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HTC Incredible Review

UPDATE: The HTC Incredible is currently sold out at Verizon Wireless, but Phandroid has it available and on sale… and for an even lower price! Learn more here.

Make no mistake – the HTC Incredible launches as the best phone on Verizon and the best phone in America – but is it for you? Our in-depth review of the “Droid Incredible” dives into all the features, discusses all the specs, tours the software, picks apart the 8MP camera (with lots of samples), compares the device head-to-head with the Motorola Droid, and gives you our conclusions that we hope will assist you in drawing your own.

Hardware Review

The HTC Incredible is very closely related to the European HTC Desire and you could essentially consider it to be an upgraded version of the Nexus One – likely the reason Verizon Wireless decided not to carry the first “Google Phone” afterall. Perhaps the best compliment we can give the Incredible hardware is our difficulty in finding things to complain about.

With a large capacitive touchscreen (3.7-inch WVGA AMOLED), simple and functional layout and design, uniquely stylized rear, 8MP camera, 3.5mm headset jack and powered by 1GHz Snapdragon processor with ROM/RAM/Memory improvements, the Incredible has a solid foundation for success.

While I would prefer a trackball to a trackpad, I find its use as a dedicated camera key to be pretty perfect. Partially due to the rear contours, when you lay the camera flat on its back the lens comes into direct contact with the surface below; this may or may not be an issue in the long-run, but these same contours free up the speaker, helping create a loud and crisp audio experience. Beyond always wanting bigger and badder specs, most of the “points of contention” one could make about the Incredible come down to gadget reality – tradeoffs.

No gadget can be perfect, but as a high-powered smartphone with multimedia in mind, the HTC Droid Incredible tries its darndest. Everything you would EXPECT on an Android phone is of course present – Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, Accelerometer, etc – but the Incredible attempts to kick it once notch beyond what is expected and offer things other Androids don’t.

One prime example is including 8GB of onboard memory in addition to the MicroSD slot that can hold up to 32GB of its own. Although some people have reported problems/issues/concerns with saving Application data to the onboard memory (with no MicroSD card), this can be at least partially attributed to the Incredible being a bit ahead of its time. Lack of internal memory on phone after phone after phone has been a top point for Android critics to pick on, and the Incredible is really the first limelight device to tackle internal memory head on.

HTC has done a tremendous job crafting the Incredible and its specs speak for themselves. The design manages to be simultaneously modest and edgy, packing a lot of punch for a device only half an inch thick and 4.5 ounces heavy. The phone has done a bit of “creeking” – just about the only thing that worries me – but “worries” is probably a gross overstatement. Because when it comes down to it I really, really love the Incredible hardware all-around.

Software Review

Android 2.1 and HTC Sense are at the heart of the HTC Incredible and both serve the device very well. But the 1GHz processor and beefed up RAM serve the software equally well in return: the UI is speedy to say the least and the extra processing power offers a notable improvement over competing devices that struggle or crumble under the processing demands of Android 2.1 and Sense.

We can’t rewrite an encyclopedia with every phone launch, so instead of doing in depth reviews of 2.1 & Sense we’ve hit on some of the highlights of each.

Android 2.1 brings:

  • Voice-to-Text in more places. At first, voice to text was only available for Google Search: say what you want to search out loud and watch Google work its magic! Add in the ability to “Navigate To” a location with a voice command and search through other areas of your phone with voice and things are even sunnier. But now you can use voice-to-text in almost anywhere that requires text-input including composing text messages and E-Mail… pure awesomeness!
  • Live Wallpapers. A novelty that some love and some would rather live without, but if they’re your cup of tea, you can get them on the Incredible.
  • Google Navigation. This isn’t unique to the Incredible or even Android 2.x, but it’s a feature that’s well worth mentioning. Google Maps is an application I use almost daily and with the added ability to get Turn-By-Turn navigation, you’re mobile phone truly escalates its value to another level completely. And oh yeah, it’s free.

HTC Sense brings:

  • Sexiness. One look at the weather widget and your knees will be wobbly.
  • More sexiness. There is more where the weather widget came from – choose from a long-list of beautiful widgets with an expanding list that you can have updated automatically.
  • More homescreens. Typical Androids get 3 homescreens. Some lucky 2.X Androids like the Nexus One enjoy 5 homescreens. But devices with HTC Sense? 7 homescreens – that’s a lot of room for icons and widgets!
  • Even more sexiness. With “scenes” – different groupings of 7 homepages – you can switch between various icon/widget setups to be used in different settings and scenarios.
  • Helicopter View. With one touch you can get a quick overview of all 7 homescreens on your current “Scene”. I wish you could also use this view to flick left and right between different scenes and hopefully this is something HTC thinks about adding – I think a lot more people would use HTC Sense.
  • FriendStream. Essentially HTC’s version of Motorola BLUR, Friendstream attempts to consolidate all the points of your interwebz socialness into one easy to access app/widget. Great for those who want to casually keep tabs on friends and family in a passive, non-obsessive way. If you want to see every single tweet and every single facebook status update, you’ll probably be downloading two separate dedicated apps anyways.

A lot of what the Incredible has to offer goes beyond your typical Android 2.1/Sense discussion.

My absolute FAVORITE new feature of the HTC Incredible is the FM Radio which can only be enabled when you have headphones plugged into the 3.5mm headset jack. Simple to use, and just like Google Navigation, adds a completely new dimension to your phone. Sure, we know that Android Market has a ton of kick butt streaming apps, but I welcome the FM Radio with arms as open as they’ll stretch. This feature is SO easy to use its ridiculous and I think it’ll be plenty popular.

Web browsing with the HTC Incredible is fast and enjoyable on the 3.7-inch screen and pages load quickly. The experience is further improved by:

  • Pinch-to-zoom capabilities
  • Flash Lite 4 (likely upgradeable to Flash 10.1 soon)
  • Enhanced Copy & Paste features

The copy and paste system is greatly improved, and somehow we forgot to touch on that in the software video. Basically if you long-press text from within your browser, two push pins will show up on either side of a highlighted selection. move those push-pins around and touch one of the three icons – (1) Copy to clipboard, (2) Search, (3) Share. Searching includes the ability to immediately look-up the selected text on Wikipedia, find the definition provided by Google, or translate the text to a different language.

I’d definitely include watching videos, listening to music, and playing games as part of the overall software experience and I’m happy to report that the HTC Incredible does all three things very well and with grace. Videos are fairly quick to display, crisp looking and play with excellent sound quality while we’re blessed with the familiar HTC organization/management tools for our music. Games render smoothly and those that might have previously choked on 3D high-performance graphics are now much more playable thanks to the improved processor and RAM.

There truly is too much to mention when it comes to covering software, but lets not forget Footprints, QuickOffice, CityID, Peep, Voice Recorder, and other apps that aren’t on typical Android devices but instead custom-provided by HTC. The HTC Incredible also comes with some exclusive apps courtesy of Verizon such as Skype Mobile and NFL Mobile that sweeten the software pot even more.

Camera & Camcorder Review

The HTC Incredible can take some AMAZING pictures with its 8MP camera… there is no doubt about that. Here are some of my favorite pictures I took over a few days with the Incredible (click to enlarge).

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Try and tell me some of those don’t look all sorts of Bob-Rossed-up.

While the hardware (8MP camera/sensor, auto-focus and dual LED flash) can certainly take credit for a large chunk of the camera (and my pictures) success, the software behind the camera and camcorder experience provided a new level of versatility that made these pictures possible. Some of the more advanced features you can toggle include: Flash, Zoom, Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness, White Balance, ISO, Size, Quality, Self-Timer, Auto-Focus, Geo-tagging, Metering and Time stamps. Wow.

And here are a couple examples to illustrate the camera’s successful use of zoom and flash. In terms of flash, the first picture was taken with ample lighting and the second was taken from the exact same place in the pitch dark – it performs pretty well but you should understand the flash will only work in close quarters when the subject is only a few feet away.

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That definitely doesn’t mean the Incredible camera is perfect – its far from it in fact. I found the auto-focus to be average, the sensor’s handling of lighting to be kind of extreme, and the lack of “quick pic” settings such as portrait/close-up/scenery/etc… to be tedious given the other extensive options available.

Sure… I could snap some amazing photos with the right settings, but that took some time to accomplish if the conditions weren’t just right. And even then sometimes I would fail miserably by user error and sometimes the camera just wouldn’t snap it as good as I thought it might. If something happens spur of the moment and you’re only able to get ONE picture of whatever phenomenon is occurring, whether or not the Incredible would come through in the clutch is more of a coin toss than a sure thing.

Here is a gallery that includes a bunch of other pictures I took – note that I deleted a ton of iffy/cruddy pictures too as I tried to learn the settings and experiment but this should provide an idea of the range of the camera and how different pictures look based on settings:

At the beginning of this section I said the HTC Incredible CAN take amazing photos but emphasized a different word. The key word I’d like to stress in closing is CAN because its all about potential. The Incredible has the potential to take amazing photos and you’ll inevitably enjoy having it in your pocket on a daily basis because of that… but that definitely doesn’t mean every picture is awesome and sometimes you have to work at it.

As for the HTC Incredible Camcorder? It also enjoys the same options and settings you get from the regular camera – white balance, contrast, brightness – all that good stuff. This is something we’re not used to seeing on Android Phones and it was a lot of fun to play with on the Incredible. Unfortunately, I found the video results to be underwhelming compared to the photos.

Below are 4 videos uploaded directly from the Incredible to YouTube. The first is of a goose on a lake that I thought was pretty good while the second is of a bird in a tree that seemed pretty bad. The third and fourth videos were taken of the mascot at the Baltimore Orioles baseball game dancing with a fan. I thought both videos were pretty good and the first of the two is at regular distance while the second I zoom in as far as possible.

One thing to point out in the above video is how GREEN it gets at the end. It was pretty bright out and this problem of going from very dark to very bright depending on where you have your camera aimed, all within seconds, was a recurring problem for me. Sure you could use the “brightness” option to fix that but then those normal looking greens would be incredibly washed out.

I was literally standing right under this cardinal, sitting in the tree (the cardinal, not me), in broad daylight and was disappointed that all I seemed to get on video was a bunch of blurry trees on the Incredible’s default settings. Fooey.

The above is without any zoom.

And that one had zoom. Not bad… not bad at all… but for some reason the photography capabilities of the Incredible seem to be a notch or two above the video results. I was surprised by that conclusion, and I’m not sure exactly why this is the case, but its what the evidence and experience proved.

But as I explained before, this 8MP camera with auto-focus and dual LED flash can be a real gem and you’ll enjoy carrying around, snapping away and sharing with friends and family. Just be careful of what you upload to Facebook!

HTC Incredible vs. Motorola Droid

I absolutely LOVED the Motorola Droid when it launched… if you don’t believe me just read my review – I even bought one. So to say that the HTC Incredible bests the Motorola Droid in practically every category isn’t just saying a lot, it’s confirming the opening statement that on launch, the Incredible is the best phone in the United States.

The Incredible ups the ante in almost every category: brighter screen, better processor, more RAM, extra internal memory, FM radio tacked onto the 3.5mm headset jack, HTC Sense added to Android 2.1, and the list goes on.

The interesting thing to note here is that even though the Incredible breezes by the Moto Droid, the Droid is still not only a very capable phone but also one of the top few phones in the United States.

Conclusion

What more can I say? The HTC Incredible isn’t revolutionary but it speaks volumes about the evolution of mobile phones and Android altogether. Six months ago the Motorola Droid ruled the world. Today, the HTC Incredible easily lopes past the Moto Droid on its way to outclassing it in nearly every category.

The Incredible is the real deal: the spec sheet is weighed down but the device is thin enough and light enough for the average consumer to enjoy. The screen is large and beautiful, the camera is capable of taking fantastic photos, the multimedia experience – especially with the FM Radio tuner – is very enjoyable. Android 2.1 and HTC Sense pack more awesomeness into the Incredible than one review can contain.

Sure… the next best thing is always right around the corner, but right now the Incredible IS the next best thing and even in a year or two, it’ll still be powerful enough to zip along.

Continue reading on the HTC Droid Incredible forums, see the specs, or find news and reviews.




  • naruvam

    Correct me if I’m wrong but first android phone with 8gb internal memory was Samsung Galaxy….

  • G8D

    Hawt.

  • fred

    I am glad that the Incredible bests the Droid. Maybe that will lower Droid prices so I can afford one without having to get a slave contract.

    Since there is no Incredible version that works on Bell/Telus I have no interest in it.

  • Anthony

    T-Mobile are you listening!!!! This is what an Android phone should be.

  • Maj

    HTC give us the gsm version

  • doublea

    I got my Incredible last night and love it! However, it has already dropped three calls and never has more than two bars of signal strength in the same areas that my LG Dare has full bars. Definitely a noticeable difference in network connectivity.

  • Jed

    Are you sure it can handle up to a 32GB SD card? I would have thought that except that I have read other reports as well as the specs on Verizon’s site that says 16GB max. I’ve had the phone for two days and love it except that with a lot of my music and a few movies, the 16GB card is almost maxed out.

  • Lostman

    You mentioned that you need to have headphones plugged in to hear the FM radio. Can you use the FM radio using bluetooth headphones?

  • Jed

    Verizon’s site still says 16GB for the SD card on the Incredible but I just checked HTC’s site and it says 32GB which makes way more sense (no pun intended). I wish Verizon would have gotten their info right to begin with because now I’ve spent money that could have gone toward the 32GB card. UGH.

  • Gerg

    32GB MicroSD cards as of now don’t exist(I believe). Might be why Verizon doesn’t advertise it.

    16GB MicroSD cards are everywhere, up to Class 6, which means it’s perfect for Apps2SD etc.

  • TF

    @lostman – it likely requires the corded headphones – it uses them as the antenna.

  • IMPERIUM

    No discussion of the screen’s performance in daylight? This isn’t much of a review.

  • T-Mobile

    T-MOBILE TIME TO STEP YOUR GAME UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I still have this shitty My TOUCH…..

  • Son

    Just went to moes and saw a guy showing up his Droid Incredible to a friend, JEALOUS. STILL GOT 1.5 ON MY HERO. PISSED.

  • Rich

    I just ordered mine from Verizon over the phone through the job. I tried my best to get the Nexus One at the discounted price, but T-Mobile screwed up. Had no choice but to go to Big Red. And, I got it for a good price – $150. But I gotta wait till next week. No worries, my G1 will hold me over.

  • Steve

    This was the best Droid Incredible review I have seen. The multi touch looks amazing. I hope that the Evo raises the bar even higher.

  • HP2

    Could I use the SD card on my Eris and just stick it in the Incredicle?

  • Peter

    When it comes to the SD card, both 32GB and 16GB are technically correct. The hardware can actually handle a 32GB card, but currently, Android is limited to only being able to handle 16GB of that memory. Future Android versions should take that up to 32GB.

  • Quasar

    It’s not that much better than the N1 really. The Incredible’s camera got a boost and the touchscreen is made with better tech. The N1, on the other hand, has the LED trackball that will be able to change colors and should do FM radio just fine once it gets the update for it. The N1 can do 802.11n as well. I’ll be surprised if the N1 doesn’t get the Froyo update well before the Incredible too.

  • Abrown

    Awesome review! Almost too much information to process, but I loved how Rob did some details on the camera, and some of the small features. Usually the small things get overlooked on other reviews and some of the small things come together to make the phone great. Love the Incredible! I actually went and played with one today at the Verizon store and was impressed. Come on stupid contract expire! That or, come on phone die, die!

  • SteveE

    Since Verizon killed the VIP program and ending my contract a year early will only be $149, as soon as I can sell my phone, my order is in! Just played with it at verizon…. I had to wipe the drool off it

  • Tochukwu

    Man apologies but this phone is truly INCREDIBLE. HTC and GOOGLE are two really sick companies. The voice recognition is sooo accurate its scary. Please dont insult this phone by calling it an iPhone killer, its more than that !. Wow.

    Now can somebody hack (software and hardware) this so we can use it here in the UK.

  • Topshelf

    Any chance someone knows the answer to these 2 questions?

    1) I know the FM Radio works with wired headset plugged in, but is there no way to get that piped out to a BT headset at the same time? I go to bed listening to a small MP3 player, but it’s a pain in the neck when the cords get all wrapped around during the night. Would be great if I could just get a cheap BT headset to pop in one ear.

    2) Can you download an MP3 directly from a website, then have access to it from the built in player? Not looking to stream the MP3…actually save it to a location that is accessible from the phone.

    Thanks in advance if anyone can help with these questions.

  • Michael

    I am very impressed by your idea for switching scenes…now it all feels so incomplete :( :P

  • Topshelf

    One more question if anyone knows…
    3) Looking at the accessories in the store I just noticed this USB-to-3.5mm audio jack.
    http://store.phandroid.com/htc-audio-cable-ac-a320/11A75A6472.htm
    Does anyone know if HTC (or anyone for that matter) sells a combo cable that plugs into the USB port on the phone and then outputs to both a charger and a 3.5mm audio port? Just like how the iPhone has a single cable that outputs from the dock connector and splits off into USB/Audio. Otherwise I’m guessing you would need to plug the USB charger and a seperate audio cable in if you wanted to use this in your car.

  • destardi

    doublea wrote on April 29, 2010
    ————————————

    I spent a day running my HTC Incredible next to my Moto Droid.

    Conclusion: MotoDroid wins hands down, and I’m kinda disappointed.

    1) Signal strength was H O R R I B L E. In the SAME spot at my desk (not far from a window), my Moto Droid had full bars, and 3G. The HTC Incredible had barely one bar on 1X??? Tried downloading an app from the marketplace (several actually) and the Droid had downloaded and installed when the HTC Incredible was still downloading a couple minutes later. Bad.

    Also, the battery after a full charge ran down faaaaaast.

    The Incredible is going back, and Droid is staying. This is my second bad experience with HTC.

    /disclaimer, I am NOT a fanboy of ‘motorola’, I am a diehard fan of Android, but not at the expense of download speed, and poor battery life.

    l8a

  • John

    The Nexus One is ten times better. Phones that don’t have Vanilla Android suck and will never get updated. Plus the Nexus One looks about 100 times better than this.

  • t1jordan

    Destardi thanks for sharing your experience with us. Im sure these people wont listen. Its all about the EVO with Sprint. In these times you shouldnt buy a phone without two camera’s. You will be out dated quick.

  • Trent

    THanks for the really great and complete reviews. Best I have seen on the web. THere is one downside I have heard about the HTC that concerns me and you did not address this. Some have said that the HTC does not get good reception in weak Verizon areas. Are you familiar with this? Also, I have heard that the WiFi is weak with the Moto Droid. Is the WiFi on the HTC strong? and does it auto switch to WiFi if the Verizon signal is strong?

  • tdawg

    Of course you can download an MP3 and listen on your phone. Same goes for downloading a picture and using it as a wallpaper etc.
    My only gripe with the incredible is the lack of HD video. need 720p recording to make it an iPhone killer. I am sure the new iphone will have HD video and a 5mp camera sensor or better.

  • BrianH

    I’d love to own one of these. But with Verizon releasing 4G by perhaps July, this phone would be outdated. I talked with HTC and they said 4G would be a hardware issue, not firmware, so that means you would need to again get another phone to have the speed. If Verizon makes you pay more for 4G, I would probably stay with 3G. Then again, maybe they would keep the cost the same. Making it higher would create more distance between Sprint’s 4G, at a bargain price.

  • D in SJ

    @Covert, if you’re reading:

    Isn’t it sad? If you google htc+incredible+gloves, phandroid is the first result right now and no answer to our maxtouch questions in this review.

    I went to the Verizon store to try it myself and I can confirm that resistive-type touching is included in this touchscreen. You have to push harder to make good contact with your nail or cloth. Awesome. They must combine the two touch methods in one screen.

    It sounds like Apple uses the same vendor, so they’ll probably use the same technology in iphone 4 and hype it up more.

  • Topshelf

    @John and anyone else this concerns…Is there any reason for even posting that? Can’t you just let us enjoy and discuss something without adding pointless negative comments based on nothing. People like you have literally ruined the internet for me.
    @tdawg, have you actually done this? I tried dl’ing an mp3 on the demo unit and it just started streaming it. I want it saved to the location where the rest of my music is for later playback.

  • destardi

    Topshelf wrote on April 29, 2010
    ————————-

    For the record, I don’t know if I qualify as “anyone else” but I’m just trying to give an accurate description fo my experience. I L O V E gadgets, have an Android figurine in my cube, and a sticker on my car…I could care less about who the manufacturer is, but for me, the Incredible just wasn’t up to par with the signal strengh of my Droid, and the battery sucked. Two of the most important features of a phone, IMHO.

    Thanks.

  • Topshelf

    @destardi…no, you are not who/what I’m referring to. I actually appreciated your comment because it’s of major concern to an expensive product I’m seriously considering purchasing. I’m all for hearing the good/bad comments from actual user experiences. What I’m referring to is the always present “XXX is junk because I like XXX better.”, but they’ve never touched the device to come to these conclusions. For instance, there are numerous known issues with the N1 and more importantly, it’s not coming to Verizon. So how does his comment belong here? It’s just bashing for the sake of it. Makes me mental.

  • SteveE

    The signal strength is a concern to me. Could it just be a faulty one? Anyone else having those problems?

  • doublea

    @SteveE
    You are definitely not the only one here. I’m pretty disappointed with the signal strength. I live in a large city and have YET to see more than three bars at any given time (again, my LG Dare is at four bars 90% of the time).

    I had to charge the battery again this afternoon. Gave it a full charge before turning it on last night when I opened the box. Battery was dead at noon today. I used my company Blackberry just as much as the Incredible in that time frame, and my Blackberry lost one bar on the battery meter. Very disappointing.

  • Alex

    well, I can’t wait to get the HTC incredible, I haven’t have the chance to get to the store. When I get the phone, if I have problem with the bar, I’ll just return it, i think you get 15 days to return it. If I don’t like the HTC Incredible (which I doubt it) I’ll just wait for the Verizon iphone 4G which suppose to be out sometimes in June.

  • NotSoImpressed

    Picked up two today at 2pm….. Going back to return them after I type this at 5pm. Phone is crap, I get zero bars and 1x service whereas my iPhone is full bars and 3g service. Tech support said that it’s an issue in my area…. A major city! Secondly…. I use my yahoo mail for business, I have to turn off the WiFi on phone to be able to check it… If I turn WiFi on and try to check the email it gives me a login error. I have no desire to start forwarding my yahoo email to gmail nor do I want 1x service while at home. Sorry Verizon, I’m sticking with AT&T.

  • mike

    I can’t seem to get the led lights to light up with the camcorder.will it work so I can record at night.

  • NotSoImpressed

    Almost forgot….. The camera lens sticks far out of the back of the phone…. An open invitation to damage and scratching. The removable back is snap fit which means every time the phone is dropped the back will shoot off and the battery follows. Poor design but then it is a battery eater if you have WiFi and GPS on.

  • Ryan

    A note about the signal strength problems…

    So I got mine last night too and noticed I wasn’t getting more than one or two bars in places I had full bars before. So I called down to a VZW corporate store and had it exchanged. SAME EXACT problem, same exact behavior. Clearly there is a design flaw here. Pandora is skipping constantly. I think the excessive battery drain is due to constant signal searching.

    Are we all seeing this? Is anyone getting full bars like they used to?

  • destardi

    ***Update****

    I took my Incredible to the store, and a sales guy there pointed out that my Moto Droid was on a “hybrid network” of Alltel, and Verizon which may be why my signal is so strong. He checked my Incredible and says that it was on a hybrid network channel, so he updated it and said the battery may take a day or two to improve.

    I’m going to give it a chance because yes, with 3G on both phones, the Incredible IS faster than the Moto Droid, and my live wallpaper isn’t hanging at all on the Incredible.

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

    Good luck.

  • John Dito

    Love my incredible. No signal issues and ran it all day off the battery,browsing,pandora etc…and it barely dropped. Best handheld device ive ever used and ive used them all.

    Really just a very useful tool for my life that works how its supposed to.

  • helpermonkey

    While this review is very thorough in most respects and gives me a good idea of what to expect from the Incredible, I must say I’m pretty disappointed that it doesn’t even mention the big elephant in the room – the issue concerning HTC Sense and software updates. In fact, I don’t see really anybody talking about this. There is an unambiguous history of phones with Sense being very far behind with updates or, more commonly, never getting updated at all. This is an absolute deal breaker for me. It’s an underhanded way to lock customers into a cage where the only way out is a new, more expensive phone purchase (with better hardware and a newer software version of software). I’m not aware of any official statements from HTC or Verizon regarding fixing this problem. Why should I believe it will change?

  • Tom Avery

    Please add to the review how good the reception of the phone really is. Several reviews quote bars, but is the meter accurate, or not? Also, some review say that call quality was not good at all……..on both ends. We already know about battery life. Hopefully HTC will offer a larger battery soon.

  • MovieDriver

    Rob,
    Great review that was totally in-depth in all respects. It makes me want this phone all the more. I could get one now but waiting to see how happy people are with it. Seems a few are having reception problems, not good. I am very happy that HTC and others are coming out with great Android phones for all of us…Choices rule!!!

  • Synr

    After having the Droid(Moto) since launch and now playing with the Incredible for most of the day, I have a few comments.

    First of all, I don’t care for the Incredible’s screen too well. The resolution appears grainier than the Droid’s. They use different technology with their own strengths and weaknesses, but I prefer the Droid’s.

    I have noticed low signal strength as others have also noted, but I haven’t noticed a problem with call quality.

    Battery life was short, but I was expecting that. The Droid wasn’t much better when I first used it. It has improved with the Droid and I expect the same will happen with the Incredible after a few charges and discharges.

    Lastly, I haven’t made up my mind about Sense. Sense seems to just tweak everything a bit, beyond the extra widgets and apps.

    Both phones are awesome and I’m still very happy with my Droid. I would suspect that some people upgrading from a Droid to a Incredible may be a little disappointed. Anyone starting off with an Incredible should be blown away.

    Welcome to the Droid family!

  • Cynthia

    Makes sense that it sold out. Here’s my little video review of the Incredible:

    http://www.thecynch.com/video-htc-incredible-by-verizon-yay/

    -Cynthia

  • Mensah

    Looks bad ass….that cam looks like it maybe another android issue yet again even with 8 mgp. …wow I don’t get that…..but anyhey looks like a badasssss phone beyound that.

  • Springs

    Got mine yesterday at 2 and charged it till 4. At which point it showed full. At 10PM I got the “Connect your charger now” screen.

    Signal: I am not sure that the phone bars are set up right. I have a cell repeater in my car. I was sitting in the car with a signal of -90. I put the unit in the repeater and it jumped to -64. That is full bars on any other phone I have seen. But the Incredible still showed 2 bars. Today will be my first full day with the unit. Pulled it from the charger at 5:22AM Eastern. Lets see how it goes.

  • MarkL

    I got my Incredible yesterday. True, the signal strength was only 2 bars max…until this morning. I now have full bars. This happened with my Storm too. Give it some time. I recommend you to fully charge the battery and let it fully discharge before you recharge…then repeat for 3-5 times. This should help increase your battery experience. Again, it is what I do with all my phones and I have never had battery problems. JMHO

  • snapdragon

    im missing comparison to the desire

    i got a desire a few weeks ago und am telling everybody who needs a new phone to buy that – but would it be worth waiting for my friends to wait for the incredible launching in germany (if that is ever going to happen …)?

  • copr165

    Had mine on hold at the local VZW store. They opened an hour early for the launch. Was first customer in store and bought the first one sold in the store yesterday. Also own the Moto Droid. Gave up two BB Storm 2′s. Like the Moto Droid so much that I had to have the Incredible.
    All I can say is INCREDIBLE!!! Stop your bitching people. Some people just can’t be happy. As for me I LOVE IT and won’t leave home without it. As a matter of fact I won’t even be home without it.

  • Magicdroid

    hold it right there…

    is that Live Wallpapers I see on a 2.1 Sense UI device?!

    does the Desire have this too?

  • AJ

    This the best review (most comprehensive) I have seen on Incredible. I received my Incredible on Monday (Verizon really loves me) and as a now former Storm user I am delighted. I will say that occassionally my home screen will start randomly scrolling so I may have to get another one. But, I think this is a solid phone with a wonderful display. The speed of apps and tasks is exceptional, too.

    Keep up the good work!

    AJ

  • SteveE

    I am glad the signal is getting stronger. That really helps to know. Should be interesting to hear about in a week. If things sound better, my phone goes on sale next week.

  • destardi

    pdate****
    I took my Incredible to the store, and a sales guy there pointed out that my Moto Droid was on a “hybrid network” of Alltel, and Verizon which may be why my signal is so strong. He checked my Incredible and says that it was on a hybrid network channel, so he updated it and said the battery may take a day or two to improve.
    I’m going to give it a chance because yes, with 3G on both phones, the Incredible IS faster than the Moto Droid, and my live wallpaper isn’t hanging at all on the Incredible.
    I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
    Good luck.

    ****UPDATE****

    Sure enough, the change that Verizon made fixed the signal strength, and corrected my issue.

    Also, the battery is now performing much better also (probably because it’s not fighting to hold a signal).

    It’s a keeper for the camera alone; try taking a picture in total darkness or low light. A M A Z I N G.

    Droid took horrible pics and I use my camera alot :(

    Also, copy and paste is so much easier with Sense UI….very fast, and wallpapers don’t hang like on the Droid.

  • emon

    thank you to everyone leaving reviews,im up in the air on choosing between the incredible or nexus1,i have the g1 now and am ineed of an upgrade badly!

  • Theresa

    Had my Droid Incredible since yesterday and I no longer have a signal at all in my house (I have always had at least 3 bars with my old cheap phone. I have driven all over my town and the max signal I get is 2 bars but mostly it is only 1 bar or zero. I have dropped almost every call I have been on???? Is there a fix for this?

  • Dan

    Pdate…
    Any idea exactly how this channel change was done by the rep? is this something that can be done without going to verizon? I will have mine tomorrow and just preparing in case there is a signal issue.
    thanks

  • Dan

    LOL Pdate..what a dope…sorry…
    meant to address that to destardi. Maybe I should proofread more :)

  • SteveE

    Sweet! I don’t have to kill my contract. Even though I am a year away, verizon said they could give me $50 off and just extend it. Just gotta find one now….

  • triggerfin

    Incredibly poor signal strength/reception. Got my Incredible yesterday. Signal strength is a big problem and likely a deal breaker. My Verizon Blackberry Curve currently shows full signal strength and the HTC shows zero bars. It jumps back and forth from 0 to 1 bar and in most cases I cannot send/receive calls from it. Never had this problem b4 with any other phone in my house. Sadly, Incredible probably has to go back and will have to try the N1 if/when it comes out on verizon.

  • Aaron Ludwig

    Destardi, Tell us what they did at the store. I’m having similar trouble.
    Aaron

  • Fred Rez

    Got my Incredible two days ago through mail and I had the worst reception in my house. I have a Motorola Droid and it has perfect reception. FM Radio also has a very poor reception and lots of statics. I returned the phone and got myself another Moto Droid.

  • helpermonkey

    @triggerfin
    It’s a done deal – the N1 will never come out on Verizon. When I found out that HTC Sense was going to be on the Incredible (thereby rendering it almost useless as a functional Android phone)I went for the AT&T N1. I know people have problems with the AT&T network but it’s really not bad at all unless you live in LA, San Fran or New York. In fact, they’ve been spending quite a bit of that iPhone money beefing up their network.

  • http://chicojd.wordpress.com ChicoJD

    If you REALLY want to turn off Sense UI, go to settings, applications, filter to “all applications” and clear defaults on the Sense app. When you hit home, you should have a choice between “Sense” and “Home”

  • Ryan

    Destardi, yes please tell us what the update was. Thanks.

  • helpermonkey

    @ChicoJD
    It’s not a matter of turning Sense off, it’s the fact that the Incredible will very likely not see any software updates because of HTC Sense. Just ask Hero and Eris users how awesome it is to have a phone that never gets an update. What’s the point of an Android phone that doesn’t get updated?

  • Aaron Cello

    Hey Destardi,
    Which store did you take your phone to? Who worked on it for you. And What did he do?

  • Aaron Cello

    Heard there was an update. Did anyone get it?

  • Don0814

    Took mine back to a Verizon store and they were suppose to have changed some things. The lady it will take about 48 hours to update, then I have to do the *228 reprogram, they said that should take care of the weak signal. I hope it works and not sure why it takes 48 hours to update, anyone hear of this?

  • triggerfin

    Update: I talked to verizon support and their tech support – they treated it as a hardware issue vs. a “feature” of the phone (e.g. they did not acknowledge any sort of known signal strength shortcoming of the Incredible). When I was speaking with them, I actually did have 1 bar on my phone. They said there are 2 towers in my vicinity and to go out in my front yard, which has no trees or obstructions. I actually went to zero bars and no reception when I did that. So, they are sending me a replacement phone which I should receive on Wed. They said they will call be back on Wed. and we’ll see if that fixes it. Will report back then. Based on the other posts I’m seeing on this topic, I’m not anticipating a fix, but certainly hoping for one.

  • Ryan

    Update: Had a tier two tech support call with Verizon about this. The woman said they are officially acknowledging this as an issue with the model. She opened what she called a “master support ticket” so the other support engineers will see it. She said everyone including her sister-in-law gets 1-2 bars max. I’m supposed to get a call back within 3 business days for an update. My guess is there will be an OTA software update within a couple weeks to address it.

  • Don0814

    Ryan Keep us posted on what they do, I decided to take mine back untill they work the bugs out.

  • aneesd

    Note: You actually CAN turn off HTC Sense, just as on the Droid Eris, etc. However, this requires you to move into Settings > Applications > Find HTC Sense > Reset Defaults > Hit button and select Home as default. Then, it will automatically go to the default Android home. Not intuitive at all, but it’s possible (I believe it is, please note if I’m wrong).

  • jak1202

    Destardi…

    I am also having the signal strength issue and would love to know what the “fix” actually entailed. The guy at the Verizon Store tried to convince me that if I would set the “use GPS” under location settings to on, that would help. I have a hard tome following THAT logic. So…what did they do that made yours work? I want to love the phone but if it’s not up to par regarding phone functions, then fugeddaboutit!

    J

  • http://www.verizonwireless.com Verizon Wireless Employee

    For those having signal issues, try dialing *228 and choosing option 2. This is known as a PRL (Preferred Roaming List) update. This should help strengthen your cellphone reception. Any hybrid PRL’s may have to be manually pushed into the phone. Technicians that are available at a corporate store can do this for you.

  • Wizardofog

    Can you set an MP3 up as a ringtone on the Incredible like you can on the BB Storm? Or do you have to purchase ringtones from Verizon?

    Also, I noticed in the Verizon store today that the phone memory is only listed as roughly 700Mb but the onboard memory was something like 6.9Gb. Can you store and run apps from the entire 8GB of onboard (6.9Gb) or only on the 700Mb (like the 128 on the storm?… that still pisses me off ha ha). Will it run apps from the SD card too?

    Anyone able to confirm that the phone will read the 32GB SD card? Verizon only says 16Gb max.

    Seriously thinking about getting this phone but I want to see how the whole signal strength thing plays out. I suspect the signal strength is what is causing the short battery life because searching for a signal will drain one FAST on any phone.

  • harry

    The incredible is a joke. HTC and Verizon knows there is a problem with reception and they pretended like they didn’t. Fu HTC and Verizon. Just come clean and say u got a defective device. As for the rest of us stop living in denial and return this shit.

  • Don0814

    Harry agree with you thats why I took mine back after 3 days.

  • BrianH

    I appreciate all the comments everyone has made. I think after hearing all this and with the advent of 4G around the corner, I will take a sit and wait approach any maybe spring for the new iPhone. However, if Apple insists on not supporting Flash it won’t be the phone for me. Geeze, I hate waiting.

  • Josh

    I too am having signal problems with my Inc, I am about to go back to ATT and N1 until I read destardi’s post. So how do you check to see if that is the issue and how do you fix it?
    –Josh

  • John Hamrick

    What an interesting thread. True love/hate thing going on here. I was number one customer on release date and have found the phone absolutely amazing (won’t say incredible). Signal strength is fine out of the box, the Verizon network simply rocks. I’ve made 200+ calls in the mountain area in which I live, not one dropped. I’m not a bar watcher, but the phone is very clear, always.

    Perhaps they had a bad batch???? Anyway, I’m happy to report that I agree with the reviewer, I’ve never seen/owned a nicer slice of mobile technology…. won’t say apple killer, but will say

    Incredible=fun/work/utility/productivity
    Iphone=toy/bad network
    Ipad=joke

  • Ron

    I just got my Incredible Friday had some issues with no signal. Took back to Verizon dealer they did the *228 option 2 it seemed to work, I can make calls now. Still not sure doesn’t seem to have a lot of signal strength but is working. Love this phone though hope it all works out.

  • Paul

    Have a BB Curve today and thinking about the incredible. How does mail work when using a POP mail server?

  • joel

    Now I Just have to wait until they are off national back order. I was told by the end of may, but the verizon web site says Middle of June.

  • Linda

    I noticed that not one word was mentioned in this lengthy review about an INCREDIBLY important feature of a cell phone which has been a constant problem for android based phones — the bluetooth voice dial feature — or lack thereof. Is this still a problem for this HTC Incredible?? I was one of the first to buy the Droid on launch day waaaayyyy back in November ’09. I was totally stoked — for about a half hour — at which time I tried to do a BT voice dial from my headset while driving. Nothing! Even the sales folks in the Verizon store didn’t know about this shortcoming. Long story short the Droid went back, and as of this date I am still waiting and still using my old LG Dare. I have checked constantly over these past 6+ months to see if Google or Moto have done anything to correct this problem. I have spent countless hours reading posts from users about this, and so far as I can tell there is, as of 5-27-10, no progress on correcting this problem. The Incredible seems very tempting, however I want to know if it can BT voice dial. If not, then I will continue my wait. I am in a “handsfree” state, and besides it is just plain dangerous to be dialing a phone while driving and I refuse to do it. I am on the road a lot, so this feature is extremely important. The other question is whether the Incredible will connect the contact list via BT with my Audi Q5 like my Dare does. Anyone out there know the answers?

  • Mystic

    I’m reading so many post about bad reception. I live in a little town with no cell towers for a ways and my blackberry was always iffy on reception. I got the incredible and yes at first not the greatest reception. Then I did the *228 and I have had better a better signal then I have ever had with any phone. With any new phone including the i-phone and I’m sure the Evo 4G there are always problems that need to be worked out. My storm was a piece of crap when I got it on release day but after a while and new software updates it got better and when in the city (better signal then home) it’s the best phone I had had.

  • Jake

    This review lost all credibility with it’s first paragraph. Fanboys should stick to their circle jerks, not try to pass off this crap as a legitimate review.

  • Russell

    If you can’t use voice dial with your BT headset, try the BlueAnt Q1. Supposedly that gives a way around the problem.

  • Rachel

    I bought the HTC Incredible as an emergency because my Palm Centro had suddenly died. Anyway, the tiny Verizon store where I bought it had only 5 phones to choose from – one of the this Droid.

    Your assessment of this is correct
    I cannot begin to list what is wrong with this phone.

    1) The reception is awful – calls are dropped constantly and voice mail is all garbled

    2) The battery life is abysmal – even with no activity whatsoever – barely 8 hours. I had to buy 3 charge cables just to keep it going in the car, home and office. Never had to do that with any other phone.

    3) When my sister calls, it says she’s in Rikers Island (for those of you not in New York, that’s a prison) Other contacts are listed as calling from Prague (Chech Republic) or various out of state locations even though all these people are in New York! And no, they don’t travel – certainly not my 88-year old mother.

    4) The contacts list provides the option to send text messages to land lines (it should only have that available for the MOBILE listing)

    5) The camera is 8 megapixels which is completely idiotic. In other words – the pictures are 4,000 pixels wide (3 times wider than a normal hi res computer screen) so the picture I took of my friend’s baby and emailed to another friend showed one nostril – to see the other nostril you had to scroll and scroll and scroll.

    6) You cannot assign custom ringtones to any alerts – only to contacts

    7) The Vibrate volume is so low – I can hear my cat’s purr in the other room better than the phone vibrating next to me

    8) I cannot get my desktop to recognize the phone as a drive so there is no way to transfer files as indicated in the User Guide. However, I was able to set up email accounts easily and synch with Outlook

    I did the *228 thing and I see no improvement. The worst is no reception and poor battery life. Is there a way I can turn off useless functions that eat up both battery life and cell reception? I really don’t care about email – only phone and text.

    I have one week to return the phone and either revive my Palm Centro or get a Blackberry.

    Can somebody tell me before the week is out why I shouldn’t do this? :-)

    Many thanks!

  • http://nope vnc

    Alright Guys,

    Love and hate aside. I will merely summarize my experience 1 month experience with HTC incredible:

    I have been waiting to get the smart phone for some time. So when I heard about the latest and greatest droid in the market, I got one (finally).

    Out of the box: the phone looked great. The display was really nice. Having multiple home screens was great (unlike iphone). The weather feature is interesting. The camera is awesome. And the free 2GB sd card also felt good. I like to store some documents etc.

    The keypad is good with some kind of haptic feedback. The voice to text feature of keypad means you don’t need to use keypad if using standard english. It is that good.

    The phone is blazing fast. Very responsive compared to both droid DOES and iphone. And verizon network is very fast as well.

    Now the not so good stuff: The voice mail had some shrill. Then I realized that the voice quality was in general bad when calling. The phone heated up little when used. Iphone and Motorola droid(DOES) don’t seem to heatup. Heated up significantly when being charged and more if used when being charged.

    I was somewhat surprised to find that there is no voice dial or speed dial feature in true sense. You had click in three places to ready the phone for voice dial or speed dial, which kind of defeat the purpose.

    The phone is sleeker than iphone but is still pretty big compared to non-smartphones. Looked kind of frail so I had to put a sleeve on it and then it would not slide as well in my pocket. I bought the holder but hated using it. This is something for the all first time smart phone buyers to think about.

    I went back to the store and they confirmed that the voice quality had issue. So I got a refurbished phone in exchange. I did not like paying for a new phone and getting a refurbished phone. The voice quality had improved but it still had bad quality when accessing voice mail for some reason. I blamed it on my imagination. The replacement phone somehow seemed to have lower bars. Almost always a single bar unlike the previous phone. The only place I got the full bar was on phoenix airport.

    The battery life is very bad. I thought I used it very little and still had to charge frequently. On a busy day it would definitely die on me.

    Anyway I still liked it. But then there was an issue of rebate. The replacement phone did not come in a new box and hence I was not able to claim the rebate. Calling customer service and visiting verizon store to explain the situation did not help. So I returned the phone.

    Guess smartphones so far aren’t for me or the other way around.

  • Aaron Cello

    ba

  • JoJo

    Does the Incredible have the same issues with locking up as the Eres? I have to reset my Eres at least once a day. They said it was because I had a lot of apps downloaded. What’s the use having 30,000 apps to choose from if it slows down your phone too much. Yes, I have task killer.

  • bree

    hey does anyone know if you can lock text messages with a code, if so please tell me, i really need to know, i have some nosey friends that love to read my texts

  • steph

    I have a major issue with my Incredible right now. I’ve had the phone for 3 months and love it, but the battery has completely died. It got super hot and then died altogether. I called and they wanted to send me a refurbished phone – I said no way, my phone is brand new. I opted to have them just send me a new battery. The new battery worked for less than a day (also with overheating issues) and now the phone isn’t working again. My brand new phone is completely dead, and I am going to have to waste my time dealing with their call centers trying to get a new phone, and then be without a phone for ANOTHER week while they send me a replacement. I am so upset by the whole situation.

  • John

    This review mentioned “creeking”…any clue as to what that would be in cell phone terms?

  • krhicks

    I just came home with my 3rd Incredible in the last two weeks. I really want to like and keep this phone. Any chance that its normal for the notification bar to try to wipe across the screen R to L then disappear when switching to camera from photo gallery?Also, screen fills with tiny red and green lines for a moment when switching to photo gallery. Sometimes only part of the screen flashes with the little green and red lines. rrrrrggghh I chose this phone for the camera hoping for improvement over my Bberry pics.

  • tiffany

    i cant get my htc to upload videos to you tube

  • rpia

    does anyone know if the Incredible can do video Skype? no one mentions this.

  • pay

    Awesome review! Almost too much information to process, but I loved how Rob did some details on the camera, and some of the small features. Usually the small things get overlooked on other reviews and some of the small things come together to make the phone great. Love the Incredible! I actually went and played with one today at the Verizon store and was impressed.

  • http://paytone.com phonecards

    This the best review (most comprehensive) I have seen on Incredible. I received my Incredible on Monday (Verizon really loves me) and as a now former Storm user I am delighted. I will say that occassionally my home screen will start randomly scrolling so I may have to get another one. But, I think this is a solid phone with a wonderful display.

  • merfolk

    I just got a inc 2 days ago and it hasn’t gone above 2 bars of service i have a network extender and it doesn’t help at all. The caller coming through is partially garbled. I talked with a lvl 1 and a lvl 2 tech for verizon and all the say is we can replace it with another referbished inc. My other phone a EV Touch is good with full bars of service sitting right next to it and i’m less then 5ft from the network extender. I also tried to go stand at the base of the local verizon tower and still no more then 2 bars of service. Verizon can’t even tell if the phone is conecting to the network extender or their towers. This really pisses me off especially since this is a warrenty replacement for my omnia 2 that was having signal issues in questionable service areas. And this is 10 times worse then that phone. I am so pissed I almost feel bad for the verizon employee that I will talk to at the store tommarrow when I take it in and tell them where they can stick it and their service.

  • http://none Jim Gilmore

    Piece of crap-junk. I’m on my second one, getting ready to take it back ( less than two month time period). Eats the battery in 1/2 day, even with a replacement 1750. Toggle is too sensitive, auto rotate stopped working after two weeks on original & the replacement. Phone sound is terrible. Pictures are great.

  • Incredibly horrible

    This phone is shit. The only thing incredible about it is its’ name. Boy did that Verizon salesman sucker me on this one. Check around the web for more reviews about this phone. Bad battery life, sound quality. The salesman told me that this phone has the fastest processor. But it is the slowest phone I’ve ever owned. Preloaded with lots and lots of unremovable bloatware. Not too keen on the Android OS either. It’s just another one of Google’s never ending prototypes/beta test skunk works rush to market. This is the best they (HTC and Google) can do?

  • Cathy

    I love this phone! The Incredible is by far the best phone I have ever had. It is such a pleasure to use and I couldn’t be happier with it. It is very reliable and the features are wonderful. In the past several years I went from an LG EnV and then to a Blackberry Storm. It was now time for my “new every two” with Verizon and I extensively researched my options and settled on the Incredible. I am SO glad I did! The bettery life does get better with use. I take it off the charger at 6am, then take it to work with me, where it entertains all of us at luch time, and I put it back on the charger at bedtime. Love it Love it Love it!!!!!!