HTC Droid Incredible thoughts, 3 weeks in

I’ve had my HTC Incredible for 3 weeks now. I don’t have the time to write a whole review, but here are the things that stand out to me after having gotten to know the device:

  • HTC Sense UI is nothing short of amazing. It’s elegant and easy to use, yet quite powerful and well integrated into the OS. I feel like I wanted an Android phone despite its more complex UI, but totally lucked out with Sense. It really is an experience of its own. It can work well uncustomized out of the box, be extended with tons of useful widgets, or even have entire “scenes” of saved layouts to switch functional contexts as the user does. (Weekend scene with no work stuff? Travel scene with useful widgets for being on the go? Yes, please!) Really, this phone is so much more than a generic OEM device running Android. A great overview of Sense UI on the older HTC Hero is here, if you can tolerate the marketing-speak.
    • (I do wish Sense were integrated a little better with Gmail and Google Voice; I only get Sense UI for non-Google SMS and email.)
  • The battery life, in a word, is atrocious. A second/extended battery is pretty much mandatory for long periods away from the charging cable.
  • There are still some rough edges: the soft menu buttons’ LEDs seem to flash randomly, and I’ve had some hard crash reboots as I did with the Motorola Droid.
  • The integrated camera is good, and has a *ton* of good settings onboard, and good autofocus, tap-to-focus, and the optical trackball makes a good shutter button. I find myself using this camera a lot more than my old phones because it’s enjoyable to use. (The color balance is too blue, though, and its 2 LED flashes aren’t adjustable and make me look like some kind of pale ghost.)
  • While the device feels solid in construction, it is still plastic. I feel like since 2008, consumers’ increased cost sensitivity kind of killed the kind of uncompromising design ethic that yielded the 2007 aluminum iPhone. I’m eagerly awaiting a good case for the Incredible from OtterBox as a compromise for the plastic housing.

So there’s the stuff that still matters to me after 3 weeks. Overall, I am extremely happy with the Incredible, even though it keeps me tethered to a charging cable for much of the day.

One comment

  1. As much as I love my Incredible, If Evo would have been available first, I would have been using Evo on Sprint. I was just so fed up with myTouch 3G sluggishness, I didn’t want to wait any longer for a device that had a fast processor.

    Luckily, I paid 270 for my Incredible to get down to a one year contract. So next year I will be on 4G with an Evo, unless Verizon has a better phone and 4G.

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