Hands-On: HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE
Verizon's new pride-and-glory smartphone was on display at a private event hosted by Big Red in New Orleans. Here are Phone Scoop's initial thoughts in the phone.
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Verizon Wireless's lone smartphone at CTIA is the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE. Yes, we know, it's a horrible name for a smartphone. Deal with it. This second follow-up to 2010's Droid Incredible makes modeste improvements, but doesn't match the sheer awesomeness that is the One X or One S.
What surprised me most was the weight. It's so small and devoid of mass that it practically floats out of your hand. After reviewing so many phones that have 4.3- to 5.3-inch screens, the Incredible 4G LTE's 4-inch display allowed HTC to really squash the overall footprint of the devices. In other words, the feel in the hand is outstanding. it may be a bit thicker than the sveltest phones out there, but steeply, angled sides reduce the footprint that rests against the palm. Bottom line, it is very comfortable to hold and use.
A word about the materials. The front is glossy plastics, but that back surface is a rubber-y with a ribbed texture that is very satisfying. This rubberized material is light, which helps keep the overall weight of the device down.
The front is smallish, but the 4-inch qHD Super LCD looks really nice. I was pleased with sharp appearance and quality of the display. Photos and on-screen elements looked razor sharp, with no discernible pixels unless you bring the display right up against your eyeballs.
There are capacitive buttons below the display to control the standard Android functions. They are flush with the glass panel's surface so finding them by feel is out of the question. Thanks to the small footprint, they are a bit squished for my tastes, but the buttons themselves were responsive and felt good.
On the left there is naught but the microUSB port, which is placed close to the bottom of the phone. The volume rocker is on the right, and I thought it felt great. I've often slammed HTC's volume rocker designs, but this one is good. I was able to find it easily without looking, and the travel and feedback of the directionals was rewarding.
The power and lockscreen button is on top, and in keeping with past designs, is a nice shiny red button that stands out beautifully from the matte-black finish around it. The travel and feedback was good, but not as solid as I'd like. The 3.5mm headset jack is also on top.
The user interface is Android 4.0 with HTC's Sense 4.0 on top. The software is identical to what we've seen from HTC on the One series devices. In the few moments I spent with the phone, I thought the user experience was lickety-split fast. It was truly speedy, and anyone who's every used an HTC phone on Verizon will be at home with the look and feel of the UI.
As much as I'd like to see Verizon offer the One X or One S, the Droid Incredible 4G LTE surprised me with its sharp design, easy transportability, and comfortable use. For the smartphone customer who thinks smaller is better (or has small hands that can't work with large-screened devices), the Incredible 4G LTE is a surely worth a look.
"As much as I'd like to see Verizon offer the One X or One S..."