I’m pretty sure Verizon Wireless and every other wireless carrier not named AT&T wants to get their hands on the Apple iPhone. But if the iPhone remains exclusive to AT&T, those carriers should stock up on the new Android phones made by HTC.
I’ve been playing with the HTC Incredible (also know as the HTC Droid Incredible), and, well, it’s a pretty sweet phone, about as close to a real iPhone threat as I’ve put my hands on. The HTC Incredible phone is exceptionally fast — from a network standpoint and in terms of operation — super sleek, very light and is a lot of fun to use.
I had a hard time putting it down, as did the 6-year-old boy, who used it to watch hours of Michael Jackson videos on YouTube. It will be available on April 29 and sell for $200, after rebate, with a 2-year contract.
Verizon has made a big investment in Android phones since late last year, unveiling the Motorola Droid before the 2009 holiday season, the social-networking orientated Motorola Devour last month and now, the HTC Incredible. I own an iPhone, but I’ve liked Android phones since T-Mobile released the G1 in 2008, and the HTC Incredible is probably the best version to date.
Saying that, the HTC Incredible is pretty darn quick. It’s easily the fastest phone I’ve used over a carrier’s network. But the best feature, and the one that surprised me the most, is the absolute joy of using its 3.7-inch touch screen. It is more responsive than the iPhone’s and you can use a two-finger pinching motion to expand or collapse content.
It uses Qualcomm’s touted Snapdragon chip, and if I hadn’t played with the HTC Incredible myself, I wouldn’t have believed the phone’s quickness.
Here’s a demonstration video from Verizon. The video does a nice job of showcasing some key features, but I’m posting it here largely because the phone works as quickly in the real world as it does in this video. (Note: There are more words below the video…plus a video I made with the phone.)
As a media-creation tool, the HTC Incredible will make any parent happy. It includes an 8-megapixel camera — with a flash — that takes very sharp pictures. Still, HTC needs to improve on shutter lag as this phone provides no breakthrough on that front.
It also creates fine videos, as you can see below. I used the phone to capture my kids at a playground on a sunny day. It’s a pretty good video for a phone.
The HTC Incredible has 8gb of built-in storage, runs Google Maps Navigation — a free and top-notch GPS mapping system — can manage Outlook (I did not test this) as well as popular Web-based emails such as Gmail (but I don’t like the integration as much as the iPhone’s for web-based email). It runs the Android 2.1 software.
Like all Android phones, the HTC Incredible runs multiple apps at the same time. (A competitive advantage Apple will try to put to rest when it releases the iPhone OS 4 upgrade.)
Here’s the bottom line: If you’re thinking of leaving Verizon because you want an iPhone, take a look at the HTC Incredible. It’s an engaging and highly enjoyable phone to use. You’ll love the speed and it should grow with you, as the Android Market continues to add third-party apps. There are about 50,000 Android apps as of this writing, and I would wager that figure will top 100,000 by the end of the year.