What is dead may never die: HTC HD2 gets Marshmallow port

by: Andrew GrushDecember 4, 2015
2.3K

htc-hd2

The HTC HD2 began its life unassumingly enough back in 2009 as a simple Windows Phone 6.5-powered smartphone. We highly doubt HTC knew of the legacy the phone would end up carrying. As most of you probably know, we’re talking about how dev-friendly and dev-embraced the phone has been over the years, finding various ports of Unix, modern versions of Windows Phone up to 8, Firefox OS, and of course Android.

htc-hd2-marshmallow

Over the years, the HTC HD2 has seen Android 2.1, Jelly Bean, KitKat, Lollipop, and now Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Now let’s be totally frank here, running these builds doesn’t mean a “completely functioning experience”.

According to XDA Senior Member macs18max, the HTC HD2’s Marshmallow build allows you to use the screen, wifi, and audio, but that’s about it. It’s sluggish, buggy, and far from a daily driver. But if you were really thinking about using an HD2 as a daily driver at this point, you have bigger problems.

Even if the ROM is far from fully functional, it’s still quite impressive to see a six year old handset getting such support. For those that aren’t in the know, the HD2 is powered by a single-core 1GHz Qualcomm Scorpion processor with just 448MB of usable RAM, alongside a 4.3-inch display with a resolution of 800 x 480. To call it simply dated would be a compliment at this stage, as the hardware is better described as archaic.

android 6.0 marshmallowSee also: Android 6.0 Marshmallow – New features explained58

If you happen to have an HTC HD2 laying around still, you can head over to the XDA forums for more specific details on how to get the ROM up and (semi-)running.

Are you shocked to see the HTC HD2’s ancient hardware still (very slowly) chugging along with modern OSes onboard? Share your thoughts down in the comments.

  • Abdulrhman

    You can’t kill what won’t die.

    • cdm283813

      Or you can’t kill what’s already dead. What normal person would waste their time with this? Sure it’s cool and all but sometimes we got to throw legacy crap out when it’s past it’s prime.
      Just because you can doesn’t mean that you should.

      • Airyl

        But in this case, you should.

        • cdm283813

          It all depends who you are I guess. I always want the latest and greatest both in hardware and software. This is one reason why I use a iPhone 6s as my daily driver and a Nexus 6 when I’m at home. There is no such thing as the perfect phone and operating system. So instead of choosing sides I use both. So it may seem silly to do this but I find reviving a piece of crap (by today’s standards) with a cutting edge OS to be a ultimate waste of time. I treat these devices as disposable electronics and I move on to the next. Next year I’m looking forward to iPhone 7 and the Nexus; not some ancient phone running Android N.

          • It is silly. It’s idiodic. Therefore, it seems like you fit more into the iPhone camp. Bye.

          • 3165dwayne

            Just because it’s old doesn’t makemake it crap. What is wrong with you people?

      • 3165dwayne

        WTF

  • Kamen Minkov

    What is dead is by far not the HD2.

  • George

    Best reason to root a device.
    Almost unlimited aftermarket support.

  • SaurabhKoolkarni

    Can someone please tell or explain me what makes HTC HD2 so legendary and makes it able to run majority of OSes, which is not available in current gen devices? I tried to search the same, but I was unable to get any useful information. Thank You.

    • Benjamin Rodriguez

      There’s nothing particularly special about the hardware. It was just very popular in the modding community, because the software that it came with was dead on arrival, nobody wanted Windows Mobile anymore. So it simply became a favorite of the dev community. This old article is interesting: http://www.xda-developers.com/two-years-later-the-amazing-htc-hd2/

      • McHale72

        Many of us used Windows Mobile WELL after the HD2.

        • Benjamin Rodriguez

          The market at large abandoned Windows Mobile very quickly. Microsoft itself scrapped it and started over. Very little people wanted Windows Mobile anymore, not a significant amount. So it doesn’t matter.

          • DKBNYC

            I still have my HD2 stored in my Greatest Things of the Decade box. If Windows has pushed the development of apps for their OS, Android may have been a soon forgotten thing. I prefered Windows over Android for the first couple of years Android was a thing and to tell the truth, the only thing that makes Android a better option at present is it’s app store. {Windows Mobile started this whole modding of smartphones – XDA Developers was primarily a Windows Mobile community to begin with.}

        • cdm283813

          The touch pro 2 was my last 6.x Windows device. Looking back today what a piece of crap but at the time I considered it the best.

        • I still use Windows Mobile as my daily driver. It is a very mature OS.

    • “We’ve gotten this far… We must keep going” is the mentality to keep it supported.

    • Marc Perrusquia

      Pocketnow has a great video on it. I think it’s HTC HD2 revisited, or after the buzz.

    • 5URV1V0R

      At its time, HD2 was a spec beast, running Windows mobile 6.5 (i.e. Old generation widows OS).
      However few months after the HD2 debut, MS launched a new generation of it’s OS called Windows Phone 7. Frustrated that HD2 was not getting upgraded to the new OS, a huge developer community started an exemplary momentum to support the HD2. So not only it got (unofficially) the WP7 but also WP8, Meego, Unix, and almost every generation of android (2.* & beyond)
      Of course, the specs of the HD2 are over obsolete (since long time ago). So it is not the hardware that’s driving this development support but rather the nostalgia and passion about this phone and its unmatched development track.
      Honestly, it is not easy to understand the HD2 phenomenon unless you owned the phone and used to daily visit the HD2 section in XDA to check the new updates, obstacles, frustrations, breakthroughs that surfaced every day.

      I guess developers who still possess an HD2 will continue the challenge of porting new OSs just for the pleasure of it :)

      • It’s like making a toaster out of an old dryer. Or more accurately, using an old toilet as a fruit bowl centerpiece.

      • Mohammad Mario

        you’re right, dissapointed by its own creator but embraced by its huge “master of rom developers fans”. this phone is a portrait of a fight against the coorperation’s greedy way. the community support of this device is priceless

  • Shaunak Vijay Karade

    Is there a marshmallow port for Motorola MB525 ?

  • JSo

    This device is a lot like the HP TouchPad. Still has a dev that won’t let it die. lol

  • Airyl

    If what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, then that which doesn’t die must be pretty bloody strong.

  • Hmmmm…. same specs as the latest iPhone.

  • I used to have a phone that I carried in a 15 pound padded fake leather case. The handset was separate, attached by a cable. I thought I was really cool. Always pretended to be talking on it to impress people (really talking on it was like 2 bucks a minute, so that was out of the question)

  • Erics Wall

    Whoever coined the term “daily driver” wants kicking in the testicles.

    • Mark Washington

      Like a Car … Whoever coined that word?

      • Erics Wall

        You don’t drive a phone though do you lets be honest. May as well have called it your weekly tree branch, it is as relative.

  • maxm01

    ..but rises again, harder and stronger.

  • Nerdologist Jon

    I use to sell so many of these phones! I had one myself! I loved rooted this thing. At that time it was the hottest thing out there! Obviously things change. However, I still wouldn’t mind getting my hands on another one just to mess with it. Yeah the screen size is way small,but it still has some decent (key word be decent) specs. Wouldn’t mind playing around with it again just for old time sake or for rotting it again!/. That’s pretty cool that they were able to do that with that device

  • Marty

    I had two 1GB U.S. versions and flashed the hell out of them. Flashed one so much that the card slot faulted out. But that was then, this is now. Not much into rooting and flashing anymore…thanks to Knox and S-On and such…and the XDA shitass mentality. Some companies just are masters at shitting on poeple’s parades.

  • rykellim

    Speaking of archaic hardware and modern OSes, I would like to give a new life to my very first Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (Edition 2011, IIRC) since Samsung has all but forgotten the tablet. Please advise?

    • Toastincce0

      Go find a custom rom on xda. There are many methods of installing a custom rom but dont ask me, i just started this flashing business 1 week ago.

  • coldspring22 .

    What about the HD’s brother EVO 4G, which is even better candidate for Marshmellow ( as it was originally Android phone)?

  • lubba

    A missed opportunity for HTC.

  • Let it die already… It’s more trouble than it’s worth

    • Snark80

      Why outdated….why? Because you can still buy -new- with lesser specs. Okay, the thing is now that the HD2 became an entry phone…..not by design, but by age, which is something well earned, thanks to HTC and Community!

  • Michael Habel

    Sounds like a few bits of old Samsung Gear: Galaxy S and Tab (e.g GT-I9000, and GT-P1000), that I used to own, before I sold the Tab last Christmas. Those only had ~512MB of RAM as well. And both of those were able to run Lollipop at least. Though the separation of Phone Memory (i.e. Apps), from internal SD ~ca. 16GB sans installed OS. ment that you only had about ~1.5GB of useable space.