Thursday, June 30, 2022

Best Custom ROMs for HTC One M9 – 2018 Picks

The HTC One M9 has been out for over a year now, which makes it practically a dinosaur by smartphone standards. With age, however, comes a larger library of specific custom ROMs. There are quite a few custom ROMs out there, designed specifically for the HTC One M9 or otherwise just compatible with the new device, and some are quite good. In this post, I’ll be outlining the general details of some of those ROMs.

5. LeeDroid One M9

LeeDroid is back, and this time, it’s personal. LeeDroid is very well-known in the Android community for creating great custom ROMs for HTC devices. LeeDroid’s ROM for the HTC One M9 isn’t all that flashy. You’re not going to find any life-changing features, and you probably won’t turn a lot of heads when you use it. However, LeeDroid One M9 definitely wins in terms of battery life and performance. It’s a very lightweight ROM, and its impact on battery life and overall performance is minimal. Out of all of the ROMs on this list, you will probably see the best technical performance out of LeeDroid One M9. leedroid-m9

Obviously, when you’re installing a custom ROM, you’re setting out to change something about your phone, or overhaul it completely. Although LeeDroid One M9 doesn’t quite do that, I have to respect the developer’s ability to very subtly tweak the HTC’s interface in such a way that improves it without completely taking it over. LeeDroid One M9 also boasts all of the same standard features that you would see in a custom ROM, like battery-conscious options, display options, and interface mods.

4. Android Revolution HD

android-revolution-hdLike LeeDroid, Android Revolution ops for a more subtle approach to enhancing the HTC One M9 with this release. Android Revolution HD simply builds upon the stock HTC experience, so you won’t see any visual changes with this custom ROM. However, Android Revolution sets out to unlock additional functionality and enhance the overall performance of the HTC One M9, and it does so very successfully.

Android Revolution HD prioritizes unlocking the full potential of the powerful hardware that lies within the HTC One M9. The ROM sets out to optimize RAM use, CPU use, and GPU use. With these key tweaks in place, you’ll see enhanced performance from your phone in gaming, application, or otherwise intensive contexts. Android Revolution HD automatically removes all bloatware from your phone, which not only saves hard drive space, but also serves to maximize battery life potential. Most interestingly, Android Revolution HD’s custom rom for the HTC One M9 also supports Adobe Flash Player, allowing the user to view Adobe Flash videos from their phone.

Android Revolution HD, hopefully, sets an example for what all custom ROMs should set out to accomplish. They get down and dirty, and they just make your device…better. Faster, easier to use, unencumbered by unnecessary bloatware or arbitrary hardware limits. This is really a great custom ROM, and if it weren’t for how fantastic the other ROMs on this list are, it probably would have landed itself much higher.

3. MaximusHD

maximushdMaximusHD was one of the first HTC One M9 custom ROMs to hit the market, and it definitely set the gold standard for what a good custom HTC One M9 ROM looks like. MaximusHD fixes a lot of the most common issues that people have with this iteration of HTC One, as well as fills in a few features that the HTC One M9 didn’t originally come with, like an easy flashlight shortcut. (You’d be surprised how much of a stir was raised when it was discovered that there is no way to pin the Torch application to the home menu on the M9.)

MaximusHD adds a plethora of other features and customization options, like multi-user support, a new
keyboard, and native display color control. Like Android Revolution HD, MaximusHD also removes bloatware, and makes certain technical changes for the sake of hardware optimization. The MaximusHD improves the performance of the HTC One M9, in terms of battery life and CPU/RAM/GPU usage. Thankfully, MaximusHD also works to gloss over the awful issues that early adopters have had with the HTC One M9’s camera.

Like Android Revolution, MaximusHD improves upon the original HTC One M9 model. However, what sets it ahead of Android Revolution is its additional customization options and optimization features. Although it’s definitely great to do a specific set of things really well, it’s even better to do a specific set of things well, AND go above and beyond on a couple of less important things.

2. ViperOne

venom9Speaking of going above and beyond. ViperOne is one of the most in-depth custom ROMs that I’ve ever seen. Period. It fulfills all of the standard requirements of a good custom ROM. It deletes bloatware, it improves your battery life, and it improves the overall performance of your machine. ViperOne doesn’t just stop there, though. It is absolutely loaded with different customization options, and it has something for pretty much anyone.

ViperOne allows customization of pretty much everything, to the point that it would be almost impossible to cover all of it in a single article. Just point at something on your HTC One M9’s screen, and you can probably change it. Bottom navigation bar? With a simple swipe, ViperOne allows you to change what is displayed along the bottom of your HTC One M9’s screen, from a standard Android navigation menu to a music player. Notification bar? ViperOne lets you display CPU usage statistics, weather, time, date, and even a quick settings widget. Status bar? ViperOne allows you change every single icon on your status bar, and allows you to very easily select download and upload different icon images.

In that same vein, ViperOne is able to fulfill pretty much every wish you may have for the HTC One MR’s standard interface. Do you wish that you could infinitely scroll through your screens, instead of swiping left or right? ViperOne will let you do that. Do you wish that you could view the home menu from a horizontal orientation? ViperOne will let you do that. Do you want to tweak the color of the navigation bar? Customize your app launch animations? ViperOne will let you do all of that, and so much more.

The most impressive part about all of these options? All of ViperOne’s settings are organized in a single, easy-to-browse application. It can definitely feel a little overwhelming, but it never feels confusing. The customization ability offered is astonishing, and it’s even more astonishing that it’s all offered in such a user-friendly way. Quite literally the only drawback to all of these options is that it makes ViperOne a more intensive custom ROM than its competitors. ViperOne is larger, ViperOne is a little slower, and it drains your battery a little faster. But I’ll be damned if it isn’t one of the most powerful ROMs that I’ve ever seen.

1. CyanogenMod

Honestly, I don’t think there will ever be a custom ROM list out there that doesn’t have CyanogenMod sitting pretty at the very top. The HTC One M9 had only been released for a few months before CyanogenMod added support for the device, and with it, it brought all of the quality that one would grow to expect from Cyanogen. CyanogenMod doesn’t quite do all that the ViperOne can do, but it gets pretty close, and its impact on battery life and overall performance is lighter than I would have anticipated.

cyanogenmod-12-1-romAt this point, we’re all familiar with everything that CyanogenMod brings to the table. CyanogenMod allows you to customize your Android device’s lock screen, home screen, navigation bar, notification menu, app drawer, and so on and so forth. CyanogenMod also brings a couple of new features to its customization menu, allowing the user to toggle options such as double-tap to sleep and adaptive brightness.

CyanogenMod doesn’t really improve upon the HTC user-interface, per say, and I think it could be argued that it just brings a standard AOSP experience to HTC device. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so. CyanogenMod overhauls the HTC interface, and its natively supported theme library lets you completely change the appearance of your device. This versatility is what made me place CyanogenMod at the top of this list. CyanogenMod allows you to leave HTC be, if you so choose. Unlike some of the other mods in this article, however, it also enables the user to completely change it. CyanogenMod offers a certain degree of freedom that I feel like the other custom ROMs don’t offer, and that’s why I think it’s the best available. After all, aren’t custom ROMs all about freedom?

jakedbriscoe@gmail.com'
Jake Briscoe
Jake is passionate about everything tech, film, and gaming related. If he's not writing you can probably catch him at a local sporting event or coffee shop.
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