Should you flash custom ROMs?

In the past few years I made a dive into the world of root and custom ROMs, asking myself one question: Why would you actually flash a custom ROM or root your device? You may think there’s one easy answer: speed. This is of course a part of the answer why you would flash a custom ROM, but there are also different aspects to look at. Today I’ll answer why you should or shouldn’t flash a custom ROM.

Why should you flash custom ROMs?

Speed

Almost every device comes out of the box with a skin on top of Android beside the Nexus devices. Not only do they look quite childish, they’re also slowing down your device at the background. The best example for this is TouchWiz, a highly skinned version of Android for Samsung devices. Samsung modifies almost everything of the OS, from animations to the quick settings. And, without the needed optimizations it slows down your device, while if you would flash a custom ROM, nothing is slowing down your device.

New versions of Android

Most manufacturers only keep their devices up to date within 18 months after announcing it, and it happens that the device only receives one update before its end of life (EOL). After 18 months its almost time to search for other phones, but if you want to keep your phone a bit longer, and you would like to have a newer version of Android, looking for a custom ROM is the way to go. Of course, I can’t say if there are some custom ROMs available for your device, but it’s always worth the effort to search for it on XDA-developers. Besides that, critical security flaws are fixed with new versions of Android or with the latest security patches from Google.

Battery

With most of the custom ROMs being close to stock, they won’t drain your battery as much as the stock software may do. And, with Android 6.0 Google announced Doze mode, which shuts down all services besides the ones coming from Google, which helps to get through the day much easier, although I need to note that it’ll only work after 30 minutes if the phone isn’t use and is lying flat on the table. What I’m actually saying with that is that Google is bringing battery optimizations with new versions of Android.

Functionality

Just like with the new battery optimizations in every new versions of Android, Google also includes new features to make the life of Android users even better. With Android N Google is finally bringing multi-window. Besides that, custom ROMs like CyanogenMod include a whole lot of features like button customization, status bar options, Privacy guard etc. With those features you can make Android like you want it to be.

Why shouldn’t you flash custom ROMs?

Warranty

There’s actually a law allowing you to modify your software on your device: 1999/44/CE. While this means Samsung should allow you to modify your OS, your warranty will be void after flashing custom ROMs on your device, even installing a custom recovery voids your warranty. Some companies do allow tinkering with their devices, like OnePlus. Warranty will be void if it damages your hardware though.

Stability

This is actually different for each device, and there’s even a difference between which custom ROM you’re running on your device. While custom ROMs are most of the time pretty stable, if there’s a lack of source it could mean the ROM you’re going to use is less stable compared to the stock ROM.

Damaging your phone

Flashing a new custom ROM seems easy, but without the needed preparation it could go horrible wrong, it could even render your device unusable. That’s why I always mention that you shouldn’t do this if you don’t know what happens in the background. And, if you do, please make sure to prepare yourself for the worst.

Conclusion

This is actually something we cannot answer for you, there could be a lot of benefits, but if it goes wrong, it could go horribly wrong. If you would ask me: should I? I would answer that if you know how and prepare yourself, you should go for it and enjoy the ride.

Where could I find one for my phone?

The place to go if you want to find custom ROMs and other stuff for your phone is XDA-developers. Make sure that you search for the right model number and enjoy your stay at XDA, most of the times there are a lot of guides on XDA for your phone on how to flash a custom recovery first, and whatever you need to begin with.

Note: EuroTechTalk isn’t responsible for anything that goes wrong with your device; we are not responsible for bricked devices, dead SD cards, thermonuclear war, or you getting fired because the alarm app failed. Please do some research if you have any concerns about features included in the ROMs before flashing it! YOU are choosing to make these modifications, and if you point the finger at us for messing up your device, we will laugh at you.

About Jeffrey van de Velde

Just another Android lover here, although its only a small part of my life, I love it when I am with friends and family. Enjoy life!!

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