Rastakat: Custom ROM for Nexus 4 based on Android 4.4.2

Rastakat is a ROM AOSP, that is based on the code ANdroid Open Source Project (released by Google for Download) then Pure Android as Google has thought it without major customizations introduced by the developer, in summary we will not notice big differences compared to the ROM Stock of our Nexus 4.

The ROM was created by Rascarlo, a very well-known Nexus developer, and is one of the first custom ROMs based on Android 4.4 Kitkat, specifically on the 4.4.2 version the last one released by Google, but let's see in detail what are the features and the performance of Rastakat.

FEATURES AND DIFFERENCES COMPARED TO THE STOCK ROM

From the first start we will notice a pleasant surprise: the ROM implements by default the Kitkat launcher maintaining the cleanliness of Android Stock, thus not pre-installing any superfluous application, but the only Google Apps.

Lowering the drop-down menu of the Quick Setting we find some new Tiles, among which the one for Activate / Deactivate screen rotation (it is not known why Google has not yet included it in the quick setting of the official Android version), unfortunately as in Android Stock, it is not possible to change them.

Rastakat home Rastakat quicksetting

If you want to change the Home background, you will notice that the ROM contains only animated backgrounds, to download the .zip archive containing KitKat static backgrounds click the following link:

Kitkat Wallpapers | Download in English

Now let's focus on the menu settings which is identical to the Stock version of Android with the addition of the section only RASTAKAT "Build Tweaks“, Let's see what news introduces:

Rastakat setting Rastakat Build Tweaks

STATUS BAR

  • Double-tap to sleep: allows you to turn off the screen with a double tap on the status bar.
  • Battery style: it is possible to choose whether to display only the battery icon, the icon with the percentage, the circle, the circle with the percentage and finally it is possible to hide it.
  • ShowHide the watch
  • Quick pulldown: allows you to directly lower the quick setting curtain with the swipe down when this occurs on the left or right side of the statusbar.

NAVIGATION BAR

  • Allows you to set the height (in pixels) of the navigation bar

VOLUME ROCKER

  • Volume adjustment sound: enable / disable a sound when the volume is changed
  • Volume panel style: change the layout of the volume panel
  • Volume rocker wake: allows you to turn on the display with the volume keys, useful to avoid excessive use of the Power key
  • Volume rocker music controls: when we listen to music we can change audio tracks directly with the volume keys from screen off
  • Safe headset volume: Prevents excessive volume being played when the earphones are first connected

QUICK LAUNCH

  • Allows you to set 3 actions to be performed with the classic swipe gestures from bottom to top, which in the Stock version of Android allows the launch of Google Now

LOCKSCREEN SLIDER

  • allows you to set specific actions with the sliding release

PLUG-IN PROMPT

  • Wake on plug: Turns on the Display when the device is connected via USB to the PC or charger
  • Enable sound / vibration: reproduces a sound / vibration when the USB is inserted

NOTIFICATION LED

  • it allows you to manage the operation of the notification LED, allowing you to enable and manage colors for various conditions and applications

These are the settings added by Rastakat, although not so many implement all that is missing (and I would like) in the official version of Android, I personally consider two aspects fundamental in the goodness of a ROM: stability and fluidity which are the characteristics in which Rastakat excels; so let's analyze its performance.

PERFORMANCES

In the panorama of custom ROMs for Nexus 4 based on android kitkat, the Rastakat is positioned at the top of the list in regards to performance general, slightly superior to Android stock: since the installation of the ROM I have not had any lag or crash yet (to be honest the only bug I found concerns the stock browser of android that, when activating incognito, crashes: problem easily solved using another browser like for example Chrome), I played several games at Asphalt 8 without encountering any fluidity problems but we see a brief comparison between the results of some Benchmark made with Android Stock and with Rastakat.

I would like to point out that the tests were carried out under the same conditions:

  • Android stock was formatted just before the test to prevent some background applications from affecting the result and to make the comparison fairer since the Rastakat benchmark was made immediately after its installation.
  • Both ROMs using as Runtime ART.

Here are the screenshots of the tests performed with: Antutu, Quadrant e GLBenchmark.

ANDROID STOCK 4.4 RASTAKAT ROM
Antutu Benchmark Antutu Benchmark
Quadrant Benchmark Quadrant Benchmark
GLBenchmark GLBenchmark

Benchmarks do not always determine the real performance of a device, they can still be used as a further confirmation of their impressions, the tests have also been repeated several times with similar results.

La RAM occupied at startup is of 280-300MB a great value: with no other ROM in the past I managed to get similar values ​​even with the adoption of some useful tips, in the next paragraph we will evaluate the battery life.

AUTONOMY

After just a few days of use it is difficult to express an exhaustive opinion on the autonomy of the ROM, I can confirm that with my normal use which presupposes: about an hour of internet browsing, continuous use of Hangouts, Google+, Whatsapp, the reproduction of a couple of videos on Youtube, 2 synchronized email accounts, WIFI connection and data connection always active (data connection disabled only during the night) and a couple of games at Asphalt 8 on the first complete recharge cycle the results are the following :

Rastakat autonomy Rastakat autonomy

With Android Stock I was able to reach 4 hours on average of screen on, so first impressions are certainly positive: more than 1 day of use with 4 hours and 40 minutes of screen turned on and the battery with a remaining charge at 12%, I will update the article in the case in which consumption will settle on worse values.

CONCLUSIONS

My judgment on this ROM it is completely positive: Rastakat certainly does not excel at the amount of customizations but simply aims at improve e fill up some shortcomings of Android stock giving the possibility to the user to better manage some situations with simple settings: the result is one best user experience it's a slight increase in performance.

If we really want to move some criticism (of little importance) on Rastakat we can do it for the failure to modify the Quick Setting and in the failure to enable OP.App for the selective management of application permissions (solvable by downloading an app from the PlayStore read here).

If after reading this review you decide you want to try the Rastakat ROM read the next paragraph for the installation guide

ROM FLASH

NB: These operations could cause damage and malfunction to your terminal, therefore I do not assume any responsibility.

REQUIREMENTS:

If your Nexus 4 has an older version of Android you will need to upgrade to Android 4.4 Kitkat before installing the RastaKat!

Transfer the ROM, GAPPS and eventual files to enable the ROOT permissions inside the Nexus 4 and restart in Recovery (ClockworkMod recovery procedure),

this procedure will cause the loss of all your data so it is strongly recommended to carry out a Nandroid Backup before proceeding.

  1. Wipe Data
  2. Wipe Cache
  3. Advanced -> Wipe Dalvik Cache
  4. Wipe System: Warning this wipe will eliminate the system partition, so make sure you have the Rastakat ROM files (or another ROM) accessible from ClockWorkmod to be able to flash them, otherwise the Nexus will not have a ROM to boot.
  5. Install zip -> choose zip from / sdcard -> 0/ -> select the file of ROM
  6. Install zip -> choose zip from / sdcard -> 0/ -> select the file gapps
  7. Install zip -> choose zip from / sdcard -> 0/ -> select any file SuperSU
  8. Reboot system now

On reboot you will find the Rastakat ROM installed in the Nexus4!

a little clarification: the GAPPS listed in this guide follow the same philosophy of simplicity of the ROM you will notice that some Google Apps that we are usually accustomed to such as Gmail or Google Calendar will be missing: just install them from the PlayStore.

And what ROM do you use on your Nexus 4?

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