Pros and Cons of Installing Custom ROMs [Forum Talk]


In this day and age it seems you can’t find a new phone without an eager group of developers ready to support it. Some people come to Android and may not have the slightest clue of what rooting and flashing custom ROMs/mods/kernels is. (I have two of them in my very own household.)

If you were ever curious as to why you should root your phone and what benefits you’d get from it. It isn’t without its cons, though. user cammykool reposted an article of Locker Gnome’s, a very good breakdown of the pros and cons of installing custom ROMs. Many people have many different reasons.

For me, it used to be about making the most out of whatever custom skin came on top of any phone I owned that was not supported by Cyanogen. Now that I have a Galaxy Nexus, I find that I don’t even have a desire to flash any ROM, though I do keep root handy in case the urge pops up (and I do rely on root-specific apps, ROM flashing aside).

What about you? Take a look at the article over at and see if some of the pros will apply to you and to see if some of the cons will deter you. After that, be sure to navigate to the All Things Root sub-section of your device’s section on to get started on rooting and installing some ROMs that may be of use to you.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I think we need a nice oversimplification here…
    pros: everything
    cons: none

    1. careful…. while I agree that custom ROMs are one of the best features of the Android community, I would say that majority of Android owners have no business rooting & flashing

    2. 1. Void Warranty 
      2. Possible to brick phone
      3. Most Roms have something that isn’t working at the moment

      Most people root to get free tethering and to take off bloatware but that is why there is a Nexus. Since the Nexus One I haven’t rooted my “main” phones anymore. 

      1. Funny but I personally don’t care about any of these things – I don’t expect my statement to apply to most, but for me it is true. I will probably root every device I ever get and install a dozen roms on each just to check them out.

        Point is after weighing everything, for me it comes down to root & rom = good fun, and I will always do it if I can.

  2. There will be a day when my G nex has a Rom but right now coming from an OG its more than enough. I have not rooted it but intend to for the same reasons. Those little thing that require root sometimes!

    1. With something like a G nexus an android experience phone their are less reasons to root, and install custom roms, the value of custom roms usually increases as a phone ages and the device manufacturer inevitably doesn’t update the phone, or if the phone is very unstable or slow with the stock software, I’m looking at you  my old samsung captivate which was sloooowwwwww. and Samsung updates are extremely unreliable

  3. I’ve yet to flasha custom ROM on my GNEX as none look stable / seem to  offer much extra yet.

    I will be doing so soon though, as custom ROMs usually enable Facebook sync which Google removed from the Nexus range.

    Also MIUI is incredible.

    1. Agreed 100% on MIUI.  Cannot wait for it to hit the G’Nex in working form.

      As for existing stable roms, Rootzboat V5 seems to be incredibly stable, as did v4.  Both are 4.0.3, and I ran both for quite some time (been on v5 now since its release).  No stability issues.  GPS is good, the only tidbit *not* working is “market restore”…which isn’t an issue for me with TiBi.

  4. quote
    “For me, it used to be about making the most out of whatever custom
    skin came on top of any phone I owned that was not supported by
    Cyanogen. Now that I have a Galaxy Nexus,
    I find that I don’t even have a desire to flash any ROM, though I do
    keep root handy in case the urge pops up (and I do rely on tethering).”
    no I have no issue with tethering apps however watching threads get locked and deleted because someone asked a question about tethering in the forums here because the site owners don’t want it discussed any more….yet here is one of the writers discussing it on front page….

    1. i do appreciate that the writer edited that part from his article just as we are asked to not post such things in the forums

  5. I rooted my Vibrant so that I could 1. To flash a better performing faster ROM 2. do the FFC mod 3. Have flash.

    I rooted my my GSII only to have Free Tethering.  Other than that, the phone is fast as hell and isnt missing any features so therefore I have no need to flash a ROM on it.  ICS doesn’t have anything so ground breaking that makes me need to replace the stock ROM.

    And out of 14 close friends and family, ZERO of them have ROOTed.  I don’t get to have many Android conversations unless I’m on here :-(

    1. a root-capable phone is just one step towards ‘future-proofing’ – when Android 5.0 (Jelly Bean, or whatever) comes out, you can be sure that even if Samsung abandons the SII, the developer community has your back.

      I wouldn’t buy a phone today without the proper root/recovery/flash support.

    2. I know dozens of people with Android phones and 6 of them are rooted. Of course I rooted 4 of 6 of those phones, LOL. The worst one was the damn Vibrant. 

      1. Ha ha so If you didn’t do it then only 2 out of dozens would have ROOT lol.  I never had problems rooting the Vibrant or slappin a ROM on it.

        Fucked up thing about that phone tho is that I let my Pops use it after I got the GS2 and he literally snapped the phone in have because it would freeze up on him.  $500 cash for that thing and my first Android experience… ;-(

        1. Yeah they really wanted me to root their phones because they always see my stock phones and what I can do and they wanted the same without having buy my phone. I just rooted a Epic 4G Touch (stupidest name in the world) for my cousin 3 days ago because he got 4.0 on his Nexus S and now he wants it on his SG2 phone also. When I find out a  new Nexus is coming out my friends line up to buy my old one, good thing I don’t ask to much and I keep my phones looking brand new. When my other cousin got 4.0 on my old Nexus S he said it was the best $150 he had ever spent, LOL.

        2. He has issues.

          1. Deep rooted.

  6. If you read up on the subject n learn what you are doing, n pick a good rom, there are no cons.

    1. Wrong.  There are cons with keeping the standard ROM, and that is customized for the hardware, exhaustively tested by the manufactured and carrier, and warrantied.  

      If a custom ROM, which isn’t nearly as well tested not specifically tuned to the platform, fails, you’re on your own.  That’s a pretty big con, even if there were no others (which there are).

      1. Uhm, have you ever rooted or are you just speculating? Using custom roms I’ve never had any problem that wasn’t either easily solved by me or the community, meanwhile with stock roms I’ve had tons of bugs that T-mobile and HTC couldn’t help me with.

      2. Not to speak for others, but, perhaps the position that there are “no cons” refers to the fact that you can always reverse your root and return to a stock build if you know what you’re doing, and you should only root if you know what you’re doing.

  7. Pros:
    Battery Life (Sometimes)
    Able to get newer releases without waiting for your manufacturer

    Unknown bugs
    Chance of bricking
    Security in some ways since most people don’t look at the source of the ROM

    1. good summary – for ‘Pros’, I think Speed & Battery life are connected – you have the CHOICE of either greater speed (overclocking), or better battery life (undervolting)

      1. This is not always the case.

        With the HTC Thunderbolt with the Virus Eternity ROM you get BOTH. Overclocked to 1.42 GHz and a battery life that lasts me about 12 to 20 hours, depending on use. Many don’t even find any need to overclock beyond 1.2 GHz because it runs smooth and fast.

        The ROM truly is amazing!

        It also makes use of Sense 3.5, AND Beats Audio!

  8. The only thing keeping me from rooting my Galaxy S2 with MIUI is 4.0 coming out just around the corner.  

  9. I own a EVO 4g and don’t intend on upgrading any time soon because with root it makes it even more bad ass. I have rooted my wifes also as well as friends of mine that own EVO and now my bro in-law wants it too. The pros definitely out way the cons. My thing is why would you want to flash a new Rom on the new nexus with the newest os(besides for maybe miui if you like it) but down the road when it gets out dated and old you’ll want to flash one then.

    1. I hear ya bro!  My Evo was constantly rebooting on me and I finally gave in and rooted it and now its like I have a brand new phone again.  I’ve been running the Xplod ROM by Team Nocturnal and it rocks!  Haven’t had a single reboot since.  Rooting is the best move I ever made and I don’t regret it one bit.

  10. I have a Desire Z. If I didn’t root and flash a custom ROM, It’d be screaming in pain at me…

  11. The biggest con is that is is required (or at least strongly encouraged) to keep updating when a new version of your rom is released. Roms for my Samsung Moment were updated nearly daily at first. On the Epic Touch it is more like weekly. That is still one more thing to keep up with and is a con at times when  you just want to “set it and forget it”.

    1. I’ve been using Android since release and have been using custom ROM’s since JF. If there’s one thing I’ve learned its to leave well enough alone. When I get a good ROM working on my phone,  unless a new version adds a new feature, I wont upgrade or at least I’ll have a backup to go to. Far too often the updates add new bugs, require you to wipe, or break compatibility with something. For testing purposes, sure but for a daily driver, I stick with what I know works.

      1. I agree with you on this Chris.

        With a ROM that is in heavy development it can keep you flashing multiple times a day or at least every other day.

        It’s best when you find a ROM that you like and works AND is in development. It’s so fortunate when you have a phone that is hot in the Dev community. The HTC Thunderbolt is such a phone. There are two main dev groups, InfectedROM Eternity and BAMF, that compete and help each other at the same time and the results are fantastic!

        With Eternity, it is fast and stable. I can simply install it and forget about it if I wish or I can update it as I like, but I’m not in a position where I feel like I must update to the next release because of a prior buggy release. Having a stable ROM like Eternity is gold!

  12. An ironic contact is that rooted phones can not stream rented movies from Google Video even though you can with Netflix.

    1. There’s a hacked .APK for Google Video that lets you rent.  In case you weren’t aware.

  13. I installed a custom ROM onto my OG Droid so that I could use GB.  Although the phone was faster, the phone app would force close and sometimes I couldn’t answer a call.  It was a major fail.

    Before I assumed that custom ROMs would be more stable than the carriers bloatware, but it doesn’t seem it is the case.  You fix some problems, but then have to deal with other random bugs and lots of updates.

    I bought the Galaxy Nexus to avoid these problems.  I can get the latest OS updates without dealing with buggy custom ROMs.

    1. One ROM having issues doesn’t mean all ROMs are bad.

      Many work splendidly.  Many work better than stock, in fact.

      As for updates…if it’s working, why do you *have* to update?  That’s choice..not a con.

      1. I expect some ROMs to work better than stock, but it isn’t always the case.

        Using custom ROMs just wasn’t the pain free experience that I expected.  You might have to try multiple ROMs to find one that works or have to deal with many updates until it becomes completely stable.

        If you enjoy tinkering with your phone or have crappy bloatware, I can see the appeal, but there are some downsides.

        1. Custom roms aren’t really for people who want a painfree experience, you can normally ease some of the pain by not jumping on new roms right away, sticking with well known developers and asking for suggestions in the general or Q&A threads just ask for what developers and roms have the most stable builds.

          A lot of roms are about bleeding edge features, hence less stability, but their are developers that focus on producing custom roms that are relatively bug free and introduce new features slowly to ensure stability first.

          For instance in my experience Cognition for the samsung captivate, or Liquid for the thunderbolt.

    2. You really have to test out roms to find the best rom for your phone, it does take some time and effort, but their are roms out there that are basically bug free, my rom Liquid Gingerbread 3.2 for the thunderbolt is one of them.
      It did take some trial and error with different roms, but I actually enjoy trying different roms, but I’ve settled on this one and I don’t have to flash updates constantly anymore and enjoy a much faster and basically bug free rom, with better battery life.

  14. Roms are wonderful for those who understand how they work and are willing to tinker with them. Constant updates are great, but for an average user, probably get a bit irritating. Id update my phone everyday if I could, but someone like my gf finds the updating process irritating. Roms are wonderful, and its great to be able to actually talk to the people who are doing your updates, as opposed to someone who works at Moto or HTC or Samsung and never listens to or cares about your input

  15. the con of custom rom will be crash, bugs, and unstable. 

  16. Most phones the pros heavily outweigh the cons, the GNEX is still new, so I actually find the custom rom a little more unstable, but the custom kernel with lower voltage makes up for it IMO… don’t really notice a huge performance increase using my 1350 kernel as opposed to the 1200 default… but with time come the refine :P

  17. My company used Mobile Iron for management.  If a device is rooted, it is flagged and removed.  No company for rooted devices. 

  18. I rooted and romed my captivate cane with eclair flashed to froyo then gingerbread and then ICS beta chmaged back to a gb rom until more bugs are fixed with ICS never an issue once you flash bootloaders on cappy that’s the only way to hard brick if you do it right it only takes less then 10 seconds to flash the bootloaders. I flashed my HTC Inspire also no issues and a big plus you can get rid of the crapware that carrier’s force on your phone. Plus Bo carrier IQ on custom roms or at least none that I have used

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