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-   -   [REVIEW] HTC Droid Incredible (http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=57076)

medion 08-22-2010 10:59 AM

[REVIEW] HTC Droid Incredible
 
3 Attachment(s)
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Intro:

I wanted this review to focus on the Droid Incredible as a phone, and not on the Android operating system as a whole. Since the Incredible uses Android, reviewing parts of the OS is inevitable, but I’m not going to go in depth or be very technical about it. HTC’s Sense UI puts their own spin on things, so anything stated here may not apply to another Android phone.
Read the full review.


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medion 08-22-2010 11:26 AM

I'm not a very good reviewer and wanted to attack this like I was explaining the device to someone who has never owned an Android before, but didn't want to go into too much on just Android due to the Sense changes.

So, got any questions on anything I didn't address? Spot any inaccuracies? Help me out here :)

rickysio 08-22-2010 11:58 AM

Well, reading this review caused a BSOD. Can't beat that.

;)

I'm interested in how good you find the on screen keyboard, comparing it to the Samsung Jack's. Do you type faster? or more inaccurately? I find myself far more inaccurate with a touchscreen keyboard (resistive screen or capacitive) than with a good hardware keyboard, and that was after my Xperia X1, which forced me to be very intimate with a software keyboard.

medion 08-22-2010 12:56 PM

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Well, reading this review caused a BSOD. Can't beat that.
That's ok, I used to think my looks caused women to have a BSOD.

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I'm interested in how good you find the on screen keyboard, comparing it to the Samsung Jack's. Do you type faster? or more inaccurately? I find myself far more inaccurate with a touchscreen keyboard (resistive screen or capacitive) than with a good hardware keyboard, and that was after my Xperia X1, which forced me to be very intimate with a software keyboard.
Was still adjusting. I found the Jack's tactile keyboard to be more comfortable, as in I didn't have to look at the keys, and I was more accurate. I found myself to be a little faster but also a little more error prone on the touch screen, but with practice, that should go away.

rickysio 08-23-2010 08:59 AM

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Was still adjusting. I found the Jack's tactile keyboard to be more comfortable, as in I didn't have to look at the keys, and I was more accurate. I found myself to be a little faster but also a little more error prone on the touch screen, but with practice, that should go away.
I think that the more one uses a touch screen keyboard only, the more one feels that a physical QWERTY is not so useful... till one goes back to a physical QWERTY. Stay off your Jack for a while, and you'd start thinking that you're doing as good as your Jack. That's what I experienced moving from my Xperia X1 - where I felt that heck, software QWERTY was 95% that of physical QWERTY at that time - to my E72. Massive wut??? ensured as I suddenly found myself much more accurate.

Nokia really needs to implement their Haptikos technology in a real product - or license the screen tech out. :(


Edit : Consider my above argument invalidated, and my mind blown : http://blog.gsmarena.com/world-recor...on-a-galaxy-s/

medion 08-26-2010 01:58 PM

Droid Incredible 2.2 update is rolling out starting tomorrow according to Verizon. They've already updated their support page, and if you try to purchase the phone through the VZW website, it lists Android 2.2 as the OS. Here's the changes according to VZW's official PDF. (My thoughts in italics, so you can easily skip over them)

Enhancements:
+ Improved Web browsing with pre-installed Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1
for Android. (Already had FL4, but this should offer better compatibility, and better performance since FL wasn't hardware accelerated, also better battery life)
+ Support for 720p video recording. (At what framerate? Man, I wish I was home to test this)
+ Transfer data faster with 801.11n Wi-Fi capabilities.
+ Easily switch between the eight most recent applications. (FYI, previous number was 6, a slight improvement. You get this by holding the "menu" button)
+ Enhanced browser performance for faster loading of
JavaScript heavy pages. (Browser was already pretty impressive)
+ A screen that works for you and your apps.
 With Android 2.2, you can rotate your screen 270 degrees—either
to the left or to the right when moving from portrait to landscape
mode—to work with apps in more directions. (I made a comment in my review about this, nice to have this feature now)
+ A new Mail Stream widget increases ease of use.
+ Text Message Widget.
 The new text message widget offers fast access to your messages
from the home screen with a quick swipe. Scroll up and down
through the list of all your text conversations in one screen. Keep
the conversation going, faster.
+ Automatic app updates.
 Always have the latest versions of the applications you’ve
downloaded with automatically updated Android Market™ apps.
And you can choose to store applications in your device’s memory
or on a storage card for more capacity.

Improvements:
+ Updated software changes provide improved security.
+ Improved battery life.
+ Manage Contacts more efficiently with updated contact details.
+ Instantly know the strength of your signal with improved
signal display.
+ Connect to Visual Voicemail when Wi-Fi is enabled.
+ Easily move between Today view and Agenda view in the
Calendar application.
+ Additional support for Backup AssistantSM PIN retrieval for
new accounts.
+ Play Visual Voicemail messages through speakers when connected
to Bluetooth® car kit.
+ Keep track of music with organized Music Player application. (I hope this is better organized)
+ Updated People application to accommodate contacts with
Facebook accounts.
+ Access Corporate Directory information on Microsoft® Exchange.
+ Save new contacts with “Save to People” option for Visual Voicemail.
+ Call a number back immediately from text messages.
+ Improved CityID application. (I'd prefer "removed" over "improved")

They also seem to have pre-loaded 4 more apps:
My Verizon (I downloaded this anyway, it's useful tool)
Skype (I tried and deleted it, likely won't leave my app drawer)
3G Mobile Hotspot (I won't be paying for it anytime soon)
Verizon Navigator (Like Google Maps, only you get to pay for it, yay!)

rickysio 08-27-2010 03:03 AM

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+ Instantly know the strength of your signal with improved signal display.
Looks like Apple's not the only one doing this. ;)

Must say that the V8 rendering engine (web browser) in 2.2 is mighty impressive (according to Nexus 1 videos), though.

medion 11-15-2010 12:06 PM

I've gone through two OTA updates, but since I'm not in the states, I can't make calls. So instead of fully amending my review, I just want to comment on some changes I've noticed thus far.

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The first thing you will notice about the Incredible is the screen. The Incredible uses a 3.7” AMOLED display at a resolution of 800x480. Colors are very vibrant, as they are on most AMOLED displays. However, it is clear that the screen is limited to 16-bit color depth. I set a 24-bit desktop background that uses many gradients, and the banding was horrendous. If you notice this, you will want to load the image on a desktop photo editor and convert it to 16-bit color to get the most out of it on this device. One of the primary complaints I hear about OLED screens is daytime visibility. To combat this, I set the screen at max brightness. At this setting, it was useable in all but the most direct sunlight (I am talking noon-ish on a clear, bright day). My wife’s iPhone was just as washed out and unusable in the same setting.
It's now sold with an SLCD, which is 18-bit, but has its own quirks.

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The built-in accelerometer has some quirks to it. The first quirk is that it can only be used two ways, literally. If in portrait, you can rotate the device to the left, but not the right. It has one portrait and one landscape setting. By comparison, the Zune HD and iPhone can be oriented in any direction except upside down. This only affects orientation, as the accelerometer behaves the way it should in games and apps. The second quirk is that it is fickle. Sometimes it will not respond, so you will need to re-orient the device and then turn it again. I have had this problem on a Zune HD and an IPhone, but rarely. With the Incredible, it is often enough to notice.
Since the 2.2 update, the accelerometer now works 270 degrees like most newer devices. However, it is sometimes slow to respond. Not anymore so than the Zune, it just seems like it because it pauses, then snaps into place. The Zune, by comparison, uses an animation for the transition, which plays a trick on your mind making it seem noticeably faster.

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Over the past several years, cell phones have begun to replace point and shoot cameras for casual users. However, few cell phones approach the quality of a standalone camera, and the Incredible is no exception. The Incredible sports an 8-megapixel camera, but as is the problem with almost all cell phones, the camera aperture is small. Photos will be grainy or washed out depending on the lighting, and even at high-resolution settings, minor details are lost. Videos seem overly compressed. Speaking of video, the Incredible is currently limited to 800x480 (though 720P will be added in a future update), despite other phones doing 720P out of box with a 5MP camera. However, even 800x480 struggles to maintain a constant frame rate at times. This pales in comparison to the 5MP cameras available on the iPhone 4 and Samsung Galaxy S, which both shoot excellent 720P video at constant 30 frames per second.
720P is now offered, but the framerate leaves a lot to be desired. Most people will probably prefer to stick with the 800x480 option (I still wish they'd offer a more standard 720x480 option as well).

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As for video, the phone is supposedly able to play back up to 720P. I have found that when doing so, the audio will come in fine, but the video will either freeze or play like a slideshow.
User error on my part, as that 720p file was .WMV, which isn't a fully supported filetype. That same video stutters a little even in VLC on a dual-core.

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The web browser also feature Flash Lite 4, which has outstanding compatibility and performance. I found that almost all Flash-based content loaded just fine.
Now offers full Flash 10.1, though I can't give an honest evaluation of it due to the poor internet speed out here. I'll comment further when I get home.

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Unlike the iPhone, the Incredible can be used as a mass storage device. When plugged in, it will show two drives; the internal storage and the MicroSD card. It should be noted that there are two partitions to the 8GB internal storage, and only the larger 6.6GB partition is viewable by your PC.
Now, in addition to two mass storage drives, it also shows up with a 3rd drive, a "CD ROM." It will prompt you to install Verizon drivers every time you plug it in, which gets old fast. Thankfully, if you're not afraid to dig deeper into the hidden settings, this can be disabled.

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The downside is that when you make changes using the file manager, the phone does not always make note of these changes. In this case, you’ll need to force the SD card to remount for the changes to take affect (IE, reboot).
Or use apps that can rescan folders/drives. Not all media apps can do this, but the good ones can.

Also, after the last OTA I decided to do a factory reset. The UI positively flies now. It really is nigh and day over when I first got the phone on 2.1, and even that was fast. It just wasn't as fluid as an iPhone or a Zune. It still isn't as good as those two, but it's much closer now. You'd have to use them side by side in most cases to see the difference.

medion 11-15-2010 12:13 PM

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They also seem to have pre-loaded 4 more apps:
My Verizon (I downloaded this anyway, it's useful tool)
Skype (I tried and deleted it, likely won't leave my app drawer)
3G Mobile Hotspot (I won't be paying for it anytime soon)
Verizon Navigator (Like Google Maps, only you get to pay for it, yay!)
The last two updates have added a lot of extra apps, or "bloatware." I'll comment on them here.

My Verizon - doesn't crash on bootup anymore, but doesn't work over wifi, so I can't fully evaluate it. Still, no reason to NOT have this app when stateside. So not a big deal, and not what I'd call bloat.

Skype - There are now two Skype apps. Skype Mobile is verizon exclusive, doesn't work over wifi, uses your voice minutes (just not at a full 1 to 1 rate), and is pre-loaded. You can also download the standalone skype app which does support wifi. I've used that one and it's fine. Seems pointless to have two Skype apps on your phone. Also, I've noticed that if you open either, the Skype Mobile app opens regardless and will NOT let your phone sleep. It's not a huge battery hog, but it does drain the battery noticeably. When you're done with Skype, either force close both apps, or reboot. I hate poorly coded software, and I especially hate when it's forced on me. This WILL cause me to root when I get home, maybe even a custom ROM.

3G Mobile Hotspot - Does what it says. Extra $20/month, or free if rooted.

Verizon Navigator - didn't touch it, can't use it out here

V Cast Apps - crashes, so good job VZW! (I've heard the app store isn't ready yet, and once it is, this app should work).

Slacker - haven't tried it yet

Almost all of the pre-loaded apps load into memory when the phone starts up, but they don't take up any rangible resources, nor do they drain battery life. The only exception I've noticed is the above Skype issue after you've open either Skype app. If you don't use Skype at all, then the Verizon bloatware shouldn't negatively impact you.


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