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One of the most important reasons I decided to buy a Samsung Galaxy S3, instead of waiting for the new Nexus device, was that given the popularity of the Galaxy brand, there were bound to be hundreds of custom ROMs developed for it. See, if there was an AA group for customization addicts, I’d be standing there now and introducing myself, “Hello, my name is Rita and I’m an addict.”

For about 2 months after getting the S3, I gave Samsung the benefit of the doubt, restraining myself to their own ICS flavor. However, the delay in official Jelly Bean’s arrival on my device and the itch to try something new finally pushed me over the edge. So I set out searching for custom ROMs and I looked at CyanogenMod first, a long-time favorite. But it was either a choice between a stable ICS — isn’t that what I was running away from? — with CM9, or a nightly Jelly Bean with CM10 and many bugs still plaguing it.

Then I widened my horizons, downloaded about 10 different ROMs and ended up on FoxHound, a surprisingly awesome custom ROM that ticked so many boxes for me. Here are the reasons I fell in love with it and decided to use it as a daily driver.

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CyanogenMod is an alternative firmware which is available for Android powered smart-phones and tablets. It is based on the Android Open Source Project and is a highly customizable firmware. Basically, it provides several additional features and enhancements which you will not find in stock Android ROMS.

The HTC Sense, Motoblur and Timescape interfaces are brilliant eye-candies for Android users [some readers might disagree - Ed], but they are quite slow. CyanogenMod ROMs are lightweight, stable and fast — without altering the core Android interface — which is why most people prefer this particular ROM over other stock ROMs.

A stable release of CyanogenMod 9 is on its way, but while we wait, let’s take a detailed look at what makes CM7 so great.

See also: 10 Reasons You Should Try CyanogenMod and 5 Tricks to Stick With It

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I was not the greatest expert on Android phones when I purchased the X2, and will not claim to be that now. When I bought it, I had been using a Sanyo Zio for quite some time, but decided to switch when I read that the X2 boasted the uber-fast Nvidia Tegra 2 chip.

Eventually, after many Froyo nightmares and force-closes, I realized that specs don’t mean everything. The software was nowhere near what it needed to be to make the phone a great device. However, a bit of trolling through XDA’s forums presented to me that light at the end of the tunnel. And that light was the Eclipse ROM. (more…)

When it comes to community-developed custom ROMs on Android, there are two contenders that you will hear people talk about a lot more than any of the rest: CyanogenMod and MIUI. I previously reviewed CyanogenMod stating 10 of its great features and 5 tricks to improve on its shortcomings.

Despite how much I loved CM7, I have decided to give MIUI a go, and have been running v1.09.16 for over seven weeks on my HTC Desire Z. In the following review, I will share with you my findings, stating the reasons I have loved MIUI and those that are making me consider going back to CyanogenMod. (more…)

When I first got my HTC Desire Z, I was in love, awestruck at the beautiful Sense interface and the numerous tweaks HTC had done to take the Android experience to the next level. However, as I went about installing my plethora of apps, games and widgets (over a hundred, I am a junkie), Sense started getting in the way instead of improving my experience. The home screen would restart every few hours; every tap took longer to register; screen rotation when sliding open the keyboard went on for ages; and the whole phone felt like it was struggling to get by.

CyanogenMod 7 (CM7), a Gingerbread-based stock Android ROM, had been on my radar for a while. It’s currently available for 28 devices, old and new, tablets and phones, including the Nexus One, HTC Incredible, HTC Hero, LG Optimus 2x, Motorola Droid, Samsung Galaxy S, and Nook Color. Since my Desire Z was rooted, I decided to give it a shot. Lo and behold, a breath of fresh air swooped through my phone and it felt brand new without the clunky, RAM-hungry, processor-intensive Sense layer. Two months later, I am a convert, for several reasons which I’ll recount below.
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MIUI is a very visually appealing ROM for Android, borrowing a vast number of aesthetic elements from iOS. If you’ve been missing (or yearning after) the look and feel of iOS, then MIUI is definitely for you. But, how does it stack up against the other options available?

I will, again, be using my HTC Desire running stock settings for this review.

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Oxygen is a minimalist ROM built on Gingerbread for the HTC Desire, with an emphasis on running smoothly and conserving power. But how does it compare to the Desire’s stock ROM, which runs HTC Sense?

In this review, I’ll be covering v2.0-RC7 of Oxygen. Naturally, to install it to a Desire or any Android, you must first root your device.

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