Lollipop ROMs: will your phone be getting an unofficial Android 5.0 update?

OTA updates to Android Lollipop are starting to roll out. If you’ve got a flagship device from a major manufacturer built in the last two years then it’s likely you will be getting an official Lollipop update. If you haven’t got one of these devices you may have to wait longer, or look into flashing a custom ROM to get the benefits of Android 5.0.

Custom ROMs based on Lollipop are starting to appear, now that the official source code is available.

The following list shows some of the ones that are available right now, and we’ll keep it updated with new models and new ROMs as they appear. If your phone isn’t on the list for official updates keep an eye on this page, as you may not have to miss out.


Samsung Galaxy S III Mini

The Galaxy S III Mini won’t be getting an official Lollipop update, but there is already a ROM available for the mid-range phone. It is based on AOSP (the Android Open Source Project), so features the stock Android interface and none of the enhancements made by Samsung in its TouchWiz UI.

At the time of writing it was an alpha build,. so not all features of the device were working. You’ll also need to flash the Google apps separately, when they become available.

For more information on the S III Mini Lollipop ROM, see this thread on the xdc-developers forum.


Samsung Galaxy S III

Update 13 Nov: A very early alpha build of CyanogenMod 12 has been released for the Galaxy S III. It’s classed as not stable, and many core features including the cellular radio, wi-fi, camera and GPS are not working.

Follow this thread to track the development of the SIII Lollipop ROM.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus has long since been abandoned for official OS updates, but an enthusiastic developer community keeps the phone alive.

There are early Lollipop builds of the FML ROM for the three main versions of the Galaxy Nexus. They may be a bit rough and ready, so should be flashed with a certain amount of caution. But for the daring, they’re a great way of experiencing Android 5.0 on older hardware.

Get Lollipop for the international Galaxy Nexus here, the Sprint version here, and the Verizon version here.

Various other Nexus devices

The other Nexus devices will be updated to Lollipop through official OTA ROMs. However, there are already a few custom ROMs based on AOSP that you can try.


Sony Xperia L

Sony’s support for the developer community has helped devices like the Xperia L to be updated quickly to Lollipop.

The initial release of the first Lollipop Xperia L ROM is incomplete, with issues with the radio and wi-fi among other things. For this reason it cannot be seen as a daily driver yet. These things would be expected to be fixed soon, however.

The ROM is based on AOSP, so lacks any of the Sony software and interface tweaks, and you’ll need to flash the Google apps separately as well.


OmniROM is the first of the major custom ROMs to run on Lollipop. OmniROM is available for a large number of devices, and those that are actively supported will have Android 5.0 builds available for them in the coming weeks.

As such Lollipop ROMs from the OmniROM team are expected to be available for the Oppo Find 5 and Oppo N1, as well as various Sony Xperia phones including the Xperia Z.

CyanogenMod 12: Lollipop

The king of custom ROMs, CyanogenMod, is already working on version 12, which will be based on Lollipop, initially for the Nexus 5 and some Sony devices.

CyanogenMod is frequently ported to just about every other smartphone, and forms the basis of thousands of custom ROMs. Once the next version becomes available, a far wider number of Android devices will be supported.

Check  back soon for more information on the latest Lollipop ROMs. While all the initial ROMs will be AOSP-based, once manufacturer updates start rolling out we’ll begin to see unofficial ROMs based on TouchWiz for Samsung devices, Sense for HTC phones and all other manufacturer skins.

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