Review of HTC Droid Incredible from Verizon

by Kevin Robert Kennedy, TW Editor

The HTC Droid Incredible has been called the best smartphone from Verizon, and even though it’s outmatched in some ways by similar phones like Google’s Nexus One and Sprint’s HTC Evo 4G, it’s still an impressively powerful device that especially shines in the areas of speed and versatility. The confidence that led Verizon to name their product “Incredible” was not misplaced.

The phone itself is relatively compact at 4.8″ long, 2.6″ wide and only 0.5″ thick, with excellent balance for its 4.59 ounce weight. A 3.7″ diagonal WVGA 800×400 pixel screen takes up most of the face, leaving just enough room for the optical joystick and basic zoom/home/back/menu buttons. On the side panels are a volume control, USB port and headphone jack. Nestled into the topographic rubberized backside that highlights all the internal hardware is an eight megapixel camera with dual LED flash. The back panel can be removed, and in fact must be removed in order to access the 16GB Micro SD card slot which complements the 8GB built-in storage. One weakness of the design is the lack of external camera control, although the speed of the camera software helps compensate for this.

That speed, incidentally, is the Incredible’s strongest card. Combining the HTC Sense user interface and the Android 2.1 operating system with a 1000MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processer, this phone rarely lags even while simultaneously running several apps. Its touchscreen and optical joystick get high marks for responsiveness, and the keyboard is larger than that of many similar phones, making typing much easier. When taking pictures, shutter lag is negligible. Two notable features that benefit from this speed are Leap and Friend Stream. Leap lets the user quickly shrink up to seven home screens into thumbnails for easy, intuitive navigation. Friend Stream takes in feeds from Twitter, Facebook and Flickr, and then combines them into one continuous flow that eliminates the need to jump between apps when communicating with multiple contacts.

This phone is not perfect, however, and some complaints have been raised in regards to battery life, especially when taking pictures. Also, the absence of an HDMI port and 720p HD video capture tarnishes its reputation when compared to competitors. But for Verizon users who aren’t concerned with HD and just want a fast, powerful smartphone with a convenient and intuitive interface, the Incredible is the best option available.

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