Best Custom ROMs for OnePlus 3

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 17 Dec 2016

OnePlus 3 Camera

The OnePlus 3 has turned out to be one of the most popular smartphones of this year. After the failure of the OnePlus 2, OnePlus went back to the drawing board and came up with the excellent OnePlus 3. As if the customization price-to-performance ratio of the phone was not already enough, OnePlus has also ensured that the 3 is among the most developer friendly phones out there.

Not only has the company released the device tree of the handset, but its warranty policy also states that unlocking or rooting the customization will not void its warranty. Thus, it’s not surprising to see that the OnePlus 3 is among the most popular devices in the Android development community. This has lead to plenty of custom ROMs being available for the handset. While OxygenOS on the OnePlus 3 is pretty close to stock Android with just the right amount of customization options baked in, custom ROMs go a step beyond that and offer more new features for you to play around with.

So, if you have been looking for a custom ROM to flash on your OnePlus 3, check out our some of our recommendations below.

SultanXDA’s Unofficial CM13 ROM

cyanogenmod logo

If you used the OnePlus One and was an active member of its development community, you should know the fantastic work done by SultanXDA. The developer single-handedly played a key role in improving the touchscreen issues on the One and improving the device’s camera performance. So, it’s not surprising that Sultan’s custom CyanogenMod 13 based ROM is my top pick for the best custom ROM for the OnePlus 3.

The ROM comes with improved GPS speed and accuracy, a custom camera app that provides features like anti-shake mode, face detection, denoise control, and manual control over ISO and shutter speed. Most importantly, the ROM comes with a custom kernel that comes with a custom dynamic CPU input boost driver, reduced touchscreen latency, improved audio processing latency and headphone jack detection, and more.

When compared to your usual builds of CyanogenMod 13, Sultan’s custom ROM for the OnePlus 3 might not offer many new features but the ROM offers a better experience than the former for sure. The only bummer here is that since the ROM is still based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, and not Nougat.


CyanogenMod 14.1 with Extra Commits

If you are looking for a Nougat based custom ROM for your OnePlus 3, nothing better than the unofficial CyanogenMod 14.1 build from matssa. The ROM comes with some extra commits that help in further improving the GPS and NFC performance on the 3. Otherwise, this is your typical CyanogenMod 14.1 ROM that will bring all the new Nougat features to your 3 like multi-window multitasking, Direct Reply, revamped lock screen notification and Settings menu, and more. Since CM14.1 is still in early stages of development, you will find that some of the features that the ROM is primarily known for are still missing.

Nonetheless, it is only a matter of time before all the features that CyanogenMod is known for are added back into the ROM.



android nougat

Looking for a ROM based on OxygenOS for the utmost stability? FreedomOS has you covered then. Based on OxygenOS 3.2.8 and Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, FreedomOS comes with a plethora of mods baked in like RRO theme manager, Viper4Android, DPI customisation, Xposed installer, Adaway, and the ability to install/uninstall Google and system apps.

The ROM is essentially a stock version of OxygenOS with additional mods thrown in. Since it comes with an AROMA launcher, you can customize the ROM and decide on the mods that you want to use while installing it. It is also the only ROM in this list that you can dirty flash on your rooted OnePlus 3 running OxygenOS without running into any issues.



The team behind AOKP might not be as active in the custom ROM development scene as before, but it’s not completely dead either. The AOKP team frequently updates their ROM for the OnePlus 3 with new features and customisation options. In fact, the team already offers official Nougat based AOKP builds for the handset which is regularly updated as well. Regarding features, AOKP offers plenty of navigation bar customisation options, with other features being neatly tucked away into ROM Control so that new users are not overwhelmed by the sheer number of features that the ROM offers.

If you do end up installing AOKP on your OnePlus 3, make sure to flash a compatible Google Apps package to go along with as well.


Xenon HD

XenonHD is a fairly new ROM for the OnePlus 3 that is based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. Among the more polished ROMs out there for the handset, the ROM comes with features like double-tap to wake, a Pixel-like UI and navigation bar, live volume steps, and a dark theme. All the other usual customisation features that you will find in other ROMs like navigation bar and status bar customisation are also present in this ROM. The catch here is that since the ROM is based on Android 7.1.1, its stability will not be as good as other Marshmallow based ROMs out there. However, this issue should be sorted by the end of this year once OnePlus releases the kernel sources for the 3’s Nougat update.


If you ask me to select one ROM to use on my OnePlus 3 as a daily driver, I will probably choose either Xenon HD since its based on Android 7.1.1 or SultanXDA’s CM13 ROM for the advanced set of features that it packs.

Which is your favourite custom ROM for the OnePlus 3? Drop a comment and let us know.