Flashback: HTC HD2 was the best Windows Mobile phone, but it toured other OSes too

21 July 2019
The HD2 was the first Windows Mobile phone to have a capacitive touchscreen, which was made usable only thanks to HTC's TouchFLO 3D UI.

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  • Anonymous

Ghostwolf87, 22 Jul 2019Problem is with Android, once you get past the launcher, still ... moreon screen on WP7 onwards were good at the time I will given you that. But everything else is a hard no-no

1) Balmer killed windows. It was already downhill. No amrket share to speak of, no marketing, and no support. He expected MS name to carry the OS but it didn't. MS wasn't what it was before, or what it is now. In the period where iOS dominated so called 'innovations', MS fell flat.

2) from the get go, WP was doomed. Just 1 eyar into it, they announced WP8, with no upgrade to it from WP7 devices. Hardcore WM users who switched to WP was left like a trash on sidewalk. Just 1 year. And this was with WP already having prblem with lack of apps, compatibility with existing app/internet, and very broken (and almost non-existent) language support outside that of English and few others - this included browising experience not just language of system

3) at this point, android boasted multi tasking, whereas iOS boasted fluid system (which Android lacked even with better hardware because it was less polished then). WP lacked multitasking (iirc 6 cards at most, and doen't even freeze some apps as you left them) and UI was boring, and it was not 'fluid'. It looked nice, but the UI transition was hiding most of its slowness and awful system. Not to mention crashes (much like iOS) were hidden to give impression that it was better than competeing OS when it was not.

4) Then came RT, promising seemless transition between mobile/pc environment. Pick up where you left off on any device. Sounded like a dream for businesses. Well it was . Because RT was also canclled off quickly with almost no devices (except some nokia tablets..)

tl;dr: MS caem too late to show, and did nothing to ijmprove experience for users. In fact, they did exactly the opposite, making consumers lose faith in theirnproduct.

Speaking of HTC's most legendary phone, I just want to give props to the LG G5 released in 2016. The first to offer a rear wide-angle camera and second to last to offer removable battery for a flagship. I think both the G5 and V20 will have a cult following as years go by. Simply weren't appreciated during their time of release.

I've had a love-hate relationship with my G5 over the past two years but it's been nothing but love recently. It's the only phone that can connect to my router as my Xiaomi Mi 3 is starting to get flaky. I own four different batteries that I can swap out annually. It went from unreliable to most reliable after updating the software.

Like the HD2, LG G5 will go down as one of the few legendary phones at least in my eyes. I know many folks hated it or despise LG altogether. Not for me! G5 is awesome when it's not overheating. The image retention doesn't bother me with a blue light filter and if everything is white or a pitch black background.

I hope GSM Arena revisits the LG G5 or at least the V20 in a few years. They deserved their props.

I still believe this was HTC's best smartphone ever. Not the One M7. The fact it can run Nougat on 2009 hardware is insane. There are very few phones that are legendary. This is one of them.

TheWildShadow55, 22 Jul 2019Delusional 1,000,000,000. Symbian is completely dead and android... moreCompletely dead? Not really.

  • djinn

I bought this HD2 sometime in 2010 and used it for about 2 years. I was just starting to become a phone nerd and the phone intrigued me because it had one of the biggest displays I had ever seen on a phone. Little did I know what this beast was capable of! First few weeks I was amazed by the animations the weather app would provide, the way the whole UI looked and was just admiring how big that display was. But slowly I was also understanding the limitations of Windows, the software was buggy, slow and half the time would not work. Everyone was talking about Android and how much better of an operating system it was. What mattered to me was that Android could run Angry Birds and Cut the rope! (Don't judge me, I was only 17) And there I started looking out for Android, I do not know how but I stumbled upon this article which mentioned that HD2 can boot dual OS'es and yes I jumped on that bandwagon. It was also very buggy, I only turned it on to play games (Also remember those beer drinking and lighter apps?). I was having fun tinkering around and then this other solution came up to install Android directly on the NAND drive and supposedly it was fast and less buggy and would not sip the battery like milkshake. I tried installing the NAND version and I soft bricked my phone. My HD2 was bricked for a span of 2 weeks as I didn't know what to do with it. But HTC themselves came to the rescue, it was very easy to download the EXE file of the software and fix the problem directly from your PC and once I fixed it, I again tried the NAND flash of Android and this time it worked! I myself had used Android from version 2.1 till 2.3 Gingerbread. Cyanogenmod and Miui were my go to, mainly Miui as it was more eye candy. After that I bought myself the first gen Galaxy S and continued tinkering around the custom OS playground and before I sold it, I was running 4.4 on it. To me, HD2 was an amazing buy and I know it well why it deserves that legendary position. In fact if I can find one now, I would buy it just for the sake of having this legend!

Anonymous, 22 Jul 2019"Officially, it was called TouchFLO 3D, but in reality the new U... moreExactly. My brother owned htc dream and later i got htc magic with track ball. That was fun time when i flashed new rom almost everyday.
When we first saw htc hd2 ui especially the weather app cloud thunder animation we were blown away.
Later we both got htc hd2. Since then i run 3 oses. Android, windows and Ubuntu. My iphone friend jaw-dropped seeing linux running on a phone. 😁😁

  • Mobilephile

Still have this HD2 and Touch in my collection. $500 usd for this flagship back in the day

  • Lumina

Ghostwolf87, 22 Jul 2019Problem is with Android, once you get past the launcher, still ... moreTotally agreed with the second point. The newest MS office on Windows 10 makes it so troublesome to save files locally. When pressing CTRL+S on a new document, they only ask you which ONEDRIVE account you want to save it to and to save it locally I will have to click additional buttons. I used to not needing to move my mouse to save a new file. Total BS

Pabliell, 21 Jul 2019Android has something no other mobile OS has right now - flexibi... moreProblem is with Android, once you get past the launcher, still have the same garbage interface Android has had since 2009. Some tweaks, but nothing revolutionary. Their on-screen keyboards are still a joke.

For me, Windows Mobile was the best, from 7 through 10. Yes, there were some major changes between them, but the core was still there.

I blame MS for killing Windows Mobile themselves due to two things.

1) MS wouldn't/couldn't figure out how to get behind core apps, and either build and maintain their own versions, or support 3rd party docs properly. If they would have built and maintained solid versions of MS Office, Facebook, and other popular apps, they would have smoke Android and Apple both.

2) It came down to leadership from the top. Had too many changes within the Windows Mobile division at a time when they needed a single person with a solid vision, and authority and guts to make it work. When they brought it Nutella to replace Balmer, that spelled the death of Windows Mobile. Nutella wanted Mobile dead. He was all about the "Cloud" and nothing else has mattered sense.

You can see it with Windows 10 OS. Too much "Cloud"-centric garbage integration to eventually make it a subscription-tied "service" you will end up paying a yearly or monthly fee down the road for once they push all Windows 7 legacy users off line with EOL status.

Glad I have Linux for everything I need, save for some work software (Autodesk) that is totally joined at the hip with MS Win 10.

  • Anonymous

"Officially, it was called TouchFLO 3D, but in reality the new UI borrowed heavily from Sense – HTC’s custom interface for its Android phones."

I have to correct you here.. Sense on android is derived from TouchFLO not the other way around.. TouchFLO interface was first introduced with the first "iPhone killer" HTC Touch.. TouchFLO 3D is first introduced in HTC Diamond in May 2008.. Android was born in HTC Dream/Tmobile G1 in October 2008.. That and the HTC Magic that follows has no Sense interface whatsoever on top.. The first time Sense was introduced is in HTC Hero in July 2009..

Please set the fact straight for the sake of the reputation of GSMArena.. In the future please verify whatever fact you are putting out instead of relying on your own opinion.. That is what the vast database in this website is for.. Research first then discuss and proof read before publishing.

HD2 will always remain the best phone of all time for me, precisely because of this modding capability and closely edging put the original iPhone. Actually, I am still torn.

Anyway, love your flashback series GSMarena!! Eagerly waiting for the next article!

Anonymous, 22 Jul 2019BS article IMO. Best Windows Mobile phones were the upper-class ... moreYou really live in your own little world, right? Are there any unicorns and dragons?

  • Anonymous

Pabliell, 22 Jul 2019Belle? Please, that's dead for like 6 years. MeeGo had potential... moreLOL.. Symbian Belle can install apps directly and totally on microSD card.. Which Android could only dream of today.. Symbian had no issues of full memory despite having tons and tons of apps on SD despite having as low as 2GB of internal memory.. SD cards can easily be swapped and whatever apps that is installed in it will appear accordingly.. Did i mention that symbian supports hot-swappable microSD?? Try that on an Android today.. Symbian also was the first to support SDXC cards(64GB, 128GB and above) with exFAT format no less since 2012.. Android flagships at the time was stuck with SDHC up to 32GB.. I'm still rocking my 808 pureview btw

SpiritWolf, 21 Jul 2019Wrong. Spydroid is STILL in diapers, compared to Symbian Belle. ... moreDelusional 1,000,000,000. Symbian is completely dead and android actually means something now.

  • Anonymous

BS article IMO. Best Windows Mobile phones were the upper-class Lumia phones. Largely let down by the OS though.

SpiritWolf, 21 Jul 2019Wrong. Spydroid is STILL in diapers, compared to Symbian Belle. ... moreBelle? Please, that's dead for like 6 years. MeeGo had potential, but was abandoned. It could've been a better option than Android, it's a shame it was treated like this.

Crazy to think just 10 years ago, a 4.3 inch display was considered YUUUGE. The first Galaxy Note was even bigger and that was only 5.3 inches.

Where is this HTC now, the one who also made the.. One? Their phones are still good but have nothing over the competition plus HTC are greedy when it comes to their prices. They should have a 'last' hurrah to put them back in business. They should make aluminum phones again with ultra fast charging. Who cares about wireless when your phone is durable and charges fast?

Pabliell, 21 Jul 2019Android has something no other mobile OS has right now - flexibi... moreWrong. Spydroid is STILL in diapers, compared to Symbian Belle. Even if we consider this sneaky 'now', it's circus for the fools.

Owned HD2 for a year. It was a great phone, but had some annoyances I didn't want to live with. Windows Mobile was not really much usable, since most of the apps were optimized for resistive screens and use of a stylus. So while the OS redesigned by HTC looked great and had some great features, apps were useless. Linux back then was not really usable, more like a state of art than daily driver. Android was a good option and there were plenty of ROMs to choose from. Bugs were aplenty too, but battery drain was a bigger issue, even bigger when you booted it from the SD card.
Still, loved the times when switching a ROM was so simple. These days bootloaders are locked and manufacturers do anything they can to force us to use their solutions.