Nexus 4 Custom ROM: LiquidSmooth

The Nexus 4, Google’s beastly Nexus smartphone, has proven to be extremely popular among the masses, thanks to its awesome specs and equally awesome price, and being a Nexus device, custom development for it has been going on pretty strongly. There have been a couple of custom ROMs released for the Nexus 4 in the past, and now another popular one – LiquidSmooth ROM, known for running smoothly and being highly customizable – has been released.

LiquidSmooth ROM has been developed by XDA developer tspderek and the LiquidSmooth development team, and is aimed at providing a fast, stable, smooth, and customizable ROM that you can use as a daily driver, taking the stock Android experience even further than what comes as default with the phone.

To try out LiquidSmooth ROM on your Nexus 4, just follow the guide below for step-by-step instructions if you’re new to this, though keep in mind that flashing a custom ROM involves wiping the data on the phone as well as unlocking the bootloader, so you will have to backup and restore apps and other data later on.


The procedure described below is only for the LG Nexus 4. Do not try it on any other device.


The methods and procedures discussed here are considered risky, so try them out at your own risk, and make sure to read each step carefully before attempting anything. We will not be held responsible if anything goes wrong.

How to Install LiquidSmooth ROM on Nexus 4

  1. The procedure to install the ROM involves unlocking the bootloader on the device, which will wipe everything on the device, including everything on your internal storage. First, backup installed apps and personal data such as contacts, messages, bookmarks, etc, by referring to our Android Backup Guide for help. Then, copy everything from the SD card to your computer, which will also include the apps and data you backed up.
  2. The phone’s bootloader will need to be unlocked to flash the ROM. You can unlock the bootloader on your Nexus 4 by following the guide → here. Make sure you took a backup in step 1 as this will wipe all data from the phone and reset it to factory settings. Skip this if you already have the bootloader unlocked.
  3. You should have ClockworkMod (CWM) recovery installed on your phone to install the ROM. If not, follow this guide to install it on your Nexus 4.
  4. Download the latest build of the ROM from the source page.
  5. Also download the Google apps package for CyanogenMod 10.1 using the link below. AOSP ROMs like CyanogenMod do not contain Google apps like Gmail, Talk, YouTube, Search, etc by default, so you will need to install the Google apps package as well.
    Download Google Apps
  6. Copy both the ROM and Google apps files (copy the files, don’t extract them) to the phone.
  7. Reboot the phone into CWM recovery. To do that, turn off your phone and boot into the bootloader mode by holding down the Volume down and Power buttons together till the screen turns on. Then, using the volume buttons, scroll to the Recovery mode option, then select it using the power button to reboot the phone into CWM recovery.
  8. Now, you should make a backup of your currently installed ROM. This is a backup of the whole ROM and will restore the phone to the state it was in before you flash the new ROM, unlike the backup in step 1 which only restores apps and personal data. To take a backup, select Backup and Restore,then select Backup again. Go back to main recovery menu after backup is complete.
  9. Select wipe data/factory reset, then select Yes on next screen to confirm. Wait a while till the data wipe is complete (this will only wipe installed apps and settings, but will not wipe files on the SD card).
  10. Select install zip from sdcard, then select choose zip from sdcard. Scroll to the ROM file and select it. Confirm installation on the next screen.
  11. After ROM installation completes, select choose zip from sdcard again, then select the Gapps file to install the Google apps package.
  12. Once the installation of the Google apps package is complete, go back to the main recovery menu and select reboot system now to reboot the phone and boot up into LiquidSmooth ROM. The first boot can take a few minutes, so don’t panic if it takes 5-7 minutes to do so.

Updating to newer versions of the ROM:

  • The ROM will get regular updates as development goes on, so to update to newer versions, download the latest version of the ROM, copy it to the device, reboot to recovery, repeat step 10 to install the update, then reboot the phone. You do not need to install the Google apps package or wipe data when updating to a newer version. Those steps are only required when installing the ROM for the first time.

LiquidSmooth ROM is now installed on your Nexus 4. Try it out, let us know how it works, and be sure to leave a comment if you run into any problems.