AOKP, CM and ParanoidAndroid: Which Custom ROM should I Choose?

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Android is a great OS which can be easily customized and optimized. Moreover, Google is trying to keep its customers close by bringing updates and improvements to the stock Android system. Thus, temporarily we can apply OTAs on our Android smartphones and tablets. But, these stock Android platforms are somehow limited. Thus, for advanced Android users there are custom ROMs, platforms that can improve general performances and optimize stock Android firmware.

As you might know, the most popular and appreciated custom ROMs that are currently available for free on the market are CM, AOKP and ParanoidAndroid. These three Android based ROMs can be anytime downloaded and installed on any handsets you want. The best is that all these updates are compatible with mid range, low range and high end devices, whether we are talking about phones released three year ago, or last month.

So, bottom line, you might have a big dilemma: which custom ROM should you choose for your Android device? Which ROM is the best between CM, AOKP and Paranoid Android? Well, during the following lines I will try to provide answers for these questions.

First of all, it should be clear for you that all ROMs are representing free aftermarket distributions of Android OS. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about KitKat, Jelly Bean or Lollipop ROMs. All are unofficial firmwares developed by third party devs and unofficially available for your Android device. Thus, the first thing to conclude: you will lose the warranty of your handset when trying to update with CM, AOKP or Paranoid Android.

Now, each custom ROMs comes with its own particular features, apps and capabilities. On that matter you should check each custom ROM (each platform has its own official web site) for getting the official changelog. CM, AOKP and Paranoid Android brings extra features that cannot be found on the default Android system. All these features can customize and optimize the Android system and can power up the general performances of your devices.

Now, each team of developers are including a set of features on each of the mentioned custom ROMs. You should have in mind a list of programs that you consider that are essential for a daily use of Android OS. Then, you should check all three list of features (CM, AOKP and ParanoidAndroid) and based on your own results you should choose the platform that you consider that is the best for you.

Do note that you should install only official releases of CM, AOKP and Paranoid Android and not beta or alpha ported variants. The official builts are stable while the testing ROMs are buggy and installed with various software related issues.

Another thing you should know is that ParanoidAndroid was initially developed for Android powered tablets. Thus, this ROM was optimized and customized for big screens and for ensuring a great tablet Android experience. Of course, during time ParanoidAndroid has also been customized and optimized for different smartphones UI, but bottom line, if you have a tablet, you should first choose Paranoid Android as your default custom ROM.

Then, for phones we are left with AOKP and CM. Both ROMs are great, but CM is actually more popular than AOKP. Why? Well, that’s easy. CM gets more updates than AOKP. Also CM brings more features than AOKP. For example, now on the market we have CM 12 Nightlies already released. This firmware is based on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop OS, while AOKP is still based on Jelly Bean firmware. Those of AOKP will soon release their own Lollipop ROM, but, at that time CM will already launch further updates that will be installed with new features and apps that will make the Lollipop experience even greater.

Therefore, if you ask me, CM is a better choice than AOKP when talking about Android powered smartphones, while ParanoidAndroid will be better on the tablet field.

So, that was what I had in mid about this topic. Don’t hesitate and share your own thoughts based on your own Android experience. You can use the comments field from below for helping other users choose between CM, AOKP and Paranoid Android ROMs.

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Andy Stevenson

Andy is a senior editor here on Android Flagship and you can surely rely on its experience as the Android subject is more than a hobby to him. Andy is currently focusing on developing dedicated and detailed tutorials, tips and tricks, so you will be able to find its work through the “how to” section of our website. Also, don’t hesitate and contact Andy if you have questions or if you want to hear a second opinion about anything that’s related to the Android OS.