The best custom roms for Android at a glance

If you do not like the software on your smartphone, you can access CyanogenMod and Co. Here you will find the best Custom-ROMs for ...


If you want to use your smartphone for more than two years, only with Custom-ROMs will you get reliable and up-to-date software. There are numerous other reasons, but also which mods your Android device. Get to know the most common Custom-ROMs here and make a decision yourself.

Custom ROMs: A Dying Hobby?

Good custom ROMs are characterized by an active community and the support of many different devices. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer third-party firmwares meet these criteria. Who wants to keep his Nexus 5 or his Galaxy S5 up to date, has few alternatives.


CyanogenMod is ideal if you do not want to worry about the maintenance of the software after installing it. The updates come automatically and regularly. The community is also smoother, so even old devices such as the Galaxy S4 are still updated.
CyanogenMod has its own surface. / © CoolAndroidTips
CyanogenMod gives you root access, a better launcher, a graphic equalizer, and a feature-packed camera app. Volume profiles switch your Smartphone under defined conditions mute or loud. The Privacy feature sends incorrect data to apps with too many permissions.
Volume management, privacy, image galleries and sound are enhanced with CM. / © CoolAndroidTips
Themes give apps and your background new design and sound. These themes are not the only achievement of the crowd of helpers. CyanogenMod is also suitable as an entry into the ROM world thanks to its abundant community resources. Here you will learn step by step how to install a third-party firmware. If you do not like CyanogenMod, you can then switch to a different firmware much easier.
Root and automatic updates complete CM. / © CoolAndroidTips

Dirty Unicorns

Dirty Unicorns are designed for Nexus, Oppo, OnePlus, Xiaomi and some HTC and Samsung devices. It has similar features as CyanogenMod and also provides root access and regular updates for persistent security and stability.
DU presents itself dark. / © CoolAndroidTips
According to CM, DU is the firmware with the second-largest device support. Also the frequency with which the updates are executed is exemplary here.
Many updates, OmniSwitch, Dirty Tweaks and Root Access. / © CoolAndroidTips
Thanks to the OmniSwitches you can easily multitasken. The Dirty Tweaks contain important setting possibilities, which one misses in the conventional Android.


PAC-ROM expands the CyanogenMod features. The firmware is also available for many devices, but is not as consistently updated as CM or DU. The funniest thing about PAC-ROM is definitely the boot animation.
The acronym PAC is inspired by the Android Paranoid Android apps, Android Open Kang Project and CyanogenMod, which serve as feature suppliers. The project suffers from chronic subsistence, so updates only arrive every few months.
PAC-ROM keeps you informed about the console. / © CoolAndroidTips

Paranoid Android

Paranoid Android was by now dead-believed, but is now back. With its window mode it is particularly suitable for old Nexus tablets. Apart from that it offers very little and also updates are rare.

For Nexus devices the past four years, Sony devices, some Oppo smartphones and the OnePlus One, there are paranoid Android. The project lapsed for a year after OnePlus had committed major developers for itself. Since summer 2016 it is again alive.
Honestly, PA was a bit thin. After all, there are floating apps (right). / © CoolAndroidTips
The feature scope is minimal. Apart from the theme engine and the browser, PA has nothing. Even root is missing. Whether the only real-time feature, the window mode, in the long term against the split-screen mode of Android Nougat enforces, I dare to doubt.
Paranoid Android lives again. / © COOLANDROIDTIPS


SlimRoms is available for popular smartphones and is updated as Alpha, Weekly or Stable. The feature scope is significantly reduced and, as the name suggests, slim. SlimRoms is limited to subtle modification of the surface.
Tweaks the list of open apps (right) to close all. / © CoolAndroidTips
A slim ROM is more an optimization than a modification of your smartphone. Hardly any other firmware has so little ballast. Even the overview of open apps serves primarily the optimization: Tweaks the thumbnails to close all apps in one fell swoop.
The four menus are actually everything SlimRoms offers. / © CoolAndroidTips
Anyone coming from Samsung TouchWiz or from LG UX will be happy about SlimRoms' ease. However, if you know the additions of CyanogenMod, you will probably miss them.

Other ROMs

Many well-known and popular Custom-ROMs are only waiting for the fans to appear in different forums. Their communities are no longer as tight as they were then, and this is reflected in the availability of new versions on the respective download servers.

Since, with the exception of a few devices, they are hardly ever maintained, we unfortunately have to forgo a recommendation from ROMs such as Omnirom. We had a look at the dried-up ROM landscape in the interview with SlimROM developer Josue Rivera:

Custom ROMs: Should I?

One of the biggest advantages of many Android smartphones compared to the iPhone is that they can be operated with third-party firmware. This replaces the preinstalled Android variant, which Sony, Samsung, HTC and other manufacturers ex-factory with an open-source variant, which is maintained by talented hobby developers.

1. Old smartphones are brought up to date

Updates are perhaps the most important reason for changing to Custom-ROM. If the smartphone is too old, there is no software updates from the manufacturer. New Android versions are not only interesting because they bring new features. They often also include security gaps.

2. The smartphone gets faster

Another advantage is that your smartphone is fast at the same time. Ballast such as elaborate manufacturer designs or preinstalled apps are reduced to a minimum. This frees space for data that is really important to you.

3. You can do without Google Apps

When you play the Custom-ROM, there is initially no app from Google in the ZIP file with the system image. In the majority of cases, Modder flicker Google Apps right after the first launch of the Play Store. But there are alternative app sources, car services and even more. So you are not necessarily dependent on Google.

Is there a custom-ROM for my device?

There are numerous contact points, if one searches for third party firmware for its device. Communities such as the XDA-Developers are well organized, reliable and often very friendly. They have an abundance of device-specific subframes where experiences and instructions for modifying your device are collected, exchanged and further developed.

Looks for CyanogenMod

With some luck, there is CyanogenMod for your smartphone or tablet. Look for your device in this filter to find out. CyanogenMod has a pretty good update structure and regularly provides automatic updates for your Android device. So the maintenance effort for you in the long run is limited.
The Nexus 4 can only be upgraded to Marshmallow using Custom-ROM. / © COOLANDROIDTIPS

Disadvantages of Custom-ROMs

Custom ROMs are great, but before you decide to replace the preinstalled firmware of your smartphone with a custom ROM, you should also know the disadvantages.

Warranty loss

If your smartphone is still in the warranty period, you will have to bid on the offer for free service by the manufacturer. The fewest smartphone manufacturers will help you even after a software modification still out of the clip. In our review of Rooting Android, we looked more closely at the issue of warranty.

A lot of work

Custom ROMs are primarily aimed at hobbyists who like to solve complicated tasks. If this is not your thing, you will probably not like Custom-ROMs. With updates, root apps and unstable versions, you get to the edge of your patience now and then; And then it must not be too narrow.

Features are missing or are getting worse

In particular, Samsung and Sony users report an extremely diminished quality of the camera. If you use your smartphone as a primary camera, you could disappoint a custom ROM in this regard. This is because drivers are not available for all devices. These must be available for the composition of the firmware; otherwise, modders rely on deficient reverse engineering drivers or they do without the feature. Then fingerprint sensors, NFC sensors or worst-case mobile data do not work.

Modden or not? Conclusion

Custom ROMs can be a rescue for old smartphones and tablets. They are also a clearing-up and exemption measure for new equipment. Often, smartphones are then faster to make the missing feature richer and safer. However, the inhibition threshold for modification is understandably high.

This threshold has been sharply reduced thanks to the generous help in cyanogenmod. The AndroidPIT community provides you with important help in the first place of any device forum. If you want to use your expensive device in the long term, you should in the trickbox of the diligent modders and thus the Custom-ROM.



Cool Android Tips | Android Tips And Tricks: The best custom roms for Android at a glance
The best custom roms for Android at a glance
If you do not like the software on your smartphone, you can access CyanogenMod and Co. Here you will find the best Custom-ROMs for ...
Cool Android Tips | Android Tips And Tricks
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