DROID Incredible by HTC Review Part 1

Posted on 18. May, 2010 by in Product Reviews

It has been awhile since I have seen so much hype over a phone that had a non existent advertising campaign.  Enter the Droid Incredible by HTC.  You guys, our readers, absolutely blew up our site over any and every story we had covering this device, starting with us revealing the SKU in Verizon’s inventory system.  I have had hands on with the Incredible (we will call it that for short, I am not typing out Droid Incredible by HTC more than three times.  That was the second time) for a few weeks now and have put it through the ringer as an everyday device for the somewhat average consumer.  John is planning on reviewing the Incredible as well from strictly a business standpoint, that will be Part 2.

Look/Feel-  The Incredible feels a lot lighter than I expected, but it doesn’t give up anything in quality.  The back that had most people confused and concerned doesn’t feel awkward at all.  Both in landscape and portrait orientation the phone fits will in your hands.  The oddly shaped back, after seeing it a few times actually gives the phone a distinct look that I think people will like.  It is easy to identify the device as the Incredible when someone is using it.

Keyboard-  The onscreen keyboard is right on par with any virtual keyboard I have used on a device thus far.  I am not totally sold on using a virtual keyboard as my main keyboard.  I feel that it slows me down when trying to type an email or answer an IM.  But, for most users out there now a virtual keyboard is where it is at.  It definitely has some distinct advantages, with adding room for a bigger screen being the biggest one.

Camera- Carrying a device that boasts an 8MP camera almost makes you feel like a professional photographer, almost.  The pictures are crisp and by far the best I have ever seen coming off of a wireless phone.  The video portion of the device works well also.  In both instances sharing a video or photo via Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, or just email is straight forward and easily accomplished.

Screen- The screen is amazing.  A full 3.7″ WVGA OLED touch screen that blows any screen I have used to date out of the water.  Having carried the Nexus One for a couple months and dealing with the color issues on that screen, the screen on the Incredible is a breath of fresh air.    I found it to be responsive to touch with no issues regarding alignment or sensitivity.

Battery-  The standard battery for the Incredible is a 1300mAh, which is a decent amount of juice for a device with a 1GHz processor.  I found that on an average day using only the Incredible I would get between 8-10 hours of use, roughly.  That really isn’t all that bad.  I carry a BlackBerry Tour as my daily device and I get right at 9 hours out of it, but don’t consider it an issue due to the fact that I also carry a spare battery for it.  We can always sit here and state the battery should be better, cause as tech junkies we want a device that will last the full 16 hours (or more) in a day that we are on our devices.  For the average consumer, the battery will work just fine.

Sense UI- The customized Sense UI by HTC which is loaded on the Incredible is the best Android experience there is.  Period.  I have used MOTOBLUR, stock Android on the Nexus One, and now Sense UI so I am speaking from experience.  The integrated widgets, such as a built in Twitter client, make using the phone extremely user friendly.  A user can set different scenes depending on what they are doing which totally rearrange the 7 screens on the Incredible.  For example, a user can have a scene set up for work which displays their Exchange email account widget on a screen as well as their work contacts and so on.  Once the user leaves work, they can then change the scene to a home scene which has a Twitter widget, Foursquare, on and on.. I think you get the point.

There are a ton more features that could be a review in and of itself regarding Sense UI on Android, and maybe one day we will do that for you guys.  One thing I did want to bring up while talking about a customized version of Android by a device manufacture is the fact that they are a double edge sword.  Right now, Sense UI is built on top of Android 2.1 for most devices.  As we all know 2.1 is the latest and greatest offered in way of Android OS, which is what the Incredible is running.  That won’t last for long, with Google expected to announce 2.2 (Froyo) this week with a ton of new features rumored to be included everyone will be clamoring to get their hands on it.  Well, those who are running stock Android should receive the update before anyone else depending on device capabilities.  When it comes to getting the update on a device like the Incredible, you will be waiting awhile.  The device manufacture that customizes the OS has to make sure everything is compatible.  This takes time, and sometimes a lot of it.  My main point is, enjoy using the best experience on Android if you pick up an Incredible, but don’t get your hopes up on seeing major OS revisions right away once they are released.  Just the way the game goes.

Overall-  All in all, I will go out on a limb and say that the Droid Incredible by HTC is the best device I have used to date.  The 1GHz Snapdragon processor, the screen, Sense UI, Android 2.1, camera, video camera, and applications this is an amazing device that should be given a good look over by anyone in the market for a new device.  You can pick up the Incredible from your local Verizon store or online for $199.99 today.  Be forewarned though, they are on a long lead time due to the popularity and demand.

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14 Responses to “DROID Incredible by HTC Review Part 1”

  1. droidberryma

    18. May, 2010

    Well written!

  2. droidberryma

    18. May, 2010

    I love my Incredible, andI wonder how people who have used both the Motorola Droid and the Incredible feel the screen quality difference. Or if its even something you notice.

    For the record, I have used both. I will hold off giving my opinion until someone jumps in! :)

  3. Lee Slinkard

    18. May, 2010

    I got mine a few weeks ago, Out-Flipping-Standing.

    One point to make:
    I went into a Verizon store on Thursday at lunch bought 2 of them. I received them the next day at lunch.

  4. John

    18. May, 2010

    I cannot stop saying it….the incredible is…. incredible. BUT I think the Evo may put the Incredible to shame.

  5. Jeffrey

    18. May, 2010

    Well written.

    But i must chime in just a tad. I got this phone on day 1 and aside from being one of the best phones I have ever used, the battery usage has been one of the most horrible experience I have ever had with any phone (granted I came from the blackberry nation).

    When writing part 2 please expose the power issues that really exist with the phone.

    Partial Charge Bug: http://j.mp/atVWuZ
    Contact Sync Battery Drain: http://j.mp/bBDlEO
    Always-On Battery Drain: http://j.mp/bDr6an

    • Jason Cipriani

      18. May, 2010

      While I understand and see those as legit issues, I did not experience them myself. I left the phone on for 3 days, collecting emails, tweets, and whatever else. When I came back I still had 40% battery.

      John’s experience may have differed from mine. I would never not be forthcoming with faults of phones, I had no issues pointing these things out. See my many rants on RIM.

  6. Paul Hopkins

    18. May, 2010

    I want one in the UK, it is still not for sale :0(

    • Tim

      18. May, 2010

      On your side of the pond it’s called the HTC Desire. Virgin and Vodaphone have it, and maybe others….

  7. Jeffrey

    18. May, 2010

    i don’t think you were withholding, just maybe you didn’t come across those problems. But many users are definitely experiencing them. 5 minutes off the charger and im down to ~94%. I have many things syncing, but that one is an obvious bug. I did the battery charge work around and my battery drained 42% in10 hours so i know it’s capable of having great battery life. But sadly it usually on the charger without the work around.

  8. Brandon

    18. May, 2010

    I love my Incredible! Battery life is pretty lousy, but it IS getting better with each charge. It’s up to about 15 hours of “normal” usage (few phone calls… some texting.. internet… email… etc). I’ve ordered an extended battery just in case — the batteries Seidio makes for the Eris work with the incredible, although only the 1750mAh version won’t require you to get a new back for the phone.

  9. Donna

    22. May, 2010

    > The oddly shaped back, after seeing it a few times
    > actually gives the phone a distinct look that I think people
    > will like

    Do you buy a phone based on the “look” of the oddly shaped back????

    I’m far more concerned about things like:
    How will that slide in/out of a case?
    Fit in a cradle?
    Slide in/out of my pocket?

    • Jason Cipriani

      22. May, 2010

      Some people do base purchases off of looks, not all, but some. If you followed some sites/threads pre release of this device you would have seen a lot of concern over the back.

      I didn’t use a case or cradle so I can’t speak to those items. As far as sliding in and out of pocket there were no issues.

  10. Jan

    15. Jun, 2010

    The Mugen Power Batteries website just update the extended battery for HTC Evo,
    have to get the 1800mAh for more battery life for my Evo, hope it can improve more time for me using it.
    the original battery life time terrible!