1. PsYcHoNeWb's Avatar
    [WARN]Myself and Android Central do not take any responsibility for your phone. You follow this at your own risk and assume the risks that come with flashing custom ROMs on your phone.[/WARN]

    [INFO]So what is thread about? Well since the Verizon Galaxy S3 is new to the ROM world since we had the last unlocked bootloader there has been a lot of question regarding what to flash and why. This is why this guide was created, to help anyone find the ROM they want and get the direct links and find out exactly which ROM is right for them.

    Currently, there isn't a huge offering out there for ROMs but there are enough that could satisfy any crackflasher like myself.[/INFO]

    [NOTE][HL]YOU WILL NEED TO HAVE ROOT ACCESS TO YOUR PHONE AS WELL AS A CUSTOM RECOVERY INSTALLED AND AN UNLOCKED BOOTLOADER.[/HL] If you have not done these steps first, I would recommend that you back out, complete those steps by following the other guides on here and then come back to continue. This is a very crucial step.[/NOTE]

    In order to begin, I want to start off with a checklist of what you will need to ensure that if you go ahead and attempt to flash a ROM off this guide that you wont hit any snags in the preparation process.

    • Rooted Phone
    • Unlocked Bootloader
    • Properly Installed Drivers
    • Knowledge of Using a Custom Recovery
    • Nandroid backup done in your Custom Recovery

    [INFO]Guides and Resources to Complete These Steps:
    Rooting Your Device: http://forums.androidcentral.com/ver...-sch-i535.html
    Installing Custom Recovery using EZ-Recovery App on Google Play
    Unlocking Your Bootloader - Use EZ-Unlock Once Rooted
    Flashing Guide - How to Properly Flash using Manual Recovery: http://forums.androidcentral.com/ver...ing-guide.html


    If you can successfully say that you are comfortable with those four things, then we can proceed. If there is something you are not sure of, check and make sure before we begin. Nothing will make you regret impatience more than a $700 paper weight.

    [TIP]When you get to this step, it is recommended that you look at what you want in a ROM. If you want the TouchWiz features and and a stable ICS build or nightly builds of the latest and greatest Jelly Bean. By deciding this now, it will save time in the research process on picking a ROM in the next post.[/TIP]

    [NOTE]As stated before, there are two distinct types of ROMs out there for the Verizon GS3. ICS/TW (Ice Cream Sandwich/TouchWiz) Based and AOSP (Android Open Source Project) based.

    ICS/TW based ROMs will provide a "like stock" appearance and functionality. This means your phone will look, act and function as if it had the stock software on it from opening the box. However, the perk of having one of the these ROMs over a stock OS is the bloat has been removed, most of the Verizon altered code is gone (Wifi notification instead of toggle) and it will resemble as close to the international version, as the phone should have been.

    AOSP based roms are "stock" ROMs that are created using open source code. Basically it is was built on a stock google image. If you want to know what I am talking about, look up a Galaxy Nexus and that is a stock Google ROM. This is what AOSP ROM will closely resemble. These ROMs will be best suited for those looking for the "purist" experience and don't want anything between them and the Google experience. You wont have some of functionality of TouchWiz, but where AOSP lacks some features it makes up for in speed. What you have to remember about AOSP ROMs right now is that [HL]they are experimental[/HL]. You might experience bugs, heck you probably will experience bugs. This is why most of them are "nightlies". They are updated... you guessed it, nightly to squash bugs found and to make it more stable with each build.

    If you are ready to begin, and have decided what type of ROM you are willing to try then you are ready to go to Post 2 and check out the list of ROMs that could suite your fancy.
    zero neck, davidnc, leggy and 5 others like this.
    09-02-2012 06:40 AM
  2. PsYcHoNeWb's Avatar

    [INFO]I have no affiliation with any of these ROMs or their developers. I had no input in the creation or coding process. I am just providing these ROMs here as a resource. Do not thank me for the ROM work, if you appreciate the ROM you chose donate the developers.[/INFO]

    Stock ICS/TW Based ROM

    This ROM is your stock Verizon ROM with root access. In case you didn't make a backup before flashing or something went wrong and you want to go back to stock image I have provided you with a link to a thread that also acts as a brick recovery guide. The Stock66 ROM is the second download in the list in the thread and the rest will be use to unbrick your device in case something goes wrong.

    Stock Root66 Image & Unbricking Thread: [HOW-TO] Unbrick your soft bricked Galaxy S3 - xda-developers

    Remember, there is no need to do anything with this at the current time if you have a backup ready to go. This will just be your "all else fails" type thing.

    ICS/TW Based ROMs

    Here is a list of the ICS/TW Based ROMs that will provide you with a like stock experience without the headaches that Verizon may have caused you. Some of these include "aroma installer" which will load once you start to flash the ROM and it will allow you to select different options. Very nice feature.

    ICS/TW Based ROMs and Links:

    [INFO]These ROMs already have GAPPS built into them, there is no need to download and flash a different GAPPS package. Once you flash and run through the Aroma installer if the developer used it you should be good to go.[/INFO]

    Out of the ones listed, I have personally tested and used CleanROM and Synergy. My personal favorite is CleanROM. Has great battery life, Aroma installers lets me pick what features I want and it works great if you like the stock TW feeling. The other ROMs are also solid and get praise by their users, give each one a shot if you like, or stick with out you feel comfortable with.

    AOSP Based ROMs

    Here is a list of the AOSP based ROMs that are currently available for the Verizon GS3. Most of them as you will see are CM10 or CM10 based. These will be flashed traditionally and don't have any installers to select features. These will require you to flash a separate GAPPS package unless specified by the developer.

    List of AOSP Based ROMs:

    [INFO]You will need a GAPPS package to with these ROMs. Follow this link to get your JellyBean GAPPS. Unless specified by the developer in their personal thread, all of these ROMs will need GAPPS. These are the basic GAPPS, some ROMs will require different ones so take note of that before you go flashing.

    *These builds are not maintained by AOKP, they are built on by others who have been authorized by AOKP to be a "maintainer" and they are building the ROM based on AOKP. They are not affiliated with AOKP. These ROMs also have been having issue with regards to lost IMEI numbers and numerous flashing issues. I have stayed clear for now, but you can try at your own risk.

    **This ROM requires you to use the old Kexec recovery flashing method to flash this ROM. Liquid has already stated that their next build (3.0 I would assume) will not require this method and will be flashed like any normal ROM. Take note of the this when flashing... DO NOT FLASH THIS ON A CUSTOM RECOVERY, RESEARCH KEXEC METHOD BEFORE.

    ***I have read on CNA official forums that you may need to flash a kernel to get data to work. I have not tested this, I am only going on what others have said.

    So as you can see, there is a good amount of AOSP based ROMs out there for the picking. Personally I have tried all of the CM10 nightly builds and I continue to go back to Euroskank's JellyBro. I have been using them on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7 and I have never had any serious issues. I found that they are the least buggy and have been the most stable. That doesn't mean the official CM10 or Invisiblek's CM10 isn't worth your time. Just my personal preference.

    Jelly Bean/TW Based ROMs

    Some of you may have heard that there is a Jelly Bean update on the horizon. Before you go jumping for joy, sit back down and realize that Verizon if they ever get it, will get it last and get it very very late. The Galaxy Nexus doesn't even have the OTA yet and that's a Nexus device. This is where the follow ROM comes in.


    I personally have not had tested this ROM yet, but it seems to be a working build of Jelly Bean using the Touch Wiz based OS. This is even more experimental than the AOSP based ROMs to beware if you decide to flash this. SMS is still not working in the latest build, but this is excellent to see and probably means with some time we will see more TW based Jelly Bean builds.

    09-02-2012 07:12 AM
  3. PsYcHoNeWb's Avatar
    [WARN]I just want to make a point very clear here. Flashing a custom ROM isn't 100% perfect. Some nightlies wont boot, or some will cause your phone to be unusable. It happens and that is just the nature of the game that we are playing. I will always recommend that you have knowledge of a custom recovery before flashing anything and have a fail safe in place to ensure that you have the ability to get your phone back to working condition.[/WARN]

    Questions Answered

    So I downloaded the ROM I want and everything else that goes with it... now what?

    Well now you are ready to flash. If you do not know how to do that, read my guide on how to properly flash a ROM on your phone. This guide is how I flash ROMs on my device and has been the way I have been doing it for a long time. The tried and true method.

    Can I use an app like Recovery Manager to flash a ROM?

    You can, but I would recommend against it. When you use an app like Recovery manager you are adding another unnecessary step in the flashing process. I will always recommend that you lean the recovery process manually. Yes it may take longer but in the end it will probably save you headaches and stress. It is much safer to flash a ROM using your custom recovery over an app. I can't make up your mind for you, but know this. [HL]If you brick your phone, recovery manager wont be able to help you.[/HL] You will need to know how to use a manual recovery to restore a backup or fix a flash that went wrong.

    I want Jelly Bean, but I don't want an unstable ROM. Do I have options?

    Yes and no. This will all come down to what you consider stable. Personally, I have found that the latest builds of CM10 wether it be Official or JellyBro to be stable and provide an excellent Jelly Bean experience. Certain feature are missing yes (NFC) but all of the basic functions work perfectly fine and it is very fast. If you define stable as everything has to work perfectly, then no this isn't for you.

    My honest recommendation is this. If you need your phone working 100% of time for work or emergency purposes then I would stick with an ICS/TW based ROM for the time being until CM10 gets a release candidate build. While I have no issues running CM10, some other might. If you are unsure, make a back up of whatever ROM you want to use a your daily driver and then flash CM10. If you find that its too buggy for you or something isn't working right then just restore your back up. Simple as that.

    I hear about flashing Kernels. What's that about?

    Kernels are something that I wouldn't recommend you play around with if this is your first rodeo to the flashing world. However, if you are feeling good and want to give it a shot you have to look at the different types out there. There are two kernel types, just like ROMs and they will only work with the ones they are built for. You can't put an AOSP kernel on a ICS/TW ROM. This is all explained in my flashing guide.

    Doesn't flashing a ROM mean that all my stuff is going to get erased?

    It doesn't necessarily mean that if you took the right steps to prepare. If you are on a stock rooted OS before you start this process you can use many apps like titanium backup to back up your apps so that it will be easier to restore them once you are back up and running. Titanium Backup needs root access so if you aren't rooted you are going to need to do that first. Use titanium backup to back up the apps you want be selecting them one by one or selecting them all. Once your done flashing and you are back up and running you can restore your apps.

    [WARN]Do no restore app DATA. When you go to restore, on top it will have three circle buttons and you have to select 1 of the 3. They will show show App+AppData, App Only, AppData Only. Select App Only. Restoring App Data on certain apps will cause instability and possible make the app unusable. You can use Data restore manually to restore data for games or apps of that nature. YOU NEVER WANT TO RESTORE DATA FOR SYSTEM APPLICATIONS. If you do that, bad things will happen.[/WARN]

    For homescreen restores, you can use an app like Nova Launcher or Apex Launcher. This will allow you to backup your homescreen/drawer settings and easily restore them once you are back up as well. Will be as if you never flashing anything .

    How long will this whole process take start to finish?

    That all depends on your experience. When I flash a ROM it takes me about 20 minutes to flash, restore and set everything back up to the way it was. I have flashed a lot of ROMs so I have a pattern down on how to get everything back up quick. If this is your first time, it may take you an hour or maybe even 2. Once you have to do it a couple times, it gets quicker and easier.

    [TIP]Some food for thought: I have nothing against Recovery Manager or apps of that nature that will allow you to flash a ROM right from your OS. What you need to remember here is that you are adding another step in between the flashing process. Whenever you get between the recovery and OS, something could easily go wrong. It will always be safer and in the long run easier to flash a ROM/Kernel or whatever in your manual recovery. Take the time to learn it because like I said, if something goes wrong and you can't boot up, Recovery Manager wont be able to help you.[/TIP]

    [INFO]This thread will be updated when new ROMs do come out and if updates change their category. Come back time to time to see if there are any new ROMs out there worth a try.

    Again I don't take any credit for these ROMs. I am posting all of these for the community to use a resource. If you like what I did, just like or thank me for it. If you like what the ROM and want to show your support, donate to the developer. Its because of them that I am able to compile this thread and give you a list of all of these great ROMs.[/INFO]
    09-02-2012 07:41 AM
  4. zero neck's Avatar
    gregurbo1, davidnc and PsYcHoNeWb like this.
    09-02-2012 09:24 AM
  5. Paul627g's Avatar
    Nice job, your fellow VZW flashers will appreciate this
    gregurbo1, PsYcHoNeWb and davidnc like this.
    09-03-2012 10:39 AM
  6. PsYcHoNeWb's Avatar
    ROM listings updated to include 2 new ROMs in the AOSP class.
    gregurbo1 likes this.
    09-07-2012 07:47 AM
  7. PsYcHoNeWb's Avatar
    Remember folks, CM10 now has "monthly" builds out which are a little more stable than nightlies and will be updated less frequently. These will he more stable...NOT PERFECT.
    gregurbo1 likes this.
    09-14-2012 06:32 AM
  8. PsYcHoNeWb's Avatar
    OP updated for new JB ROMs out including AOKP and CNA.
    gregurbo1 likes this.
    09-25-2012 09:43 AM