Care about custom ROMs on Android? Avoid Samsung

By on September 23, 2012
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Samsung’s Exynos processors have poor support.

Android users often cite customization as one of the primary attributes for going with Google’s OS, rather than Apple’s iOS or indeed Windows Phone. One of the best ways for tech enthusiasts for getting the latest Android OS on their smartphones among other things) is to get custom ROMs available by reputed community developers on places such as xda-developers, instead of waiting for months to get official updates from the smartphone makers.

When asked about the delay in getting new custom ROMs for some of the newer Samsung smartphones, CyanogenMod developer ‘codeworkx’ said, “Samsung doesn’t provide proper sources or documentation for their own platform. And if they do after it’s much to late, it’s outdated and incompatible.”

In comparison both Qualcomm and Texas Instruments provide great support for their chips. Giving an example of the Samsung Galaxy SII I9100 and I9100G models, the former uses Samsung’s Exynos 4 processor, while the latter uses TI OMAP4. In this case when Android Jelly Bean was ported over to the TI equipped model (I9100G), it ran smoothly, while the Samsung Exynos equipped model (I9100) ran it very buggy.

In the end the developer says, “Don’t buy exynos phones.” The current Samsung Galaxy SIII runs on the Exynos 4 processor, however, Samsung do seem to be on top of things by providing the Jelly Bean update within the next few weeks. How this will translate to Android v4.2 (Key Lime Pie) being ported over to Galaxy SIII using custom ROMs is anybody’s guess.


From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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