Packing on the same processor that’s used in similar devices like the HTC Inspire 4G, the 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 processor might not have the same allure that accompany some of today’s modern dual-core chipsets, but it works rather perfectly. Specifically, it provides a sensual platform experience that’s exemplified by its responsive tendencies. From executing basic functions like opening up apps to navigating around the platform, the Incredible S zips around at a blazing rate to embody the characteristics of any favorable high-end device. And even when it’s tested, such as activating graphically intensive live wallpapers, it doesn’t stutter that much at all in its response.

Now that Gingerbread is available, it’s somewhat of a drawback to see a contemporary device like this to still flaunt Android 2.2 Froyo – but it’s not that bad at all considering you’ve got the latest version of Sense on board. Even to this day, it’s still by far one of the better customized Android experiences out there since its wealth of HTC widgets add more functionality on top of the traditional ones. Naturally, we’re presented with a total of 7 homescreen that you can personalize with various items, but executing a pinch gesture will transform it to helicopter view. From here, all homescreens are displayed simultaneously, and you can instantly jump to any of them by clicking a specific one.

Although it might not be a drastic departure in presentation from previous versions, there are some exciting new features with this version of Sense that make it an evolutionary step in experience. Actually, you can sign up for an account which provides some useful functions such as automatic backup, the ability to make your phone ring, or completely wipe the device remotely in the event it’s lost or stolen – all through the comfort of your computer.

HTC Sense takes a smidgen of getting used to if you've never used it before, however is no more challenging than vanilla Android. In fact, it’s easier. For example, you can personalize the homescreen and add icons without a long-press of the homescreen. Instead, just tap the paintbrush and palette symbol on the bottom left of the homescreen - very intuitive. As already mentioned, there are plenty of pre-loaded HTC widgets which are very functional further improving usability. For those of you who want a list of HTC Widgets, in alphabetical order - your wish is our command: Bookmark, Calculator, Clock, FM Radio, Friend Stream, HTC Likes (app suggestions), Locations, Mail, Messages, Music, My Shelf (ebook shelf), Navigate, News, People, Photo Album, Photo Frame, Search Anywhere, Stocks, Sync All, Tips for Home, Twitter, Weather.

Organizer and Messaging:

Tap the "Phone" button, centered in the bottom of any one of the 7 homescreens and the dialer is pulled up. This works wonderfully, enabling you to numerically enter a name (i.e. bob as 262), with the HTC Incredible S displaying it instantly. Behind the dialer are all your contacts, so minimize the dialer, and intuitively, you're left with your contacts - great. The phonebook works well once you learn how to control it. By this, we mean that HTC Sense pulls in ALL your contacts from EVERYWHERE by default. This feels overwhelming at first, however, open "People", press "Menu" and then tap "View" and you can select which contacts to display (Google, Facebook, SIM etc). Once done, your contacts are a pleasure to thumb through. As for voice recognition, it works better than most, but still gets it wrong every so often.

Organizer tools performed very well indeed. Running Android 2.2,1, the HTC Incredible S is perfect if you use Google calendars and contacts for example, it all functions as would be expected from a high-end Android phone (great), with the added sprucing up that comes with bespoke widgets courtesy of HTC, such as calendar and calculator. There is also a swish alarm interface, a flashlight and voice recorder along with all the other organizer tools you would expect.

There are tons of keyboards that can be used with Android, but much like the Sense UI as a whole, the Sense keyboard strategically presents a useful layout that provides quick access to numbers and some punctuations all from the main keyboard. Surprisingly enough, this is still one ideal aspect that’s rarely adopted by other keyboards to this day – and that’s exactly what makes the Sense keyboard so uplifting. Of course, it’s able to keep up with our speed typing with its responsiveness, but the landscape option proves its worth more than the slightly cramped portrait one.

Much like any Android smartphone, the Gmail experience is top notch with its slick set of features that’ll continue to keep you productive on the go. With things like threaded conversations, labeling, and the ability to load more than one account, there’s plenty to like about its wealth of serious features. As far as setup is concerned, its email client will automatically load your emails by simply providing your email address and password. Granted that it will setup most generic accounts, others might require some additional pieces of information – such as server addresses and ports.



1. fanatic110 unregistered thanks a lot for this review. I was really confused if i should buy this phone or not but u guys just made it crystal clear. This phone launched in India just a few days back & i am gonna buy it. Thnx once again :)

2. Heene unregistered

"Not quite a modern “high-end” smartphone" = not really an argument This is absolutely not objective and only the opinion of the writer ;)

3. hm unregistered

Just because "high-end" may not be as clearly defined doesn't mean that its categorization is necessarily subjective. It all depends on where you decide to draw the line and where you think most people (e.g. your readers) will reasonably draw the line. With handsets out having 4G connectivity, dual core processors, and higher resolution displays, and this handset having none of them, you cannot put this handset in the upper echelon of devices in terms of specifications. It may be a great device, but "high end" doesn't really apply here unless you mean "high end half a year ago."

7. Heene unregistered

Despite the fact that most of the so called "high-end" phones are not available yet, I would say this phone is up to date and what is most important - available in stores.

9. Ricardo unregistered

The iPhone has neither 4G nor dual core processor, only the display makes it high end? Or is it not in the upper echelon? Don't get me wrong I liked your review but just pointing out that things aren't that crystal clear. PS: Yours is the only review that the camera didnt perform well, any chance it was not a final product?

13. andrew hahn unregistered

samsung facinate is better

5. darko unregistered

WTF, Phonearena?? You did a HTC Thunderbold a few days before this and it got 9 of of 10 grade..while not even being a gsm device! And there you praised it's "fast processor" despite being a same single core unit as this one - snapdragon with scorpion and adreno 205. This is while being a gsm device, BASICALLY THE SAME phone as Thunderbolt - and it got 7.5/10 !! I's also regarded as "super fast"..yet this is somehow a disadvantage to you guys this time! (just because it doesn't have a dual core structure written in the specs i suppose) Bottom line - you are not earning any credibility with this kind of reviewing..which is a shame because i like this site.

6. hm unregistered

And the (huge) elephant in the corner you are conveniently ignoring is that the Thunderbolt has 4G ... You are not earning any credibility with this kind of commenting...


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Thunderbolt is the first 4G LTE Verizon phone, it is the first phone to ship with a 32GB microSD card and it has 8GB of internal storage=40GBs of space. Thunderbolt has a 4.3 inch display where this only has 4. If it had a slide out keyboard, it probably would have been justified but size does matter when it comes to touch only. Thunderbolt's construction and looks are better than the incredible s. The list pretty much goes on and on.

10. jmp5150

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 14, 2009

Could someone tell me what is the difference between the Incredible S and Desire HD other than display?

11. Galen20K

Posts: 575; Member since: Dec 26, 2008

not much really in fact the myTouch 4G also has the same basic specs as the Incredible S and Desire HD. They all offer the same performance.

14. nyrB unregistered

battery life is apparantly significantly better with the incredible s

12. andrew hahn unregistered

i think i'm gona get the samsung facinate over this phone

15. vvvvvvvvv unregistered

ownin this beauty from past 8 days, and man o man , what a feel it has.....Awesome performance , really fast processin speed, and display is quite brilliant compared to samsung galaxy s .... incredible is incredible ..... who cares abt dual core , performance is what to matter with.

16. boomz unregistered

Wew! In my opinion, choosing a phone wud be based on what its use for u. . If ur fun of intrnet surfing, watchng videos,taking videos n pics using ur fon or even playing games. .Choose a fon with high resolution, memory and processor. .It really matters.but if ur going to use a fon jst for a simple call or txt why spend so much. . Hrs another sample. .If u jst need a fon to call and txt but want others to see u like somebody. .Well its another story men u need to buy a phone not with its spects. . Its the price that matters. . I mean choose a fon that wud fit ur needs. . . . . .thrs a lot of fons out thr. . .

17. vsbhansali unregistered

What,s about better life of Incredible S. Pl. guide me I am planning to buy

18. tareenz unregistered

wht about battery life is this phone battery back up same as desire s

19. chaud unregistered

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc or HTC Incredible S?

20. jackofspades

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

i think this cell phone is away underrated in deserves a big a 8.5!
Incredible S
  • Display 4.0" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S2, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 1 GB
  • Battery 1450 mAh(6.33h 3G talk time)

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.