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.
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.