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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:

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

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.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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