We all know that what sets the Android OS apart from its competition is its open-source nature which gives us the ability to customize and tweak the interface to suit our own needs. Of course, the ability to create such “custom ROMs” requires a certain level of technical expertise which a lot of everyday users don’t have. Specialized teams of developers have been working hard to build such ROMs, that not only replace the existing interface your device features, but in most cases also enhance the overall performance of the device.
One of our very own here at Android Authority, Sam Cater, wrote a wonderful article explaining what exactly a custom ROM entails, so I won’t be getting into that here. What I am hoping to do today is provide a list of, what we think, are some of the better custom ROMs for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
The selection of the Top 6 ROMs that we have chosen are based on set criteria that I believe are everyone’s requirements when looking for a custom ROM, including:
- User Interface
- Ease of Installation
- Bug/glitch free
Overcome ROM V2.3
If you are one of those users that crave a stock Android experience, this is the ROM for you. The features of the Overcome ROM include
- A complete stock Android experience with the fonts, soft-keys, and icons of the original Honeycomb OS Android Open-Source Project(AOSP)
- Glass tile transitions
- Settings still have a TouchWiz theme, but is the only place that you will find TouchWiz on this ROM.
- Apps include My Files, Google Play Store, Play Music, SwitchMe profile manager, and other apps found on a stock tablet.
- Upgraded launcher
- BusyBox installed for all your rooted apps
- Running Honeycomb 3.2
- Upgraded power menu options add Reboot, Recovery, and Download to the standard Silent Mode, Flight Mode, and Power Off.
- Clean UI with no lag, bugs, or glitches
If this is the ROM you are looking for, you can find download and installation instructions here.
Clean ROM v1.3
As the name suggests, this is a “Clean” version of the TouchWiz UI, removing all Samsung bloatware. The features of this ROM include:
- TouchWiz overlay – Includes Task Manager, Calendar, World Clock, and Calculator in the dock bar. TouchWiz icons and settings menu toggles.
- Android 3.2 Honeycomb
- Pershoot’s kernel allows you to overclock your device to up to 1.4 Ghz. Antutu CPU Master included. Unfortunately, we have been unable to run this app as it continuously force-closes, hence we use SetCPU.
- Apps include all the Google Play apps, QuickOffice HD, File Manager HD, and SuperUser.
- Fast reboot capability
- No lag, fast transitions, and bug-free
If you prefer TouchWiz UI without all those Samsung bloatware apps, this really fast ROM is the choice for you. You can find download and installation instructions here.
With XDA members as the lead developers of this ROM, the expectations from the ROM are quite high. And it does not disappoint. Features of this ROM include:
- Impressive lockscreen
- May seem bloated, with the home-screens loaded with stock Galaxy Tab widgets right from setup
- All the icons, toggles, notifications, softkeys, TouchWiz launcher, and Settings menu are themed.
- Android Honeycomb 3.2 with a native Bindroid kernel
- Native kernel allows you to overclock the device up to 1.4 Ghz. (using SetCPU)
- Apps list features “Ad-free”, which removes all possible ads from the Android system. Other apps include ES File Explorer, Samsung Music Hub, and Polaris Office.
- Even with all the widgets on screen, there is no lag, and very speedy transitions.
- Customized power menu with Reboot, Recovery mode, and Download mode
This might be too gaudy for some, but if you are looking for a completely customized UI with easy access to apps and widgets, this is the ROM for you. You can find download and installation instructions here.
GalaxyTask ROM v14
This is another custom ROM that, with the exception of a few tweaks, is TouchWiz reminiscent. Important point to note with this ROM include:
- TouchWiz overlay with a standard status bar and notifications and toggle menu.
- There a few bugs and glitches which you need to watch out for.
- Host of apps pre-installed including Photobrowser, Photo Editor, and HideBar(which hides the status bar). There are some issues with the functionality of the HideBar app though, as seen in the video below.
- It can be overclocked using the Pershoot’s kernel, but does not come with it, so you are stuck at the 1Ghz level.
- Android Honeycomb 3.2
- No Samsung bloatware
- No lag and speedy transitions
This ROM does have a few kinks that need to be worked out, but with more updates, it should be a viable alternative to the above two choices. You can find download and installation instructions here.
This ROM is for users looking to move back to Android Honeycomb 3.1 experience. Features of this ROM include:
- This ROM is strictly AOSP with no custom themes, and is a return to the “classic” Android 3.1 experience
- Classic menus
- Increased brightness
- Not TouchWiz inspired
- Android Honeycomb 3.1
- Allows you to overclock stably up to a whopping 1.6 Ghz (done using SetCPU) with no over-heating.
- No lags, very speedy and smooth transitions
- No bloatware
- Apps include QuickOffice HD and Samsung Music Hub. Android Market is yet to be upgraded to the Google Play Store.
This ROM is for all the speed demons out there, along with those who love the look of Honeycomb 3.1. You can find download and installation instructions here.
Android Open Kang Project (AOKP)
The AOKP ROM is for all those users (I’m assuming everyone) who are looking forward to an Android 4.0 experience on their Galaxy Tabs. Features of this ROM include:
- Android 4.0 lockscreen
- Soft-keys changed to the Ice Cream Sandwich recommended three button setup.
- Requires the installation of the Google Apps package after flashing this ROM
- “Buttery-smooth” performance
- Android 4.0 native settings
- Complete navigation bar customization including the ability to add apps to the nav-bar.
- Add or remove toggles from the status bar
- Set performance from the Settings menu. Can be overclocked up to 1.4 Ghz.
- Other standard Android 4.0 features
This ROM provides a very smooth performance, but the only issue is that the camera does not work yet. This is the latest version of the ROM and there is no of when the developers might fix this, but will likely be soon. If you can survive without a camera altogether, this is the best ROM for you. You can find download and installation instructions here.
You can watch a video review of the ROMs here. If you are looking for a specific ROM, here are the time-stamps –
- Overcome ROM – 00:39
- Clean ROM – 02:57
- Bindroid ROM – 04:37
- GalaxyTask ROM – 07:43
- Blazar ROM – 10:49
- AOKP ICS ROM – 13:47
Also, if you’re interested, we’ve created a few different guides on how to get the most out of your Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1!
- How to Root the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 WiFi GT-P7510
- Upgrade Galaxy Tab 10.1 WiFi/3G P7500 to Ice Cream Sandwich via CyanogenMod 9
- Setting up Windows 8′s Metro UI theme on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
All of the ROMs are some of the best we’ve seen for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, each with its own unique features to suit the different requirements of every user.
It is important to remember that flashing your device with a custom ROM comes a certain amount of risk. Familiarity with the process is recommended and some ROMs are easier to install than others. Follow the instructions thoroughly as there is always a small chance of something going wrong, leaving you with a very expensive plate.
If you have used any of the above ROMs, let us know your experience. Also, if there are any other custom ROMs you think deserve to be in this list, let us know in the comments section below.