15 Best Custom ROMs for Android in 2021: Android is open-source and we hope always it would be. This not only allows limitless customizations but it is also good for developers. Developers can always use Vanilla Android from Google and make additional tweaks to enhance our Android Experience. Welcome to the world of Custom ROMs. A world where there are limitless customizations and you can tweak anything you wish. A Custom ROM is a third-party firmware created by Developers based on Google’s Android.
Why use Custom ROMs in the first place? It is because a typical smartphone gets official updates for about 2-3 years max. What after that? Once you install a good Custom ROM on your device, you can get the latest version of Android. Also, one gets all the features of his choice. There are many use cases for Custom ROMs. There are some manufacturers who heavily bloat their software with unwanted apps and features. This slows down the phone at times too. So, this is the place where Custom ROMs are pretty useful.
However, there is only one catch when it comes to Custom ROM. There is nothing such as one Best Custom ROM for Android. The definition of Best varies from person to person on the basis of the features he prefers, optimizations, and much more. Thus, we have curated a list of 15 Best Custom ROMs for Android in 2020. From this list, you’ll definitely find the one which suits your taste. It covers a variety of ROMs to suit everyone.
List of 15 Best Custom ROMs for Android in 2021
Let us start with our list of 15 Best Custom ROMs for Android in 2020. Before we begin, please take note of a few things. Installing a Custom ROM is an entirely different process that we have explained in older articles. One needs to have an unlocked bootloader including a Custom Recovery. Backup is optional depending upon you. Flash the ROMs at your own risk by reading the steps on XDA. Official and Unofficial Builds have their own degree of bugs, be sure to read the complete thread. We have used these ROMs on a number of devices and we think they are one of the best!
Starting with the best on the list, we have Lineage OS. In other words, it is the continued legacy of CyanogenMod. This is because in 2016 CM Project was shut down. However, the developers kept it alive in the name of Lineage OS.
The great thing about Lineage OS is the wide range of support for a large number of devices. The ROM packs in a lot of features for customization. Theming, Easter eggs are some of the features other than generic ones. Another highlighting thing about Lineage OS is stability. Currently, Lineage OS supports around 197+ devices.
Get your phone resurrected with Resurrection Remix. It is one of the most customizable ROM out of the box. This ROM is a hybrid of features from others like Slim and Omni. According to them, the optimizations are done to keep the OS battery-friendly as well as customizations. Resurrection Remix is more of a technical ROM for tweaks for all power users. If this is what you’re looking for, this is your pick.
Another thing about this ROM is its reliability. This ROM for most of the devices won’t stab you from the back. It is mostly stable for everyday use. However, you might need to use Custom Kernels to balance battery life.
Many of us know about Pixel Experience ROM because of its popularity. As the name suggests, it provides all the features of a Pixel device. It is available on a large number of devices as well.
There are not a ton of features as it close to Stock Android. The performance and battery optimization are pretty good on Pixel Experience Builds. Clean UI is a feature when it comes to this ROM
To sum it up, if Stock Android + Pixel features are what you’re looking for then pick this one up.
All you can dream, and all you’ll ever need. This is what Havoc OS stands for in terms of features. The developer team at Havoc OS has always intended to keep things simple and clean. However, not just clean as Stock but with all customization features a user would need.
Some of the features in its sleeve include Ambient Display, Animation Customization, Quick Tiles, and so on. A lot of Custom Kernels are supported on this ROM too. It has good developer support as well.
The simplest way to define this ROM is Stock Android + Features + Stability. This ROM can be said as analogous to Pixel Experience minus the features. This ROM is as stable as a rock. It is one of the few ROMs that you can use as your daily driver. Though the updates are not as frequent, the existing builds are pretty stable for day-to-day usage.
The optimizations are very good. It also provides features that are almost non-existent today. Overall, if you want stability for day to day use, this ROM is for you.
The next ROM on the list is Nitrogen OS. It is an AOSP based Custom ROM. It offers a selected number of features while keeping stability in mind. The builds of this ROM are optimized for day to day usage.
It packs in performance and optimization tweaks for the battery. Give a try to this ROM if minimalization is your taste.
AICP (Android Ice Cold Project)
AICP ROM is one of the oldest ROM which has an interesting history. It was started by developers on the HTC Desire HD device. It was also known as AOKP in the past. Later on, they changed the name to AICP. It stands for Android Ice Cold Project. You can check all the name changing scenes they made on their website.
Coming to the features, it provides a lot of freedom and choice for customization. It packs in the ability to change almost everything. It has Custom Quick Tiles, Dialer, and much more. Just like other ROMs, this on has wide support as well.
This is one of the older ROM. It was inevident for a while. But, now it is back into the world of Custom ROMs. It is available exclusively only for a few devices like the OnePlus 7 Pro. If your device is on the list, this is one of the first ROM which you should try.
The ROM promises a smooth polished and refined user experience. It can rightly be called the OxygenOS of Custom ROMs. This ROM is a mixture of performance, battery life, and functionality compared to the Android Open Source Project platform. The ROM is based on the latest Android 10. It provides various features including pulse light, raise to wake, updated android security patches, and much more. Also, with Paranoid Android 3, the experience has become even good!
CarbonROM is an aftermarket firmware based on the Android Open Source Project. This is analogous to the AOSP Extended. However, here the difference is the added tweaks and optimizations. These optimizations are for a better battery backup, performance, and user-customization.
The ROM is updated regularly for bug fixes, new features, and much more. It packs in something called Carbon Fibers. It includes all Carbon features and granular controls. If you are an enthusiast, give it a try.
The next ROM on our list is Arrow OS. It is known for its lightness versus features it packs. They have quoted the added features as “We added just the right and mostly used stuff that will be actually USEFUL at the end of the day.”
The ROM is aimed at 3 things, Simple, Clean & Smooth.
It includes a number of features such as dark/white system-wide themes. Also, it includes Accent colors, key, clock, battery customizations. The team has also done core optimizations to improve performance and stability. Many of the builds have good feedback from users to use them as a daily driver.
Just like the name suggests, this ROM is an extended version of AOSP. It is a hybrid ROM. The ROM is based on AOSP and packed with lots of features. These features are selected on of their own. Also, they are picked from other leading ROM projects.
The ROM provides a clean and smooth experience out of the box. The feature list is long comprising of customization options to customize staus bar, accent colors, quick tiles, and much more. Once you start using this ROM, you might notice the high frequency of updates. Thanks to the developer who roll out updates and keep the ROM working smoother and smoother. Android 10 builds of this ROM have started to roll out recently. It was late, however, it is worth for the smoothness it offers.
Viper ROM allows you to feel the venom in your vein! Haha, jokes aside, the ROM is free from all sorts of bloatware. The ROM is packed with buttery smoothness. The ROM is simple and offers an easy menu for customization.
It’s great for people who value a clean and direct interface, putting in your device possibilities of customizations and a good experience. There are useful resources for your day-to-day life. The ROM is updated every month with security patches. VIPER OS also offers a theme engine for you to customize to your liking. Whoever installs this ROM would cherish a lightweight interface. It also prioritizes performance and battery for your device. The developer has made several changes and tweaks for smooth day to day usage in real life.
This ROM has been in the works since Cyanogen Mod days in 2013. It is always known to be featured packed with its root deeper into the Stock Android.
Also, this ROM packs in a ton of customization including different layouts, accent colors, wallpapers, and much more. Since the community of Omni ROM is not as large with respect to other ROMs, take user support with a pinch of salt. OMNI ROM is a combination of unique, efficient, and powerful features. It is supported for 11 devices individually for Official builds.
Mokee OS is an open-sourced ROM based on the AOSP (Android Open Source Project). This ROM made the entry of China into the world of Android Custom ROMs. This ROM can help you unleash your colorful side with lots of colorful themes.
It is aimed to give a better performance of the device. Also, other tweaks give it smooth transitions and longer battery life. The developer team has also packed in several customization options. The ROM has built-in Substratum, Xposed Installer, Omni Clock, and Custom Kernel.
Ported ROM Skins: MIUI / OxygenOS
This might not be available for all devices. However, if they are available you should give it a try. MIUI is a heavy skin packed with a lot of features. On the other hand, OxygenOS is close to stock UI with speed and smoothness. Many of the popular devices like the Redmi K20 Pro, Nexus, etc have these ROMs available.
These ROMs are either GSI or ported builds from the official manufacturer device. They pack in corresponding features from their origin. However, some of those might be highly unstable. Therefore, please read the complete thread before you proceed.
Thus, this was our list consisting of 15 Best Custom ROMs for Android in 2020. Custom ROMs bring out a lot of things to tinker in. We hope you would love the experience. Trying out and using Custom ROM is like; sacrificing a point or two for 5 points of customizations & features. Every device has its own list of available Custom ROMs which you can check on our site or on XDA. We will keep this article updated as time passes on. Let us know which ROM do you prefer on your Android device in 2021.