The Samsung Nexus S is a pretty iconic device, but unfortunately, since it's more than 18 months old, it will never officially receive the latest Android 4.4 KitKat update. On the bright side, owning an Android smartphone allows you to install custom ROMs, and with the helpful developer community out there, you can now experience KitKat on the aforementioned device.

This guide allows you to install the SlimKat Custom ROM that is based on Android 4.4.2. Before proceeding however, keep in mind that this ROM is in its beta stages, and it will be updated on a weekly basis. As such, certain bugs that you could encounter right now, might be fixed next week.

IMPORTANT READ BEFORE PROCEEDING:

  • This guide and ROM have been specifically designed for the Samsung Nexus S, codenamed "crespo". Do not attempt to apply this ROM on any other devices
  • This guide requires you to own a rooted Nexus S that runs the latest version of CWM or TWRP (both recovery methods will be explained below)
  • This is not an official release from Google or Samsung. It's a custom ROM and it's in the beta stages
  • During the installation process, you will be required to perform a factory reset and a cache wipe. As such, it's highly recommended that you backup any important data stored on your device
  • You can use the "Helium" application if you wish to backup app data
  • The "SMS Backup & Restore" app can be used to backup your text messages
  • Use the "APN Settings Backup & Restore" if you wish to backup your APN Internet settings
  • If you need to backup your contacts, simply sync them to your Gmail account
  • Instructions on how to create a NANDROID backup are provided below
  • Before proceeding, make sure that you enable "USB Debugging". In order to do so, go to "Settings" > "Developer option"
  • It's crucial that your smartphone does not run out of battery during the installation process. Make sure that your battery is at least 80% full
  • This guide is for advanced users. In case you brick / damage your phone, or if you lose data, you cannot hold the developers or anyone else responsible
  • Don't skip any steps!

Samsung Nexus S (crespo): Install Android 4.4.2 KitKat SlimKat Custom ROM CWM Recovery Method:

  1. Download the necessary SlimKat ROM file by visiting this link
  2. The ROM does not include Google apps, so you'll need to download them separately. Visit this link to do so, and make sure you download the proper 4.4.2 file, named "pa_gapps-stock-4.4.2-20131215-signed.zip"
  3. Connect your Nexus S to your computer using the USB cable
  4. Copy the downloaded zip files and paste them onto your phone's storage (root folder; don't create any new ones)
  5. After the files have been transferred, disconnect your smartphone and turn it off
  6. Boot your device in fastboot mode. Press and hold the "Volume Up", "Volume Down" and "Power" buttons at the same time
  7. Release the buttons once the bootloader menu appears. From here, use the "Volume" buttons to navigate to "Recovery", and with the option highlighted, press the "Power" button to select it
  8. In the CWM recovery main screen, create a NANDROID backup of your current ROM. Select "backup & restore"
  9. Once the backup has been created, select "data wipeout / factory reset" and confirm. You will also need to select "wipe cache" and "dalvik cache" from the "Advanced" menu
  10. Return to the recovery menu and select "install zip from SD card"
  11. Browse for the SlimKat zip file and flash it on your device
  12. Now select "Install zip from SD card" again, but this time around, flash the Google apps zip file
  13. Select "+++Go Back+++" to return to the previous menu, and select "Reboot system now". NOTE: this first reboot after the flashing process may take several minutes to complete. If the process is not finished after 10 minutes, or if your handset is stuck in a boot loop, then you'll need to redo the whole guide from the top. Make sure you don't skip any steps, and that you properly reset your device!

NOTE: You can always use the NANDROID backup in order to return to your previous ROM. To do so, reboot in CWM recovery and go to "backup & restore", and then select the proper backup file

Samsung Nexus S (crespo): Install Android 4.4.2 KitKat SlimKat Custom ROM TWRP Recovery Method:

  1. Download the KitKat SlimKat custom ROM by visiting this link
  2. Download the 4.4.2 Gapps zip file from here. Make sure it's the proper file, named "pa_gapps-stock-4.4.2-20131215-signed.zip"
  3. After the files have been downloaded on your computer, connect your smartphone to your PC via USB
  4. Copy the downloaded files onto your phone's storage (root directory; don't create any other folders)
  5. Now disconnect your smartphone from your PC and turn it off
  6. Reboot in fastboot mode by pressing and holding the "Volume Up", "Volume down" and "Power" buttons at the same time
  7. Now enter TWRP recovery. To do so, use the volume rocker to highlight "Recovery", and press the "Power" key to select the option
  8. First thing you need to do after you access TWRP is to create a NANDROID backup. Don't skip this step. This backup will allow you to return to your current ROM if the need arises. To create a backup, simply select "Backup", mark the type of data that you wish to save, rename the file and then swipe the "Swipe to Backup" button
  9. Return to the TWRP screen and select "Wipe". Also, go to "Advanced" and select "Wipe cache" as well as "dalvik cache"
  10. Swipe the "Swipe to wipe" button
  11. Once the handset has been properly wiped, select "Install" from the main recovery menu, and browse > select the SlimKat zip file
  12. After the ROM has been flashed, select "Install" again, but this time browse for the Google apps zip instead
  13. When both files have been flashed, return to the main recovery screen and select "Reboot". NOTE: this first reboot may take several minutes to complete. Don't panic, and don't press any buttons. In case the process does not end in 10 minutes, or if your handset is "boot looping", then something went wrong. You'll need to redo the entire guide, without skipping any steps

NOTE: If you desire, you can use the NANDROID backup in order to return to your previous ROM. To do so, all you need is to reboot in TWRP recovery and select "Restore" and the proper backup file


See More: Samsung Nexus S (crespo): Install Android 4.4.2 KitKat SlimKat Custom ROM (Beta)