The Android developer community is huge, with their biggest feat being the ability to develop custom ROMs or custom Android builds. A custom ROM is an aftermarket firmware production based on the Android source code provided by Google. So if you are someone who wants to install a custom ROM on your device but are confused about which one to go with, here are our picks for the 12 best custom ROMs for Android in 2024.
1. Pixel Experience
Pixel Experience is the best custom ROM for Android right now and there are three reasons for the same. Support for lots of devices, Pixel features to non-pixel devices, built-in GCam support, and more features, and the overall stability, which is top-notch among all the ROMs that we’ve tried so far.
Third, it has amazing stability among all the ROMs that I have tested for years. The main developer, Henrique Pereira, is not in a tearing hurry to port new Android versions to all the devices.
Instead, the developer picks a popular and developer-centric device and creates a base. After that, he publishes all the changes to GitHub for other maintainers to work on. Not to mention, Pixel Experience has maintainers around the world who work round the clock to quell bugs on time.
So to put it straight, if you want stability and new features right from Pixel devices then Pixel Experience is the best custom ROM on Android, bar none. Keep in mind, that you won’t get the latest Android build immediately, but you will have a stable and hassle-free experience for sure.
When people hear the word “custom ROM,” LineageOS is probably the first thing that comes to mind. LineageOS is CyanogenMod and for those unaware, back in the fall of 2016, Cyanogen announced that it was discontinuing development and shut the infrastructure behind the project. Since then, the developer community has kept the project alive, but under the name of LineageOS.
Built on top of Google’s AOSP code with lots of additions on top, LineageOS works as a standalone ROM as well as a base for many other custom ROMs out there. It has the most extensive developer team under its name and officially supports over 190 devices. The ROM includes basic but useful features that include but are not limited to customizing the status bar, changing the overall theme, editing the navbar, and much more.
LineageOS is quite basic but it’s also very stable. Most use it as a canvas on which people then apply all sorts of themes and feature mods. LineageOS is also great if you want top-notch privacy and security on a custom ROM. Not to mention, the development team has worked fast on bringing Android 14 this time and it’s available for several devices.
3. Paranoid Android
Not too long ago, one of people’s favorite Paranoid Android was resurrected from the dead. If you’re unaware, Paranoid Android is the OG and is one of the most acclaimed custom ROMs of all time. The development team has started to churn out the first batch of Android 14 Beta builds, and the ROM primarily focuses on bringing a polished and refined experience. Paranoid keeps it simple, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it does promise a smooth user experience.
For starters, it has a revamped quick settings menu, support for gestures, and a few nifty options for power users. One of the biggest flexes of Paranoid Android was when Google took its then-known ambient mode “Peek” and added it to AOSP, which was a huge achievement for the team. So, the next time you use Ambient Display, remember Paranoid.
Paranoid Android has a long list of devices but versions for most of them haven’t been updated since July 2023. Although development for a lot of Xiaomi phones is still active, only relatively modern phones are getting new ROMs. The latest Paranoid Android version is called Uvite, which is based on Android 14 and is available for a few Android devices as of now.
GrapheneOS and CalyxOS have similar agendas but the difference lies in how they try to run Google apps to prevent Google from tracking your location and data. Unlike CalyxOS, GrapheneOS uses Sandboxing, which, in layman’s terms, is like emulation and running apps in an isolated environment rather than on the device.
Like CalyxOS, GrapheneOS too is only available on Pixel devices. It’s close to AOSP and doesn’t offer many customization features. It’s primarily for those who want to stay away from Google’s clutches.
5. Evolution X
Evolution X is the Resurrection Remix from yesteryear. This is because of the plethora of customization features it offers, and it does while being relatively stable. Evolution X merges various code snippets into one main project to bring a long list of features for many devices. While this does mean that updates come a little slower, they are still able to deliver regular updates.
Unlike Paranoid Android which has just started sending Android 14 builds, Evolution X has Android 14 available for lots of old and new devices. Expanding on the customization part, Evolution X offers some of the best customization options where users can customize every minute detail from the status bar to the home screen and a lot more, making it one of the most customizable AOSP ROMs of all time.
6. Project Elixir
If you are looking for the best Android 14 custom ROM, go ahead and check out Project Elixir. It’s a beautiful AOSP ROM that is very close to stock Android with Pixel features and customization options. It features Essense which is based on the Substratum theme and delivers an elegant lock screen experience that you won’t find on any other ROM.
The best part is that it also offers timely updates and bugs are fixed routinely. As for device support, from Xiaomi to OnePlus, Nokia, and Nothing, almost all the OEMs are supported. Project Elixir is one of the best Android 14 custom ROMs in town right now and you should not miss it.
PixelOS is another take on stock Android that brings, you guessed it, a Pixel-like user interface with added enhancements, improvements, and stability. It does not go overboard with features like other AOSP ROMs and prioritizes essential utilities that can help users. The ROM is based on AOSP so you know it’s stable; The developers of PixelOS have started pushing Android 14 updates.
The ROM is available for Realme, Samsung, Motorola, OnePlus, Samsung, Asus, and more devices. The team is also quite up-to-date and regularly pushes new builds with features and security patches. Overall, PixelOS is quite impressive in terms of design and those who are looking to flash Android 14, must give it a try. It’s pretty similar to PixelPlusUI and PixysOS which are pretty similar and have their own feature sets.
Imagine being on your device’s stock ROM, but with slight tweaks here and there that allow you to customize your device without losing out on the Stock stability. Well, that’s crDroid for you. crDroid has been around for some time and it has gained huge popularity among stock Android enthusiasts. Similar to AOSP Extended, crDroid has an active development team and supports lots of old devices.
It offers the same AOSP experience that’s exclusive to Google’s lineup, along with truly tested features. Since crDroid is based on LineageOS at its base, the performance and battery life are phenomenal. To put it into words, think of LineageOS, but with added features and tweaks. The list of supported devices is also huge and contains both new and old devices.
9. Havoc OS
Defining Havoc-OS would take up more than a couple of words. In your first run of this ROM, you’d find it similar to just about any other custom ROM out there. Use it for a couple of days, and you start experiencing the true beauty of Havoc-OS. One of the first ROMs to successfully implement a truckload of features. It will remind you of Resurrection Remix and Paranoid Android from the past.
The added functionalities of Havoc-OS include tons of mods for the Status bar, buttons, lights, gestures, and other various configurations. While at times, it lacks stability, I can surely say that it has the maximum customizability features. So if you want something like Resurrection Remix but with the latest Android version then Havoc-OS will take you right home.
10. Bliss ROM
Bliss ROM is a new custom ROM in the Android ecosystem but it has huge potential. It not only develops ROMs for smartphones but also for tablets and Windows devices like Surface Pro. And the overall experience is quite nice as it comes with a customized launcher and desktop mode.
While many users might not like this new way of system navigation, one cannot deny the fact that we need different kinds of skins to reshape the boundary of user interface design in custom ROMs.
Apart from including certain tweaks to the customizability and functionality, Bliss ROM vastly enhances the overall visual look of your device. It has a separate settings panel called Blissify from where you can change almost everything. Right from themes to animation and lock screen interface. I would say if you want to try something different, do give it a shot.
OmniROM is one of the oldest custom ROMs on this list. The project was started way back in 2013 when CyanogenMod was all hype, and it continues to push new builds even today. It does nothing radical but brings a clean, AOSP-based ROM with rock-solid stability and a long list of device support.
The team has also worked on Android 14 and released updates for ROG Phone, Google Pixel, Redmi Note series, and more. In terms of updates, it’s not the fastest, but for still good when it comes to performance and day-to-day tasks.
We know how bloated MIUI can be and why and how you should debloat MIUI and other Android devices. Thanks to the Xiaomi.eu project, you can install a custom ROM that is based on pure MIUI and comes with zero bloatware, ads, or resource-hogging processes running in the background.
For those who love MIUI and don’t want to go the AOSP route, this is one of the best ROMs you can install on your Xiaomi phone. It releases builds every week for testers and general users can try the stable releases. It even brought support for the latest Xiaomi HyperOS which is based on Android 14. So if you have a Xiaomi device, you can’t afford to miss out on the Xiaomi.eu ROM.
Why Install a Custom ROM?
The main reason why people prefer custom ROMs is that almost every manufacturer drops software support for a phone 2-3 years after its launch. It could be frustrating to see other devices get new features while you struggle to use the phone due to the lack of features. A custom ROM can help keep your device alive and updated with the latest version of Android.
Another reason why people prefer custom ROMs is due to the possibilities of modding them. There’s no bloatware in them and are packed with all sorts of customization features by default. The possibilities are endless. While there are many custom ROMs out there, not all of them are stable enough to be used as your daily driver.
Installing a custom ROM requires you to unlock the bootloader first, and have a custom recovery like TWRP installed. Before you get started, it’s always a good idea to create a backup of your Android device. Also, not all ROMs come with Google Apps installed; hence, you may need to flash a GApps package such as OpenGapps (website) or NikGApps (website). Beebom’s Android team has tested almost all ROMs listed below on a variety of devices and presented ou unbiased list of the best custom ROMs you can try in 2024.
Custom ROMs bring out a new experience to your old or new mobile devices. While no ROM out there will ever be as stable as the stock ROM, having a custom ROM does give you the liberty to sacrifice a few points of stability to gain tons of features. We have been testing custom ROMs for many years, and people never settle on one and keep hopping, hoping to find the best out there. What’s your favorite custom ROM? Let us know in the comments section below.
If you are looking for stability, I would recommend LineageOS, especially for older devices. Apart from that, overall, I think Pixel Experience and Paranoid Android are some of the best Android custom ROMs.
In terms of rock-solid stability, LineageOS would take the crown for the most stable custom ROM.
Xiaomi devices are generally supported better as unlocking the bootloader does not violate the warranty. Besides OnePlus, Motorola, Nothing, Realme, and Asus devices generally have a good custom ROM presence.