HTC Incredible S Review - HTCs Successor to the Droid Incredible

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HTC has been growing impressively thanks to Android OS. HTC took a chance with the G1 and made their presence known. As 2011 starts, HTC unveiled a plethora of smartphones at the Mobile World Congress. Among one of the newly announced smartphones was the HTC Incredible S. The original HTC Incredible debuted to quite a bit of fanfare as the Droid Incredible on Verizon Wireless in the U.S. market. The original HTC Incredible actually did not release anywhere other than the U.S. The HTC Incredible S is the successor to the original, adding a simple ‘S’ at the end of the name, and being available globally. It is set to debut in the European market in Q2 2011.

HTC Incredible S Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 4.72 x 2.52 x 0.46 inches (120 x 64 x 11.7 mm)
  • Weight: 4.78 oz (136 g)
  • Display: 4.0 inch Super LCD capacitive touchscreen display, 480 x 800 pixels
  • Memory: 1 GB + 32 GB MicroSD
  • OS: Android OS 2.2
  • Processor: 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255
  • Camera: 8 Megapixel camera with dual LED flash, 1 front facing 1.3 megapixel camera
  • Connectivity: GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900 / UMTS 900, 1700/2100, 2100
  • Data: EDGE
  • GPS: GPS with A-GPS
  • Battery: Li-Ion 1450 mAh

Design and Display (4 out of 5)

HTC Incredible S Review

The HTC Incredible S looks like a classy, sleek smartphone, like most other HTC products. In addition, it’s also an aluminum unixbody frame, like the original Nexus One. It’s dominated on the front by the 4 inch Super LCD capacitive touchscreen. HTC opted to stray away from AMOLED technology, most likely due to the shortages that seemed to occur. The Super LCD touchscreen is vibrant and colorful, though Super AMOLED technology found on the Samsung Continuum or Fascinate does still look better.

On the left edge of the HTC Incredible S is the volume rocker and microUSB port. The right edge as well as the bottom edge are both bare. On top resides the 3.5 mm headphone jack and the power / lock key. Rounding out the back is soft touch rubber, designed to make the HTC Incredible S feel smaller in the hand. That is also where the 8 megapixel camera lens resides alongside the dual LED’s for flash. The 1.3 megapixel front facing camera resides on the upper right front, right above the display.

Below the display are the now standard touch sensitive shortcuts for home, menu, back and search, found on most other Android powered handsets. The interesting thing about these four shortcuts is that the keys are not painted on. When you rotate the Incredible S, the four shortcuts also rotate. Not a huge change but a subtle change that makes the HTC Incredible S stand out just a bit more than its competitors.

Hardware and Software (3 out of 5)

The HTC Incredible S comes with a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255, which is very responsive and speedy. The HTC Incredible S only comes with 1 GB of on board storage, which is disappointing, considering newer smartphones they are creating, such as the HTC Thunderbolt offer more on board storage. Another disappointing aspect of the HTC Incredible S is the fact that it comes with Android 2.2, rather than Android 2.3.

While HTC has announced that their line up will receive updates to Android 2.3, one has to wonder why the Incredible S wasn’t just released with Android 2.3. Especially considering that the HTC Desire S, announced at the same event, does come with Android 2.3. Overall, against the current landscape of smartphones, the Incredible S fares decently, but against the newer generation, including the Motorola Atrix 4G, the Incredible S does falter.

User Interface (3 out of 5)

The HTC Incredible S, as it is an Android powered handset, comes with an easy to understand interface. This is due to it having a touch sensitive operating system. HTC also included their third party proprietary overlay, HTC Sense UI 2.1. HTC Sense is the favorite among Android user enhancement interfaces, though there are still people who would prefer stock Android over any user enhancing overlays. Unlike Samsung’s TouchWiz UI which tries to make the Android OS feel more like iOS, HTC Sense embraces Android and builds upon the existing Android interface.

Overall the interface on the HTC Incredible S is very much like its predecessor and its competitors, easy to use, learn and master. As mentioned previously, the rotating shortcuts is also a subtle addition but it does enhance the user experience ever so slightly.

Features (4 out of 5)

HTC Incredible S Review

While the HTC Incredible S doesn’t come with game altering features like the LG Optimus 3D, or the Motorola Atrix 4G, it does fare well in the camera department. The 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash is a welcome addition to the Incredible S. It’s also capable of 720p HD recording, which is very similar to currently released smartphones. The Incredible S also comes with DLNA, meaning you can play your HD recording seamlessly, and more importantly, wirelessly to DLNA enabled HD television sets.

It is a bit disappointing that the HTC Incredible S is currently preloaded with Android 2.2, as that means it will not feature NFC. However, since it does run on Android, it does have access to over 100,000 applications, both free and paid, through the use of the Android Market. Also, as the Incredible S runs Android 2.2, it does have the capability to play Adobe Flash on web browsers, not just some Flash based applications.

The Final Verdict (3 out of 5)

Overall the HTC Incredible S ranks in as a solid “Average” smartphone. It’s a bit of a let down considering how well rounded and well received the original Droid Incredible was. When placed side by side with the original, the Incredible S doesn’t have too much to spout off about. It does have a slightly larger and cleaner display, boasts a newer generation processor and features a front facing camera, but overall it’s not a huge change. In today’s competitive smartphone environment, the Incredible S, as great as the phone is, has a chance of being nothing more than a footnote in time.