Paranoid Android – Not Recommended…

We have been using Paranoid Android for over two weeks on our Nexus 4, and have gained deep insight into Paranoid’s special features.

We are loving Paranoid's funky robots.

We are loving Paranoid’s arty funk… but that’s pretty much it.

Main finding: While Paranoid does have some nice functions, Paranoid’s main features are more gimmicky, rather than usability enhancing features.

Paranoid Android

Paranoid is another custom ROM (aka Operating System) for your Android phone. It is probably the second most popular custom ROM, after CyanogenMod.

(We have installed and tested all the functions, that came with the latest stable version: 4.45)

Installation of the Paranoid operating system was very easy. Our phone was already unlocked, rooted and whatnot, from our last tutorial (the Grandma’s Guide to root and unlock your Stock phone; easy as pie, written for the layman and grandmas).

Quick links:

Main features of Paranoid:

1. Pie Control

Look Ma! No on-screen navigation buttons!

Look Ma! No on-screen navigation buttons!

What is it?

Do you have on-screen navigation buttons? -Yes, that strip at the bottom of your screen, which is taking up valuable screen space…

On-screen navigation buttons, taking away your screen real estate... Adios!

On-screen navigation buttons, taking away your screen real estate… Adios!

With Paranoid’s Pie controls, you can (optional) get rid of those on-screen buttons.


Swipe up from the bottom, (or from the right or left of your screen, ) to get access to the buttons…


Utilizing the full screen for your apps is nice, and you can do that permanently with Pie controls.

However, the extra time and effort it takes to swipe, just to access the navigation buttons, and then finally tapping on the button you want, makes Pie controls more of an inconvenience than a useful feature.

People with small hands may find it more useful, as they won’t have to reach right down to the bottom of the screen to access the buttons. (They can instead swipe from the right.)

2. Hover

What is it?
Music AND Youtube? This is madness! Hover allows some apps to hover above working apps.

Music AND Youtube? This is madness! Hover allows some apps to hover above working apps.

When you have Hover activated, you can (optional) basically get a small popup of the relevant app, whenever you get that app’s notification. These apps include Gmail and Hangouts.

You also get large notifications, which you can tap to get the popups (if the app can support it.)

Large pop-up notifications are useful, but get in the way.

Large pop-up notifications are useful, but can get…

Hovering is nothing like Samsung’s multi-window.

You cannot drag or resize these ‘hovered’ apps.

The point of Hover?

We guess that it’s supposed to help you quickly mind that notification, and get back to the task at hand.

… It can get in your way.
The hover notifications can sometimes block your view!

You cannot swipe away that (top) hover notification… So, I couldn’t see what I was typing in the URL bar.

We didn’t find it useful; a small popup didn’t help (much) with usability. Instead, the feature sometimes got in our way, as you can see in the above image, inducing uncontrollable rage.

3. Paranoid OTA

Over The Air updates, by Paranoid Android. It’s a standard app (‘Paranoid OTA’) that comes with the installation, and it notifies the user whenever there is an Paranoid update available.

There's an update? Thanks for notifying me! If only you would actually install it for me... It lies!

There’s an update? Thanks for notifying me! But why you gotta lie yo?

Did not work as expected.

We were pleasantly surprised when we were notified of an update (though it was a on-stable, ‘beta’ version update). We selected “Download and Update“.

After the download however, the phone did not install the update; it didn’t fully carry out its function and stood us up! How could they 😮


4. Recommended volume level warning – STFU, finally.

Positive news: You can finally disable that annoying volume level warning (which pops up to prevent you from increasing the volume level).

This is pretty much the only useful thing we have found with Paranoid… so thanks Paranoid. Here, have a cookie.

I'm an Adult! I can listen to it at whatever level I want!

Hell yes I’d like to disable that warning, FOREVER!

5. Battery life

Nearly 3 hours of display, from battery life of 100% to 15%. Not impressed.

Nearly 3 hours of display, from battery life of 100% to 15%. Boo.

Without going scientific, after 2 weeks of testing we can comfortably say that Paranoid Android’s battery life is comparable to Stock Android.

In other words, it’s worse than what we got with CyanogenMod with the same usage (at least 3.5 hours of screen-on time).

1 day... including idle times sleep etc.). The important thing is the screen-on hours.

This period includes idle times like when we sleep. The important thing is the screen-on hours above.

6. No love for lefties.

In short, there are no changes from stock Android, to accomodate left-handed users.

Unlike CyanogenMod, when using your phone on its side (horizontal) the on-screen navigation buttons are permanently on the right hand side. Right-hand bias

You can also have quick access to the Quick Settings, by swiping down from the top-right corner only; I am dissapoint:/

7. App Privacy

Allows you to have control over what an app can access from your phone. It’s easy to use!

…which is nice, but it’s not available for all apps (e.g. Google Play Services, which can sometimes be a battery draining mofo).

You can control what apps can see and do.

You can control what apps can see and do. Nice.

8. Stability and Speed – Solid.

We did not experience any issues with the stability, nor the ‘speed‘ of Paranoid Android.

This means that for our testing duration (2 weeks of normal usage, on the LG / Google Nexus 4), we experienced no restarts, no lagging nor stuttering when opening / closing random apps.

(Note: we never had any issues with these with CyanogenMod, nor stock Android in the first place.)

Final Verdict

We do not recommend Paranoid Android over CyanogenMod, but recommend it over the stock Android.


Sorry dawg, we will uninstall you…

We found the special features, as described and reviewed in this article, more like gimmicks rather than useful additions; they do not improve usability for the general user, when compared with stock Android.

Also with Paranoid Android, we were not able to find all the useful customisations that made CyangenMod so much more useful.

Install Paranoid Android and judge for yourself; the easiest instructions to install it are at the end of this link.

Otherwise, enjoy using CyanogenMod, which is our recommended custom ROM (for now).

Are we right with our verdict?

Did we miss anything special? Have we been fair?

Do you choose to use Paranoid Android?? 😮

Let us know in the comments below!

…and don’t forget to join hundreds of other Amigos in the AmigoTips Club. Be counted, be subscribed >:D

4 thoughts on “Paranoid Android – Not Recommended…

  1. Well I’m using 4.6 beta 1, and I like the pull-down quick settings. Also it has the Theme Engine. I found a lot to like over stock beyond gimmicks

  2. I tried the latest 4.6 BETA 5 two nights ago. I’m a novice user so to speak. Installation was definitely super easy. Issues I had with that version (yes I know it’s BETA): 1) my mobile network was reduced to half 2) laggy when you swipe across screens. That was it. Took me no more than 15 minutes to uninstall it.

    • That’s cool mate. Glad the installation process was super easy as mentioned, and that you were able to experience it to form your own opinion.

      Thanks for reading and sharing 🙂

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