Video hands on with the Windows Phone 7.8 beta and custom ROM

A custom ROM with Windows Phone 7.8 bits on the HTC Titan

Although Windows Phone 7.8 is not expected to arrive until after Windows Phone 8 launces, bits of the OS are evidently floating around and are being incorporated in custom ROMs for various 1st and 2nd gen Windows Phones.

One of those is the ‘EB Edition’ found at XDA Forums and meant for the venerable HTC Titan. We decided to flash it on to one of our devices and give it a go, so make sure to check out the video after the break…

Truth be told, so far Windows Phone 7.8 (build 8835.35) is just a new Start screen (with multi-sized Tiles) and nothing more. The custom ROM itself features of a bunch of neat things, including the Bazzar homebrew Store and even USB Video Out, but none of that is part of 7.8.

So how does it run? It’s actually quite neat, as to be expected. We’re really excited for the new Start screen as it makes organization a lot  easier, with lower priority apps getting a tiny tile, while important ones can go ‘double wide’. It is odd seeing the Tiles that large, due to the removal of the “gutter” to the right but you get used to it quickly. The EB Edition ROM also handles quite well and we have yet to experience any major issues.

Is it worth unlocking (HSPL), flashing on a compatible ROM and then re-flashing 7.8? Depends on your time and ability to follow directions. The actual process only took about 25 minutes, but it is considerably longer if you have to read up on it. And you should, the risks here are substantial if you don’t do things right.  And although the 7.8 beta Start screen is nice, there are some quirks here and there that makes this optional only for those who have the spare time and strong desire.

We should note that there is an AT&T Titan edition, but hard-unlocking an AT&T phone may be more work (needs Y-cable and GoldCard; correct us if we’re wrong).

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.