Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 7th Nov 2012 17:06 UTC
Google Back when I reviewed the Nexus 7, I mentioned that I was disappointed with Chrome for Android. It often felt slow, would hang, and typing in the address bar and input fields on webpages would lag. Scrolling wasn't always optimal, and sometimes, it would simply freeze up altogether. We're several months down the line now - has the situation improved for me?
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Doplhin
by wojtek on Wed 7th Nov 2012 17:20 UTC
wojtek
Member since:
2010-01-24

I'm a huge fan of Opera but I switched recently to Dolphin by default... because I've noticed that in the browser selection dialog I almost always selected Dolphin "because I only quickly want to see this small page" and guess what? It's blazing fast and full feature... Other browsers (yes, Fx included) are just plain slow!

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ephracis
by ephracis on Wed 7th Nov 2012 17:25 UTC
ephracis
Member since:
2007-09-23

This is bad. I really hope they fix this before I decide to pick up a tablet.

I have a hard time moving away from Chrome. The killer feature is how Chrome can handle multiple users. I really hope that Firefox can add the convenient fast user switching that Chrome has had for so long.

I am actually looking forward to further integration with Android when it comes to the browser. As so many other I am left out in the cold with an old version of Android and cannot use Chrome. But I will not tolerate slowness just to get sync with the desktop browser.

Hope they will get their act together before I stumble upon some random pile of money and decide to buy a tablet.

Reply Score: 2

Really?
by pmac on Wed 7th Nov 2012 17:35 UTC
pmac
Member since:
2009-07-08

Not that it helps you, but Chrome is smooth for me on both my Galaxy Nexus and my Xoom. I can't recall it ever freezing. I wonder if others are seeing this or if it's something specific to your device (or more generally, the Nexus 7).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Really?
by anevilyak on Wed 7th Nov 2012 17:37 UTC in reply to "Really?"
anevilyak Member since:
2005-09-14

Same here, this post had me scratching my head for that exact reason (also on Galaxy Nexus).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Really?
by Noremacam on Wed 7th Nov 2012 17:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Really?"
Noremacam Member since:
2006-03-08

I have both the galaxy nexus and the Nexus 7. On my galaxy nexus performance of Chrome is quite acceptable(although not as fast as the plain browser). On my nexus 7, it freezes during the initial seconds of loading any web page. Why would a quad core tablet struggle where my much older dual core phone not?

Been wondering this for a while...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Really?
by Nico57 on Wed 7th Nov 2012 18:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Really?"
Nico57 Member since:
2006-12-18

Also works fine on my quad core SGS3 (i9300), though I happen to use either Opera Mini or the stock browser most of the time.

FF seemed slow on first sight, but I didn't really give it a try.
Would ads on mobile become an issue, I might turn to it though, since AFAIK that's the only mobile browser with ad blocking (extension).

Never tried Dolphin.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Really?
by Noremacam on Wed 7th Nov 2012 19:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Really?"
Noremacam Member since:
2006-03-08

The newer builds of firefox have made leaps and bounds forward in terms of speed. I recommend using the beta build from the play store, as that fixes a few nuisance usability issues with "un"zooming.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Really?
by MarkVVV on Thu 8th Nov 2012 00:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Really?"
MarkVVV Member since:
2007-03-14

It's not fine on my S3 running official JB, so...i can provide anecdotal evidence too.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Really?
by Neolander on Wed 7th Nov 2012 20:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Really?"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Perhaps that's an issue with Jelly Bean, considering that all devices on which Thom has encountered this issue ran Jelly Bean?

No major issue with Chrome on ICS for me either, I can only confirm the autocompletion lag. Actually, Firefox felt much slower on my "slow" 1GHz single-core phone with 512MB RAM.

I used to be a Dolphin user due to its wondrous performance and independence from Google, but for some reason it has started to freeze and crash a lot after some updates a few months ago.

Edited 2012-11-07 20:21 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Really?
by anevilyak on Thu 8th Nov 2012 13:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Really?"
anevilyak Member since:
2005-09-14

That doesn't appear to be the case, my Galaxy Nexus is running JB and doesn't exhibit the issue Thom's describing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Really?
by Neolander on Thu 8th Nov 2012 18:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Really?"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

That doesn't appear to be the case, my Galaxy Nexus is running JB and doesn't exhibit the issue Thom's describing.

Indeed. Perhaps an SoC-specific issue as others are suggesting, then, if all Tegra device owners can confirm the issue...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Really?
by zlynx on Wed 7th Nov 2012 20:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Really?"
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

I wonder if this is a Tegra 3 chipset problem because I see the exact same behavior on my Transformer Prime tablet.

Perhaps Chrome somehow triggers an expensive swap from the one low power core to the high power quad cores at a very unfortunate time.

Or perhaps the Tegra 3 is lacking RAM or mass storage bandwidth.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Really?
by Morgan on Thu 8th Nov 2012 03:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Really?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'll add my experience to that. On the original Transformer with the Tegra 2, Chrome suffers the same sluggishness and buggy behavior that Thom described, along with the occasional force close. Firefox, the built in browser and Opera do not suffer these issues.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Really?
by geertjan on Wed 7th Nov 2012 18:21 UTC in reply to "Really?"
geertjan Member since:
2010-10-29

Seems better than wat Thom describes on my Nexus 7 as well. Sure, heavy sites like The Verge are quite laggy, but sites like OSNews are fast and smooth.

Reply Score: 2

I feel the opposite
by intangible on Wed 7th Nov 2012 18:07 UTC
intangible
Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually I only recently started using Chrome on my tablet and phone (like in the last 3 weeks) because I've felt it's been improving and finally has made it to a usable point ;)

I really hope for the following features tho:
1. Better extensions support
2. Better options for home page on startup
3. Option to close browser on last tab close

I also think Firefox mobile has improved a great deal too, but I don't like the UI as much (I prefer the regular Android browser UI the most actually).

Reply Score: 2

Opera Mobile
by WereCatf on Wed 7th Nov 2012 18:18 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

Opera Mobile: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.opera.browser

It's fast, stable, allows you to select between "desktop" and "mobile" websites, and it actually manages to almost always re-flow the content so that it can fit on a mobile-phone screen well. Sure, lacking sync is a bit unfortunate, but otherwise I love it. Atleast it's miles ahead of the competition!

Reply Score: 5

RE: Opera Mobile
by grumpyoldman on Wed 7th Nov 2012 20:07 UTC in reply to "Opera Mobile"
grumpyoldman Member since:
2012-10-08

I think 'Opera Link' is their way of synching between the desktop and the mobile versions of Opera.

Edited 2012-11-07 20:09 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Opera Mobile
by lucas_maximus on Thu 8th Nov 2012 14:40 UTC in reply to "Opera Mobile"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Yes but unfortunately it is Opera.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by gan17
by gan17 on Wed 7th Nov 2012 18:20 UTC
gan17
Member since:
2008-06-03

Try xScope. It's not free, but it's Holo.

Reply Score: 2

Browsers over 2 years..
by fadingdust on Wed 7th Nov 2012 18:22 UTC
fadingdust
Member since:
2009-11-05

2 devices, both CM10: Samsung Captivate & B&N Nook Tablet.

Dolphin has consistently been my go-to (though it can be slow-to-load too). Despite that, it's held up against everything else.

Lately, Maxathon Browser seems to be a better-for-low-end browser, but is can be crashy after prolonged use.

Opera & FF reminded me of the browser-as-a-platform days of keypad-scrolling feature phones. Don't get me wrong, I kinda miss those low-end spec'd, but still useful phones.


I've installed most of the others & nothing to write home about. I think I'm actually using the built-in browser for my Nook lately..

Reply Score: 2

Doesn't match my experience
by rafial on Wed 7th Nov 2012 18:25 UTC
rafial
Member since:
2007-12-04

I used Chrome for Android both on my Galaxy Nexus phone and Asus Transformer Infinity tablet, and on both devices I find it robust and highly responsive. The only reason I haven't ditched the old stock browser on my tablet completely is that I am addicted to the "Quick Controls" feature that Chrome has not yet replicated.

I wonder if this may be exposing a weakness of the Nexus 7 GPU?

Reply Score: 2

julioromano
Member since:
2012-11-07

I've reported this since quite somtime:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=33814714

Please share your findings.

Reply Score: 2

Big Android benefit: choice
by rklrkl on Wed 7th Nov 2012 19:10 UTC
rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

Unlike Apple and Microsoft, the Android App store is literally teeming with alternative browser choices and this is one of the big benefits of Google Play - they don't ban such browsers!

Hence, like I noted in a comment in Thom's original Nexus 7 review, I was quite surprised that Thom didn't try at least one of the many browser alternatives for Android during his original Nexus 7 review. I even suggested Firefox beta in my comment and he seemingly has installed that, albeit quite reluctantly.

There isn't much to choose between Firefox and Chrome on the desktop (though I think Firefox's extensions still give it an edge), but on Android, Firefox is a clear winner and it was obvious to me early on with my Nexus 7.

But that's what choice gives you - the ability to switch applications when one isn't to your liking. On the platforms I use, I tend to have 2 browsers installed - one for primary browsing and one secondary in case there's issues with the primary. It used to be Firefox and Opera, but now it's Firefox and Chrome.

Reply Score: 4

Switch to Opera
by Berend de Boer on Wed 7th Nov 2012 19:30 UTC
Berend de Boer
Member since:
2005-10-19

Let me also suggest you try Opera. I think that's the best mobile browser, because when you zoom-in, it doesn't simply zoom in the page, but just the text. Works way better than what other browsers are doing.

Reply Score: 2

Amen Thom
by duplex80 on Wed 7th Nov 2012 19:39 UTC
duplex80
Member since:
2011-05-11

On My HP TouchPad running CM9, I have exactly the same issues with Chrome. I love the sync across devices, which is why I am tolerating it, but come on Google, enough is enough. For a company that's all about speed, it sure is taking a long time to fix this issue.

Reply Score: 2

Chrome Android update cycle
by JokeyRhyme on Wed 7th Nov 2012 19:54 UTC
JokeyRhyme
Member since:
2010-05-28

I had hoped that Google releasing a Browser in the Play Store would mean frequent updates.

In reality, Chrome for Android still reports itself as version 18, while Chrome on the desktop is now up to 23.

I suppose it's nice not needing to download a 20MB browser every week, but it would be nice if Chrome for Android were able to keep up.

Reply Score: 2

Crome?
by judgen on Wed 7th Nov 2012 20:12 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

Now that Fennec runs smoothly and firefox team has the act together almost everything syncs over devices and even achitectures. Try fennec, it might surprise you. It is really good uses a full gecko rendering engine (not a crippled mobile version) and support addons* just as firefox does and if you want a web compatible browser that supports all new nits and grits you will have to pick FF for your pc usage anyways afaik. Syncing addons and extrensions is super easy: Just as in chrome you can use the online service or you could keep all of your settings by just backing up the .config/mozilla or AppData\Roaming\Mozilla folders depending on OS.
Also you can "get your sync on" even on obscure plattforms like AmigaOS and OS/2\Ecomstation easily.

FF for desktop and Fennec for mobile is just a winning sollution in my book.

Reply Score: 2

Firefox's crappy scrolling
by loic on Wed 7th Nov 2012 21:42 UTC
loic
Member since:
2012-09-23

Is it me or is Firefox scrolling on not mobile optimized web site a total failure? I mean, when I scroll vertically on a regular website, as my movement is not perfectly vertical (damn you, stupid human user), it scrolls vertically and horizontally, for a mainly vertical movement. It's so damn annoying when you read text to have to correct manually a thing as simple as scrolling that I always revert to android core browser or chrome.
I can forgive sluggishness, but failing vertical scrolling, for real, how could I cope with that?
BTW, I have had the exact same issue with Opera and firefox, on my 3 android phones and on my 2 android tablets. Only the android browser and Chrome do not fail to scroll in a perfect vertical way

Reply Score: 2

RE: Firefox's crappy scrolling
by Radio on Thu 8th Nov 2012 06:09 UTC in reply to "Firefox's crappy scrolling"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

If I remember well, there is an Apple patent on this.

Reply Score: 2

I have a different problem with chrome
by glarepate on Wed 7th Nov 2012 22:00 UTC
glarepate
Member since:
2006-01-04

I don't have a tablet. I just use chrome on my phones.

The problem that I have with it is that only about 1 in 20 times can I go to a web site directly. Even when I put the URL into the address box and tap either "go" or the arrow and don't tap the magnifying glass or tap a dropdown entry that is labeled 'search' it still just goes to Google and I wind up selecting the web site I wanted to go to from the search results that get displayed instead of the page that I specified. This is on 3 different phones running 3 different versions of Android. Two are rooted and one is stock.

Annoying, inconsiderate and inappropriate. And to add insult to irritation it's not even consistent, since on rare occasions it actually does go to the site I want to visit!

Reply Score: 2

testadura
Member since:
2006-04-14

I used to run a custom ICS Rom on my HTC incredible s. Chrome was my default browser and worked perfectly. I can confirm some of the input lag issues when typing an address, but as a whole it worked nice.

Now I installed a JB Rom and Chrome is not usable anymore. Drawing issues and a lot of lag when scrolling. However the default browser feels very very fast, so that's the default now. Scrolling large webpages feels responsive as it did on my iPhone.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by BBAP
by Bringbackanonposting on Wed 7th Nov 2012 22:37 UTC
Bringbackanonposting
Member since:
2005-11-16

I agree with Thom. My Desire S with ICS and Chrome browser is pretty bad but am tolerating it. Chrome on IOS (uses Safari) looks the same and kills it in performance.

Reply Score: 2

screen real estate?
by pooo on Wed 7th Nov 2012 22:45 UTC
pooo
Member since:
2006-04-22

I can't believe no one is complaining about the ridiculous amount of screen real estate chrome hogs for no reason. Why doesn't address bar scroll away like the old browser or fade out then you can bring it back by dragging down at the top? And why are there tabs even with only one tab open?

On my N7 in landscape mode it is a joke. I'm not an apple fan but I have to admit when they presented the mini and made fun of the android browser's use of screen, I had to admit they were right. Drives me nuts!

Reply Score: 4

Comment by JPisini
by JPisini on Wed 7th Nov 2012 23:35 UTC
JPisini
Member since:
2006-01-24

" and whoever came up with the idea to put the small close tab button right next to the small new tab button ought to be fired on the spot."

Oh man I feel you on this one, I am constantly hitting the wrong button on Chrome.

Reply Score: 2

Firefox?
by _xmv on Thu 8th Nov 2012 06:15 UTC
_xmv
Member since:
2008-12-09

The only equivalent to Chrome on Android is Firefox.
Opera is a special mobile version. Most others are using the Android "builtin" webkit. Probably why you did switch to Firefox in fact. Like I did.

Only Chrome and Firefox deliver an "exactly same engine as desktop".

Except Firefox works, and is very fast, while Chrome is slow and annoying (even thus it has nice animations).

So yeah, ironically, the opposite as on the the desktop.

Solution to Chrome's issues? Just use Firefox. On top of that, you get to use something's that's actually supporting the free web.

Oh and, Firefox Sync happen to be working a lot better than I expected.

The only thing I'm missing is proper "full screen browsing". The UI doesn't annoy me, it's different, but not bad. Not exceptional either, it's just fine. And hey, there's full noscript and full adblock support.

Edited 2012-11-08 06:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Firefox?
by Morgan on Thu 8th Nov 2012 07:40 UTC in reply to "Firefox?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

On my Transformer, I got in the habit of using the built in browser for most sites, Chrome for certain sites that rendered better in it, and Firefox specifically for cherokeeforum.com as it automatically resizes forum images correctly. The other two had issues with that, though Chrome worked on a few other forum sites. The built in browser was terrible at most forums I frequent.

When I was testing a Nexus S with ICS and then JB, it was even worse. Chrome was terribly slow, and while Firefox wasn't any faster than the built in browser it did render sites better most of the time.

If I decide to get a Galaxy Note 2 next year to replace my WP7 phone, I'll be curious to see the state of Chrome by then. Everything I've read about the Note 2 indicates that I may not even need an add-on browser unless I want bookmark sync, and in that case I'd stick with Firefox.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Firefox?
by REM2000 on Thu 8th Nov 2012 13:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Firefox?"
REM2000 Member since:
2006-07-25

I have a Galaxy Note 2 on O2 in the UK on version 4.1.1.

So far ive found the chrome experience really good. I was an iPhone user so came from Mobile Safari. So far ive found chrome to be a lot more responsive, i like the tab handling and it's really easy to navigate.

Im not sure on what the performance hits are experienced by others. I don't know if the note2 having a quad core and 2GB RAM helps it.

Web sites tend to scroll quite quickly even on photo heavy sites, even silly animated gifs seem to work. I haven't installed flash so im not sure on the performance of that.

I also own a Galaxy Note 10.1 which is running ICS and chrome is very fast on that also.

I will say though when i got the note2 at the end of october odd, the version of chrome then was slow and not very good, im sorry but i couldnt find the version of chrome im using at the moment on my note2.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Firefox?
by zima on Fri 9th Nov 2012 20:47 UTC in reply to "Firefox?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

The only equivalent to Chrome on Android is Firefox.
Opera is a special mobile version. Most others are using the Android "builtin" webkit. Probably why you did switch to Firefox in fact. Like I did.
Only Chrome and Firefox deliver an "exactly same engine as desktop".

Though there are two mobile Operas. Opera Mini (which is essentially just a remote viewer, browser engine sitting on the servers of Opera, data pipe between them highly compressed) and Opera... Mobile (a full browser; though it also can utilise compressed connection - but here the rendering is still local)

Both using essentially the same engine as desktop browser (maybe it just lags a bit, usually, IIRC; anyway, not sure I want exactly the same engine in very different, mobile vs desktop, circumstances)

Reply Score: 2

Wikipedia
by jal_ on Thu 8th Nov 2012 11:47 UTC
jal_
Member since:
2006-11-02

On my B-brand table, I ditched Chrome for the standard Android browser after discovering it couldn't display Wikipedia pages right. I mean, c'mon...

Reply Score: 2

Webkit extensions
by lucas_maximus on Thu 8th Nov 2012 14:48 UTC
lucas_maximus
Member since:
2009-08-18

I probably get on my soapbox ... just about now.

Unfortunately for a mobile web developer webkit based browsers are the IE6 of web on mobile mainly because lazy web devs, that use the -webkit prefixes instead of the standard compliant syntax (and gracefully degrading on other browsers).

I wrote a whole blog post about it here. My personal belief is that CSS browser specific extensions should only function when the browser is put into "development" context ... but this will never happen.

Reply Score: 2

better
by nbensa on Thu 8th Nov 2012 15:06 UTC
nbensa
Member since:
2005-08-29

Google, fix chrome!!!

Java doesn't work on chorme on my Mac. Fix it or I'll dump it. I won't use two browsers. I won't use Apple's Java neither.

Reply Score: 1

Mozilla!
by Brunis on Thu 8th Nov 2012 15:34 UTC
Brunis
Member since:
2005-11-01

You could write a similar article about Firefox on the desktop. They are just now learning how to only draw the parts of the screen that needs updating. That's one of the reasons MazeSolver was removed from TomsHardware's Browser Grand Prix benchmark. We can't have benchmarks exposing browser weaknesses can we? Conspiracy Condor, STRIKE!

Seriously though.. use Firefox on Android. Kicks ass!

Reply Score: 3

Chrome
by olejonbj on Thu 8th Nov 2012 16:10 UTC
olejonbj
Member since:
2012-08-12

Google seems to push Chrome on their new Nexus devices. I don't think it's ready quite yet. On my Galaxy Nexus, the stock browser gives a better exprrience. Sync is the only thing I like more about Chrome. As a web developer targeting mobile devices, I see many more bugs, stuttering, weird behaviour etc in Chrome than in the stock browser on 4.1. Why doesn't Google just use the stock browser to render web pages, and build the Chrome interface on top of that? They do it on iOS. To me, it looks like the Chrome browser uses a different engine, because it has different bugs.

By the way, I don't understand the buzz about Firefox. Try developing a modern touch friendly HTML 5 app for it. For instance CSS 3 animations stutters like hell. The more people thatuse it, and similarly bad browser like Opera, the more difficult it is to be a web developer.

Edited 2012-11-08 16:13 UTC

Reply Score: 0

v use a different browser dork..
by bjb1959 on Thu 8th Nov 2012 16:20 UTC
My experience
by henderson101 on Thu 8th Nov 2012 17:27 UTC
henderson101
Member since:
2006-05-30

Chrome has often been quite slow on my Nexus 7 (16GB, bootloader is still locked, stock 4.1.2 JB, installing apps from other sources "on".) But honestly, that has more frequently been because of the other processes running on the tablet. If one looks at the app list and kills all of the running apps (third soft button, swipe them all away) and then check the running processes and shut down crud like Facebook and such like, Chrome can be pretty speedy. The issue seems to be multitasking related for me.

EDIT: just tested.. buttery smooth with no apps running. The other issue I've seen is having too many tabs open, as they all run as a separate process (well.. do on Windows) and all load when the browser first opens. I don't sync my tabs in any way (past what Chrome does when you're logged in.) maybe that's another issue that causes slow down??

Edited 2012-11-08 17:32 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Why chrome?
by pysiak on Fri 9th Nov 2012 08:29 UTC
pysiak
Member since:
2008-01-01

Why would you use chrome anyway? Firefox is the only choice for privacy caring geeks like us, Thom ;-)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why chrome?
by henderson101 on Fri 9th Nov 2012 17:09 UTC in reply to "Why chrome?"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

It is the default browser in Jellybean on the Nexus 7. There you go... reason enough.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Why chrome?
by pysiak on Fri 9th Nov 2012 19:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Why chrome?"
pysiak Member since:
2008-01-01

Yeah, but it's not like you buy an android device to not ever look around for apps. It's the first thing you do: (1) install your favorite apps and (2) not use what sucks :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Why chrome?
by henderson101 on Sun 11th Nov 2012 11:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why chrome?"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

To be clear - Google have removed the "Browser" from Jellbean on the Nexus 7, so there really *is* no other browser installed without any further user action. Consumers don't "go looking for other apps." Not before they give 1 star reviews. Don't assume that you are an average consumer if the first thing you do is look for other apps. Most consumers are buying the Nexus 7 after never owning a tablet device device, many without ever using Android before. You are the exception, not the rule.

Reply Score: 2

AMEN!
by Mystilleef on Sat 10th Nov 2012 16:51 UTC
Mystilleef
Member since:
2005-06-29

AMEN BRODA! AMEN!

I have to side load AOSP Browser on the Nexus 7. Chrome is atrociously slow compared to the AOSP Browser.

Reply Score: 2

CM10 to blame for crashes
by siimo on Mon 12th Nov 2012 10:40 UTC
siimo
Member since:
2006-06-22

You have the international Galaxy S2 - i9100 which runs the exynos chip which doesn't have HWA drivers to get project butter and GPU acceleration going. This is the reason why some apps that require Android 4.x will crash on your phone occasionally. No problem what so ever on the Galaxy Nexus or any other official ROM that has HWA drivers.

Reply Score: 2