Verizon seems to be one of the best networks for Android fans. They offer almost all of the major Android phones like the Galaxy Nexus, Droid RAZR and Galaxy S III. And while these phones are great, what if someone wants to grab a small, economical and fast Android phone on the Verizon network? HTC seems to have been thinking this through and has released the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE. This phone features top of the line specs while maintaining a small form factor and an even smaller price tag of only $149.99. So while this all sounds good on paper, how great is the Incredible 4G from a user’s perspective? You’re about to find out.
I have a love-hate relationship with the Droid Incredible’s screen. The Incredible 4G’s S-LCD display clocks in with a resolution of 540×960 (275ppi) which looks great when viewing photos, watching videos and browsing the web. The display is also pretty bright which is another “plus”. However, the display has one major flaw really gets on my nerves. When tapping one of the three capacitive buttons below with the slightest amount of force, the whole screen starts to get funky and discolored. And while the screen returns to normal after the button is pressed, it’s annoying and makes the phone look and feel cheap. However, this could just be an issue with my review unit, but I’m doubtful of that.
One thing I really like about the Incredible’s screen is the size. While the Incredible 4G doesn’t sport a huge 4.5″+ screen like the Galaxy Nexus or Galaxy S III, the Droid Incredible 4G offers around 4-inches of screen real estate. And while some will hate this screen size, I really like it. Personally, I think 3.5″-4″ is the sweet spot for smartphones.
The Droid Incredible sports a dual-core 1.2GHz, making it a pretty powerful phone. And while it isn’t clocked as high as some of the high-end Android phones on the market, the Incredible 4G runs pretty fast with minimal lag. We can expect this to improve even more if Android Jelly Bean is brought to the Incredible as this will make the phone an even faster device by speeding up all system animations, providing a more pleasant user experience thanks to Google’s “Project Butter.”
The rest of the Incredible 4G’s specs are pretty good as well. The Incredible 4G features 1GB of RAM, NFC support as well as an 8-megapixel camera. When testing the Incredible’s camera, I was able to take decent shots outdoors, but had trouble getting an exceptional indoor shot. So while it may not be on par with the iPhone 4S’s camera, it’s definitely good for general outdoor shooting. Not only can the phone shoot 8-megapixel photos, but it can also shoot 1080p video, which looks pretty good.
I’ve never been a big fan of HTC’s designs as they usually look less than stellar and are built out of plastic more often than not. And honestly, that holds true to the Droid Incredible 4G as it’s made completely out of plastic which is coated with a soft touch material. And while this gives a nice grip in the hand, it tends to feel cheap and flimsy. For instance, when I tried to remove the battery cover, I felt like I was going to crack it in half.
The actual design of the phone is a lot like the original Droid Incredible with the signature “swoosh” on the back of the phone. The phone is only available in black with red accents. And while I’m not a fan of this design, it all boils down to personal preference.
The Droid Incredible 4G is running on the now outdated Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system with HTC Sense 4.0 layered on top. As of now, neither Verizon nor HTC have announced whether or not Android 4.1 will be coming to the Droid Incredible 4G, so we’ll just have to wait and see. However, Sense 4.0 is a decent skin and has actually made the Android experience more enjoyable for me. I’m a huge fan of the HTC widgets and definitely prefer HTC Sense over TouchWiz, MotoBLUR and other Android skins on the market.
Because of the Droid Incredible 4G’s fast CPU, Android 4.0 runs pretty well on the device. However, this isn’t without the occasional hiccup with system animations and scrolling through pages. Let’s hope that Android 4.1 fixes these problems if released for the Incredible 4G.
The Droid Incredible 4G is currently only available on the Verizon network and runs on both Verizon’s standard 3G network and high speed 4G LTE network. The Incredible 4G sports mobile hotspot capabilities and is not internationally unlocked, so you’ll have to shell out the extra money for Verizon’s international plan if you travel abroad. On Verizon’s LTE network in Chicago, I was able to get download speeds of over 20Mbps.
The Incredible 4G also features Wireless N capabilities and Bluetooth 4.0, so you can be sure your phone is future proof for all of your new Bluetooth gadgets.
The battery life could be better on the Droid Incredible 4G, but it’s not horrible. With LTE on, I would be able to get at least a day’s worth of charge on the Droid with normal usage of email, web browsing and social networking. The battery is removable on the Incredible 4G, so you can swap batteries if one charge won’t last you the day.
All in all, I think that the Droid Incredible 4G is an OK pick if you want a smaller Android device with 4G connectivity. However, beware that the built quality isn’t great and you’re not given much upgrade security. If you already own a Droid Incredible 4G, let us know how you like it by leaving a comment on this post!