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7 Cool Custom ROMs For The Samsung Galaxy S4 That Beat Stock Android

Android is perhaps the best smartphone OS in the world, mainly because of its developer-friendly features. The availability of thousands of ROMS and mods makes the OS even more appealing to millions of Android users. Many Android users already know how to root their devices, install custom recoveries and use custom ROMs. The process is not that difficult and it merely takes a couple of minutes before you can install your favorite ROMs. However, a common problem for many Android users is to test various different ROMs before selecting the best one for their particular device. Some users prefer performance over eye-candy and vice versa, which is why not all ROMs will be equally liked by all users.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is easily one of the contenders for Smartphone of the year and due to its popularity all over the world, you can find hundreds of ROMs and mods for the Galaxy S4. But how do you choose the perfect ROM for your device? This article will help you choose the best ROM for your Galaxy S4. This list only focuses on stable ROMs which you can use as your daily driver. These ROMs have been tested and they are free from any major bugs. Even if there are any bugs, they should be unnoticeable or wouldn’t affect your daily usage.

Here are the 7 coolest custom ROMs for your Samsung Galaxy S4.

7. Hyperdrive RLS10.2

Hyperdrive ROM Galaxy S4

Tweaks galore

The Hyperdrive ROM, based on Android 4.2.2,  comes from XDA developer sbreen94 and takes the S4 stock experience to the next level. Basically, this ROM is ideal for users who love the TouchWiz interface but want some additions and flexibility over it. The ROM does support the Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile Galaxy S4 devices. In terms of basic usage, the ROM can definitely be used as a daily driver as it features a smooth and fast UI. It provides decent battery life and is fully stable. Also, the image and video quality is supposedly better than on the stock ROM.

Possibly, one of the best features of  the ROM is that it provides various different tweaks including:

  • Clock Mod- Color, Position, Size etc
  • Status Bar Mod – Various styles for all the status bar icons including bluetooth and battery
  • LockScreen – Better ripple effect, unlimited widgets on LockScreen
  • System – Various system tweaks including CRT-TV animation and LED Control
  • Messaging – Signature settings, vibration settings, scheduled messaging etc
  • Camera – Tweaks to use camera while on call, higher bit rate on camcorder
  • Note 3 – Several Samsung Note 3 apps added
  • Sony X-Reality Image Processing with Bravia Engine added

For more information and downloads, you can visit the XDA thread.


 6. Arrow ROM v11

Arrow ROM Galaxy S4

A smooth ROM option

Based on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, Arrow ROM comes from  XDA developer Arrow. The ROM includes most of the Samsung features along with some enhancements and mods. The Samsung KNOX security system has been completely removed from the ROM. Usage is pretty good as the ROM is extremely fast, butter smooth and features a beautiful AOSP theme. Battery life on the ROM is supposedly better than on most S4 ROMs. Aside from all the tweaks and mods, voice quality and signals on phone calls has also been improved.

Arrow ROM Galaxy S4

Some additional features:

  • Multiwindows manager
  • Tweaks including Samsung secret codes and STweaks
  • Ram improvements leading to faster loading of apps
  • Improved scrolling
  • Improvements in messaging – unlimited recipients, long SMS are no longer converted to MMS
  • Sony X-reality engine

The ROM is only supported on the i9500 S4 model. For more information and downloads, you can visit the official thread.


5. xXxLightSpeedxXx

xXxLightSpeedxXx Galaxy s4

The name says everything

This ROM comes from XDA developer Rushing and as the name suggests, it focuses on speed and performance. Just over 450 MB, this ROM is extremely light and is possibly the best option for users looking for a buttery UI. The ROM is available for the T-mobile version of Galaxy S4 and is based on Android 4.2.2. Most of the Samsung goodies have been removed, which is why the ROM only focuses on solid performance. According to the developer, after flashing this ROM, you will keep it as your daily driver because the performance on it is ridiculously good.

Additional features include:

  • Voice call recording added
  • WiFi Calling is included
  • The ROM includes Nexus sounds including touch UI sounds
  • All apps have been modded for a superior performance
  • Decent battery usage – Approximately 2 days with light usage
  • Custom messaging backgrounds and bubbles
  • A lot of additional tweaks including tweaks on Camera

For more information and downloads, you can visit the official XDA thread.


4. Echoe ROM

ECHOE ROM galaxy s4

Full customization

ECHOE ROM comes from the ECHOE development team and is also more similar to Samsung’s TouchWiz User Interface. The ROM is based on Samsung’s stock 4.3 ROM with several additions. This particular ROM comes with custom ECHOE settings which you can use in order to fully customize your device according to your preferences. From controlling LED to controlling Viper sound, the customization settings are a great reason to use this particular ROM. Aside from that, you can either get the full version of the ROM or the slimmed down version with some bloatware removed. Both the versions are extremely fast, stable and battery efficient.

Some additional features:

  • Extended 4 way power menu
  • Kitkat camera and gallery from Nexus 5 is included in the ROM, along with fully functioning Photosphere
  • The Stock camera has been modded to take pictures using the power button. You can also take pictures while listening to music.
  • Call/Message blocker and AdAway added under settings
  • Some additions to the SMS app – Group messaging enabled, Split-view mode and custom smileys

For more information and downloads, you can visit this thread.


3. Wicked ROM

Wicked ROM galaxy s4

Less bloating, same interface

Wicked ROM comes from XDA developer evil1art and is another ROM full of additional  features. The focus here is to de-bloat most of the TouchWiz UI but maintain the overall interface to give users the same feel. TouchWiz is there along with most of the Samsung features to get a feeling similar to using the stock ROM. Wicked ROM control helps users customize their devices like they could do in vanilla AOSP ROMS, while retaining Samsung’s TouchWiz interface. The ROM has a decent battery life,  smoother interface and is fully stable.

Some additional features include:

  •  Moto X camera is included
  • Nexus 7 animations
  • ROM control for customization
  • Custom lockscreens
  • Battery, UI and performance tweaks
  • HD color rendering

This ROM also gives users the option to choose want they want while installing the ROM using Aroma installer including music players, themes and launchers. The ROM is available for the T-mobile version of Galaxy S4. For more information and downloads, you can visit the original XDA thread.


2. Darthstalker ROM

Darthstalker ROM galaxy s4

Everything plus the battery

Darthstalker ROM is another fantastic ROM for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and comes from XDA developer jovy23. It is based on Android 4.2.2 and supports AT&T, T-mobile, Sprint and Verizon S4 models. This particular ROM gives users to flexibility to install the ROM according to their own preferences by choosing their preferred apps, launchers and themes. The Aroma launcher lets you decide what exactly you want in your device including themes, various launchers, Samsung apps, Google apps, files managers, keyboards, music players, widgets, browsers and much more. Darthstalker, like other ROMS in this article, is stable to use as a daily driver. Also, the ROM has an extremely smooth UI and is battery friendly.

Some additional features include:

  • 1% battery mod
  • Volume boost to improve audio quality
  • Various performance and battery tweaks
  • Smooth performance mod for TouchWiz
  • Over 400 different fonts
  • Similar to Android”s Project Butter, this particular ROM is part of the developer’s Project Flow, which means a silky smooth UI
  • Faster transfer/reading of USB Storage

For more information and downloads, you can visit this thread.


1. P.A.C Man All in One ROM

P.A.C man ROM galaxy s4

The all-in-one option

The P.A.C Man ROM possibly includes everything that a user can ask for on the Samsung Galaxy S4. The ROM comes from XDA developer bluefa1con and is basically an “All-in-One” ROM for the Galaxy S4. This is basically a combination of 3 different ROMS. The P is for Paranoid Android, a popular ROM for the Android OS, the A is for AOKP ROM and the C is for Cyanogenmod, which is another popular ROM on almost all Android devices from various manufacturers. The ROM is based on Android 4.3 and can be downloaded for the Galaxy S4 i9505. Another version for the T-Mobile variant of the S4 is also available.

Some additional features;

  • 3 different user interfaces including phone UI, tablet UI and phablet UI
  • Includes all features from Cyanogenmod
  • All features from Paranoid Android are available
  • Several AOKP features are also available

For more information and downloads, you can visit this thread for the i9505 model and this thread for the T-mobile version of S4.


Conclusion

While the Galaxy S4 is a brilliant smartphone without any custom ROMS, it can certainly become stronger using custom ROMs. Not only can you customize the interface and decide on what you want your smartphone to have, but you can also focus on a particular usage area using customs ROMS, like eye-candy, performance or a smooth user interface. If you try any of these ROMs, make sure that you follow the installation  instructions properly before reporting any bugs. You can shoot any questions below and we’ll be happy to assist you further!

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8 Comments

  1. the S4 is by no means “brilliant”. It’s a sluggish piece of shit, that becomes barely bearable when you uninstal most of the bloatware. If you really think this is a good phone, you have never tried an HTC. The build quality is incomparable with even the budget models, and Android lags less even on a device older by 2 years.

    1. Hi Paul,
      Thanks for your feedback on the phone and I am glad that you found one you love. I have never had an HTC, All Samsung here, but something I will add to my bucket list. Thanks for commenting. =-)

  2. Boss, first time here planning to install custom rom for I9505. I’d like to have high performance above anything else. Looking at Lightspeed rom but I don’t know about the instruction on the thread. Maybe anyone can assist with instructions for a beginner.

    1. Hey chief here is a link to the official thread for the ROM. It should have more instruction. Keep in mind Adding a new ROM is changing all main cosmetic and functional stuff about your phone. If you aren’t sure about it, read up on it. You can mess up your phone if it’s not completed properly.

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