Friday, August 6, 2010

Incredible Accessory: HTC Droid Incredible

If you follow us on Twitter or Facebook, you've probably gathered that Erin and I are huge fans of the HTC Droid Incredible. The wonderful people at HTC gave us each a Droid Incredible to use for a month, and we can honestly say we've never loved a phone as much as this one. After our trial with the Droid Incredible, Erin has been using her Microsoft KIN and I've gone back to my hand-me-down iPhone 3G. We've been talking about it, and we're both definitely considering a switch to Verizon to use the Incredible again. It was so handy for blogging and helpful for busy NYC life.

I'm admittedly not a tech girl, but that's what sites like are for. I just want to know if a device is easy to use, reliable and if it'll fit nicely into my clutch when I go out.

One of the first questions people will ask me when I tell about the Droid Incredible is, "How does it compare to the iPhone?" It is definitely better than the iPhone 3GS - faster and capable of so much more. When comparing it to the iPhone 4, some of it comes down to personal preference. While I am a huge fan of Apple products and long time user of Macbook Pros and iPods, I honestly would go with the HTC Droid Incredible. I never had a dropped call. I love the camera quality and optical track pad, and I really enjoyed some of the functionalities like the universal back button and reminders and notifications in the top left corner. Ok, so let's get into the details of why I'm such a huge fan of the Droid Incredible.

Verizon coverage is great. Voice quality is super crisp and no dropped calls. I had reception everywhere I went except for underground where no one has reception (c'mon MTA).

The display is huge. There are phones with bigger screens, but the Droid Incredible is plenty big and I feel like the colors are more vibrant. One of my favorite things to look at on the Droid Incredible was the weather widget. It has the most amazing graphics, super smooth transitions and super crisp details, which brings me to my next point.

The home screen is handy. On the iPhone, the home screen is a collection of applications. On the Droid Incredible, the default home screen boldly displays the time and current weather conditions. In finer detail, the home screen includes the date and high and low temperatures for the day.

The touch menu buttons and optical track pad are easy to use. Like the iPhone, there is a home button, but better than the iPhone, there are three additional buttons - menu, back and search. I rarely used search, but the universal back button was so great. I don't know about you, but when I'm frazzled or in a hurry, I often tap the wrong part of the screen. Having a universal back button made it so easy to undo accidents. And the more I used the phone, the more I grew to love having the optical track pad. It made it easy to browse photos, as well as copy and paste text.

Typing is quick and almost typo-free. It's really easy to type with the Droid Incredible, easier than my iPhone. The Droid Incredible vibrates lightly with each tap, which makes it easier to know when to move onto the next letter. The spell check is amazing. The Droid offers a menu of suggestions including what I actually typed, what it thought I wanted to type and a few additional suggested words. I could tap to choose from the list, or even better, use the optical track pad to select. And perhaps the most amazing feature was the "Talk to Text". Erin and I each tested it in a variety of settings, and it really worked! Occasionally there were a few corrections to be made, but overall, a very impressive and convenient tool.

The 8-megapixel camera is in fact incredible. You may remember a couple Style Diary posts shot on the Droid. The quality is really impressive; it's definitely comparable to a point and shoot with a sharp auto-focus and quick reaction time. Erin and I loved using the Droid Incredible to snap photos at sample sales. It was quick and easy to take pictures and upload. The upload menu includes options to email, Bluetooth transfer or directly upload to Facebook, Flickr, etc. The Droid Incredible was also handy for pictures out at night. It has a two-LED flash compared to the iPhone 4's one. Oh, and did I mention video? We tested it out in the streets of East Village and even with the background noise, the video and sound quality were quite nice.

It can support flash! Unlike the iPhone, the HTC Droid Incredible can load flash heavy websites and stream contents from sites like

The Droid syncs seamlessly with Gmail and Google calendar. The HTC Droid Incredible came with its own email application, but the real winner was the Gmail application. I synced both applications up with my email addresses, and the Gmail app often alerted me to new messages a second or two faster than the HTC app. The Gmail app was easy to use and just like the web version.

It's easy to stay connected to Facebook and Twitter. The Facebook app for iPhones is better than the one for the Droid, but with Verizon's fast network and the Droid Incredible's smooth browser, I would visit to check messages, photos, etc. Erin was able to use HTC's Twitter app, but for some reason it didn't work for me, which wasn't a big deal since I actually really liked the official Twitter app.

There are global notification badges at the top of the screen. Rather than having to check individual apps, whenever I had a new email, Facebook comment, Twitter direct message or software update, I would be alerted by icons in the left corner.

The phone is light and super slim. It fit nicely into all of my bags, even clutches - no lumps! I also liked the matte finish on the back. It's a small detail, and at a glance perhaps less sexy than the shiny finish on other phones, but I appreciated that the matte finish didn't show finger prints. And while I'm on the topic of details, the inside casing and battery are red!

The Droid Incredible has a replaceable battery and expandable memory via a microSD slot. The battery life on the Droid wasn't great. I usually had to pace myself and be mindful of use if I wanted the battery to last through the day. I found that during the week when I had work it would last me well into the evening, but on weekends I found myself needing to recharge before going out. As for memory, the phone comes with 8GB internal and can support up to 32GB on a microSD card.

Some of the user experience didn't feel super smooth, but overall no major complaints. I wish the battery lasted longer, but I think that's the story with all smartphones. It's a phone, mp3 player, camera and entertainment device, so of course it's going to run out of juice. I also wish more fun one-off apps were available for the Droid, but I imagine with time as the operating system becomes more popular more apps will be available in the Droid marketplace.

I've recommended HTC Droid Incredible to many of my Verizon-loyal friends, and of the ones who have it, they are all very pleased. The phone is available exclusively on Verizon - $199 with two year contract. If you're in the market for a new smartphone, Erin and I highly recommend checking out the HTC Droid Incredible. For more information or to purchase the Droid Incredible, please visit


Anonymous said...
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Celeste Hoang said...

this is such a great review, lani! i'm still on verizon, so good to know there's a comparable iphone alternative for us. i'm definitely going to look into this one when it's time to upgrade :)

Anonymous said...

this phone really does sound great! i was looking for a droid with a keypad are there any similar phones?

Lani Love said...

i believe the Motorola Droid 2 will have a keyboard

hope that helps!

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