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Review: HTC Droid 'Incredible' A Winner

The latest Android smartphone earns its name with super-fast performance from its 1-GHz processor and an amazing AMOLED display.
One disappointment is that the only way to watch videos is through the clunky gallery application. The Android platform still suffers from the lack of a dedicated video application. Why this weakness remains is beyond me, though there are a number of video player apps that can be downloaded from the Android Market.

The Incredible comes with 8 GB of storage built-in, but no memory card. The Incredible will support cards up to 32 GB, meaning users can opt for a total of 40 GB of storage. That's plenty for a mobile phone.

Performance

One place the Incredible suffers is battery life. It barely gets through a day. The Incredible falls into that category of devices that is so connected, it has almost no hope of acceptable battery performance.

Most users should get through an entire day without any trouble. Users who regularly have FriendStream, Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail running might find the battery reaching the end of its charge by dinner time. Each user will need to set their own balance between connectedness and battery life.

The 1-GHz processor is probably the best feature offered by the Incredible. It makes every task on the phone blazing fast. The Sense user interface, which can be slow on less-capable handsets, works perfectly on the Incredible. Screen transitions are smooth and fluid, applications open nearly instantly, and there are no hiccups or stalls -- even with multiple apps running at the same time.

The Incredible's cellular radio does a good job of finding and connecting to Verizon's Wireless network. Verizon allows the Incredible to tether to laptops. If you don't mind paying $30 above and beyond the standard unlimited monthly data fee, you can skip the laptop dongle. In my tests, that feature worked well, and I averaged download speeds of about 760 Kbps. I had no problems with the Bluetooth, GPS, nor Wi-Fi radios. They all worked as they should.

Final Thoughts

The Incredible has fully earned its name. It is a compelling Android device that impresses in almost every way. True, battery life could be better. The way Android handles video could be improved, but given the flexibility of the Android platform, those are surely surmountable complaints.

The combination of the super-fast performance, amazing AMOLED display, powerful 8-megapixel camera, and capable communications tools make the Incredible Verizon's best offering yet.

For Further Reading

Verizon Announces Droid 'Incredible' Ship Date

Google's Quarterly Android Report

Android Crowding Apple, RIM