For those of you who envy Galaxy S5 owners, did you know that you can get many of the Galaxy S5 features on your Galaxy S4 by rooting and installing custom ROMs?
Currently, there’s actually a slew of custom ROMs that’s been ported straight from Galaxy S5 and they will make your Galaxy S4 have S5 features like Ultra Power Saving Mode, S5 apps, S5 lockscreen, S5 launcher, and more.
If you are not sure about which custom ROM to install, I do have a couple recommendations.
First, for AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, Canadian, or GT-i9505, I do recommend installing Echoe ROM by XDA user Friedrich420. There’s 2 different versions of Echoe ROM, one for GT-i9505 (which you can also install on AT&T, T-Mobile, Canadian, MetroPCS) and one for Verizon (which you can also install on Sprint S4, Cricket, and US Cellular).
Echoe ROM is also pretty cool because it comes with quad multi-window (which S5 doesn’t even have), modded S5 launcher (along with support for 20+ themes which S5 also doesn’t have), Xposed modules, and a couple more things.
Couple Echoe ROM with KTweaker kernel and you got a super-zippy S4 clocking in stable at 2.16Ghz. (You can go up to 2.3Ghz but I don’t recommend it as your phone won’t be stable). At 2.16Ghz, that’s still a ton behind S5’s 2.5Ghz CPU but you will be able to run any of latest 3D games without a problem.
For GT-i9500, try Ozcan ROM by XDA user Citymen34, which comes with full S5 launcher, UI, nearly same S5 features as Echoe ROM without quad multi-window and additional Xposed modules (but you can just install them yourself).
Overall, these ROMs don’t transform your S4 into S5 physically but they can get you much closer to having a faster/better phone than staying with crappy Samsung firmware. Last time I tried stock Android 4.4.2 couple days ago, I was amazed at how laggy it was and couldn’t stand more than 10 minutes of that. And yes, if you don’t like TouchWiz, there’s some great AOSP ROMs like CM11 or Gummy to transform your S4 into custom Google phone.
If some of these features are something you are definitely looking for (or you are still on stock Samsung), definitely give these ROMs a go this week(end) and do let me know what you think!
Download Echoe ROM for Galaxy S4 (for all AT&T SGH-i337, T-Mobile SGH-M919, MetroPCS SGH-M919N, Canadian SGH-i337M, or GT-i9505)
Download Echoe ROM for Galaxy S4 (for Verizon SCH-i545, Sprint SPH-L720, Cricket SCH-R970C, and US Cellular SCH-R970Z)
For Sprint, Cricket, or US Cellular, make sure you change APN to your 4G LTE APN for your carrier. For reference see How to Install Verizon S4 ROMs on Sprint S4.)
DO NOT INSTALL KERNEL IF YOU HAVE SAFESTRAP ON AT&T OR VERIZON!
Make sure you are using CWM v.188.8.131.52 or higher to install Android 4.4.2/4.4.3/4.4.4 KitKat ROMs! Also you can use TWRP v184.108.40.206 or higher. You can update your CWM recovery using ROM Manager app on Play Store or TWRP Recovery using Goo Manager on Play Store. If having trouble, you can update manually, see our CWM/TWRP Recovery for Galaxy S4.
For AT&T Safestrap users, if your ROM doesn’t boot, it’s because you also need to flash modules after installing the ROM, please refer to here for the appropriate modules.
To install, reboot into recovery, make backup ROM, wipe data/factory reset, install ROM, install Kernel, install TouchWiz Themes, and reboot. (If for some reason you end up in a bootloop or get force-closed keyboard error on boot, reboot into CWM recovery, go to Mounts & Storage->format /system. For TWRP, go to Wipe->Advanced Wipe->Wipe /system.)
(First time installing custom ROM? See How to Install Custom ROM on Galaxy S4 first!)
- Want latest Android L Preview Keyboard? See How to Install Android L Preview Keyboard on rooted Android!
- Want Flash Player? See How to Install Flash Player on Android 4.4.2/4.4.3 KitKat!
- If you want some awesome audio, check out Viper4Audio FX MOD, which you can install on this ROM to enhance your music 100%.
- If you want to run your apps in tablet/hybrid/custom DPI mode, see our Xposed App Settings guide.
- If you want PIE Controls, see our LMT Pie Control guide.
- Need to run apps that check for root? Check out How to Run Apps that’s don’t run on rooted Android!
- Want to listen to YouTube music with screen off? Check out How to Playback YouTube videos with Screen-Off!
- Need multi-window? Check out How to Add Multi-Window to Any Rooted Android!
Q: My 3G/4G LTE data is not working!!!
A: See How to Fix 3G/4G LTE data by Manually Setting APN on Android!
Q: I don’t have Play Store nor any of the Google apps!
A: You forgot to install Gapps, reboot into recovery and install it! (See above for download.)
Q: The ROM is not booting or gets force closes upon boot!
A: Try formatting /system and re-install ROM, sometimes the system partition gets corrupt and you may have to try 2 or 3 times before the ROM boots. Also, you can try installing the ROM first, then boot. Once everything is booted okay, then reboot into recovery and install Gapps. (Also try micro or stock Gapps as sometimes that fixes the issue too.)
Q: I am getting Verizon/ATT has not authorized error after installing ROM!
A: You must have an older bootloader with loki, flash Loki Doki zip file in recovery and it should boot normally.
What is a Custom ROM?
A custom ROM is a custom, modified operating system that you can install on your Android device. Basically it's like installing Windows OS on a Macbook. By installing a custom ROM, you can bypass stock factory settings like locked hotspot tether, install new Android versions early, or even convert your phone into another OS.
With a custom ROM, you can really maximize the capabilities of your smartphone by adding custom features that have been developed by open source developers.
How to Install Custom ROMs
First, you will need to root your device, if it is not rooted yet, follow our root tutorial and root your phone.
Once rooted, you should have TWRP installed on your phone. Installation of a custom ROM is easy if you learn the basic of it. If you don't know how to install custom ROMs using TWRP recovery, see our tutorial on How to Install Custom ROM using TWRP!