[International] "Stock-like" Android (JB+) ROM for unlocked i9300

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  1. andy9l

    andy9l Well-Known Member

    Hi all,

    I've been looking into rooting and flashing my i9300 for a while now. I've basically tried to revert TouchWiz back to stock Android by installing mods from the official Play Store, but it doesn't quite cut it.

    I just want Android. I don't want what Samsung thinks Android should be.

    I've read the sticky here, but all of the listed ROMs are TouchWiz. Is there any way to get an Android "stock-like" ROM on my S3? Preferably a stable version, JellyBean 4.1.1 or above.

    From what I've read, I need a modem, kernel and ROM - is this correct?

    In an ideal world, my S3 would look like an over-sized Nexus. I don't care for multi-screen (who does that on a phone?), or "slide to phone". I know I'm somewhat belittling TouchWiz, but it really does seem unnecessary to me personally.

    Thanks in advance for any advice. I've posted this here rather than at XDA to prevent any nerds getting their e-peen out for my simple questions.


  2. Gomjaba

    Gomjaba Well-Known Member

  3. CDPlant

    CDPlant Well-Known Member

    Hey :)

    If you want vanilla android, your best bet is Cyanogenmod or another AOSP ROM, such as Slim bean, which come in Android version 4.1.2 [Jelly Bean] and 4.2.1 [Jelly Bean MR1]. These ROMs are very similar to the one you would find on a Galaxy Nexus or Nexus 4, but with lots of added features.

    Cyanogenmod is currently on version 10.1, which is Android version 4.2.1. You can find download links here - CyanogenMod Downloads. I haven't tried 10.1 yet, but I must say CM10 was extremely buggy and there were a lot of things broken, and there can only be more bugs in 10.1.

    I've heard Slim bean is quite good, but again it will have a lot of bugs too, as the developers do not have the proper sources to make certain things work (such as the hardware composer and the camera.)

    Mostly you need the ROM, as it will contain a modem and a kernel with it, however you can flash different ones if you would prefer. Siyah kernel is a very good one, but will only work on CM10 (please be careful if you decide to flash another kernel and check if it's compatible with your ROM :))

    On my HTC Desire HD, I couldn't wait to get vanilla android on it because I didn't like Sense at all, but with my S3 I think they have done a great job on Touchwiz, and a lot of things they have added have been useful to me. But I can understand why people want AOSP :)
    andy9l likes this.
  4. andy9l

    andy9l Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the detailed reply.

    I have heard a lot about "CM", a friend of mine has used it several times before on an older Samsung device - but he also mentioned bugs, or strange "things you have to do on each boot" which put me off.

    With what you've said, would you recommend holding off for now until they stabilise a version? Is there any stable AOSP ROM on 4.1+?

    Much appreciated.

    Edit: After further research, it seems flashing these custom ROMs gives more problems than benefits. Every one I've come across has numerous posts with "accepted bugs". I'd rather have a working phone than some sketchy ROM built by a teenager! Nevermind, TouchWiz it is :(

    You've got to really hate TouchWiz to put up with a custom ROM, surely?!
  5. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    Touchwiz custom roms are great. If you don't like the launcher (touchwiz home) just use apex or nova (vanilla style launchers on play).

    Aosp/aokp/cm lose so many features it seems pointless to me
  6. andy9l

    andy9l Well-Known Member

    It's the whole feel of TouchWiz though - not just the home launcher. I'm already using Nova Launcher Prime - which is great, as a launcher.

    The TW lock screen, for example, looks like something a child would make. The notification bar is perfect as it comes from Google, why did Samsung feel the need to change it? The gallery looks like a "my first website", and the bloatware...well. They're a few from the top of my head.

    TouchWiz is unprofessional, especially aesthetically. That's my personal opinion, at least. Things like "double-tap to top" don't even work anyway so I'm not fussed about losing the buggy features bundled with TW.

    I've been looking at SuperNexus Build 5 - anyone have any experience with this? Looks pretty sound - my only concern being that he claims to be 16 years old. Not sure if that's a nerd joke or not.

    Edit: You're a very knowledgeable guy - any chance you could give a rough overview on how to apply one of these custom ROMs?

    As I understand it, I need to root (somehow!), install CWM (somehow!), copy a zipped ROM over to the phone, along with a Google apps .zip, use CWM to install both. Sound about right? Any advice for the actual rooting step?
  7. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;) VIP Member

    Are there any roms with multiscreen yet?
    Im runnin the stock unbranded 4.1.2 and its nice.
    Just wish multi screen had more apps.....
  8. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;) VIP Member

    SU bein knowledgable is an understatement mate, him and shotgun :)

    Guess what.. i won a competition 2ce one 1 of the biggest android sites (can i say the name?)
    funniest member and most active. Out of 8 categorys.
    No idea what the prize will be or if theyl ship to UK?
  9. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

    First thing first, let's get you rooted. We'll worry about the custom roms when you're done. Follow this guide and you should be fine. Just take your time and ask any questions you need

    If the look of touchwiz is your main gripe you'll be able to flash a stock android look theme onto whatever Rom you choose.
  10. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    I too don't like the touchwiz look. I replace the lockscreen and theme it to look like vanilla android. I use a toggles mod too.

    I do like smart stay, blocking mode, swipe screenshot and multi window (with the all apps mod). These are the features I like with touchwiz. Then I also add S note which requires touchwiz too.

    Aosp just doesn't cut it for me, even though its much better looking
  11. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

  12. andy9l

    andy9l Well-Known Member

    Thanks buddy. Rooting is the part that voids the warranty, right?
  13. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

  14. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

    Yeah rooting and running custom roms will void your warranty
  15. andy9l

    andy9l Well-Known Member

    In that case I'd like to know what I'm rooting for before I go ahead with it! I'm looking for a stable AOSP ROM - no frills, just Android as it should be.
  16. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

    Honestly I'm not the best guy to ask about aosp. I'm with SU, I like the TW features so I've only ever run stock based roms with jb domination theme to make it look like pure android and jkay mod to add a bit more functionality
    andy9l likes this.
  17. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    Yes indeed.

    However a couple of tips....

    1. User triangle away to reset the custom binary counter. If this reports more than 0, then warranty is void. It shows a red exclamation mark on the boot animation, so ensure this app clears that away.

    2. If it still boots but you have to return it for warranty, flash a stock ROM back first.

    3. If it doesn't boot, as long as you do 1., you're ok.

    Being an (ex) AOSP developer, all I can say is yes, AOKP and CM are based on AOSP but the features that both teams add still take the ROM far away from the Pure android experience. They just look more "Vanilla".

    They miss all touchwiz features but add some of their own. If I really wanted AOSP on my S3 (If I didn't have the skills to compile my own ROM) I would use CM or AOKP.
    andy9l likes this.
  18. andy9l

    andy9l Well-Known Member

    I appreciate that, but the closer to AOSP, the better - at least that's my opinion for now. I'd like to try one, but don't want to bother if it's a half-working piece of software. Absolutely no disrespect to the developers of these ROMs, I realise it's a mammoth task to get one running - but I'm not enough of a geek to put up with any major technical quirks. I can handle no NFC, and other smaller (generally unused) features.

    SuperNexus looks very positive, but I'm new to this so suggestions for other popular ROM (or dev teams) would be appreciated.

    Edit: I can't help but notice the possibility that the phone could become completely bricked. I'm used to dealing with Jailbreaking iOS devices where bricking is impossible. Is there much risk? I'm reasonably techie, so shouldn't make any completely ridiculous mistakes...
  19. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

    If you like the looks go for it. If it isn't for you, you can always go back to stock. I remember a few people using his Rom on the gs2 and there were no complaints. I wouldn't be put off by his age, the days we live in kids have been brought up with technology. My 3 year old nephew can use my gs3 better than my mum
  20. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

    There is always the chance of a complete brick when flashing but as long as you follow the instructions it is quite small. Samsung devices are quite hard to completely screw up, I've seen cases of gs2 roms being flashed onto gs3's and it was easily fixed by flashing a compatible Rom. The majority of fully bricked gs3's I've seen have been down to motherboard failure which wasn't due to flashing. As long as you make a nandroid backup, efs backup and app backup straight after rooting, you have all your bases covered should any problems arise.
  21. andy9l

    andy9l Well-Known Member

    Please do elaborate!
  22. Shotgun84

    Shotgun84 Well-Known Member

    A nandroid is basically a backup of your entire phone. To do this you need to be rooted. Boot your phone into recovery mode (volume up, power and home, while your phone's off) and select backup and restore and then backup to internal or external sd. So say you flashed a Rom and got stuck in a bootloop you can boot into recovery mode and restore and it will put your phone back to where it was when the backup was made.

    The efs folder is important to backup as it contains your imei info. Samsung devices have been known to wipe this folder on rare occasions when flashing so it's important you do. It's happened to me once after hundreds of flashes. It's easy to backup. Just use the backup efs option in this app
    If you ever need to restore just use the app again.

    There will be times when you need to factory reset your phone when flashing, either because the induction tell you or there are a few bugs after flashing. I use titanium backup with the paid pro keyfor this but there are other alternatives on the play store
    andy9l likes this.
  23. andy9l

    andy9l Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the reply, I'll make sure I do all of that.

    Now I just need to find a working AOSP style ROM. AOKP sounds a bit sketchy with regards to WiFi, which is a shame because it looks pretty good. Might give SuperNexus a go.

    SU, you said you'd go for AOKP in my situation?

    Edit: I'd need i9300 from this list, correct? I'm using an unlocked GT-I9300 (UK).
  24. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    Wait? Its not that Faryaab kid is it? I avoid his work on principle.

    @ Andy, I'd be trying cm first. Then I'd try aokp. Possibly not 4.2 versions yet though. 4.1.x
  25. andy9l

    andy9l Well-Known Member

    Yeah that's the kid. It just seems a bit too good to be true.

    CM 10.1 first? It says it's in "nightly" whereas AOKP says milestone. As I understand it, milestone is more stable.

    Any chance of a link to the most official place to get each from? I'm using a GT-I9300, unlocked. I'm assuming AOKP would be I9300 from here, but CM doesn't say the I9300 is supported (in this list).

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