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Update Samsung Galaxy Nexus to Android 4.4 KitKat using Experimental SlimKat Custom ROM

Samsung Galaxy Nexus won’t get the official Android 4.4 OTA Update, but that won’t stop custom ROM developers to release builds based on the latest KitKat OS. Read this entire post and use the files listed here only if you’re an advanced user who wants to tinker with his phone.

SlimKat is now in its experimental build phase, which means that it is not very stable and you will surely find some errors and bugs while using it. SlimKat is the latest version based on the SlimBean custom ROM, one of the most popular build available. For more info about this release, read the XDA thread here.

Read the preparation guide below before starting the update:

  • Use this tutorial only for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone with model number I9250.
  • Do not attempt to flash the experimental SlimKat Android 4.4 custom ROM on any other Android phones.
  • The device that you’re about to update has to be factory unlocked, rooted and running a custom Recovery.
    – both CWM and TWRP Recoveries will work with this post.
  • For the new ROM to install correctly you will need to Factory Reset the phone.
    – factory reset deletes all contents from system partition, while internal storage won’t be affected by this process.
  • create a full NANDROID Backup for the installed ROM, so that you’ll have a restore point for your device.
  • Backup data from installed apps using the Helium tool from the Google Play Store here.
  • Backup SMS text messages, APN Internet Settings and Call Logs info using the following tools for Android: SMS backup & restore | Call Logs backup & restore | APN Settings Backup & Restore. Root access is required for some of these apps.
  • Contacts info and People details can be backed up with your default Gmail account.
    – a guide can be found here.
  • Enable USB Debugging from Developer Options menu.
  • This post is destined for advanced users, do not blame us in case you brick your smartphone in the process.
  • Check the phone’s battery power level and make sure that it is over 50%. If the device powers off in the middle of the updating process, then you will be forced to repeat the entire tutorial.
  • If you cannot complete the update, then you should ask for more help in comments.

How to flash Experimental SlimKat Android 4.4 custom build for Samsung Galaxy Nexus:

  1. Download the custom ROM zip from here.
  2. Download Gapps for this ROM from here.
  3. Connect the Galaxy Nexus to your PC and then move both zip files on your phone’s internal storage.
    – disconnect the phone from PC when the files are copied.
  4. Power off the device.
  5. Boot your phone in custom Recovery Mode:
    – CWM and TWRP Recovery are supported by this guide.
  6. When you’re at the main custom Recovery screen, then you will first have to create a full NANDROID Backup of your current ROM:
    – CWM: select ‘backup and restore’. Save the file on internal storage.
    – TWRP: press Backup, rename the file and swipe to backup.
  7. Next, apply the Factory Reset:
    – CWM: select ‘wipe data/ factory reset’ and confirm the process.
    – TWRP: press Wipe, swipe to confirm factory reset.
  8. Now, flash the Experimental SlimKat custom ROM zip:
    – CWM: select ‘install zip from sdcard’, then ‘choose zip from sdcard’. Find the custom ROM zip. Confirm the process.
    – TWRP: press Install, find the ROM file. Swipe to confirm the installation.
  9. Repeat step 8 and flash the Gapps zip too.
  10. When both files are installed, return to the main custom Recovery screen.
  11. Reboot your phone now.
    – note that the first boot process takes a while to complete, which is why you shouldn’t press any buttons until this is complete.
  12. Enter your Google Account details when the new home screen loads.

These were all the steps that you had to take in order to complete the tutorial.

In case the first boot process takes too long to complete or it enters into a boot loop, then you should power off the device completely and then repeat the entire tutorial once again. Make sure not to skip any steps listed above. For any other questions use the comments field.

If you find too many errors or you simply don’t like how SlimKat Android 4.4 experimental ROM works with your device, then you should restore it to its previous ROM using the file created in step 6.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus Articles