Verizon Wireless HTC Droid Incredible review

In this (brief) review, we’ll show off the Verizon Droid Incredible. The Incredible is the Verizon answer to the Nexus One – both phones have very similar specifications, but Verizon managed to add a couple of tasty treats to their device.

On the outside, the Droid Incredible is a sleek looking Android powered phone – a red speaker grille, flush optical joystick (instead of the trackball found on the Nexus One) and a side mounted MicroUSB jack (more on that later).

By far the biggest difference between the Nexus One and the Droid Incredible is the addition of the HTC Sense interface. While Google opted for a pretty plain vanilla user interface on the Nexus One, Verizon got a huge serving of eye candy.

One of the best design features of the Droid Incredible is found on the rear – by layering the back cover, the appearance is created of a very thin phone with a bulge where the battery is. It is actually a very nice effect. On the back is also the camera lens and a dual LED flash.

Inside the Droid Incredible is a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 8GB of memory, a MicroSD memory card slot and EVDO Revision A support on the Verizon CDMA 3G network. The phone offers local connectivity through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The support for Verizon is important – because it is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing comes from the fantastic coverage in the US – seriously, I’ve taken this phone all over the country, and it has not let me down once. Even in an area with zero GSM coverage, I was happily surfing away on 3G speeds on Verizon.

The curse comes when you take a CDMA phone to Europe. Unless you invest in a global CDMA phone with GSM support, you’ll be stuck finding Wi-Fi in most foreign countries.

In addition to the HTC Sense interface, Verizon added a fine lineup of other apps – Quickoffice, Skype Mobile, VCast Tones, My Verizon (account management) . In fact, Verizon has such a large assortment of their own Android apps, that they have their own section in the Android Marketplace, along with some other hand picked Android apps.

(Photo taken with the Droid Incredible camera)

The 8 megapixel auto focus camera in the Droid Incredible is pretty good – colors in daylight are bit washed out, but that is sadly the price you pay on most camera phones. Video quality is acceptable, but the phone won’t replace your HD camcorder any time soon.

Some of the other goodies I previously mentioned are fantastic for travelers – the Droid Incredible supports video output through its USB connector. You’ll need to invest in a $30 video cable, but once you plug the phone into your TV, you’ll be able to watch movies on a large screen, providing some decent in-room entertainment. Another nice bonus, is an FM radio, though you’ll need to keep your headphones plugged into the phone as they act as the antenna.

All in all, one of the things that make the Droid Incredible, well, incredible, is the coverage from Verizon. Granted, unlike on a GSM based 3G phone, you won’t get voice and data at the same time, but to be honest – despite the TV commercials attacking CDMA networks, I can’t even remember the last time (or any time) that I was on the phone and had to access data. Coming from the Nexus One, I also found that the design of the Incredible was “cutting edge” (even though I hate that term).

As the choices of Android phones grow every week, it is becoming increasingly hard to pick the best one – but in my opinion, the Droid Incredible offers the best of all worlds – a compact phone, great user interface and fantastic battery life.

The Droid Incredible is available from your local Verizon Wireless dealer, or most online mobile phone retailers. Prices start at just under $200 on a new two year agreement.