And, as it happens, the very next day I found myself wanting to try a modern Android application, and found myself without any modern Android phones to do it in.
So, partly for the sake of nostalgia, yesterday evening I went through the entire rigmarole of unlocking its boot loader (quite amazing to consider that HTC still maintains
htcdev and the process actually works for a nine-year-old phone), installed
TWRP (some things never change) and got a custom LineageOS 18.1 build going on it.
That was enough for me to try out the
APK and spend a little while messing about with the Android 11 user experience, and it was quite surprisingly snappy. I’d forgotten about its amazing screen, but also about its unusual button layout (which is hardly an issue these days) and the way it is such a comfortable fit in my hands.
I don’t plan on using the device as a phone–besides some of the usual hallmarks of aftermarket Android installs (like unstable Wi-Fi and at least one random reboot) its radio is antiquated and not worth dropping in a SIM for, plus its rather controversial and stunted camera has succumbed to the purple hazes of overheating that the M7 was prone to, so it’s not useful for data or any kind of image capture on the go.
But I’m actually quite happy this quite nice (if quirky) piece of hardware could be put to some use nearly a decade after it was made, since there aren’t that many modern pieces of gear that can share that claim.
Also, it is also one of the very few devices I have with a working IR port (which can control my TV and AC), so while I am fully aware I’m trying to find an excuse to keep it around for a little while longer on the grounds of what are essentially sentimental reasons, there’s a chance it might be… remotely… useful.