Apple iPhone 4 vs. HTC Droid Incredible

Verizon customers have been feeding off the Motorola DROID for an extended amount of time to get their fix of Android – despite having other options such as the Motorola DEVOUR, LG Ally, and HTC Droid Eris. Fortunately for them, HTC came to the rescue with the HTC Droid Incredible as a healthy alternative to the "aging" DROID. Not only does it come packing some heat under its hood, but it has been the steady flavor of the last couple of months as consumers have been attracted to the handset thanks to its appeal and marketing campaign. As of right now, the HTC Droid Incredible is Verizon's main driving force which can attempt to hold its own ground against the Apple iPhone 4. Seeing that these are two of the best smartphones currently available to customers from their prospective carriers, it would only be fitting to stack them up side-by-side to see how they perform against one another.


The HTC Droid Incredible's overall look clearly sits at the opposite end of the spectrum when compared to the nostalgic industrial design of the iPhone 4. Although the Incredible might not exude a level of premium quality in its choice of materials, the mostly plastic handset feels extremely light weight over the heavier iPhone 4, but we'd like to point out the durable and sturdy materials used for the iPhone 4 would substantially fare better in the long haul. If there is one thing we like about both handsets equally, it has to be their overall perfect size which doesn't seem too small or large for most people to hold in the hand. Plus they're both quite thin as the iPhone 4 stands in at 0.37” thick while the Incredible tallies in at 0.47”. It's not to say that the uninspired design in play with the Incredible isn't a bad thing, but there is no denying that the iPhone 4 has more of an appeal from a quick first glance.

Some speculated that Apple was going to look at AMOLED technology for the iPhone 4, but as it turned out, the company opted to employ an LED backlit IPS LCD display which looks to be in healthy supply versus Samsung's AMOLED displays. One advantage that goes to the HTC Droid Incredible is that it has some high contrast ratios thanks to AMOLED technology – which makes for things like true black colors. Overall, the Incredible's WVGA display (480x800) looks extremely crisp thanks to its 3.7” size with plenty of lush colors that can vividly display a wide array of gradual tones.  On the other hand, the iPhone 4's Retina Display does have a slight edge with detail which is partly due to its smaller sized 3.5” display, which has a resolution of 640x960 – so the smallest of text are more visible as opposed to the slightly fuzzy looking ones seen on the Incredible. Additionally the oleophobic coating does make the iPhone 4's display look cleaner every time we take it out of our pockets as opposed to the Incredible. When setting both handsets to their brightest levels, the iPhone 4 definitely had more luminance when viewed at all angles, but both had pretty good viewing angles so you don't lose focus of what's on screen. However, the iPhone 4 performed much better in outdoor conditions with direct sunlight while the Incredible was somewhat unusable in that situation. When there's so much praise to the iPhone 4's Retina Display, you really can't tell how much better it is over the Incredible unless you actually look really up close to the screen. If there is one thing we can agree with is that both handsets have wonderful displays that are highly prized.

When it comes to the rest of the handsets, both follow each other very carefully as the placement of the buttons and other items are nearly exact. The iPhone 4 has a very springy home button while the Incredible has the usual touch sensitive ones which are supplemented with an optical pad that also acts as a button. The dedicated power and volume buttons are all decently sized with some good feedback when pressed down. No one can deny that the Incredible's microUSB port is a welcomed sight over the traditional proprietary one that Apple employs on all of its devices. We adore the soft touch feeling rear cover of the HTC Droid Incredible which does well in repelling scratches and dirt, but the iPhone 4 manages to handle well too as it has an oleophobic coating over the glass like material found on its rear. Placed towards the upper left corner of the back of the phones, you can find the cameras, but the Incredible packs a dual LED flash. Finally, much like some of its other brothers and sisters.

Apple iPhone 4 360 Degrees View:

HTC Droid Incredible 360 Degrees View:



1. testman22

Posts: 339; Member since: Nov 03, 2009

So if you want to make calls and have a signal, get the incredible. And if you want constant dropped calls and fluctuating signal get the iphone

26. Bill_1234 unregistered

And the award for lack of reading comprehension skills goes to.... testman22! Congratulations.

29. KGBoston unregistered

You notice the iPhone was rated 8/10 and the Incredible got a 9/10? inconsistencies continue..

2. narley

Posts: 357; Member since: May 14, 2009

ya... no mention of the iphones awesome drop call feature by holding it wrong? The single only advantage iphone has over incredible is when you zoom in to tiny text to ready it. and who does that...... anyone...? anyone...? Buehler....? Incredible FTW

3. AaronWasHere

Posts: 36; Member since: Mar 10, 2010

" It's not to say that the uninspired design in play with the Incredible isn't a bad thing, but there is no denying that the iPhone 4 has more of an appeal from a quick first glance. " Wow... really iPhoneArena? Care to be any more biased? The 2 phones look almost exactly the f**king same! Give me a damn break!

4. BlackSirius16

Posts: 84; Member since: May 21, 2010

hmmmm....I would disagree. Though the incredible is much better

5. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I agree as well. To me it's like a Ferrari (Incredible) to a Porsche (iPhone4). The both look good, but I like the Ferrari better. P.S. To the editors: on the memory for the Incredible, it's 8GB on board and a 2GB micro-sd card included, not 2GB onboard with an 8GB micro-sd. Otherwise, probably one of the first comparisons that wasn't lopsided biased. I don't agree with "uninspired design". Look at them head-on and I would give it to the Incredible. The sides and the back are a draw for me. The nice thing about the unconventional rear on the Incredible is it doesn't allow the speakerphone opening to be covered, plus I have no doubt the Incredible will take a drop better. Plastic may not look as expensive, but it has some give and transfers shock in a fall. Glass & Stainless Steel, not so much.

31. boogie_14 unregistered

Please... The Droid looks like S*** compared to the iPhone 4, do you know what quality looks like???? Have you even held the two next to each other, no comparision!

6. belayson

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 25, 2010

the reviewers at phonearena are idiots. if you take angular pictures of two screens and put one phone (phone 1) closer to the camera than the other (phone 2), phone 1 is going to look alot brighter as it is at a significantly lower angle than phone 2. If they wanted to be fair (or atleast decently intelligent) they would have put both phones top to bottom and taken the picture from the sides for horizontal view-angles.

8. pete7625

Posts: 86; Member since: Jul 01, 2010

And let me guess, they also edited the pictures to make it look like the picture quality was worse, and took a picture closer to the incredible to make it look fatter? You can believe whatever you want, but the iPhone is CLEARLY the winner in mainly every aspect. Not to mention it's AMAZING app store. You're just mad because you're on verizon, and they don't have an iPhone. otherwise, you'd agree with me.

10. ilikesmrtphnz

Posts: 7; Member since: Jun 23, 2010

theyre just phones. everyone knows iphonearena is biased. end of story. calm down.

11. pete7625

Posts: 86; Member since: Jul 01, 2010

How do you figure they're biased? if they were, they wouldn't put half the articles about apple on this website, because a lot of them are speaking negative about them. They are just stating the facts. And just because YOU don't agree with them, doesn't make them biased. But I DO agree with you that they are just phones, and people like belayson need to chill out. It's just a review. I'm sick of all these excuses. JUST FACE THE FACTS AND MAYBE YOU GUYS SHOULDN'T BE SO BIASED.

7. anthonygolovey

Posts: 44; Member since: Dec 30, 2009

I just switched from HTC Incredible and its an awesome phone, i never had an iphone and i didnt get to great coverage here with verizon at my house so i switched to AT&T, there both great phones, i personally like the iphone 4 better, it looks a lot better, the camera was FLIMSY on the incredible and the back didnt appeal to me.

13. testman22

Posts: 339; Member since: Nov 03, 2009

enjoy not having unlimited data

14. therev767

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 02, 2010

you know verizon has a data cutoff. unlimited is not unlimited for them either. ive never had a problem with my iphone 3g. but i used to work for verizon. i was in store tech support and so much of their garbage came back all the time. ESPECIALLY their high end data phones. i saw a lot of droids come back cause the hardware cant stand up to the need. the software is cool. the coverage is there. but the phone is made of dog balls.

18. dsg_cobra

Posts: 35; Member since: Nov 25, 2009

yeah and in the stores, you also dont know what your talking about either, i work in the call center, and have to clean up the stores mess day after day, and how long ago did you work at verizon? when the palm treo and blackberry with scroll wheel on the side was the options? when their was 5% data base user ratio? please go on little i sheep.. And their is not a cut off for data on a smart phone, it is unlimited, on a data card their was a unlimited plan for 59.99 and yes in the terms their was a soft limit, if you consistently went over it they would send you a letter letting you know of the meant to be usage, since people were networking at home flooding up our broadband usage. but you prolly didnt know that since at the stores you get half the training we do in the call centers.

21. iheartblueberry

Posts: 78; Member since: Apr 26, 2010

$29.99/mo IS unlimited data. I have been working for Verizon for 5 years. There is NO cutoff on smartphone data plans. If some magical way there is then I have yet to see ANYONE get charged for going over their Email and Web for Smartphone data plan. You say you "used" to work for Verizon? Probably the reason why its past tense... Couldn't remember your plans so you got the axe.

24. cc16177

Posts: 312; Member since: May 09, 2010

I used 8gb last month on my unlimited data plan with Verizon, if there is a limit I would've hit it by now...

25. allmotor91 unregistered

I wouldn't brag about taking calls all day for virizon.

9. ilikesmrtphnz

Posts: 7; Member since: Jun 23, 2010

When is PA ever going to decide which they think is the better device? They're conclusion always beats around the bush and never gives a verdict.

23. iHateCrapple

Posts: 734; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

PERSONAL preference!

12. Kiltlifter

Posts: 742; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

They never give a verdict becuase of people like you bashing them. It comes down to preference. HTC's Peter Chou has said it for years, that there isnt one phone that is for everyone. We are people and we have preferences and opinions. The iPhone isn't for everyone (as much as you MACtavisits would want the world to believe), and neither is the HTC Incredible (for all you drop-dead VZW lovers). They are two different phones, but they share very similar features that make them direct competitors to each.... Do you think that HTC would have made the incredible now if Apple didn't have the iPhone..? and do you think that Apple wouldn't keep making iPhones if they thought taht they didn't have any competition? they could ahve stopped at the 3Gs, but they know that the market continues to evolve and tastes change... EVERYTHING CHANGES!!!!!! deal with it PA, as a DROID Incredible ADR6300 owner and user, I thought this comparison was awesome. Thanks for the hard work.

15. therev767

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 02, 2010

well put. they put the comparisons out there and let you decide which one you want to get. if someone is all about the Droid OS, they would get the incredible even if it was 55/45 iphone. same with an iphone user. they prefer the iphone. nobody's opinion is wrong. get what you want and stop telling other people what they should get. plus new phones are going to come out next quarter anyway. no use crying about it

16. jovel16

Posts: 59; Member since: Oct 05, 2008

Well said! You summed it up correctly. And unless you own and use both devices on a daily basis like me, you can agree to some of the things they mention. The iPhone definitely has a better build quality, but sense running on top of android is sweeter.

33. boogie_14 unregistered

Nicely said, one phone is not meant for everyone. It also comes down to human nature to compete against someone else, it comes down to which side are you on?... I thought the review was comparision was great aswell.

17. Bowling4Scope

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 02, 2010

" Aside from its uninspiring design that doesn't compete head-on to the iPhone 4" Editors: do you realize there's a picture right above this statement, showing the two phones looking exactly the same? I lol'd. Check it out, there's a picture of the Inc and the 4 right next to each other looking identical, and in the paragraph below you're going on about how much better looking the iPhone is. Pretty funny. Personally, I think they look about the same. I think the iPhone looks kind of girly, though. I've compared the two phones in real life, though, and they look very similar. ...Except the iPhone's screen is a bit smaller and more boxy.

19. Vegas89

Posts: 51; Member since: Mar 15, 2010

"The only difference that we experienced this time around was how much faster the Droid Incredible acted versus the HTC EVO 4G" You say that here, but when you compared the Droid Incredible and the EVO you said: "Both devices are super quick when navigating through the operating system, but the EVO had a slight edge when it comes to things like opening applications and loading webpages. Using Quadrant’s benchmark app we ran seven tests on each device and threw out the high and low scores for each, giving us five scores to work with. The EVO was noticeably quicker; the EVO finished the benchmarks significantly faster than the Incredible and on average the results for the EVO were 18% higher than the Incredible. In fact, even if we take the Incredible’s high score and the EVO’s low score (both of which we threw out for our averages), the EVO ran 8% faster (and for those curious if we take the EVO’s high score and Incredible’s low the EVO is an astounding 24% faster.)" So make up your mind phonearena, or are you just having too much fun being apple fanboys?

20. iheartblueberry

Posts: 78; Member since: Apr 26, 2010

So what I got from this video is that they are comparing the iPhone 4 to and already outdated phone and calling them comparable. With the onslaught of the Motorola Droid X I think the next review will be largely in favor of the Droid X. Dont get me wrong. I think the iPhone is beautiful and has nice features but I did get the chance to play with a Droid X and it will be my next phone. It truely is amazing. You have to see it to believe it! I showed it to an Evo user and the first thing that went through his mind was. "I wonder how much it would be to cancel Sprint?"

22. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

i still dont really see any difference between the 200 android "super phones" being released every month. Honestly, if you purchased a nexus one 6 mths ago there would still be no reason to upgrade to a droid X or incredible or any other droid phone. I laugh soo hard when people say stuff like OOOOOOH THAT PHONE IS GONNA BE SOOO GOOD!!!!! meanwhile, its the same as the other 50 or so android phones that came out already... I thought it was a fair review. They are also not the only ones that think so either.

27. dopetype unregistered

I thought this review was very helpful. Extensive and relatively fair/unbiased. I lean moreso towards the 4. That said, i use open source and see the importance of owning all leading market smartphones. I am a canadian user on FIDO, so by default i use the 4 for most of my daily needs. The day when FIDO starts carrying the HTC, i'm there!

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