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Best Custom ROMs for LG/Google Nexus 4

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Google-Nexus-4-best-Roms

It has not been a very long time when the Nexus 4, a joint production by LG and Google, was launched and was greeted generously by users worldwide so much as it was sold out many time from online stores. The demand for the device overwhelmed the two tech giants and it did not see a fall even when there were grudges about missing LTE connectivity, buzzing sound during calls and fast battery-drain. The Nexus series devices have been known for the pure Android environment without any other launcher or manufacturer specific tweaks popping out. And, since these devices by endorsed by Google itself, the God of Android OS, they are always the first to get the latest updates and treats that roll out with time.

The Google Nexus 4, codenamed “Mako”, is the latest flagship from Google manufactured by LG. Being a high-end device it houses a lot of premium features and pretty impressive specs as a Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4 Pro CPU, 2 GB RAM, 8/16 GB Storage, NFC, WiFi, 8 MP (main) and 1.3 MP (front) camera, 4.7″ 1280 x 768 pixel resolution (320 ppi) display, and so on.

Personally, I think that the stock firmware is always the best thing to stick with on a mobile phone, but our human desire to keep seeking for novelty, change and something better does not let us remain satisfied with the stock firmware. And why not, as Tennyson puts it, “Lest one good custom should corrupt the world”; anything, however good it might be is sure to lose its charm and this rule applies to us too. It does not mean, however, that we look for a custom ROM for our Android phone just for change. Of course, there are many things that prompt us to try a custom ROM on our phones. To wish to enjoy a better battery-life, change the look and feel of our phone, faster and smoother performance, mods of different types, features ported from other phones- these are some of the major driving factors.

Here, in this article I’ll be enlisting some of the best custom ROMs that might enrich your experience with your Nexus 4. This is the 8th installment to our great Series of Best Custom ROMs for some of the most popular Android phones out there. Unfortunately, we do not have a wide range of custom ROMs for the Nexus 4 to choose from, so I will begin with only one or two. As more ROMs hit this hit device, I shall be adding them to this list and keep updating the post from time to time.

Disclaimer:

All custom ROMs listed here are the sole property of the respective developers. We, at Droidviews, are only attempting to compile what we found to be the  best having tested each ROM for a day or two. It is obvious then that the reviews given here are subjective and you opinion regarding a ROM might be different to that of us. Flashing a custom ROM to your Nexus 4 will certainly void its warranty which can be reclaimed later by returning to the stock firmware. Moreover, such things must be tried by a noob. Proceed only if your are sure what it means and what risks it might pose.

Moreover, to install a custom ROM on your Nexus 4 requires a few preparations, such as unlocking the boot loader, rooting and installing a custom Recovery utility on your Nexus 4. If you have yet gone through these things, please read the following tutorials that would help you to perform these things on your phone:

Go to this Post: Nexus 4 Guide: Unlock Bootloader Install Clockworkmod and Root

Also Read: Install TWRP Recovery on your Nexus 4

How to Install a Custom ROM on Nexus 4:

Here are some steps that you need to do while installing a custom ROM on your Google Nexus 4.

  1. Download a ROM file  that commonly comes in a zip (do not extract).
  2. Some ROMs do not come with Google Apps pre-installed, so you will need to download appropriate and latest version: Download Latest Google Apps (do not extract).
  3. Copy both the ROM and Google apps files to the phone’s SD Card by connecting it to computer via USB cable.
  4. Meanwhile, also charge your phone and backup or sync your contacts, messages and settings.
  5. Turn off your device and boot it into the Bootloader mode: press and hold the Volume down and Power buttons together till the screen turns on. When your enter the Bootloader mode, scroll down to Recovery mode option using volume buttons and select it using the power button. This will reboot your phone into CWM Recovery. Here you will have to use the Volume keys to navigate and Power key to select an option/item.
  6. Just as you land the CWM Recovery,  the first thing you need to do is to backup your current ROM using “backup and restore” option.
  7. Now coming back to the main menu, select wipe data/factory reset (this will only wipe installed apps and settings).
  8. Then “wipe cache partition” (this step might vary from one ROM to another).
  9. Then go to “advanced” and “wipe dalvik cache”.
  10. Finally, select “install zip from sdcard” from main menu. Then select “choose zip from sdcard”  and select the ROM file. Confirm installation by selecting “yes” on the next screen and wait till it finishes.
  11. If the ROM file does not have Google Apps pre-loaded, install the Google Apps zip package  just after flashing the ROM. Install it the same way as you did in Step 10.
  12. When the Google apps are flashed, go back to the main menu and select “reboot system now”. Note that your device might take a few minutes before it boots for the first time. All you need to do is to wait patiently.

Okay, here we continue with our picks for your Google Nexus 4. Note that this is neither a kind of “Top Custom Roms for Nexus 4″, nor a countdown. The ROMs have been posted randomly and you will have to decide what id “the best” ROM for you.

 

1. Brainmaster’s Stock and Lucid ROM 4.2.1

Developer: Brainmaster (Donate)

LucidNexus4

ROM Review:

Brainmaster’s Stock and Lucid ROM is a nice custom ROM to begin with. The best thing I personally like about it is its black theming that looks just amazing. The ROM is based on the latest Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean and it is battery-friendly. It gives you a super fast and smoother performance. Since it a kind of Deodexed Stock ROM, you do not have to compromise with any of the features that come  with your Nexus 4.

Features:

Here are some of the tweaks that this ROM brings with it along with the features of original firmware:

  • Deodexed, rooted, zipaligned and busy-boxed ROM
  • Unsecured Boot.img with ADB Enabled
  • EXT4, TCP, Build.prop Tweaks
  • Advanced automated Zipaligning of system/app and /data/app
  • ADFree Hosts file
  • Unicode support for SMS/MMS
  • AppWidgetPicker
  • AOSP Browser, Power Menu and Volume Skip
  • Custom Bootanimation

Download Brainmasters Stock JB ROM:

Download Stock-look Version: Brainmasters.Stock.JB.4.2.1.JOP40D.Nexus.4.zip

Download Lucid Black Themed Version: Brainmasters.Lucid.JB.4.2.1.JOP40D.Nexus.4.zip

How to Install:

  1. Charge your phone’s battery and backup all important data as precaution.
  2. Download and copy the Brainmasters.Stock.JB.4.2.1.JOP40D.Nexus.4.zip to your phone’s SD Card.
  3. Boot your device into Recovery mode: press and hold Volume Down + Power buttons to enter Bootloader and then select “Recovery”. Use Volume rocker and Power keys to navigate and select options.
  4. If you are installing this ROM over the Stock JB 4.2.1, select “install zip from sd card>choose zip from sd card” option in Recovery and confirm installation by selecting “yes”.
  5. In case, you are coming from some other custom ROM, do not forget to perform “wipe data/factory reset” in Recovery.
  6. When the Rom is installed, return back to the main menu and select “reboot system now”. Done!

If you face fast battery-drain after installing this ROM, download Brainmasters.Battery.Mod.Stock.JB.4.2.1.JOP40D.Nexus.4.zip and flash it via Recovery just as you installed the ROM (Steps 1 to 4).

[source]

 

2. LiquidSmooth JellyBean 4.2.1

Developer: Tspderek (Donate)

liquidpooga

ROM Review:

The LiquidSmooth ROM, that has been known for its smoothness and capabilities of customization, has now been released for the Nexus 4. The ROM is just at a Alpha stage, that means it is still in early stages of development. All the same, the performance of this ROM on some of previous Nexus devices makes is a promising rockstar for the Nexus 4. The LiquidSmooth ROM takes the stock Android experience even further than what comes as default with the device. Needless to say, this ROM is tweaked to give you a good better battery life than the stock ROM.

Downloads and Instructions:

Liquid-JB-v2.1.0-Alpha7-mako.zip: Link

Download LiquidSmooth ROM (latest): LInk

Download Google Apps: LInk

How to Install: See at the beginning of the post. Avoid wiping cache partition and dalvik cache.

3. Xylon 4.2 ROM

Developer: benjamin.j.goodwin (Donate)

 

Xylon-ROM-Nexus-4

ROM Review:

Xylon is fully transformed distribution for Nexus 4. It is designed to take full advantage of the device’s hardware and to provide the user pure Android experience. It takes nothing but adds several features to your phone. Fastness, smoothness and battery performance lies at the core of the Xylon project for the Nexus 4,

Downloads and Instructions:

Download ROM: Link

Download Google Apps: gapps-jb-20121212-signed.zip

How to Install: See the instructions at the beginning of the post.

Source: xylon

4. ParanoidAndroid ROM Nexus 4

Developer: molesarecoming (Donate)

ParanoidAndroid-ROM-Nexus-4

ROM Review:

If you search the web, you might find a ParanoidAndroid ROM for most of the Android phones and tablets. And why not, the ROM is popular because of its hybrid nature which lets you experience the layout of a tablet on your Android smartphone with whatever resolution. Moreover, you can also use the phone with some other modes as the Phablet (phone+tablet) and the Phone mode. There is no surprise that ParanoidAndroid has now hit the Nexus 4 that is a so talked about device.

The ParanoidAndroid version for the Nexus 4, however, is some what different, or let’s say innovative, as it contains different color tiles for different layouts. It is based on the latest CM 10 and performs fast and smooth, giving you the best battery life at the same time. The ROM is currently in beta state bu feels quite stable and good.

Downloads and Instructions:

Download ROM: Link

Download Google Apps: gapps-jb-20121212-signed.zip

How to Install: See the instructions at the beginning of the post.

paranoid-Android-3.0

The latest version of the all new ParanoidAndroid ROM 3.0 is available now and you can download and install it: Click Here

[source]

 

5. CyanogenMod 10.1 Nightlies Nexus 4

Developer: CyanogenMod

Nexus-4-Cm-10.1-Nightly

ROM Review:

CyanogenMod is a free, community built, aftermarket firmware distribution of Android 4.2.1 (Jelly Bean), which is designed to increase performance and reliability over stock Android for your device. CyanogenMod is based on the Android Open Source Project with extra contributions from many people within the Android community. It can be used without any need to have any Google application installed. You will need to provide your own Google Applications package (gapps). CyanogenMod does still include various hardware-specific code, which is also slowly being open-sourced anyway.

CyanogenMod 10.1 Nightlies Build is another good choice for your Nexus 4. It is the most popular ROM among Android lovers and it is the big dad of most custom ROMs. The ROM keeps away from most of bloatwares and even some necessary ones. Being very small-sized, it gives you probably the fastest performance, smoother transitions and yes the widget setup at the lockscreen too. Another reason to go for this ROM is that it also supports themes that can be download on free and paid basis from the Play Store.

Downloads and Instructions:

Download ROM: Link

Download Google Apps: gapps-jb-20121212-signed.zip

How to Install: See the instructions at the beginning of the post.

More ROMs to come as we are still testing a few….. Stay Tuned!

 
Well-versed in English literature and active in politics, Rakesh is a geek by heart with ardent passion for all-things-tech. He has been a theme-maker, modder, has contributed to some custom ROMs. He enjoys learning, discovering, growing and sharing the newest and latest trends in the world of Android.   Current Devices: Nexus 5, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S5, HTC One M7 & M8, Galaxy Note 10.1 and Xperia Z1.
  • A.J. Paolucci

    if you want a great all around stable ROM go with AOKP or JELLYBAM. Personally I’m running JellyBAM 4.4…..KitKat and its amazing every single option you could possibly think of, it has. And my Battery Life is great I easily get a day sometimes 2 days depending how much i use it, and I do use it alot. Check it out you’ll enjoy it!! Basically JellyBAM went threw ALL the ROMs out there including stock and took all the best tweaks, eye candy and mods and put them all into 1 ROM. So check it out I’m sure your gonna like it, and the JellyBAM ROM’s all come with the google app’s so you do NOT have to download and flash them separate. Check it out and let me know watcha think……cheers

  • http://twitter.com/KON4ST4R John

    Thanks for the replies guys, I’ve been using Xylon with Matr1x kernel, and getting bored of it pretty quickly lol. I will try out PA and Cyanogen this weekend, hopefully one of those ROMS will help out with the battery issue on top of the awesome Matr1x kernel, because this kernel is just awesome :) I can definitely see the difference in battery drainage (or lack thereof)

  • John Coleman

    I always go with Cyanogenmod. Its supported across most devices so if you switch down the road no matter what device or stock UI you get – just root, flash the right ROM for that device and you will have familiarity. I would wait for a stable or one of the snapshot builds. I have been very satisfied with these so far. The team does some of the best work out there and nightly flashing can be fun for the more experienced, but I don’t want you to have a bad experience from a buggy ROM your first time. The two other alternatives I would recommend are Paranoid Android and AOKP. I don’t have this device yet ( I’m in the waiting process ) so I can’t recommended from anything other than official sources.

  • http://droidviews.com/ DroidViews

    It’s high time that you decided to go for a custom ROM. here is one of the best custom ROMs fro your phone, fast, smooth, stylish. battery-friendly and supporting themes.
    Download the ROM from here and follow the guide to install it:
    http://droidviews.com/2013/paranoidandroid-3-0-roms-bring-expanded-desktop-mode-feature-to-galaxy-nexus-nexus-4-and-7/

  • http://twitter.com/KON4ST4R John

    Are any of these considerably more stable than the others? This is my first time rooting and installing a custom ROM (already unlocked and rooted) on an Android device, and I want to choose the best ROM. My priorities are: Stability (no sudden reboots / freezing / app closing etc) , speed, and battery life (although this isn’t as important as the first two, since I will be downclocking the phone)

    Thanks!
    John

  • http://droidviews.com/ DroidViews

    Hi,
    It seems you have downloaded the plain stock version. Download the LucidBlack themed version to get the dark theme.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vianneyb Vianney Boncorps

    I installed brainmaster’s based on your review, but can’t see ANY difference in terms of UI with the stock 4.2. Where is the ‘gorgeous dark theme’? where can i find that nice wallpaper, for that matter?

  • http://droidviews.com/ DroidViews

    Hi Juan,
    We are really sorry for not putting the Roms to a benchmark test, but from my personal experience I can say that the ParanoidAndroid and the Xylon were found to be the best of all.
    Regards!

  • Juan Rios

    did u had something like a benchmark between this roms, some comparison by Antutu or something like that…

    Would be an awesome help…