Mystery HTC Android Handset Has a Name and a Carrier

So do you remember the post we did on a certain mysterious HTC Android device that we’ve never seen before?

Well after doing some research I’m 90% positive as to what this phone is…

Its the HTC Passion! A CDMA version that resembles the HTC Dragon (with slightly less specs as far as we can tell, one being the smaller screen size) that is headed to Verizon.

This would explain the similarities that people noticed about the buttons and the white notification bar from the Motorola Sholes (Droid); Verizon is trying to keep things a little similar on all their Droid devices and it’s not the HTC Desire, which is a Verizon branding of the HTC Hero (a 3.2 inch screen, which this phone definitely does not have).

You might have heard of the HTC Passion a few times so the name might ring a bell. It is the rumored handset that is supposed to be coming to Verizon in Q4 with a snapdragon OMAP? processor, Android 2.0, and be the Android equivalent device that comes close to the HTC HD2 (Leo).

If this is true, then you have some nice Droid choices on Verizon; Motorola Sholes (“Droid”) for those who need the keyboard, HTC Desire for those who can live without the keyboard but like a smaller device (and smaller price tag), and the HTC Passion for those who want a huge screen and need the faster processor.

Very nice, Verizon. Very nice indeed.

Anyone got more info on HTC Passion, do tell…

164 thoughts on “Mystery HTC Android Handset Has a Name and a Carrier”

  1. StephenSaurusRex

    Thank you so much. I’m officially a very happy stevoreeno!

    So this is Snapdragon + Sense UI + Android 2.0 + Verizon + massive screen!? I’m done. Sign me up! I’ll take 2!

  2. Will this work on Sprint’s CDMA network? I know Sprint has a smaller network, but I like their plan and prices better.

    1. Hello Jean,

      If it is what we think it is and Verizon releases it, it will be like any other CDMA handset and you will be able to unlock it at some point and use it on Sprint. But that is assuming someone figures out how to unlock/flash it with Sprint’s software.

  3. Unlockr: I have faith in you. 🙂

    I guess I ought to float on over to the forums to see if anyone has strong opinions about VZW before I’ve already ditched them!

  4. Are we certain this is gonna have Sense UI? If it really is snapdragon, ~4″ display, capacitive multi-touch, Android 2.0 AND it’s running Sense UI…this phone is a grand slam. Sign me up.

  5. this phone should be out by thanksgiving as soon as Q4 starts i guess some sites have paid attention to my posts cause i reported all this over the past 2wks so FYI if you see one of my comments pay attention people

  6. Thanks for the update ! So my last question…
    Might someone explain the point of a trackball on an all-touch device? Seems like overkill– though not a dealbreaker.

    1. Hello JW,

      It is on all of HTC’s Android devices so far.
      The most likely reason is because of the capacitive screen. Capacitive screens have a hard time with selecting small things (since your finger is only so small). So they probably put the trackball to allow you to select things that are small and close together (I do this sometimes when on webpages that have small menus all close together). And its a trackball probably because it takes up a lot less space and looks nicer than a D Pad.

  7. Humn… Great info TheUnlockr…

    I forgot to mention on the original thread that since there wasn’t any nag screen about putting in the Sim Card… It meant one of the two CDMA carriers was probably the adoptive dad… Most of us did notice the style of the bottom buttons screamed Verizon(Even though two of them also scream HTC)

    This will be the third Android device Verizon will release in less then a month and half… And there is still the rumored HTC Predator that also suppose to be for Verizon… All this Android devices coming to Verizon so close together is a hundred times more revolutionary then what TMobile came up with on their Project Dark… Or as I like to call it… Project DarkAges for TMobile…

    Still have a few ?’s about this device…

    1. This suppose to be the sister ship of the HD2 Leo… Which has a 4.3″ screen… Compare to the HTC Passion… There are some major style differences…

    The HTC HD2 Leo is much thinner…

    And the HTC HD2 Leo seems to have a lot wider screen too…×1024.jpg

    Does anybody think that the HTC Passion screen might not be 4.3″s?? & more rectangular then the HD2’s squarish one???

    I hope that’s just the angle of the available pics of the HTC Passion and not a deficiency…

    2. When you say that like other CDMA phones, This phone might eventually be compatible with the non carrying carrier.. Do you mean that if this CDMA phone is rootable… Then it is very likely that phone band unlocking would be the next step & flashing a Sprint compatible firmware will be the end/goal???

    Are we talking full throttle 3G/1XVE speeds on both or 3G on Verizon but only Edge speeds on the Sprint???

    3. Does the CDMA aspect of this release of the HTC Passion change anything on the GSM HTC Dragon Phone Co-Op program… ???

    If this thing does come before or on BlackFriday… Guess I’ll be stuck at Verizon @5AM or I might wait for BestBuy/WalMart/RadioShack/Sam’s or any of the other places where one can get an extra discount with new contract… Specially since within Verizon this phone will have some competition…

    But really… If it’s a HTC SnapDragon with Android 2.0 + Rosie/Sense UI 2.0 + 4.3″ screen… We all know it won’t have any competition at all… Not even the IPhone…

    1. Hello Y314K,

      1. Dont think we can tell the exact screen size judging from these pics (all we can tell is it is definitely bigger than 3.2, the Desire).
      2. Rooting and unlocking are two separate procedures. You can unlock the phone without rooting it and vise versa. As far as speed is concerned, it would depend on their frequencies.
      3. No, the HTC Dragon Coop going on in the forum is NOT this phone. It is referring to the GSM Dragon.

  8. well, i did some measuring/comparing 3g symbol in top bar as a reference to the droid.
    i am getting a similar length, but the passion’s screen is wider.
    now, maybe others are able to judge dimensions this way, but i can’t get exact.
    if this theory holds (3g symbols being same dimensions on pics), then this screen is bigger than droids.

  9. After all the hype w/ project dark, Tmobile dissapoints again by not offering the HTC DRAGON. After leading the way w/ Android phones, they should have been the first to nab such a powerfull beast of a phone. They took a chance and stood strong w/ google Android from the very begining when none of all these other carriers were nowhere to be seen. Now they are all grabbing all the decent Android phones…where is Tmobile??? Lets just hope there is a GSM version of HTC DRAGON w/ Tmobiles name on it. This is VERY imperative…tmo u don’t want ur loyal cust/fans to start taking FLIGHT to other carriers just to get a decent powerful Android phone w/ a huge screen, htc sense ui, Eclair (android 2.0), and all the advances that android has made thus far…that would be a shame to let that happen. To me and many others GOOGLE ANDRIOD=TMOBILE, thats all we’ve known for more than a year now…so TMO give us HTC DRAGON…make it happen ASAP.

  10. Ok so when is a phone shaped like the “Leo” with Android & it’s new speed & wi/fi & a KB going to come out? Will this be the Predator??? @Y314k good post, you too Unlocker.

  11. Thank you Verizon…you finally care about your customers. I hope this thing is for real coming to Verizon. My wife is going to laugh since I’ve been waiting for a new phone worth buying…I thought the Moto Droid or Eris/Desire would be it…but it looks like I’ll wait a bit longer =)

  12. Man….WTF t-mobile? Seriously the android handsets you are putting out are freaking kiddy toys now! Verizon is basically b*tch slapping and PWNing t-mobile with the “soon” release of their “droid” handsets. One can only hope that the HTC Dragon will be available in a GSM version…at this point importing one doesn’t even sound bad.

  13. Not sure I believe all this hype about Verizon suddenly developing this incredible smartphone lineup literally overnight. I definitely want to as Im stuck with them and really have no complaints with the coverage yadayadayada. But how can you say youre 90% sure? Do you have an insider thats in direct contact with the development of this ‘Verizon HTC Passion’, or is this ‘research’ just hrs spent combing your internet browser for ‘clues’?

  14. TheUnlockr: Humn… Maybe this won’t be the HTC Dragon after all… Well not an exact HTC SnapDragon device… But a fast distant cousin of fast Snappy…


    Extra Info:

    The Droid uses OMAP 3430 @500Mhz & the HTC Passion/Predator will use a blistering OMAP 3640 @ about 1Ghz…. Anybody still on the fence trying to decide between the Droid or the HTC passion… Consider u’r self knocked off the fence… Unless the damn keyboard makes up for half a Ghz(Not saying the Droid will be a bad device…) But Moto showed it’s hand & HTC went over the top…

    All your Androids are belong to HTC & Verizon this holydays…

    Wonder if they are saving the SnapDragon CPU for next summer’s battle with the new old fruit…

    What u think TheUnlockr…???

  15. TonyJ: Not sure…

    If the stock battery is =or>15xx mAh then it should be very good;

    or if it’s grater then >13xx mAh then it should be good;

    around =13xx mAh it will be average;

    or <13xx mAh it will suck…

    The Droid comes with 1400mAh. I would expect the HTC device to match it or better it… So maybe just between good and very good…

  16. “# Noel Says:
    October 26th, 2009 at 1:32 am

    After all the hype w/ project dark, Tmobile dissapoints again by not offering the HTC DRAGON. After leading the way w/ Android phones, they should have been the first to nab such a powerfull beast of a phone. They took a chance and stood strong w/ google Android from the very begining when none of all these other carriers were nowhere to be seen. Now they are all grabbing all the decent Android phones…where is Tmobile??? Lets just hope there is a GSM version of HTC DRAGON w/ Tmobiles name on it. This is VERY imperative…tmo u don’t want ur loyal cust/fans to start taking FLIGHT to other carriers just to get a decent powerful Android phone w/ a huge screen, htc sense ui, Eclair (android 2.0), and all the advances that android has made thus far…that would be a shame to let that happen. To me and many others GOOGLE ANDRIOD=TMOBILE, thats all we’ve known for more than a year now…so TMO give us HTC DRAGON…make it happen ASAP.

    Just so you know. T-Mobile IS getting the HTC Touch HD2. This is similar to that phone (both have Sense UI and 1Ghz Snapdragon processor) except different carrier and slightly different body. I prefer the body of the HD2 over this but I prefer this on Verizon over my iPhone on AT&T.

    1. Hello Alex,

      The Touch HD2 IS coming to T-Mobile USA next year supposedly but it is Windows Mobile as opposed to the HTC Dragon (and the Passion) that run Android. BUT this is not to say that an HTC Dragon might still make it’s way onto the T-Mobile network, guys…

  17. Y314K and TheUnlockr, i’ve been wondering this (Snapdragon vs. OMAP) for a few weeks since the first obscure report online said it wouldn’t be a Snapdragon. However, that same report also said the phone would be exclusive China-only so i assumed the latest rumors we had here somehow superseded the with some tipster/insider info. So…TheUnlockr, is this something you can confirm or find out? Either way is fine with me as i’ve yet to run into a truly definitive side-by-side comparison of the Snapdragon and OMAP 3x family of processors. I’ve read many people state things like “oh well OMAP has distinct GPU so it’s like totally better” and other schools of thoughts that say there’s “no replacement for displacement” (car metaphor implying you can solve all problems with brute Mhz). If you’re aware of a good comparison of these two processors i’m sure i wouldn’t be the only one interested in seeing so please link since they’ll be the processors in some of the most anticipated phones for the next few months (Acer, X10/X3/Infinity, HTC Passion, HD2, N900, Droid, etc…).

    As always, appreciate the great site and hard work!

  18. To ditto StephenSaurusRex

    So this is Snapdragon + Sense UI + Android 2.0 + Verizon + massive screen!? I’m done. Sign me up! I’ll take 2!

    I will take 2 also. Then I can put 2 iPhones on Ebay.

  19. This sounds like a awesome phone and I’m gettin one on the first day its out. Does anyone know if this phone will have wifi?

  20. I guarantee you it will NOT be 4.3″. Look at all Android devices, most if not all of them are 3.2″. If anything, it will be the size of the iPhone (3.5″) or perhaps slighter larger but definitely NOT 4.3″. You can tell this from the photos and it is not the angle either.

  21. I know there have been a few rumors that this phone may in fact not be Verizon however, I did noticed that the new Droid’s entry screen says “tap the android to begin” and the leaked pictures have the same android. Is this a common thing for 2.0 or is this a Verizon thing? Can anyone help me with this?

    1. Meyer77,

      Thanks for letting me know.
      HTC said this,

      “technically, we could make the HD2 an Android phone, but I have to take care of Windows Mobile.”

      So it may not have the same exact specs (and we kinda guess that cause the screen looks smaller than 4.3″) but we still don’t know what it, or isn’t. Just have to wait and see.

  22. TheUnlockr,
    We’re really waiting for some more news from you here, especially given the posts on sites like Gizmodo that quote the HTC CEO as making some statements that suggest that while they “could” make the HD2 into an Android phone there don’t seem to be any plans as they “need to take care of Window Mobile”.

    While this isn’t necessarily the nail in the coffin and the phone above is not really an exact HD2 (!) per se, but rather the same “guts” which is all i really care about. As long as it has a HD2-ish screen, an HD2-ish processor (Snapdragon or OMAP 3640), etc… i’m happy.

    TheUnlockr, can you please provide some more details/commentary. I’m a long time Verizon customer who has been eligible for an upgrade for years and i’m almost ready to jump on the Droid, but not if this phone is coming out.

    Looking forward to your thoughts!

    1. Anonimac,

      I just saw that post by Gizmo, and commented quickly on it here.
      Now, we already know that the phone isn’t exactly the HD2 (we can see the screen size is big, but not 4.3″). Now, as for the hardware, we can’t be sure. All we know is it is the HTC Passion, and all the rumors that surround that phone. Google the HTC Passion and see what you find, if you find anything super interesting that I missed, let us all know 🙂

  23. TheUnlockr,
    Any comments about articles such as this one which suggest that the processor may be an OMAP 3640 vs. Snapdragon. Here is one article but there are others.

    Also, are you still pretty confident (“90%”) that this phone is coming to Verizon and that it will have HD2-esque specs (don’t have to be IDENTICAL like screen size)? In fact, i’m one of the folks who wouldn’t mind slightly smaller screen than the HD2…something between Droid and HD2 would be perfect for me due to “pocketability” concerns.

    1. Anonimac,

      Thanks, I’ll take a look.
      All we are sure of it that it is the HTC Passion and that the HTC Passion has always been rumored to be headed to Verizon.
      I think it is pretty safe to assume a higher than 600mhz processor (either 800ish or 1Ghz would make sense for HTC). We know it will be running Android 2.0 and we know it has no keyboard and a pretty larger screen.
      What other specs do you mean? 🙂 RAM size we have no clue, but safe to assume over 256MB. And camera we have no clue but again probably safe to assume 5.0.
      So for everyone, it is only rumors that it is an HD2 variant, but based on the photos and what we know of previous HTC models and the rumors around the HTC Passion, we know there is enough info for HTC to say it is “not an Android HD2” but we also know that it will be pretty close. 🙂

      As for you, I think the biggest factor would just be the screensize and whether or not you want a physical keyboard should be the decider between getting the Droid or the Passion (PS Keep in mind that there is also a rumored Predator for Verizon as well…)

  24. TheUnlockr,
    Thanks for the quick response! I agree with all of your points…i would be curious on your thoughts (or “gut” feel) on whether this could have the higher frequency OMAP 3640 (1 Ghz).

    I thought the Passion was the CDMA version of the Predator…am i way off on that?

    So you’re still pretty confident that it’s coming to Verizon and that it will be before end of the year?

    I don’t have a strong preference for keyboard .vs not. The phone i have now has one but it’s VERY old (embarrassed to admit model), but needless to say it’s the last phone that got me excited on Verizon. It’s 4 years old…can you guess what it is? lol

  25. I also heard from other sites such as that this could be headed to tmobile UK as a gsm model. To many rumors. Hope something concrete soon.

  26. I have the imagio, and have decided to take it back for the Droid. Then when the Passion does drop, I will have to go pick one of those beauties up. I think they might have found a true “iPhone Killer”. Or atleast untill Apple decides to re-vamp their product.

    I eagerly await a confirmation on weather or not VZ will be the passions carrier and a release date that is set in stone. So I can get my funding sources up.

  27. I’m very curious to see what U.S. carrier this will end up at. I just can’t see Verizon releasing an Android phone of this caliber after all the money that was spent on the Droid. I hope I’m wrong! I just want HTC to make a very serious Android handset that we all can enjoy.

  28. @unlockr – any chance you could check up with your source who sent this and see if we could get a few more details? i know a lot of us really have a hard on for this device and if it is in fact a verizon device a lot of us won’t want to waste our upgrades on a droid or eris. any think you could do to help spare us cause this sucker ain’t gonna come cheap without an upgrade. i know all of us big red owners have been waiting for a god awful amount of time for a new awesome touch screen smart phone and now that we see them coming in we all want to make sure we get the right one!

    1. Wolf and Anonimac,

      No problem, but I’ve told you all the info I have. What do you think I’m doing, withholding info for fun? lol As I get more I will of course put it up here ASAP, I promise.
      Keep in mind though that you can always buy the Droid or whatever with your contract and then when the Passion comes out you can sell the Droid (and get more than you paid for it since you bought it with a contract and are selling it without one) and then buy the Passion with the money from the Droid without a contract. Don’t think that because you sign a contract for a phone you are stuck with that phone ever.
      The contract gives you up to $200 off the phone (hence the cancellation fees are always around $200), so if you bought it with a contract and sold it you should be making $175 or more in profit (the difference the contract made) so then if the new phone is without a contract $175 more than with a contract you have the cash in hand to use to pay that difference without having to sign a new contract, make sense?

      Check out the How Contracts Work post on this site for more details.

  29. Wolf,
    AMEN! Ditto EVERYTHING you said, that’s the same boat i’m in. Been waiting for years to use my upgrade and finally looking like there’s a phone (or two) on Verizon worthy of the upgrade so i’m trying to decide whether to go the Droid route or wait for the Passion but Passion rumors/leaks/details seem to have just died…

  30. Hey unlockr,

    Any word yet on a more final date for release on this bad boy? Also was your tipster able to clarify on who the carrier would be state side?

  31. Found an interesting post at:

    “I’m actually amazed that HTC has managed to keep this phone a secret as long as they have. Here’s the scoop on the Passion… It’s not necessarily just a CDMA phone… it’s not necessarily just a GSM phone… it WILL be released in the USA (sooner than you think)… it will be HTC branded… it will be sold directly by HTC (not tied to a specific carrier/like the Xperia X1/X1a). HTC isn’t satisfied with sitting in the shadows anymore… and it’s coming.”

    If there’s any credibility to this it implies it won’t be picked up by any carrier and support both CDMA and GSM. Not sure what to think of all that…

    1. Anonimac,

      Wow, that is pretty interesting and I wouldn’t be surprised is HTC started selling unlocked phones stateside (they have thought about it for a while and they are the only manufacturer that even honors their overseas unlocked phones warranties here in the US).

  32. So i have a theory that i’ll throw out there…i’m not an insider and i have (likely) no clue what i’m talking beyond following this industry for a while…

    I think HTC is about the become a household name in the US and start selling their phones direct with their first device to be the Passion/Dragon. If the rumors are true this phone will be CDMA and GSM so you’ll be able to take it to any carrier. Also, i think the viral campaign (“You”) launched a few weeks ago in the US is a precursor of a larger HTC launch as a brand in the US. Thoughts?

    P.S. If anyone is aware of where i can snag the “Droid sound” somewhere let me know…you know, the sound the Droid phone makes on start-up at the end where the robotic voice says “Ddrrrrroooooiiiiiiiiddd”.

    1. Anonimac,

      I think that is a good theory, but as for the Passion being CDMA/GSM this is possible but usually very expensive for a carrier, so not sure if they would do that. Now it would be VERY interesting if they did do that though and put pentaband 3G in it… this is what I think manufacturers should have been doing for a while now…

  33. Again, i have absolutely nothing to back this up other than a hunch and perhaps a healthy dose of wishful thinking, but wouldn’t that be the “game changer” that i’ve heard quoted for this phone for HTC. I read a quote on a site that said this phone would be a “game changer” and what better way to establish brand image/penetration then to market the first phone in the US that you can take to any carrier you want(!) as part of the “You” marketing campaign.

    I don’t enough about all the intangibles to say whether something like this is simply far fetched, technically infeasible, against some contractual obligations/regulations, etc… but god, wouldn’t it be sweet to finally decouple the choice of phone from carrier!

    I’ve been with Verizon over 4 years because at the end of the day i’m still mostly concerned about having a device on a network that always works, no matter where i am. I’ve been with every single carrier over the last 15 years (Qualcomm, VoiceStream/T-Mobile, Alltel, BellSouth/Cingular/AT&T) and i’ve never had the “SLO” met as i do with Verizon. I simply don’t know what dropped calls are, and my friends on AT&T can’t stop complaining about their service/speed/call quality/etc… I’m not some fanboy of Verizon and was actually ready to leave them for AT&T hoping that some of the stories of investments into infrastructure, 850 Mhz spectrum, etc… were going to lead to improved all around service and then all this Android news hit and now i’m in “hurry up and wait” mode…torn between Droid and HTC Passion. Whew…that was a long winded venting session…needless to say i’m anxious to hear any news about Passion otherwise it’s Droid here i come!

  34. Tha Passion can’t have 2.0 and Sense as HTC hasn’t developed Sense for 2.0 yet. That is why the hero won’t be getting 2.0 for another 6 months.

  35. So another hunch/wishful thinking…

    Any chance the Passion/Dragon will be coming with the new HTC UI that’s been disclosed recently? If Sense UI is not yet ready for 2.0, perhaps this new UI was designed to work with 2.0 from the start? Thoughts?

    How does the timing of patent filings usually line up with launch date, could it really be out soon? or does this imply we’ll see it some time in the second half of 2010? Just thinking out loud…

  36. Well the phone pictured has to have 2.0. It doesn’t have send/end call buttons on the face. I’m pretty sure no version of android before 2.0 has had software answer/hang up buttons.

    They have had 2.0 for awhile. The hero isn’t getting 2.0 for awhile because it’s already out which is less of a PR issue. I’d be we don’t see anymore phones released with < 2.0 anymore (besides the eris)

    1. Dhill,

      The Eris is the Hero so if it gets 2.0 the Heros won’t be far behind (and they will actually get it before the Eris does, since the Hero worldwide is a much more popular device).
      As for send and end on screen, my HTC Hero has them on screen and it’s 1.5…

  37. Didn’t know the hero had it. When I played with one months ago i didn’t make any calls. Well then, there goes my theory. I don’t think people should assume HTC hasn’t been working on 2.0 for awhile though.

    I just want a 3.5+” Sense UI phone with a quicker processor, no hardware buttons although I’m ok with the track pad, and the same cool docking hardware as the droid and I’m not afraid to tell anyone… not that it helps me any. 😉 I’d also like to get as far away from AT&T as possible. Unfortunately sprint and tmobile aren’t options either so I’m really hoping for the passion to be on verizon.

  38. Just went to my local Verizon store – They had demo models (non-functioning) of the Passion and the new Droid there. I held and played with both. I decided that the Droid was just way too blocky and “backward” looking for me. What were the Moto guys thinking when they designed it? The Passion just ROCKS! I love the non-skid back-coating and it just “feels right” in your hand. I can’t wait!

  39. Sorry to bring an old post back to life but, one of my goof friends who works inside t mobile says that the dragon is defiantly going to hit t mobile.

  40. so that was obviously the eris not the passion you demo’d way back when… i think all the friends of friends of friends who work inside of X are full of crap. But if we’re keeping score, there are more friends of friends of friends who know someone who works for VZ that “says” the passion is coming to VZ than there are for T-mobile or any other carrier. So what does that mean? Absolutely nothing. I do like the BOGO android offer VZ is throwing out there… could it mean they are trying to max out on sales of the droid as the 30 day window expires (it supposedly runs the 4th-7th, the final days of that window) before leaking info on the next droid? lets hope its not just that nintendo looking motorola calgary POS….

    1. Dave,

      Just to verify, what we had a picture of was the Passion NOT the Eris. I even verified it. BUT unfortunately, we don’t know if it is the way it will look when it is released or where it is going or anything else for that matter, everyone went verrrry silent on that phone recently (Verizon, Google or whoever put a lid on it I would assume). But that makes me think it is coming out sooner than later.
      If it is going to Verizon (which I kinda still think it is) then they will wait a bit for the Droid marketting to die down before they announce the new phone (obviously they don’t/didn’t want the Passion to upstage the Droid and people to wait for it instead of jumping on the Droid when it came out like they had planned).
      But again just speculation as noone can get any word on it.

      PS I don’t know anyone who works in Verizon… 🙂

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