung low-end phones are just an EPIC FAIL
but not to worry, lets see what we can do to optimize it!
Step 2: First Things First Clean Up Your Phone
click your settings, applications, manage applications. and DELETE ALL UNUSED APPS, AND MOVE EVERYTHING ELSE INTO THE SD CARD!
and download a good task killer (not necessary if you continue on the next step and get go launcher) and use the back buttun to go home instead of the home button. this closes apps that would normally just run.
this should improve preformance.
Step 3: Replaceing the Home Launcher
you know when your on you home-screen, the way it looks and feels, 5 screens, a few widgets, and the "all apps" drawer, well you probebly know it is slow at popping up. so we will replace it. home launchers usually feature better preformance and more customization options.
first, go to your android market and install your launcher app of choice (in my case, GO launcher) and wait patently fot it to finish installing then, click the "home" button you should be prompted to chose between GO launcher and home. click "Go Launcher"
customize and enjoy the features such as a built-in task-killer (TIP: if you click menu soft-key on your phone, and preferences, that's where you can tweak GO launcher)
if you like it, click 'home' again, but mark it a your default and remember, you can always revert back in your settings app.
Step 4: ROOT. Now You're in Control! (and Custom Recovery)
First let me explain what "root" is. in Linux, a computer operating system, it is a administrative user that has all the rights to what the computer can do. (Including the stuff behind the scenes). for android, there are many apps in the market that require root permission like titanium backup (it also can uninstall system apps and bloatware) wireless tether, (turning your phone into a wireless hotspot for free,) and other great apps. Other things like custom ROM's and kernels also require root. which is what we will do in a minute. Of coarse, these is dangerous, and no one blames you if you decide not to go though with it. method i will show is 99% safe, but there is still that 1% chance that it will catastrophically fail and brick your phone. ( turn it into a useless piece of junk, but at least now you have a reason to get a better phone) I am NOT in any way resposible for your actions. i will include at the end possible ways to fix your intercept although you might loss all your data.
first, make a backup of everything important, like everything on the SD card.
step 1) go into your phone browser and find the file (app) called interceptRoot.apk when its finished, pull down the notification bar
` ` ` ` ` and click it. (you may need to select "unknown sources" in the setiings>applications)
step 2) after installing, open it and click the "root" button. now leave your phone alone to do it's job. it should restart. after that, you
` ` ` ` ` have root permissions! test it by installing an app that needs it (search "root" in the market. all the apps that require it will be
` ` ` ` ` there) (note: this might not work after the latest update. you will need to find another method)
Step 5: Uninstalling Bloatware
"bloatware", "system apps", "sprint sh*ts", whatever you want to call them, they are those annoying apps that take up phone memory and resources, and are unable to uninstall them. "NASCAR sprint mobile cup", "Amazon MP3", "Email" , "Facebook", "sprint football", "Sprint Navigation", "Sprint TV", "sprint Zone" and others are examples.
the better, more accurate term is system apps. they include all the bloatware along with dialer, messaging, and other stuff that makes your phone work. so there is a fine line between important apps your phone needs to function and the undesired bloatware.
as you can tell, uninstalling the wrong app could turn your phone into a useless piece of junk. so find an article that lists the safe apps to delete if you plan to do this.
and to clear things up, it wont free a lot of space uninstalling the bloatware, because there are two 'partitions', one for phone storage and the other for ROM memory. (hardware-wise they are the same chip to my understanding, but android splits it into two separate sections called "partitions" thats what i call them, anyway.)
with more advanced knowage, you can even move your apps to the free space of the rom memory. otherwise, leaving it vastly empty is wasted space. (but does speed the phone up a tad) so if you delete apps from it, the extra space isnt of any real use.
Step 6: Time to Flash Mods and ROMs, (it's Easyer Than You Think)
at first, it sounds a little intimidating, but i'll guide you though it. the easy way. first, download a ROM of your choice, make sure it is a ROM for the intercept, and is for your carrier (sprint of VM) the ROM i used was stockromoncrack v1.1.2 DL05 if you are with sprint, download the dl05 , or if you are with VM, ec07.be careful in choosing the ROM, the wrong one could ruin your phone
step 1) reopen interceptroot.apk, and click the second option, which is to flash cm01 recovery, after it has done its thing, turn off you phone.
step 2) take out the SD card and put it in the computer. and move the zip file (the ROM) over to it, but not in any folders. (this isn't critical, it just makes things easier), place the SD back into the phone
step 3) to enter recovery, shut down your phone, hold down the volume down key, answer key and on/off key (those two buttons below the screen) all at the same time. you should see the progress bar go a quarter way an pop up a new window. Here, you can backup, restore, flash custom ROMs, etc. p.s. it may take a few tries to get into it, and i found it is easier to do this while it is not plugged in, but once your in, plug it back in.
step 4) use the track-pad to scroll and select, click backup and restore, do a TAR backup to the system and data, (and if you want, dalvic cache), go back and click install zip from SD card, scroll down to the bottom and select where you placed the rom, and select it, press the home button to continue, and wait. make sure your phone is plugged in.
step 5) after it is done, turn your phone on. it may take a long time (15 minutes or so) to boot up. if you find all you apps and stuff are gone, just repeat step 3, and go to restore. restore your data, so you have all your apps and stuff back again.
Step 7: Optimizing CPU
this is easy with the right app. i am using voltage control, found on the market.
after you install it, open it and play with the given settings. sadly, we don't get to overclock the phone, but we can tweak the I/O scheduler and CPU governeners. so far, the best combo i found is "vr" and "userspace". clocked at 800MHz.
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my quadrant scores are now between 507 and 530. and my linback speeds are 7 - 8.3. at one point i had them as high as 9.5.
Step 8: Troubleshooting
if you soft-bricked you phone, enter your recovery and restore everything, (system, then data, then cache) and reboot. do this by:
1) turning the phone off (pull the battery)
2) press and hold the volume down, talk, and end button
3) after CM01 loads (it might take a few tries at first) click
if you cant enter recovery, then you bricked you phone. i cant help you much past that point, you can try to take it to sprint or VM for them to fix it if it is still under Warranty, but they don't cover bricked phones where people tried to root them, so don't tell them you what you did, just lie and say you attempted the update.
if you have anything other problems or are not sure about something, leave a comment and i will reply