Also a big shout out to @xsenman who helped me get this thread up and running - without his help I don't think I could have got this thread started.
Quite commonly in the Galaxy S forum, there are members who ask the same question: "What rom should I choose?" The Galaxy S forum, even after three and a half years, is still very alive and kicking, with the S usually being on the forefront of Cyanogenmod releases as well as having official support for many other roms.
The Galaxy S Plus isn't far behind either - it still has official support for quite a few roms and devs are quick to build Cyanogenmod and others.
While I can't cover EVERY single user's wants and needs when selecting a rom, this thread is intended for users, both new and experienced, looking for a new or different rom to try.
So to start things off, just a quick definition of a rom by neverendingxsin:
Here's a very common question, what is a rom? A rom on our android phones is like the operating system on your computer, it controls the user interface, what you see and what you can do.
By reading this thread and following through with your rom choice, you accept the above, and every other disclaimer relevant to your rom.
If you are new to this forum, I suggest you take a look at these brilliant guides written by other members, and give them thanks as well:
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Android Recovery Toolkit
- Guide to flashing Gingerbread 2.3.6, then any custom rom
- How to downgrade from any custom rom
- TUTORIAL on how to unbrick, upgrade, flash and downgrade from Froyo to Kitkat
Those threads will give you a good place to start, and all are very important if you want to have a safe and (mostly) error-free custom rom experience.
This thread will initially support the Galaxy S I9000 only, but if I have time I'll update parts of this thread to also cater for users of the Galaxy S Plus I9001.
Every S Plus related section will begin in blue text like this.
So without further ado.
Chapter One: Stock roms
A bit of a refresher: the last official update for the Galaxy S was Gingerbread 2.3.6. This was the "Value Pack" which brought some Galaxy S2 features such as a new Swipe lockscreen, increased RAM, Face Unlock and a few other tidbits here and there.
The Galaxy S Plus is the same - it too, received a "Value Pack" containing the same features, based on Gingerbread 2.3.6.
All stock firmwares can be downloaded from Sammobile's firmware page. Type in I9000 or I9001 in the search box.
Section 1A - Stock, rooted roms
Galaxy S Plus users can be rooted in the same way using Framaroot, or other appropriate methods.
Is this for me? If you want to mess with a rom starting from scratch, or you just want root capabilities but nothing more, this is the rom for you.
Section 1B - Modified stock roms
One that is still being updated is davidmore's DMore rom, which changes both the look and feel of Gingerbread.
Some other examples include:
Is this for me? Often these kinds of roms offer a plethora of features or customisations while improving the speed and the performance of Gingerbread. You'll have the stability of stock mixed in with some visual or under-the-hood tweaking and customisation.
Chapter Two: AOSP roms
AOSP stands for Android Open Source Project, the name given to the whole Android project.
What you won't find in AOSP roms: Things such as the camera app, the contacts or messaging app, the music or video player, FM radio and 3G video calling from Touchwiz all won't be present, as these all depend on the frameworks used in Touchwiz.
Known issues in AOSP roms:
- It seems to be quite rare, but for some users the screen turns blue, right through to the recovery. For a solution, take a look at this thread written up by @need4steer.
The format of this section will be a bit different than before, as there are literally TONS of custom AOSP roms out there.
Section 1 - Cyanogenmod
Before we continue, here are a few terms you may need to know (especially if you are new):
- Nightly builds are built, well... nightly. They are daily builds and while mostly stable, can have some bugs or problems. If you're planning on going with Nightlies, don't expect a perfect experience 100% of the time. Yesterday's nightly might be fantastic, today's one might not be your cup of tea.
- Release candidate, or RC builds only come around when a new version of Cyanogenmod is about to be released. They are essentially the "finishing touches" of a CM version, and are usually pretty stable as always. They lead up to...
- Stable builds. Stable builds are builds that will usually not be updated any further, and are perfectly stable to be used as reliable daily drivers. Often after stable builds, nightly builds of that particular Android/CM version are frozen as they do not need to be updated any further.
Currently, the official maintainer of Cyanogenmod for the Galaxy S is pawitp, and we have:
- CM7.2 (Gingerbread 2.3.7) [STABLE]
- CM9 (ICS 4.0.4) [STABLE]
- CM10 (Jelly Bean 4.1.2) [STABLE]
- CM10.1 (Jelly Bean 4.2.2) [STABLE]
- CM10.2 (Jelly Bean 4.3.1) [STABLE]
- CM11 (Kitkat 4.4.4) [NIGHTLY]
- CM7.2 (Gingerbread 2.3.7)
- CM9 (ICS 4.0.4)
- CM10 (Jelly Bean 4.1.2)
- CM10.1 (Jelly Bean 4.2.2)
- CM10.2 (Jelly Bean 4.3.1)
- CM11 (Kitkat 4.4)
Is this for me? Cyanogenmod is the "go-to" rom for many users. If you're looking for a great stock Android experience without too much other stuff thrown in, this is for you.
Section 1A - Cyanogenmod-based roms
Some of these kinds of roms include:
- kasper_h's Mackay Rom (there are also 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3 versions)
- Mackay ICS (CM9 based)
- rodman01's CM-based rom
Section 2 - AOKP (Android Open Kang Project)
Currently there is no official maintainer for AOKP for the Galaxy S - the official list is actually very small - but there are unofficial builds, such as:
S Plus users, here's an AOKP build based off Android 4.1.2:
AOKP Release 1
Is this for me? AOKP brought a lot of the features you see in roms that allow heavy customisation. If you want that stock Android experience but also like having heavy customisation capability, then this is for you. Read the OP of each one, and turn your swagger on.
Section 3 - Paranoid Android
Currently the official maintainer is SferaDev, and the two official versions are:
- Paranoid Android 3.69 (JB 4.2.2)
- Paranoid Android 4 (KK 4.4.4) (PA 3.99, based off JB 4.3, can be found in the same thread)
Also, another based on JB 4.3: ParanoidAndroid 3.99
Is this for me? Paranoid Android brings with it its own unique set of features that have been used in countless other roms. If you like what you hear, or you want pure AOSP goodness, this is for you - #stayparanoid.
Section 4 - Omni
For the Galaxy S, both kasper_h and SferaDev have been working on Omni:Omni ALPHA[WIP]
Is this for me? Omni is another vision on what a perfect, free Android experience should feel like. If you're pretty excited for the features Omni has or will bring, and want an alternative to CM or other roms, this rom is for you.
Section 4A - Omni-derived roms
Currently there is Mackay OMNI, based on 4.4.4.
Is this for me? Similar story here - if you want that little bit extra from Omni, and you like the little additions the developer throws in, this will be for you. Check the OP for bugs and notices and the like.
Section 5 - MIUI
The Galaxy S doesn't have any official builds, although there have been a few ports:MIUI v5[WIP]
Is this for me? Anyone wanting something a lot different from stock Android should definitely have a look at MIUI. It also adds a bit of colour to Android - MIUI is heavily based on visuals, which just might be up your alley.
Section 6 - Pure AOSP
- Supernexus 4.0 (4.3 and 4.2 versions are available as well)
Is this for me? Sometimes the bare-bones experience of true AOSP can't be beaten, and often these kinds of roms are great for performance because they have nothing weighing them down. This might be for you.
Section 7 - Everything Else
Because there are just too many AOSP-based roms for me to list here, I've decided to list them in four "umbrella" groups that describe them best.
Section 7A - Function over form
Some popular examples include:
- CyanAOSP (4.3 and 4.2 versions are available)
- Sexynogenmod (for those wanting a 4.1.2 base)
- ElectROM (for those wanting ICS 4.0.4)
Is this for me? For all those speed-freaks out there or just those people wanting an ultra-smooth experience, the above are definitely for you. As usual, take the time to read through and see if any bugs are present.
Section 7B - Customiseable to no end
Some examples include:
- Resurrection REMIX
- Dirty Unicorns (Omni based) (4.3.1 also available)
- PAC-ROM (4.3 builds should also be available in the same thread)
Is this for me? These roms allow you to have your phone exactly how you want it. They merge features of CM, AOKP and PA to allow you to change every part of it. If you like what you hear, these kinds of roms are for you - check out the links above to get started.
Section 7C - Finding a balance
Some examples include:
- SlimKat (SlimBean 4.3, 4.2, 4.1 and SlimICS 4.0.4 is available as well)
- Helly Bean (4.2 and 4.1 are available as well)
- Illusion (4.2 is available as well)
Is this for me? If you like having some level of customiseable freedom but you don't want to sacrifice good performance, these roms are definitely for you. As usual, check for any bugs present.
Section 7D - UI-based goodness
Some examples include:
- Project Seaspray (Touchwiz UI) (4.3.1 and 4.1.2 versions are available in the same thread)
- RemICS-JB (4.1 and 4.0.4 versions are available)
- Xperian UI
If you want me to add something, please let me know!
And while I'm usually not one to explicitly ask, if you found this thread useful/like this thread please use the Thanks button!
I hope that this thread helps in making it easier for users for selecting a rom that they want and like. Even helping one person is more than enough
Any feedback, please leave a comment
And, as a final disclaimer/warning:
Please DO NOT copypaste this into another forum and claim it as your work! I asked for permission to adapt this thread from the original OP and so if you do wish to have a thread like this in your forum, please ASK FOR PERMISSION.