Introduction and Hardware Overview
The world of mobile phones is constantly evolving. With the average contract commitment being 2 years, most smart phones are considered to be obsolete by the end of their initial contract. Today we look at another phone to further the continual upgrade cycle, the HTC Droid Incredible on Verizon Wireless.The HTC Droid Incredible has the same internals as both the Google Nexus One, and the HTC Desire (In Europe). However, HTC has made some tweaks, such as the addition of the Sense UI, and the expansion of internal flash memory capacity to 8GB from 512MB. Can these changes oust the Nexus One from the top Android phone slot?
As I mentioned before, the basic hardware of the HTC Droid Incredible is based off of the same platform as the Google Nexus One, also built by HTC. The most stunning feature of the Droid Incredible is the 3.7″, 800 x 480 pixel Active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) touchscreen. The AMOLED screen provides for a more vibrant display, without the need of a backlight. This screen uses more power than a traditional LCD when displaying a white background, but saves power when displaying blacks and other dark colors. The dark tint to the HTC Sense interface helps makes this less of an issue.
Overall, the basic design feel of the Incredible is very industrial. Like the recently leaked iPhone prototype, this Verizon color scheme phone features hard lines and edges throughout most of the device. However, the back battery cover is a unique part entirely. Instead of just sitting flat, it has several areas where it is raised above it’s surroundings, creating more grip, and makes for a more visually interesting design.
The Incredible features an ARM-based, 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, currently the fastest mobile phone processor in use. Along with the 1GHz processor, HTC has equipped this phone with 512MB RAM, doubling the RAM of the Motorola Droid. This may be due in part to the fact that Android apps run in the background, and for most apps, you need to terminate them manually using a task killer. While it is nice to have applications running in the background, having to use a task killer makes it a kludgy implementation. As this is an issue with Android in general, HTC did all they could by adding more RAM. Having a fast processor also makes tasks like dynamically animated wallpapers possible, something that we wouldn’t have dreamed about in mobile phone computing just years ago.
An upgrade from the 5 Megapixel camera of the Nexus One, the Incredible features an impressive auto focusing, 8 Megapixel camera with a dual LED flash. The quality of this camera is more comparable to dedicated point and shoot cameras than 99% of camera phones currently on the market. The video features of this camera are disappointing however, since video is only shot at a resolution of 800 x 480. While the video still looks good, it seems there is wasted potential with the camera having such a high resolution sensor, and we would have liked to see 720p video capabilities.