HTC Hero with FroydVillain (Android 2.2) and Gingerbread Theme

It was with some difficulty that I bought an HTC Hero in my Nokia-dominated part of the world exactly a year back.  Earlier this year, HTC upgraded it from the antiquated Android 1.6 to Android 2.1 “Éclair”. However, my level of satisfaction with the phone kept dropping for several reasons:

  • I couldn’t use newer Android goodies available only in the 2.2 Froyo version such as Instant Search, Chrome-to-Phone, and many of the latest Google mobile apps
  • Very slow performance. The HTC Sense UI based on 2.1 was sluggish.
  • Inefficient SD Card Usage. Unable to install apps to the SD Card meant that I could install limited number of apps, while the SD Card remained mostly empty.
  • A geeky itch to play around with the phone settings, internals, theme, etc..

So finally, I caved in and rooted my HTC Hero with the excellent Android 2.2 FroydVillain custom ROM. The results are extremely impressive.

  • The phone is much, much faster and very responsive.
  • My home WiFi connection with the router gets established within 5 seconds as compared with up to 1 minute earlier.
  • FroydVillain is based on the popular CyanogenMod ROM, and there are settings you can keep tweaking to your heart’s content.
  • Apps can be installed to the SD Card by default, and you get the latest goodies from Google.
  • Easily take screenshots of the phone on my desktop PC without even connecting the phone, using Pic Me.

On top of FroydVillain, I have installed a Gingerbread theme, giving the Hero the latest Android look.

Locked Home

For info on the how-to of the rooting process, I found the guides at The Unlockr worked for me, while some other methods didn’t. I also recommend ClockworkMod’s recovery app ROM Manager.

More screenshots after the break.

Settings  Menu

Apps  Dialer

After using the rejuvenated Hero, I am left wondering what took me so long. If you have any questions or doubts, feel free to ask in the comments. I would be happy to help in any way I can.

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  • http://codingrelic.geekhold.com DGentry

    The Gingerbread AOSP release is more extensive than Froyo, quite a bit of source which used to be closed is now in the open source tree. I expect CyanogenMod will incorporate the Gingerbread bits very quickly.

  • http://www.skepticgeek.com Mahendra

    That’s great news…thanks, DG! Now that I’ve broken the rooting barrier, won’t look back! :)

  • Ganesh

    Did you miss HTC Sense UI? And, can you re-install the stock 2.1 ROM, in case HTC pushes 2.2 update (now since Legend has also got it)?

  • http://www.skepticgeek.com Mahendra

    I find Launcher Pro to be much more configurable and lightweight than HTC Sense UI. The widgets part of Sense is something I miss, but even those are available in the Pro version.

    Though I haven’t done it, I believe you can ‘unroot’ the Hero. Google it to find how-tos on the web. I don’t think HTC is going to release a Froyo upgrade for the Hero, but I don’t think I will revert even if they did.

  • Danjoseph Galapon

    Yeah, I just modded my Hero last night, after more than a year of usage. After doing so, it kinda made me feel like I should’ve done this the moment Froyo was released!