HTC Droid Incredible Review
One clear numerical value where the Droid Incredible trumps the Desire can be found in the camera department. It ups the ante now that it is packing an 8-megapixel camera with auto-focus and dual-LED flash to supplement its status over its brother. We adore the fact that you can simply touch a section of the screen for the camera to focus on and that snapshots are almost instantly saved to the device. The interface is relatively poor in terms of options, although it does feature modern functions like manually adjustable contrast, color saturation and sharpness – but the face detection feature seen on the HTC Desire was inherently missing. Similar to the Desire, when it comes to video capturing, the maximum resolution is 800x480 pixels and the frames per second vary from 26 (outdoors) to nearly 17 (indoors).
Quality was on par with what we experienced on the HTC Desire, but the higher 8-megapixel camera didn't offer any stunning images over its brother to make it stand head above the water. We still experienced the somewhat overcast look in outdoor shots, but it didn't take away from the overall decent images that were captured. Indoor shots can prove to be trying even with the dual-LED flash it packs because shots taken in close proximity, say 3 feet, resulted in over-exposed images. We found that taking photos with the flash from a reasonable distance of 5 feet proved to offer the best quality – at the same time, it attempted to focus in on the shot the best it could. When taking photos in complete pitch dark conditions, image quality varied as the phone had a difficult time auto-focusing. Thanks partly to its ability to capture videos at a high resolution, the Droid Incredible can easily save precious moments without missing a beat. One thing we noticed was that the handset only recorded at one specific focus level that we set initially before recording – so that means it won't focus if an object moves closer or further away,
HTC Droid Incredible sample video at 800x480 pixels resolution
With a serious focus on being connected, the Droid Incredible's ability to capture images and videos clearly places it in the upper echelon of Verizon's offerings. It's not to say that it can't become a replacement for a digital camera, but there are still other elements that could be improved to make it a clear differentiator in being an all-around hit.
With high end specs in tow, we knew beforehand that its video playback was going to be truly spectacular – and we weren't disappointed by the results. Even though it lacks support for DivX and Xvid, multimedia buffs will be glad nonetheless by how easily its able to play high resolution videos. We were able to load up videos with various resolutions and found all to run smoothly without any slowdown to hinder the experience. After playing a video coded in H.264 with a resolution of 720x306, the Droid Incredible didn't even stutter at any point – which ultimately goes to show its prowess in this department.
The HTC Droid Incredible also features TV Out with support for the following formats: NTSC-M, NTSC-J, PAL-BDGHIN, PAL-M and PAL-N. However, a TV Out cable is missing from the box, so we guess it will become available as an additional accessory at some point.
HTC's audio player is certainly not a sight unseen. It features various content filtering options and none that pertains to audio playback modification (lacks equalizer). In case you don't like that, you can always visit the Android Market and get one of the numerous players available there. Personally, we like "³" (also known as Cubic) best, because of its spectacular interface.
After we've tested out the riveting performance on the Motorola DROID's speaker volume, we weren't too keen in thinking the Droid Incredible could match it – especially when a tiny notch on the back is all that stood between the speaker and environment. We were thoroughly surprised by its near deafening tones. It'll easily cause an alarm to unsuspecting individuals who aren't prepared for its bombastic tones. Audio quality sounded sharp at the highest volume setting, but toning it down allowed for a more suitable experience that is pleasant to the ears. One of the biggest shocks with the handset is that it lacks any headphones in the packaging – which sticks out like a sore thumb because it looks like every high-end HTC offering comes packed with one. To add further insult to the situation, the FM Radio requires you to plug in a pair of headphones to get it to work. Despite all of that, it’s actually a novelty feature for the Android line-up of HTC and comes with a super simple interface. Still, what’s important here is the application is snappy and equipped with functional RDS that detects radio channel names instantaneously.
GPS & Software:
The only software pack for navigation and maps that is pre-installed on the HTC Desire is Google Maps version 4 that brings certain novelties like information layers. If you decide to help the GPS module and activate it in assisted mode, getting your exact location pinpointed will take just a few seconds. Without it, you will have to wait for 4-5 minutes to find out where you are (after hardware reset) and less than a minute if you have already been located exactly.
We post news about the evolution of the Android Market in our news section on regular. The latest data shows more than 9,000 applications have been added to the application catalog in March alone and some estimate the total number of programs is well in excess of 40,000 today. Still, keep in mind that some applications are unavailable in certain regions, for an instance, you might be unable to access paid-for programs. As a whole, the Android Market is a great source of more (or less) useful software, but is exceptionally poor when it comes to proper games (alongside of Apple's App Store). One of the titles with the best graphics we have seen is Raging Thunder II that plays relatively smoothly on the HTC Droid Incredible, although not as much as on the iPhone 3GS.
The smartphone even includes the nifty Car Panel app that brings up a simple interface with larger than normal sized icons to some additional apps – it essentially is a hub for some of the location based services offered on the phone.
1. DonkeyPunched posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55 0 0
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 posted on 20 Apr 2010, 20:45 0 0
How could this replace the droid when this doesnt even have a keyboard?
21. iHateCrapple posted on 22 Apr 2010, 16:24 0 0
Yea, the back of this phone is very....loud.
38. ace1122 posted on 19 May 2010, 17:36 0 0
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 posted on 19 Apr 2010, 06:41 0 0
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 posted on 19 Apr 2010, 11:03 0 0
4G will be in more markets, before the EVO comes out, so that takes away this phones "huge advantage"
34. jsnika posted on 03 May 2010, 16:24 0 0
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 posted on 19 Apr 2010, 09:26 0 0
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 posted on 19 Apr 2010, 13:15 0 0
What an INCREDIBLE phone....wish the wife was still with VERIZON....
9. PapaJay224 posted on 19 Apr 2010, 21:50 0 0
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!
8. tbacba posted on 19 Apr 2010, 19:26 0 0
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 posted on 19 Apr 2010, 22:43 0 0
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 posted on 20 Apr 2010, 00:02 0 0
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 posted on 20 Apr 2010, 05:05 0 0
If it had a half eaten apple on the back of the phone the design would get a 10. :)
13. sinfulta posted on 20 Apr 2010, 05:59 0 0
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 posted on 20 Apr 2010, 11:46 0 0
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 posted on 20 Apr 2010, 16:51 0 0
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 posted on 27 Apr 2010, 11:04 0 0
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 posted on 21 May 2010, 10:19 0 0
However, its not AMOLED. So inside, pictures look better on the Incredible.
42. Schmao posted on 21 May 2010, 10:20 0 0
6.5 means average. Meaning there is nothing new, and the quality isnt the best.
14. techjunkie posted on 20 Apr 2010, 11:10 0 0
@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 posted on 21 Apr 2010, 01:53 0 0
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 posted on 12 Jul 2010, 12:53 0 0
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 posted on 21 Apr 2010, 17:43 0 0
Does anyone really use headphones that comes with phones anyway?
20. RORYREVOLUTION posted on 21 Apr 2010, 21:05 0 0
Exactly, I always use my own headphones, the ones they always offer in phones suck anyway.
22. iHateCrapple posted on 22 Apr 2010, 16:26 0 0
The stereo headset packaged with BlackBerries is actually pretty decent.
24. spk posted on 23 Apr 2010, 17:30 0 0
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 posted on 23 Apr 2010, 22:17 0 0
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 posted on 24 Apr 2010, 16:32 0 0
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 posted on 27 Apr 2010, 11:39 0 0
"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 posted on 27 Apr 2010, 11:54 0 0
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 posted on 27 Apr 2010, 11:56 0 0
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 posted on 28 Apr 2010, 12:49 0 0
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 posted on 30 Apr 2010, 11:27 0 0
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 posted on 04 May 2010, 16:50 0 0
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! posted on 06 May 2010, 08:40 0 0
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) posted on 01 Sep 2010, 18:03 0 0
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) posted on 14 Dec 2010, 14:47 0 0
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.