I installed Android 11 on my Samsung Galaxy S2 and it was better than I expected –


It’s been a few years since I last touched on a custom ROM for my Android phone. Back in the glorious era of Nexus One and the early Samsung Galaxy phones, Android is simple enough Open Many enthusiasts will get a new nightly build from their favorite developer and think nothing about flashing on their main device.

But lately Best android phone It’s much more complicated and locked down than it was in the early 2010s. Even emerging technologies such as NFC payments, secure banking apps, mobile driver’s licenses and passports mean that running rooted devices is out of the question for many. Even running unrooted firmware without Google’s SafetyNet approval seal can cause headaches in everyday activities such as grocery payments and public transport usage. ..

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Anyway, the Android hacking community is still alive in 2021 and some enterprising developers are helping to positively port Android’s latest vision to ancient hardware.

Source: Alex Dobie / Android Central

One of the oldest Android phones I currently have in stock is the Samsung Galaxy S2. Released 10 years ago in 2011, the GS2 was one of the groundbreaking Android devices that recognized the early success of the platform. But these days, the Galaxy S2 in stock isn’t particularly useful. The European Galaxy S2 model (not to be confused with the myriad US variants) was eventually abandoned in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. And Jelly Bean technically continues to support the following basics: Google Play service And Google Play Protect, the app itself has been moving for a long time. Using S2 with this level of firmware in 2021 is basically a feature phone experience.

Thanks to the developers, the process of migrating Android 11 to S2 was actually very easy.

So, using a reliable Micro-USB cable, a new installation of ODIN Samsung flash software, and some handy ZIP files, Android 11 For the first phone shipped with OS version 2.3. Can the Android community bring life back to this relic of 2011?

Galaxy S2 TWRP recovery

Galaxy S2 TWRP recoverySource: Alex Dobie / Android Central

Credits for actually running Android 11 on S2 XDA Members rINanDO and ChronoMonochrome, Posted their earliest build It is still being updated at the time of writing in December 2020.

For experienced (or expired) Android ROM enthusiasts, installation is very easy. The first step is to repartition S2’s internal storage and flash custom recovery. Or, as usual, relocate the 16GB of space inside the Galaxy S2 so that Android 11 actually fits in, and then install the recovery software that helps you install Android 11.

The next challenge was the unstable USB port on the phone, which had a hard time maintaining a data connection. This is not a big issue to deal with when working with the phone partition table over that connection. But at the right angle, my credible S2 eventually became a soldier through the process.

Once that is done, you can use the microSD card to complete the next step. This means you don’t need to connect your PC or other device to your phone. (That is, after activating the combination that activates the phone in recovery mode by manipulating the phone’s squeak volume, home key, and power key.)

This is a two-step process. First, flash the ROM itself, LineageOS 18 (the latest incarnation of what was called CyanogenMod). Then you have the option to sideload some Google apps to make your phone a little easier to use.

Galaxy S2 Android 11

Galaxy S2 Android 11Source: Alex Dobie / Android Central

Almost everything works, but especially with Google apps, it requires holy patience.

To make sure everything was working, I first ran the bare minimum of LineageOS and turned on the phone. This is basically an open source Android 11 compiled for this phone and contains some very basic apps. The Galaxy S2’s straight-up LineageOS provides the usual stuff like contacts, dialers, messages, alarms, music, galleries, basic camera apps and more. From there, Lineage is essentially a blank canvas. You can keep things simple and download to launch a third-party app store or flash one of the available Google App (Gapps) packages.

Basically, you don’t have to do anything, just a few system apps in the app drawer, and Android 11 on the Galaxy S2 requires a lot of patience. Scrolling is slower, but touch response, especially typing, feels awkward compared to modern devices. This is not surprising given that the S2 has less processing power than the average 2021 smartwatch.

Still, almost everything Works, It is impressive in itself. A basic web browser will successfully load a page from the 2021 internet without the annoying HTTPS errors displayed from the official Samsung firmware stock browser. This camera won’t win a prize, but it’s good at taking pictures and also offers some pro-mode features that the last TouchWiz-based ROM didn’t have. Even useful conveniences not found on the Galaxy S2, such as screencasts and wake-on notifications, work perfectly. The phone received a serviceable 3G signal and could even use the mobile data with the spare GiffGaff SIM I was lying on.

After applying the selected Gapps package, the performance was even worse due to the Google Play Services running in the background. After speeding up my smartphone and adding a Google Workspace account, I was finally able to see how the current Android app works on older S2 hardware.

Screenshot of Galaxy S2 Android 11

Screenshot of Galaxy S2 Android 11Source: Alex Dobie / Android Central

Open Slack? It’s best to make a sandwich and check it again later.

And … well, they work! But again, using an Android app designed in 2021 with hardware built in 2011 requires almost saint patience. This includes basics such as Gmail and Google Calendar. If your scrolling speed can exceed 30 frames per second, consider yourself lucky. YouTube video Almost I can watch it in full screen mode, but I noticed that it dropped a few frames even at low resolution.

Do you want to tap a button or control? You may need to wait a second or two for the call to answer. Also, apps can be aggressively removed from memory, causing frustration, as you would expect from a phone with only gigabytes of RAM.

But even with all these compromises, the Samsung Galaxy S2, which has been updated to Android 11 for 10 years, basically works as advertised, albeit very slowly. And developers deserve praise for pushing the current version of Android into hardware well below its minimum specs.

Do you already have a Galaxy S2 Can be used On Android 11, do you want to compare with Jelly Bean or Ice Cream Sandwich with a non-working app? Probably not. There are trade-offs between app compatibility and performance, and the trade-offs are extreme in either direction. Nevertheless, it is impressive that this fusion of new software and old hardware is even possible. Probably in the next 10 years Galaxy S21 Ultra On my desk, with the help of the same community, I might find a new life on Android 22.

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