The HTC Explorer was never one of the most popular smartphones to grace the pages of XDA. The Explorer is a low end device that was released in late 2011. With only a 600 MHz processor and 512 MB RAM, it was never going to grab any headlines. This is what makes the recent high level of development activity on the device all the more impressive.
First up, XDA Senior Member oblikas brings us TWRP. The popular touchscreen driven recovery system allows you to do much more than flash a ROM. While it does work as intended, at version 220.127.116.11, it’s not updated to the latest version at the time of writing.
Next up, XDA Senior Member derefas has managed to port HTC Sense 4.0 to the Explorer. Given that the device originally shipped with Sense 3.5, this is an exciting port for Explorer owners, giving their device a complete refresh. The only listed known issues with the ROM are occasional USB issues, Bluetooth, Wifi and Superuser, though these last three issues have been fixed by the dev and will be working in the next ROM update.
Further to this, XDA Senior Member sam_0829 has impressively ported Sense 4.1 to the device, using the HTC Desire HD as a donor. The main functional parts of the device such as radio, sound and camera are all working, but as the Desire HD has a much higher screen resolution, a large amount of the ROM needs to be re-sized to fit the Explorer’s 320 × 480 screen. The dev has created a thread in the hope that others will be able to provide help in re-sizing, so that a usable ROM can be put together.
If Sense isn’t your cup of tea, and you prefer a more true Android experience, there are a number of ROMs available that are more suited.
XDA Senior Member sakindia123 has been busy, and brings us unofficial builds of both Cyanogenmod 9.1 and 10. The Ice Cream Sandwich based Cyanogenmod 9.1 ROM is fully functional with no known issues. The Cyanogenmod 10 ROM is almost completely working, with the only issues being with video decoding and voice search.
Another non Sense option is an unofficial AOKP ROM, built from source by XDA Recognized Developer flowish. This ROM has no known issues and of course has all the standard AOKP features.
Finally, if you haven’t been hiding under that rock of late, you’ll no doubt have heard of PACman ROM, an amalgamation of the best features from Paranoid Android, AOKP and Cyanogenmod 10. This port of PACman ROM is brought to us, again, by XDA Senior Member oblikas. Given the ROM has only just been released and is in an alpha stage, there are a few issues at present, including the camera, audio and USB mass storage.
There are of course many other custom ROMs available in the HTC Explorer Development forum. This article is just intended to highlight some of the more recent development taking place.
If you want to try out any of these ROMs, check out the relevant ROM thread: