If you don’t like how stock Android looks, try ViciousMIUI. It's hugely popular in China, and though I find MIUI a little too much like iOS for my taste, its popularity both abroad and here in the United States is undeniable.

Reliability

MIUI is designed to be stable, and it is. Currently it has a bug with YouTube occasionally crashing, but MIUI is a new ROM for ICS, so you just have to roll with the punches. While using MIUI, I encountered no issues testing standard functions on my phone, and I saw no slowdowns or crashing during extensive use of Angry Birds or Google Currents. For a beta ROM, Vicious MIUI is relatively solid.

Speed

As a ROM built for daily driver stability, MIUI is no screamer. It runs about as fast as standard ICS on the Galaxy Nexus, which is as fast as anyone could want. No surprises here, as MIUI isn’t made to run benchmarks. It does what it needs to do as efficiently as possible, and it succeeds.

Installation

MIUI installed easily via the standard recovery mode, and it needed no custom kernels to be installed to maximize performance. I really enjoy how easy it is to install these ROMs.

General feel

As far as ROMs go, MIUI is not my favorite one to use. I didn't like the lack of an application drawer; being able to put your applications into folders (just as in iOS) is mainstream now, but I wish MIUI included an option to turn on the standard Android app drawer. Let's hope that, as it evolves on ICS, we’ll see MIUI shift away from the iOS aesthetic.

Battery life

My battery performance running MIUI was completely standard; it didn’t perform any differently than stock Android. I could pull about 10 hours of moderate usage in a 3G environment. Still, it's good to see ROMs that don’t drain your phone battery dry in a handful of hours.

OUR VERDICT

Not a ROM for me, but if you’re sick of stock Android or if you just want to try something different but stable, give ViciousMIUI a try. You won’t be disappointed.