General questioning about Z2/Z2 Pro android ROMs...

Chromatic

Active Member
Nov 13, 2017
253
46
28
#1
... Lenovo/Zuk and custom ROMS too

Hi Guys,

As a few (...) people on this board I am the owner of a Lenovo/Zuk smartphone.
Pretty impressed by the specifications I ordered it from a supplier providing a custom "multilingal" ROM.
All of the stock ROM I've tried were filled with chinese app; well, basically China is the only market for Zuk, if I understood it well, so no big deal and I can remove them quite easily.
Previously I was using a Xiaomi phone and noticed the numerous connections to foreign servers, to China and USA mostly. Related to the MIUI and the Android Frameworks but... it raised a few questions in my mind: what is the kind of data sent to those servers? Metadata, for sure, but is this safe for my data?
Like most of the people I have nothing to hide but I am concerned about not to share everything with the whole World.
In 2015 I started using my smartphone for paying some stuff like train tickets, so linking my payment card to the smartphone; the app I used warned me I cannot install on a rooted phone, so I went back to a more "secured" device unrooting it. But the MIUI ROM was outdated, security updates too, so "secured" wasn't the correct word.

I agree you cannot control every information coming in and out of your phone, that's a shame and I would like to move a little further into that way. Is there a way to protect our privacy using Android and of course third-party ROMs? Tools availables, like VPN or firewall? Pressuring Zuk for releasing source code from their applications? Do you install custom ROMs without asking yourself "is it safe to use my personal information on this device" ? How choosing between rooting + no ads but no payment available and non-rooting + payment but ads everywhere?

Just a bunch of question I had I wanted to share with you.
Your opinion would help me -at least- inserting my simcard in my brand-new Z2 Pro

Thanks a lot & regards
 

weimerd

ZUKFans Staff
Staff member
Sep 6, 2016
2,404
1,142
113
#2
... Lenovo/Zuk and custom ROMS too

Hi Guys,

As a few (...) people on this board I am the owner of a Lenovo/Zuk smartphone.
Pretty impressed by the specifications I ordered it from a supplier providing a custom "multilingal" ROM.
All of the stock ROM I've tried were filled with chinese app; well, basically China is the only market for Zuk, if I understood it well, so no big deal and I can remove them quite easily.
Previously I was using a Xiaomi phone and noticed the numerous connections to foreign servers, to China and USA mostly. Related to the MIUI and the Android Frameworks but... it raised a few questions in my mind: what is the kind of data sent to those servers? Metadata, for sure, but is this safe for my data?
Like most of the people I have nothing to hide but I am concerned about not to share everything with the whole World.
In 2015 I started using my smartphone for paying some stuff like train tickets, so linking my payment card to the smartphone; the app I used warned me I cannot install on a rooted phone, so I went back to a more "secured" device unrooting it. But the MIUI ROM was outdated, security updates too, so "secured" wasn't the correct word.

I agree you cannot control every information coming in and out of your phone, that's a shame and I would like to move a little further into that way. Is there a way to protect our privacy using Android and of course third-party ROMs? Tools availables, like VPN or firewall? Pressuring Zuk for releasing source code from their applications? Do you install custom ROMs without asking yourself "is it safe to use my personal information on this device" ? How choosing between rooting + no ads but no payment available and non-rooting + payment but ads everywhere?

Just a bunch of question I had I wanted to share with you.
Your opinion would help me -at least- inserting my simcard in my brand-new Z2 Pro

Thanks a lot & regards
You could use AEX CustomRom without root. It is pure Android with some helpful extensions. It provides latest security updates and is officially supported from AEX team. Updates are given frequently.

If you are concerned about your data switching to custom roms is mandatory I think
 
Likes: Chromatic

Chromatic

Active Member
Nov 13, 2017
253
46
28
#3
You could use AEX CustomRom without root. It is pure Android with some helpful extensions. It provides latest security updates and is officially supported from AEX team. Updates are given frequently.

If you are concerned about your data switching to custom roms is mandatory I think
Hello weimerd,

Thanks for your reply.
Do you think a custom ROM would be "safer" than a stock ROM ?
I'd love to try AEX but the camera's feedbacks aren't so cushdy

Regards
 

weimerd

ZUKFans Staff
Staff member
Sep 6, 2016
2,404
1,142
113
#4
An official supported CustomRom like AEX based on pure Android is way more safe than a closed Chinese ZUI Rom.

AEX will be updated soon to stable AEX 5.1 which is based on Android 8.1. The camera possibilities are already great. Cam2 Api is fully supported so you can use GcamMod with activated ZSL and HDR+. I use it already and photo quality is superb.
 
Likes: Chromatic

Chromatic

Active Member
Nov 13, 2017
253
46
28
#5
An official supported CustomRom like AEX based on pure Android is way more safe than a closed Chinese ZUI Rom.

AEX will be updated soon to stable AEX 5.1 which is based on Android 8.1. The camera possibilities are already great. Cam2 Api is fully supported so you can use GcamMod with activated ZSL and HDR+. I use it already and photo quality is superb.
Thanks for the feedback concerning this ROM
I should probably switch to another dedicated thread, but what are the update options for AEX? Is any OTA update available?

I am still interested in feedbacks concerning safety and trust about stock/custom ROMS

Regards
 

weimerd

ZUKFans Staff
Staff member
Sep 6, 2016
2,404
1,142
113
#6
AEX is providing OTA updates.
Last stable version is AEX 4.6 based on Android 7.1.2

AEX 5.1 based on Android 8.1 is actually in beta status. Once it is completely ready it will be se t out as OTA update for all AEX 4.6 users.
 

nero355

Active Member
Jan 14, 2017
500
144
43
#7
All of the stock ROM I've tried were filled with chinese app; well, basically China is the only market for Zuk, if I understood it well, so no big deal and I can remove them quite easily.
To be honest : The ZUI Stock ROM is VERY CLEAN compared to let's say a random Samsung/BQ/LG/HTC phone :)

And like you already noticed : All the stuff you don't need can be removed or disabled easily!
Previously I was using a Xiaomi phone and noticed the numerous connections to foreign servers, to China and USA mostly. Related to the MIUI and the Android Frameworks but... it raised a few questions in my mind: what is the kind of data sent to those servers? Metadata, for sure, but is this safe for my data?
Start sniffing : https://www.wireshark.org/

Should keep you off the streets for a while ;)
Like most of the people I have nothing to hide but I am concerned about not to share everything with the whole World.
In 2015 I started using my smartphone for paying some stuff like train tickets, so linking my payment card to the smartphone; the app I used warned me I cannot install on a rooted phone, so I went back to a more "secured" device unrooting it. But the MIUI ROM was outdated, security updates too, so "secured" wasn't the correct word.
I NEVER use my phone for payments or banking. No matter which brand or ROM is on it : Just don't do it!

"Smartphones" are still toys in my opinion so keep that stuff away from them! :)
I agree you cannot control every information coming in and out of your phone, that's a shame and I would like to move a little further into that way. Is there a way to protect our privacy using Android and of course third-party ROMs? Tools availables, like VPN or firewall?
Firewall would help.
VPN just gives your data a different route ;)
Do you install custom ROMs without asking yourself "is it safe to use my personal information on this device" ? How choosing between rooting + no ads but no payment available and non-rooting + payment but ads everywhere?
https://pi-hole.net/

What is this ads thing you are talking about ? ;)

But yes, I don't trust anyone so I ask many questions when it comes to privacy!
A nice tool to check outgoing connections is the following : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.eolwral.osmonitor
 
Likes: Chromatic

Chromatic

Active Member
Nov 13, 2017
253
46
28
#9
https://pi-hole.net/

What is this ads thing you are talking about ? ;)
Well, Pi-Hole is a great option, but I mostly use my smartphone out of home, so the problem still unsolved (except configuring a VPN to an existing RPI server)

Unfortunately, OSMonitor seems not working with Android 7; coud you confirm ?

"The ZUI Stock ROM is VERY CLEAN compared to let's say a random Samsung/BQ/LG/HTC phone" TRUEEE
You probably have a greater experience with Zui or other brand's ROM than me, first time for me I use anything but Miui. Please, if you can elaborate a bit more, that would be nice

Concerning the issue related to security updates, I must say frequent updates interests me; I haven't heard of patches against Meltdown/Spectre yet...

Regards
 
Last edited:

nero355

Active Member
Jan 14, 2017
500
144
43
#10
Unfortunately, OSMonitor seems not working with Android 7; coud you confirm ?
Can't : I use ZUI based on 6.0.1 because of some of the weird bugs in the 7.x.x based ones ;)

When ZUI based on Oreo is Stable I will finally switch so hopefully in a couple of weeks from what I have read so far! :D

Concerning the issue related to security updates, I must say frequent updates interests me; I haven't heard of patches against Meltdown/Spectre yet...
I hope this will be fixed in the Orea release too!
 

Chromatic

Active Member
Nov 13, 2017
253
46
28
#11
Small update: I tried an app called Blokada, from a thread on XDA. It's working pretty well, even without root. After 1 week I could definitely recommend for a try. I noticed some issues with a Honor 8 smartphone, but no problem with Z2 Pro.
Still looking for other options like firewall
Regards