What is the best Android ROM for HTC Desire?

So, I’ve tried many ROMs for my HTC Desire but the latest, Oxygen, has to be the best. If you have a HTC Desire and are looking to give it a new lease of life then I would highly recommend it. Also rooting your phone is easier than ever thanks to Unrevoked.

I formerly used AOSP which is a fairly vanilla Froyo ROM but very stable. I used this ROM for pretty much the last year. However with my upgrade date for my contract due later this year, and the release of quad-core phones throughout 2012, I started to look at custom ROMs again rather than feel jealous about the shiny new models. And to be honest with you – all I use my phone for is to get at GMail, Calender, Remember-the-Milk, Reddit and WhatsApp – no gaming (like I have the time), no video playback (I like battery life for communicating with people), no music playback (I have the excellent Sansa Clip+ thanks). So I figured I can save some cash by keeping the phone and going to a SIM-only contract when it expires. Yeah, new phones have promising stuff like NFC but AFAICT there is no commonplace infrastructure for that yet – hopefully in 2014 when I am ready to upgrade 🙂

So back to selecting a ROM: I first tried CyanogenMod 7.1 (probably the custom ROM most people know about) which installed smoothly. However two problems became apparent – a shockingly fast battery drain and unreliable screen auto-rotate (I think the latter might be due to accelerometer driver problems). Thankfully trackball-wake worked otherwise it would not have lasted the two weeks I ran it for. Both of those problems cannot be sustained so I looked around with the words “stable”, “bug free” with “HTC Desire ROM” and found Oxygen which is based on Gingerbread.

I now have what is almost like a new phone – it’s fast, stable and looks smart. For me there are just two small issues – no trackball wake and no way to disable the photo shutter sound – everything else is cool. If you want to install via Clockwork ROM then it will not work, there is currently a broken link to Oxygen. Instead follow this guide and grab version 2.3.2.

Thank you very, very much Oxygen developers/maintainers – enjoy!