Besides, Android is an open-source project, Means any developers can edit the code & recompile to create their own customized version of Android that is to say Custom ROMs using the source code provided by Google.
The biggest problem of the Android platform is that many OEMs stops sending updates of newer Android versions and latest security patches after 2 years of launch and, Company’s “stock ROMs” or the “stock firmware” are mostly bulky and loaded with lots of unnecessary pre-installed apps, that’s why many enthusiasts prefer custom ROMs.
Why Custom ROMs?
A custom Android ROM is referred to the phone’s in-built firmware production, based on Google’s Android platform. Custom ROMs unlocks many the capabilities of the smartphone and, provides latest updates & better performance, and it also brings better UI, battery improvement, speedy response, Audio improvements, other plenty of customization options without any bloatware on an Android device.
The Android Community develops custom ROMs or a group of Android developers, and most of them are entirely free, but you can contribute if you want.
There are numerous custom ROMs into the wild to choose from, with each Rom to offer something different from others. The process can be confusing and also hard to decide the perfect ROM for your device.
Here is the optimum list of Best Custom ROMs For Android Smartphones. Mentioned ROMs are stable enough to be used as your daily driver, and every ROM has its unique feature, some advantages, and disadvantages.
NOTE:- User will need to have an unlocked bootloader and a custom recovery like TWRP or CWM installed, and post-installation of these ROMs require the user to flash a GApps package such as OpenGapps or BeansGapps. The process may void the warranty of your device. Make sure to always create a backup before proceeding for safe side. Otherwise, if something wrong happens, you will lose data of the existing phone that you will never recover. Now, So if you determined to install the custom ROM, then go ahead.
10 Best Custom ROMs For Android Smartphone:
- Pixel Experience
- Resurrection Remix
- AOSP Extended
- Havoc OS
- Paranoid Android
- Bootleggers ROM
Pixel experience might be a new name in the world of Android, but it gained a lot of popularity and attention in a short period. As the name suggests, Pixel Experience (AOSP based) brings the purest form of Android to the table, Just like Google’s Pixel devices. It brings what Pixel smartphones offer into your Android device.
Pixel Experience comes with all pixel features such as Pixel Exclusive Sounds, Wallpapers, launcher, boot animation, icons, fonts, widgets and, here it comes with Gapps included.
The ROM offers a build for Android Pie (9.0) and also CAF edition for popular devices. Pixel Experience is mainly aiming to maintain stability and security. Performance of this ROM is excellent, so was the battery life.
Pixel Experience works very smoothly and stable on any supported Android device. Talking about customizations, There are quite minimal options over here like Theme, always-on display, Pixel blue accent color.
The ROM does not contain any bloatware with itself. Based on Android Pie (9.0)Pixel Experience currently supports all major devices from manufacturers like Asus, Google, Huawei, Motorola, Nokia, OnePlus, Samsung, Xiaomi, and ZUK, and Android 10 to be available shortly.
If you want the purest form of Android, excellent stability & battery life, then Pixel Experience is the right choice for you.
Key Features of Pixel Experience:
- Pixel Launcher (Round icon support)
- New navigation gestures
- Pixel’s blue accent
- Pixel Sounds
- Pixel’s Boot Animation
- Google Assistant Pixel
- Live Wallpapers
Pixel Experience: Check Out Here
LineageOS is undoubtedly one of the most popular Custom ROM and, also it is the legacy of CyanogenMod. CyanogenMod was the well-known name in the Custom ROM category back in 2016 until Cyanogen Inc. announced that they are shutting down the development and the infrastructure behind the project of CyanogenMod, but later they released the CyanogenMod ROM with a new name named LineageOS.
Since it was rebranded as LineageOS, It has the biggest and the most prominent developer’s team and, supports the community. The ROM officially is available for the wide range of Smartphones over 200+ devices with Nightly and Monthly updates.
LineageOS is coming with a little bit of customization that includes control over the theme & navigation bar, and more. LineageOS brings a basic launcher, feature-packed camera app, and few essential pre-installed apps mean it does not contain bloatware hence leaving a lot of free memory & storage.
The performance of LOS is phenomenal, providing excellent Stability, Security, and Speed for all of its devices. LineageOS-16.0 based on Android Pie (9.0) currently supports all major devices from OEMs that include Asus, Google, Huawei, Motorola, Lenovo, Oppo, Sony, OnePlus, Samsung, Xiaomi & HTC, and, Android 10 to be available shortly.
If you are a person who wants the close-to-stock look, excellent stability & battery life, and latest security updates, then you should consider LineageOS.
Key Features of LineageOS:
- Native theme support
- Lock screen customization
- Custom pattern sizes (4×4, 5×5, 6×6)
- FLAC audio codec support
- Privacy Guard
- CPU overclocking
- Notification Toggles such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS
LineageOS: Check Out Here
Resurrection Remix is the most customizable ROM in the android world. It is probably the most popular custom ROM with a large audience base. The ROM features dozens of feature available to the user.
Resurrection Remix ROM is based on AOSP, SlimRoms, OmniRoms, Remix ROM and LineageOS builts as it uses the main source code of it with added extra features to it.
There is a bit compromisation with stability, but, It is stable enough to use it as your daily driver. Resurrection Remix ROM support the Status bar, Quick Settings, Lock Screen, Buttons, Navigation, Sound, Recent Screen Customization, and many other customization options.
While bringing a bunch of features all mixed up in the code, Resurrection Remix(RR) settles with being unstable at certain times. The battery life and performance of ROM might is not appealing as you would find on AOSP based custom ROMs.
But the number of features Resurrection Remix has to offer, so it definitely worth considering. Android Pie(9.0)-based Resurrection Remix v.7 is available for a wide range of devices from different smartphone makers, including Asus, Google, Motorola, Lenovo, OnePlus, Samsung, & Xiaomi.
Key Features of Resurrection Remix:
- Statusbar battery customizations
- Statusbar gestures (double tap to sleep & brightness)
- Customizable listview animation and interpolator
- Screen off animations customizations
- Statusbar clock customizations
- Power menu customizations
- Memory bar in recent Light/dark theme option
- Hardware keys customizations
- Statusbar icons toggle
- Three-finger gesture (screenshot)
- Smart pixels (for AMOLED displays)
ResurrectionRemix(RR): Check Out Here
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AOSP Extended is a well-known Android Open Source-Project based custom ROM, which brings you the Stock sleek look along with some customization options.
The AOSP Extended (Known as AEX) brings a stock look as Pixel Experience with different customization features along with the support of Substratum theme engine. The project has been initiated to add various useful features from multiple other projects while keeping stability in mind.
Being developed on the AOSP source code, AXE delivers excellent and smooth performance on top of enormous battery life out of the box. Some handy features of AXE ROM are to modify the status bar, lock screen, Navigation, Notification panel, and other functions. AXE has the active developer community so that you can expect a monthly security update.
Android pie(9.0) and Oreo(8.0) based AOSP Extended v5 & v6 are also available for all major devices from OEMs like Asus, Google, Huawei, Motorola, OnePlus, Samsung, Xiaomi, and ZUKand, Android 10 to be available real soon..
If you want AOSP based custom ROM with some customization with smooth performance and marvelous battery life, then AOSP Extended custom ROM deserves to be considered.
Key Features of AOSP Extended:
- Picture In A Picture
- Keyboard Navigation
- Notifications Channels
- New Wi-Fi Features
- Better Icons
- Multi-Display Support
- Background Limits
AOSP Extended: Check Out Here
The new Havoc OS is getting popular day nowadays in the customs ROM’s world. Havoc OS is the custom ROM that offers pure customization without any compromises in performance.
The AOSP based Havoc OS is comparable to Resurrection Remix OS in term of delivering customization. Havoc OS supports the modification of the Status bar, Quick Settings, Lock Screen, Buttons, Navigation, Sound, Recent Screen Customization, and Cool gestures.
The compromise here is that the stability wasn’t the great as expected, but it is acceptable as a daily driver. While talking about battery life, many users have reported good battery backup.
There is no performance issue as auditing benchmarks on AnTuTu and Geekbench of this ROM. Android Pie(9.0)-based HavocOS built v2 is available for all major devices from different manufacturers. If you want a feature-packed custom ROM then once try out the HavocOS on your device.
Key Features of Havoc OS:
- System-wide burn-in protection
- Spectrum support
- System-wide Rounded UI
- Signature spoofing
- Razer Phone lock/unlock sounds
- OTA support
- Full OMS support
- Compiled using SDCLANG
- Full OMS support
HavocOS: Check Out Here
MIUI is the aftermarket firmware Which comes pre-installed on Xiaomi Android devices. MIUI was one of the reasons for the birth of smartphone and electronics company (XIAOMI).
The MIUI truly revolutionized Android custom ROM industry. MIUI offers the experience of Apple’s iOS on Android device, here MIUI also looks & feels like iOS with android features. This ROM allows you to change font and icons, background optimizations, child mode, and it carries a massive variety of themes and engines.
MIUI is excellent in terms of performance with smooth and lag-free experience, and the stability of this ROM is just uppermost. Talking about battery life, MIUI provides outstanding battery life, and it will last longer than you expect.
MIUI is not restricted to Xiaomi devices only and officially supports major offerings from Samsung, HTC, LG, OnePlus, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg, on account of the developers all around the globe.
If you want different look & feel your Android device without being flexible with performance and battery life, then you should give a try to MIUI.
Key Features of MIUI:
- The Recent Apps screen
- Cool New way to Navigate
- Design (UI) Changes: Notification shade, Volume slider, Brightness Slider
- Mi Home devices support
- System-wide Picture in Picture (PIP) Mode
- Messaging app– Quick actions instead of Reply
- Mi Browser – Progressive Web Apps
MIUI: Check Out Here
CAF based, Paranoid Android is one of the most beloved Custom ROM in the Android world. Although, The ROM coupled with a lot of customization options. PA delivers excellent stability, the latest security updates, and great performance. It brings a well-bred and elegant user experience.
There several cool features available, which are multi-window, changing the color scheme of the device, the Ambient Mode, and immersive mode. But “Hover Mode” feature is most helpful among them, it lets you interact with the notifications from any screen without disrupting your continuing work.
With supporting Android Oreo, Android Pie and support for Android 10 to be released soon. PA is available for a broad range of devices, including Nexus, Pixel, OnePlus, Sony, Oppo and more.
Key Features of Paranoid Android:
- Pie Controls
- Immersive Mode
- Paranoid OTA Updater
- Battery Styles
- Recent App Locking
- Quick Pull-down
- Substratum Support
- Enhanced Kernel + Control
Paranoid Android: Check Out Here
Developed by ex-developers of CyanogenMod and some new developers, OmniROM (Android Open Source Project (AOSP) based) is the true successor of CyanogenMod. OR is considered as one of the most stable ROMs out there.
OmniROM as custom ROM that delivers features like OmniSwitch, OmniJaws, and open delta. In the settings option, you can notice that offers the most used customization features. As a result, the latest versions are well-built than ever and works more natural on the smartphone.
OmniROM is currently available for many devices including the likes of LG, Xiaomi, Lenovo(Motorola), LeEco, Nexus, Sony, OnePlus and the sky is the limit from there, and as of now keeps running on Android Oreo(8.x), Android Pie(9.x) and, Android 10 to be accessible soon.
Key Features of OmniROM:
- Power to Customize the style of Wallpaper, and other swag
- Custom Color for the LED Notification light
- Rotation options for display and lock screen
- Custom Settings Option to set a dual-column layout
- Customize the Status Bar option
- Long Press option for home and Recents buttons and change hardware button behavior.
- OmniSwitch to switch between apps (Multi Tasking).
- Ability to Customize OmniSwitch with favorite icon packs.
- Dynamic notification panel headers.
OmniROM: Check Out Here
Bootleggers ROM is an expansion to Ground Zero Open Source Project (GZOSP) which includes some significant customization includes over the stock UI to make “you feel like 家(means HOUSE or HOME)”.
It carries out a smooth and lag-free experience out of the box. The Bootleggers ROM cover customization options for status bar and notification panel, quick message and, it is also packed with some custom wallpaper, ringtones, themes, and fonts.
The Bootleggers ROM currently supports all major devices from manufacturers like Asus, Nexus, Xiaomi, Google, Oneplus, Samsung, Lenovo and more. Also, it is one of the fastest ROMs to be delivered, so expect Android 10 shortly.
Key Features of Bootleggers ROM:
- Statusbar Customization
- Launcher Customization
- Quick Settings
- Navigation bar features
- Lock screen & Power Menu
- Power & Volume key swap
- Recent Apps customization
- Notifications & Other different features
Bootleggers ROM: Check Out Here
crDroid is an AOSP based Rom with an essential spotlight on customization without losing the stability of the Rom. crDroid was first formed for HTC smartphone and later began the same project for several new smartphones.
The CD is Borrowing features from other projects, like AOSPA, Lineage, SlimROM, crDroid OS and many other excellent ROMs out there. The ROM takes a bunch of customization option with Pure Android Experience.
The ROM offers the builds for Android Oreo (8.x) and Pie (9.x), with support for Android 10 coming soon. Additionally, the rundown of the officially supported devices includes offerings from Asus, Nexus, Google, Honor, Lenovo, LG, Oneplus, Xiaomi and more.
Key Features of crDroid:
- Stock Pixel look & feel
- Lineage OS – every mods and feature
- New Quick Settings Tiles including Caffeine mode, Expanded Desktop, and Sync
- Settings/Security: Quick PIN/Password Unlock
- Pixel Launcher
- Default sounds from the latest Nexus image
- Stability and performance improvements
crDroid ROM: Check Out Here
Quick Instructions to Install Custom ROM :
- First, Enable the developer option and activate the OEM unlock and USB debugging.
- Now unlock the bootloader on your smartphone.
- Once you have unlocked, install the latest TWRP Recovery on the smartphone.
- Then, boot into TWRP Recovery.
- After it, Decrypt and Re-Encrypt Data Partition on the phone.
- Take a full backup of your ROM using TWRP Recovery.
- Wipe System Data on TWRP Recovery.
- Hit on Install option and look for the downloaded Custom ROM zip file.
- Swipe to confirm the flashing.
- Then, install the Android Oreo Gapps file. (TWRP -> Install -> Select Gapps zip and swipe to flash).
- Now, you can now reboot your smartphone.
- To root your phone, you can try SuperSU root or Magisk root.
Final Words: There are lots of custom ROMs available out there for the sake of look & feel, stability, performance, customization, and battery life. But choosing the best might be complicated for beginners, that’s why we have come with a list of best custom ROMs for your Android device. If you want to replace your stock ROM, then the above-mentioned ROM’s should be given a try as per your choice. If you know other custom ROMs, which worth considering. Then let us know in comments below.