The Galaxy Note is the first device of its kind. I still remember the ads of this device that hyped it a new hybrid avatar possessing the capability of both, a phone and tablet. It was the first device that gave rise to a new term that we know as “phablet”. It has been about a year and half since its launch and quite surprisingly the Galaxy Note has managed to survive itself in the market. The device had just begun to loose its charm but the latest Android 4.1.2 Jelly update revived it and gave users a sound reason to stay with it.
While most users are happy with the Jelly Bean gift hamper from Samsung, there are some who are unhappy because of the absence of the Air View and a few other S Pen related features. Some folks reported that having updated to the new firmware, their Note became slow in performance and fast in battery drain. So, what is the solution?
When you install a new firmware over an older one, most old system files are replaced by new ones. But there still remain some files from the old firmware that intend to interfere with the new files and therefore your becomes slow. To improve the performance of your phone, perform a “wipe data/factory reset” via Stock recovery. As for the battery drain issue, you should not be hasty in concluding about its poor performance. When you install a new ROM, you phones battery needs some to sync with the new software. After 3-4 charge and discharge cycles, you will notice significant improvement in battery performance.
Why Go for a Custom ROM?
If you want to have some more fun with your Galaxy Note 2 and would like to enjoy faster performance, better battery life, features not found in official ROM, ability to use themes and mods for your device, you should consider installing a custom ROM. Galaxy Note is an old but popular phone and therefore you can find hundreds of custom ROMs for it. Such a variety might confuse you. The present article attempts to help you with choosing a good custom ROM for yourself. We have tested about 13 most popular custom ROMs for the Galaxy Note and picked some really best ones. The parameters for the selection of the ROMs are performance, features and battery backup. I did a best custom ROMs article for Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000 last year, but it seems that it’s a high time now for another such article. You can see the old post below-
Best Custom ROMs for Galaxy Note 2 GT-N7000
All ROMs listed below belong to their respective developers, so all credits and props to them for the hard work time they invested for us. Flashing third-party custom ROMs or any mod might harm your phone. Do not proceed with it unless you are sure what it is all about. All ROMs have been tested and found to be working fine but if a make any mistake, it might turn into a nightmarish experience. Be careful and stick to the rules!
Root your Galaxy Note:
To be able to install a custom ROM on your Galaxy Note, you need to have it rooted first. Besides, a custom ROM requires a custom recovery, so make sure you have a installed either ClockworkMod or TWRP Recovery on your phone. You have not yet rooted your Note, follow the steps in our easy tutorial on the topic.
How to Install Custom ROMs on Galaxy Note GT-N7000:
Download the preferred ROM and Google Apps (if applicable) from below and follow the instruction below carefully. But as I said above, your phone must be rooted and CWM Recovery installed on it. Read our detailed tutorial that sheds light on all aspects of installing custom ROMs and precautions to be taken before and after doing so:
- Download the preferred ROM file. Also download the Google Apps zip package if you are going to install an AOSP or CM based ROM. Copy both the zip (without extracting) to your device by connecting it to computer using a USB cable.
- Turn on USB Debugging Mode on your Galaxy Note: Settings> Developer Options.
- Make sure your phone has a good battery level, if not charge it now.
- IMPORTANT: Backup all important data stored on the internal storage of your phone. Backup or sync all important data such as contacts, messages and apps present on your Galaxy Tab. Backup your contacts, call-logs, messages, APNs, bookmarks, calendar, apps & games Using these Nice Free Apps.
- Download and install a root file explorer from the Play Store, open the app and look for a folder called “efs”. Backup this folder to the external SD card of your phone. In fact, this folder contains your phone’s IMEI number. In case you loose your IMEI (a rare case), you can restore it later.
- Turn off your phone and reboot your phone into ClockworkMod Recovery mode. If you do not now how to do it, here it is: press and hold the Volume Up+Home (center) keys simultaneously and then hold the Power key. Keep the three buttons pressed till the screen turns up, the Samsung logo blinks for two times. Just as you see a green Android bot, release the power key but keep other two keys pressed till you see a list of options in blue text on black background.
- In the Recovery the touch mode does not work, so you will have to use the Volume up and down keys to scroll and highlight and the Power button to select an option.
- IMPORTANT: The most important rule of the game is to evade any uncomfortable situation. First of all, backup your current ROM so that you can restore it in case you do not like the new ROM. Scroll down to “backup and restore” option and select “backup”. It might take a few minutes for the backup to complete.
- When it is done select go back option and choose “wipe data/factory reset” option and wipe it.
- Then go to “wipe cache partition” and wipe it.
- Finally go to “advanced” option and “wipe dalvik cache”.
- Return back to the main menu and select “install zip from sd card> choose zip from sd card” and select the ROM file that you copied to your phone in Step 1.
- This step is required only if have installed an AOSP or CM based ROM. When the ROM is installed, go back and install the Google Apps zip package the same way you installed the ROM in Step 12.
- Finally, go back to the main menu in Recovery and select ”reboot system now”.
The first boot after installing a new ROM takes much longer time (up to 3-7 minutes) than an usual boot. In case your phone does not boot properly and you are stuck on bootanimation remove the back cover, pull out the battery, wait for a minute and reinsert the battery. Boot phone into Recovery again and “wipe data/factory reset”. Reboot device and things should go fine.
1. ParanoidAndroid ROM 3+ JB 4.2
Developer: beerbong (Donate)
The ParanoidAndroid ROM is one of the most popular custom ROMs among Android users. This AOSP based ROM lets you enjoy the latest version of Android. Its hybrid look and feel, smooth and fast performance and decent battery backup, all make it a nice option for those who love custom ROMs. I used this ROM for two days and it was a whole new experience due to its flexibility, capability of customization and, most of all, the expanded desktop mode with that beautiful Pie thing (see the screenshot).
I have written a detailed article that reveals all the aspect of this new avatar of the ParanoidAndroid ROM. It is based on AOSP 4.2.2 and also supports themes made for CyanogenMod 10.1.The ROM is almost bugless but the PA Team will have to focus on improving the battery performance a little. If you want to have a fresh new experience with beautiful looks, the PA3 ROM is just for you.
2. Team Union ROM JB 4.1.2
Team Union ROM is a feature-packed, performance and customization focused custom ROM for the Galaxy Note. It is based on the latest official Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean firmware for the device. The ROM is very new yet it displays the maturity of the developer who has added all possible features in this ROM by amalgamating various nice features like Ripple lockscreen with Ink Effect, Air View, Multi-Window with unlimited apps, transparent weather widget, Android 4.2 keyboard, Awesome Beats Audio, LMT Launcher, call recording, DPI change capability, and lots more.
The whole ROM is themed in blue and thus it also provides a diversion from the well-familiar TouchWiz theme. Besides, you can also download a couple of themes made for this ROM. The Team Union ROM is installed via Aroma Installer where you can choose from small, full or custom ROM installation modes. In custom mode, you will be free to select what elements you want to have on your Galaxy Note GT-N7000. As for the performance of the ROM, it is much faster than the stock firmware and has a good battery life too.
Below you can download the themes for the ROM. To install a theme, boot in CWM recovery, select “install zip from sd card”, install theme and then reboot device. You can have one theme at a time. Do not forget to backup the ROM before installing the themes.
3. Alliance ROM N7000 JB 4.1.2
Developer: Robbie Hood
This is a very popular ROM that is available for a range of Galaxy phones. The Alliance ROM has been developed by Robbie Hood from XDA. It is based on the latest XXLSZ Android 4.1.2 official firmware for Galaxy Note. The ROM includes all the features of the JB update and has been tweaked to improves the performance of your device. It looks elegant and lets you choose features and apps during installation. Needless to say, with Alliance ROM installed on your Galaxy Note, you will experience a much better performance and decent battery-life.
How to Install: Download the ROM Customizer app from the Google Play Store and install the AllianceROM via this app. Open the app and select Flash File option, choose the ROM file and yes, do not forget to select Wipe before installing.
4. Ultimate N7000 ROM JB 4.1.2
If you love the look and feel of the stock TouchWiz interface and want to have a faster and richer experience on your Samsung Galaxy Note, Ultimate N7000 ROM is what you should go for. The ROM manager has left no stone untouched to make it a fully-loaded package. Like other ROMs listed above, the Ultimate ROM too is based on the XXLSZ build of the latest Android 4.1.2 firmware for Galaxy Note. It is a fully deodexed and Zipaligned ROM that contains nominal bloats, only the useful ones. It features lockscreen shortcuts, Air View (in Gallery), working S Note with productivity tools, S Voice, Ink Effect at Ripple lockscreen, Multi-Window with unlimited apps, call Recording and many others. The ROM is fast in performance, full of features and battery-friendly.
5. Carbon ROM
Developer: Carbon Team
Forgive me if I sound a little prejudiced in my review of the Carbon ROM. I do not know to what extent you would like it but I can say that you love AOSP feel and speed, this ROM is sure to captivate you too. I always keep it on one of my Galaxy devices and use it as daily driver. Fast performance, feature-stuffed and battery-friendly- these are the things that we look for while considering to switch to a custom ROM, and the Carbon ROM has them all.
Read my detailed review of this ROM here: Link
Like CyanogenMod ROMs, Carbon is available as regular/stable and nightly/experimental builds. I would recommend you to install the stable version.
Have you a good ROM in mind that deserves this empty place? Share with us!