HTC DROID Incredible 4G LTE First ImpressionsAaron Baker - Director, Content and Partnerships
When it comes to new smartphones at Verizon Wireless, I'm on the fence about the HTC DROID Incredible 4G LTE. On one hand, it's Verizon customers' first (and likely only) attempt to snatch something remotely similar to an HTC One series device, and it packs some nice features like a Snapdragon S4 processor, 4G LTE, and Android 4.0 with HTC Sense 4, the company's newest user interface. On the other hand, its 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU is underpowered in comparison to its HTC brethren, it packs a smaller display that's not HD, and it opts for a plastic body that looks awfully similar to the HTC Rezound as opposed to the sleek curves that are found on the HTC One S.
For many phone enthusiasts, it's a step down from the popular HTC One series - which could be easier to swallow, if the price point weren't $149.99 on a two-year agreement. This is a problem on two fronts: it's only $50 cheaper than the supercharged Samsung Galaxy S III, and those that are concerned about losing unlimited data likely won't bite. I could be wrong (and certainly have been before), but it appears to make for a near-perfect storm where the DROID Incredible 4G LTE won't sell as well as similarly-spec'd HTC devices.
All of that aside, choice is a good thing, and here's what I've discovered in my time with the device:
- Take an HTC Rezound, put it on a diet, add Android 4.0 and HTC Sense 4, and you have the HTC DROID Incredible 4G LTE. I think it's quite unfortunate that Verizon opted to ditch the HTC One series style for the plastic curves yet again, but at least it's a new HTC device on the nation's largest wireless carrier. And a hidden positive for road warriors: if you're someone that prefers to swap out batteries throughout the day, you can do so on the Incredible 4G LTE.
- DROID Incredible 4G LTE packs a 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, and for most tasks, it performs relatively well. Transitions are mostly smooth, and I didn't see a great deal of lag. But when comparing to the HTC One X, the minor speed differences are noticeable.
- The phone has a 4-inch qHD display, placing itself in between the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S III. While 4-inches will be fine for many, I've been struggling with typing with any level of consistency. Landscape mode is always an option, but those with large hands - or those coming from larger devices - will want to test in store prior to purchasing.
- Verizon's 4G LTE connectivity continues to be solid. Speeds consistently hover between 5-10 Mbps in the Charlotte metro area now, with upload speeds between 3 and 8 Mbps. App updates, browsing the web, and surfing on YouTube can all be done with ease.
- I haven't had the phone long enough to test the 1,700 mAh battery with any level of accuracy, however so far, I've been relatively impressed. Like the One X and One S, HTC appears to have improved standby times on the Incredible 4G LTE.
The DROID Incredible 4G LTE isn't a bad phone by any stretch of the imagination; in fact, if this phone were $99.99 on contract, I'd be singing a different tune. But at $149.99, I have a hard time justifying this device to prospective buyers when the Galaxy S III packs so much more for $50. In the specifications department, it comes in just below the HTC One S, and it should offer a price point to match. If you're an HTC fan and have been longing for Ice Cream Sandwich and HTC Sense 4.0, this could be a great device for you. Otherwise, I'd suggest holding off for the Samsung Galaxy S III - or perhaps better yet, a more supercharged HTC smartphone.