Rubab's blog

The world of smartphones and PC from my angle

Best ROM for Galaxy I9003 SL

I have previously mentioned about several cool and latest customs ROMs available for the Galaxy SL smartphone like CyanogenMod (9 and 10), AOKP  and MIUI in my blog, but here in this post I will talk about the best ROM I have found in my experience.

The best ROM in my opinion is the one with the following three properties:

  1. high stablity
  2. good battery life
  3. can smoothly run various kinds of apps.

After being irritated with the horrible battery life of CyanogenMod 9 and 10 ROMs, I decided to completely downgrade my Android phone to the latest stock Gingerbread ROM (2.3.6) for Galaxy SL. It clearly doesn’t mean that the official Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.3) and Jelly Bean (4.1.0) ROMs have bad battery life or are unstable. These both are quite stable and good with the battery but only for the latest devices (Smartphones and Tablets) that are officially destined to get the 4.0 or 4.1 Android upgrades.

Although, the last Gingerbread version to be known is 2.3.7, for my Galaxy SL (and other phones as well), Samsung (also other Mobile companies) never bothered to even reach the last update and so the Galaxy SL phone is still stuck with the 2.3.6 one. It’s weird that Samsung did release some Value packed ROMs but couldn’t release the 2.3.7 ROM.

Anyway, the best stock Gingerbread firmware/ROM that I found to be providing a healthy battery life and stability is none other than the value pack, XWLF2 (Gingerbread 2.3.6). It gives 48 hours of life with normal use including web surfing, text messaging (SMS + Viber), calling and using certain apps for brief period.

Note: My phone is a year old. Also, I have disabled both automatic synchronizing and background data but I enable the background data temporary for using the Play Store and Google Talk.

After coming back to Gingerbread, I realized that it is obviously the best Android update ever. This is the reason why 75% of the Android users still prefer to use Gingerbread and this also includes other people as well who have not-so-old devices for which the official Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade is available.

XWLF2 for Galaxy i9003 SL:

Download links: XDA and SamMobile (requires login)

Kies support: available

Installing/Flashing guide: XDA forum

CWM Root: XDA (guide is the same as that for flashing the ROM)

Certain screenshots of XWLF2 are available below that I took from my Galaxy SL phone using the Screenshot app.

No matter how many custom ROMs you try on your phone, nothing beats the battery and stability on the stock ROM, but it is also up to you whether you choose features over performance!


83 comments on “Best ROM for Galaxy I9003 SL

  1. tejas07
    December 20, 2012

    Hi please help…

    I have Galaxy SL …and want to downgrade from the custom alpha ROM’s of jelebeen …please suggest me which is the best gingerbread version from below.

    1. .I9003ZHKPI (2.3.6)
    2 I9003ZFKPK (2.3.6)
    3. I9003POLJ1 (2.3.6)
    4. I9003XXLE4 (2.3.6)
    or the above mentioned…..XWLF2….!!!!

    Thanks in Advance..

    • rubiriz
      December 23, 2012

      All these firmwares are different in terms of languages (Chinese, French etc.) i.e different firmware for different countries, other than that they are pretty much the same.
      In my experience I found XWLF2 better than XXLE4.
      But since you are from India (I suppose), I’ll suggest DDLF2 to be a much better choice over these but the choice is yours.

      • Raj
        February 14, 2013

        XWLF2 and DDLF2 are same ROM?

      • rubiriz
        February 14, 2013

        Yes, but the language options are different!

    • rishi
      June 15, 2013


  2. tejas07
    December 23, 2012

    Hi rubiriz…thanks for your comments, really appreciate for it…
    I have installed XWLF2….and is pretty good firmare…is stable, nice and official….but only one doubt….as the I9003POLJ1 (2.3.6) is the latest release firmware for Galaxy SL …so will it be stable and faster than the XWLF2..??

    also as developer are working on the Beta version CM10 JB …and we will get a stable Firmware in future. Fixing max of the errors…but will it get official after getting 99% fixed by XDA developers…???


    • rubiriz
      December 23, 2012

      I highly doubt that there will be a notable difference in the stability and speed of the POL one.
      If you want to take my advice, then I’ll say that forget about the stable CM10 update for i9003 because every time Google releases a new Android version, developers try to mimic that and as usual the previous CM versions are left behind without even getting a stable update with good battery life.
      Samsung Galaxy SL is just a varient phone, it’s not made for running ICS and JB!

      • Ammar
        January 4, 2013

        Do you even own the phone?

      • Ammar
        January 4, 2013

        Ok… I was ignorant and didn’t read the entire post. You are the actual blogger. Sorry, just ignore my comment.

  3. James
    January 24, 2013

    hello, i have a galaxy i9003, which is running CM9 and i want to downgrade to XWLF2.. so how can i do that

    • rubiriz
      January 27, 2013

      Hey! It’s pretty simple actually, just like flashing any other stock ROM via Odin.
      i. Make sure that you have everything backed up:
      a. the apps by Titanium backup (or some other app)
      b. do the nandroid backup by CWM.
      ii. Download the XWLF2 firmware along with the Odin software on your PC.
      iii. Wipe data, cache partition etc. in Recovery mode
      iv. Switch off your phone and open in Download mode.
      v. Connect your phone to PC.
      vi. Open the Odin app on your PC and select the firmware from the PDA tab.
      vii. Click the Start button in the Odin!

      • Badre
        July 27, 2013

        Hey ! thank you very much for all this Rubi 🙂

        I’ve followed the steps as they are, but does that supports the Arabic language?Because Arabic characters appear non-adherent


      • rubiriz
        July 27, 2013

        You’re welcome!
        No, it doesn’t support Arabic since it’s a European ROM!

  4. ban
    January 30, 2013


    I have install many app in my phone. Can i flashing my device and meanwhile still have the app keep in phone?

    • rubiriz
      January 30, 2013

      Yes, sure you can, provided that you have
      a. rooted your phone
      b. installed Titanium Backup app
      c. backed up all your apps (with data)
      d. placed your Titanium backup folder somewhere safe (memory card or PC)
      e. installed the Titanium backup app again after flashing your phone
      f. restored your previously installed apps by the Titanium backup app!

  5. aquib
    January 31, 2013

    Hey i am using CM7 on my galaxy i9003. is the method for downgrade to 2.3.6. same as u showed above or is it something else. please help.
    Thanks & Regards

  6. amul
    February 4, 2013

    Hey guys u can use titanium s custom rom for galaxy sl i9003. its stable, smooth and it also provides good battery back up….

  7. Urvashi Sharma
    February 4, 2013

    Amul where;s the link for it?
    A very good blog Rubiriz.. Can you also suggest some AOKP ROMs? or any slim ROMs?

    • rubiriz
      February 6, 2013


      At the moment I would not SUGGEST anyone about flashing AOKP or AOSP based custom ROMs on GT-i9003 as they ALL have poor battery life!

      • Urvashi Sharma
        February 6, 2013

        I am currently using 2.3.6 DDKP3..It has Wi-Fi drop issue 😦 Is that the same case with DDLF2?

      • rubiriz
        February 7, 2013

        Not in my knowledge! That would be probably because of your wireless router I guess!

      • Urvashi Sharma
        February 7, 2013

        Unfortunately not! 😦 All other devices work well…without a drop… This is a known problem in Samsung 2.3.x firmwares…It’s all over there… Anyways wll try DDLF2 and see… 🙂 Thanks a lot… 🙂

      • Urvashi Sharma
        February 26, 2013

        Hey Rubab.. sorry to bother u again but need an advice..
        I sent my phone to the service center n they flashed a clean DDLF2 on it..but they installed the firmware on the internal se card instead of the system storage.. can I still root it using the DDLF2 PDA and Odin??

      • rubiriz
        February 26, 2013

        Yeah, as long as you have your external memory card inserted!

  8. Amit
    February 19, 2013

    After installing this ROM my phone keeps on restarting again and again. Now it’s in loop. Bricked my phone 😦

    • rubiriz
      February 19, 2013

      Wipe cache in recovery mode and it will be fine!
      If still not, than flash the ROM again and then wipe the cache!

      • sagar
        February 19, 2013

        After installing this ROM my phone keeps on restarting again and again.error is ‘unable to find sdcard’

      • rubiriz
        February 20, 2013

        Wipe the cache or re-flash and re-wipe!

    • aloksan
      May 17, 2013

      Boot loop problem or Reseting
      Settings issue or E:/ Rfs format error
      or Simply reverting to Stock from
      All these issuez can be resolved !!!
      for tutorial please follow http://

  9. Pingback: Galaxy S SCL GT-i9003 nach rooten BRICK - meine erfolgreiche Wiederbelebung - Android

  10. john
    March 2, 2013

    Hi! All is good except the Vibrate or Silent mode. When I put the phone to Vibrate or Silent mode the phone just lags, not to mention the keyboard on messaging. I don’t know why this happens but when I install GB roms this is always my problem.

    • rubiriz
      March 2, 2013

      This is just weird because I keep my phone 24/7 in the silent mode, nothing like that ever happens! There’s definitely some problem caused by third party apps!
      Are you sure you haven’t overloaded the internal and external memories of your phone?

      • john
        March 4, 2013

        No I haven’t. I don’t know why this happens to me. That is the reason why I always comeback to Froyo because when I’m on Froyo I never experience lag on my keyboard. Well my main problem is really the keyboard.

      • john
        March 13, 2013

        Hi! Still me, when I’m in silent mode or vibrate when I leave it for about many hours on standby, it just lags I don’t know why. But when I turn off silent mode or vibrate it works fine.

      • tejas07
        March 13, 2013

        Hi John,This my be because your internal memory is full and there is no memory RAM left. You can try to move all the photos,Music,Videos to the External memory stick. and can perform a RAM memory clear by going to task manager,
        BG applications play imp role in using the Virtual memory(RAM) hence keep them off when not needed.

      • rubiriz
        March 13, 2013

        In addition to clearing up your RAM, try other keyboard apps as well (because you said your keyboard is the major lagging problem).
        Many apps run in background that eat up a lot of RAM, so check that out too!

  11. Saleel
    March 13, 2013

    I want to downgrade my Galaxy SL from the custom ics to gb. I love to use Malayalam language especially in g+. Please advise me which one suits for the purpose – XWLF2 or DDLF2.
    Please also advise on whether the cwm back up made from earlier gb version can be restored after downgrade.

    • rubiriz
      March 13, 2013

      You can restore all data stuff if the backup file from your previous Nandroid backup is still present on your external_SD card.

  12. Saleel
    March 14, 2013

    Thanks. Now DDLF2 is running in my phone – feel very comfortable. I cant see root permission in ES File Explorer app. Should I root this phone again to restore CWM backup. Those backup i made with cwm app after rooting. I have imported all the contact details through keys.
    I have no idea about the sort of items the cwm backups restore. such as the previous applications, contacts…..? Please help.

    • rubiriz
      March 14, 2013

      Of course you need to root your phone again since you flashed a different ROM via Odin!
      A Nandroid/CWM backup saves all the system and user apps along with every data and Setting preferences!
      It comes really in handy when you mess up your phone by flashing a theme and you want to revert back to the original appearance!

  13. Janith
    March 14, 2013

    how can i root 19003

    • rubiriz
      March 14, 2013

      1. Do a fresh installation of stock ROM/value pack via Odin (as XWLF2, DDLF2 and XXLE4 requires clean firmware).
      2. Download the CT-Root.tar file for your respective firmware.
      3. Flash the file via Odin the same way you flash a ROM in the download mode.

      Note: Make sure you have your external_sd card mounted and always do a wipe cache process before and after flashing!

  14. i9003asia
    March 18, 2013

    what is best for asian (or chinese)

    • rubiriz
      March 19, 2013

      I think it’s I9003 ZCKPL. Otherwise I have no clue about Chinese ROMs!

  15. rMz
    March 23, 2013

    After installing this ROM my phone keeps on restarting again and again. i have re-flashed and re-wipeed, and it’s the same! what can i do? 😦

  16. aadil
    March 25, 2013

    is this the best stock rom available till date for galaxy sl i9003

  17. SOfian ALhussaini
    April 5, 2013

    im using a GALAXY GT I9003 JXKP3 and im using ICS 4.0.4 CM9 and i want to downgrade to XWLF2 …
    so i can do that ? Cuz Mine is jxkp3
    i can downgrade ?

  18. David
    April 9, 2013

    Hi, i´m from argentina and have the galaxy s i9003b.
    What would you recomend me?

    • rubiriz
      April 13, 2013

      I can’t really tell, although I believe XWLF2 can be a good one!
      I only know about GT I9003 SCL; have never heard of I9003b!

      • aloksan
        April 15, 2013

        hey there rubiriz i have ehndroix rom that is Cm10 alpha4 based Rom runing Jelly bean 4.1.2 and i have this for about a month and no stability issues not even a minor one .
        Anyways you can have a look and feel the same that this rom is the best for i9003.
        I would like to know a complete rom( stock ) file for my i9003 that has phone, modem, csc files to flash via odin as i have ddlf2 , ddkp3 files which are all in one file to be flashed via odin in pda file tab.
        as when i return from any custom rom my phone always goes to bootloop so i need a Rom file that has all the files seperate .
        Is xwlf2 a all in one file .
        thank you.

      • aloksan
        April 15, 2013

        I have those all in one files, thank you for that but i need individual files for i9003 indian region as Ddlf2 and Ddkp3 are some all in one pda files but these files make my phone go into bootloop so i need individual files for the phone, csc, modem tabs in odin so that i can revert from any custom rom to stock.

      • aloksan
        April 17, 2013

        To know about the cm10.1 alpha 4 based JB 4.1.2 ROM for i9003 then search for NitroxS developers which has by far the best rom.
        people who want to try this ROM can click on the following link.

      • tejas07
        April 16, 2013

        Hi alokchan
        Can you please share you experience about cm10 alpha 4 in brief….as possible.. cuz i have flashed many custom roms on my phone…and have been always dissapointed….but since this rom is not having any stability issuess….i am eger to try out this….just for making sure more abt this rom…have u faced any issues even minor issues…

      • aloksan
        May 15, 2013

        Ehndroix Rom II 13.2.9 is a very smooth and stable Rom, i know many have tariedcustom roms earlier but have been hugely dissatisfying So, the major issue with these Roms were the inability to multitask and bad battery life .
        This Rom hits those two check marks first, it multitasks like a charm and astounding battery life.
        Problems are the wifi and usb tethering but by using third party apps it can be resolved.
        Site :

      • rubiriz
        May 15, 2013

        I would NOT recommend this Ehndroix ROM to anyone!
        All these custom ROMs are only good in case you HARDLY use your smartphone for the purpose on which the cellular devices/smartphones were manufactured on the first place! When it comes to daily normal usage like calling, texting (Viber, WhatsApp etc.), browsing the net or sometimes taking snaps; these ROMs are NO go!

        Also, before you decide to flash some new ROM, first search about how to go back to your previous/original one together with the info about how hard is it to go back.
        I did try that Ehndroix ROM and I must say that going back to my stock one was the most TERRIBLE experience of all; I almost got a heart attack. Whereas, for other custom ROMs, the process is quite a piece of cake!

        So, think TRICE before flashing Ehndroix ROM and flash it on YOUR OWN RISK!!!!!

      • aloksan
        May 16, 2013

        I understand rubab i too had been
        dissatisfied with these custom Roms
        even so i dropped the idea of ever
        flashing anyother again entirely.
        Since i am curious in nature couldnt
        help myself googling for new roms
        and i found Ehndroix , people if you
        have the knowledge of flashing then
        and only then should you really try
        this out!
        My expectations from custom roms
        had diminished but ehndroix
        developers showd their dedicated
        work so it is not my work and
        people should encourage such
        developers for their work

      • aloksan
        April 16, 2013

        huh ! Thanks for the reasoning. well i have had this issue from the day i brought this phone i have shown this to service centre more than 10 times they have the individual files which helps it and how come you know that i dont do it properly an assumption or judgement if you do not know the link then why even bother .
        Anyways i know all the steps and maybe you could ask before judging.

  19. Yasin
    April 23, 2013

    Hi. Please help me does installing softwares from the Odin program damage my hardwares ?? I really must know that before install your awesome rom and thanx

  20. Yasin
    April 23, 2013

    hi rubirz , they say if I installed alot of firmwares on the odin program I may damage my phone is that true ? please help me cuz i wanaa flash your awesome ROM safely and thanx 🙂

    • rubiriz
      April 24, 2013

      First of all, this is NOT my ROM but a value pack released by Samsung Mobile Company; I just reviewed it because I found it better than the other ROMs I have tried.
      Secondly, it’s true to some extent that it can damage your phone but it’s mostly reversible damage and an expert can fix it!
      It basically depends on how many firmwares you flash and how you flash them!
      If you’re a newbie than I won’t recommend you to go for it. Do it only if you know what you’re doing!

  21. Suryamitra
    May 3, 2013

    hello Ruba,

    i had a technical issue with my phone due to which i had to root and reinstall Gingerbread on my SL I9003. However, i would like to know which is the latest firmaware in the gingerbread series available for my phone. the current details are as below:
    Firmware version: 2.3.5
    Baseband Version: I9003XXKPM
    Kernel Version: se.infra@SEP-62 #1

    i want to install the official stock gingerbread 2.3.6 ROM for my phone. i am from india and would like to know where i can download the exact official firmware. i have heard about DD series, but could not find any proper downloads for the same.

    • rubiriz
      May 3, 2013

      Hi! The last Gingerbread version released for GT-i9003 SL is 2.3.6 and you can have it in the form of DDLF2 which is the official value pack released for India.
      Here is the link.

  22. aloksan
    May 16, 2013

    I understand rubab i too had been dissatisfied with these custom Roms even so i dropped the idea of ever flashing anyother again entirely.
    Since i am curious in nature couldnt help myself googling for new roms and i found Ehndroix , people if you have the knowledge of flashing then and only then should you really try this out!
    My expectations from custom roms had diminished but ehndroix developers showd their dedicated work so it is not my work and people should encourage such developers for their work 😉

  23. aloksan
    May 16, 2013

    Boot loop problem or Reseting Settings issue or E:/ Rfs format error or Simply reverting to Stock from Custom.
    All these issuez can be resolved !!! for tutorial please follow

  24. rohan
    May 17, 2013

    wat is the difference betwen XXLA4 firmware and ur F1. please reply ……..

    • rubiriz
      May 17, 2013

      I think you’re talking about the ROMs: XXLE4 and XXLF2.
      Practically, no noticeable difference is there. XXLF2 was just released a month after the release of XXLE4 and for different countries although, both are for Europe!

  25. Manish Tripathy
    May 17, 2013

    Dear Rubiriz,

    I have not been able to find a solution to my problem online & have been writing to you with great hope.

    My galaxy i9003 has been troubling me with the hard keys. the keys have a mind of their own, are auto-clicking, launching google search automatically & not letting me use my phone at all. I did all you had written here. Rooted it, cleared cache, factory reset, everything multiple times, but nothing seems to work. This problem has started today. Until now, the menu & back key were not working at all except on a few occasions (depending totally on their own mood)

    I am from India & have DDLF2 on my phone.

    Thanks ton in advance,


    • rubiriz
      May 17, 2013

      Dear Manish,
      Sometimes it happens that these value packs aren’t the best option to flash again and again to solve firmware issues!
      You should first try flashing the XXKPQ firware (by using 3 files instead of 1 PDA file). KPQ is kinda the last famous stock firware released for GT-i9003. Here’s the link:
      See if everything is working like it normally does.
      If so, then try flashing the value pack DDLF2. Again check whether the problem is persisting or not.
      If everything is working fine, you can root your phone if you wish!
      In case you still get the same problem, then it’s not a firware one but there’s something wrong with your device’s hardware. I hope, it helps you!

      • Manish Tripathy
        May 20, 2013


        Thanks for the reply. This seems to be a hardware issue. Wanted to ask one more thing. Is there a way to disable my home & right – left key so that I could use the virtual keys only & these ones dont create problems.

        If you could guide…

        ~thanks in advance

      • rubiriz
        May 20, 2013

        It is possible to disable the Menu button. If you search on Google, you’ll find many developer’s options for that, but I won’t suggest you them since they’re not easy.
        So, I think the right thing is simply to go to the nearest Customer Service Center.

    • aloksan
      May 17, 2013

      Hi manish, i have had a similar issue with my phone which used to auto scroll or used to be stuck in some times i dont know whether you have the same issue but if at all it is then the solution is to clean the screean thoroughly and get a new screen gauard it will solve it.
      The problem is the screen on prolong use gets greasy u can see while cleaning the reflective surface will have a odd patch in centre when viewed at an angle, cause of which it no longer takes any other inputs so itit feels like the phone has a mind of its own while the CPU is busy trying to understand the touch. You can try putting a new screengaurd if this does not work then you should visit service center

      • Manish Tripathy
        May 20, 2013


        thanks. I just saw this. Will try this. This makes sense to me 🙂

      • Manish Tripathy
        May 20, 2013

        Dint work 😦

    • don thomas
      September 27, 2013

      Hello manish
      I am also facing the same issue for the last couple of weeks. Hope u got any solution for this.

      Please help

  26. yasin
    May 17, 2013

    it doesn’t asked for a password just extracted easily 🙂

    • rubiriz
      May 17, 2013

      Previously, it did; now the link is changed but the file is same!

  27. Yasin
    May 23, 2013

    god it doesn’t have an arabic language can anybody help me ?

  28. udaymansingh
    June 26, 2013

    I tried stock ROM as rubi suggested and it worked for me.
    I have downloaded indian ROM GT-I9003 DDLF2 full ( and stock using ODIN.

    thanks Rubi

  29. mody zeggo
    August 1, 2013

    hello rubiriz,
    i need help i have galaxy sl i9003 after 1.6 year of using my mobile is scrolling pages sometimes without touching the screen , some times it presses on apps without touching the screen i must press lock phone button to be able to use the screen again can u help me to solve that problem it faces me some times during day it is very annoying please help me,waiting your reply

  30. abzar
    August 11, 2013

    i love this rom.. this is the best rom i ever try.. in my gt-i9003
    thanks// from philippines..

  31. butt
    August 20, 2013

    i9003XXKPH best rom for i9003 nd easy to flaSh…
    for root : CF ROOT XXKPH…

  32. Femi
    October 8, 2013

    Please am using gt-i9003 but my version is i9003XXLE4 and am based in Nigeria, can u suggest another rom that is compatible with my phone/country?

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