As we've said numerous times before, Android is extremely flexible when it comes to customization. That's one of the reasons so many people choose an Android device over something different. However, installing live wallpapers
and third-party widgets
aren't the only ways of personalizing an Android device. There's a number of communities online dedicated to coding full-fledged Android ROMs, loaded with unique features and personalization options.
Here we've picked some of the best custom Android ROMs available out there. Check them out below and feel free to try them, as long as you have the technical skills to do so. Just be careful as the procedure of flashing a custom Android ROM is a tad complicated, not to mention that the hack voids the device's warranty. You've been warned!
The best custom Android ROMs
The best custom Android ROMs
Paranoid Android features the so-called Hybrid mode, allowing one to scale every app, widget, or a system component. You can choose a mode for every element without even having to adjust the system's DPI setting. Oh, and it comes with colorful, cartoonish wallpapers.
Here's the only Android ROM that's supposedly infused with magical unicorn bytes – AOKP. It lets you customize your toggle buttons and even add your own. Custom vibration patterns are also included. Swype gestures can be used throughout the interface. Lots of popular smartphones are supported, including the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One.
CyanogenMod is regarded as the most popular custom ROM available on Android. It is loaded on millions of Android devices worldwide and it supports a very broad range of smartphones and tablets. Stable releases based on the most recent version of Android available are being released on a monthly basis.
LiquidSmooth is based on Android 4.2.2 and features many of the modifications found on other popular custom ROMs. As the name suggests, the ROM is meant to be as smooth and responsive as possible. The software and hardware buttons and the status bar can be customized. Themes are also supported.
MIUI is a ROM packed with tons of cool features, including a virus scanner, an anti-spam tool, data usage counter, back-up manager, and a service allowing one to find their lost device. Themes are also supported, allowing one to change the look of their home and lock screens. Among the many supported devices are the Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One S, Google Nexus S, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and the HTC HD2.
Jelly BAM is a custom ROM made with the idea of being the most complete Android operating system available. It combines all the features found on popular open source ROMs such as CyanogenMod, AOKP, Paranoid Android, and more. Sony's Mobile BRAVIA Engine, XLoud, and an Audio DSP manager are on its extensive list of features, along with a theme selector, and software for HDR photos. Jelly BAM can be installed on over 20 Android devices.
Avatar ROM can be customized using one of the many themes made for it, available for download from the project's page. That's possible as the ROM features the highly customizable Bazooka launcher, which is an extended version of Trebuchet. You're free to make your own theme as well by following the tutorials available online. The ROM is available for a number of Android smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy S II, the Google Nexus 4, Samsung Galaxy Note II, and many more.
The list of cool features offered by SlimBean is pretty long. Listed on it are the custom lock screen shortcuts you can set, the customizable notification drawer, the UI color inverter, and the SlimPIE used for setting app shortcuts. The ROM works on many smartphones and tablets, including the Samsung Galaxy S and the Nexus series, the Sony Xperia S, and the HTC One X.