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Custom ROM Roundup for Galaxy Nexus – AOKP Build 4, XenonHD, and LiquidSmooth

Instead of continuing our coverage of just CyanogenMod or AOKP, we thought it would be nice for some of you to broaden your custom ROM horizons. If you have never tried or heard of XenonHD and LiquidSmooth, try them out. For starters, XenonHD is based on Jelly Bean 4.1.1 JRO03R and comes with plenty of fantastic tweaks and mods that will impressive any avid flasher. Things such as battery tweaks, speaker tweaks for louder output, and other little goodies are just the start to a huge changelog they posted a couple of days ago. 

As for LiquidSmooth, we’ve written about their work plenty. It’s incredibly fast, smooth (duh), and has many users that would put all of their money on this ROM if it was in the ring against any other. Much like a lot of other ROMs, it comes with countless customization options for colors, forced tablet mode tweaks, and plenty of other things that would take up this whole page if I had the time to write it all.

And while we’re at it, we would like to let you know that just in case you still only care about AOKP, that Build 4 has just gone up. Follow the below links to try out any of the following ROMs I just mentioned. Happy flashing.

AOKP Build 4 | XenonHD | LiquidSmooth 

Cheers Justin and Guy!

  • I’ve tried alot of roms but i always find my way back to jbsourcery after supping this rom up you come running a smooth rom never had a problem just like the million customizations they have

  • CrackerJack

    I loaded the current JRO03R version of XenonHD. I had a previous version that had great battery life but since I loaded this one battery has been burning up faster than ever. Perhaps I did something wrong so I’ll try wiping an installing again but I was really surprised to see this change.

  • You guys call yourself ‘DROID’ life, can you note when ROMs and articles are specifically for Verizon hardware? This isn’t a round up for the Galaxy Nexus, its a roundup for the VZW Galaxy Nexus. Thanks.

  • DXjunkie

    All of these teams have been working hard at the new codes, which are the most secure to date. It’s been very difficult modifying these new sources with the bells and whistles. With countless nightlies and bugs it’s obviously difficult I admire the developers who stick with it through all the boot-loops and constant whining from us crack flashers. Someday I hope to see better representation and animation in the marketing of all the ROM’s. To date, that I have flashed and stayed with, is Team Sourcery.

  • Travis

    LiquidSmooth & XenonHD are both a little clunky as some things simply don’t work, im headed back to the BuglessBeast by Peter Alfonso for my sanity

  • Zach Beck

    You should check out/review BlackBean from Team BAKED (previously Black Ice). Love their blacked-out Jellybean builds.

  • Matthew Harmon

    Is anyone else having issues with Gmail push notifications on AOKP? Mine refuses to work. Also, I cannot get Goolge Wallet to work, keeps failing when trying to add a card?

    • David Becker

      Are you sure gmail is syncing? Go to settings then click google, then your account and make sure the check box is in gmail.

    • PC_Tool

      Gmail is working fine on my Nexus running B4. Notifications and all.

      Haven’t bothered with Wallet yet. Only place in town that can utilize it is McDonalds…

      Once gas pumps start accepting it, I’ll have much more use for it…sadly.

  • jsk225

    Project Elite beta has been awesome, not sure why it’s even called a beta any more.

    • PC_Tool

      linkage? (My Google-fu has failed me…)

  • Also the newest MIUI.us is amazing running smoother than the recent CM10 nightlies, not as swaggeriffic as AOKP though

  • Eric

    fix for Lightflow… fingers crossed

    • PC_Tool

      The functionality is being built directly into ROMs now.

    • Stewie


  • aholland1

    I’ve actually been really enjoying BAMF Paradigm myself lately. Very stable and tons of customization options without being over the top.

  • Benjamin Clay

    I just want to know which one gives the Galaxy Nexus the best battery life.

    • Markus

      Keep your brightness to minimum and don’t run apps that have frequent wakelocks. If you do that, all kernels are probably within 2% or each other in efficiency. Placebo.

  • Jeff_McDonald

    I have to go with JBSourcery. Stable in all aspects with tons of mod options. They were great for the OG Droid and now with the Nexus. I was so excited to see them return to the Dev scene! I ran AOKP for awhile but Sourcery is just that much better.

    • Al

      JBSourcery is absolutely amazing! Being able to easily change the nav bars, status bars and boot animation make the customization options damn near endless. Not to mention the hundreds of choices you can choose from for everything. There is a reason the dev touts it as the most customizable rom out there.

  • RW-1

    I hate to sway it, but I would have defended DV 4.1.1 on this, but he has decided to leave the easiest build in the dust (pure aosp) to work miui. Going to have to decide on BB or possibly affinity at this juncture.

  • Fred Fredson

    Not so popular right now here, but pls give PARANOID ANDROID a shot. It`s based on cm10 with different Tablet-Modes. It really changes the look an feel of your Nexus. Also: All CyanogengeMod features are avaliable!

    • looked at this rom tonight… think its my next flashing fix.

    • YES! I was pretty surprised it only has one comment. Not sure I can go back to a standard ROM after PA. Making good use of my screen real estate. I have not even considered switching to another rom since moving to PA, and it keeps getting better! Stable, smooth, new features added every week or so. Try it. You will like it.

  • im on aokp build 2 and i aint updating

    it works and has features i like, i dont care about anything else other than that, ill probably update to keylime pie when that is released to the gnex

  • Any love for Cyanogenmod 10 nightlys?

  • I was a crack flasher until I flashed CNA. If you make yourself a nandroid backup and flash it I think you’d be hooked too. :-p He also updates it all the time so you still get to get a flash fix.

    • KleenDroid

      I agree

  • I was so stoked to finally have AOKP Jb on my TF101, I flashed and all was good until I started dropping wifi.. Oh well back to CM10 until a revised TF101 build until the WiFi issue is fixed.

    Build 4 on my GNex is smooth and awesome, no issues so far, then again I didnt have any issues on build 2 or 3 either..

  • kptnk

    What ???!!!! I don’t belive that no one talked about RASBEAN JELLY ????!!!!!! It is, with Bugless Beast, the smoothest and more stable Ever ! And nicely black & blue themed : http://fitsnugly.euroskank.com/?rom=rasbeanjelly&device=maguro

  • Thanks for the post Tim!

    • wickets

      ditto on the sentiment

  • Roberto Taylor

    It’s all about that Bugless Beast. Super stable ROM by Peter Alfonso and buttery smooth.

  • IgotGAME

    I really like the Blackbean rom. Everything is already inverted for the most part, inverted gapps as well, and they have inverted APKs for apps like youtube, gmail, etc..of course you can install those on any rom. I just really like the blacked out look and it’s good on the battery as well.

  • Bakedbean 5. You’ll Never Use Another Rom Once You Try This One.

    • manny108

      Agree Baked Bean 5 is the best by far. I have been on alot of Roms but this one is a beast.

      • cmonnats23

        Any particular reason why?

  • dsass600

    Only reason I’m getting rid of the gnex is the battery and radio

  • akazerotime

    No BAMF love? I guess once they get the bootsound working on their 4.1.1 build they may get some action.

    • leoingle

      Agreed it was my favorite when I had my GNex.

    • jlange

      I have settled on BAMF (with BAMF Diet kernel) after trying a few different ROMs. Very stable and fast, with Just the right amount of customization.

  • CrackerJack

    I have been running Xenon for a couple of weeks and overall it has been great. My battery life has also extended with this ROM.

  • mikeybeans

    Trying to jump from aokp 3 to 4, and was wondering if even a partial data wipe is necessary? I know someone below said they jumped to the new build only doing a partial wipe and was fine. Is there a way to flash the new build without having to redownload all my apps from the play store and keep messages? Or is this a must to not brick my toro? Please and thanks to all!

    • PC_Tool

      Not necessary; always recommended.

      Honestly, with Tibu, backups, etc…why would anyone *not* do a complete wipe between ROM flashes?

    • KleenDroid

      Make a backup of your ROM. Then make a full backup with Titanium. Then try your update with a partial wipe and give it a go. You can always restore your backup. Or you could do a fresh install and restore what you need from Titanium. And I agree that with Titanium you can be back to normal pretty darn quickly with some practice.

  • yamaha r1

    Vanir aosp….the must underrated and overlooked ROM! I’ve tried aokp cyan and liquid and always go back to vanir!

  • SD_Scott

    I would be really interested in seeing Antutu benchmarks at stock speeds for future write ups… I’d be more than happy to run them for you guys too since I’m a total flash wh*re anyways.

  • NorCalGuy

    Fitsnugly AOKP nightlies

  • AFelm

    Too bad Liquid’s a kanger from CM, he almost got booted from a couple forums.

    • Jarrett Hickman


      • AFelm

        I’m sure a lot do but those people give credit. He takes so much code and pretends that it is his. That’s the issue people have with him.

  • Detonation

    CNA might not be the most popular “dev” since he mostly just kangs everyone else’s mods, but the bottom line is that CNA is one of the most feature rich and stable ROMs I’ve used, so I don’t really care.

    • Turkey Fart

      writing your own stuff is for pussies

  • XenonHD by iceandfire is my favorite! Love all the features and excellent dev support!

  • i been a big fan of sorcery JBSOURCERY 2.3.5 but if xenonhd is that good on battery i might give it a spin

    • KleenDroid

      Give Codename Android a try. I think you would be pleased.

  • Pistal

    Bugless Beast of bust.

  • William_Morris

    Bugless Beast. Sometimes it’s not necessarily all the bells and whistles. Sometimes it’s just about keeping things clean and most up to date. And I do believe Pete does some of the best work while leaving a very limited footprint.

    • If its not about all the bells and whistles, then why not just run stock?

      • SeanBello

        because stock is 4 months behind

      • RW-1

        Think of a “Stock” ROM like BB in this way: What if VZ actaully updated your phone when the newest AOSP build of Android came out? The latest code changes and tweaks, etc. Some don’t want a high level of customization, but know that they want the latest version of the OS available, plus the ability to load a custom kernel, etc. THAT is why BB is go great in that regard.

        • Thanks, never thought of that. I don’t live in the us and I like a few bells and the occasional whistle.

      • PC_Tool

        …because “stock” is several versions *behind* AOSP. Alfonso (and most other ROM makers, actually) are well ahead of any OEM stock, and quite often ahead of even “Nexus Stock” as pushed by Google because they pull from AOSP pretty much the moment it is updated…and it is nearly constantly updated.

    • cheezer88

      I’m running BB with Franco kernel and it is kicking ass

    • Bugless Beast FTW. SOLID ROM.

    • eXsoR

      Bugless Beast FTW!! Nothing is more stable!

  • skyskioc


  • quiklives

    Anyone flash from build 3 to build 4 without a full wipe?

    • I did, worked fine

      • quiklives


      • mikeybeans

        This may be a n00b to the flashing game question, but what is the difference between a full wipe and a partial wipe? If I wanted to go from aokp 3 to 4 how would I go about doing that without having to redownload all of my Google play apps and keep old messages? Must you do a partial wipe at least, even though you’re only jumping to the next build of the same ROM? Please and thanks!

        • KleenDroid

          When in recovery you can wipe just cache and dalvic without doing a full data reset. Then while there install the update. But always do a backup before making changes.

    • kdo23

      Yes, it works fine so far. I am on a galaxy nexus though and the change log does say that certain devices will be wiped completely by the update. Nandroid first as always is suggested.

    • What is the difference between 3 & 4? I couldn’t find a changelog anywhere.. :/

  • moelsen8

    I’m waiting patiently for cm10 m2 build.

    • Greyhame

      Didn’t even know M1 was out. How is it?

      • johnb

        The nightly’s are fast and smooth… running the 9/30 build and no problems to report.

      • moelsen8

        I think its the best experience I’ve ever had on my gnex. Loving it.

    • link please and ty

      • moelsen8

        m2 isn’t out yet, but hopefully soon.
        if you’re running the verizon gnex, the code name is toro. (you can mouse-over the code names and it’ll tell you the actual device name, too).

  • Kronos002

    Random question, but since Sunday, day 2 of being on AOKP’s 3rd JB build, I’ve been getting horrid cell reception in places I usually get 4 bars of 4G – so, question is, are any of you Droid Lifers in the Wilmington, DE area having signal issues? I thought maybe it was the ROM, so I tried Code Name Android but have the same problem.

    Then again, it’s also hard to get a good idea of where Verizon is having signal issues, or at least I haven’t been able to find an outage map.

    • Sean O’Neill

      Try new radios

  • RAE

    jelly belly

    • TheDrunkenClam

      Best Galaxy Nexus Rom.. Been my go-to since its inception.

    • Agreed

  • Drooooid

    Battery life is MUCH better after JRO03R

  • Drooooid

    Currently on Jelly Belly. Very fast but would like more customization. Maybe I’ll try AOKP next.

  • mjmedstarved

    Jelly Belly FTW

    • daniel


    • billy routh

      If you like bug after bug

      • What ROMs are you installing? I’ve been on JB since the I/O version was leaked and I’ve yet to have any bugs.

        • erod434

          I have tried Jelly Belly, among almost every other (I’m a crackflasher =P) and the two smoothest with the least bugs for me are liquidsmooth and VanirAOSP or Commitio (a black themed VanirAOSP) with VanirAOSP being the smoothest and liquid-smooth having a few more features.

      • michael arazan

        The only bugs in Jellybean are the apps that aren’t supported for JB yet and the GNow acts weird and laggy, what bugs are you referring too? Do you have or seen other bugs in the os?

      • mjmedstarved

        Please, feel free to inform me of the numerous bugs of this ROM, or leave them on this thread: http://rootzwiki.com/topic/28677-rom-jelly-belly-v82-09272012-jellybean-411-aosp-its-all-about-the-butter/

        Jakeday is the fastest dev to update his ROMs.. you might be having user related issues, as my experience from 5.x have been great; running Trinity Kernel on demand w/scheduler sio.

  • I’m running Eclipse Jelly Bean and it is awesome. Plenty of cuztomization and runs smooth. (lte gnex)

    • cheezer88

      i loved eclipse on my bionic, but i haven’t tried it on my nexus yet.

      • Eclipse 2.0 rocks on the GNEX. Tons of added features.

  • Oaxican509

    Kellex! Highlight Project Elites Galaxy Nexus Builds! You know that it was one of the very best roms out there during the OG Droid! Also Code Name Android 3.6.5 is much better than AOKP!

    • azndan4

      You have got to be kidding me… CNA = ultimatekangdroid

      • Greyhame

        They all build off of each other. He at least gives credit now. But I hear you.

      • KleenDroid

        Perhaps…. but he pulled off one of the best ROMs so he must be doing something right. I hate the drama and all the nonsense that this guy has pulled since the Droid 1. But his latest ROM is wonderful.


      Project Elite was the bomb on the OG!!

  • Buy This

    I know I am new to the G-nex but Eclipse FTW. Nitro does it big on any device he dev’s for.

  • cizzlen

    Xenon HD for DAT battery life!

    • Tyler

      Hmm, im going to have to try it out. That was one of my main gripes with custom jellybean roms was that i was getting 6-8hrs of battery life when i normally got between 10-12hrs with same usage.

      • cizzlen

        Every ROM I tried gave me terrible battery life until I tried Xenon HD. Make sure you install the Battery Booster mod if you do try it. It’ll work on any ROM but it really shines on Xenon!

  • I waited to install AOKP Build 3 until last evening. Of course build 4 would come out right after that! haha, oh well, I don’t mind flashing it again.

    • Kane

      I tried a number of AOKP unofficial JB build 1 > numerous CM10 nightlies > AOKP official build 3 and build 4 dropped hours after it. I’ll try Liquid or something soon.

  • erod434

    My favorite ROMs are vanirAOSP and Committo (a black themed vanirAOSP) both of which can be found here They are both very underrated Roms as they are the smoothest with all the features you want.

    • Southrncomfortjm

      Definitely a fan of vanirAOSP. Very snappy Rom with tons of options.

    • BeerguyOE

      the best!

    • DXjunkie

      Vanir is a very clean ROM! DHO has his hands full keeping it going. I agree, it’s under rated. Very fast! And I believe the popcorn kernel is one of the best.

  • spierce617

    I use Codename Android and love it. Great battery life and lots of tweaks.

    • CuppaCoffee

      I’ve tried them all and you’re correct. Codename is by far the best. Battery life is instantly better and all the tweaks you want and more.

    • Greyhame

      I know he’s not the most popular dev, but his ROM is awesome. And he’s giving proper credit now. Loving the navbar and lockscreen tweaks, and no lag whatsoever.

    • KleenDroid

      I am one that will move from ROM to ROM looking for that perfect feel and mix of features I need.

      Codename Android is keeping me from moving now for a while. “Three weeks is a long time for us flashaholics” This ROM is awesome and has everything I need.

      Yes there has been lots of drama surrounding this dev for a long time but the ROM is top notch.

      Its pretty much a ROM based on the best taken from all the other ROMs.

      Blackdroid from back in the day.

  • Nanogeek

    These are all great roms but i think codename android could use some attention also.

    • and JB Sourcery

      • jbsourcery is my dailydriver

        • So many customizations stable. No need for any other ROM right now

      • J. C.

        JB Sourcery is my driver as well. Haven’t crackflashed for quite awhile cause of Sourcery’s awesome mod options.

        • KleenDroid

          I was on Sourcery till I tried Codename Android.

    • Agree with JB Sourcery. Everything works so well its hard to try other roms.