Since I rooted my smartphones I tried a lot of ROMs and finally always ended with Sense ROMs. The main reason for this was the HTC Sync tool which enabled me to synchronize contacts and tasks with my local Outlook.
HTC Sync is only compatible with HTC ROMs – Android stockroms are not supported. I found no other tool like this. This didn’t prevent me trying alternative Android ROMs.
I was really suprised when I saw, how big the performance and lifetime differences between Sense and Android ROMs are. The latter were always working faster and offered a much better battery life. I can’t get behind the reason of this effect. The file size differences between Sense and plain is another thing I can’t understand. The file size of an Android 4.2.2 ROM is about 150 MB – Sense-ROMs normally need 500 MB of space. I suppose that this huge difference is forced by the installation of many additional compability libraries and other legacy runtime overhead from old Windows development times (HTC Sense originally came from Windows Mobile development).
Another point of critism was the design. If you used a Sense ROM once you’re inured to have a discreet and stylish design. Naked Android looks very boring by default. But if you compare the design factor with higher performance and battery time, the discussion practically completed. Beyond this I have to say that Android 4.x looks much better than 2.x and 3.x by default – so switchting to plain Android shouldn’t be that upsetting anymore.
Some time ago a colleague told me about the tool CompanionLink Android. After some tests I recognized that this program offers exactly that feature I was looking for – a fully-working local synchronization between Outlook and Android without detours using the Google Cloud. This was finally the end of Sense ROMs for my Androids.
Currently Android 4.2.2 is running very fine on my HTC Sensation. Like mentioned before, the battery life and the whole performance is much better. I don’t want to use Sense ROMs anymore at the moment – but I’m also interested in the further development progress. I really hope that Sense 5 offers some performance optimizations.