HTC Incredible S Review


Photo enthusiast will adore the myriad of specialty modes available with the HTC Incredible S since this adds a dose of fun when shooting photos. Moreover, its camera interface provides enough manual controls, such as the ability to modify exposure, contrast, saturation, to enable the user to perfectly capture specific shots in all of their glory. And finally, its vast mix of effects will entertain just about anyone who wants to add a sprinkling of quirkiness or fun to their shots.

You’d think a handset packing an 8-megapixel auto-focus camera would produce some slick looking shots, but sadly, it goes on to prove once again that bigger isn’t necessarily better. Snapping up some shots outdoors, we’re treated with some muddy looking visuals that cough up cooler looking colors that ultimately make them look over-exposed. Furthermore, low lighting quality isn’t all that great either with its grainy looks – though, there isn’t as much digital noise evident. Luckily though, its dual-LED flash is capable of illuminating dimly lit areas, but it still doesn’t hide the fact that quality is sub-par.

As usual, we can’t expect much out of its front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera, but it does come in handy for self-portraits. Precisely, there are a ton of photo effects available that are best applied with its front-facing camera. Additionally, our video chat experience with Fring is tolerable, considering it was done over 3G, but its performance will vary depending on network connection.

More of the same below average quality is seen with its 720p video recording, regretfully, so don’t expect to find much detail with it. Not only does it produce some muddy looking visuals once again, but it captures video at the jerky rate of 21 frames per second. Compounding its almost forgettable performance, its audio recording is dreadfully painful to listen to since there is an abundant amount of distortion heard with its recording – resulting in voices sounding muffled in tone.

HTC Incredible S Sample Video:


There isn’t much transformation with the Gallery App on the HTC Incredible S as it lays out content in the typical grid-like formation in portrait, while turning it to landscape, switches it to a camera roll like carousel. With photos, there is a finite set of editing tools available, such as cropping or rotating, but there are additional after-effects that you can apply on them as well.

Getting down with its musical abilities, we’re glad to see its music player bucking the trend by presenting us with an updated presentation. In portrait, it looks similar to previous ones on other HTC Android smartphones, but its smooth look when browsing through our albums shows off its processing prowess. Moreover, tilting it to landscape switches to a very Cover Flow-esque look – which seems to work very well with the Incredible S. And with its audio quality, it doesn’t crackle at the loudest setting, but its missing that extra pop to make it commanding. Regardless, you can enable SRS enhancement, but it still lacks that extra kick. Additionally, there are a few different equalizer settings you can use with the headphones connected.

Thanks to the beauty of its colorful looking Super LCD display, watching videos is such a pleasure seeing that its processor steadily plays high definition content. Loading both a video encoded in MPEG-4 1280 x 720 and DivX 1280 x 720 resolution, the HTC Incredible S didn’t stutter or slowdown in playback for one moment.

With an 8GB microSD card preloaded, it supplements the handset’s built-in 1GB of internal storage. So if you’re heavy into multimedia, it should prove to be sufficient, but you can always replace its microSD card with others up to 32GB in size.

Connectivity and Internet:

Geared for the European market, the HTC Incredible S is a quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) GSM and tri-band (850/1700/2100 MHz) UMTS device. So if you happen to constantly travel around the world, you’ll be able to get some sort of connection with it in most locations. In the event you’re outside the parameters of your network provider, you can always switch on its 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi for a solid fast data connection. In addition, it features aGPS for your location based service needs and Bluetooth 2.1 to have it connect with other close by wireless devices.

As expected, the web browsing performance with the HTC Incredible S is indeed incredible in itself thanks to the aid of its peppy processor. In fact, it once again shows off its potential as it presents us with buttery fluid kinetic scrolling and responsive pinch zooming gestures. Of course, support for Flash 10.1 is on board thanks to Android 2.2 Froyo – which essentially provides that desktop like experience. All in all, we’re supremely satisfied with its solid web browsing capabilities.



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)

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