HTC HD 2, a smartphone belonging to the HTC Touch family, manufactured by HTC was launched in 2009 running Windows Mobile 6.5 as its operating system and ran HTC’s Sense UI layer on it. The handset came with a then very powerful 1GHz Snapdragon SoC, 576 MB of RAM and 4.3 inch multi touch display with a resolution of 800 x 480. HTC HD 2’s specifications were very much advanced compared to any other phone at that point in time and the hardware was overkill for Windows Mobile OS.
The same hardware was launched with Android installed and was marketed as Evo 4G on Sprint, however, Evo 4G was equipped with WiMax radio and hence ended up being a little bit fatter.
HTC HD 2 is no stranger to hacks and ports. Google announced the latest version of Android, the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean at the Google I/O conference on June 27, 2012. The Jelly Bean is apparently is the most advanced and fastest version of Android yet. Google frequently announces new versions of its operating systems, but manufacturers aren’t keen on keeping their products updated. For instance, the penetration rate of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is just above 10%, even though most of the devices support new versions of Android. This has led to people flashing their phones with unofficial ROMs, which is a great way to get jiffy access to new versions.
Developers from XDA-Developers have managed to port Android to HTC HD 2 long back, and this time they have successfully ported Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Yes, even after being a fairy old phone, you can get your HTC HD 2 to run the latest version of Android operating system. The main backdrop with HTC HD 2 is that it has only 512MB of ROM, which makes the process of porting Android to it a bit tougher, however, modders have been so keen on porting the OS to this smartphone that they have managed to run the system with aid from SD storage.
The ported Jelly Bean ROM seems to work just fine, except that there are few problems. Problems with video playback and the camera are evident. Sound and USB mass storage weren’t working, but they were fixed recently. Also, you may discover that web browser and some apps are not working, but this is the initial build and later releases are expected to address those issues.
Things that are working perfectly fine as of now include:
• Mobile Data 3G/2G
• Video Playback
• USB Mass Storage
The ROM can be downloaded from here and needs to be flashed with device on recovery mode. 250MB of ROM space is required in order to install this. Jelly Bean coming to HTC HD 2 is a pretty big deal as its almost 3 years old and aging while most of the newer phones aren’t even coming with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. There’s still a lot of room for polishing, but since it’s the initial build, we have to appreciate the effort.