The HTC HD2 was released two years ago, in November 2009. I got my HD2 one year ago, in November 2010.
I was in China when I bought it. My old phone – an HTC Hermes that my uncle had given to me – wasn’t in good shape: the touchscreen was more or less broken, and the battery had to be recharged after every phone call. I needed a new phone, for less than 3000 ¥ (about 340 €).
Unfortunately, since the Galaxy S and Desire HD were still quite new at the time, they were too expensive for me, and I didn’t want to wait another month or two till their price became acceptable. So, I ended up choosing between two older HTC devices: the Desire and HD2.
When I got to try the Desire, however, I was very disappointed. I didn’t expect Android to be as smooth as iOS, but I thought it would at least come close. It didn’t. And I found that it looked much better on screenshots than in actual use: Both stock Android on the Nexus One and Sense UI on the Desire were ugly, compared to Sense UI on the HD2, running Windows Mobile.
What I really liked about the HD2, though, is that it could run both Windows Mobile and Android, thanks to the development done at the xda-developers forum. Even a port of Windows Phone 7 wasn’t entirely unlikely, so I decided to get the HD2, knowing that I could switch to other operating systems should I ever get tired of Windows Mobile.
And I did get tired of it pretty quickly. But trying various Android builds only reinforced my initial impression: that Android was laggy and ugly. No matter how you customized it, it wouldn’t look as good as Sense UI on Windows Mobile.
I put up with Windows Mobile till April, when I finally flashed a CyanogenMod ROM. I also tried Windows Phone 7, but it didn’t support Chinese input yet; I eventually settled with another Android version: a MIUI-ROM. It wasn’t as stable as other builds, but at least I liked its design.
When I came back to Germany, I didn’t need Chinese input anymore, so I switched to Windows Phone 7. However, I realized it had some quirks of its own: Third-party apps didn’t have access to native controls, so they were laggy. But the general design and smoothness made me stick with it, especially after Mango was successfully ported in late August.
So, that’s it, I guess. I’m still running Windows Phone Mango, and am satisfied with it. When I once flashed Windows Mobile, which was required as preparation before the Mango update, and played with it for a few minutes, I realized how slow it was. And how far the HD2 had come.
I will probably keep it for another year or two, since I don’t really have money to get a new smartphone. I don’t mind.