Here's another open source ROM that was a delight to test out. AOSP Bugless Beast is very similar to stock Android, and doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles.

Note that NFC didn’t work under Bugless Beast at the time of my testing (but I would have been unable to test it anyway, because nobody near me actually uses NFC yet).

Reliability

Bugless Beast never crashed. This ROM ran Angry Birds and Currents like a champ every time, and my normal usage never produced a force-close. So far, totally glitch-free.

Speed

Since Bugless Beast is a no-frills ROM, you're probably expecting it to be snappy, and you’re right. This ROM rivals Codename Android in sheer speed. Everything was fast, and I saw no latency anywhere. I loved the speed, and running widgets galore on multiple screens never slowed anything down.

Installation

No issues. Bugless Beast is simple to install, and I had no trouble getting it up and running.

General feel

Bugless Beast is a pretty vanilla ICS port, so it feels like a streamlined Android. It imposes very little slowdown, and navigating the Android interface is nice and smooth. The Gingerbread (2.3) version of Bugless Beast is extremely popular for the same reasons.

Battery life

The battery performance on Bugless Beast was fairly surprising. I was able to pull over 10 hours with moderate usage, which is a minor improvement over the stock Android ICS ROM. Bugless Beast didn't quite match the battery-sipping performance of Codename Android, but it's still impressive.

OUR VERDICT

Bugless Beast is a great ROM. If you don’t want to mess with custom kernels, and you need something fast and stable with good battery life, give it a shot.