Motorola DROID 2 vs. HTC Droid Incredible
Looking at the current selection of Android smartphones in the US market, there is no arguing that Verizon Wireless is in possession of some of the best ones out there right now – with each new release seemingly outdoing the previous. It was only a few months ago when the HTC Droid Incredible was hailed as the next flagship Android device for Big Red, but as we've seen many times already since then, the tide quickly changed as the carrier was indomitably graced with additional devices with the DROID moniker. The Motorola DROID 2 quickly supplanted its own close relative, the Motorola DROID X, as the latest Android phone to hit the block, which naturally has that close kinship to the handset to start it all for Verizon – the original Motorola DROID. Still considered as a relatively new player in the Android pool, the HTC Droid Incredible isn't looking to quickly fade into the sunset anytime soon with its high-end specs and fantastic experience. However, will it still be considered as a relevant player in the shadow of the DROID 2's recent launch?
Getting right into it, the handsets boast two completely different designs to cater to the specific needs of consumers out there. With the HTC Droid Incredible, we're greeted to a candy-bar handset that has a minimalistic design which some consider as not being necessarily the most enticing looking one out of HTC's factory, but nonetheless simplistic in character. On the other hand, the Motorola DROID 2 casually retains the classic look of its predecessor with the exception that it employs more curves around its shell and a different color scheme. Between them, we find the DROID 2 to be more appealing from a quick glance since it has that refined modern looking industrial design to it. And without a doubt, the DROID 2's use of sturdier materials, like its metallic-like shell, easily exudes a premium handset that feels better than the glossy plastic exterior of the Incredible. Still, they stick to using that soft touch coating material for their rears which undoubtedly does well in repelling the usual set of nasty baddies like dirt, smudges, and the dreaded finger prints. Some may gravitate toward the Incredible due to the sheer fact that its slimmer (0.47” thick) to carry around and more light weight (4.6 oz), however, the Motorola DROID 2 will still continue to impress with its streamlined looks (0.54” thick) which surprisingly packs a QWERTY keyboard; although it's noticeably heavier (5.96 oz).
Positioned as being normal sized handsets, both comfortably utilize 3.7” displays – which is the only thing they actually have in common with one another. Between them, there is no denying the rich color tones produced by the Incredible's AMOLED touchscreen – which naturally looks extremely saturated, yet tantalizing. However, it's worth noting that the Incredible has support for 65k colors as opposed to the DROID 2's 16.7 million – but honestly, it was difficult to gauge the difference since the AMOLED panel on the Incredible is extremely more vibrant. Although it may not produce the same pretty looking rainbow colors, the DROID 2 has the advantage in terms of clarity and quality with its slightly higher resolution display. Measuring up with a 480 x 854 pixels resolution, the DROID 2 offers higher pixel density than the Incredible's WVGA (480 x 800) display – but just like the colors, it isn't terribly substantial. Regardless, we still find the LCD display of the DROID 2 to perform better than the AMOLED panel with the Incredible while in the presence of the glaring sun. You'll be able to see what's on-screen with the DROID 2 in the direct view of the sun, but it easily washes away with the Incredible which will require you to shade it with your hands. Ultimately, they both offer fantastic displays which we can't deny look beautiful from any angle, but it will undoubtedly come down to personal preference – something with better colors or a higher resolution.
Motorola DROID 2 (left) and HTC Droid Incredible (right)
HTC Droid Incredible (left) next to Motorola DROID 2 (right)
The all too predictable set of touch sensitive buttons are found on both phones which of course, can sometimes prove to be frustrating with the occasional accidental press when you use the portrait style on-screen keyboards. The only difference between them is the layout, but the HTC Droid Incredible adds a circular sized optical track-pad which doesn't necessarily replace relying on the touchscreen for navigating on the handset. In particular, we adore using the DROID 2's directional keys on its keyboard which will naturally come in handy when you're trying to place the cursor in a specific spot. They both sport a microUSB port, 3.5mm headset jack, dedicated power button, and volume rocker – however, we prefer the hardware buttons of the Incredible since they are larger and easier to feel out. Although, it's clearly missing a dedicated shutter key for the camera which the DROID 2 offers. On the rear, the Incredible sports a healthy-sized 8-megapixel auto-focus camera, while the DROID 2 provides a reasonable 5-megapixel shooter – with both coming along with a dual-LED flash. Finally, one could easily make a prejudgment that the Motorola DROID 2 has a stronger speaker since the grill for it encompasses the entire length of the device. Compare that to the small cutout found on the Incredible, it might prove to be a calculated assumption – but we'll find out for sure soon enough. Finally, removing the rear covers, which is more traditional with the DROID 2, you'll be presented access to their batteries and microSD card slots. As much as we hate it, the placement of the microSD card on the DROID 2 is frustrating due to the requirement of removing the battery to gain access to it, however, it's a lot easier with the Droid Incredible's slot loading mechanism found on its side.
The one sole reason to stick with the Motorola DROID 2 is that it tacks on a physical QWERTY keyboard – a sizable one at that too! The landscape slider will easily attract those who prefer the physical presence of buttons rather than the slick feel of a touchscreen – but of course, the DROID 2 will provide for both methods. As we've stated in our review of the DROID 2, the keyboard is improved over its predecessor thanks to its distinguishable set of buttons, slightly larger size, and responsive feel.
1. lewislee (unregistered)
great review htc incredible owns
2. Joe12304 (unregistered)
Good review. I don't even use the keyboard on my Droid 2, but the Droid X is to big, and I REFUSE to buy HTC's cheap plastic junk.
3. TheNatster (unregistered)
What a great review. Thank you for being this thorough. I was in the store today and the Verizon guys insisted that the displays are exactly the same when they are not. Thanks for clearing that up. Both are great phones (hence the tough choice). I'm gonna go with Droid 2.
4. bucky (Posts: 1288; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
carefully with the reception issues though. Id wait it out for a few weeks to see what the issue is with the droid 2
5. brian (unregistered)
i can`t wait to get my new phone
6. Droid2 Owner (unregistered)
Excellent review of the most key features a customer would want to know about. Great job guys. I bought the Droid 2 and I'm extremely pleased with it.
7. lp067 (unregistered)
This review is very informative. I'm going from a Treo 755p to a Droid and am really struggling with this decision. I'm leaning toward the Droid 2, as it's hard to imagine not having a keyboard at all.
8. G-Nyce (unregistered)
I went from a Palm Treo 800w to the Droid 2. I chose it over the Incredible mainly for the qwerty, which I do use more than the on-screen keyboard. This review is spot-on. I absolutely love my Droid 2!!! As for the connectivity issues that have been reported, the only time I've dropped a call in the 9 days I've had it is in my apartment, in which other Verizon phones also get a low signal. The signal strength is way stronger than on my partner's LG Envy Touch, which must be used by a window and held just so in order to keep a call from dropping. I can use my Droid 2 anywhere in the apartment. Another thing worth mentioning is the customer service I got at the Verizon store. As a long-time Sprint customer, with extensive customer service experience to boot, I was totally blown away! They were able to move my contacts from the Sprint Treo to the Droid 2, and even put on the case and screen protector I purchased. At Sprint, you're extremely lucky if they can move your contacts, even between two of their own phones! Mind you, I got that Treo a month after it came out, while I got my Droid 2 the day after it came out. Sprint said they didn't yet have the software to help me. Pffffbht.
9. NJBillyv (unregistered)
I love my Droid 2, excellent phone. Very solid feel to it, it feels like it should cost $200. I've had it for a month and have had zero problems. Phone works great, very clear sound and no dropped calls. Keyboard with direction arrows rocks. Very fast interface and fast browser. Voice recognition is excellent too. I'd hightly recommend it.
10. jawse (unregistered)
Do not go by this review, the incredible now has android 2.2 and 720P video recording, so it has a better camera now
11. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1044; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)
The Droid 2 will probably be getting 720p also tho.
12. DDR (unregistered)
I've had my Droid 2 for a week now. I've been trying to wait til at least 30 days before giving a review on this thing and maybe it might because I'm coming from a FAR inferior Samsung that's giving me such a huge impression on the Droid 2 but I have to give the Droid 2 my highest recommendation.Definitely agree with the comments on the Droid 2's build quality over the Incredible. It feels solid. I chose the Droid 2 over both the Incredible and the Droid X because of the physical keypad. But in actuality, I haven't put the keypad to much use - I've grown quite fond of the swype feature. Though it's just nice to have option of the keypad available as opposed to the X and the Incredible. In my opinion, as much as I'm loving the Droid 2, i think it's just going to boil down to personal preference for a physical keypad. The other differences between these 2, as well as the X are negligible. They're both great choices.
13. CorpHandHeldTech (unregistered)
Loved your review, but do not totally agree with your conclusion. IMHO, HTC has just done a better job at implementing the Android OS, has a better user experience than the Motorola has, and since the rollout of Android 2.2 Froyo to the Incredible there isn't that much difference in the two. The Incredible performs slightly better, and has a nicer camera, and overall, I'm still recommending the HTC- unless the physical keyboard is important. The Moto just hasn't done enough to push the design in my opinion.
14. LBB (unregistered)
Despite the effort to maintain neutral, the review is clearly written by a serious Droid fanboi. My feeling is that if you need the physical keyboard, there's something wrong with the i/f (and trust me, I've been burned by bad touchscreen implementations before -- can you say "Glyde" -- so I'm hard to win over). Having a keyboard to back up a touch screen that you can't really make work seems backwards somehow. 2.2 is on the Incredible now, so that's irrelevant. I really appreciate the thorough review, and I think I'm probably going to choose the Incredible, but I want a little more time in the shop playing with both models to figure out which one has more friendly edge buttons (yeah, it's probably going to come down to that -- seriously, badly placed edge buttons will make you want to kill yourself...can you say "Glyde").
15. eazyduzit (unregistered)
Really great review. Thank you for expanding all the details for both phone. I currently have an HTC Eris but will most likely upgrade to the Droid 2. Thanks again--I will definitely save this website on my favorites.
16. Huskee (unregistered)
I own the Incredible, upgraded from the eris and it is "incredible", very aptly-named. From this review it sounds as if they each have one little thing here and there that the other outperforms it on. That tells me that if the two phones were in the super bowl they'd hit quadruple overtime and the fans would just leave. They are equals! Decide if you want a slide-out keyboard to collect dirt, or not. I use Swype beta on my Incredible, and it is undeniably THE fastest way to type. 8mp camera on the Incredible means you can tweak the pic on your pc and print a higher-resolution 8x10 from this phone than the droid 2. Colors? well, I tweak my pics anyway, regardless.
I'm an Incredible.
17. dcv (unregistered)
Ive had two droid 2s in the past yr and at first i loved them but i get to get a new one due to a bootloader error. not happy so i got another one and the same thing happened to that phone. these phones were not damaged or dropped and not used very much. and verizon would not give me a replacement on either phone so i spend over a grand on phones that crapped out in under a yr hopefully the incrediable is better