By Johnny Mason
As many of you may know by now, I have been a big fan of the Nexus One since its release. Then the HTC Droid Incredible comes along.
If you want to go ahead and skip the rest of the article, I’ll shorten it up a bit for you. The Incredible is easily the best Android handset on the market today.
Even Google recognizes this enough to now announce that the Verizon-compatible Nexus One is dead and will not be launched afterall. That’s a kick in the junk to the Big G on the hardware side of things, but it’s still a big boon to the power of their OS, Android.
The Incredible is a 1GHz Snapdrgon CPU powered handset sporting Android 2.1 wrapped in HTC’s smooth Sense UI, and then coated in a lightweight, sleek & delicious shell. It just feel great in the hand and operates in a snappy manner. The rear of the handset has this funky “stairstep” effect that definitely demands a second look. From this view, it looks more like a car part than a cell phone, but somehow it works. The front of the device has the same beautifully crisp AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display that the Nexus One sports. This is good and bad. Images and videos are crisp and gorgeous to look at…at least until you’re in the sunlight. This has been my biggest gripe with my Nexus One. If you are in the sun, good luck to you to see much of anything. It’s a trick to dial or see an incoming call or use an app. Let me tell you, it’s kind of a bummer if you’re trying to use the thing to go geocaching.
On the upside, the touch responsiveness of the Incredible out performs that of the Nexus One, which leads me to believe that this is a software issue. Remember…same screen.
The touch-sensitive buttons (back, menu, home, and search) work just as they should with no delays. In lieu of the trackball, there is a smooth optical trackpad which is a joy to use. I never have liked the mini deodorant balls on phones. Wonky as heck.
If you’re into snapping pics of your cat or those wacky drunken binges you and your friends like to participate in, prepare to do so in higher res. The Incredible carries an 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash and autofocus that performs quite well. There’s none of the typical splotchiness that comes alomng with many of HTC’s shooters. If you want to shoot video, they look pretty good at 800 x 480. Firing up the camera is relatively quick, so your chances of missing that epic kegstand is at a minimum. Duuuuuude!
Sound quality is great. The speakerphone and media audio come through loud and clear with minimal distortion. Calls sounded great on Verizon’s network. Absolutely, one of the best.
I was happy to see that an Android handset finally has a decent amount of built-in storage. The Incredible has 8 gigs of it. It’s also expandable via micro SD card (up to 32 gigs) for some serious room to move. You don’t have to worry about deleting the aforementioned kegstand any time soon.
Navigating through the operating system was fairly typical of Android, but HTC’s Sense UI wrapper brightens it up a bit. Yes, I’m a sucker for eye candy, but also for function when it comes to my tech goodies, and I’m proud to announce that the phone comes through on both ends. (Rumors have been circulating that HTC is even working on their very own OS…should be interesting to see what that looks like.) There have been some tweaks made specifically for Verizon such as folding visual voicemail into the messaging app and condensing the navigation feature in with some other stuff. ENterprise users will be happy to know that multiple POP, Exchange and IMAP email accounts are supported all with a single inbox.
Battery life is fairly typical for a smartphone. I managed to get a day’s use out of the Incredible. No biggy to slap it on the charger at bedtime.
So, rejoice Verizon customers! I bestow upon thee the Droid Incredible. Go forth and be nerdy.