In this blog post I’m talking about my experience on flashing a custom Rom to my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Device. Here I am not trying to judge something instead, I am sharing the results that was an outcome of my experiments . you can skip any of the topics below if you think you would know it already. The reason I put “Galaxy Note X” in the heading is, even if the experiment is done for the Galaxy Note 3, this result can be same for any of the Galaxy Note series which are available to date Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy Note 6, Galaxy Note 7, Galaxy Note banana or coconut whatever the Note series in the future.
What is a Custom ROM all about?
Well, You have a pre installed version of Android OS in any of the Android mobile you would buy in the market. This is called Stock ROM. The operating system which is customized and pre-installed by the vendor or manufacturer of the specific handset. Custom ROM or Custom Firmware on the other hand, is coming from 3rd party who is not the vendor or manufacturer of the handset.
Android is open source. Android geeks can benefit from it by doing their own customizations and hacks. So another version of android OS borns from outside the manufacturer’s world. It can be for any model. It is named as “Custom ROM”. Hope you understand my hard explanation!
Why is it necessary?
Always the manufacturer are lazy to release new version of android os in the same speed as android is released. For example, the latest version of android is “Android N” to date. Only the new handset would try to carry this version of android. Most of the old handsets still having “Android KitKat” or “Android Lollipop” with only few periodic security updates. I am sorry to say still so many handsets are having android “Ice Cream Sandwich” is in use. If you ever wanted to enjoy new features coming up with the new versions of android OS, the only option is to use a custom ROM.
That is not only the case. Stock ROM comes with so many pre-installed application which is developed by the manufacturer. Some of them you might not be even interested. They might just take some space on your memory forcefully. On the custom ROM, you would get the minimal required application and then you are free to install whatever you feel necessary for you. In this way, you are away from bloated application.
Is Custom ROM safe?
Many of us come across this question when they start to think about flashing a custom ROM or rooting their device. It completely depends. Depends on many factors.
- Choosing the right ROM
- How accurate you follow the instructions given by the ROM developer
- Condition of your device
- And some more…
If everything matches, it would be safe enough. The best way to choose a custom ROM is, reading the review/comments from others who have been already installed the same ROM which you have decided to go with. That would give a clear idea. And another important thing is to have a full backup of data. So that any time you can go back to your stock ROM.
Well, I am a fan of Samsung Galaxy Note series. (But really really not for Galaxy Note 7). My first ever note series was “Samsung Galaxy Note 3”. Which I love using it until now. By the time I am writing this post, manufacturer has released only upto “Android Lollipop”. That is android version 5.x. Google has announced upto “Android Nougat” that is the latest version tagged as Version 7.0 for now.
In the Custom ROM market, the latest version for Galaxy Note 3 available is “Marshmallow 6.0” that is almost the latest version in any model except Google’s Nexus series. I installed the Marshmallow version modified for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It was exciting and everything went perfect. Finally I got the latest android OS on my mobile.
What made me happy?
- Latest version
- Pure Android
- No bloated applications
- More space in my internal storage
- Less memory usage
- Clean workspace
- Additional features that gave more control over theme customization.
What I missed?
- Note 3 look and feel
- Note applications
- S-Pen features
- Samsung keyboard
- Kids mode
In my overall experience I missed my Note 3. Don’t be surprised! Yes, it is true. What make note series special from regular mobile devices are the manufacturer modifications for the android that is made specifically for the bigger display, features for the S-Pen and etc. On the other hand, most custom ROM holds no any special features for the Note Series and it is just plain piece of android OS except some look and feel customization. It would make your phone just a usual android phone with bigger display.
The ROMs I have tried
In any of the above every are almost same except some theme modification. It is the basic android. Yes, you are getting newer version. That’s true.
I am a regular user of Skype. I was struggling with an issues. In any of the above ROM, Skype was buggy. I could never correct the sound issue, which the other party could not hear my voice. I could read about this issue in Skype forum which was fixed in marshmallow for Nexus devices.
Finally I switched back to a Stock ROM, everything went well. It returned back my Galaxy Note 3. In one of my previous post I was mentioning about “Google play service issue“. Also this was gone after installing a Stock ROM which was released for European region.
I am not the one to give verdict whether to go for custom ROM or stick with the stock ROM. This is only my experience and my opinion which I hope to be applicable for any Samsung Galaxy Note series.
Today, so far, Galaxy Note 3 are getting Android 5.x Lollipop updates. I felt it is far most better than the Android 6 Custom ROMs available today in the market. With the 3GB memory, the phone works very well with the Android Lollipop and the has the decent battery life time. The main fact is, your Note 3 will be Note 3, or else if you flash a custom ROM, it would become usual piece of Android which is similar to Google Nexus phones. Eventually Note 3 would be lost.