Ice Cream Sandwich On Galaxy S II: A Review Of An Awesome New Android ROM, Resurrection Remix

Erez Zukerman 16-03-2012

ice cream sandwich rom


About two months ago, I shared my thoughts on an Android ROM I really like, MIUI. Judging by the comments, quite a few readers liked that review… so today, I am back with an even more cutting-edge ROM: Resurrection Remix 9.6, based on Android 4.0.3 ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich).

Up until very recently, ICS was only available for users lucky enough to own a Samsung Nexus S. Now, more and more Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs are popping up, and I have finally decided to take the plunge and install ICS on my own device.

This is not an installation guide: Just like with MIUI, you are on your own here — the procedure is well explained in the forum post, and I would hate to see you brick your device because of something I mistyped. That said, it took me about five minutes to install this ROM on my device, so you should be fine. Now, let me show you around!

The Launcher

ice cream sandwich rom

First of all, and this is pretty disappointing, the launcher in this ROM is not the stock ICS launcher. But it is a very close cousin of it: It’s called Nova Launcher, it’s basic version is free, and it basically looks like an identical twin of the ICS launcher. It requires Android 4.0 and up, so it would only be useful as an alternative launcher if you already have ICS.


Above you can see me dragging the bookmarks widget onto a home screen. You can see the other screen peeping from the left edge, just like in the native launcher. Animations are very fluid. It’s a cool launcher, but you don’t need this specific ROM to use it.


ice cream sandwich galaxy s2

The stock browser rocks. Above you can see its tabbed interface – tabs are actually large thumbnails. Did you notice the Google thumbnail is off to the side, and slightly transparent? That’s because I wanted to show you a cool gesture introduced in ICS: You can swipe these thumbnails off to the side to close them.

Last Used Apps

ice cream sandwich galaxy s2


Long-pressing the Home button brings up a list of recently used apps. This same gesture works in older Android versions – but wow, what a difference in the interface. Above you can see the same thumbnail-style control, now used to show the list of recently used apps. To switch to an app, just tap its thumbnail. You can also unload an app instantly just by swiping it to the side. And if you want more fine-grained control, the Task Manager is just a single tap away. This is an amazing improvement, really.


ice cream sandwich galaxy s2

The built-in keyboard is available in a wide selection of languages, and uses predictive logic to try and guess what your next word is going to be – just like the Swiftkey X keyboard. Another cool change is the keyboard control interface, which now looks like this:

ice cream sandwich


And yes – this particular ROM also includes Swype, which is a nice touch. Google voice typing, however, is pretty horrible. It’s really not up to par with FlexT9 Speak Your Email & Text Replies Instead Of Typing Them With FlexT9 Keyboard [Android 2.1+] Typing on a tiny touchscreen is not an inherently fun activity. I can’t remember the last time I heard someone say "Gosh, I love how I keep making embarrassing typos with this tiny keyboard!" Thankfully,... Read More , the golden standard for dictation on Android (at least as far as I can see).


ice cream sandwich

What you’re seeing above is the dialer mid-swipe. Like many other native ICS apps, the dialer responds incredibly smoothly to swiping. The only problem I’ve had with it so far is that even though I’ve enabled T9 dialing, it still doesn’t really work. Meaning, I start typing a contact’s name using the dial pad, but their number doesn’t come up. Aesthetically, though, it is absolutely beautiful.


ice cream sandwich


Above you can see the About Phone screen from the Settings app, with the exact ROM version I’m using. The Settings app itself contains some surprising (and useful) entries, especially in the Developer Options section:

ice cream sandwich rom

Above you can see the Show CPU Usage option in action. This option puts an overlay of currently CPU use and processes on the top-right corner of the screen, so you can see what’s hogging up the CPU. There are simpler ways to do this (like the aforementioned Task Manager), but this is still pretty fun.

Final Thoughts

We’ve been waiting for Ice Cream Sandwich for several months now. I am glad to tell you, it is ready. If you have an Galaxy S II, you really should try Resurrection Remix. Just make sure to back up your device beforehand, and good luck!

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  1. Luz Bacaicoa
    May 23, 2012 at 4:10 am

    I have updated Samsung Galaxy S2 with Ice Cream Sandwich, everything is incredibly slow, it takes like 10 seconds just to unlock it, the swype keyboard just comes in English and can't download anything or do anything to change it to a different language, trying to open the camera takes about 10secs too.

    Everything is worse than before.

    • Erez Zukerman
      May 23, 2012 at 6:39 am

      Interesting! What ROM did you install? Or is it your official carrier update?

      I am still using Resurrection Remix, with the Siyah kernel, and my Galaxy S II is positively flying. I did not overclock it or anything, but it is -super- responsive, fast, and generally a pleasure to use. :)

  2. Shahryar
    May 3, 2012 at 5:52 am

    I have updated Samsung Galaxy S2 with Ice Cream Sandwich, apparently it looks good but I felt like my phone got bit slow and also I don't like the confirmation dialogue box for activating or deactivating network data & switching phone to silent mode & ofcourse in phone call options the contacts option is removed.

    • Erez Zukerman
      May 3, 2012 at 6:16 am

      Hi there,

      I've been using ICS for a while now, and I haven't seen these confirmation boxes. What ROM are you using?

  3. Benjamin
    March 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Just got it, spent a few good hours doing backups and everything, but i noticed that the mouse that i used to connect via OTG cable isnt working anymore, but thankfully the pendrive still work.

    • Erez Zukerman
      May 3, 2012 at 6:15 am

      Version 1.7 is now out -- did it help with the mouse?