Why the big difference in size?
Well, that’s how much bloatware Samsung, HTC, and Motorola adds on to the existing AOSP code. Everything including UI, features, sounds, and carrier-dependent apps add up to more file size.
That doesn’t necessarily mean non-AOSP ROMs run slower but in most cases, AOSP ROMs do run faster than non-AOSP ROMs since they don’t include the extra stuff.
Is AOSP ROMs better than non-AOSP ROMs?
AOSP ROMs may be better than non-AOSP ROMs but that all depends on your preference.
For example, if I installed an AOSP ROM like AOKP on a Galaxy Note 2, my phone would probably run faster. But the downside is that I would lose all Samsung features like Multi-window, Smart Stay, Smart Rotation, TouchWiz, and anything that was added by Samsung.
If you enjoy some of the Samsung features, AOSP might not be the best for you as it will not let you use some of the features your phone came out of the box with. On the other hand, you might enjoy AOSP more if you decide that you don’t need any of those Samsung features.
So, it all depends on the user, you. Whatever feature you want, either AOSP or non-AOSP ROMs will have it, you just have to decide what you want.
Personally, I enjoy both AOSP and TouchWiz. There’s always advantages to running AOSP or non-AOSP and it just depends on the situation.
My advice? Try both AOSP and non-AOSP for a week and decide for yourself.
And if you don’t have time to root and install custom ROMs on your phone but you want AOSP, you can get a Google non-branded phone like the Nexus 4.
What you Should Know about AOSP ROMs
Most AOSP custom ROMs DO NOT support beyond 32GB of microSD card external storage. This means you cannot use your 64GB microSD card. Also AOSP ROMs mostly support FAT32 so make sure you format your microSD in FAT32 format.Starting with Android 5.0 Lollipop, most AOSP ROMs now do support exfat and above 32GB of micro SD card, so you won’t have any problems with it. In fact, Lollipop AOSP ROMs now also support built-in App2SD!
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