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In the past, when you wanted to customize your Android phone, installing a custom ROM was the only way to go. This is no longer the case: the incredible Xposed framework Customize Your Phone Without Flashing a ROM With The Xposed Framework Customize Your Phone Without Flashing a ROM With The Xposed Framework It is common knowledge that the best way to customize your Android device is to flash it with a new ROM. It is also wrong. Read More allows you to change everything about your phone without having to flash a new ROM. So… why flash? Slimkat, from Slimroms offers a compelling answer.

For a Less Cluttered Experience

Some custom ROMs pride themselves on extra features. They just pile them on: Special gestures, a weather widget on the status bar, integrated quick-launch, custom animations… They’re almost a bloated as the ROM that came with your phone — or more, if you have a Nexus device.

Slim goes the opposite way, by giving you less. It really is slim, weighing just 190MB (!), with a slimmed-down Google Apps file that takes up 66MB more, and gives you just bare essentials. So what you get is a solid, nimble, and fast version of Android, with very little extra fluff. The extra features you do get are worth it.

Strip It Down Even More

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With Slim installed, when you go to the Settings, you’ll find a SlimCenter entry. This part of the ROM gives you two important features: OTA (over-the-air) updates, and the SlimSizer. The SlimSizer allows you to remove any system app from your phone — at your own risk, of course. It doesn’t freeze the apps How To Freeze Or Uninstall Apps That Came With Your Phone [Android] How To Freeze Or Uninstall Apps That Came With Your Phone [Android] One of the biggest problems Android has is that vendors are obsessed with the concept of somehow “adding value” to their devices. Instead of just shipping Android as it was meant to be used, Samsung,... Read More — it really does delete them, so make sure you know what you’re doing.

A Better Task Switcher

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Usually, when companies or developers try to customize Android’s core features, they mess up. Slim’s task switcher is an exception: It’s a bit narrower than the stock switcher, but each app takes less vertical space, because by default you only see its name. Tap the triangle to expand its screenshot, or tap the app itself to switch to it. Of course, swiping the app to the side kills it.

If you press and hold an app’s icon in the task switcher, it gets a little star (like Hangouts in the top-left screenshots). This makes it a Favorite App, and it means it’ll always be visible on the task switcher, even if it hasn’t been active recently.

To kill all tasks, simply pinch — that’s what you see on the top-right screenshot. The bar turns red, and as you release, all tasks are killed. In this case, a single “kill all” button would have been better, since you need two hands to use make this gesture (one to hold the phone, one to pinch). In every other respect, this switcher is an improvement on the stock one — and it’s faster, too.

A Night-Friendly Mode And Other Tweaks

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Using your phone at night can be a blinding experience. You can manage your screen’s brightness 4 Apps to Manage Brightness and Save Your Eyes on Android 4 Apps to Manage Brightness and Save Your Eyes on Android Eye strain is a huge issue for those of us who spend a lot of time looking at screens. Improper screen brightness settings can cause your eyes to fatigue faster, and overly bright screens at... Read More , but there’s something even better: Make everything black.

Slim comes with a simple switch that instantly inverts the color on many interface elements, as well as some apps — above you can see the “regular” Google Play (white background), and what it looks like with the dark mode enabled. Applying this mode doesn’t require a reboot — just flip a switch, and you’re done.

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While Slim keeps things minimal, it does let you customize the statusbar, navigation bar, and power menu which are the really important things. It has Pie controls, too. You can always install Xposed for more.

A Single Caveat: Changing The DPI

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This is the only negative about Slim: The ROM comes set at a very low DPI, which means everything looks positively tiny on an 1080p 5″ screen. What’s more, there is currently no built-in way to raise the DPI, at least when it comes to Slimkat — the ROM’s 4.4 series.

The solution is to install Build Prop Editor from Google Play, and use it to change the DPI. It’s a free app, and the change is quick and simple to make — though it does require a reboot to take effect.

An Excellent Daily Driver

In a time when any serious Android enthusiast installs Xposed to customize their device, Slim is an ideal ROM. It keeps things lean, it is very fast and stable, and it’s well worth the download. Even though it’s wasn’t on my radar when I made the list of best custom Android ROMs What Are The Best Custom Android ROMs? What Are The Best Custom Android ROMs? The moment you realize you can flash your Android phone with a new ROM is a pivotal one. Suddenly, you're free: Endless customization options, no more vendor bloatware, and, best of all, you don't have... Read More , it certainly merits a spot now.

Will you be trying out Slim? Do you already use it? Let me know in the comments.

  1. Emma
    April 21, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    Late to the party, but I got fed up of a £600 iphone with less than a days battery life and bought a semi disposable (relatively) Galaxy s4 mini. Running slim kat with an extended battery and root and I'm now looking at 2 days battery life. If I lose it or drop it, everything is backed up, and the local pc stores have a new one ready.

  2. saiki4116
    December 14, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I liked SLIM,because of their LCD Density is low compared to other ROM's and things don't pop up on my face.

  3. saiki4116
    December 14, 2014 at 11:02 am

    I liked SLIM,because of their LCD Density is low compared to other ROM's and things don't pop up on my face.

  4. E.T.
    August 6, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I echo Greg. I've tried Resurrection Remix, CM and now SlimROM. Out of the three, only CM failed to meet my expectations. It was more sluggish than the other two (reminiscent of stock Samsung ROM). Before any ROM flashing, I religiously wipe all the caches, format all the volumes just so the phone is in the best state it possibly can be for the new ROM.

    Resurrection Remix is a nice balanced ROM. It has all the bells and whistles and keep things in check. Good battery life, good performance and good customization options. Nothing broken from first flash and I managed to use it for a good 6 months before something or an update somewhere screwed things up. Performance degraded a little and for God knows what reason, the screen would automatically lit up as and when it liked and that killed battery performance.

    With that I decided to try the much raved CM. Fresh from install, I felt it was already sluggish in some ways. Changing wallpaper was a no-go as that module would just crash. Here comes the deal breaker - battery life. It was the worst of the lot. Overnight in Airplane Mode and screen turned off, I would lose 8 - 10% easy! Everything else is turned off - data, location, you name it, all off. I thought it was a bad flash so I did the ritual thing again reset, wipe and format every damn volume there was on the phone. Downloaded a fresh copy of the ROM, re-flashed and problem still persisted. I tried very hard to like CM but it's not doing a lot of things right for me and the battery life is something they need to fix. I know I am not the only one with this problem.

    I then spotted SlimKat through one of the forums and started to read more about it. I liked how I could get a slim, basic, no frills ROM and the minimal GAPPS package also. I flashed it and the rest was history. SlimKat had me at first boot. Performance was sublime! Battery life was (and still is) sublime! An overnighter of 7 - 8 hours with nothing turned on and I don't lose a single percent charge! That's what I'm talking about! Even when I am using the phone with everything turned on, battery life has been the best out of all the ROMs I used. As promised, the ROM is clean, fast and gives you just about what you need to get the job done! Memory usage consistent hovers between 349MB to 533MB depending on what I run. Never higher. I have only been using SlimKat for about a week and it may be a little premature to say this but it is end game material for me.

    I cannot guarantee that you will love SlimROM as much as I do since we all have different devices and different expectations / experiences but keep your options open and try all the available ROMs. Stick with what works best for you.

    P.S. I have no affiliation whatsoever with the SlimROM team so I am under no obligation whatsoever in singing them praises but they really did a good job and deserves the kudos!

  5. Anonymous
    May 27, 2014 at 4:05 am

    Just get Cyanogenmod!!!!! Come on people, its a no brainer!!!

    • Greg
      June 8, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      I've flashed the latest CM nightly on my Galaxy Nexus and it literally crawls. Apps open up slowly, everything is really unresponsive even with a bunch of stock apps trimmed. Same with other CM-based ROMs. Whereas slim runs like a champ, I flash mpokang (on CM it causes all system apps to FC) and its butter smooth. I guess on devices with better hardware it can work way better and its still a great ROM :)

  6. jhon
    May 23, 2014 at 2:05 am

    And if you want to come back to the original settings you just have to unistall??

    • Erez Z
      May 25, 2014 at 10:53 am

      You would have to reflash your stock ROM - a ROM is not an app you install or uninstall.

  7. CaseyE
    May 20, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    I'm a huge fan because of the dpi. I like getting more out of a small screen. Especially with a 1080p screen it makes it a lot more useful in my opinion

  8. Stephen R
    May 18, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Gonna root mine now a MOTO G and see what ROM I like best this looks nice do, cheers for the write up.

    • Erez Z
      May 19, 2014 at 7:46 am

      Sure thing Stephen :)

  9. Justin D
    May 18, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Ah, I love Slim! I'm currently running LiquidSmooth, but back in the days of Jelly Bean I was running SlimBean for quite some time. Tended to be really stable, quick, yet came with all the features I needed. :)

    I also love the new task switcher. It's been integrated into the newest LiquidSmooth version as well, and it's so so fast.

  10. Level Heed
    May 18, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    I'm strongly considering moving to Cyanogen, mainly for its privacy guard feature.
    I'm just discovering what a nightmare it is to backup all your Android data (I don't/won't use cloud storage). There's a strong argument for buying a Samsung device - they have a complete backup to pc solution (Kies) which is something lacking for other phones. This Slimkat looks too quirky to me.

    • Mark
      May 19, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      There are several good backup solutions out there, but I bought Titanium a year or so ago, primarily because it can back up and restore your apps easily. Batch restore is a fantastic feature and cuts a restore into a fraction of the time it used to take me. You can copy / backup your Titanium back ups to Google Drive or Drop Box if you so choose. I do it once every few months 'just in case' my phone goes swimming.

      I'm a HUGE slim fan - runs absolutely solid on my HTC One M7 - just like it did on my my last HTC phone and before that Nexus 1. I've tried a lot of other ROMS but now days don't even look for more because Slim does everything I need and I love the TRDS (the real dark slim) button.

    • Tony Karakashian
      May 20, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      As an alternative to Titanium, I always recommend ROM Toolbox. For about the same price as Titanium, you get all of the features as well as a host of root-level tweaks and such in one package.

    • Ahmed
      June 12, 2014 at 11:14 pm

      Actually privacy guard manager is a feature developed by CM team and kufi, the main developer of SlimRoms so yea Slimkat has privacy gaurd manager.

  11. Parau Cristian
    May 18, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Does anyone know were to get the google search widget from the first picture , the one that says: "Google it"? Thank you very much.

    • Erez Z
      May 18, 2014 at 8:03 am

      Good question. Our designer created that featured image (it did not come with the ROM) but to me it looks like a Zooper Widget theme.

  12. Garey B
    May 18, 2014 at 5:59 am

    This Rom is fantastic I use the textdroider app https://play.google.com/store/search?q=textdroider to change the dpi easy to use and works very well.

  13. Ioannis Emmanouilidis
    May 17, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    I am using Slim Rom for over a year in my Galaxy Tab 2 10,1''. Even with its ancient hardware, slim ROM responds very well. I have overclocked the processor to 1.2GHz and has really good battery life. I highly recommend it to every ROM tweaker enthusiast. Very stable + Very fast.

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