[Opinion] I’ve had enough of custom ROMs, it’s now Nexus or nothing

HTC ONE X ATT

Warning: I’m writing this after having spent nearly 24 hours trying to fix a few issues with my AT&T HTC One X, a period in which I went from a semi-functioning device to losing S-Off state, all the data on my SD Card (yes I did have a backup), and now having no ROM whatsoever on my phone, with installation attempts failing.

TL;DR: I’ve had enough of spending time getting my phone to work the way it should out of the box.

My first Android device ever was the T-Mobile myTouch 4G, which I purchased back in December 2010. The phone I really wanted was the Nexus S, but due to a few reasons I couldn’t wait for it to hit the market. Settling for the myTouch 4G wasn’t much of an issue, however, since it was a pretty solid device built by HTC that topped the benchmark tests at the time. It had a decent back camera and a front-facing one, which wasn’t in vogue at the time.

The first thing I did with the device (after unlocking it so I could use it in India) was throw on CyanogenMod 7. It was pretty straightforward, and the device even went on to run CyanogenMod 10 for some time (I reverted back to CM7 for more stability). I really enjoyed the phone, and never missed out too much on the new stuff Google was putting out thanks to the amazing developer community.

Last August, I finally felt it was time to move on, so I went out and bought an AT&T HTC One X. The choice was between HTC, the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Nexus. I was leaning towards the Nexus, but in the end decided to go with the One X for its better camera. I thought I’d live on custom ROMs again, and get the best of both worlds. And I succeeded for a little over a year, before everything started going downhill.

It started a week ago, when I woke up to find my device switched off, and failing to boot up either normally or into the bootloader. I managed to get into recovery after connecting to my laptop and using ADB, but since my ROM had been acting up a bit, I felt it was important to change to something more stable. What followed to my current state as of now can probably be the inspiration of an Oatmeal comic.

  1. Found a ROM that I felt would suit me best on XDA.
  2. The ROM requires me to update my phone’s radios and HBOOT, for which I needed to get the latest 3.18 RUU.
  3. RUUs only run on Windows. I don’t have a Windows device (I use a Mac and a Chromebook Pixel that also runs Ubuntu).
  4. I downloaded VirtualBox and Windows XP on my Mac.
  5. To get everything to work properly, I downloaded HTC Sync. For some reason, the RUU still doesn’t detect my device.
  6. Searching around, I found a couple of undocumented drivers that should fix everything. They did, and the RUU began working.
  7. The RUU failed, stating an “image error”. Redownloading the RUU (from HTC’s own site, which I did so the previous time too), I tried once more.
  8. Still no luck, and things got worse: I was now S-ON, and after reinstalling my previous ROM, my home and multi-tasking buttons stopped working. The phone wouldn’t ring or even show an incoming call when someone dialed my number.
  9. I tried a different RUU (2.20) hoping that maybe that would work. It didn’t.
  10. I factory wiped my device, and adb-pushed my previous ROM on to the phone. It wouldn’t install anymore, failing to mount storage.
  11. I tried fixing things with the storage, but still no luck. Tried the 2.20 RUU once again, no luck.
  12. I’m writing this as I try the 3.18 RUU once again. Pretty certain it’s not going to work.

I’ve wasted an entire Saturday on this. While I know fully well that I must have made a mistake or two here or there, possibly the previous times I changed ROMs or something, I can’t help feel horribly tired by it all. I’m not a n00b, yet I feel absolutely helpless right now. If things don’t improve soon, I’m looking at using a busted old iPhone 3G for a while, and I can’t imagine anything worse than that.

My biggest fault, of course, is not going with a Nexus. I relied on the community which, while it does some amazing things, can get a bit tiring. For example, can people please be a bit kinder on XDA?

The biggest change, however, is that Android on the whole has gotten so good, that the specs race is over (yes I agree with Quentyn, though I’d give props to the Nexus 4, and not Motorola). My biggest issue with the Nexus devices is the camera quality, but if the Nexus 5 doesn’t end up having one that meets my expectations, I can always thrown money at Sony’s QX10 lens. And considering the cost of a Nexus, I would probably only spend as much as an unlocked Galaxy S IV, if not less.

This is the end for me in terms of using non-Nexus devices. I’m tired, sleepless, cranky at having wasted a weekend, and I just never want to have to install a ROM on my own ever again.

Continue reading:




  • http://youtu.be/GvPlAyTG4ik?hd=1 1PhoneDoesnt.com

    Maybe you could of added “results not typical”

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      I did say that I must have made a mistake myself, doesn’t change the fact that (at least for me) ROMing doesn’t offer as much as before, when you really needed to do it to enjoy your device fully.

      • phatmanXXL [16,000+ posts]

        HTC phones are difficult like that, I can understand your frustration.

    • uniquename72

      “Maybe you could of added …”

      Could HAVE added. Think about it; it’s basic English.

  • Vu Viet Anh

    I played with a HTC one x last time and also faced the same issues as you. I wasted a whole freaking day on it before getting it to run a stock based custom rom. I think its just HTC devices instead of non nexus phones as a whole, neither Samsung nor Sony phones give me so much troubles before.

    Anyway, I think the problem lies in the boot loader. If I remember correctly, the hboot and the radio depend on a third component (mayhe bootloader?) that you would have to flash first before updating the hboot. Without that the phone will always fail to boot.

  • scoter man1

    Maybe you should just be cool and buy/build a windows rig. Obviously, I’m joking. I have to agree, dealing with ROM/phone issues is extremely tiring (probably due to anxiety). And yes XDA members are very cynical and demeaning especially when you are in dire situations.

    And yes, I love my Nexi and wugfresh toolkit.

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      I spend nearly my entire time on my Chromebook, either on Chrome OS or Ubuntu. I was planning on building myself a desktop a few months ago, before I got the Pixel at I/O.

      Also, I guess it’s a lot cheaper buying a Nexus than building a PC just to do this stuff (since I have no use of it otherwise).

      • scoter man1

        I’d run through a forest of broken glass just to try the Pixel, so we’re even!

  • Elmir Buljubasic

    Hehe, this is my ussualy sunday

  • sourabh

    i have a s3,i rooted it two hours after i got it.Custom ROMmed it 3 months later when 4.2 was out and my phone was still on 4.1.1.
    AOSP ROMs don’t have the best battery life no matter what kernel + ROM combo you try.
    the camera app sucks when compared to Touchwiz camera.i am an avid photographer and i prefer manual control over each aspect of my camera which the AOSP camers doesnt have.Due to the bad battery life and the bad camera app,i switched back to Touchwiz.That wasnt a pretty ride either.Camera was good,battery life was better but to my amazement,it was laggy and used to hang up.It had stability issues.
    Custom AOSP roms dont have the best battery life,Touchwiz isnt smooth enough(even on a 1.4 GHz QUAD core processor).
    Nexus on the other hand does it perfectly.The stock rom is stable enough and isnt laggy(as far as my experience taught me).The camera still isnt up to the mark,but im sure that they will try hard and improve it in the next nexus or in kitkat.

    • Unorthodox

      This is pretty much what I came to – NO custom ROM will make any non-Nexus device better, if we’re talking about post-2011 products of respectable manufacturers. No matter what kernel combination, or version – custom ROM will always make you SUFFER and will make your life miserable. Old tech on the other hand, or cheap Chinese stuff begs for ROMming, as that stuff is unstable anyways.

      • sourabh

        I have an exception,
        my galaxy tab(OG) was never updated beyond 2.3.
        It now runs cyanogenmod which is a thousand times better.It actually improved battery life.I am happy that i installed CM.This ROM made my non nexus tablet better

    • setspeed

      I’m in the same boat as you regarding the S3 – I prefer AOSP apps and AOKP features but the battery life is rubbish and the camera can’t be relied on. Samsung ROMs offer better battery and great camera but the performance isn’t great. Thing is I tried out a Nexus 4 when it was released last year, but there were so many things sub-par the hardware I couldn’t even consider keeping it to replace my S3. Here’s hoping the next Nexus fixes all the shortcomings of the N4…

  • squiddy20

    “… so I went out and bought an AT&T HTC One X” I’d say there was your first problem. I tried helping a friend S-OFF and root his HTC Sensation and we spent at least half a day going in circles, ultimately to no avail. He just decided it was too much effort and we gave up. Meanwhile, rooting most devices from other manufacturers is more or less a breeze.

    • malcmilli

      it might be easier to root in other devices but stability issues still remain.

  • Nathan Bryant

    There are individual features a skinned software has that you just can’t beat. Like the camera software or convenient ones. A stock rooted one of the skin but without the bloat is cool though. But pure android is sweet as well. It’s that overall experience and pleasure to use. I don’t love ROMS as much as I use to but they’re still nice. It’s more of a list thing for them now.

  • KoRRo

    once you have tried custom roms you can’t go back, you will use custom roms even on nexus devices, and even on nexus devices the roms may be bugged or you may do something wrong that leads to bricking the device. i don’t think buyng a nexus to avoid custom roms is a good choice.

    • puppeteer23

      dunno, man. I’ve gone from custom roms on an Eris, to an LG Ally, to a Galaxy Nexus.

      I thought for sure I’d never stop rooting and the only way I could get stock with the functionality I wanted was via a nexus, but I’m extremely happy with the Moto X.

      I won’t even think about rooting or dropping a rom until I don’t have a choice.

      I don’t miss the frustration.

      • Unorthodox

        Second that. If by the time of my next upgrade in a year Motorola is still afloat, Moto-something will be my 3rd phone from them. Solid phones. Poor marketing in the past, but hopefully Google will turn that around.

    • Unorthodox

      KoRRo, you’d better put “I” instead of “you” in your post. I understand the usage of impersonal “you”, but in this case that would have been very much an exaggeration. I’ve had custom ROMs on all my devices, ever since G1, and your statement is true for me only up until Moto RAZR. No device after that could benefit from a custom ROM. I only get lack of functions, instability and what’s worse – unreliability. If your devices are just toys for you then you’re good. But if you need to rely on your gadgets to work as expected of them 24/7, then rooted factory ROM is the maximum modding you should pursue.

      • KoRRo

        you have to consider that custom roms for nexus device are all based on stock rom since there’s almost no difference between google open source code used to build custom roms and the code used in the stock rom, so changing rom on a nexus device have very little side effects compared to oher phones roms based on android open source code, also nexus phones stock roms don’t have additional proprietary functions like other phones, so you can’t loose functions, you can only add new ones, and it’s pretty rare for a nexus custom rom to introduce bugs on the base code, so the stock functions are (almost) never compromised, so your phone reliability is not a problem. i understand what you’re saying, and i agree if we talk about any oher phone but not about nexus ones, that’s why i said that i don’t think buyng a nexus to avoid custom roms is a good choice.

  • simpleas

    touchwiz and nova prime works great for me and my note 2

  • Wapc

    Nexus doesn’t do it no expandable memory until Google release a phone that has expandable memory and comes with large storage on board + few other things I’ll never buy nexus.

    • smithers85

      Saving money on a keyboard with no punctuation marks, I see.

    • Dave Bush

      Google wants you using the cloud, not adding micro SD cards. I don’t see this changing.

      • CerealFTW

        I’m not commiting to cloud until they get better security. NSA’s been going through dropbox and such.

      • ari_free
      • sremick

        I want to have my data backed-up in a way that will survive phone failure. I don’t see this changing.

        I often don’t have sufficient cellular reception to keep all my data in “the cloud”. I don’t see this changing. Most of the USA is rural.

    • TheHowiie

      The ultimate let down from them is no expandable memory.

      • sremick

        …and no removable battery.

  • Tomáš Petrík

    I came to this conclusion last year, am using Nexus 4 now.

  • WWammy

    I prefer the stability of stock roms I haven’t the time to tinker around forever with custom roms

  • Charles Chambers

    I can’t really do Touch wiz anymore.

    • ChristianMcC

      Come into the light:-)

      • Charles Chambers

        Yeah, this year I got an HTC One and absolutely love it. I can’t stand the ugliness that is Touch wiz. I used to flash my note 1 & 2. It’s so nice to have a device that works like I want it to and doesn’t need to be rooted.

        • Charles Chambers

          With that being said, I’ve owned almost every brand but a nexus device. A nexus would be nice.

  • alexguitar

    I completely agree with this article. I’m rocking cm10.2 nightlies on my sprint htc one, and while I love running the latest stock android (cm in particular), I find the instability is not really worth it anymore. The stock sense rom ran great, I just missed tinkering with my phone I guess. But these days I need my phone to work properly. An unfortunate side effect to getting older I guess.

  • Keith

    The thing with a Nexus phone is it has a lot of support for custom roms and they all work, it’s just a matter of finding the rom with options you want.

    The quality of custom roms probably depends on which phone you have, I’ve had a virgin mobile phone before and there were devs making roms but there were some limitations and bugs since there was pretty much only one custom rom available for the most part, and nothing like custom kernels.

    Asking people on the xda forums to be nicer is tricky as well, you have some people on there who help but there are also a lot of people who go on there and just ask silly questions without searching or not attempting to read the OP before posting and wanting people to tell them what to do.

  • Danny Dodge

    At least your phone made you keep the true sabbath, you can’t work while you’re fixing your phone. Blessed Yom Kippur abd blessings of HaElohim and His son Yeshua HaMashiach :)

  • Danny Dodge

    Question though, would you keep your nexis stock? I’m thinking of finally rooting and trying paranoid android ROM on mine

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      Personally, I’d remain on stock. I don’t like to do too much on it anyway, though PA’s Halo is obviously attractive. But, honestly, I just want a phone that works well.

      • Danny Dodge

        That’s true my reasin for changing to nexus from s3 was for a smooth stock experience that works, and it does! Kind of scared to custom ROM it but now that the rest holiday is out the way I’m thinking of watching tutorials abd taking the plunge… If I brick I can buy a note 3 (at the cost of blowing my savings lol)

      • Splaktar

        ROMs work on the Nexus due to having access to open source drivers, kernel, etc.

  • mickey

    This article describes my love/hate relationship with android perfectly. While it’s fun to tweak and experiment with different roms and kernels, it’s really a pain when something goes wrong and all you want is a working phone. Blowing a whole day fixing your phone makes you question what you were trying to accomplish or what you actually even gained in the first place. Like someone mentioned, a byproduct of getting older perhaps. Luckily I found a stable vanilla 4.3 rom for my s4. Definitely looking forward to the next nexus. Hope it has a decent camera

  • Dave Bush

    I could not agree more, and am eagerly looking forward to the Nexus 5.

    My last frustrating phone purchase was a carrier locked phone in Nexus clothing: The Sprint version of the Galaxy Nexus. I though I’d have updates the day Google released them. Boy was I wrong. When the Nexus 5 comes out I’ll be gladly paying an ETF to get away from Sprint and onto the phone I want.

    • ChristianMcC

      Come to the unlimited Tmo side of the line:-) got 5 lines, two unl on-network high speed data and paying $150 before taxes and discounts, or if its one line and you don’t need more than 100 min, there’s the $30 plan with 5GB high speed.

      • Dave Bush

        I didn’t like Tmo before because the coverage in Myrtle Beach kinda sucked. That was a few years ago, and my Nexus 7 LTE comes with a free month of Tmo connectivity. Let’s see how I feel in a month!

  • Kevin Kremer

    I have to agree with this post. I’ve had a GSIII for about 4 months. Rooted and Rommed it about a month ago and got so sick and tired of tinkering with it to make it work properly that I just said screw it and went back to stock. Now if something goes wrong I can drive to verizon and then it’s their problem to fix it. This is one of the things I miss dearly about my iphone. It may be simple. It may not be as flashy as android. But damnit the thing just works and what it does it does well.

  • jjjv2

    I feel you 100%. However, I think the problem is your HTC One X not the custom roms. Why, my wife’s HTC One went bellyup for no reason. Just stopped working. Random reboots, no sound, couldn’t make calls, wouldn’t stay on…..Sorry to say, but it’s the phone. HTC has themselves to blame for their demise.

  • PhineasJW

    Absolutely Nexus or nothing for me.

    Plus, there are now a number of other cheaper coverage options — like StraightTalk, AIO, Net10 that are in the range of $45/month including LTE using either AT&T or T-Mobile bands.

    The Nexus 5 should have an impressive camera if Vic Gundotra is to be believed. Can’t wait for it.

    • ChristianMcC

      Or Tmo’s $30 plan for 5GB and 100min.

  • Nicholas Riddle

    I have a nexus 4 AMD my camera is amazing. I dunno what problem you have with it

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      I’ve used a Nexus 4 for some time (had bought it for someone else, and used it myself before giving it). I just don’t find the camera up to the mark of most other devices

  • chicagoGuy33

    I understand most of you guys frustration and do realize it seems harder to find a stable rom these days that actually work well. but in a strange way flashing custom roms is fun part for me. trying different roms and kernels is the reason why I love android and knowing what to do when running across a issue is always a plus for me. with so many good phones coming now of days developers move on to the next great thing more quickly then ever now. I have a nexus 10 and still find myself using custom builds for it. but I do agree, if you want a stable stock android experience then go with anything nexus. But I will continue to root and try custom rom on any android that comes my way. It’s nice to see companies making great phone right out the box these day. Hell in the next 5yrs rooting might be a thing of the past

    • C-Law

      I don’t have problems with most roms. I’ve found all my problems always came with changing kernels and/or messing with clock speeds or undervolting. I’ve had really good luck with aospa and cm

      • chicagoGuy33

        True those are also my biggest issues

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      I can understand where you’re coming from. Personally, I think it has to do with the fact that I graduated last year, and time’s become more of a premium now for me. Because of that, any nuisance of the device ever not functioning properly (it recently would hang up a lot at the end of a call) becomes a huge, huge problem.

      Having said that, with the state of everything, I think even for a person who likes to experiment, a Nexus device is better suited (and most certainly not HTC)

      • chicagoGuy33

        O yeah I definitely see where you are coming from. The nexus 5 should easy fill those gaps for you and make you a happy android owner again. I’m just glad you not switching over to apple. lol

  • lordmerovingian

    TL;DR…
    Yawnnnn. Your first problem there was getting an HTC device. All that s-on s-off rubbish etc. There’s the fly in your Chardonnay.

    • http://www.DavidPat.com David Pat

      what phone do you have?

  • phatmanXXL [16,000+ posts]

    Samsung phones are a lot easier, HTC doesn’t make it easy for the Root N’ ROM community. If you’re into modding, the nexus line or Samsung phones are the best choices.

    • AsakuraZero

      non exynos phones are not the best choice, HTC and sony use Snap mainly so no samsucks :P

      • phatmanXXL [16,000+ posts]

        OK we don’t need the insults, Ive rooted many many phones since the G1 and even cooked my own ROMs, so from my experience as far as rooting and restoring phones Samsung is the easiest.
        Ever since the EVO 3D, HTC started locking everything down has made it a PITA, Motorola is even worse.

        • AsakuraZero

          fine i have never own an HTC, but i do have sony and samsung, and sony phones if they are unlocked AKA not from ATT they are a breeze to hack the hell out of them.

          Samsung phones since the S3 they went into a hell hole, exynos chip its a hell to develop with, if not as andrew dodd and other hacksung team programmers not cookers why they left samsung hacking then call me a troll.

          if you hacked a USA based samsung phone using an snapdragon SoC then those hackers had it easy and they recognize it.

          you dont know how many i softbricked my old X10 that btw its still rocking hard not like my S2 which had a short on the battery connector nor my i9500 which is near to be an abandonware. but it got recently some good hackers but still the camera doesnt work and its not stable enough to be a real daily driver.

          if you really want to defend samsung, talk only about their Sdragon phones

          • phatmanXXL [16,000+ posts]

            Not defending Samsung, I’m just speaking from my own experience when you just come off as a hater.

    • CerealFTW

      dev support for the HTC sensation has been great. over 2 years and they already have an almost fully functioning sense 5 rom. and don’t even get me started about the dev community from the htc g1 days haha

      • phatmanXXL [16,000+ posts]

        G1 will never die.

  • Nicholas Riddle

    I think your biggest problem was that you have an apple product. their all overpriced crap

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      Sure, THAT is my biggest problem

      • JBrowne1012

        It was wasn’t it? It wasn’t compatible and then you tried using a vm. Macs are useless point blank.

        • Raveesh Bhalla

          I’ve been using a Mac for two years, never once needing a Windows device. If it was useless, I’d probably have realized that by now.

          • JBrowne1012

            VM windows is practically using windows on a dang mac which is dumb but great for compatibility sake.

        • Josh henegar

          Uh oh another poor kid hating on a computer lol

          • JBrowne1012

            I’m not a kid nor am I poor and I more than likely spent more years dabbling in the tech world than your sorry behind. I’ve used macs, you probably are one of the sorry fools that think macs can’t get viruses aren’t you? hahaha lame.

          • Fred Marshall

            You’re a computer? You mean you’re an android! Are you from the future?!?!?

        • Josh henegar

          Haha do own anything that mommy didn’t buy you your a poor guy prob thinking android is great cuz it’s the first thing you purchased on your own when u successfully have 7 diff business being ran in 4 states get at me until then shush play with ur plastic garbage and stop living off my taxes Obama lover

          • phatmanXXL [16,000+ posts]

            You’re a grammar Nazi’s worst nightmare.

        • squiddy20

          Wow. You remind me of that idiot Richard Yarrell who thinks whatever phone he doesn’t own is “useless”. I’ve got a mid-2009 MacBook Pro and it serves my needs just fine. I’ve got the core Office suite (Word, Powerpoint, Excel), a few of Adobe’s products, and various other programs that meet my needs. Sure, I do have a separate boot partition containing Windows 7, but that’s only because virtually everyone uses either Windows or Linux to develop for Android on. If more devs used Macs, there’d be more tools for the platform. Simple as that.

    • Josh henegar

      Says the guy buying a nexus lmao just cuz ur poor is no reason to be mad u look like u drive a dodge neon there

  • jackdubl

    The S3 would’ve been the wiser choice for flashing. The Galaxy Nexus is junk, sorry to say.

  • Gilberto Cartagena

    I dont know what everyone has with HTC . Im using an HTC ONE and I dont have any problems whatsoever, maybe old phones had problems with s-on but not anymore! There are plenty roms for the HTC ONE to keep my busy!

  • Captain Spaulding[1700+ posts]

    Great article. I have the same phone, but I haven’t attempted rooting and s-off yet, but I was considering it in order to get sense 5. I have been hesitant to do so because the procedure is quite complicated for someone like me, who has very little experience with this stuff (the only device I’ve rooted is my Nexus 7, and that was quite easy compared to the One X). After reading this article, I think I’ll just wait for AT&T to push the update (hopefully sometime this year). Thank you for your input, you probably just saved me a lot of trouble.

  • Bad_Attitude

    I feel your pain! I’ve been using the AT&T One X (unlocked, rooted, s-off) since the first week it came out. Right now running mostly stock 4.0.4 with the stock kernel and at one time did try to update to a stock Jelly Bean rom and gave up. Main problem was touchscreen sensitivity just wasn’t right, mostly seen in the quick controls for the stock browser. Trying to RUU to a newer build was a major pain that I also couldn’t get to work. So… I’m actually happy to stay on ICS. Right now everything works as it should. Had also heard that tethering was sometimes an issue with stock Jelly Bean and I use it too much for my N7 when I’m traveling to take a chance It wouldn’t work. And right now battery life is very good. I did get a Nexus 4 as a backup recently when they dropped the price and even though it is a great phone and I like it a lot I’m still rocking the One X. The One X has always been naked and I dropped it a few weeks ago and dinged up a corner (not bad but still) and jumped on the N4. No more carrier subsidized phones for me! Next phone will in all likelihood be the Nexus 5!!! No custom roms, just a few mods like aosp browser, hosts file and a couple other modded system files, probably Nova launcher!!!

    • Drew M

      This is the problem that I had with my Sensation. Sense-based ROMs, which also included the “Sense-less” ones, worked pretty well with very few bugs, but they were stuck on ICS. To get the Jellybean GNow goodness, one had to move up to AOSP, which didn’t work 100%. I don’t think anyone ever got MHL working and the data bug persisted across all ROMs. The camera crashed randomly and wouldn’t work again until after a reboot.

      • Bad_Attitude

        It’s pretty obvious I like the One X but having to deal with RUU’s just doesn’t cut it any more. They worked fine till Jelly Bean, now I just don’t want the aggravation. If only it was as easy as stock factory images for Nexus devices. Flashing a boot.img or a system.img is a matter of seconds with adb. Like you said, I am going without GNow which is a pretty cool feature but I honestly don’t care if it’s there or not. Just something else to use up battery and bandwidth. I say this while using GNow since my 1st gen N7 and now the 2013 version. I almost feel bad that in the not to distant future my One X is going to get retired. After I pre-order the Nexus 5 and within seconds of opening the box it will be rooted. It will be soon be time for a newer and prettier version of android! The shame of being unfaithful! Sorry HTC! Came close to jumping on the One but that whole two button thing just weirded me out!

  • xdapao3

    From my Note II’s Touchwiz ROM, plain Android would be a HUGE dowgrade in term of features and functionalities to me. So no, I do not agree in the slightest.
    Sure, I would LOVE to get faster updates but faster updates are definitely not worth having LESS features and functionalities.
    4.3 Touchwiz ROM > 4.1.2 Touchwiz ROM > 4.3 plain Android

    • z0phi3l

      Other than a few Samsing gimmicky S apps, you can get the same thing in Vanilla and the apps might also run better and be smaller than whatever Samsung is doing

      • xdapao3

        Not. At. All.
        I could list all of them but suffice to say: MultiWindow.

        Also, things like the quick toggles in the notification shade Samsung has been doing MUCH better and WAY sooner than Google in its stock ROMs.

    • Lou_Sasshole

      Most of those features are just gimmicky though and having all that crap on there makes TW lag.

      • xdapao3

        Not. At. All.
        I could list all of them but suffice to say: MultiWindow.

        Also, things like the quick toggles in the notification shade Samsung has been doing MUCH better and WAY sooner than Google in its stock ROMs.

        Lag? Replace the launcher with something like Nova Prime (which is what I use) and deactivate the “gimmicks” that you don’t use and there is NO LAG at all.

        • Lou_Sasshole

          I’m just saying, a lot of the features are just crap that isn’t always useful. Of course TW is great for bringing in new things to Android but at the same time it has a lot of other features that are just there for the sake of having them.

          • xdapao3

            You keep repeating the same stupid thing every Touchwiz basher always says so I guess I too will keep repeating the same answer, at least for a little while longer: even if “a lot” of them were “gimmicky/crap” you can DISABLE the feature/services/apps you don’t use and of the ones which are not “gimmicky/crap” some are REAL ADDED VALUE, some VERY USEFUL and some OUTRIGHT KILLER FEATURES.
            All in all on my Note II (just like I did with my Galaxy S, S II and OG Note) I have disabled several Touchwiz (AND GOOGLE) features/services/apps but use MOST of them, my launcher is Nova Prime and my Note II does NOT LAG and is a MUCH BETTER, MUCH MORE FEATURE COMPLETE and MUCH MORE POWERFUL smartphone than a Note II Goggle Edition would be.

            Touchwiz haters probably just aren’t knowledgeable powerusers enough…

            Over and out.

          • Lou_Sasshole

            Relax my man, I just simply stated that while there are useful features, at the same time there are equally useless ones. There is absolutely no need for you to get your panties in a bunch just because of what I wrote. A better option would be to allow some of these features to be downloaded OTA if you wanted, instead of having the useless ones hog space.

            So relax and don’t get angry, you use what you like and there is no problem with that. People have different opinions than you and that’s OK.

  • SavageShadows

    I have definitely been where you have. However, if switching to a Nexus phone (especially the N4 or beyond), I would like to urge that you don’t give up completely on ROMs. With the absence of all the extra code that comes with locked bootloaders and bloated custom interfaces, there’s a lot more room for new code that isn’t just innovative, but solid and stable as well. Never had a problem with it (other than annoying notifications nagging me to update the ROM through goo, which have since gone). And there is a feature that will keep me from ever using any other device than one from the Nexus family (save for maybe a device like the HTC One), which would be the Pie feature built into Paranoid Android. I’ve seen that there’s a version of it on the Play store, but its so basic that it does Pie absolutely no justice. Innovations like this allow for more screen real estate, which does the N4 wonders because even though it does have a large screen, its forced smaller by the row of buttons on screen. Additionally, ROMs such as PA are focused on innovating and practicality. With it, you can manually set what screen size to set individual apps to run as. For example, I have the benefit of running gmail as if I were on a tablet with the use of my entire screen, which opens up more options and more previews without having to click through menus. There are other innovations such as halo (personally I’m not a fan), but they can offer features nobody else has, which are actually very practical, very stable, and in the true spirit of Android, highly customizable and open sourced.

    I’m not trying to sell you on still sticking with ROMs. I’m only trying to throw in a small argument to keep the other side open. To recap, with the Nexus line, people can see more stability and more innovation, and should still have an open mind toward ROMs and kernels even if they aren’t likely to go that route.

  • JBrowne1012

    Your main problem is that you used a Mac which is useless. Then you used a web browser Os of which is really no better than a netbook far more useless.

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      Noticed the part about Chromebook Pixel that also runs Ubuntu? I actually use the Pixel as my main development device, it’s pretty awesome.

      • JBrowne1012

        Ok I skipped over that part but regardless, the main fact of the matter is doing anything w/ android as far as root/rom is best supported on windows environments. Trying to use anything else to root/rom are going to run into a wide variety of issues.

      • Chris

        I suggest installing Windows 7 or 8 in Bootcamp on the Mac. That way if you ever need Windows you will have it! The virtual machines aren’t terribly reliable.

  • Dave

    Buy a Google Play Edition GS4 and your problem is solved!

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      I’d rather go for a Nexus 4 at half the cost. Having said that, I’ve rescued the phone and would rather wait a bit and go with the Nexus 5.

      • Dave

        Yeah, that’s what I would do as well at this moment. But if you we’re looking for a phone for the summer, I would’ve said go with the GS4 GPe for the camera and stock android.

        Now it’s a waiting game for the follow up to the Nexus 4.

        • Raveesh Bhalla

          I considered it in the summer but wanted to see how the update support would be, since the entire concept was new. Pretty impressed by it, which is why I’m hoping for a GPe Sony Xperia Z1

        • stucrmnx120fshwf

          GS4 GPe is a sweet piece of 1080p kit, but pricy as both my N7FHD and N4 put together.

  • Snarf7

    Agreed custom Roms bring more issues than they are worth

    Now that there is closed framework custom Roms are obsolete

  • Haggie

    I have have always rooted my phone until I got a Samsung S4. I put AWD Launcher on it and it feels like it is a custom ROM without any of the hassles. Also, now that AdBlock doesn’t require root, I don’t have any essential apps that require root.

  • Nightfall

    I haven’t rooted since I got the nexus 4 last year, and I don’t miss it.

  • remister

    Raveesh, missed your articles!
    I had some of your woes. But I feel that Android ecosystem with OS overlays is definitely getting better. I feel that these custom roms were made, so that Android specs that were so minimal were implemented to benefit for apps/features you needed and not for resource hog bloatware apps. Now, since the most recent Android phones can match a good netbook in specs; consumers can actually start liking the OS overlays. But I will definitely, stick with Nexus and get a off Android overlay phone, once in awhile (ie HTC One)

  • Icemaine

    Too many comments to read; you should’ve gone w/ an S4, stop trying to rebel against greatness

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      I don’t regret not choosing an S3 (that was the option when I went with my One X). I do regret not waiting a few more months for the Nexus 4, which happened because I was thought Google would release it a bit too late in December.

  • likemystory

    I have been Nexus or nothing for about 3 years now, I have rooted & romed phones & tablets prior to that including HTC with there s-on/off. To be honest I barely notice these days with all the features that have been added to stock android. The only thing I do miss is the OS theming but soon enough the open source alliance will see a way to theme the OS without root (casting my mind back to symbian & eclipse (ahh memories) and all those themers out there will make a fortune as every Android owner will want there OS themed how they want.

  • Kyle Cordiano

    Same here. Had the international Galaxy S II in 2011 and then in 2012 got the Galaxy Nexus directly from Google and now have the Nexus 4. While Samsung’s and other OEM’s UI has nice features that I wish Google would implement into stock, the fluidity and the smoothness cannot be touched.

  • ArmageddonX

    Same here. I will never buy another non-Nexus device again. It’s not worth the hassle.

    • Roaduardo

      Absolutely reasonable to feel that way. With some phones it’s not worth the hassle. But I’ve been having such a fun time with Samsung devices, the ROM development is brilliant. It’s something you don’t see with some other brands.

      Put in a tiny amount of effort and your rewarded with custom happiness. For some Android users like me, rooting and flashing custom ROMs is the definition of freedom and classic Android. It makes you actually feel closer to your device at the risk of sounding creepy (too late). It’s not for everyone of course, but nobody can deny the large benefits of custom ROMs.

      ROM development has always meant choices and choices always means consumers win. The choice to flash or not to flash. Sticking with only Nexus? Brilliant, enjoy yourself. Be merry. ;)

      • stucrmnx120fshwf

        Lol, rooting’s not for everyone, my GNex was getting old, carrier getting in the way of updates, ROM bricked it, had just bought a N7FHD, then they drop the price of the N4 by $US 100, would have cost me $100 to fix the GNex, probably ought to have been more disciplined. If I’d not messed with my GNex, kept my old N7 (An 4.3,) then I could have afforded the N5, with its sweet rumored Snapdragon 800, still how much can a koala bear, so much temptation, stony broke, owing the credit card. Funny thing N7FHD/N4 both 2GB RAM, Adreno 320, N7 nearly a year after N4, N4 16 GB flash/8MP camera, N7 1080p/32 GB flash :-).

        • Roaduardo

          Yup, not for everyone.

  • John Schuman

    Im going Nexus-only on my phones. My next tablet might be a non-Nexus device thought…still deciding…

    • JeremieCote

      I may decide to sell my gs4 for a nexus 5 not sure yet though…

  • toomuchgame441

    I feel ur pain regarding custom ROMs, its not fun having to work out the kinks and spend time have to set up your device. I spent near all day at work the other day having to reset up my phone in between working.

  • louched1

    Your Mac didn’t want to work with a non-Apple product and this made things a PITA for you. I for one am shocked to hear this…

    • ari_free

      I think HTC is a bigger problem than the Mac. Even android devs use macs.

      hehe but good luck doing anything with a Windows Phone though!

  • Logan

    Preach brother. #holo

  • cammykool

    i personally enjoy custom roms (i personally haven’t had good experiences with nexus devices(My nexus 7 pretty much killed itself))and i like the idea of samsung custom roms and cm sokp ect ect but thats just me

  • netguru2000

    Viva Nexus forever. Never understood why anyone would choose a flavor other than vanilla when you can customize the flavor anyway you want it.

    • Benjamin Mackie

      Because we have verizon… and no other choices…

    • setspeed

      Because the Nexus devices come with their own limitations – 16GB max storage and no SD card on the N4, what a joke, I did try to live with it, but that amongst other issues gave me every reason to return it.

    • PhoenixPath

      Any way you want?

      So I can put a Sense ROM on my Nexus? A TouchWiz rom?

      Nope…

      Shocking, I know; but some people choose other than Nexus because they actually *like* the OEM features.

  • sfbaydawg221

    1.) Nexus,
    2.) non-Nexus developer phone or
    3.) failing the first two any other phone that is known to have a well documented bootloader unlock and root process.

  • mrnyjet

    here is your solution: get a used htc first , delete/disable the facebook garbage, and you end up with an htc jelly bean nexus phone without rooting.
    simple enough even for noobs.!!!!!!!

    • remister

      It just sad that you can’t disable BlinkFeed overall.

      • xanok

        He said an HTC First, not an HTC One. I believe the HTC First does not have blinkfeed, since that is part of Sense 5, which is not on the First, which is stock Android.

  • Angel De La Riva

    Used to flash ROMs all the time when I had my G1 & G2. Stopped when I got the GS3 last year. I felt like it was more than good enough with Apex thrown on there. Feel the same way with my GS4.

    • Deli

      We are brother from another mother. Stuck with Galaxy S 2,3,4,note 1,2 and i just root it for Titanium Backup. This article would never happen if he got the s3 which is the easiest android device to root and install recoveries.

  • Primus Venatus

    Rooting & Romming since 2007. Tired. Now use Nokia Lumia 1020 & iPad mini. Heaven.

    • Nightfall

      Why are you on Phandroid then?

    • Timbo1

      I cant stand my spare Lumia, its so damn boring! Then again I am a theming nut and I get bored looking at the same theme for too long thats why I love android. Go Nexus!!!

  • Hothfox

    I’m just tired of buying devices that I feel *NEED* to be rooted and slapped with a custom ROM. I’m leaving Verizon in March because of sick of their BS and the fact that they only have two “good” phones right now – Droid Maxx and Moto X. Blur is pretty close to stock these days. I’m not interested in the HTC One, because the bootloader is locked up tight, and I hate TouchWiz on the S4. I’m ready to join AT&T prepaid and stick with the Nexus program from here on out. They’re easy to root for the few root apps I use, and if I feel like using a custom ROM, CyanogenMod will 99% be developing for the Nexus at the time.

    • Eric Garcia

      Why AT&T prepaid with a Nexus? What plan would you go with?

      • Hothfox

        The $65/month for unlimited talk and text, 2GB prepaid is less expensive than their individual plan or their share everything plan. Tmobile has crappy service in my area, so that’s not an option.

  • Chris Eager

    I was in a similar situation with my GS2…always a problem using ROMS, in particular, using Bluetooth with any ROM seemed problematic. I drive for a living and need Bluetooth to just work…all the time. Got Nexus 4, on stock and those days are behind me. I love this device, but am looking forward to the 5, 5S *chuckle* (or whatever they call it).

  • aleaf11

    I empathize and sympathize with you. I will NEVER buy a phone that is not already running stock Android. I hate having to wait for manufacturers/carriers to get off their lazy a$$es to do an OTA update. And at the same time I’m tired of Google putting out only one flagship phone/year which usually ends up having a giant honking screen.

    I’ve said this in other posts, Is it too much to ask for more than one OEM to put out a STOCK Android phone with decent specs and that’s in the 4″ to 4.5″ range?

    If the answer is yes, goodbye Android, hello iOS or Windows Phone.

    • Jeffrey Heesch

      I was worried about the larger screens being an issue once, too. Until I got my Nexus 4. It seemed enormous at first, but after about a week, not only did I get used to the size, I actually LOVE it.

      • aleaf11

        That’s great for you. But I still don’t like or want a larger phone. It’s just a personal preference.

    • sremick

      My issue is I won’t buy a phone that doesn’t have a removable battery and a MicroSD slot. This rules out Nexus. Software shortcomings I can remedy after the fact… hardware shortcomings I can’t.

  • Max Luong

    I sold my One X for a Nexus 4 a year ago and never looked back.

    Don’t despair about the custom ROMs, though. You buy a Nexus *because* you like custom ROMs. They work flawlessly.

    • Ryan Stewart

      Problem is native android is so damned good on the Nexus 4 its hard to get motivated to screw with it.

  • Drew M

    The problem with non-Nexus custom ROMs is that they don’t work 100%. It’s not the developers faults’, they only have so much to work with, and binary closed-source firmware complicates things further. Last year, I was exactly where you are right now. I got my N4 on Nov 29th and I’m never going back. If or when I replace my Transformer, that’ll be a Nexus too. I’ll miss the dock though.

  • iampoch

    Would you consider the Google Nexus Experience devices? My big deal breaker with Nexus devices is the lack of mSD support :-( if not for that, I would have been Nexus all the way.

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      I might considering they’ve seen pretty decent support, but it depends on the price + what extra they offer. I wouldn’t go for either a HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S4 GPe, but if Sony offer one for the Xperia Z1 (which I hope they do, particularly considering they don’t have carrier partners in the US) I might go for that because of the camera.

      I don’t really need much storage (16GB is good enough for me) or that much horsepower (I don’t game too much either) so a Nexus does everything I need it to, plus the price is just unbeatable.

  • ziplock9000

    I spent 2 years trying various ROMS on my HTC Desire S. Some were good, some were awful. None of them were stable enough to be dependable. Now I’ve moved to the Nexus 4, I will never be using a custom ROM again.

  • collinpage

    Ive decided any devices I purchase from now on its Nexus or nothing.. Especially after the 4 which is just a beauty of a device.. Can’t wait till 5 hits

  • jaylanPHNX

    I think the problem is less the custom ROMs and more the locked bootloaders. If you’d gone with the Galaxy S3, this article would probably never have been written. HTC and their S-On/S-Off crap make rooting and flashing a potential nightmare. Whereas with the Samsung and Odin, it’s almost impossible to brick a phone.

    • DYNK

      ^this^

  • Paul Guy

    I agree with the point about people being rude on XDA. Seems like half the responses can be summed up as “Use the search”. What these people ignore is that the search feature I’ve found on every forum ever, including XDA, is absolutely terrible. That’s why people keep asking questions, because the search so many vague answers it’s useless.

    • ari_free

      ahhh the entire internet is like that

    • Sean Royce

      Lots of people on xda are uptight and expect you to know everything.

  • Jonathan

    Rule #1: Never buy a phone with the intention of installing a custom ROM. Buy the phone for what it is, and rooting/flashing a ROM should be icing on the cake.

    • Trysta

      I think this is the key. Buying a non-Nexus device is ok…IF you would be ok with using that phone stock. That’s why I hate the “just put a ROM on it” crowd. It isn’t always that simple and phones aren’t disposable toys to most people. They are important tools that people need for work, life etc. Not being able to use your phone for a day while you try to fix it by reading through endless forums is a deal breaker for me. I don’t mod my phone anymore (but have no issue with modding my tablet) for this very reason.

      I don’t know that I would restrict myself to Nexus phones but thus far I’ve held out with my Galaxy Nexus hoping that the Nexus 5 will be the one.

    • Dave Paison

      This is why I have stopped buying Android phones… at all. I am on Verizon and I’m not switching. I CANNOT get a Nexus. I don’t want a gimmicky UI for an OS that works just fine. I made the switch to WP8 and love it, honestly. Do I miss Android? I don’t have to. I carry an iPhone 4 and a Galaxy S3 with me without service, along with my HTC 8X. I troubleshoot these devices daily, so having one in my pocket (or on my desk) is very nice. I won’t ever own and use an Android device as my go-to daily drive until Google allows EVERYONE to strip their phone down to Nexus level.

      • shonangreg

        Aren’t all of your problems stemming from verizon? Google isn’t the one preventing you from modding your phone as you like.

        Your post actually reads like a somewhat incompetent bit of astroturfing.

        • Dave Paison

          My problems stem from the fact that Google won’t tighten up that belt and require OEMs to offer a stock experience primarily and their own gimmicks as apps or addons. Imagine getting a nice new Samsung device not littered with Touchwiz, but if you wanted those features they’d be readily available.

      • ChristianMcC

        If I understand what you’re saying, it’s truly more Verizon’s(and most CDMA carriers worldwide, that aren’t prepaid/mvno) failure than Google’s, as they desire a more closed/controlled ecosystem. For that reason, I will never go non-GSM.

        • Dave Paison

          I refuse to settle for a non-Nexus device. While part of the issue may be with Verizon, the blame rests with Google and the device-maker as well. Drivers and software can easily and readily be made available, if the parties were willing.

          • ChristianMcC

            I agree with the fact the device makers are at fault in a way for their modification to android and thus delays to updates, but a lot rests on the carriers the OEMS work with, thus why Google skipped on Verizon last year. Just because an OEM makes a device doesn’t mean they make the decisions on the full direction, take for example the Nokia lumia 710 on Tmo and 7.8. Additionally, the hardware partners that an OEM works with don’t always allow their drivers released for development, as we saw with Google and the Qualcomm chips on the new N7. It would be wonderful if everything was completely open, but that isn’t the way it is yet. The closest you can get to nexus right now is by getting out of the shadow of Verizon, otherwise you may be waiting at least another year.
            On the other point, Google isn’t Microsoft, they aren’t going to get super strict on hardware requirements or force them to go stock and then add their overlay, at least not yet(as much as I’d like it). The market will decide what’s required of an OEM, and by choosing the hardware that has available drivers, you’ll vote with your dollar to influence the OEM’s.

    • Roaduardo

      That’s how I’ve viewed my investment in Samsung devices. Starting with the S2. I’ll enjoy the phone for a period of time, then I’ll come across a ROM that’s worth rooting for and I’ve always been happy with that. Choices. Beautiful.

  • theNEOone

    Welcome to my conclusion from two years ago, although at the time I was jailbreaking my iPhone instead of messing around with Android ROMs. The Galaxy Nexus and stock Android was all I needed to never want to go back to dicking around w/ setting up a stupid phone… (I must be getting old)

  • xinlan

    tinyurl.com/l3cselt

    • C-Law

      Don’t click, spam

      • TheScienceEnthusiast1130

        LOL

        • http://www.us.playstation.com/ HyperTallih

          XD

  • TechSwagg

    I’m having an issue with my battery draining even while charging. I have been flashing roms the past few days.Have the Note 2, Sprint and I’m getting the Note 3 but I’m not going to root it.

  • Jay

    My one x is probably somewhere under the bed with a cracked screen and 2 capacitive buttons where the lights won’t turn off because of water damage. Seriously though it was great device for its time but what are you still doing with that thing?

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      I tend to use devices between 1.5 to two years before replacing. And I was really happy with the phone before all this happened, never too tempted to replace it.

  • MRIANB

    I used to root my phones but have not done w my GS4. Just tired of the daily little bugs when they happen and updating the rom.

    Ian B

  • guitarist5122

    so because you may have messed up somewhere in your flashing (or your phone developed internal problems), you are now nexus or nothing? yup, definitely an opinion article. This sounds as though you needed to vent rather than present anything informative. I’ve rooted and flashed 7 android devices. As long as you follow directions and are paying attention, you should never run into this problem. That’s not to say you don’t know how to follow directions, but who knows, you may have made a mistake somewhere. Nexus devices do not have the top hardware on the market. Very good devices for the price, but I’d rather spend the money on the best hardware on the market.

    • Timbo1

      Ya but the said device might only have the top specs for a month or two, I have gone through so many phones trying to keep up its not worth it anymore.

      • guitarist5122

        but said top device will still be relevant a year later while the nexus’ hardware will be ancient in terms of technology life

        • Timbo1

          Just as Nexus devices are that arent only given one or two updates then forgotten about by their manufacturer or carrier. My Nexus 4 is still running strong as will the 5 and so on for more than a year or two.

          • guitarist5122

            Unlike most devices, I don’t have to worry about my device being forgotten so quickly. Note 2 FTW! Even if it never got another update(don’t have to worry as the development behind this phone is amazing), Samsung outdid themselves wit this phone and Jellybean runs fabulously.

          • Timbo1

            Lol talk about ancient specs for the day even though I love my Note as well, I just prefer my Nexus as my daily driver. Good development can save any device which is awesome.

          • guitarist5122

            definitely not ancient my friend. most flagship phones on the market right now either meet these specs for fall short. the hardware will begin showing it’s age soon, but far from ancient ;)

    • malcmilli

      nexus 4 did have the top hardware on the market at the time it was released (with exception to camera) and its looking like the nexus 5 will too.

      But i think you are missing what he is saying, yes he might have made a misstep somewhere in his flashing process. It could happen to anyone, and there is also that potential of a rom not working 100% and you having to test to make sure sms and voice calls work. Not a huge deal for some people, but the many do not like to feel like they HAVE to go through that process, just to keep up to date.

  • hoz590

    that custom ROM thing seems like a lot of hassle to use a phone. Just but a phone you like in the first place and avoid all that hassle.

  • schlanz

    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy stock Android and custom roms but what is so terrible about keeping stock sense or touchwiz at this point? Both run well and add some useful features. And you can always use a launcher if you’re so inclined.

  • ari_free

    The problem with stock android is that it doesn’t have enough features. Multiwindow for example

  • dandroid13

    It’s a HTC, what else would you expect?

  • Steven Skwarkowski

    I am going to use Cyanogen from now on our nothing. Custom roms are far too much work now. I wanted to root my nexus 7. But even that’s a chore

  • barondebxl

    Thats why im getting an iphone 5s. Im a little tired of flashing things and just want something that works great OFTB.

    • phatmanXXL [16,000+ posts]

      ….until you get bored with it then start looking to jailbreak.

      • barondebxl

        I guess so. Kock

    • Jack Weinberg

      In my humble opinion, the issue is with HTC not with Android, or with the Custom Rom. I’ve had many HTC devices, Motorola devices, amd Samsung. Samsung are by far the easiest to roo and to install custom rom’s. HTC’s are the most difficult. I’ve never really understand why they deliberately made it so complicated!

      • barondebxl

        Actually HTC phones are now pretty easy to root. Personally it’s not that it’s hard to root (definitely isn’t for me) but that it gets old to flash Roms ask the time. I have used so many android devices, now I just want something that works flawlessly within a great ecosystem. The iphone is exactly that.

  • Bad_Attitude

    Well Raveesh… Apparently you have created a $hit storm of comments! Awesome job! ;)

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      Amazing community, ain’t it? What I found fascinating is how I seem to be echoing everyone’s thoughts here. Head off to the Reddit thread though, and I’m getting panned for being an idiot and not knowing a thing about computers because of the way I went about everything (which happens to be exactly what was prescribed over on XDA).

      I love it here.

      • Bad_Attitude

        It is an amazing community! If for nothing else but to enjoy a good laugh! I though your article was right on and in one way or another you struck a chord with many people. Again… Awesome job! ;-D

  • Splaktar

    Most people figured this out a year ago. I had the same issues with my TMO SGS2 (Hercules). The segmented hardware (different on tmo from anyone else in the world) led to a much smaller Dev community. So by the time 4.2.2 came out, the community brought us an amazing ROM with all the good butter from Google, but they broke Bluetooth (which I use daily). I waited, struggled, submitted multiple detailed error reports and logcats, but after 6 months there was still no fix.

    I spent months trying to decide if the GE phones were worth the risk. But thankfully Google dropped the Nexus 4 price and made it a no-brainer.

    Though I would say that swearing off custom ROMs would be a mistake. The Nexus ROMs appear to be incredibly stable and well supported due to the support of Google and the AOSP in releasing all of the needed source code.

  • KaliK0t

    Honestly, your problem was that you bought a bootloader locked carrier version of an HTC phone.

    If you had opted for a Samsung, even the Galaxy Nexus has Odin support and you wouldnt have problems flashing roms with HBoot and stuff. You may not have full AOSP compatibility but you would always have a failsafe with Odin and you wont have your problems right now.

    PLUS if you really wanted AOSP the S4 is easily rommable with the OFFICIAL AOSP build

    But the carrier bootloader locking is another problem. The global versions of Samsung and LG phones NEVER have bootloader locks. Theyre unlocked right out of the box when you open the package!

    I currently have a Nexus 4 and im considering switching to a non-Nexus phone for my next purchase. Sure the stock Software is great but it also has ALOT of kinks due to hardware.

    The Camera is one, the Nexus 4 has a VERY mediocre camera. It also Doesnt have OTG support out of the box, the mic recording SUCKS and is distorted in huge crowds like concerts, The audio quality is awful as well, and the battery life is pretty mediocre too. You wouldnt have those problems with an Iphone or a Galaxy S4

    And I also really miss my sd card support. The leaked Nexus pics fro LG will also more than likely miss the good things on the G2 such as Knock to wake, the 24 bit audio support, The great Camera software, The customizable software buttons (well you could Rom it I guess).

  • Shaftway

    I actually don’t understand the fascination with having the latest version of the OS. Do you really think that much has changed?

    Basically, the Android engineers lump devices into two categories: Holo and non-Holo. Tear apart any Google apk and you’ll find resources for v11. And for phones that cut-off is really Ice Cream Sandwich.

    Name the killer feature that Jellybean has that ICS doesn’t and that you can’t fix by replacing the launcher. I don’t even bother rooting my phone anymore, regardless of what I have, and I’ve cycled through a lot of devices.

    Leave the image on your phone and don’t stress about the updates.

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      I get ya, but killer feature Jellybean has that ICS doesn’t is easy: Google Now

      • AsakuraZero

        Mr you left out project butter that I’d the main reason to get jbo

      • Shaftway

        Replied to malcmilli…

    • malcmilli

      google now, project butter, quick settings, scalable widgets,,, while each might not be considered “killer” depending on who you ask, when you add all of that up together it feels like a pretty decent upgrade.

      • Shaftway

        Project butter, ok, maybe… I never really had a smoothness issue on ICS. I turn all my animations down to 0.5x to speed up my device anyway. But there are alternatives for the rest of these pre-JB.

        Google Now: Use GNow Handlebars
        Quick Settings: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.j4velin.notificationToggle

        Scalable Widgets: Most launchers

        None of them even require root.

        Edit: Maybe GNow Handlebars. Not sure.

        • malcmilli

          this is true, for the most part. (i didnt mention under the hood changes that boost performance/efficiency as well)

          when it comes to smooth, not that certain phones lag often, but consistent speed is definitely slightly behind in any pre JB phone i’v personally used vs post JB phone i’ve had. Some of it is probably due to processor improvements, i don’t know for sure, but i definitely had the occasional stutter issue when comparing my ice cream sandwich device side by side with another device (iphone included).

          All of these workarounds you created are nice, but they still are in fact work-arounds. And people tend to not like to have to do work-arounds whether it comes to sd cards or features.

          Tossing on launchers on is cool, but depending on how powerful your processor is, putting a lot of add-on-top features can get heavy on the resources.

          Also your conclusion is mostly correct right now, for jellybean/ics devices because each update has been relatively minimal, but for example android 5.0, whenever that comes along, you might run into the same annoyances people who were stuck on 2.3 ran into.

          • Shaftway

            Oh, I get that people don’t want to “work around” an issue, and if we weren’t in an article bitching about how hard it is to get a custom ROM flashed I wouldn’t have brought it up.

            But we are, and that’s the alternative that is presented. If you take a look at the list of 12 steps the author went through, every single one of them trumps installing a launcher.

            I’m not saying don’t upgrade, and I’m not knocking the Nexus program (kind of hard to with 5 Nexus devices in my house and 3 more on my desk at work). I’m just saying that there are a few things you can do before you get to the point where you have to install new drivers on your phone to support the latest AOKP nightly.

  • Fel Pe

    24h trying is enough for u to give up? You’re weak. :P

  • Jnewell05

    After the locked bootloader with sgs4 on ATT I’m there too. I will not buy another device until the nexus releases then ill buy one every year after too. Forget the carriers/manufactures bs I want my choice not theirs.

  • steveb944

    Welcome to Nexus. A place where we don’t have to worry about update release dates, because we know we’re getting it first.

    • https://sites.google.com/site/barry99705/ barry99705

      Unless you’re on Verizon….

    • ari_free

      You may get google updates but you won’t get the good stuff from the community

      • meijin3

        Like what? AOSPA, CyanogenMod, AOKP, and even stuff like Ubuntu Touch OS are all on the Nexus 4.

  • TheScienceEnthusiast1130

    24 hours?
    Why?

  • Miguel

    The exact same thing happened to my HTC EVO 4G LTE while running CM10.1 a few weeks ago!

  • Tim Dodd

    I’m happy as a clam running Slim Bean 4.3 Beta 5 on my two year old Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000. I only have basic flashing knowledge (no ADB stuff for me), but swapping ROMs back and forth from custom to stock has been about as easy as it gets. Thanks to XDA Forums for guiding me through. :-)

    • Arieos

      How is the battery life on the slim rom? I am currently running rootbox but the battery life is not that great

      • Tim Dodd

        Easily as good as Paranoid Android or stock ROMs. In fact I think probably better, but too many variables to make the answer cut and dried. The only fly in the ointment is network location awareness, which it seems Google have already screwed up as it has been a battery hog for a while. That may have something to do with the new Google device tracking feature. I have it turned off.

        • Tim Dodd

          Just been notified that the first official Slim 4.3 build (as opposed to beta) has been released. Nothing on XDA yet, but the ROM OTA on the phone advised me of the update. Downloading now. :-)

          • Arieos

            Thanks I will take a look this weekend

  • http://www.us.playstation.com/ HyperTallih

    SAMSUNG GELAXY S5 CAN’T WAIT

  • Nika

    Well that would be expected seeing as all your phones have been HTC’s, dont get me wrong I used to love HTC phones, and would root them constantly had a new rom running every couple of weeks till I switched to a Samsung phone. I finally realized that I didnt have to root the phone just so that it would work the way I wanted to, and I can make it through the day with heavy usage and not have to worry about being tethered to a charger because of the poor battery life I got on my htc phones. It doesnt have to be nexus or nothing give something else a try before you make that decision. There is a reason why HTC has fallen off and its not because Samsung or apple has become to popular it the quality of the software in their products. Just a couple years ago you couldnt go somewhere without seeing someone with an evo and everyone with a samsung was having issues.

  • Simon Daly

    I rooted my s3 when I got it and instantly reverted back to Samsung firmware because I missed the awesome camera software and motion controls etthere was some hassle too which I’m tired off after S-Off stuff with an HTC prior too.

  • Guy Greller

    i started with Nexus one – loved that machine! and i still play it for all time sake.
    I moved to the S2 Skyrocket which was great improvement and i still keep this phone as a ROM testing phone.
    I am currently using my S4.
    on all 3 phones I have used various ROMS and i had many soft bricks (part of the learning process).
    to the author of this article: one thing i learned from this process is to follow rules and read.
    People ARE kind in XDA if you follow these guidelines. it will be hard to get help by posting questions that already answers.

    if you don’t have the time to read or follow the guidelines, do yourself a favor and buy Nexus device.

    i like my phones ROM to give me more (much more) than the norm.

    Good luck!

  • bbqsfire

    I used to be one that rooted every device and was a flashaholic when it came to every new rom that came out. I am now completely stock on my s3 and don’t plan to root again. what changed me was that everyone under the sun was trying to root the s3. there was so many people trying to root that I finally gave up trying to help. if you don’t understand then don’t try. I made a snide comment one day about someone trying to root and I realized that I had become one of those inconsiderate people. so I went back to stock. I have deleted xda app from every device and I don’t go to the forum any more. I am waiting to play with the note 3 and if that doesn’t blow me away I will wait for the next nexus to hit Verizon

    • Hothfox

      Don’t get your hopes up, the next one will probably not make it to Verizon, due to all the problems the GNex has had with them.

      And I have the Gnex, so I’m probably more hopeful that they’ll get it, but in reality….

  • joseph mcfadden

    i have run custom roms from xda on my htc incredible, then the incredible 2 and now the galaxy s3. i am waiting for the one max to be released so i can compare then pen funx between that and the note3 . sorry for the issues you had with custom roms! i have never had any problems and have flashed over 40 different roms over the three phones. i love xda. honestly if it were not for custom roms i would probably still have just a basic flip phone so i wouldnt have to deal with all the crap the carriers force upon us!

  • No_Nickname90

    Nope. I like using Custom ROMs. It gives me the fun I want. I feel like I’m some super coder or something. LoL!!

  • Max

    lol, custom roms are the only reason I’m on Android in the first place. Use a phablet in phone mode? no..

  • stucrmnx120fshwf

    I managed to root and unlock my Galaxy Nexus, as the carrier was getting in the way of updates, but I bricked it, in the end, when they cut the price of the Nexus 4 by $US 100, I thought spend $100 to fix an old phone, or buy one that’s powerful, cheap and gets the updates straight away, so I got the N4, very happy. :-).

    • dreadnatty08

      How did you brick your Gnex?! Wugs toolkit is one click away to root.

      • stucrmnx120fshwf

        Too late, gave it away to a friend of the family, GNex isn’t worth much, with N4 only $260 for the 16 GB, still worth $100 to fix for the software updates, enjoying my N7FHD, but still getting occasional touch sensitivity issues, like many; love that 1080p, wish I had the dough for N5, rumored snappy 800 would be sweet.

  • fireheron

    I had for years Nokia device running under T-Mobile. This April I got a lowly smart phone with AT&T …OMFG AT&T is a disaster, their skin is poorly designed, the RAM allocation table is constantly forcing the device to lock up several times an hour due “low memory status”. This last issue I guess is caused by the innability of ATT skin to run apps solely from RAM and not using SD memory for cache’ing. Never again will i use AT&T

    • Hothfox

      AT&T does not manufacture the devices. The manufacturers are HTC, Samsung, Motorola, etc. AT&T just provides the network service. It’s not AT&T you’re disappointed with, it’s the maker of your phone – don’t buy another HTC/Samsung/etc. phone again if you don’t like the skin.

      • domi1kenobi

        The manufacturers don’t make the custom skin, the telecom providers do.
        So you don’t like the skin change PROVIDER!

        • https://sites.google.com/site/barry99705/ barry99705

          What kind of crack are you smoking? The provider doesn’t skin the phones, the manufacturer does. The provider will add their own crap applications though.

        • Hothfox

          The providers sometimes (usually) add their own apps in and will request that the bootloader be locked up, but that’s it. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc. have nothing to do with how the skin over Android looks. If they did, all the Androids on their service would look the same, instead of them looking the same by manufacturer. TouchWiz, Blur, and Sense are all manufacturer skins by Samsung, Motorola, and HTC respectively. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc. have nothing to do with those.

        • John Wentworth

          completely wrong, the manufacturer makes the skins, carrier’s add some tweaks and bloatware, but the skin itself is made by the carrier any customizations are done at the request of the carrier, but the manufacturer is the one making those changes.

    • John Wentworth

      Budget Android devices can be really bad choices, better to get last year’s high end model. Has nothing to do with AT&T, it’s the cheap/free device you bought.

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    2 things. First, it’s your fault for not having at least a basic Windows PC. Second, I’ve been saying for a while that Android has matured to the point that ROMing is not necessary anymore. Android is very usable in it’s current form.

    • Hothfox

      Provided you buy a phone that runs stock. Personal opinion is that OEM skins over complicate most things and add useless features.

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      I’ve been using a Mac for over two years now, and have never felt the need for a Windows PC. I don’t see why it’s a “fault” not to have a device that you’re never expecting to use, and what I really wanted to highlight is that ROMing is not only unnecessary thanks to how the vanilla OS has been polished, but in a few cases has become quite challenging even for the technically-capable people.

      It is (as the title marks) an opinion, because I’m tired of the entire thing on the whole. I’ve had my share of fun (and panic, which was part of the fun) over the past three years. It’s just time to retire to a Nexus

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

        You should at least have a VM with Windows XP or Linux on it.

        • Raveesh Bhalla

          Again, do I need to have it all the time, when I have no need for it? I needed it this time, so I got myself Virtual Box

  • androidscales

    can’t agree more I have nexus 10 & 7 tabs and I love it my next phone will be nexus 5

  • http://www.blamza.com Antoine Georges

    This article is close to home. I got fed up with custom Roms (on a HTC one x no less) and bought myself a nexus 4. Best phone hands down.

  • Seun Ogunlegan

    I have to agree with the comment about XDA. The way they treat people simply ascertaining information is horrible. The chastising and the piling on is disgusting. When you add to that the difficulty surrounding the search ability on the site makes the process more of a task than it should be. It’s because of these reasons I use YouTube primarily along with other sites instead of XDA.

    • phatmanXXL [16,000+ posts]

      People only get hostile when:
      1 There’s already 50 threads of same question being answered and there obviously was no attempt to search.
      2 They’re posting questions in the development forums when its strictly against the rules, there is a Q&A forum for every device, people are more than willing to help when asked properly and politely. Most of the time people will still do what they can to help the OP (when posted a Q in the development forum) but you’re always going to get that D-bag who thinks they’re the forum police and say something.
      3. People dissing the devs and being disrespectful when it was their own impatience, not reading and/or lack of following directions at caused the problem in the first place.
      4. Spamming the forums asking the same question or for help with multiple threads.

      I understand the search feature on XDA sucks, but using Google with the word xda in the search always finds the treads you’re looking for. Half the time the FAQ is answered in the sticky threads, some people are just too lazy to find the answer themselves and want someone else to do all the work for them.

      • Seun Ogunlegan

        You have some very valid points, but at the end of the day it doesn’t negate my original points. Just like the original author mentioned, XDA as helpful as it may be, doesn’t make for a conducive place to want to be a part of. It at times seems like the site thrives off necessity rather than community, if you understand my meaning.

        Like I said, I recognize your points though. Good stuff.

        • John Wentworth

          XDA isn’t a place where you’re going to get your handheld, I obey the rules as stated and have never received nasty treatment.
          I work on problems myself, and never post a question unless I’ve read the entire development thread for the rom and searched the QA section. I know it’s more work than most want to do, but the dev’s aren’t a personal support team.

          XDA and custom rom’s are really for people willing to do their own work, even as a user.

    • ari_free

      My advice: turn off youtube comments for a better time

  • Arieos

    Custom roms have there pros and cons the stock tw on my n7000 is pretty slow if you compare it to the aosp that I have right now. I even changed the cpu from 1,4 ghz to 1ghz so my phone is never getting hot and it even runs much smoother then with the stock tw rom.

  • TheDome

    I completely understand your pain. I also own an HTC One X on AT&T, and after more than a year in this stupid device, I am ready to buy a Nexus device. Thee ROM support on this device is atrocious.

  • Chad H

    Been there, done that. I’m not a noob either. My first android device was the hero. Rooted it and every other device I owned. I upgraded annually. No matter how careful you are, what you describe is always a possibility. Id even go as far as to say its inevitable. And when it does happen … well I don’t have to tell you how bad it can be.

    Bottom line is that rooting and custom Roms really aren’t necessary for top performance anymore. The only argument that may be made for rooting is for security purposes. But that’s only a minimal advantage…if any at all. I didn’t root my HTC Evo LTE , nor my current device…the Note 2. And I’ve been more then happy with the way those devices has performed. I’m sure Ill have no need to root my Note 3 either when I get it…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

      “The only argument that may be made for rooting is for security purposes.”

      Titanium Backup disproves your assertion.

      • Chad H

        How so? There are more and more apps out that do what titanium does and don’t require root. Plus a huge part of needing titanium in the first place is the constant need to restore data after flashing new Roms. I haven’t had a need for it since going non rooted stock.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

          Haven’t found an app yet that does everything that Titanium does without root.

          I needed it when I soaked my phone and had to go to a backup. Luckily I had a recent backup and an SD card. Unfortunately, I also had a nonremovable battery. If I could have pulled the battery, my phone would likely still be functional.

          • Chad H

            That sucks. Another great argument for removable batteries that most people never really think about.

            No, not everything that Titanium can do… yet. But a lot of the basic backup and restore can be achieved without root. Also more and more apps have the back up and restore feature right within the app. Just out of curiosity, what would you have lost had you not had your Titanium backup? Aside from game progress (if you’re a gamer) and obviously the time it would have taken to reset all your app settings….

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

            Well, yeah, the time & effort, as well as a good number of game saves (I am a gamer) as well as all of my passwords cached for my apps, all of my custom ringtone settings for my people, and of course, these days, you can restore from a Nandroid backup, which is VERY useful.

    • malcmilli

      personally my Evo LTE definitely benefited performance wise from root, although i did desperately miss that camera

      • Chad H

        Kinda my point. If you weigh what you gain against what you lose performance and feature wise… then factor in the risk involved … its really less and less worth the trouble and hassle rooting can turn out to be in my opinion.

  • Barry D.

    Your biggest fault was going with HTC. To hell with that s-on/off crap. It’s hard to beat the power of Odin.

    • UniBroW

      Honestly, seems easier to flash my S3 than my Nexus 10.

  • ColdFeet

    Nexus is the only way I’ll be going. I’ve thought about ROMs on all my other devices but I just don’t wanna go through the hassle every single time I get a new or replacement device. I simply want my phone to work right out of the box. If a Nexus stops doing it for me, I’ll give iOS a shot. But for now, it’s Nexus.

  • James Arlow

    Or you could just by a Samsung that is cheaper to service if it breaks, and has the only non-nexus full-service standardized flashing system on the market.

  • phinn

    Nexus has always been the way to go. That or a Google Play Edition phone but they are too expensive.

  • dima

    Nexus? Where do I put my memory card?
    No thanks..

    • http://jimeagle.com James Eagle

      The amount of awesome wireless technologies and apps are great, why are you still using an SD card? if speed is an issue, just plug in a cable..

      • dima

        What wireless technologies and cables? I need a place to store my music collection, and the cloud is not an option

        • http://jimeagle.com James Eagle

          Oh i see, it’s just the size of the SD card that bothers you, yeah the Nexus 4 really needed a 32gb option, I keep a lot of music on my 16gb Galaxy Nexus, but also stream some. If you need more music for some reason, switching the files over every now and then isn’t that big of a deal..

          • dima

            Says you maybe. 16gb is nowhere near enough memory for me. I like to have music, movies, shot videos, etc. I need at least 64. Memory card support is crucial I would never buy a phone without it

          • reznorfan0

            This. In my phone it’s not so critical, but I need to have the club in the bag just in case. For those of us that don’t live in the city and/or never leave it, hw storage is a must. I have a Note 8 with a 64gb sd card in it, and that really isn’t enough for the pix and and my heavily pruned mp3 collection on there. Really looking forward to 128gb sd cards. I have an apartment in the cloud for when I do go to the city, but I’d say that I only have a reliable enough connection for streaming 30% of the time.

            The phone memory fills up quick as well, A 500 song collection (critical must-have music for in a pinch), pics, and I like to theme my phone, so suitable icon collections can take up some room…

            I just don’t understand denying expandable storage on a device, it’s the one thing (besides the camera) that I didn’t like about my galaxy nexus. Now I’m a fan of the note, never going back.

          • dima

            Exactly. For casual iPhone types the internal might be enough. But for nerds like me, microsd is required

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

        The cloud isn’t ready for prime time yet. And with the way Google rolls over to the NSA, I really don’t want all of my stuff out there.

      • sremick

        Backup that’s independent of the condition of the phone. The entire phone can fail, but I can just pop out my MicroSD and restore from the automatic backup that is put on there every night. This alone has saved my ass more than once… and having extra storage on-top of what’s in the phone is nice as well.

    • chris420o

      not sure why you downvoted….i hate the neglect of the sd card…sadly all new phones seem to be going this route…if i have 32gig im straight…they shouldnt even make 16gig phones

      • phinn

        No Nexus has ever had a memory card. I’ve never seen the need for one with a 16GB phone, but certainly I see there are some people that demand more storage.

  • DanWazz

    Honestly, I’m going to buy the next Nexus no matter what. If they keep the price around$300-$350 and it has a good camera, I will be completely happy. Stock Android is amazing and beautiful, and every developer having your back feels nice, especially if you want to install a custom ROM or run into any problems.

    • Alex Leykin

      Agreed, the only reason I installed ParanoidAndroid ROM on my Nexus 4 is to get rid of the soft buttons at the bottom eating away screen space. Can stock Android have an option to have them pop-out PIE style like PA does?

      • John Wentworth

        While I know some people like the pop-out PIE style, I don’t think it’s very user friendly for novices, I myself don’t even like the pop-out PIE think, I find a lot of those add on gesture features in rom’s like PA interfere with normal functionality in apps etc. You have to be too careful and precise to appeal to the average user.

  • shonangreg

    I don’t understand. It is unfortunate that many of us are stuck with phones that are locked down, and many of us don’t even have Nexus as a choice when it comes to a phone.

    However, my phone only has to be minimally functional, doing voice and photos quickly with GPS tags — AND TETHERING. The rest of the functionality is in my Nexus 7 tablet. And with the Nexus 7, you can run stock or a community ROM.

    Why break your head crashing into a problem that can be navigated around? Maybe one day a Nexus phone will be an option for all, with other makers competing with the Nexus’ phone’s openness. Till that day, just use tethering and a tablet.

    • stucrmnx120fshwf

      Wish I could have afforded to keep my old N7 32GB, would have loved to have dual booted Ubuntu, but A$165 is A$165 I used for my N7FHD 32 GB. As to tethering, it uses a lot of juice, there must be a N7FHD LTE coming soon, and if your stuck with mobile broadband get a plug in, true landline WiFi cost me a fortune to set up though.

  • Robert Hoellering

    Unless the bluetooth wifi issue and the data cutting out when the screen is locked is fixed i will never own another nexus again i have had 5 nexus 4′s same issue never again ill own a HTC or samsung but LG and google really messed up the nexus 4 never buy one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

    That’s great. Unless you’re on Verizon or Sprint and haven’t got the option for a Nexus, unless I want an old device. Kinda crappy of Google to forget Sprint since they give Google so much support (ie. Wallet, Voice, etc…)

    • Robert deJuana-Matthews

      Judging by the radios included in the FCC filing for what everyone believes to be the next Nexus, Google and Sprint are back to making sweet, sweet music together. (Verizon has been left out, but that is to be expected), so just hold on for a few months more.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

        Not really a problem (The holding out part). My wife’s new job is in a place where her phone (Epic Touch) is draining battery like crazy, so I’m thinking of getting her the Moto X. I can use her ET until something better comes out. We don’t have another upgrade until Feb, but if a Nexus hits at a decent price off contract, I’ll likely bite. Unfortunately, my EVO LTE bit the dust and I’m on an old EVO 4G, so I’m feeling pain. But my wife is feeling more. Since I have a Nexus 7 2013, I’m surviving though! :D

  • John Wentworth

    Custom roms are a dangerous place, there’s no doubt about it. but I still enjoy them.
    I use custom rom’s exclusively on my S4, in fact since I got my captivate 3 years ago I’ve probably only been on a completely stock phone a total of a month or two, normally a week or two for each phone right after I get it.

    When I start experiencing issues, instead of finding another tweaked out rom, I go for one of the simple debloated roms, they normally bring my phone back to a place of sanity. It may not act exactly as I want it with software that is so close to stock, but it keeps me sane and let’s me go back to custom roms when I feel the itch again.

    In the old days I used to install all kinds of crazy roms, really bleeding edge stuff, these days with my S4 I stick a little closer to home.
    For the most part I stick with roms based on AT&T’s rom or the most current GPe rom.
    and while I’m not trying to insult anyone, I find that stock Samsung or GPe kernels are MUCH more stable that the custom stuff that’s out there. The kernel is where it’s at, you need that to be stable or else your in for a world of hurt, and lately I find the claims of more battery life or faster performance often don’t pan out, and even when they do they almost always come at the cost of stability. For people who need their phones and they aren’t simply toys, stability is more important than speed and having to plug your phone into the charger.

    Second place probably goes to stock cyanogenmod kernel’s which are still fairly good and I might go back to avatar rom once CM 10.1 for my AT&T S4 is straightened out,
    first I couldn’t make a call and then I had buggy data and I went back to a debloated AT&T S4 rom because I just wanted to rid myself of bugs. Very clean simple AOSP builds can be good too. In my experience though, the longer the tweak list and the further from stock or aosp the kernel gets the more trouble your in for.

    The rehashed rom’s with tons of tweaks that you find in android development are quite often the most bug ridden, especially if it has a custom kernel.

    Again I’m not trying to bash anyone, just giving my experience as an active xda member who has used countless rom’s on 8 different phones. I love playing with xda rom’s but as time has gone on I’ve developed these general guidelines for rom selection that have eased the headaches that go along with custom rom usage and ensure that my time spent dealing with critical bugs are kept to a minimum.

  • sremick

    “For example, can people please be a bit kinder on XDA?”

    Wouldn’t that be nice. Unfortunately, while I respect the technical abilities of some of the devs on there, some of them can be the most high and mighty pompous pricks I’ve ever seen online. Some I know basically get off doing little more than berating and insulting everyone who posts in “their” thread.

    Report them, you say? I’ve tried… all the way to the site admins. Unfortunately, XDA basically views ROM devs as their bread-and-butter, so they let them get away with whatever they want as long as they keep making ROMs. In fact, half the time when you report a post it’s simply going to whatever moderator was assigned to that forum… who is probably a personal friend of the dev you’re trying to report and possibly running his ROM himself.

    This tolerance and virtual endorsement for abuse makes XDA look bad, but they don’t seem to care because they know people will keep visiting anyway no matter how poorly they’re treated… and they can’t risk losing the holy devs and not granting them immunity to blatantly violate all the rules of the site that everyone else has to abide by.

    • iwave

      I couldn’t agree more. After 3 years of running them, I’ve pretty much given up on custom roms for three reasons: 1. They ALWAYS have bugs, some minor, but often fairly major 2. Even bloated manufacturer roms run fine on the latest hardware (I’m running the stock rom on a GS4) 3. Some of the egos on XDA are completely out of control, making the process of selecting and debugging a rom installation a very unpleasant experience.

      • John Wentworth

        While I agree that their are definitely some nasty dev’s on XDA, and ego’s get out of control, on the flip side, the truth is there’s also a large amount of entitled users on XDA who act as if dev’s should be their personal support team. And note, I am entirely a user, a simple long term XDA member and custom rom user.
        I am a software developer though, so I understand the dev’s perspective.

        Dev’s on XDA are building rom’s for free on their own time, they simply share their work with the public, and many users can get really nasty and entitled. The truth is the dev’s aren’t really there to support their rom’s, but to build them, when they read thread’s they mostly read them to find commonly reported issues, not resolve them on an individual basis.
        This fact is the very reason for the Q&A section separate from the development forum’s.

        The problem’s on XDA are on both sides the developer’s and the user’s, the question is which came first the chicken or the egg…

        • iwave

          I’m also a developer, and if I spoke to users the way some people do on XDA, I’d be sacked.

          Btw, plurals don’t have apostrophes unless you’re indicating possession. For example, “when they read threads” doesn’t have an apostrophe, but “when they read the thread’s title” would, it indicates that you’ve shortened “when they read the title of the thread”. The exception is “its”, which never has an apostrophe unless it’s short for “it is”.

          • John Wentworth

            I admitted that they get nasty, and their is an important distinction is that the roms they work on are not their job, they don’t get paid.
            I’m sure we’d all be a little more “open” if we weren’t being paid and were working for me and couldn’t be fired.
            It’s not an excuse for being nasty, and I agree that some dev’s could be much nicer, but I’m just stating the reality of the situation.

            Second I’m a software developer, not an english major. I do my best to write correctly but it’s not my strong suit, no need to get all english teacher on me.

  • Dacha

    As a long time custom ROM user from G1, I gave up when I bought HTC DNA. That was the first phone where I was able to get rid of 75% of bloatware just customizing official ROM. I did owned Nexus 7 and I will purchase new version just because of fastest update that Google serves first for their devices. At the beginning rooting and customized ROMs were must since official ROMs were bloated and you couldn’t customize it as today. But now you have a lot of widgets and apps that could be easily installed on your clean android phone.

  • iwave

    From the description, it sounds as if this device has some hardware issues.

  • Robert deJuana-Matthews

    I’ve been running Android since the days of the HTC Hero, and for a long time I swore by custom roms, but I always gravitated towards those that offered an experience closest to AOSP. Over the years, I just got sick of all the bugs, so started buying and recommending devices that had official support from Cyanogenmod. Granted, by the time I was doing that, my main device was a Nexus S, but I still played with other devices. I put CM on my tablets till the first Nexus 7, and now I have nothing but Nexus devices. While my personal preference is to have nothing but Nexus, I can recommend that people without the option of a nexus device buy devices that have official support from CM and tell them to flash the latest stable version of CM. Generally, that provides a great AOSP-like experience with little to no bugs.

    TL;DR. I go all Nexus, all the time. Barring that, the only custom ROM I’ll touch with a ten foot pole is Cyanogenmod.

  • Scott Stafford

    I’m content with my HTC One – stock. I’ve rooted all my phones day one, except this one. If they release 4.3 I’ll be a happy camper.

    • Darren

      I agree. I did root mine but it’s still s-on and otherwise a stock rom. This HTC One is a solid phone and the rom is stable and full of features. I only rooted to block adds, use titanium, tether etc. All possible with the stock rom rooted.

  • Anmol Ghotra

    I had this revelation about 2 years ago with the Galaxy nexus. I never looked back!

  • Red Colored Glasses

    i am in agreement with you. The nexus 7 turned me into a pure android believer. I am waiting for my contract to end with Verizon and I am going to be purchasing a couple nexus 5′s and going to T-Mo.

  • UniBroW

    I’m sorta on the same boat, though I had this realization after dealing with an Asus infinity. What a load of crap it was to lose drm libraries after unlocking the bootloader. This doesn’t happen on nexus devices, shouldn’t happen there or on any other phone/device.

    I’m on the Nexus or nothing wagon now, though that Z1 sure is tempting…maybe there will be a Google play edition in the works.

  • Anthony Tyson

    Shouldn’t have used a Mac

  • G1andonly

    I understand the pain with the s-off and all. I still have my g1 and nexus one rooted, both still working but I couldn’t get s-off on the nexus so I just use it for my media player with miui. My note 2 was the easiest to root and is nothing like jedi x on this bad boy.

  • av3ng3r85

    3 reasons OP fails:

    1. having a HTC phone (should’ve got a Samsung)

    2. having a Mac (PCs rule)

    3. Not using Cyanogenmod as your one and only ROM (all other ROMs are second-rate)

    Bring it!

    • The Calm Critic

      “1. having a HTC phone (should’ve got a Samsung)”

      Hard to disagree w/ this, even if I don’t actually own any HTCs but have experienced trying to root a couple for friends. Ffs rooting alone are 10x more annoying than probably 99% of all Samsung.

      “2. having a Mac (PCs rule)”

      While I concur, do realize that this situation are a contradictory headache for Android in a sense; being based on Linux kernel and AOSP’s all in access, you would have thought that by now someone anyone should have brought out better tools for *buntu or all mainstream source distros; Arch, OpenSUSE, Debian, Slackware etc. You may argue that it’s not in Android OEMs’ interest since Windows are probably the most used PC OS for most Android users, this is something Google should have prioritized over the years and should have pressured OEMs to play ball.

      “3. Not using Cyanogenmod as your one and only ROM (all other ROMs are second-rate)”

      Purely subjective. If whatever CM spinoff or anything else works OK to individual preferences, available and are stable enough for daily driving, let them decide.

  • Andrew Campbell

    I have a Galaxy S4 now, last phone was a Galaxy phone, before that droidx, and the incredible 1 and 2. Not to mention a few tablets. All of them are/were rooted with custom roms. The Nexus was the worst offender. The lack of external memory meant every time you wanted to change roms you had to do a complete backup at painfully slow speeds. The og galaxy tab I soft bricked a few times before I got it right. Its very frustrating when things don’t go right

  • Sandeep Srinivasa

    @Raveesh – there is a better now to go about this. I should know, since I have a linux laptop.

    Please make sure you are s-off before you begin (use the facepalm method on your *nix laptop).

    Turge has released the 2.15 firmware+hboot as a fastboot flashable zip (in the thread called “Stock ROM”). This can be flashed on any laptop with just adb and fastboot.

    Flash TWRP 2.6.X recovery on your phone. That’s it – you can now go flash any of the new Sense 5 or Android 4.3 ROMS. I’m running CM 10.2 on my phone this way.

    It’s your choice to flash a new radio at this point, but it is not mandatory.

  • c933103

    the camera quality of Nexus 4 – heard it might become better if you flash an optimus g rom into it

  • technohead95

    While a MicroSD card is a nice feature, having a phone without it is still fine if they provide enough storage configuration options. While the Nexus 4 8GB might not be enough for most people, it more than meets the needs for those small % of people who do not store music/videos on there. They use it as a phone and the storage is mainly used for downloading apps, and storage for the camera’s photos/videos. If all phones provided an 8/16/32/64 GB options with reasonable price increases between the phones then that would certainly solve most people’s problem.

  • technohead95

    My current phone is the Nexus 4 (my first Nexus phone), while I do get tempted by specs/features of other non-Nexus phones (e.g. Galaxy S4, LG G2 and the Moto X), I’m really hoping that the Nexus 5 turns out to be a decent phone. For me it will be between the N5 and the Moto X.

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  • redpoint73

    1) One X is an awesome phone. Been flashing ROMs since not long after its release in May 2012. Never had much of an issue.

    2) That is a pretty odd (and harrowing) collection of symptoms to have after running the RUU. Hard to say for certain, but my feeling is that the start of your issues have to do with trying to run the RUU on a Mac. Any fanboy-ism aside, Macs are great computers, and I won’t “fault” you for owning one. But running the RUU on a Mac is what might be the issue here. The software isn’t intended to be run on a Mac. And flashing the bootloader on a phone can be a risky activity, even under the intended conditions (on a PC). Running it on a Mac/Virtual Machine probably just compounded that.

    Of course, you do not have to own a PC to just run one program (like the RUU). You could have just asked a friend or family member to use their PC for an hour. So its not your ownership of a Mac that is the discussion here (nor should it be).

    3) DO NOT . . . I repeat . . DO NOT try to run the 3.18 RUU if your phone is truly S-on now. Running the 3.18 RUU while SuperCID (which you presumably have), with S-On will BRICK THE DEVICE.

    4) Doing a factory reset in bootloader corrupts the SD on this phone, if the phone is modded. Its a known issue, and one that the author would have known about, if you had done more research. There are also at least 2 easy fixes, both posted on XDA. Again, the author would know that with better research. There are other statements in the article that point to a clear basic understanding of the device and its nuances.

    5) Which brings us to the “people are not nice on XDA” complaint. The site has its origins as a website primarily for developers. Now smartphones are mainstream, so there are lots of other users there. But in any case, its not meant to be a general question forum, and regular members and moderators for the most part do not take kindly to people asking the same questions over and over again. Which is understandable, as they do not want the forum being clogged with hundreds of posts asking questions like ‘how do I root my phone’ when such questions can be easily answered by simply browsing the appropriate forum or using the search function.

    Research and read as much as you can, and search before posting a question. Do this, and you will find the XDA community to be actually very helpful. Many XDA members (myself included) have spent countless hours helping folks with their devices. But you also have to remember that we all do so for no actual reward or gain. So there is some burden on you to try to help yourself as much as possible, then make a new post if in fact you reach a dead end.

    I’m on the One X forum quite a bit, and I don’t remember seeing a post by the author (with this particular set of symptoms/sequence). The One X forum section is actually pretty gentle, compared to a lot of others on XDA, and there are some really cool and helpful folks there. I would encourage you to come back to XDA so we can help you out.