The Nexus 5 is not only a Google flagship but it is also an epitome of the latest and best in Android as OS. Owning a Nexus 5 is brings exclusivity as it ensures that you get the latest Android updates before any other Android user. The device sports far greater specs than its predecessor Nexus 4 and supported further by Android 4.4 KitKat software, it performs pretty good.
Well, the Nexus 5 might perform fast and there is no doubt about it. Still, there are a few stains that diminish the overall performance of the device. Poor camera image quality and low speaker volume are just a few departments where the device disappoints the users. Fortunately, Android is an open source environment and it has a very industrious community of users and developers. It simply means that the users of Android are not forced to compromise with the performance of their device.
Having root access and a custom recovery of an Android phone or tablet are the keys to customization and modification on software side. By using some good root apps and flashing custom ROMs and mods, you can get the best possible performance out of your device. If you have rooted your Nexus 5, please take a look on a few mods that you can take advantage of:
- Boost Speaker and Headphone Volume on the Nexus 5
- Improve Camera Picture Quality on Nexus 5 with Camera Mod
- Enjoy Xperia Z Launcher, Apps and Xloud Beats Audio on Nexus 5
- Get Custom Fonts on Your Nexus 5
Before Installing a Custom ROM:
To be able to install a custom ROM on your Nexus 5, you will have to root your it and install TWRP/CWM recovery on it first. If you have not done that so far, you can follow our detailed rooting tutorial and root your device.
Once rooted your Nexus 5, the first thing that we recommend you do is to backup the EFS partition or IMEI of your device.
Best Custom ROMs for Nexus 5
By installing a custom ROM on your Nexus 5, you can enhance its performance, enjoy new features, custom tweaks and mods. Because it’s a very popular device, there is no scarcity of ROMs for the Nexus 5. Keeping in view that too many ROMs might confuse users while selecting a good ROM for their device, we tested about 10 of them just to find out the best ones. So, here comes our list of some of the best Nexus 5 custom ROMs.
1. Carbon ROM for Nexus 5
Developer: Carbon Team
Personally, I have been a big fan of Carbon since the ROM was introduced. The ROM is developed by a talented group by developers who work hard to make it faster, more stable and feature-filled than other AOSP based ROMs. Carbon for the our device is still in its nightly phase but it yields stable performance. When I tested it on the Nexus 5 a month ago, it did not have many of the features, Carbon is known for.
The latest releases of the ROM, however, pack together some awesome goodies to make it a worthy contender for the best custom ROM for Nexus 5. Carbon ROM is built to perform well and give you the power to customize your device as per your preferences. The ROM supports all CM 11 themes that you can get in abundance at the Google Play Store. The most interesting set of options are found under Carbon Fibers that lets you customize things like volume button controls, interface, lockscreen, navigation bar, Pie, power menu and status bar.
You can add custom buttons on the navigation bar, resize it, set shortcuts on the lockscreen, show notifications ribbon, customize the power menu by adding new options and changing the button colors. Under interface settings, you can choose from a big list of custom effects and animations for the UI. To give you control over your Nexus 5′s performance, Carbon come with ROM Performance that allows you set your own preferences for CPU and I/O scheduler.
How to Install:
To install Carbon ROM on your Nexus 5, follow the installation steps given here.
2. CyanogenMod 11 ROM for Nexus 5
Developer: CM Team
When it comes to custom ROMs for any Android device, CyanogenMod is probably the first name that comes to our mind. And, this the very reason why we tried and am listing it first in our list too. The ROM is available for almost all popular devices and the Nexus 5 is not an exception. We tested and used the nightly version of the CM 11 ROM for 2 days. Its performance is pretty stable and fast. The battery life is decent too.
Since the ROM is still in early stages, you will not get features like ribbons and PIE launcher. These and other features will hopefully be added in the upcoming releases. The ROM has a Performance tool under Settings where you can set CPU Governor, Minimum and Maximum CPU frequency, edit I/O scheduler, manage RAM memory and apply 16bit transparency in graphics.
Besides, the ROM also allows you to customize various elements of your phone UI such as Status bar, Quick Settings panel, Notification drawer, toggle Expanded desktop, navigation buttons and layout and quick launch shortcuts, etc.
The most interesting things, and a typical CyanogenMod feature, is the capability of theming that you can enjoy with this ROM. The Google Play store many themes that are compatible with CM II. I tested 5 themes and they all worked flawlessly. In the screenshots, you can get a glimpse of the Neon Colors.
Latest CM 11 Nightly: cm-11-2014-NIGHTLY-hammerhead.zip
Latest Google Apps Package: apps-kk-2014-signed.zip
CyanogenMod 11 Themes: Play Store Link
How to Install:
To install this or any custom ROM on your Google Nexus 5, follow our detailed ROM installation tutorial.