Phone Review: HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE -
This past week I had the pleasure to spend some time with Verizon’s newest mid-range phone the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE. It is good to see the Droid Incredible line still alive among the Verizon Wireless community despite the new phone hitting the mid-range market instead of the high-end throne where its predecessors once reigned.
The very first thing I noticed when I pulled the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE out of the box was how small it felt. My current phone is the HTC One S so there is not much a difference in screens size (the DI is 4″ and the One S is 4.3″), but I had the feeling the Droid Incredible 4G LTE was going to slip right through my fingers. I am not implying the screen size is too little I am simply noting that I am used to the feel of my One S and noticed the difference. I was able to hold onto the phone easily with one hand, but typing with both thumbs proved to be a bit challenging. The HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE would be a perfect candidate for my favorite keyboard, Swype since one can drag a single thumb across the keyboard with ease to compile words and sentences.
The second thing I noticed is the plastic back cover which I thought was a bit flimsy for HTC’s style. HTC is well-known for greatly designed handsets; using a single piece of metal to carve out a uni-body design with both strength and beauty at the forefront so this was slightly discouraging. The cover peels off and on so easily that sometimes I had to double check that the phone was sealed back together. The back of this phone is more curvy than the HTC One S and it felt a little more secure in one hand while sweeping to and fro.
Hardware and Specs:
I discussed hardware a little in my initial impressions, but I must point out that the front of this phone looks solid. It has a heavy-duty frame around the display and the notes of red on the speaker grill, power button, and camera lens are a nice touch. The screen is slightly raised by a little bezel surrounding the glass breaking that blended look most phones have a single, flat front.
NFC – I am very excited about NFC and all of its potential, but I did not have any tags to program or interact with. I did get to put Android Beam into action between this phone and a friend/co-worker’s non-HTC phone and it worked pretty much how I thought it would; you touch the two phones together and tap the screen on the phone with the content to share. One little oddity I found was that I was using the Dolphin HD browser and my co-worker had the default browser, so when I tried to share a website with him he was sent to the Play market to get Dolphin HD instead of going to HTC Source’s homepage. I was also able to create some tasks I would use NFC tags for using the very easy to use NFC Task Launcher app. Sadly, Google Wallet is blocked on most phones by Verizon and from what I found online an in-house app was being worked on by Verizon, but has not emerged and may have even been killed off before making an appearance. I installed the Get Google Wallet app, but the guidance there was no help to me since I do not plan to root the demo phone I am borrowing and the market app was not compatible with this model.
On a small NFC rant, I think Android Beam is a simple method for sharing content among Android users and manufacturers should not try to develop their own in-house solution that only works on their phones. I do not see an added benefit to the user and their circle of friends since it’s not like they are going phone shopping together! Odds are that a group friends are going to have a mixed bag of phones at any given time so why not be flexible and share with everyone verses with the only other guy with a Sam… err newer phone by the same manufacturer.
- Processor: Dual-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4
- RAM: 1 GB
- Internal Storage: 8 GB w/mciroSD slot
- OS: Android 4.0 (ICS), Sense 4.0
- Cameras: rear – 8 MP w/F2.2, BSI, Autofocus, LED flash, and 1080p video recording; front – 1.3 MP
- Extras: Beats Audio, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, MHL, LTE
Battery Life – Gone are the days where a 4G phone with a non-existent 4G network will kill your phone while it constantly searches for a signal. The Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip carries the 4G radio onboard preserving precious battery juice for other, important to you tasks like updating your status on your favorite social network or chatting with a loved one.
Camera – The 8 MP camera worked quite well for me. I like the preset camera scenes and the built-in filters that users can add before or after shots are snapped. HTC has always engineered a winning combo of hardware and software to produce top-notch rear cameras on their phones. The HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE did not get the dedicated camera chip one will find in the HTC One series phones, but with the improvements made in ICS the shutter is quicker and the camera is accessible very quickly from the lock screen than most before the HTC One phones.
Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich kicks this phone into high gear with the HTC Sense 4.0 user interface on top. I think HTC Sense has come a long way from its early days and it is very comfortable to use and interact with. One thing I do miss is the ability to “Personalize” the user interface from a long press on a blank are on the homescreen. This option has been moved to the settings panel and though it is not hard to get to I still find myself long pressing from the hotseat.
Android runs very smooth and games chug along without missing a beat. Speaking of Beats… The Beats Audio sound profile is onboard and initiates when a user opens their preferred music player or streams other media types. This is a step up from the original profile found on the HTC Rezound that only worked with the default Android media player.
The HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE is great option for mid-range users looking to upgrade from their older Droid Incredible models or phones like the HTC Rhyme and the $149.99 price point is comfortable on the wallet with a new 2 year contract. Epect to get a good days use of this handset and to snap your candid photos while on the go taking them with you where ever you may be.
If you are interested and act quick enough, you can enter to win an HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE here: http://offerpop.com/htcusa/147331, there’s only a few days left to win.