Part of what makes the HTC One M9 Plus smartphone so great is the hardware and design. The rest of what makes the M9 Plus fantastic is made up within the software and firmware. That software and firmware are what you see running on your smartphone when you boot it up from the off position. HTC give their users some unique features coming to the software that takes it away from the stock Android and turns it into something that M9 Plus owners couldn’t use of they decided to buy a device from another OEM or manufacturer. Arguably the largest of all features to come out of the HTC brand is the Sense user interface. Unique ideas like the Sense UI are great and help make a company brandable and stand out in the crowd, but they also create a problem with love or hate relationship with people. That means HTC can expect to find people wanting to test out new ROMs because theirs is so unique that it will almost surely not be loved by everyone.

A custom ROM is made by third-party developers who have nothing to do with the Android developers who put together your stock ROM. They normally do it in their spare time and don’t get paid for their work apart from donations which are usually only a small portion of the community who ultimately go on to install the ROMs made by those developers. It’s not uncommon to see a button along the lines of “buy me a coffee” sitting next to a developers page because they all they get out of it. These donations are not going to help much toward their home or car loans.

HTC One M9 Plus

None of that depressive economic news matters to you — the end user — though, because you can get as much enjoyment out of these ROMs as you would the official stock ROM. In fact, often the custom ROMs can outperform the work of the official Android developers, so anyone just wanting better performance can look at the way of a custom ROM too.

Some of the most popular custom ROMs out there, in general, include the work from the official CyanogenMod team, the Resurrection Remix team, AOKP, AOSP, Paranoid Android and BlissPop, but many other names are just as good.

LeeDroid One M9 v8.25:

The LeeDroid custom ROM is based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, and it comes with the Sense 7 UI and freestyle theme chooser. You’ll also get one HTC theme pre-installed with this ROM. All the annoying HTC error reporting has been disabled from this custom ROM. The battery performance has been improved a lot as compared to the stock firmware of HTC One M9 Plus. More customization and tweaks are added with this ROM like system UI tuner, sweep to sleep and voice activation center.

Features: based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, USB fast charge, heavily optimized, advanced TCP, sweep to sleep, HTC sense 7/Sense 8 with HTC Freestyle themes, disable error reporting, bash and nanoshell support. Furthermore, you get improved battery compared to stock ROM, enhanced app ops, voice activation capture, system UI tuner, custom boot animation, multi-user support, flashlight shortcut in power menu, RAM display and kill all button.

Download: LeeDroid OPne M9 v8.25 ROM

MaximusHD ROM:

The Maximus HD is a fantastic custom ROM for the HTC One M9 Plus because it is based on the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow and HTC Sense 7.0 UI is installed so you won’t be as unfamiliar to your phone after installing this custom ROM. All your settings, options, and quick settings will be there where they were before. This custom ROM comes with a custom kernel to increase the performance and usability of the phone.

Features: based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, HTC Sense 7.0 UI, fast and stable, amazing battery life, OpenGL ES 3.0, auto kernel flash, OTA updates, deodexed, zip aligned, rooted, AROMA multi-language setup, option to remove unseeded apps, option to install additional tools, support init.d, always newest ROM bases, option to remove unneeded apps.

Download: MaximusHD ROM

Candy Six ROM:

Candy Six is one of those custom ROMs which always has the stock Android UI and features. These types of custom ROMs are always very fast and smooth. The Candy Six custom ROM is based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with all the customization you want to have on your phone. With layers support, you can have the most beautiful user interface on your phone and with dark UI switch, you can make all of the apps on your phone adapt the dark color, even the Google Play Store.

Features: based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, layers support, battery bar, LCD density options, multi-window, status bar customization, quick setting customization, and the quick settings pull down options. Additionally, you get the force expanded notifications, time context headers in the panel, darkUI switch, advanced power menu, animations, power menu, list view, system, toast animations, nav bar DPI, DT2S on the navbar.

Download: Candy Six ROM

ViperOneM9 ROM:

The ViperOneM9 custom ROM is based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and it is the most beautiful custom ROM for your HTC One M9 Plus. The ViperOne contains AROMA installer so you can choose from all the features and tweaks to install and skip whichever you don’t want to install. With Venom Hub, you can get connected to all the ViperOne custom ROM users and discuss new features and report the bugs there.

Features: based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, AROMA installer, WiFi calling, Verizon base, reduce delay on floating toolbar, custom nav bar icons, notification count, multi-user support, decreased boot time, and header tweaks. In addition to those features, you get the adaptive brightness, toast notifications customization, status bar brightness slider, quite hours, CPU core control, VenomHub, color conversion, blacklist, swipe up motion, navbar brightness changer.

Download: ViperOne M9 ROM

ICE M9 4.0.5 ROM:

The ICE M9 custom ROM is based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, and it comes with the stock Android interface and stock features. The ICE M9 custom ROM is based on a custom kernel and lots of RAM and CPU improvements. You can also tune your phone’s CPU clock but do that at your risk because that could be risky. This custom ROM contains all the features you need on your phone.

Features: based on Android 5.1 Lollipop, more languages enabled, fast fixes, root, busy box, init.d support, Persistent ADB enabled, ramdisk improvements sysro/sysrw binaries, disabled logging and removed bloatware, large size contact picture, battery percentage AROMA options, kill all button in recent apps with memory usage info, colorful navbar, increased quick settings tiles from 12 to 15.

Download: ICE M9 4.0.5 ROM

Android Revolution HD 20.0:

The Android Revolution HD is the best custom ROM for you if you want a smoother and faster user experience on you HTC One M9 Plus. Lots of HTC junk apps we label as “bloatware” are removed to make this custom ROM faster and smoother. If you ever wonder that why this custom ROM had HD in the title then let me tell you. The animations in this custom ROM runs in HD which means smoother than any other HD display smartphone.

Features: based on Android 5.1 Lollipop, root access, unsecured boot.img, RAM optimizations, enabled GPU optimizations, data, cache and system partitions mounting options, Bloatware applications removed, speed optimizations, fully deodexed, most up to date system files permissions, support almost 24 hrs a day, open VPN support, zip aligned on boot, disabled kernel debugging for better performance.

Download: Android Revolution HD ROM