When I got my hands on the first couple of iterations of the HTC Incredible, I was blown away by the state of the Android platform (how well it could bend and perform) and because the handset was a perfect size. Since I have smaller hands, the bulk of the larger handsets (such as the Motorola Droid RAZR) can often be a bit cumbersome to actually use as a phone.
Before I received the newest Incredible device, the 4G LTE, I decide to poke around and see what other people were saying about it. The general consensus was that it was a good phone, but nothing compared to its big brothers. However, with the following specs, how could this phone not seriously impress?
- Sense 4
- 4-inch Super LCD qHD panel
- 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 (Krait)
- 1 GB RAM
- 1,700 mAh user-removable battery
- microSD support
- 8MP BSI camera with a 28 mm f/2.2 lens.
- Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Let's dig into this device and see what it has to offer.
As I've already mentioned, the Incredible line of handsets is one of the single most comfortable phones you will ever use. They are slim, light, nicely rounded, and easy to hold. These handsets aren't going to blow you away with screen size, but they're great for use as an actual phone. Of every handset I've tried, the Incredible 4 simply has the best feel, with a perfect ratio of size and weight. The rubberized, textured surface of the back of the phone will also go a long way to help you from accidentally dropping the device.One most noticeable improvements in the Incredible 4G LTE is the camera. Not only does it take some amazing photos, but it also has built-in effects, such as Depth of Field (Figure A). Figure A
A photo using the built-in Depth of Field effect.
The display on the Incredible 4G LTE isn't too shabby either. Of course, it's not a Samsung Galaxy S III, but it will certainly compete with almost any other Android-based handset. The colors are crisp, it's easy to view in any light, and the screen is amazingly responsive.
Battery life is mostly on par with other 4G LTE phones. In other words, as long as you're using 4G, the battery life will suffer. With any 4G device, it's best to use Wi-Fi when possible. Otherwise, battery life will be marginal at best.
The only real quibble I have with the hardware is the lack of a menu button. To get to the settings, you have to navigate to the Settings app. This also dictates that all apps must have a built-in menu button, which all ICS apps should have anyway, but the menu button was always a nice way to get quick access to various options.
I've always been a fan of HTC Sense. It's elegant, performs well, and offers some of the most beautiful widgets you'll ever see on a mobile device. And although Sense 4.0 tries a bit to be more like Motorola's Motoblur or Samsung's Galaxy, it has "Sense" written all over it. That's not a bad thing.
Now, I want to preface this by saying something that most phone/tablet reviewers fail to mention. I know this is a new phone and new phones always perform well. It's just the way they work. It's not until the devices get bogged down by too much software, too much data, and too much abuse that the devices start showing signs of performance degradation. That being said, out of the box, this phone performs as well as any Android device I've tried. No, it's not as powerful as many of the newer "uber devices," but the Incredible 4G LTE is no slacker. It shows zero sign of screen lag, data flows incredibly fast on the 4G network, and applications open super fast.
What does this phone mean for the IT crowd? Is it the device for IT admins and staff to have? Will it offer trips and traps when rolling it out to end users? These questions are fairly easily answered.
The Incredible 4G LTE most likely will not become the de facto standard mobile device in the IT crowd. Although it's a great handset (again, perfectly sized to be used as an actual phone), it's not powerful enough nor does it have anything really new or thrilling to offer that would wow a cross-section of users who want the biggest, best, and most powerful devices.
At the same time, however, this would be a great device to roll out to end users. The combination of form over function, the ease of setting up Active Sync accounts, Sense 4, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Verizon's 4G network make the Incredible 4G LTE a blazingly fast phone that will keep your end users connected.
The Incredible 4G LTE isn't a phone that everyone is going to see and say "I want that!" Yet, it continues to be one of my favorite mobile handsets. With a near-perfect size, a smooth running Sense UI, and Android 4.0, the Incredible might have one of the most suitable names of any mobile device.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.