HTC Droid Incredible Review
Continuing Android's legacy brought forth by the Motorola DROID's release with Verizon, news about something truly incredible were already simmering out of the seams a month after the DROID made its mark. There is no denying at this point that Verizon is clearly at ease now that Android's launch has proven to be such a huge success and will venture even deeper by following up with HTC Droid Incredible that will take its reign in the US as the most powerful Android device currently available. Verizon customers aren't strangers to an Android powered HTC device; they've all been well adjusted with the HTC DROID ERIS and its Sense UI. The Droid Incredible is yet another product out of HTC's camp that will hopefully take up its arms and prove to be a stellar hit just like the Motorola DROID, but one can only imagine how this device, like the Nexus One, will be adopted by consumers who are easily scared away from the prospect of it being outdated already. Diving head first into the thick of the battle, the HTC Droid Incredible will need to be packing enough heat to entice owners for a warranted purchase.
HTC Droid Incredible
Quick Start Guide
Product Safety & Warranty Brochure
Building up to this point, we've been hearing all too often how the HTC Droid Incredible would test the limits of its hardware specifications – but we've begun to notice its Achilles Heel as we took a closer look at it. Up until this point, we've been treated to some spectacular designs from the Taiwan based manufacturer, but the HTC Droid Incredible just doesn't breathe in anything remarkable in its build to substantially give it the cool factor – something that the Nexus One clearly wins over the Droid Incredible. Rather than utilizing premium materials and a futuristic design, the handset's design approach is lackluster due partly to its mundane clean slate form factor that doesn't scream the industrial designs that made HTC's products stand out. Instead we are greeted to a completely all black plastic shell that is quickly complimented with the subtle red accents and a soft matte rear finish that attempts to tack on a sense of style to the device. Its back side might have some interesting shapes, but ultimately, the HTC Droid Incredible lacks that overall quality feel and construction that was witnessed with the Desire and Nexus One – the cheap feeling materials make us question its durability over time as well. Thankfully, the weight distribution (4.6 oz) is spread out evenly to make it balanced when holding on the hand – plus it looks and feels a bit more compact (4.63” x 2.30” x 0.47”) and manageable in the pockets.
You can compare the HTC Droid Incredible with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
Many have already argued how the HTC Droid Incredible is basically a re-branded HTC Desire when you look deep into what's under the hood and found in its software. Taking an almost identical approach, the Droid Incredible's 3.7” WVGA AMOLED touchscreen will continue to be a staple of the current line of high-end Android handsets – its support for 16 million colors eloquently jumps out from all angles. We found its capacitive touchscreen to be quite responsive to the touch, but it continues to be a treasure trove for those pesky finger prints and smudges. Aside from the lack of visibility when viewing the phone outdoors in direct sunlight, we found very few faults with the performance of its display – even fine text are detailed enough to read out from a zoomed out view. Above the screen, both the light and proximity sensors are found next to one another and give the user the most optimal viewing experience when the display brightness is set to automatic. Nonetheless, the display's luminance is clearly one of its most attractive and prominent features.
Unlike the HTC Desire, the standard set of buttons typical to Android have reverted back to being touch sensitive ones – which are built into the surface of the touchscreen and blend well with the black finish to have an overall clean look. The optical track pad is in effect on the Droid Incredible and offers a decent responsive feel; even when pressing it down to make a selection. Again, it is flush with the surrounding surface and is the only item to stand out distinctly when the screen is not turned on or in use. As for the rest of the physical buttons on the handset, they are only limited to the volume rocker and dedicated power button – both of which are slightly raised and are accompanied with a decent tactile response. The only other things to be seen on the sides of the phone are the 3.5mm headset jack on the top edge while the microUSB port is on the left side. On the back, the 8-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash slightly protrudes from the rest of the phone – so laying it flat on its back will result in the camera coming in contact with the surface. There is also a single notch near the camera which is used for the speaker phone. Finally, you literally have to yank out the rear cover to gain access to the completely red innards of the device, battery, and microSD slot.
1. DonkeyPunched (Posts: 321; Member since: 10 Jan 2010)
I really like the design on the front of the phone, but I'm definitely not a fan of the back...I know they need a variety and this one was trying to stand out...but iono. I'm not feeling it. But hey, it might be targeting other people. Other than that, it's pretty awesome. I'm sure it will do well, but I don't think it will replace the Droid yet.
17. ace1122 (Posts: 237; Member since: 23 Mar 2009)
How could this replace the droid when this doesnt even have a keyboard?
21. iHateCrapple (Posts: 734; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)
Yea, the back of this phone is very....loud.
38. ace1122 (Posts: 237; Member since: 23 Mar 2009)
Haha how looks like i had the worst comment on the page... but it was just a question. I personally dont see how anyone can prefer typing on a touchscreen over a physical keyboard.
2. biggles (Posts: 213; Member since: 15 Oct 2009)
If you throw out the subjective rating of Design which has zero impact on the functionality, this is a pretty lofty rating for a phone. I really don't see how the EVO will raise the bar THAT much. You trade screen size for brilliance with the EVO. Beyond that, the EVO really only differentiates on niche features: mini-HDMI and mobile hotspot. Speaking of niche, the 4G ability of the EVO will appeal to only a small pct of the country being that WiMax is not widely available, not at all in some major markets like NYC. For those that are lucky to be in those select markets, 4G will be great. But if you don't have that luxury, well the EVO is just a 3G phone and with that, the coverage map tells the story: huge advantage Incredible and Verizon. I suppose we will continue to see the likes of Verizon's competitors trying to overcompensate for poor coverage and a lack of motivation to make improvements by releasing more advanced handsets. Unfortunately, consumers will have to pick the more important trade-off. Status quo.
4. stuntz (Posts: 178; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
4G will be in more markets, before the EVO comes out, so that takes away this phones "huge advantage"
34. jsnika (Posts: 16; Member since: 23 Jul 2008)
the evo will also be able to record in 720p and it also has a front facing camera....so that might bring up the rating a little bit along with the bigger screen. but then again the evo is going to weigh a whopping 6.00 oz, so we will see if that affects the rating as well.
3. testman22 (Posts: 337; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)
This phone is a 4.3" screen away from making me give up my droid. the htc sense and camera upgrade is nice, but not enough to give up on my motorola- especially since my slide out keyboard does get a lot of use
5. networkdood (Posts: 6310; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
What an INCREDIBLE phone....wish the wife was still with VERIZON....
9. PapaJay224 (Posts: 866; Member since: 08 Feb 2009)
That a kid, always working. I Pre-Ordered mine last night! the only thing I think I may dislike about the phone is the lack of metal, I love how heavy my Droid is, its like a brick shit house. I guarantee if Moto releases a Droid 2 it will mbe 2nd to none.As far as me being a raging technophile, my need for this phone goes with out saying. I shall use both!
7. vzw fanman (Posts: 1972; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
i definitly think it fits the name incredible.
8. tbacba (Posts: 62; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)
The phone sounds great, but the review hurts my ears -- " the HTC Droid Incredible just doesn't breathe in anything remarkable in its build". Huh? How do you breathe in remarkable?! Someone really breathed in some mangled language in this one. :-)
10. techjunkie (Posts: 13; Member since: 23 Jan 2009)
A 6.5 for design? WTF? I've seen this site rate some questionable phones higher in that category. I know it's not the best design in creation but a 6.5 I think I might have to start looking elsewhere for reviews
11. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3042; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
Yea I agree, it seems like they were purposely trying to hold this phone down. I don't see how awful the design is, I've seen way worse.
12. jcoberg10 (Posts: 110; Member since: 30 Oct 2009)
If it had a half eaten apple on the back of the phone the design would get a 10. :)
13. sinfulta (Posts: 268; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
I'm also confused on how the display only got rated a 9, when currently its using the best display on a commercially available and affordable phone right now. But the IPhone 3GS display got rated a 9.5, with lower resolution, Non AMOLED screen, and it is smaller, but scored half a point higher? The desire scored 2.25 pts higher in design? Maybe I'm partial to black, but their should be no way that the desire scored 25%+ higher in design. Something is seriously seriously wrong here. I will take the Jet black beautiful front Incredible with a funky back any day before the all around boring/dirty looking desire. Just my .02 cents though.
15. funkpod (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Apr 2010)
Maybe this was due to the fact that the iPhone review is older? I can't seem them being able to go back and retroactively change the reviews based off of the current standard. Like if the EnV got a 9 for a review, and then the EnV2 got a 9, but it's a whole lot better, and it can't be the same as the EnV2, it would be hard to go back and edit their previous reviews. Maybe the 3GS's screen was the screen to beat back then, but now there are better.
16. phonedemocracy (Posts: 98; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
I think the HTC HD2 is the screen to beat at the moment. Its bigger if I'm not wrong, with the same quality?
27. PaulRivers (Posts: 6; Member since: 22 Jan 2010)
Regarding the display - I couldn't find any mention of the iPhone's display in direct sunlight in the phonearena review (for the 3gs at least), but I think this bit from the htc review is probably why the score isn't higher - "Aside from the lack of visibility when viewing the phone outdoors in direct sunlight..."
41. Schmao (Posts: 302; Member since: 05 Jul 2009)
However, its not AMOLED. So inside, pictures look better on the Incredible.
42. Schmao (Posts: 302; Member since: 05 Jul 2009)
6.5 means average. Meaning there is nothing new, and the quality isnt the best.
14. techjunkie (Posts: 13; Member since: 23 Jan 2009)
@sinfulta they gave the N1 display a 10???why? when the display on the incredible is said to be better but yet they score it 1 point lower and N1 got a 8.5 in design??? I know to each is own but the reviewer sure seems bias to this phone for some reason, maybe he has a Moto Droid or a N1?
18. DrMichaelLum (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 Apr 2010)
Regarding the Cons: The front looks fine. The back does look a bit silly a la Nissan Xterra, but at least a good portion of it is flat, the way it should be since table surfaces are also flat. The uninspiring design and the cheap exterior materials can be easily remedied by a quality hard shell case like the one I have on my Blackberry Curve. As for the lack of headphones, oh well. I think I'm used to that now that Airlines never seem to provide them either.
43. avbscorpio (Posts: 1; Member since: 12 Jul 2010)
I have an Xterra. My Inc will arrive tomorrow. I already have a Seidio hard case and belt clip combo ready for it, which trims down one of the layers in the back. Now I know what attracted me to this phone, thank you. That and the sheer speed of it, combined with hating an external keyboard and the accuracy of the virtual keyboard. I have headphones (Sennheiser, of course).
19. Agent (Posts: 30; Member since: 16 Dec 2008)
Does anyone really use headphones that comes with phones anyway?
20. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3042; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
Exactly, I always use my own headphones, the ones they always offer in phones suck anyway.
22. iHateCrapple (Posts: 734; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)
The stereo headset packaged with BlackBerries is actually pretty decent.
24. spk (Posts: 36; Member since: 03 Feb 2010)
working at vzw, i have been able to play with this phone alot the last 2 days and i personally feel it is the greatest phone to ever grace vzw's lineup. it is everything i could have possibly hoped it could be. i will definitely be purchasing this phone. it definitely lives up to the hype. we will be selling millions of these things!
25. koutrelakos (Posts: 30; Member since: 17 Mar 2010)
this is good to hear, as I love my Droid but it has too many bugs so I'm going to see if they'll swap it out for the incredible. one question, though: is the 3.5mm headphone jack as loose as it is on the Droid? because i'm tired of carrying around my phone and my iPod..
26. tacjam (Posts: 8; Member since: 24 Apr 2010)
LOL...after watching Google and HTC ignore Nexus One users for their 3g issues...and this phone is based on the same hardware...you'd be CrAzEy to buy it! Hit the Nexus One Forums..their problems have been ignored like MAD!
28. PaulRivers (Posts: 6; Member since: 22 Jan 2010)
"after watching Google and HTC ignore Nexus One users for their 3g issues" While I find that annoying, being that this phone uses entirely different technology (cdma rather than gsm) it may not have any of those issues - it's most certainly not using the same hardware internally, that would be impossible.
29. PaulRivers (Posts: 6; Member since: 22 Jan 2010)
Every time there's a new phone, there's always a couple of comments about how they wish it had a bigger screen. And while I hope someone makes an android phone with a bigger screen for those people, I don't want one. I want one with a smaller screen. I was hoping they'd release a phone the same size as the htc droid eris, or even slightly smaller (but with better battery life). I just don't need more screen real estate unless it gets up to iPad size (might be a bit difficult to carry in my pocket then, lol). I'd just like something that was a great phone (call quality reception) and I could do some basic web browsing on. I don't think I'm alone either. I have 4 friends who all already have droid phones. 3 of the 4 all said the same thing - after reading the reviews they went to the store to buy a Motorola Droid, but after handling the Droid and the Eris found they really didn't like the big, heavy, blocky feel of the Droid and purchased an Eris. Only 1 of my 4 friends actually bought a Motorola Droid. I'm disappointed they made the phone bigger, would have liked to see a more Eris-sized phone. I'm glad they didn't add a keyboard (if you want a keyboard, you can get the Motorola droid, though admittedly it would be great if they put a better keyboard on it). And I think phonearena's comments about build quality seem pretty silly - I'd much rather have a lighter phone (especially on something this big, which isn't light to begin with) than a heavier phone with more metal in it. I guess I'll see what it's like when I get it!
30. PaulRivers (Posts: 6; Member since: 22 Jan 2010)
I should add that although I didn't like the "build" on the Motorola Droid (to blocky, heavy, industrial), the Nexus One did look pretty good, and that's what phonearena said it wasn't as good as. Hmm. Still not a huge issue (far, far more concerned with call quality), but I suppose it's nice to have a pretty design. :-)
31. narley (Posts: 357; Member since: 14 May 2009)
this phone should be in the nines.... go have hands on with the device and try and find one thing wrong with it..... oh wait beside its not an iphone. (for you tools)
33. PaulRivers (Posts: 6; Member since: 22 Jan 2010)
Alright, I've had this phone for a day now - 1. The visual design of the phone is fine. I personally far prefer it to the Droid's "industrial", I'm-carrying-a-brick-with-me design. And I find **NO** fault with the feel of the build quality of the phone. There's nothing loose, creaky, etc about it, it's very solid feeling. My guess is that the reviewer simply like heavy, "industrial" feeling phones - I prefer a lighter phone over something with more heft (functionality before "feel"). That's a personal preference only, if you prefer something "sleeker" and "more professional", and just plain lighter in your pocket like I do, you'll prefer the Incredible, if you really like something heavy you'd prefer the Droid. I don't like to carry around a heavy phone. The visual design is good, though not "OMG awesome". More interesting looking than an iPhone, but perhaps not as cool looking as the Nexus One looks in pics (haven't seen it in person, so I can't make a real comparison). Again, I find the Moto Droid's "industrial" design kind of obnoxious, so this one is by far preferable (with my sense of aesthetics, of course yours might be different). The back on the phone isn't *NEARLY* as loud as it looks in pics. The somewhat grippy rubber material makes the phone easier to hold onto than a slick surface would. It also doesn't "stand out" like it does in pictures. Could it be described as boring? Possibly, kind of a matter of opinion. But could it be described as "Loud"? No. Not if you see it in person. Anyways, hope this helps anyone trying to make a decision regarding how the phone looks.
35. shotine (Posts: 16; Member since: 11 Jan 2010)
Are you blind or just have not taste in phones?, you gave the piece of crap palm a 8.5 on design and the incredible a 6.5 on design. This is the best phone on the market imo.
36. Diego! (Posts: 508; Member since: 15 Jun 2009)
I think they lower points on the design to bring the final "average" below 9. I like the design, call me insane but I prefer the back than the front lol. Anyway, it is snappy, it's fast, and works great, it's a pity HTC didn't make a GSM version of this Incredible phone.
44. impressed (unregistered)
This is a great review. I am a Palm Lifedrive owner looking for an upgrade -don't care that much for a phone function as to be able to replace Lifedrive's "DriveMode" = external (4GB) drive- with ability to load and read (edit might be asking too much?) Word and Excel files. Or, not as a external drive, but with the ability to read those files saved on microSD/internal memory. Is Incredible able to do so? If not, is there such PDA/smarphone on the market? I would like to be able to browse and email data/pictures - is such item available for a full price but not a plan (or the least expensive plan since I am not into "phoning" that much)? And it should work globally. Waiting for a reply.
45. musicluvr.nm (unregistered)
I have to agree that the products used on the exterior are a cheap, and the side lacking buttons shows a minimalisitc approach. But I think the back stands out and is cool. It looks like a topographical map, which is different than what we see in other phones.
|Display||3.7 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (252 ppi) AMOLED|
Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 QSD8650, Single core, 1000 MHz, Scorpion processor
512 MB RAM
|Size||4.63 x 2.30 x 0.47 inches|
(117.5 x 58.5 x 11.9 mm)
4.60 oz (130 g)
|Battery||1300 mAh, 5.21 hours talk time|