HTC Droid Incredible Review
There is one clear advantage that the HTC Droid Incredible offers here in the US – it's the only one to pack the latest version of the Sense UI running on top of Android 2.1. The only other device to provide the same level of experience is none other than the recently launched HTC Desire in Europe. Other than that, they are identically the same in almost every aspect in its software experience and performance. However, it'll still prove to be an attractive option to customers as there won't be any others to contend in the same space for a tiny bit – that's of course until the HTC EVO 4G arrives.
Speaking of operational speed and specifications, we just have to admit the HTC Droid Incredible is lighting fast. It's like a cheetah. This is to be expected, of course, given the snappy 1GHz processor and 576MB RAM. Still, nothing is perfect and the rules applies here as well – you can sometimes witness software lagging when switching on an interactive Live Wallpaper, especially if you try to bring down the machine to its knees by running too many applications at the same time (say player, browser etc.). The peppy nature of the HTC Droid Incredible just makes the experience of using Android such a pleasure; especially when there are few instances of it crawling to a standstill.
The home screen consists of seven pages that can host various widgets, shortcuts, and folders. Some of the available widgets come with compact versions that do not take up much screen space, but others like FriendStream require a whole page. By the way, this is an application that provides the latest Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr updates from your relevant accounts. Moreover, it allows for simultaneous Facebook and Twitter status updates. We cannot call the program innovative, since it closely resembles the Happenings widget of Motorola’s MOTOBLUR interface, plus it cannot really replace dedicated applications for access to the mentioned networks.
HTC Droid Incredible packs the latest version of the Sense UI running on top of Android 2.1
You can save your home screen page settings in the form of themes called Scenes or, alternatively, use one of the preloaded ones made by HTC. We do like the “helicopter view” that shows all seven pages at the same time. You can enter this mode by double-pressing the home button that takes you to the home screen or simply “pinching” the screen. Thanks to the extra feature, you can get right to the page you need in a snap, without having to scroll pages until you get dizzy.
For the most part, there were relatively few instances when we noticed the handset straining to keep up. Plus the customized Android experience with the newest version of the Sense UI goes far deeper in offering some conveniences without having the hassle of running separate applications. Lastly, the HTC Droid Incredible's power packed specs exemplifies its ability to run the platform so smoothly without sacrificing the seamless experience.
The application "People" is one of the seven great wonders of modern smartphone software. You might need some time to get used to it and learn how to get around, but the phone book offers access to an excruciating amount of information and shows your Facebook contacts. You can also add a great number of extra details about each person, browse their latest pictures and profile status updates.
As a whole, pretty much everything here is awesome. The calendar can be synchronized with various sources of information like Google (multiple accounts), Facebook and PC Sync. Moreover, you will be able to take a look at the weather forecast for your region on opening the calendar in daily view, which is handy indeed. The alarms, world clock, stopwatch, desk clock, and timer functions are unified in a single and totally cool menu. Unfortunately, the HTC Droid Incredible lacks pre-installed tasks application, although Android Market is brimming with programs with similar functionality.
You are allowed to set up several email accounts, but you will have to put up with the fact you cannot browse them at the same time, meaning only one can be active at a time. Like all other contemporary handsets, the HTC Droid Incredible offers automated email set up if you are registered with a popular service provider. Still, all settings relating to specific servers, like our own, require manual entry (it seems only BlackBerry devices can automatically handle the task).
Typing away is a dream come true when using the screen keyboards of the HTC Droid Incredible. The 3.7-inch display and its high native resolution provide ample space for keys. It’s available in several modes, including the phone keypad, compact QWERTY, full landscape and portrait QWERTY keyboards. Important symbols are brought onto all full QWERTY layouts and they can be typed in by holding the corresponding key pressed for a while. The feature may come in pretty handy, especially in case you need to enter passwords containing several special symbols. All told, the HTC Droid Incredible is really comfortable when it comes to message composing.
Connectivity & Internet:
Just like the HTC Legend and Desire, the Droid Incredible supports Flash (its Lite version, if we have to be punctual). This makes web pages more lively, because animated elements get loaded properly, plus you can watch videos (not everywhere) and listen to online music. Whatever it is that Apple claims, Flash is still in power today and we don't think this will change soon.
The browser does a great job in rendering web site properly as you would see them on a desktop computer, but in addition, it handles the rearrangement of text succinctly to the point where it is most optimized. As you change your level of zoom, the text will automatically format so as to fit the width of your screen. Zooming can be accomplished by either double tapping or executing multi-touch actions like pinching. Scrolling as a whole was smooth in every direction while pictures instantly displayed even when you continuously scroll. Multitaskers will especially be pleased by the Droid Incredible's ability to retain web content when multiple pages are opened. You're given a preview of each active page and can scroll to a specific one. Hands down, the HTC Droid Incredible easily takes the flag away from the Motorola DROID in the web browsing department and now lays claim to offering the best experience on Verizon's lineup.
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|