Installing custom ROMs has always been a favourite pastime of the Android community, and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 has some great ones to choose from. There is one caveat, however. The Galaxy Note 9 was released in Exynos and Snapdragon chipset variants – the Snapdragon variant being released in the U.S., and the Exynos being the international version.
Only the Exynos version has custom ROMs, because the Snapdragon version does not have an unlocked bootloader – this was mandated by U.S. carriers to carry the phone.
Thus, all ROMs being mentioned in this article are exclusively for the Exynos version of the Galaxy Note 9. It’s unknown and decidedly not hopeful for the Snapdragon version to ever get custom ROMs, even though an unofficial TWRP method was released.
LineageOS is the most popular custom Android ROM in the world, having around 1.8 million Android devices running some variation of it. It is based on the AOSP, and LineageOS 16 uses Android Pie as its base.
It maintains a stock Android flavor, while bringing a lot of useful features and enhancements. LineageOS doesn’t necessarily focus on user-customizations like a lot of custom ROMs out there – the improvements are found more under the hood.
LineageOS does not include Google Apps by default, but there are optional GApps packages you can flash to restore Google apps.
To download LineageOS 16 for your Galaxy Note 9, see the official XDA thread here.
Features of LineageOS 16:
- Custom button placement
- System profiles
- Custom QST panel
- App Locker
- Global Light / Dark themes
- Call recorder (not available in all countries)
LightROM is a highly debloated custom ROM that contains basic mods and tweaks for overall performance improvements. It is hands down one of the lightest, fastest ROMs around, because so much has been stripped from the stock ROM experience. It’s a good thing, though.
This particular version of LightROM is based on Android Pie. The AROMA installer gives you multiple configuration options while installing the ROM, giving you a highly customizable experience out of the box. It is probably the perfect ROM for users who want to stay as close to the Samsung experience as possible, but with bloatware stripped out, and highly fine-tuned battery and performance tweaks.
It is available for Galaxy Note 9 model numbers N960_F/FD. You can check out the official XDA thread here.
The main features of LightROM are:
- Aroma Supported
- Dolby Atmos
- Magisk Root
- ODM Supported
- Custom Kernels in Aroma
- Under the hood improvements and tweaks
This is a highly customizable ROM which is based on official Android Pie. Dr. Ketan ROM includes a ton of features that are too numerous to list, as the developer is a highly experienced mod and ROM developer that releases a lot of Android tweak tools.
Thus, Dr. Ketan ROM offers a lot of performance tweaks you can fine-tune with the included ROM Control tools. It also includes the official Samsung GoodLock tool, which is officially locked to the South Korean app store, but has been ported into this ROM.
Dr. Ketan ROM features:
- DEX supported
- Samsung Pay with Gear
- Screenshot in Secure Tab
- Denoxed + Netflix Fix
- Dual SIM + SD support
- GoodLock included without CSC restrictions
TGP is a well-known series of ROMs for various Samsung Galaxy models. This one for the Galaxy Note 9 is based on Android Pie, and offers a number of installation packages to customize. You’ll find Lite, Standard, Full, Extreme, and Custom installations, as well as numerous app packages to choose during the AROMA-based installer.
TGP also has a number of CSC mods, such as enabling call recording, camera shutter sound, data usage on QSC, and more. It’s a well-thought out custom ROM that’s been developed for several Galaxy devices, so the developer has experience debloating and fine-tuning the stock Samsung experience.
It also uses a custom kernel, has been zip-aligned and odexed, and just a whole range of useful features to be found in this ROM.
The Galaxy Project is available for the Note 9 model numbers N960F, G960F, and G965F. You can visit the official XDA thread here.
- SELinux Permissive / Enforcing option in AROMA
- Fingerprint Unlock on Reboot
- WireGuard Support
- Disabled KNOX
- Enabled CPU Overclocking
- Added RGB Colour Control
This is a fairly new ROM, released in February 2019, which has quickly gained a small following. LionsRoar offers some nice customization options, as well as ROM Control with basic mod support. It also includes a Viper sound mod, dual messenger, Good Lock 2019, and a nice custom theme out of the box.
The developer states that Samsung Gear should be compatible out of the box. It also has support for ED Xposed, Swift Installer for theming, and Magisk 18.1 support.
Finally, the ROM has been debloated, the battery performance tweaked, and includes iris and fingerprint scanner unlocking on system reboot.
LionsRoar ROM is available for Galaxy Note 9 N960F. You can visit the official XDA thread here.
LionsRoar ROM features:
- SystemUI modded icons
- Patched Galaxy Store
- Custom bootanimation
- Dual messenger