Anna's Favorite Android ROMs

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| Published: September 26, 2013

It's been a minute since I've brought up the topic of rooting and roms, but that's because I've been busy these past few weeks familiarizing myself with various ROMs and trying to figure out which ones I thought looked and performed the best. Naturally, not all ROMs will perform the same on every device so results vary from device to device. I've been trying my ROMs out on the HTC One, but for this review I'll be talking about the ROMs I've tried across multiple platforms. While some of the ROMs specifically for the HTC One are great, leaving out some of the other ROMs that developers have made for multiple platforms would be leaving a huge chunk of readers out.

Each ROM has different features that make them stand out from each other, and while most of them are generally regarded as improvements they don't always come without bugs. You might try one ROM that has everything working except for NFC, and another ROM that has everything but WiFi working. Of course, there are many ROMs where pretty much everything works as intended. The important thing is to read the entire FAQ section before trying out any ROMs so that you know for sure what works and what doesn't and you don't experience any surprises later. With that being said, let's dive into my list of my favorite Android ROMs so far!


3. CyanogenMod

I think I've always had a soft spot in my heart for CyanogenMod, mostly because it was the first ROM I ever flashed on an Android device. I don't know if it was the satisfaction of flashing a ROM without bricking my phone or the fact that it made my phone at the time that much better, but CyanogenMod was the first step in learning how to flash a ROM to my Android. They've also been the most consistent on having a ROM readily available on just about any Android device I've ever owned, so the consistency is nice.

One of my favorite things about CyanogenMod is their themes. You can download entire themes from the Play Store to work on your CyanogenMod ROM. Themeing and customization are two of the things that make Android so awesome, and CyanogenMod just allows you to take it a step further by being able to theme more than just your home screens. You can pretty much make a consistent theme throughout your entire device. The ROM also features tweaks that help boost the speed and performance of the device overall.

CyanogenMod is known for being one of the most heavily-tested ROMs and has a huge support community. The CM team is always working on improvements to the ROM and it definitely shows. CyanogenMod was one of the most stable ROMs I used on my HTC One.


2. P.A.C.MAN

The P.A.C.MAN ROM was another one of my favorites as it combined some of the most well-known ROMs into one - not literally, but it does take a lot of the good parts from CyanogenMod, AOKP, Paranoid Android, Carbon, SlimBean and Rootbox to create one super ROM if there ever was one. You also have the tweaked settings to help make the device perform better, but that's a given for any ROM. The ROM also features different interfaces made specifically for phone, tablet and even a phablet setting, which is pretty awesome if you have multiple devices that you want to use this ROM on and you want the resolution to increase. You can also set different colors across the platform.

I think the best part about this ROM was that it included so many other ROMs in one, or at least the good parts of the other ROMs. Sometimes I have a hard time just picking one, and sometimes you just want to use more than one at a time! P.A.C.MAN ROM, in my opinion, did very well at picking the best parts of each and rolling into one sweet ROM.


1. SlimBean

Okay, so I know a lot of people are probably going to disagree with me on this, but I absolutely adore the SlimBean ROM. I liked CyanogenMod, and I really liked P.A.C.MAN, but I love SlimBean.

SlimBean has been the fastest and smoothest experience I've had with a ROM so far. Everything opens quickly and efficiently, I experience no lag whatsoever, and I just love the way it's skinned. It's very minimal and non-invasive. The option to switch to a completely dark theme is also nice, as I found that a lot of lighter themes clash with my black HTC One. SlimBean also features customizable tiles - you can add more than just settings if you want, which is nice. The ROM also includes CM's PIE controls, which seems to be a popular feature these days.

SlimBean doesn't have a lot of stuff you can do with it, but the simplicty of the design and features with all of the settings and tweaks you can make to SlimBean make it one of the best experiences I've had thus far with a ROM.

Keep in mind that finding a ROM that's best for you is like finding a phone. Each have different attributes that make them appealing to the general public, but just because I prefer one over another doesn't mean that you will as well. Fortunately, once you get the hang of flashing ROMs it will take no time at all before you'll be flashing them left and right looking for the right one for you. Although CyanogenMod, PAC ROM and SlimBean are my favorites, there are plenty more that have been developed as well! Which one is right for you?

Readers, what are some of your favorite ROMs? It doesn't have to be a generic ROM that's available for multiple devices - tell us what phone you have and what ROM you're running!

Image via Android Mod

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