Android 5.1.1 ROM for T-Mobile Galaxy S2 SGH-T989! [Validus ROM]


It’s been a quite awhile since my last update on the T-Mobile Galaxy S2, particularly because every Android Lollipop I’ve tried have been very buggy and not recommended as daily driver and also development has slowed down.

But, this week I decided to take the plunge and try out several different ROMs.   To my surprise, I have finally found a good stable Android 5.1.1 custom ROM I can recommend, and thus I am writing this post.

For this week’s ROM of the week, check out the Validus ROM for the T-Mobile Galaxy S2 SGH-T989.

Based on the latest Android 5.1.1, the Validus ROM brings you the best and latest Android 5.1.1 with everything basic working out of the box including camera, bluetooth, WiFi, NFC, etc…etc…  The only minor issue I found was glitchy display but you can easily fix this by tapping Build Number in Settings->About 5 times, then you will be able to access Developer Options, where you can check ON “Disable HW overlays”.  If you don’t know how to do this, just watch the above video overview.

The reason why I am recommending Validus ROM isn’t just because this ROM is awesome, it’s also because it’s one of the best AOSP ROMs I’ve tried on many of my other Android smartphones (and trust me, I have more Android devices than most).   It’s still not perfect by any means but if you want to maximize the performance of your aged T-Mobile Galaxy S2 and also customize the hell out of it, I don’t think there’s actually a better ROM.

For customization, you will find a LOAD of options including full ability to customize your status bar, notification drawer, lock screen, enable weather in status bar, customize buttons (short-press/long-press/double-press), enable soft keys, and much much more.  For detailed overview, see my video above as I go through many of them.  For camera, I recommend you to install Google Camera app from the Play Store,  which will give you additional features like Photo Sphere, Lens Blur, and Panorama.

Overall, I am so happy that the Validus Team is making a ROM available for the aging T-Mobile S2 and if you are not on Lollipop yet, you should definitely upgrade to Validus ROM so you can enjoy the best and latest Android 5.1.1.

Try it out this week(end) and do let me know what you think!


Download Validus ROM for T-Mobile Galaxy S2 SGH-T989 (this is the version I used as every version may be different, you can find latest version in the XDA link below if you are reading this in the way future.)

Download Android 5.1 Gapps (DO NOT USE older Gapp as you will FC!!!)

IF YOU HAVE CWM RECOVERY OLDER THAN VERSION, UPGRADE your CWM Recovery to latest version by downloading the zip and installing with your CWM recovery OTHERWISE ROM WILL NOT INSTALL!

Download and install CWM Recovery for KitKat custom ROMs

To install, reboot into recovery, make backup ROM, wipe data/factory reset, install ROM, install Gapps, and reboot. (If for some reason you end up in a bootloop, reboot into recovery, go to Advanced Wipe for TWRP or Mounts & Storage for CWM, format/wipe /system, then re-install ROM.)

Credits – XDA <— Please donate to the developer of this ROM or hit Thanks button on XDA if you like it, thx!

Need a new battery?  Check out T-Mobile Galaxy S2 batteries on Amazon here.

Extra MODs:


Q: My 3G/4G LTE data is not working!!!
A: See How to Fix 3G/4G LTE data by Manually Setting APN on Android!

Q: I have no Play Store!
A: Make sure you install Gapps zip file in TWRP or CWM Recovery!!!  Download link in this post above.

Q: I am getting Status 7 error in CWM/TWRP!
A: Sometimes, ROM developers put restrictions by accident, you can try this guide to get around it.

Q: I have no root access!
A: Missing root?  See How to Enable Root on CM12.1!

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13 Responses

  1. Francisco Macías says:

    I tried this ROM recently, as it was said is almost perfect, but one problem raises: Both microphones doesn’t works! Tried to make calls, the counter person can’t listen my voice, Tried to make a Whatsapp voice message, didn’t recorded anything.

  2. Roy S says:

    Hi max My elderly T989 galaxy s2 bootlooped after following your instructions reboored into CWM recovery following your instructions via Mount wiped everything again(except Dalvik?) agaon bootlooped only this time fails to boot into recovery or factory reset. Research via Google suggests this model galaxy has battery problems. So tried a fresh battery without success.
    All and any Suggestionswlcome

  3. dcon9999 says:

    Installed and it works great….EXCEPT..It takes FOREVER to install a single app. I’m talking 10-20 minutes. I’m having a real hard time getting google play services to update on it despite trying multiple gapp apks. So I have zero functioning google apps.

  4. Ronhelio says:

    Thanks for doing these Max. I hope this is better than the crappy CM12, that was never stable on my T-Mobile S2. Anyway, reinstalling and will try recovery again. DON’T use restore or you’ll restore your old ROM. hopefully I’ll get it figured out with “advanced restore”…

  5. Kyle Allen says:

    Everything seems to work. Had to wipe and reinstall a dozen times to get it to work right. Had issues with play store not working, uninstalled updates then installed updates. It has been working since. Now the only major issue I have is that unless my phone’s plugged in when it goes to sleep it powers down. Checked the site said they know and are working on it as of 9/26/15. Hope this is patched asap. My experience level with this stuff beginner so I appreciate the easy instructions. Very user friendly. I’m using a grey-beard sg2 was using jellybean originally.

  6. Saurav Bengani says:

    I am not able to install Google Services app after the ROM update hence other Google Apps like Maps, YouTube are not working, please advise.

  7. Madhukar Das says:

    I chose the Validus zip file from the root directory of the sdcard and the installation process started. But now it has been stuck on “Patching system image unconditionally…” for over 15 hours (see picture attached). I plugged the phone into the wall so that my battery doesn’t go out. It doesn’t normally take this long, does it? What should I do now?

  8. Hello says:

    every time i try to flash gapps erors come up and it fails

  9. michael says:

    i just installed validus on my sgh t989 and it says i am low on space. what should i do

  10. donjuanelguapo says:

    Has anyone had any luck loading a google apps rom?

  11. Alphonse Awide says:

    How to get quickly galaxy S2 rom?

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