HTC Incredible Review

My week with the HTC Incredible turned into almost 2 weeks, but still it didn’t seem long enough. Even after the brief hour I spent with it to create the First Looks post, I knew I was going to like this phone.

Now after a week, the standout features for me were:

  • Speed (1 GHz Snapdragon processor)
  • Physical Size
  • Screen size (480 x 800 3.7″)
  • Sense UI

Specifications

  • Android 2.1 with Sense UI
  • 3.7″ 480 x 800 AMOLED Display
  • 8 GB internal memory
  • 512 MB ROM
  • 512 MB RAM (actually had over 748 MB available)
  • 8 GB internal storage (shows as 6.6 GB internal and is in addition to any SD card you add)
  • Optical Joystick
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • 12-pin micro-USB port
  • microSD slot (no card included) up to 32 GB (Verizon’s site says 16 GB, HTC 32)
  • AC Adapter and micro-USB cable

Battery Life and Charging

After using this for almost 2 weeks, I found the battery to be pretty much on par with most App phones. By that I mean barely satisfactory. Most days, the charge lasted all day, but on 2 days I ran out early. No surprise that these were the first days when I was playing testing extensively. If you are looking for an App phone, there are not  significantly better options, and given the fact that this phone is running at 1 GHz, the battery life is good, compared to its peers.

I love a slim phone, but you know what manufacturers? Bit the bullet, add some thickness and give me more battery life. Given the design of the Incredible, I have a glimmer of hope that they could release an extended battery with a new back. I would be all over that option.

I do love the fact that phones now typically charge via USB. This way I can charge it on my laptop, or use the car adapter I already own that has a USB port. I get tired of all the AC Adapters I have collected.

Memory

I was surprised that the phone did not come with an SD card. However, it has 8 GB built-in, so this is not a big issue. My biggest surprise was Phone Memory. The specs claim 512 MB. On my phone it displays 748 MB of total space. I wonder if this is pulled off by using some of the internal storage. The 8 GM of internal memory shows up as 6.6 GB.

Bottom line, the 748 MB of phone memory coupled with the 8(6.6) GB of memory is a great start. Add in that you can add a 32 MB micro SD card (which are quite expensive right now) and the memory and storage of this device is quite impressive.

Screen

I love the screen. By default it is set to automatically adjust, and after some experimentation I left it set there. I had one commenter ask how it worked in direct sunlight, and set to auto it worked fine. On par with my G1. You wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time using it in direct sunlight, but it works. If the light is turned off, it is not viewable at all, but I did not leave it set to off.

If you look at the screen at an angle, you can see a gridwork of dots. I was going to take a shot of it for the review, but returned it before I did. That indicates not only my poor memory, but also that it was not a big deal for me.

Form Factor

I loved the form factor. After adjusting to it, it felt very natural. Now that I am adjusting back to my G1, the G1 seems like a brick. I did find that I hit the volume buttons unintentionally a few times, and it is easy to hit the power when you are taking off and putting on the back, but those were the only issues with the form factor for me.

Controls

The optical joystick worked fine. I still am not a fan of the touchscreen buttons at the bottom. They contributed to some unintentional taps when working on the screen, but as I adjusted to the device, that became less of an issue.

I really miss physical call and hangup buttons. It’s warm now, but I wonder what it will be like using the phones with gloves in the cold. Also, with a physical call button I can launch a call from anywhere on my phone. Since the phone button is part of the home screen, I now have to go to one of the home screens to launch the phone.

Camera

This is a really good camera for a phone. It does fairly well in low-light, and I like the fact that you can use the touch screen to pick on off-center focus. The video worked well, and I loved that I could upload to Flickr and YouTube directly to my phone.

Bottom Line

This is a (if not THE) top-of-the-line Android phone. HTC has really made a name for itself in phone design. It will be interesting to see how the EVO performs when it is finally released, but right now, if someone asked me for the best choice for Android phones, I can’t think of anything to beat the Incredible if you don’t care about a physical keyboard or the Droid if you want a keyboard. At the risk of sounding like I am sucking up to the folks at Verizon, who have provided units to test, they are really making a case for being the best provider for Android phones.

 

Product Information

Price:199.99 with 2-year contract and Data Plan
Retailer:Verizon
Pros:
  • Fastest Processor
  • Slim Design
  • Built-in 8 GB storage
  • Expandable with microSD (up to 32GB)
  • 8 Megapixel Camera w/ dual LED
  • Sense UI
Cons:
  • No Physical Keyboard
  • Battery Life
  • No Physical Call and End Button
Posted in: Android related, Reviews

{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Steve May 7, 2010, 5:25 pm

    Great review! I got the Incredible this week and I have been amazed at what an awesome phone this is. I bypassed the Moto Droid when it came out in anticipation of a touch-screen Android phone, and I am glad I waited. The blazing speed of this phone, coupled with the Sense UI and the quality apps that I have found in the Android market make this THE phone I have been waiting for, for a long time. I do miss the physical call button for sure, but I don’t miss it enough to send this phone back!

  • Palaemon May 7, 2010, 11:42 pm

    HTC Incredible Review is misspelled.

    I liked the review. You point out 2 “cons” that are issues for “all” of these type phones. Not that they’re not cons.

    I would say that a “pro” would be expandable storage. 8GB isn’t much these days.

  • daniel May 8, 2010, 11:40 am

    Charging using anything but wall socket is a pain. Takes forever with such a battery.

  • Bryan Sherman May 8, 2010, 12:06 pm

    @Palaemon

    Thx for the heads up. I think I was “dreading” returning it… lol

    Battery life is typical for this class of phone, and I mentioned it in the post, but still a negative. I assume you are also saying the physical buttons are issues for “all” but I slightly disagree. It is definitely a trend in phone design, but there are some with physical call and hang up buttons.

    Thanks a LOT for the expandable memory heads up. That is definitely one of my big pros. If for no other reason than your point that 8 GB isn’t much THESE days. How long until GB will seem quaint and we are measuring storage in TBs?

  • Bryan Sherman May 8, 2010, 5:22 pm

    @daniel

    I’ve had no issue charging any number of items from a USB port. I did not actually test it, but since most items AC Adapter anymore outputs 5v USB, I am not sure that there is any difference. Have you actually tested it?

  • Bugsy May 8, 2010, 5:56 pm

    There are simply too many errors, both factual and grammatical, in this article to take it seriously. Doesn’t anybody edit these “reviews” anymore?

  • Bryan Sherman May 8, 2010, 7:00 pm

    @bugsy

    I would love more information on what you see as “factual” errors in the post.

  • BASH33N May 9, 2010, 4:34 pm

    as far as the battery life…the Incredible comes with a pretty weak battery. Even the MotoDroid’s battery is a little better. I bought a replacement…..slim extensive 1750 mAh battery that never leaves me hanging when it comes to making it through the day. It also fits right into the original battery’s slot so it wont add bulk to the phone. Highly recommended
    http://www.seidioonline.com/product-p/basi17hhrv.htm

  • Mark Adkins June 11, 2010, 5:52 pm

    Thanks, Bryan! Great review. I especially appreciated the in-depth elements on the Sense UI and such. I just got a Sprint HTC EVO and your comments really helped me figure out what was going on.

  • MartyD June 29, 2010, 11:59 am

    I received my Incredible last Friday after a month wait. But compared to the Palm Pre Plus, this really is an incredible phone. I am very disappointed that it does not support POP mail with more folders than just ‘Trash’, ‘Sent’, ‘Drafts’, and ‘Outbox’. I called HTC and they confirmed this. Obviously, it is a Google phone so they want you to use GMail. I am using Gmail, but how do I move mail from Inbox to another Folder, or Label? I do not see the option.

  • Rob Tillotson June 29, 2010, 12:15 pm

    @MartyD: There should be a “Change Labels” option in the menu when you are reading a message, or in the tap-and-hold context menu in the summary view. (You probably have to scroll down to see it in the context menu. Well, at least I do on my G1.)

  • MArtyD June 29, 2010, 6:09 pm

    Rob, thanks for the reply. I should have mentioned ‘move’ to Labels. I did call HTC and was told I need to tap and hold the e-mail to see the options. When I asked where this is listed in the manual, I was told by HTC, “this is the Incredible, it does so much, there is no way all of it can be listed in a manual”. At first I thought this was a smart ass comment, but now think it very clever. If I just change the ‘Label’, it stays in my inbox. I would really like to move it to the ‘Label’.

  • Bryan Sherman June 29, 2010, 6:19 pm

    @MArtyD

    You have to uncheck the Inbox label. In gmail they are all labels, not folders. It is a very powerful difference, though it this case means you have one more thing to click. So if you uncheck the Inbox label and check the one you want, it will no longer appear in the inbox.

    While you are enjoying exploring, you’ll definitely want to experiment with tap-and-hold in a lot of applications. You may want to search the Android marketplace for POP e-mail applications. I have not used any, but you I am sure there are a number of options. You know, since no one who is going to tell you what you can and can’t have on your phone. :-)

  • MartyD June 30, 2010, 9:07 am

    Bryan, unchecking the Inbox Label moved the mail to where I wanted it to go. What is a good App for the POP mail so I can get all my folders?

  • Bryan Sherman June 30, 2010, 12:51 pm

    @MartyD,

    I don’t use one, I been fully assimilated into the Googleplex. What POP accounts I have left are actually read by gmail.

    Since you are talking folders, are you meaning IMAP? I would go to the Market and search for POP and/or IMAP.

    You might also want to check out http://www.androidforums.com/ I have not been in a while, but they were pretty active when I was there.

  • Jim H July 23, 2010, 3:44 pm

    Nice review. Myself coming from a non smart phone i was surprised you didnt mention the voice to text feature..what a time saver !

  • Bryan Sherman July 23, 2010, 4:42 pm

    @ Jim

    One of the problems I have since I have been on Android since the G1 came out is recognizing all the cool features as they add them. That is a pretty killer feature, and I did talk about it in the Droid X review http://the-gadgeteer.com/2010/07/16/droid-x-entering-text-and-browsing/

  • MartyD July 26, 2010, 2:50 pm

    I have had my HTC Incredible since June 25, and cannot put ity down. It is the best phone I have ever had. Palm Pre Plus does not come close at all. I had 2 Palm Pre Plus and neither compare at all.

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