The CyanogenMod team are officially releasing a new custom CM12 ROM based on Android 5.0 Lollipop. You might remember the same group releasing the M12 releases for the later stages of KitKat. We told you that was coming while they worked hard for the first batch of Lollipop ROMs. The Samsung Galaxy S3 Neo is the Qualcomm version of the Galaxy S3 and we don’t know if Android are planning on releasing Lollipop. That makes this unofficial version of the same really important if you are still using the device.

We love Lollipop for bringing heaps of features including the material design UI and app drawer, multiple device compatibility, resume songs where you left off, important camera updates, new battery settings and battery saving mode, additional security, new smart notifications, smoother and faster ROM experience and more. Some extra standouts include the updated Easter Egg that plays like Flappy Bird, Android Beam and Android RunTime replacing the dalvik and others.


The new unofficial CM12 custom ROM for the Neo comes with a bevy of features of its own including a CM File manager, volume button tweaks, a new mode for left-handed people, quick pull down, new notification features, double-tap the display to sleep, increase ring volume and dedicated Wallpapers. In addition to those wonderful features, you also get the ability to end the phone call by pressing the power button, brightness control, AOSP browser and AudioFX. There’s still many more or you to enjoy apart from the ones we’ve highlighted above.

Of course, you can’t install any custom ROM, firmware or custom applications without root access first. Root takes us away from the default factory restrictions and thus allowing for custom operations. The following does not help you unchain the system internals. It’s only showing you how to install the custom ROM.

  • The following works for the GT-I9300I and the GT-I9301I model numbers. You should turn on the smartphone and tap the settings app, followed by the ‘About Device’ section. In here you will find the model number for the device in your hands. If it doesn’t match up with the numbers we previously mentioned, you must not follow the guide.
  • You must apply a factory reset and wipe before installing the new ROM. That means you want to take a Nandroid backup of the data and snap a mirror image of the OS. The Nandroid backup your games and apps, pictures, music, video, settings, WiFi passwords, SMS texts, call logs and just about everything you need.
  • Those of you now wanting to take a Nandroid can use other third-party apps from the Google Play Store such as Titanium. The Titanium application is only available for rooted users and comes with more features than Helium for stock Android users.
  • You can apply the Nandroid backup now or wait until after the guide where you’ll boot the device into recovery mode.
  • Allow permissions for the USB Debugging Mode. You’ll find that option coming from the Developer Options. Look for that option under the Settings menu.
  • Update the Samsung USB drivers for the phone on the computer. If you don’t connect the phone you may need to download drivers from the official Samsung website, third-party links or by installing Samsung Kies.
  • If you have Samsung Kies make sure you disable the utility before starting the guide or else it can interfere with proceedings.

How to install CM12 custom ROM on Samsung Galaxy S3 Neo

  1. Download the unofficial CM12 ROM file here.
  2. Download the suitable Gapps pack here.
  3. Connect the smartphone to the computer with the USB cable.
  4. Copy and Paste the files to the internal SD card of the phone.
  5. Keep the phone connected to the computer and open a command line.
  6. Type “adb reboot recovery” and boot the device in recovery mode.
  7. Select the “wipe” option from the menu.
  8. It’s your last chance to take the Nandroid.
  9. Select the “install” option from the display.
  10. Upload the CM12 unofficial ROM zip file.
  11. Confirm the installation.
  12. Go back and repeat the steps for the Gapps package.
  13. Go back to the main recovery screen and boot the device in normal mode.