If you have been rooting and flashing custom ROMS on Android for any period of time then you’re going to be familiar with the ever popular MIUI ROM. Being one of the most popular ROMs in Gingerbread, it has worked its’ way up over the years and finally found its’ way onto Jelly Bean devices. When I first purchased my Galaxy Nexus I had given MIUI a shot only to be disappointed. It was when MIUI was first ported over to ICS/Galaxy Nexus and I had an experience plagued with bugs. I was flashing ROMs like crazy at the time so I simply switched to something else and MIUI slipped my mind for the coming months. MIUI will never go away for long though, with one of the largest communities for a custom ROM and the popular iOS-esque style interface, MIUI continues to grow and improve daily. After hearing it’s recent build on Jelly Bean I decided to put push my hesitations to the side and give it another shot.
MIUI on Jelly Bean is impressive to say the least. I was expecting a similar experience to its’ first ICS builds and was blown away by how ‘buttery’ smooth it was on Jelly Bean. Menus are snappy and responsive. The new icons appear crisp on the Galaxy Nexus’ HD Super AMOLED screen and entire ROM is aesthetically pleasing. I’ve been playing around with it for a few days now and I’ll just list some things I’ve positives and negatives I’ve experienced thus far.
- I think it’s important to mention how visually different than any other custom ROM you’re going to find. There’s been a lot of detail and polished poured into this ROM to give it a very unique feel. Even small details such as the animation when you open folders is custom made. The lock screen is also unique to MIUI allowing you to launch your phone or messaging client from there.
- The ability to customize your experience is another key factor that drives more users to the MIUI ROM. There’s a ‘Themes’ icon that will allow you to search for thousands of user created themes online. Some of them are extremely well made. In one of my screenshots there’s an Angry Birds them I tried and the level of detail put into the interface is just immaculate.
- Personally I find the default SMS client on MIUI much nicer than the one provided with stock. By default there are pop up notifications from the notification bar that you can reply directly within instead of leaving the app you are using.
- Various glitches throughout, one rather pestering one is when you wake up your phone from sleep three soft keys will display on the lock screen. This is a known issue and the developers are looking into it.
- Device runs sluggish over time. Restarting daily has fixed it when it becomes slow, I’m assuming this will only get better in time.
- One small bug is that it won’t pick up that my phone has service. I receive texts and calls just fine, but my phone still says I have no service. This isn’t a deal breaker, it is just kind of annoying to look at all of the time.
- To follow up on my previous gripe, the only way I discovered to fix the previous problem is to use MIUI Toolbox. Unfortunately there is no MIUI Toolbox for Jelly Bean builds, but according to miui.us the famous user |0xD34D| is currently working on rebuilding the framework from the ground up specifically for Jelly Bean.
To sum it up, MIUI is a ROM you have to try for yourself to truly experience. It’s a prime example to why the Android ecosystem is great to be a part of from the sheer variety of ROMs you can choose from. With updates coming weekly to MIUI I look forward to seeing what is to come.