Review: HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE

Android phones are quickly becoming a dime-a-dozen product. So when Verizon and HTC introduced a new, slightly less-expensive Android phone, they needed to create a product that is diverse enough to attract you away from other Verizon staples such as the SG III or the Galaxy Nexus.

The HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE reads like a drool worthy SEO blog post and it also builds on the name of a previous flagship device for Verizon, the Droid Incredible. Unlike the previous devices though, this one comes in the mid-range category with a slightly cheaper price of $149.99 on a two-year contract.

So, what do you get when you plop down your hard earned cash for the Droid Incredible 4G LTE? You will be rewarded with Android 4.0, 4in qHD screen, 1.2 Ghz dual-core S4 processor with 1GB of ram, 8 GB of internal memory and a host of other features, including Beats Audio.

The first thing you notice about the device is that it is a bit chunky but stays true to the design that made the branding popular a few years ago. The back of the device is made of a soft plastic and has a removable back panel for easy access to the micro sim, battery, and the micro-sd slot. For those who did not know, or forgot, all LTE devices from Verizon now come with a SIM which will make swapping phones much easier in the future.

The back is complete with angles, a mixture of textures, and the iconic Incredible red camera ring is present on the device.

The display is of the qHD variety and measures in at 960x540 and for the mid-range market, does quite well. There is no noticeable color bleeding, off angle viewing is superb, and sunlight viewing make this a device capable of handling most visual tasks with ease.

Performance on Android devices has always been an interesting topic of discussion as there has been the persistent “Android lag” issue that plagued many devices. While this device does run Android 4.0, it does not have 4.1 installed which targeted the lag issue. Despite that, the S4 at 1.2 Ghz, does a decent job of keeping the lag hidden from the user despite a few sluggish transitions; the overall experience is quite good.

The Droid Incredible 4G LTE brings a 1700mAh battery in its backpack and with that it can get about 8 hrs usage out of the device. It is on the borderline of needing to carry a charging cable with you but I do use my devices heavily with video, email, calls and twitter daily. If don’t tax your device with heavy usage, lasting an entire day should not be an issue.

The device ships with Android 4.0 and of course HTC Sense. Sense is slowly losing its relevance as Google continues to refine the Android UI but it would seem that HTC has no intentions of dropping its custom skin.

There is also a plethora of Verizon customization and app additions that you cannot remove and who can ignore the “DRRRROIIID” that is annoying when you need to turn the device on in a quiet environment.

One area that HTC seems to have improved on over devices in the past is the camera. The color was a bit soft but shutter speed and responsiveness are all acceptable and present no issues when trying to snap a photo of a moving object.

Videos film at 1080P/30 FPS and fill out the internal storage in record time but the video quality is pretty darn good for a smartphone.

HTC did a bang-up job with the camera on this phone and it is certainly among the better cameras we have used on an Android smartphone, especially at this price point despite the colors getting washed out a bit in direct sunlight.

Being a 4G LTE device, you can expect mobile broadband speeds on your device and with Verizon expanding the service aggressively; you shouldn’t have trouble finding the airwaves. In our tests we were averaging 9.5 Mbps down and 4 Mbps up, a very healthy mobile data connection that will easily allow you to stream content.

As this is a phone, we can’t ignore the call capabilities of the device. Calls were generally quite clear and we could easily hear and be heard by the individual on the other end but the speakerphone leaves a bit of room to be desired. The volume becomes increasingly tinny the louder it gets and falls behind the crowd when compared to other phones on the market.

The problem with the Droid Incredible 4G LTE is no fault of its own, it’s that Verizon’s lineup is extremely competitive right now and at $149.99 on a two year contract, those buyers are also have the option to buy the Samsung Galaxy Nexus at $99.99 and the Samsung Galaxy SIII is only $199.99 ($50.00 more). When the phone is matched up against these devices, it is a bit harder to recommend the phone when there are other superstars on the shelf at Verizon sitting right next to the device, for the same price.


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