Samsung Galaxy S2 owners: still waiting for that Ice Cream Sandwich update? We’ve told you how to get the official ROM every which way but loose, now, as well as pointed you towards some top Android launchers available in the Google Play store that offer unique features and slick performance, but what if you want to go a step further?
We’ve collated a list of the best alternative, home-brewed ROMs for the Galaxy S2. You’ll need to root your Galaxy S2 and install these – it’s more complex than simply downloading a launcher – but they will completely transform your phone, bring rapid versions of Android 4.0 to your phone, or even save your battery. Here are our favourites…
It’s still in its alpha build and buggy because of it, but the Ice Cream Sandwich build of the CyanogenMod has the most manpower behind it. Even so, it’s proven to be a bit of a challenge for the hackers. “Google has made some pretty major changes to the Android framework that break compatibility with older proprietary camera and graphics drivers,” said the official blog back in December. That said, it is available, and proffers new features like a redesigned music player and file manager, on top of a tweaked Android 4.0 skin.
Link: Get CM9 Here
Another ROM built on Android 4.03, which promises a stable and customisable way into Ice Cream Sandwich. On top of Google’s offering, Lite’ning boasts a customisable status bar, tweaks that improve the memory and storage access and, as the name suggests, lightning fast fluidity.
Link: Get Lite’ning here
MIUI has been kicking about in various forms for a few years now. It’s built on Android 2.3, rather than Ice Cream Sandwich, but it is a bit of a looker. MIUI borrows some design cues from iOS, making icons bigger and more uniform alongside some similar transitions, while keeping the famous Android customisation. There are plenty of bizarre themes to choose from, but thanks to this similarity there are several that’ll replace the app icons with iOS-style ones. Controversial, sure, but cool nonetheless.
Link: Get MIUI here
Resurrection Remix ICS ROM
A polished Android 4.0 ROM with all of Google’s bells and whistles, including Face Unlock and the stock Ice Cream Sandwich email and calendar apps. Ignore anything you see saying the app’s unstable; recent updates have ended all the force closing issues, making this a solid option for anyone wanting no-frills Ice Cream Sandwich.
VillainROM is the new darling of the ICS world. It’s a pretty faithful reproduction of the stock Android 4.0 UI, and is buttery smooth, but its real selling point is its one super power: battery life. Thanks to some godly tweaking going on behind the scenes, VillainROM users – without fail – report hugely improved battery life on their Galaxy S2s. Oh, and we know the phone in the video is the Galaxy Nexus, but it is available for the Galaxy S2:
Link: Get VillainROM
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