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.
More screenshots after the break.
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.