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HTC Droid Incredible, in hand  (Source: Engadget)

HTC Droid Incredible, nekid  (Source: Gizmodo)
Phone isn't perfect, but is very good, according to reviewers

On April 29 the long-awaited HTC Droid Incredible lands on America's largest network, Verizon Wireless priced at $200, after new 2-year contract and $100 mail-in rebate (the name Droid is owned by LucasArts and licensed to Verizon Wireless).  The phone represents perhaps the most cohesive challenger to Apple iPhone. Such claims have become somewhat cliche, but it's hard not to be impressed with the phone's solid ensemble of a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, 8GB of internal storage, 748MB of ROM, a microSD slot (with support for up to 32GB cards), an 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash and autofocus, an 480 x 800 AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, and driving it all, Android 2.1 with HTC's Sense UI.

Some early reviewers at Engadget and Gizmodo got their grubby paws on the new handset and gave their impressions.

Starting first with the look, Engadget's Joshua Topulsky comments, "All in all, the Incredible looks and feels like a modern, sophisticated smartphone with a lot of that masculine edge that Motorola imparted to the Droid along with the curvy smoothness the Droid Eris sports."

Gizmodo's Matt Buchanan was less impressed with the model's looks.  He advocates taking off the rubber backplate, describing, "The Incredible might be the world's first mullet phone: flat, straightforward business in the front, stylized rubber party in the back. In fact, if you pop the back condom off (it's got ridges and it's rubber, it's basically a hard condom), the Incredible's hot-rod red underneath. It saves the phone from verging into boring-as-hell territory. Slightly thicker than a Nexus One or iPhone, but lighter, it feels (and looks) chintzier than both."

Random complaints by the reviewers included the screen's poor outdoors performance and colors (Engadget), lack of 720p video recording (Engadget), and the lack of the software launch button (Gizmodo).  Still, both reviewers seem very enthusiastic about the overall picture quality of the 8 MP sensor, compared to that of other phones.

Engadget says the call quality is great.  They also liked the large storage space (up to 40 GB with the microSD card), but were disappointed that apps couldn't see the internal storage and thus suffered some limitations.  Gizmodo was rather enthusiastic about the quality of the software keyboard, writing, "Droid's single redeeming feature over this, a physical keyboard, is actually less usable than the custom keyboard HTC's put on the Incredible."

Other items of note included that the phone actually managed to manage a connection underground in the subway in New York City, thanks to Verizon's terrific coverage.  The battery performance is reportedly slightly worse than the Nexus One's (also by HTC).

The reviewer for Gizmodo says that the Palm Pre Plus gives the Incredible a tight run for its money, but is undone by the uncertainty surrounding Palm.  Writes Gizmodo, "The calculus is relatively simple: If you're on Verizon and want a smartphone (and aren't stuck with BlackBerrys), the Incredible is pretty much the one you should buy. With Palm's future unclear, and its app ecosystem shaky, it's hard to recommend the Pre, even though its software is generally more usable than Android."

The Engadget folks are slightly more flattery, exalting, "Let's just put this out there: the Droid Incredible is the best Android device that you can purchase in America right now. It's better than the Droid, better than the Nexus One, and certainly beats the pants off of any previous generation handsets like the Eris, myTouch, or Cliq. It's not just a very, very good Android phone (though it is); it's also an excellent smartphone no matter how you cut it. If you're on Verizon right now, you're finally getting really great options for phones, but the Incredible is currently sitting at the top of that heap with a good bit of distance to the next in line... [T]he Incredible just might be the Droid you're looking for."

Will that performance be good enough to hold off the iPhone, which is reportedly set for a big hardware upgrade this summer?  That should be an intriguing race to watch.  For now, though, HTC can relish its early lead.




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720p video recording....
By Alexstarfire on 4/19/2010 3:43:11 PM , Rating: 5
Does any phone even support 720p video recording?




RE: 720p video recording....
By thisguy13 on 4/19/2010 3:47:52 PM , Rating: 3
The Instinct HD takes 720p video, and I believe the HTC Evo is also supposed to.


RE: 720p video recording....
By AmbroseAthan on 4/19/2010 4:11:18 PM , Rating: 4
HTC EVO (Sprint) will do 720p as stated above. Site below goes into more details about the phone:

http://now.sprint.com/evo/

http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/23/htc-evo-4g-is-s...

Personally the EVO is the phone I have been waiting for. Had wanted an HD2 when it first debuted in Europe, but will gladly take it in the form of an EVO with Sprint soon.


RE: 720p video recording....
By AssBall on 4/19/2010 3:50:22 PM , Rating: 2
That's the same thing I was wondering about. What a weird complaint.


RE: 720p video recording....
By Aloonatic on 4/19/2010 3:57:40 PM , Rating: 2
I believe that the Sony Ericsson Vivaz is supposed to. So would not be surprised if the X10 does at some stage.


RE: 720p video recording....
By lightfoot on 4/19/2010 4:39:43 PM , Rating: 5
Worse than that, the phone doesn't even record audio in 5.1 surround sound.

But on the pro-side at least it can make toaster pastries when recharging.


RE: 720p video recording....
By omnicronx on 4/19/2010 5:04:12 PM , Rating: 4
Haha..

I funny part about your comment is they are actually using some kind of 'dolby sound' (whatever that means) to drive the incredible ;)

Really though, how about we worry about the size of the lens before we worry about whether or not it can capture 720P video =P.. The camera on the Palm Pre takes better pictures with its 3.2MP camera than other comparable 5MP phones with a smaller lens sizes.


RE: 720p video recording....
By xxsk8er101xx on 4/20/2010 12:10:32 AM , Rating: 4
The video being recorded from the droid incredible is pretty .. well ... incredible.

There are tons of reviews out there already showign the video. Pretty good video.

No phone is going to replace your HD camcorder.


RE: 720p video recording....
By msomeoneelsez on 4/20/2010 2:23:22 AM , Rating: 5
Yet :D


RE: 720p video recording....
By imaheadcase on 4/19/2010 7:39:48 PM , Rating: 1
Does it even matter when average 720p tv show is 1.1 gigs? Or 500megs around when 30min show with commercials? Nevermind the rendering of it on the phone would be terrible even with 1ghz processor.


RE: 720p video recording....
By xxsk8er101xx on 4/20/2010 12:07:54 AM , Rating: 2
It might be an added upgrade down the road. According to various rumors going around.


RE: 720p video recording....
By Aloonatic on 4/20/2010 3:25:53 AM , Rating: 1
There are far too many "rumours" in the smart phone market. When certain phones will get updates, certain features, whether certain features will ever exist at all...

As for 720p video. Is shaky video in HD really better than shaky SD video? Where the sound is muffled and all you can hear is the wind noise as it blows across the microphone.


RE: 720p video recording....
By Dark Legion on 4/20/2010 2:54:30 AM , Rating: 2
Samsung Omnia HD, but wouldn't no 720p video recording be an Android limitation? So as an above poster said, they may be able to add it in later with an update.


RE: 720p video recording....
By marvdmartian on 4/20/2010 9:23:50 AM , Rating: 2
Future complaints:
OMFG, it doesn't do my laundry for me!
Darn thing won't babysit my kids!
I can't believe this thing doesn't turn into a magic carpet that I can commute to work on!!

Anyone can come up with a ridiculous complaint, no? ;)


RE: 720p video recording....
By Anoxanmore on 4/20/2010 9:51:39 AM , Rating: 1
I can show you the world
Shining, shimmering, splendid
Tell me, user, now when did
You last let your heart decide?

I can open your eyes
Take you wonder by wonder
Over, sideways and under
On a magic droid ride

A whole new world
A new fantastic point of droids
No one to tell us no
Or where to go
Or say we're only dreaming

=^_^=


RE: 720p video recording....
By Spuke on 4/20/2010 12:11:17 PM , Rating: 2
...and shit.


Verizon?
By lightfoot on 4/19/2010 4:28:26 PM , Rating: 4
Too bad that this is only on Verizon. I'd totally get this phone if it were on AT&T.

(Total joke; it had to be said only because of how often it is said about the iPhone.)




RE: Verizon?
By Shig on 4/19/2010 4:30:29 PM , Rating: 2
^ win


RE: Verizon?
By Goty on 4/19/2010 5:21:17 PM , Rating: 3
I've actually been screwed over by Verizon's billing practices in the past, so this statement actually applies to me =P


RE: Verizon?
By weskurtz0081 on 4/20/2010 10:56:17 AM , Rating: 2
I've actually been screwed over by AT&T's billing practices in the past, so this statement actually doesn't apply to me =P


Question
By NullSubroutine on 4/19/2010 5:50:03 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone know if this phone requires data plan, how much battery life it has, and does it support Wi-fi?




RE: Question
By spidey81 on 4/19/2010 5:56:14 PM , Rating: 2
It will require a $30 data plan. Most reviewers are getting close to a full day out of the battery, but there's an extended battery on the way. And yes it does support wi-fi, 802.11b/g/n.


RE: Question
By MadMan007 on 4/20/2010 2:03:43 PM , Rating: 2
Data plans suck :( I don't have a smartphone currently and am not too bothered about it but occasionally think about it. I don't have a problem paying more for the smartphone upfront but since I wouldn't be a heavy data user the data plans always turn me off from getting one.

The stupid thing is that all cell phone network traffic is 'data'...voice isn't going around analog any more. So why do they happily give people tons of minutes but then get all draconian with the 'data' data?


Canada
By LyricalGenius on 4/20/2010 10:50:27 AM , Rating: 2
Will this phone be released in Canada? If not, as a Canadian, what's the best alternative to this?




RE: Canada
By Devo2007 on 4/22/2010 2:12:47 AM , Rating: 2
Best alternative would be to get the Nexus One unlocked version that will work on Rogers/Telus/Bell's HSPA network (HSPA 850/1900MHz)

As for the Incredible, it's highly doubtful we'll see it in Canada unless HTC releases a GSM/HSPA version. Bell & Telus are really trying to make a push to their HSPA network, and aren't likely to release a CDMA high-profile phone like this one. Biggest reason I see is that people will complain when "it can't do 7.2Mbps HSPA." Of course, the Verizon CDMA version also won't work on Bell or Telus, since CDMA carriers typically won't activate phones they don't sell.


What is this...2008?
By bplewis24 on 4/20/2010 11:00:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The phone represents perhaps the most cohesive challenger to Apple iPhone. Such claims have become somewhat cliche...


I'm a bit flummoxed here. Why are new phone releases still being matched up against the iPhone? The iPhone was surpassed in terms of "best phone on the market" for over a year. So if an "iPhone killer" simply refers to a better overall phone, it's already been done. If an "iPhone killer" represents a single phone that will go head-to-head and outsell the iPhone then, well, it's not going to happen. Apple fans will unite to outpurchase any other group of rational technology consumers. And in terms of market share of the OS RIM is still far ahead anyway. Android phones on the market before the Incredible already are better than the current iPhone (as well as the Pre, but that's another topic), but as an OS, Android has a ways to go to catch up to not just Apple, but RIM as well.

Stop perpetuating the myth that the iPhone is the end-all, be-all of smartphones.

Brandon




RE: What is this...2008?
By robinthakur on 4/22/2010 12:46:58 PM , Rating: 2
OK, you really don't know or you just wish you didn't know?!

quote:
Apple fans will unite to outpurchase any other group of rational technology consumers


No its very simple, Apple sells maybe 2 basic models in differing capacities. Their phone is a platform which is supported for a long time with regular firmware updates which add features (historically at least) and is on the shelf for longer, therefore sells more. HTC, Samsung and the rest sell upteen different models in Android, Wimo flavours etc. and it just fragments the market, as well as guaranteeing that the phone you just purchased will be replaced in HTC's lineup pretty quickly once its initial marketing campaign ends.

Even accounting for the fact that most people just want an iPhone because its A)Heavily advertised B)Debateably the simplest to use phone with the smoothest OS and the most Apps. and c) All their friends have one and speak highly of it.

The 3GS might have inferior hardware to the latest and greatest Androids, but what does that practically stop people from doing right now? Is the 3GS really slow to use and does the OS slow down and drop frames? Not that I'm aware of. The whole thing is smoother than butter and Apps launch nearly immediately. Therefore a more appropriate question, is what does the extra power afforded to the Droid Incredible through its processor etc. allow you to do better than someone with a 3GS? The technical abilities of the phone might be higher but you actually lose out on the Appstore apps therefore it could be argued that you are actually losing out over an iPhone, and that's why its compared to the iPhone.

I'm reminded of that Family guy episode where Carter asks Bill Gates if he can help him program his Zune... "Oh wait I have an iPod like the rest of the world."

This is not to say that the iPhone is unassailable, but when something is universally succcessful, is it so hard to believe that the software combined with the hardware and Apps availability makes it the best product available in the majority's eyes? More people might own Blackberry's but alot of those are business phones and they also own iPhones as personal ones. The people I know who own iPhones are not just non-techies its virtually the whole IT department here. Some people bought iPhones after being shown just 1 app. I guess you could say it was a killer app...


THAT...
By ajfink on 4/20/2010 12:37:20 AM , Rating: 1
...is the ugliest phone I have seen in quite a while.




RE: THAT...
By robinthakur on 4/23/2010 5:33:07 AM , Rating: 2
You're right, its interesting what design tells you about market targeting. It looks like something which would seem at home in Pokemon or something, but it doesn't really look like an appropriate business device, nor does it have the smooth lines and classy look of the iPhone sadly, but its nice technology


Preordered!
By spidey81 on 4/19/2010 3:45:36 PM , Rating: 2
I'm glad to see the reviews of this phone turn out so great. I've read a few since the release this morning, there's been a lot of differing opinions on the signal strength and camera/video quality. But everyone agrees, the Sense UI tweeks to android with this hardware are hard to beat!

I had it preordered @ 22:56 last night before all the reviews were up. Makes me glad to hear all the raves for it!




Finally!
By icanhascpu on 4/22/2010 6:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
Ive been looking for these droids forever!




Outlook
By rcc on 4/19/2010 5:44:02 PM , Rating: 2
But does it have a straightforward Outlook sync function?




RE: Outlook
By hiscross on 4/19/10, Rating: -1
Droid owned by LucasArts?
By niva on 4/19/10, Rating: -1
RE: Droid owned by LucasArts?
By Shig on 4/19/2010 4:29:52 PM , Rating: 2
Starwars


RE: Droid owned by LucasArts?
By theapparition on 4/19/2010 9:13:00 PM , Rating: 2
Strangly enough, no.

It's actually a trademark of the Lucasfilm THX certification. There's a little cartoonish robot that's named "Droid". You can see him in the beginning THX sound screen of many children's movies (Finding Nemo, for example).

If you were ever crazy enough to visit the THX store, they sold merchandise with that character.

Surprised that something like that could be trademarked, and surprised that Verizon chose to license it since I doubt anyone would confuse the two (like Apple Recordings (Beetles) and Apple computer), but whatever.


RE: Droid owned by LucasArts?
By lightfoot on 4/19/2010 4:32:53 PM , Rating: 2
They are called trademarks and copyrights. Presumably the term was trademarked because the success of the Star Wars franchise.

You probably couldn't call a phone the "R2-D2" or "Deathstar" either. But if they ever release a "Vader" I will have to own it.


RE: Droid owned by LucasArts?
By fic2 on 4/19/2010 4:48:03 PM , Rating: 2
Trademarks are usually fairly narrow in scope - i.e. trademark a word/phrase for apparel. This trademark then would not apply to electronic products. You have to specify what types of products your trademark applies to. But you can apply for a trademark for each of the areas - presumably what Lucas Arts did. It might have been either electronic toys or games that had LA widen the scope of their trademark. Or more than likely it is the standard practice of companies to make each of their trademarks as wide as possible.

IANAL.


RE: Droid owned by LucasArts?
By TheBaker on 4/19/2010 5:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but R2-D2, Vader, and Deathstar are creations of george Lucas. Droid is just a shortening of the word Android, which has been in use for, oh, 3000 years give or take. It would be like trademarking the word Fridge.


RE: Droid owned by LucasArts?
By Darkefire on 4/19/2010 5:46:06 PM , Rating: 2
Except "fridge" has long been in the common vernacular so it would be impossible to trademark now. "Droid" is a shortening of "android", true, but Lucas was the first to do it (the novelization of A New Hope actually uses an apostrophe ahead of the word to signify the shortening) and even now only the Star Wars universe consistently refers to robots as such.


RE: Droid owned by LucasArts?
By gralex on 4/19/2010 11:00:33 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the real word is androeides (and that's singular!)

So who shortened it to "android"? And more importantly, will they sue George?:D


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