I know it’s so early to write an article like this because it has just been a little more than a month since the release of the Galaxy S4. The custom development activity for the device is still in its blossoming stage and therefore, we do not have adequate choices to kick or pick this and that custom ROM and give you a list of some of the best of them.
However, those who have already rooted and installed a custom recovery on their Galaxy S4, are already looking for something worthwhile to give a shot. As the time time passes, we’ll have more and more contenders to fight for the title of the best custom ROM. Till then, we can entertain ourselves with some of the really nice ROMs that are currently available for our Galaxy S4.
For the past few days, I have been testing some custom ROMs on my Galaxy S4 GT-I9500 to sort a bunch of nice picks for this list and here goes our list of ROMs that you can try on your device.
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The very idea of a good or bad thing depends of an individual perception of things. Nobody but only a user can judge a ROM for its merits and demerits depending on his/her preferences. Therefore, when I say that a ROM is good, it’s is based on my experience as an advanced user who has an understanding of various measures on which a ROMs performance can be gauged. At the same time, I also agree that your views regarding a particular ROM might differ from me.
Flashing a custom ROM is not meant for perfect noobs. We recommend you spend some time in understanding its ins and outs before plunging into such things. Do not forget to read our detailed article that sheds ample light on the various aspects of the business. Moreover, I would also like to remind that to be able to install a custom ROM on your Galaxy S4, you must have a custom recovery like ClockworkMod or TWRP recovery installed on your phone.
1. Omega ROM for Galaxy S4
Developer: Indie (Donate)
The very name “Omega” is self explanatory of what this ROM actually is! Omega (Ω) is the 24th and the last letter in the Greek alphabet and it means “great”. I have written so much about this ROM and have used, and still using, it for years on my different Galaxy devices. It’s my personal view that if you have an Android device by Samsung, the best custom ROM for you is one that is based on stock TouchWiz firmware. No non-TW ROM can offer you that much and let you enjoy most of the features that prompted you to buy a Galaxy S4 for a hefty price.
The Omega ROM for the Galaxy S4 is based on the latest official Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean firmware and overcomes many of the drawbacks of the device and improves its performance, speed and extends the battery-life significantly. The developer has removed most useless or less-frequently used bloats. Omega ROM comes with Perseus Kernel and features like unlimited apps in Multi-Window bar, call recording, circle battery mod, 4-Way boot menu, various system tweaks, louder volume, etc. The ROM is stable and can be used as a daily driver.
Latest Omega ROM GT-I9500: Download Here
How to Install: Read this Tutorial
2. WanamLite ROM GT-I9500
Developer: Wanam (Donate)
WanamLite is another ROM that needs no introduction if you own or owned any older flagship Galaxy device like Galaxy S2 or S3. It is one of the first custom ROMs that went online for the Galaxy S4. The ROM contains all necessary stock apps but a good number of bloatware has been removed to give you a cleaner app drawer and a faster performing device. The removed bloat apps are available separately in a CWM flashable zip.
WanamLite is a completely deodexed ROM that means you can apply any third-party mod to your Galaxy S4 easily. It is based on the latest jJB 4.2.2 firmware for the S4. Among the chief features of the ROM include:
- Adam Kernel (exFat support)
- Tweaked Ondemand Governor for better Battery life
- Large APN list
- Enabled Call recording
- 4 Way reboot
- Kies support
- Latest SuperSu update
- Enabled all supported languages
- Enabled call button on Contacts list
- More Free Ram
- Auto wipe cache & dalvik-cache before flashing
WanamLite is very nice when it comes to performance. The battery-life, which is one of the biggest concerns for an owner of a device with a large display, is also decent and much better than stock ROM.
Latest WanamLite ROM: Download Here
How to Install: Instructions Here
3. Arrow ROM
Developer: Arrow (Donate)
Sadly and surprisingly, there is no AOSP or CM based custom ROM available yet for the international Galaxy S4. While the users of this phone are deprived of tasting the pure Vanilla flavor of Android, the Arrow ROM might at least give you a feeling of using AOSP on your Galaxy S4 with it elegant theme.
It is a TouchWiz based ROM in AOSP style. Thus you can experience all the native features of the device with Holo look. This a fully deodexed ROM that is based on the latest builds of Android 4.2.2 firmware for the Galaxy S4. Some of the main features of this ROM with fast and stable performance are as follows:
- CPU Spy
- Reboot into Recovery and Download Modes
- OTA Updates
- CRT Effect
- All apps in MultiWindow
- Call REC
- Unlimited SMS recipient list
- Unlimited Contacts
- All APN list
- GPS Hack
- Hosts to stop advertising in apps
- Auto Backup EFS Folder
- Added Flash Player app
- Sony Sketch font
- And more!
4. CM 11 ROM
Developer: CM Team
For some unknown reasons, the GSM version of the Galaxy S4 has not been able to win the attention of our developers and it has resulted in scarcity of custom ROMs for the device. However, the void now seems to be started filling with the release of custom ROMs with Vanilla flavor. CyanogenMod is one of the most popular custom ROMs for Android devices. Compared to the slow and laggy performance of Samsung’s TouchWiz interface, CM is blazing fast and much better in battery backup.
CM 11 is based on the stock AOSP 4.4.2 KitKat. The ROM also supports theme and so you can also install third-party themes from the Google Play Store. CM 11 also supports OTA update and thus it means that you don’t need to download and install the latest version of the ROM if a new update is available.
How to Install: Read this Tutorial