Redemption ROM

Editor's note: This time around we've got a ROM review for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus from long time Android Central member JKK Photography. I know you'll enjoy it, and from the looks of things if you're the proud owner of a LTE GNex, you just might want to give it a try.  Settle in and have a read after the break. And be sure to tell JKK Photography thanks for the review!

If you're interested in writing a ROM review of your own (the best reviews come from the folks who use them daily!) give us a shout, we'd love to talk to you!

Discuss Redemption ROM in the Verizon Galaxy Nexus forums

A “Nexus” device embodies the pure Google experience and those who purchase them usually fall into one of two categories. The first is developers, who want to know that they’ll have the latest version of Android on the same hardware that Google will test it on. The second group contains the people who love Android: the power that it has, the potential of hacking it, and the Google experience in general.

Redemption ROM

Various ROMs try to extend the native abilities of Android, while others try to change the appearance by tweaking various UI elements. Still others take native Android, in all of its beauty, and iron out bugs. They take the freely-available source code, and then add the best of other open-source ROMs, as well as the developer’s own blood, sweat, and tears to make the overall experience better. These ROMs have three goals: stability, speed, and battery life.

For the Galaxy Nexus, the best of these types of ROMs is Redemption ROM. Developed by OhHeyItsLou, this ROM has consistently been the cream of the crop in my testing, and continues to be my daily driver.

Lou has included various tweaks to improve the responsiveness of the system, and it shows. This ROM is smooth - 60 FPS, no stutter when scrolling, phone-on-steroids smooth. This matches the smoothest device I’ve ever used (a Nokia Lumia 800) point for point. The slickness of this ROM is addictive, so be warned: it makes other ROMs hard to use, even if they do boast more features.

Speaking of features, Lou believes in a very Google-like experience for this device. While it does feature the advanced power menu, it doesn’t have much else. Some may find this to be a major issue, but I find it to be refreshing. Instead of focusing on theming the UI, adding various features to the notification dropdown, or changing how the home screen animates, Lou has focused on speed and stability. Again, be warned now that this isn’t up to feature parity with the likes of CyanogenMod or AOKP - for better or for worse.

Redemption ROM

The second focus of this ROM is stability and, again, it lives up to it. In my testing, this has consistently been one of the most stable releases I’ve used. Under the latest version (version 1.3, which is based on Android 4.0.4), I haven’t experienced any of the apps force-closing. I also haven’t had to deal with any random reboots. This level of stability is great to see in custom ROMs, which are sometimes much more buggy than their OEM counterparts. 

Battery life on Redemption ROM is, like a few other ROMs, very good for a smartphone. In other words, I can easily go a day on it without desperately searching for a charger. The kernel Redemption ROM comes with is great, but I’ve moved to LeanKernel simply because I find that it does add a little time to the battery, as well as a few other geeky features that I appreciate. In my very unscientific testing, I’ve found that Redemption ROM does tend to last longer on a charge than other ROMs. Of course, battery life is heavily impacted by location, signal strength, and various other factors that are hard to reproduce.

Redemption ROM

Lou is also doing something that I find is unique to his ROM: he is trying to cultivate a community that can help others by his YouTube videos. Through these videos, he tries to explain the changelog in layman’s terms. I’m pretty far from an expert on Android, so these videos make the ROM that much sweeter, as it helps to increase my knowledge of the entire Android system, as well as that of how open-source works. He also includes little features, like his backup feature, that help to make the experience that much more convenient.

I recommend anyone on a Verizon Galaxy Nexus to give this ROM a try. I think that some people will be surprised that they don’t find themselves missing the dozens of little features that other ROMs have as the smoothness and reliability of Redemption ROM works it magic on them. My hat is off to Lou, for creating and maintaining such a fantastic ROM for the Galaxy Nexus.

Lou’s Redemption ROM is currently available on RootzWiki at version 1.3. It is based off of the Android Open Source Project, and works on the LTE Galaxy Nexus for Verizon. According to his Twitter, Lou is currently working on another ROM that has many more features, while maintaining the high bar that Redemption ROM has set in the speed and reliability departments. Also, he’s a Mustang guy. No wonder his ROM is so fast and smooth.


Reader comments

Redemption ROM for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus [ROM review]


While I'm not a fan of the lack of extra features, I definitely find comfort knowing that for those that appreciate the stock feel, there's this ROM which makes the phone amazingly fast and stable with no hit to battery.

I currently use Eclipse, and I think that ROM (if you can overlook the black theme) has the best features with one of the fastest experiences. Can you do a review on that one next? I mean I use it myself so I don't need the review. I just would like that developer to get his name out there more and so other people see his work.

AOKP rom's are far better in my opinion.

I am running Slim ICS and it absolutely rocks.

Redemption seemed to take forever to update to 4.03/4.04 etc.

Maybe I will try this new version but Slim has rocked so far. Half the size of most other rom's and ultra fast.

My 2 cents.

I used stock one time when I rooted my OG EVO and I really ahve to say it was the most boring experience ever. I hurried up and slapped a custom sense rom on my phone. Stock was like going to a desert for ice

Do you know a single thing about ICS? Have you ever used a phone running stock ICS? Didn't think so. Whole different ballgame.

Gingerbread AOSP probly wasn't the most prettiest thing out there and feature pack but ICS stock is probly the best thing out there. I'll take my nexus over a HTC device any day

Nice car but I'm a F-Body fan myself. For those wondering F-Body is 93-02 Camaro/Firebird and not sure about the new Camaro since it's new from the ground up and I lost interest when they stopped making the Firebird. Anyway I gave the rom a run and it's all fine and dandy but I needs me some search key action, stupidest thing about ICS in my opinion hope they bring back as standard I know I'm not the only 1 who misses being able to long press it for commands. Oh and status bar widgets so handy.
Currently switched back to liquid smooth 1.4 and really no problems except some minor force closing when I'm button mashing and jumping between apps like a mad man. But no rebooting what so ever. But I do believe my nexus to be bunk because this whole data sleep thing is ridiculous. I really hope it's not a hardware thing otherwise its hello toilet for my phone(really and water source). Still waiting on official stable CM9 those guys are still my favorite by far. Paranoid .9 was fun to play with too if you have small fingers and want staus bar at the bottom. They treated me good on my EVO back when data was slow but plentiful. (4G is so worth early termination fee)

I use Apex for my GSM G-Nex and It works great. Lots of the customization features you see in other ROMs but more refined. The stock kernel works well but I flashed Franco for the extra battery and speed.

I use Gummy... I've been using them since my D2 R2D2... I've used a LOT of ROMS but I haven't had any luck with better battery life or stability than Gummy. I'll give Lous ROM a go cause it is a lot of fun flashing different things, but I can't see myself going to anything else permanently.

Edit: I also use the James Bond kernel and get almost 19 hours

This ROM sounds Awesomeness.. and i will definitely give this a try as Flashing ROMs is the greatest crack ever invented :)-
For me ATM i am on Eclipse with Franco's kernal,and this sucker is F_-king FAST as hell while preserving me some good ol battery Life.. best combination ever imo so far..
i will be ROM whoring around through out the next couple of days so cant wait to try this one..
thanks for the review man and i hope there are more to come :)- Peace!

I have been running RR since I got my Nexus back in March. I love it,but I am thinking of giving CM9 a go pretty soon. I am on the 1.6 Kernel that is undervolted for great battery life. The 1.7 kernel that comes with RR 1.3 is not undervolted.
I get a good 14 hrs with close to 3.5 hours of screen on.

Unlocked and rooted this morning (first timer!), loaded up this rom, I like the development concept.

This is the rom Ive been looking for. I ended up rooting and flashing the rom and its accompanying kernel. snappy, clean, no extra menus, nothing to learn. PERFECT. and THANK YOU!

I downloaded and flashed this today.... do not like it at all. I disable Google+ since I don't use it back it won't stay disabled with this ROM