- Thin, light, and pocketable
- Excellent performance
- Superb camera
- Charger gets rather hot
- Direct sunlight a problem for the screen
The Incredible is indeed aptly named, and the first smartphone I've tried that truly does it all, with very little compromise.
The HTC Droid Incredible is the latest Android OS phone to hit Verizon Wireless.
It packs a lengthy list of features, including Android OS 2.1 running on a 1 GHz processor, an 8 megapixel camera, and 8 GB of on-board memory, along with a microSD slot that supports up to 16 GB memory expansion cards.
Social networking features from Facebook and Twitter are included, as well as Microsoft Exchange synchronization and the full Google experience.
The Incredible is available now for $200 with a new two-year service agreement.
DESIGN & BUILD
The device is solidly built and feels nice in my hand. At 4.6 x 2.3 x 1/2 inches, it’s not too wide to comfortably hold. I especially like the angular protrusions on the back, because my right index finger instinctively finds the perfect hollow each time, ensuring that I have a good grip on the phone and won’t drop it.
The Incredible also looks great; the phone has a modern design with a couple of cool touches that get it noticed. It is basically black with red mesh in the speaker on the top of the phone and a red bezel on the camera lens on the back. Other than the power button on the top and the volume buttons on the side, the device is completely black on the outside. Open the back cover and you’ll see that the interior of the phone is shocking red, which shows a refreshing attention to detail.
The 3.7-inch touchscreen runs at 480 x 800 resolution and it looks great. thanks to the AMOLED display, graphics are extremely bright and clear, whether you’re looking at an HTML email or your favorite game. Video looks good as well, though that’s more dependent on the source.
Results outside in bright sunlight were mixed. With some effort, I could use the phone to make calls, read my email, etc., basically anything that had a significant amount of white on the screen. Using the display as a camera viewfinder while I was out in the sun was simply impossible; I had to aim the phone, snap a couple of photos, and hope that they came out well.
My only other issue with the screen relates to using Google Reader in the built-in browser to catch up on my RSS feeds. I had some problems selecting the right story from the list, which is somewhat unusual for me since I don’t typically suffer from “fat finger” syndrome. The problem went away after a few days, so either I got used to things or Google Reader got a subtle tweak. I never experienced the same problem browsing other sites.
I found the virtual keyboard to be fast and accurate, though I will admit that I turned off the “vibrate when typing” haptic feedback option as soon as I got the device. It was irritating and hard on the battery.
Other Buttons and Controls
Just below the touchscreen is where you’ll find the Home, Menu, Back and Search areas. I say “areas” because there are no actual buttons to press. The system works well once you figure it out; I tended to press too low at first, until I figured out where the pressure points were located.
In the middle lower portion of that area, there’s an optical joystick. It also required some adjustment, but after using it for a few days I strongly prefer this method to the more typical five-way navigator found on a lot of modern smartphones. The optical joystick allowed me to move very quickly from the top of the screen to the bottom, to make selections, and to take photos. It worked very well in all respects, though when I was taking photos I would sometimes hit the menu area by mistake.
The headphone jack is on the top edge of the phone, and the charge/sync port is on the lower left side. The microSD card slot is inside the back cover of the phone, but thankfully it isn’t actually under the battery. It would be nice to have access to the microSD slot via a cutout in the cover, but the back cover is easy enough to remove that this isn’t a major issue.