Which custom ROM is best for Android? Android fans love their device platform, but they may not always be big fans of the operating system that comes preinstalled. To be more clear, they don’t appreciate the excess and restrictions imposed on them. Because Android code is not properly locked down (like Apple’s) it is available for many developers to grab and mold to their desires.
What results from these alterations to the manufacturer stocked Android operating systems is the development of more lightweight, yet more feature stocked versions of an Android device’s platform.
These are referred to as custom Roms (“read-only memory”). However, not every developer will share a view of what features make the system more robust and which should be swept away, resulting in many different ROMS, armed with many similar, as well as unique features that could appeal to different people.
Best Android Custom ROMs
The following is a list of 15 of the best-rated Android custom ROMS and some of their features that you can opt to use instead of those already pre-installed on your Android Device.
LineageOS has transformed the stock OS Android system into a cleaner and speedier design in terms of performance. It’s been operational for nearly 4 years, and improvements continue to be made.
The ROM is lighter in terms of features than some competitors (no file manager, no system backup options, etc.). It also supports over 60 devices, though some are strangely omitted from that list.
It retains the general look and feel of Android’s stock OS, so those who like the visual of the stock OS could be satisfied with the look with some bonus features. Seeing as LineageOS has hung around for a while, it’s fair to say that the ROM gets something right.
Resurrection Remix OS
Resurrection Remix OS is not just one of the most well-known ROMs in the game, it’s also one of the most feature stocked. On top of that, it promotes a stable and smooth performance, as well as great battery life inherent to its design.
Beyond that, its large online community is often praised for the many resources that it can offer users who are interested in getting assistance with a particular question or query.
Resurrection Remix supports many Android devices, but on the visual front offers little to differentiate itself from the stock OS in terms of appearance. It does however offer ample options for tweaking the device, with some users reporting being overwhelmed by the vastness of options.
The developer team at Pixel Experience is well known for putting forward ROMs with outstanding performance and supporting them with regular software and security updates.
This ROM is suited best for those who like the look and feel of a Pixel home, transforming the phone into a near replica of the Pixel 4 devices. But the performance improvements are certainly there as well.
For instance, the battery life is much improved from the stock model, and the ROM comes with zero bloatware apps, dramatically reducing the usage of RAM and storage space occupation. It works well across multiple devices and works great even with intensive applications such as online gaming apps even on low-end devices.
Similarly to Pixel Experience, the AOSP Extended is an Android device based custom ROM that transforms your device into a Pixel looking one. It is supported on multiple devices and is preemptively rooted, saving you the effort of having to root your device as many ROMs require of it before use.
The settings allow for tons of customizations of everything from privacy guards to lock screens, status bars to battery setup, and blocks of nosey third-party apps. The animations experience no lag time and the transitions are smooth.
The crashes and sporadic reboots are minimal, unlike many of the newer ROMs. While AOSP does not actually transform your device into a Pixel, you could easily mistake it for doing so.
Omni ROM loads up your Android device with the Raspberry Pi OS while offering a faster, more efficient version of all of the stock system features. The only notable functions currently lacking from OmniROM are mobile hotspot, accelerated video-playback, and screencasting.
The installation is simple and involves just downloading the OmniROM server-based image, then flashing it to an SD card (typical Raspberry Pi style), though it can also be booted via USB 3.0 drives in reconfigured. The latest changes can be acquired weekly and it offers expanded storage support without requiring any additional backend tweaking.
As one of the more recognizable names in the custom ROM realm, Paranoid Android delivers both sufficient features and optimal performance, while many alternatives tend to come up short in at least one of those areas.
Starting with the dynamic animation transition, the user arrives on a simple clean screen that features all of the possible customizations built into the Settings app. This way, there is no need to dig into an app drawer, only to find the function that will take you over to the settings anyway.
All the common useful apps are available, pocket locks can be customized with many different aspects on the phone, and all the useless pre-installed stock bloatware has been stripped away. The best part is that it’s fast and nearly everything is fully customizable to transform your device into exactly how you want it to look.
Havoc OS is a modding fan favorite thanks to its high customization levels that do not affect its smooth performance. Imagine a stock Androids, but the Incredible Hulk version.
It permits stock android personalization to different levels that are entirely up to you. With a similar interface to Pixel 4 devices, the ROM includes a fast and responsive app drawer.
One formerly problematic area was the lags and stutters experienced was with pill gestures, however, Havoc has made fast improvements in that regard.
Users noted the very obvious performance improvement on Havoc using devices, including the improvements in frames per second of line games. While many other ROM options offer many of the same features, Havoc does stand out for its smooth performance.
Users looking for speed should consider the crDroid ROM. Preinstalled with the Optimus Drunk kernel, this ROM helps a lag-free system run.
It has a conveniently customized home screen launcher, and many visual, battery, locking, and media art customizations. Regardless of size, all apps run quickly and smoothly, and toggling between tasks is seamless, though the swipe features are a bit on the murky side.
This is an ideal ROM for gamers who want and need to enjoy the smooth uninterrupted functionality of their devices.
Bootleggers ROM is all focused on customizations with tons of customizable features, including the rarely found customization of the volume slider. The charging of the battery is much faster than your regular Android platform thanks to its superb kernel. It even features an optimal charge level alert.
The apps open quickly with a silky smooth animation, arguably superior to other ROM options. Gamers would enjoy this ROM for its smooth refresh rate transition and clear image display.
Arrow OS is an interesting ROM since it is largely missing something most other ROMs have in spade: customization. As a trade-off, Arrow OS makes everything else simple to accomplish. This is an ideal choice for those seeking a lightweight but consistently functional ROM.
The quick launcher can be pulled up by just pressing on the home screen, and the transitions between apps and app drawers are very quick. There are some settings in terms of screen gesture customizations as well as some options for locking and unlocking screens.
MSM Xtended is a newer project, making its debut only during Android Pie. It has however quickly grown into a modder favorite for its stability and reliability, as well as being loaded with customization that competes with its most ardent competitors.
It is so loaded with customizations, in fact, that some find it to be overwhelming. This makes it a particularly appealing ROM to those who seek to find feature-loaded options.
Another newer arrival in the ROM game is Bliss ROM and this one sports tons of potential for greatness. It doesn’t just develop smartphone-based ROMs, but also for tablets, as well as Windows-based devices (Surface Pro). The ROM is equipped with a desktop launcher and sports a desktop mode.
The way this ROM looks is different from many others, which may make it unappealing to some, but variety is the spice of life, including in technology. Bliss ROM enhances the visual display of the device. The Blissify panel included in Bliss ROM allows nearly anything to be changed or customized from the screen’s interface down to themes and animation.
Dirty Unicorn (DU ROM)
Those who are tired of minimal customization would likely enjoy Dirty Unicorn. The ROM features the “Fling” gesture-based navigation feature that allows gestures to be utilized with any aspect of the OS (apps, shortcuts, settings, etc.)
The “SmartBar” feature of the ROM is especially applicable on devices without navigation keys on the hardware. It enhances the navigation bar to handle 7 to 10 shortcuts, depending on the device.
The “Pulse” feature adds music equalizers that activate whenever the device plays music. The ROM is overall stable and has respectable battery life, resulting in good quality, feature friendly ROM choice.
Potato Open Sauce Project (POSP)
With a name like Potato Open Sauce Project, developers were seeking, perhaps to grab attention to get interested people to look into this ROM. Sometimes this just puts a cute name on a subpar product, but that does not look to be the case for POSP.
Armed with ample customization choices and beautiful ambiance, POSP is supported across multiple devices, offering smooth performance across the spectrum.
Known for its stability, the Evolution X ROM provides frequent security and OTA patches. The typical weekly updates introduce new protection measures as well as multiple new features.
One of the more recent additions is the Face Unlock functionality. The smooth operation and stability make this a great ROM choice for anyone looking to update their sluggish stock Android OS. That must be why this app has been downloaded over 2.5 million times.
As you can see these custom ROMs can give you full power over your Android device. Some focus on flexibility, others have a more privacy-centric approach. Regardless of what you’re looking for in a custom ROM, you should find one that fits your needs. So, which one are you going to download on your phone?
If we miss a custom Android ROM that you think deserves a spot in this list, let us know in the comment section below.