HTC Windows Phone LED indicator

The subject of the little LED indicator light on HTC Windows Phones has cropped up in a few of the WPCentral Forums discussions. Some are pleasantly surprised at seeing the little indicator, some are curious if it can be customized, and some are simply trying to figure out what it does.

The LED indicator light isn't anything new to HTC Windows Phones. As far as we can tell every Windows Phone from HTC has the little light. It's so subtle that it can be surprising when you finally notice it. I think it took me about a month before I noticed it on the HTC HD7S.  Then had to look at the HTC Surround to see if it had one of the lights (it does by the way).

The LED is a red/green combo that will flash red when the battery is low, when the battery is charging and turns green when the battery charge is complete or when you miss a call. It does not light up on new email messages or SMS messages.  There are no settings to customize the LED light but who knows what the future may bring.

If you've got an opinion on the LED indicator on the Titan or any other HTC Windows Phone, feel free to chime in over in the WPCentral Forums' HTC Section. Some like the little light, some hate it, while others would like to see it do more. What's your thoughts on the matter?

Thanks goes out to Steven for the tip!

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

  • If it is that little red dot shown in the picture above, all phones have that. That red dot is the light emmited right next to the proximity sensor, so the phone can detect when the phone is near your face or not, based off of reflection.
    All WP have them, but in my Focus I have only seen it used when the phone is in call mode, not for any notifications.
  • No. HTC Phones actually have an LED light that's seperate from the proximity sensor.
  • Not sure why you are surprised to find an led; every single smart phone ever has one, not just HTC phones... And by extension, yes this means the iPhone isn't a smartphone :-P
  • Samsung's Windows Phones do not have the LED indicator.
  • The led is on the HD7 as well
  • My HTC Trophy has it and acts exactly as in the article.  What I would LOVE to see is if HTC used it the same way RIM does on the BB.  On a BB if you get a SMS, email, call, VM, etc (basically any notification) the light will blink red until you pick up the phone and turn the screen on.  After that it will stop blinking until you get another notication.  It's great when you are away from your phone and you can tell if you missed something without having to pick it up and turn the screen on. 
  • I agree, it would be so great to have the LED show notifications instead of having to turn the screen every time. Remeber the slogan "Glance and go"? That's how you do it!
  • With four email accounts, text messaging, Facebook messaging, Facebook, LinkenIn, Twitter, and phone calls, you might as well have the little light blink continuously then. Or at least till the battery saver kicks in. I like the indicator on my Surround just fine. The phone chimes and vibrates when I get an email or text. If I happen to be away from the phone for an extended period, I pop on the power button and take a look. During the day, nine of ten times, there will be something received. But if it's NOT a text (maybe important) or a business email (also possibly important) I may choose to not unlock the phone and wait till later to read. That's glance and go.
  • I really like the location of the charging indicator on my HTC Radar 4G. It is actually behind the speaker grill on the front of the phone. That way it doesn't mess up the looks of the phone.
    I'm not sure I want it to have more functionality though. I kind of like that my phone doesn't persistently say "Look at me! I have a message waiting!!!". I was a bit addicted to immediately checking my messages on my blackberry. I couldn't stay away from the red blinky light.
  • I just noticed that my charging indicator led blinks green when I have a missed call. It doesn't do it for voicemail, SMS, or email though. I only noticed it after the 7740 update but I don't know that I saw a missed call before that.
  • The light does have a third intermediate stage. With that, it flashes red, then green, then pauses  and repeats. I'm not sure what it means, but I've only seen it happen twice on my Surround over the past year. Since it's so rare, I'm guessing it might have been triggered by an error or something.
  • The alternate flashing red/green stage is the phone not charging due to overheating (happens when under heavy use while charging or if it is charging in sunlight for example) no cause for alarm as it stops charging and as long as it doesn't get hotter, it will cool off and resume charging again. This only becomes a problem for me when I am using my phone, need to charge it, and it overheats about 10min into the charge and starts discharging again and I loose to the battery draing gods lol. It may also happen on phones plugged in and teathering for long periods like it did on my TP2.
    On the HTC Arrive, opening up the keyboard helps increase some surface area and lets the phone cool better. 
    As others have said, this is nothing new since every HTC device has had some form of the LED even farther back then the HTC 6700 Apache. The only difference between WM5/6.x - WP7 is the lack of the LED notifications to Text/E-Mail/Reminders/etc.  
  • I was gonna post this! :p
  • Doesn't flash for SMS?  Kind of defeats the purpose.
  • LED lights have been an HTC thing for a while now.  My Windows Mobile 6.5 HTC Imagio has one that does the same, except it flashes whether you missed a call, recieved a text, or have an email.  I have really come to rely on it, since I will leave my phone unattended for periods of time and will periodically check to see if the light is flashing.  How's that for "glance and go"? :)
  • +1  I love my blinking green LED for new SMS/Email/Voice Mail/ Missed Phone Call. It's going to be highly missed when I switch my Touch Pro 2 to an WP7 phone when VZW gets something better than the Trophy.
  • Yup my HTC Artemis, HTC Polaris, Touch Pro 2 and HD2 all had this and it could be completely customised either by the registry or by a tool installed on a number of the devices.
    My HD7 as all of you guys have said have the led as well but no way of customising it with WP7.
  • I read someone here never knew it for a month? and people dont even knowwhat this does? geez shows you wp 7.5 is smarter than people hahahaha
  • Well... the LED isn't on every Windows Phone so when you rotate phones often and charge devices while they are in a case, it's easy to miss.   As to not knowing what it does, I think it's more of a case of what all does it do.
    As an Android convert WP really needs to expand on the LED notification functionality.  I loved being able to assign different colors for various notifications; SMS, GCHAT, missed calls, Facebook messages, voicemail, email, etc.
    I could look at my droid and know what I had missed without every turning the screen on.
    I have heard some WP phones from other manufacturers do not have an LED so I am thankful HTC was smart enough to include a basic LED, but it could be used to a much greater extent.  I'm guessing it would take Interop unlocking to get a custom application to take control of it.
  • How can any smartphone NOT have this capability? Having had it on Windows mobile, BB and Android I don't see how I could do without it on a WP7 that doesn't have it. So ridiculous.
  • Why did Samsung stop using the LED? There's not one on my Focus.
  • Had to test it again on my Titan to be sure, my LED flashes green when i have a missed call.
  • Same thing on my Trophy. LED flashes green for missed calls.
  • My old Verizon Droid was the best at this. It flashed blue when i got new text, green when i got a voicemail and red when i missed a call or battery is dieing.
  • I wish they would hurry up and make the LED flash when you get a notification etc i kinda miss just looking for the blinking light on my old htc wildfire to see if i had a message =[
  • All of this because of a light... We are geeks, there are not questions about it lol
  • I'm probably in the minority here, but I hate the LED notification light. I have no problems turning the phone on to check for messages. I hate the blinking!!
  • Exactly. I am not a slave to my phone and don't want to be intimidated into waking it it because of some blinking light only to find that Amazon has a new great offer for me. Or breaking news like the Dow is up (or down) 300 points for the day.
  • Yep, work it like WebOS.
  • The LED on my HTC Mozart flashes green when I have missed a call. I had assumed this was a WP7 standard feature. I guess it's not (?)
    That said, if there's one thing I miss from my old iPhone it's a notification centre. I love WP7 but the current notification system is rubbish. Toast is no good if you're not looking at your phone.
    I noticed that Windows 8 will have dedicated areas on the lock screen for custom app notifications. We need this on WP7! Combine that with a blinking LED to alert of new notifications and Microsoft could easily leapfrog apple on this front.