A review of the Omega ROM v39 for the Galaxy S3
Custom ROMs are the only way to go if you really want to get the best of the best out of your device. Even without the custom ROM enhancements, simply having a custom ROM with built in root access is a tremendous help in protecting yourself from viruses and unauthorized root access.
One of the most popular custom ROMs for the Samsung Galaxy S3 is not a full custom ROM. It is actually a ROM based on Samsung’s own official stock ROMs. Today’s custom ROM allows you to experience all the benefits and features that were built in with Samsung’s Touchwiz interface as well as several tweaks, mods and themes that make the experience unique.
The Omega ROM series is a series of ROMs that were built not only for the Samsung Galaxy S3, but also for other devices such as the Nexus 7 as well as the Samsung Galaxy S2. Indie, the developer of the ROM is hailed as reliable and responsive regarding the developments, bugs and suggestions for the ROM.
Omega ROMs were built with power, speed and stability in mind. Since it is based on the Stock ROM, it doesn’t change much of what the ROM is. What this custom ROM does is improve the experience with tweaks, apps and extra customization.
I won’t go into detail on how to flash this particular ROM to your device. Today, all I am going to tell you is how good or bad the ROM is in my experience. Hopefully, my experience will help you decide if you want to get this ROM or not.
The development of this ROM is currently ongoing. While here I am writing about Omega version 39, a new ROM is probably being cooked up by Indie and his team. In fact, version 39 was uploaded not too long ago. It would be worthwhile to check the change longs to see if an update is important to you or not. Some updates are very minor, but are given a full version number.
Version 38 and version 39 are not too different. The main difference is the update to a new base ROM, which is the latest ROM from Italy.
The developer knows that flashing a new update is not easy. Most custom ROM updates require that you wipe your phone’s data completely before flashing the new ROM. This means that most custom ROM users have to lose most of their data with every install.
Indie developed the ROM to be updatable without the Wipe procedure. Most updates that are not too major would be built as a “no wipe” version so that you can directly flash the update on top of your existing ROM. Going from version 38 to 39 does not require a full wipe.
A word of caution: for some reason, even if an update is meant to be a non-wipe version, some users tend to find odd bugs when they are updating from one version to another without wiping the device. In cases like these, the user may have made so many extra customizations and settings into the ROM making the update incompatible. As such, it is advised to wipe the device if bugs litter your experience.
Fast and Smooth
This custom ROM burns with speed without overclocking the device. It optimizes the Rom with several tweaks that make it seem faster than stock firmware. It tries to reduce redraws as well as manage the RAM so that at least 200MB of RAM is maintained at almost all times.
Aroma Custom Install
This ROM is installed using the Aroma installation manager. This means that before you install the custom ROM into your smartphone, you get to decide which apps you want to keep and which apps you want to dispose of in the stock ROM installation. This helps minimize bloatware but also allow you to keep the ‘bloatware’ that you actually like.
For example, not everyone likes ChatOn, but you can opt to have it installed with the ROM while keeping the rest of the boatware out.
Omega Files Customization
Indie’s Omega ROM is on a whole new level when it comes to developer collaboration as well as developer effort. Indie created a central app called “Omega Files” that consolidates all extra Mods, tweaks, apps, themes and other customizations that have been tested to be compatible with the Omega ROM’s latest version.
This means that you spend less time thrashing about in the forums trying to figure out what to install and actually spend more time in the actual process of customization. The Omega files app gives you install and uninstall instructions as well as new modems and kernels to partner with your ROM.
Omega files also feature a list of compatible Modems that you can flash directly with the ROM. Modems differ by country and ROM versions. As odd as it may be, there are cases where an older modem is better than a newer modem depending on the user’s location and carrier.
The Omega ROM is highly supported by several theme makers and developers. It is one of the few ROMs out there where people actually make an effort to be compatible with. Other theme makers make a general theme and doesn’t care much which ROM it will fit into, while others only make themes that match their own custom ROMs.
As with most custom ROMs, the greatest concern is regarding the ROM’s stability. Omega ROM is pretty stable. Some odd bugs do plague the ROM from time to time, but most of these bugs are born from the no full wipe update system that Indie and his team were trying to implement. Most bugs disappear with a simple full wipe, while some are remedied by workarounds and flashable zips.
Battery life offers very mixed results, but it isn’t worse than Stock ROMs. The battery life is a bit improved only by the tweaks offered by the ROM itself. The kernel is kept the same as the stock kernel that comes with the base ROM.
If you want better battery life, you can always pair up a battery life saving kernel by using one of the ones tested to be compatible with the ROM through the Omega Files app.
Additional App highlights
This ROM adds a few apps that may make you even more interested to use the Omega ROM series.
Samsung’s version 4.1.2 update for the Samsung Galaxy S3 adds the Galaxy Note’s multiwindow function built directly into the ROM. Unfortunately, the stock multiwindow experience is very limited. Samsung only allows a very limited number of apps to use the feature.
With the MultiWindow Control app, you can now port other apps into the multiwindow function allowing true multitasking on your device.
Android 4.2 Camera and Gallery
Omega ROM allows you to port the new camera and gallery applications introduced with Google’s latest Jelly Bean ROM. The new camera and gallery will be able to help you make better panoramas as well as photo spheres that are currently officially exclusive to Nexus devices.
The custom ROM is one of most recommended ROMs out there. It is stable, fast, and pretty reliable as a daily driver. Updates are a hit or miss, but most of the time, it just works. The ROM’s efficiency with power varies depending on the user, but overall, it won’t be worse than your stock experience.
What makes this a great ROM is because you can enjoy the best custom tweaks yet still have many stock features which adds to the experience.