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[REF] Nexus S Guide to Roms, Themes, and Kernels

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Default [REF] Nexus S Guide to Roms, Themes, and Kernels

*************************************
To start with, this guide assumes that your phone is rooted and has Clockwork Recovery Mod (CWM) installed. If this is not the case, please see any of the below links to get started:

Rooting without unlocking the bootloader (This method only works for 2.3.2 and below)
Allgamer's Rooting Guide
Rooting via ADB for Win7&Vista
Rooting on Ubuntu
Koush's Rooting Guide
Rooting on a Mac
W0lv3r1n3's Great Windows Rooting Guide
*************************************

Now lets get started. First, how does one install mods on Android? Lets do a NANDroid backup to begin:
1) Turn your phone off.
2) While holding the Volume Up button press the power button until the screen turns on and you will see a black screen with an Android on it and a lot of numbers and words that will mean nothing to you. This is called the Bootloader. In both the bootloader and the recovery mod you will use the volume buttons to navigate between options and the power button to select one.
3) Navigate down to Recovery option and select it.
4) Navigate down to backup and restore
5) Navigate down to backup and select it and let it run.

ROMs:

Stock 2.3.3 Full ROM
This is just for those looking for the complete bone stock, full 2.3.3 ROM. Use it to return to stock but remember it will remove your root.

Here is the update for GRH78C!

Here is the update for GRH78 Only!

Finally, here is just the radio for 2.3.3:
For GRI54 (XXKB3)
For GRI40 (XXKB1)

Master's Stock 2.3.3 Deodexed
2.3.3
This ROM is no longer being updated. It will be removed from this list once it is no longer up-to-date with Google's OTA updates!
There's not going to be a lot you can see different here from stock, but trust me there is one very important change under-the-hood; its deodexed. For those not on the up-and-up of Android terminology let me explain: Android uses these files called odexes which make it so that things boot and load a little bit faster however these files also make it pretty darn difficult to theme anything. For this ROM, Master has gone through each and every one of those files and done the meticulous job of getting rid of all of those little files so now you're free to theme your stock ROM to your hearts content! Its available in four delicious vanilla gingerbread 2.3.3 flavors: Stock kernel rooted, Stock kernel unrooted, Voodoo Sound/Color enchanced Kernel rooted, and Voodoo Sound/Color enchanced Kernel unrooted. Yummy!

CyanogenMod 7 Nightlies:
2.3.3
Most Stable Release: RC3
CyanogenMod is the powerhouse of ROMs for Android. It is based on Android Open Source Platform (AOSP) and adds some nice tweaks like power controls in the notification drop down panel and some nice lockscreen tweaks among many others. Its a fast and powerful ROM that also tends to have pretty decent battery life, however if you're looking for constant stability remember this ROM is no where near a final release. Its pretty stable for a nightly release, but its definitely not as stable as some of the others available.

Unlike any other ROM, when you flash CyanogenMod you must also flash a zip file called gapps which includes standard google apps. This should be done before rebooting the device but after flashing the ROM.


MIUI
2.3.3
Most Stable Release: 1.3.18
MIUI is probably one of the most different ROMs available. Its sort of a love it or hate it ROM as it has a lot of the look of iOS while also bringing a lot of interesting features to Android. The stock MIUI launcher doesn't have an app drawer but instead stores all of your apps on homescreens, much like iOS. You can make folders to store apps (and these can be placed on the dock to simulate an app drawer, and then you can sort that folder by most used or alphabetically) or you can chose to go with a 3rd party launcher. Either way, MIUI is definitely worth a flash if you're looking for a completely different take on Android.

Since MIUI is developed by a team in China, their releases are in chinese but don't fret; Markhuk over at miui-dev.com releases a language pack. This works exactly like the gapps for CM7. First you flash the ROM then flash the language pack. Its generally available in a number of languages though as of now I'm only aware of it being available in Chinese, English, Spanish, and Italian.


▽▲AXURA Nexus Edition▲▽
2.3.3
This ROM is no longer being updated. It will be removed from this list once it is no longer up-to-date with Google's OTA updates!
Master has ported his much loved Axura ROM to the Nexus and after some initial hiccups all seems to be running smoothly. This ROM is based on 2.3.3 GRI54 but is deodexed and mostly themed for your pleasure. It also includes Netarchy's extremely stable 1.2.5 stock CFS kernel out of the box so you get an extremely quick ROM mixed with a more colorful stock experience. All and all a beautiful ROM with a solid core is what you get here! Now featuring j0hnZ accurate battery mod baked right in!


Paul O'Brien's MoDaCo:
2.3.3
Paul's ROM is definitely one of the most stable I've used and has probably the best battery life. Its very basic and is available for download in a few flavors of lightness which include either all of his tweaks, some, or none. The one annoyance I have with his ROM is the inclusion of security software that runs every boot much akin to the Windows Security center popups, something I definitely don't want on my phone. Overall though if you want a fast, stable, and basic ROM this is a great choice.


GingerS v0.8 Small:
2.3.3
GingerS is all about being lightweight and fast. Currently it packs Netarchy's 1.2.7 CFS kernel as well as a few awesome tweaks like SIP calls over 3G. If you're looking for a very stock experience with a bit more speed, give this one a flash!


NSCollab
2.3.3
You love the awesome features of CyangenMod but you want a rom that feels a little more stock? Frank707 has you covered! This cool new ROM comes out of the box with Netarchy's 1.2.8 CFS (Completely Fair Scheduler) Kernel baked right in which means you're also getting Voodoo sound and color! Unlike regular CyanogenMod this comes with all your google apps already inside, no extra flash required. Also, this hot little number is now available to download through ROM Manager premium!


ZeroXS

2.3.3
This ROM is all about the little things that truly differentiate it. On first boot you won't be shocked by a fancy boot animation, or blown away by a completely themed look, but you will find your eye drawn to the niceties included. For one, Titanium backup is pre-installed making setting this ROM up one of the easiest I've used by far. Other small theming choices include a custom themed launcher and a change to cool blue from the stock Gingerbread green. This fun ROM is for those of you looking for a very stock ROM but that has a just a hint of the flair that is running under the hood.


Super@tmel's SuperAOSP for Nexus S
2.3.3
Much like CyanogenMod, this is based directly off of the AOSP code Google pushes out but its compiled by Super@tmel rather than Team Douche. Also, much like Axura this little honey has some very nice theming touches built right in as well as a few special themes in the Theme Chooser. Many of you may know it from back on the Nexus S and now we've got a stable version here. On top of the myriad cool features in this ROM, you also get SUPsetup which among many other things, lets you do a lot of heavy customizations that would otherwise had to have been done in Root Explorer or via ADB neither of which is a fun process. Those of you who are fans of AOSP but are unfamiliar with this ROM should definitely give it a shot. Heck, everyone should try it out!


Honeycomb 3.0 Full sdk port
3.0
THIS IS VERY MUCH AN IN-DEVELOPMENT ROM AND SHOULD ONLY BE FLASHED WITH A LOT OF CAUTION AND A DASH OF BOLDNESS. IF YOU DOUBT YOUR ABILITY TO DEAL WITH POSSIBLE DISASTER DO NOT FLASH THIS. I REPEAT: DO NOT FLASH THIS IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE CONSEQUENCES. Now that I've gotten the warning out of the way, this is something I'm personally very excited about; this is Android 3.0 Honeycomb (sort-of) working on the Nexus S! Now, remember, this is no where near finished and there is a lot of stuff not functioning including a few essentials like a phone/dialer app or the fact that the screen seems to flicker on and off. Don't even bother with this if you're new to flashing ROMs and are worried about your warranty, this bad boy is for experienced flashers ONLY!

Now that you've chosen a rom, how do you install it?
1) Download the ROM of your choice and place it on the root of your SD Card.
2) Boot back into your bootloader and get into recovery.
3) Navigate down to mounts and storage and select it.
4) Navigate down to format data and select it.
5) Navigate down to format cache and select it.
6) Navigate down to +++++Go Back+++++ and select it.
7) Navigate down to advanced and select it.
8) Navigate down to Wipe Dalvik Cache and select it.
9) Navigate down to +++++Go Back+++++ and select it.
10) Navigate down to install zip from sdcard and select it.
11) Navigate down to choose zip from sdcard
12) Navigate down to the ROM zip on your SD card and select it.
13) Navigate down to Yes, select it and let it run.
14) Once its done reboot your phone!

You have now installed a custom ROM!


Oh no! I'm bricked!
If you've modified your phone and have either majorly screwed something up or just want to get everything back to stock there are a few ways to do that and you can find guides here:

Stock 2.3.1 NANDroid: Use this with CWM to restore an image of the stock rom and go back to square one.

Odin back to stock: Odin is a program used by Samsung to install firmware onto handsets and this is the last ditch method for getting things working again. It will wipe all of your programs and return you to bone stock, no root no nothing.
~Phone History~
HTC MyTouch 3G (Sold)>Samsung Epic 4G (Traded)>HTC Evo 4G (Sold)>Samsung Nexus S (Sold)>T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S 2 (AKA Hercules)


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Themes:

You've got a custom ROM but now you want to make it look a little bit more like something that matches your style. You have a few choices and here they are:

Jabbawalkee's MattedBlues
Available For: CM7 RC1, CM7 Nightly #8, CM7 Nightly #11, CM7 RC2
Jabbawalkee has ported his stunningly pretty MattedBlues theme over to the Nexus S. Unlike some of the other themes available this one adds not just a splash of color to the stock gingerbread look but also adds some more gradient paired with a nice custom font. This one's only currently available for CyanogenMod7 RC1, nightlies #8 and #11. If you're looking for some nice cool blues but don't want the stark blacks of stock gingerbread this theme is absolutely one of the best available! You can also find some alternate versions of Jabbawalkee's theme here: MattedBlues V2.1 Alternate Status Bar Colors.


Stock-Ish Axura
Available For: Axura NSE
Master has now released a theme to take his heavily themed Axura ROM back to a more stock feeling. If you like the power, stability, and other amazing tweaks in Axura but want your phone to retain that stock Gingerbread feel this ones for you!


Sonnysekhon's myriad of themes!
Available For: CM7 RC2, CM7 Latest Nightly, MoDaCo r14
Sonnysekhon is an amazing theme dev who has worked on themes for more devices than most people have owned. He has released a total of eight (count 'em, EIGHT) amazing themes and a modification pack to change the color of one of them to any of of eight other colors and these are available for all ROMs except GingerS Small and Kimera. Below you'll find a list of his themes with a short description of each:

Lucid:
Lucid is a basic black and white theme with a lot of other cool modifications. It includes a full makeover and Sonny has replaced a lot of the apps with modded ones. You'll find a lot of transparency in this theme but the only modification to the lockscreen is a change of the icon colors.


Sublime, Sublime Cyan, and Sublime Extra Colors:
Sublime is Sonny's take on the stock Gingerbread look. He took the basic color and applied it across the board to make everything look clean and it looks great. He added a Cyan version and later a lot of other colors so now if you want to keep the stock look of Gingerbread but change the color, Sonny has you covered.


Onyx:
Onyx is Sonny's newest release and at first glance might seem to be a lot like Lucid, but once you look closer you see that the transparency has been replaced with stark black and white. Also, he has added a black&white version of his tangerine lockscreen.


Frost:
The best description for Sonny's Frost theme is just think of the inverse of Onyx. If you like simple but want something a little brighter than Onyx then Frost is for you.


Tangerine:
Tangerine is a simple black and orange theme that looks quite slick. It is simple but with a touch of flair and a bit of deviation from the stock look of gingerbread.


Monochrome:
Monochrome is slick, silver, and sleek.


Vivid:
Vivid is Sonny's newest theme and its exactly what its name claims it is: Vivid. Beautiful and colorful, this is a great theme to show off just how wonderfully your SAMOLED display shows colors.


DjDarkKnight's DarkGinger:
Available For: CM7 RC2, CM7 Nightly#19
DjDarkKnight has created a beautifully dark theme for CyanogenMod7 that makes over everything look dark but accessible. I've been a fan of his themes for awhile and if you're looking for a great theme that is dark, check this out. Also, DJ has made a flashable zip of themed google apps (like Gmail, maps, etc) so you get even more dark goodness!


Jonathon Grigg's Unity:
Available For: CM7 RC2, Stock ROMs
Jonanthon's goal with this theme is simple: Unite hardware and software to give you the most continuity in your Nexus S experience. There are still some feature being added but for now, he's got an amazing base for his goals of a unified Nexus visual experience. This baby is currently available in two ROM flavors; CM7 RC2 and more stock ROMs including MoDaCo, Axura, and Stock deodexed.


Mythamp's AMPED! Theme:
Available For: Stock ROMs
Imagine a world where instead of stock Gingerbread looking matte and uninteresting, every things is sleak, smooth and colorful. Well, imagine no more; Mythamp (the original creator of the theme Bliss which SonnySekhon had been maintaining) has updated and ported his beautifully slick theme to the Nexus S and given it a more suitable name! AMPED is all about keeping that stock feel while making everything look just better and if that is something you're into give this sexy theme a flash. You can get it on Axura, Stock deodexed, and MoDaCo!


How do I flash a theme?
1) Download the theme of your choice and put it on the root of your SD card.
2) Boot into your recovery.
3) Navigate down to install zip from sdcard and select it.
4) Navigate down to choose zip from sdcard and select it
5) Navigate down to your theme zip and select it.
6) Navigate down to Yes, select it and let it run.
7) Reboot and enjoy!


Got an awesome theme but looking for a wallpaper to go with it? Check out below:
>>>>>>>Nexus S Users' Wallpapers WITHOUT NSFW!>>>Nexus S Users' Wallpapers WITH NSFW!
~Phone History~
HTC MyTouch 3G (Sold)>Samsung Epic 4G (Traded)>HTC Evo 4G (Sold)>Samsung Nexus S (Sold)>T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S 2 (AKA Hercules)


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Kernels:

Below you'll find a list of kernels along with a short description of each!

Netarchy's Kernels:
2.3.2, 2.3.3
Netarchy started releasing kernels for the Evo 4G and has recently started releasing his amazing kernels for the Nexus S!

His kernels come in a few flavors but they're not really that different from each other. Netarchy always has a stable release and an experimental one but I can say from experience that the experimental is just as stable and they both incorporate the Voodoo sound enhancements as well as the ext4 hack however the newest version also incorporates the new Voodoo Color enhancements which I must say are pretty awesome. Also, his newest experimental version also includes BLN support! They are pretty much compatible with everything including stock however there is a specific download of each flavor for CyanogenMod7 so just remember to download the right one. As to choosing between the brain **** scheduler (BFS) or completely fair scheduler (CFS) just try them both and see which one you prefer.

Morfic's Honity12 and Honity14
2.3.2, 2.3.3
This kernel is just a 1.2GHz (Honity12) or a 1.4GHz (Honity14) overclock with no other fancification; it will boot and run at which either 1.2GHz or 1.4GHz. It now includes the most up-to-date Voodoo sound and color modifications as well as BLN! Also, it includes a snazzy boot animation!
(Also available as a test version at 1.5GHz here)

Ogdobber's ☆Jame Bond☆ Kernel:
2.3.2, 2.3.3
This is a modified CyanogenMod7 kernel that includes the ext4 and voodoo sound enhancements as well as BLN! If you want to add those but don't want to deal with other tweaks or overclocking this baby is for you.

How to flash a kernel:
1) Download the kernel of your choice and put it on the root of your SD card.
2) Boot into your recovery.
3) Navigate down to install zip from sdcard and select it.
4) Navigate down to choose zip from sdcard and select it
5) Navigate down to your kernel zip and select it.
6) Navigate down to Yes, select it and let it run.
7) Reboot and enjoy!

*Note about overclocking*
For those looking to overclock a lot of the kernels boot to 1GHz and then require the use of a program like SetCPU to clock it up from there. That link will take you to the developers thread on XDA where he offers his app for free to the XDA community but if you like it and plan to use it, you might consider going to the market and getting his paid version.

*Note about Voodoo Enchancements!*
First of all, much props to SuperCurio for his wonderful work! If you are using a Kernel that implements Voodoo Sound and/or Color enhancements make sure you download his Voodoo Control App from the market and or using his Donate Version as his work is absolutely phenomenal!

*Note about BLN!*
In order to make use of the BLN functions you must first have a kernel that supports it and then download the BLN control app to actually use the functionality. As usual, if you enjoy using this mod I urge you to consider buying the paid BLN control - Pro app, you'll find it has a few more features and its always good to support the devs who work hard to provide us with great new functionality from out devices!
~Phone History~
HTC MyTouch 3G (Sold)>Samsung Epic 4G (Traded)>HTC Evo 4G (Sold)>Samsung Nexus S (Sold)>T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S 2 (AKA Hercules)


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Changelog:
02/15/2011
-Created post for Roms, Themes, and Kernels
-Added Odin and Stock recovery links
-Added note about CM7 RC1

02/16/2011
-Fixed note about CM7 RC1
-Added Kimera v1.0 entry
-Added Changelog
-Updated Kimera v1.0 entry
-Merged Koush's CM7 with Nightlies

02/17/2011
-Updated DarkGinger's compatibility

02/18/2011
-Added MattedBlues entry
-Added a note at the top asking for Screenshots
-Added a note about Voodoo Sound and Color Control App
-Added a note about SetCPU for overclocking
-Made a few aesthetic changes
-Updated Netarchy to newest version
-Added GingerCollab v1.0 Entry
-Edited compatibility of Sonny's themes to exclude Kimera

2/19/2011
-My birthday!
-Added Minimalist theme
-Added screenshots
-Changed Bionix to 1.3 Beta
-Added Sonny's Monochrome

2/25/2011
-Updated the Rooting on a Mac link

2/26/2011
-Added Master's Stock 2.3.3 Deodexed ROM
-Added W0lv3r1n3's Windows 2.3.3 rooting guide link

2/27/2011
-Edited Master's Stock Deodexed 2.3.3 entry to include unrooted version.
-Added a link to a Wallpaper download to the Themes entry
-Fixed the silly mistake of forgetting to add a step in the making of a NANDroid backup. Whoops >.<
-Added Morfic's Honity14 Kernel
-Added a note about BLN control app

2/28/2011
-Edited Honity14 description to indicate it does not include BLN
-Edited the note about the BLN control app to reflect the fact that there are no kernels with the mod
-Added OG's Clear Status Bar theme for CM7
-Updated Darkginger Theme entry to reflect new changes and new compatibility

3/04/2011
-Added Axura to the ROM list
-Added Honeycomb Alpha 1 to the ROM list
-Edited the ROM post to add Android version to each entry!
-Edited the Kernel post to add Android version compatibility to each entry!
-Added a screenshot to Axura's entry

3/09/2011
-Updated GingerCollab Entry
-Updated GingerS Small Entry
-Updated Axura Entry
-Added link for Honity15-7 kernel
-Updated Axura's ScreenShot
-Added j0hnz's Accurate Battery Mod for Axura to the Axura Entry
-Added a screen shot for j0hnz Accurate Battery Mod for Axura
-Added Stock-Ish Axura theme entry
-Added a screen shot for Stock-Ish Axura theme
-Added Crimson Frost theme entry
-Added a screen shot for Crimson Frost
-Added links for Full ROM, updates, and radios for 2.3.3

3/15/2011
-Deleted old entries
-Added Unity theme entry
-Added screenshot for Unity

3/16/2011
-Deleted more old entries

3/17/2011
-Did a lot of cleaning up of old entries and updating compatibilities
-Updated GingerS Small entry
-Added Vivid theme Entry & Screenshot
-Edited Axura Entry

3/18/2011
-Added MIUI entry & screenshot

3/21/2011
-Added AMPED! Entry
-Added AMPED! Screenshot
-Updated Honity entry
-Edited BLN note

3/22/2011
-Added ZeroXS entry
-Added ZeroXS ScreenShot

3/29/2011
-Added SuperAOSP entry
-Added SuperAOSP ScreenShot
-Added note about not being updated to Master's ROMs
-Updated Netarchy Kernel entry
~Phone History~
HTC MyTouch 3G (Sold)>Samsung Epic 4G (Traded)>HTC Evo 4G (Sold)>Samsung Nexus S (Sold)>T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S 2 (AKA Hercules)


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Thank you! excellent guide

looking at this very well summarized list, we are very rich in the ROM / Kernel modding area

not too shabby for a 2 month old phone

looking forward to see much more cool stuff in the future

Donation is appreciated but not required, a cup of Coffee would suffice

Samsung i9000m: on CM10
Samsung Nexus S: on JB 4.2.2
Samsung Galaxy S II SGH-T989: on CM10
Samsung Galaxy NOTE SGH-i717r: on CM10
Samsung Galaxy NOTE 3 SM-N900W8: stock 4.3
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chris6278
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Great guide. Im sure alot of ppl will find it useful
 
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Great! This is what I've been looking for! Thank you very much!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris6278 View Post
Great guide. Im sure alot of ppl will find it useful
Quote:
Originally Posted by Androyed View Post
Great! This is what I've been looking for! Thank you very much!
Let me know if you guys would like to see anything added!
~Phone History~
HTC MyTouch 3G (Sold)>Samsung Epic 4G (Traded)>HTC Evo 4G (Sold)>Samsung Nexus S (Sold)>T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S 2 (AKA Hercules)


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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenvan19 View Post
Let me know if you guys would like to see anything added!
Well, not really. I mean, you have everything covered. It would be great to keep it updated, although that is going to be hard when more people start to theme. Maybe you can tell a little bit more about the Custom ROMs, like what they do exactly. Now it just says: 'it is fast', or 'good battery life'. I would like to see some information about the extra features every ROM has, if that's possible of course.

By the way, I have a question: I know it isn't necessary anymore to unlock the bootloader, because you can root and install recovery without it. But after you've done that, can you just install any ROM or Kernel here through the normal way? Or do you have to do it through a special way?

I know flashing a Custom ROM wipes your data, but it doesn't wipe ALL your data like unlocking the bootloader does. I just think it will be too complicated for me if you have to flash Custom ROMs with a special way when you've rooted and installed recovery without unlocking the bootloader.
 
kenvan19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Androyed View Post
Well, not really. I mean, you have everything covered. It would be great to keep it updated, although that is going to be hard when more people start to theme. Maybe you can tell a little bit more about the Custom ROMs, like what they do exactly. Now it just says: 'it is fast', or 'good battery life'. I would like to see some information about the extra features every ROM has, if that's possible of course.

By the way, I have a question: I know it isn't necessary anymore to unlock the bootloader, because you can root and install recovery without it. But after you've done that, can you just install any ROM or Kernel here through the normal way? Or do you have to do it through a special way?

I know flashing a Custom ROM wipes your data, but it doesn't wipe ALL your data like unlocking the bootloader does. I just think it will be too complicated for me if you have to flash Custom ROMs with a special way when you've rooted and installed recovery without unlocking the bootloader.
My instructions for installing ROMs, kernels and themes will work for any method of rooting. Flashing a new custom ROM requires that you wipe your device however going from one release of a ROM to the next does not require that and its not quite the same as unlocking the bootloader. When you unlock the bootloader it wipes EVERYTHING; data, cache, dalvik, and SDcard. You lose it all whereas when you install a custom ROM you just lose Apps, account info and settings which can be mostly restored with the use of Titanium Backup.

As for being more specific about what differentiates ROMs, there isn't a lot to say to be honest. Right now there are really not a lot of aesthetic changes in any of them. Most of the differences are going to be in specific tweaks and a lot of times those are not things that Devs release specific information about (heck the CyanogenMod Team doesn't even release changelogs!). I tried to represent each ROM for what it does best IE speed, stability, battery life, etc as those are the things that really differ between each ROM.
~Phone History~
HTC MyTouch 3G (Sold)>Samsung Epic 4G (Traded)>HTC Evo 4G (Sold)>Samsung Nexus S (Sold)>T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S 2 (AKA Hercules)


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