With HTC edging ever closer towards smartphone nirvana following the Desire HD and Desire Z launches last month, it’s interesting to look across the pond at a device that’s been dubbed the best Android handset in America. Quite frankly, it’s Incredible.
HTC could have made a rod for its own back with this one. Calling your handsets HTC Magic, HTC Hero, HTC Legend and HTC Desire is one thing, but Incredible? T3’s US based correspondent Chris Smith finds out if it lives up to its name.
Launched earlier this year on the Verizon network it now comes with Android 2.2 FroYo straight out of the box, which means greater speed, advanced Exchange support and the ability to turn your Android handset into a WiFi hotspot straight out of the box (Verizon wanted another $15 a month to use that though). There’s also Flash 10.1 which unlocks a lot of doors to playing web video, But how does the Droid Incredible compare with the current Android winners in the UK?
Like the Desire, the Incredible is a candybar handset with a 3.7-inch AMOLED screen, but here the hardware takes a slightly different form-factor boasting squarer edges and a more iPhone-esque feel. It still has the optical joystick, which doubles up as a hard camera button.
We actually prefer the rounded feel of the Desire, and the hard core buttons instead of the touch-sensitive bods on the Incredible.
Inside is a 1GHz snapdragon processor, just like the HTC Desire, which remains as nippy as ever and in terms of storage it beats the Desire with an 8GB flash memory built in as well as a 32GB micro SD card slot
The 480×800 WVGA screen is fantastic indoors, like the Desire it’s crisp and infinitely colourful. Yet it’s not as mind-blowing as the Super AMOLED beast on the Samsung Galaxy S. Sadly, it’s practically useless in sunlight, which is a bit of a blow when you’re in Florida. This is already an area where Samsung’s flagship Android device happens to excel.
HTC Droid Incredible: Camera
The camera also ups the stakes from the Desire quite considerably. It’s up from 5-megapixels to eight with a dual LED flash. In good conditions the pictures can be stunningly detailed and colour reproduction is fantastic. When the flash is required, it’s often a little bit too much and leaves photos blurred and over-exposed.
Of course, HTC Sense is on-board. It’s not the newest version that we’ll see on the Desire Z and HD, but it does include Facebook tagging direct on the device.
We don’t really understand why HTC would override Android’s fantastic native gallery feature we first saw on the Nexus One. It’s missed here. Browsing, social networking and navigation are, as always, flawless experiences. Sense remains the flagship mobile UI, easily outstripping Samsung’s TouchWiz interface on the Galaxy S.
Priced at $529 sim free and $199 on a two-year contract, along with HTC’s other non-UK big hitter, the HTC Evo 4G, this is the best Android handset in America, narrowly ending out the Motorola Droid X, but like the Evo, it’s unlikely to ever make it to these shores.
As it’s not available in the UK, wwe’re not going to give a star rating the HTC Droid Incredible. However this is a fantastic HTC handset that would be a wonderful addition to its UK offering. HTC’s UI makes it better than the Galaxy S, while it’s an even draw with the Desire, which has a superior screen, but less storage and a less impressive camera. We’ll be interested to see how it compares to the Desire Z and Desire HD when they hit the shops.
Posted by Chris Smith