HTC may release a vanilla Android ROM for existing One owners

Daniel Bader

May 30, 2013 4:53pm

HTC announced earlier today that it will bring a “Nexus experience” version of its flagship One smartphone to Google Play starting next month.

The model will be visually identical to the existing one, and will sport the same 32GB internal storage, identical radio bands and button layout. The one major difference, however, is the ability to natively run stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean out of the box, unlock the bootloader using “fastboot oem unlock” and receive updates directly from Google.

So what about current owners of the One who would like the same experience? HTC intimated to The Verge that they are working on porting over a version of that ROM for existing owners, though it’s expected the the installation may take a bit of work.

Running vanilla Android on the HTC One isn’t without its downsides, though. Users will lose the popular “TV” app and all IR blaster functionality, and while Beats Audio will be enabled on a hardware level there will be no software installed to tweak it. There’s also the issue of losing two of HTC’s best features, Zoe Share and BlinkFeed, both of which have become popular tools for its five million or so users.

Like the vanilla Samsung Galaxy S4, the “Nexus Experience” HTC One is unlikely to sell in high volumes, nor will it, at a price of $599, dethrone the Nexus 4 as the best cheap Android phone. But it’s yet another choice for users who don’t want to hack their phones to achieve a stock experience.

Via: The Verge

  • MapleRacing

    That would be enough to tempt me to buy one. I really don’t care about the HTC software features, but the hardware of the phone is engaging. Pair that with stock android, and you have a winner imo.

    • douglasaharry

      I wonder how good the camera would be I know it wouldn’t have UltraPixel. But a solid body is a good enough trade off for me.

    • Vito R.

      Ultrapixel is just a marketing term. The camera sensor should be just as sensitive to low light as the regular One. What you won’t get is the Zoe functionality and the pretty great gallery.

  • Miguel A

    cool. at least HTC is working on a stock ROM that’s specific to the Ones already out there. anybody think Sammy will do the same for the existing S4s?

    • DK

      Probably not officially, but I’m sure xda developers will jump on porting it to existing S4s once google releases the code to AOSP.

  • Marc Young

    That would solve a lot of the problems for us Canadians IMHO. I approve.

  • Miguel A

    and I had my doubts about the HTC One being as hackable as the S4 due to HTC’s history…but with this ROM I think the dev community will thrive!

  • jackjiarocks

    $449 for 16gb
    $499 for 32gb

    Everyone will go crazy and you would start seeing a lot Ones around.

    • gommer strike

      Nope it’s $600 range sorry

    • jackjiarocks

      That’s the purpose of my comment is that they still have not made the price aggressive enough yet.

    • Vito R.

      There is no reason for them to sell the phone that cheap. Based on recent reports, it seems they can’t make them fast enough for demand.

      They are selling it for the same price they sell the regular 32GB unlocked version.

    • jackjiarocks

      $449 for 16gb is NOT cheap

      I think people have been overflowed by $800 phones with just ridiculous prices that they would consider $449 cheap

    • Vito R.

      $449 is a lot of money, but It’s cheap for a high end smart phone based on the current market value of phones with similar features.

      Whether you like it or not, $600+ is the going rate for a high end smart phone.

    • FKnm

      449 is nothing nowadays. You can buy a food for a family of 4 for a 1.5 weeks and 449 gone.

    • chris

      The HTC One is arguably the top phone on the market. I don’t mean it’s the best phone for everyone, I mean if you literally want the best, then you should go for the HTC One for sake of argument. If you want the best TV on the market, you pay more. If you want the best car on the market, you pay more. Same with phones. I think people have been overflowed with top of the line phones being affordable to everyone.

    • jackjiarocks

      No offense to others , most people in this case would rather pay $50 more for S4. Just stating a fact.

  • Super_Deluxe

    I hope Samsung releases one for the S3 as well. I would like to have the option as I prefer stock over OEM skinned ROM. I’m not a fan of flashing ROMs. It just takes too much time and effort and alot of the time are too buggy for use.

  • Henry

    Even though I don’t mind sense 5, I would still go stock if the process isn’t risky. No matter what the OEMs do, stock always wins with me.

    • Vito R.

      You know what, I hate custom skins on Android. I love the UI on my Nexus 4 – I think it’s smoother than both the One and S4. That said, I have the HTC One and while I prefer stock Jelly Bean to manufacturers skins – the camera features of the One are what make it great for me.

      Since I have the fully unlocked developer version I’ll probably be able to easily flash the Android 4.2.2 Nexus Experience version, but I’ll likely go back to the HTC stock ROM.

      The only thing I miss from Jelly Bean 4.2.2 at the moment is expandable notifications – I can live with that in exchange for the awesome camera experience.

    • accord1999

      For the HTC One, you should be able to expand a notification with a dual-finger swipe down.

    • Vito R.

      You can’t expand notifications on then HTC One because it comes with Android 4.1. Expandable notifications were introduced in Android 4.2.

    • Tony Sarju

      No, Expandable notifications were debuted in Android 4.1. You need to use two fingers to do it rather than one finger in 4.2.

    • Vito R.

      @Tony Sarju @accord1999 You guys are right. I was so used to using a single finger to expand coming from 4.2.2 I forgot you needed two fingers to expand on 4.1.1- thanks for pointing that out.

  • Rabid Rotty

    Test post

  • Rabid Rotty

    K my disqus profile must be banned from another site sorry about the non related

  • Lukeiphone

    I feel sorry for people on WIND or MOBI. AND PUBLIC

    • chris

      Seems to me like this is actually slightly positive news. If I can get an HTC One from T-Mobile, with this news it might be possible that I can get an official AOSP ROM straight from HTC and use it with one of the three you mentioned. We’ll have to see.

  • EvanKrosney

    So it’s an HTC Nexus One? Haven’t I heard this before?


    I think OEMs should release (for knowledgeable users) a stock version of android, and “modules” so users can choose what factory features the users want.

    • Brad Hermann

      exactly. flash stock if you like and then add features. ie camera apk.
      basically similar to flashing roms now.

  • Noel

    What kind of radios will it come with..Pentaband HSPA+? Will there be Tmo HSPA+42 with Tmo LTE

  • 34545345

    i would think pretty hard at getting the S4 if they sold in canada, even though i already have one, but the pure google rom would interest me.

  • gogoboy

    I hate HTC one native eye sore window rt look alike and feel alike function. Willing to sacrifice the HTC TV and IR as long as the replacement ROM works. the beat support software should see support soon or later through app.