Sunday, June 27, 2010

Review: Droid Incredible by HTC Smartphone

Is the Droid Incredible by HTC everything the name claims? Read on to find out ....

For the past two weeks, I have been reviewing the Droid Incredible by HTC Smartphone. The name "Incredible" is daring for a company to call a smartphone, so I was looking forward to seeing if the phone is everything that the name claims.

Overall I found the Incredible to be one slick smartphone with a lot of features that I loved. But I also found a few shortcomings with the phone and also with switching over to the Google Android operating system.

The Total Experience
If you followed my last smartphone review of the HTC Imagio, then you know that I have owned Microsoft based smartphones for the last 7 years and am very ingrained in that technology. The Incredible is based on the new Google Android operating system. Since there are tons of smartphone users like me who are used to their current smartphone technology (Blackberry, iPhone, etc) I decided to review not only the Verizon Incredible, but also the overall experience of switching operating systems.

My Checklist of Musts
I wear a lot of hats (employee, mom, blogger of the FREE) so I carry a smartphone to help me to do all these things well. I also love to read and listen to music. Therefore, I have developed a checklist of must haves that I measure any smartphone against:

1. It has to allow me to play all my music that is on my SD card.
2. It has to allow me to read my numerous eBooks.
3. It has to allow me to read the Bible.
4. It has to allow me to use all the functions of Twitter.
5. It has to keep all my contacts organized.
6. It has to allow me to use Facebook.
7. It has to have a calendar system that ties in with my primary calendar at work.

Let's see how the Droid Incredible performed against my list:

I took off the back cover of the Incredible, popped in my micro SD card, clicked on the Music app and I was good to go. I bluetooth synced the Incredible with my Motorola wireless headphones and was dancing to the wonderful sounding music in no time flat.

I own tons of eBooks from and I was a little worried if everything would work ok with the Incredible. I did not need to worry. I used the browser on the Incredible to download the eReader app from and I was good to go. The eReader app for the Android is far superior to the app I am using on my Microsoft based phone and I LOVED that the eBooks can be wirelessly downloaded as oppose to syncing the books from my computer with a cable. I love when things get BETTER changing over to new smartphone.

I like to read the Bible from my smartphone and have a few versions installed on my current phone. I hit the Android Marketplace icon on the phone and found 7 different FREE Bible apps. Sweet! I wirelessly downloaded a few and found one that I loved.

The Android Marketplace is wonderful and contains tons of FREE applications that you can wirelessly download for immediate use. This is a big plus over Microsoft that has no such marketplace.

The Twitter app that comes with the Incredible is lousy, so I hit the Android Marketplace and I found a FREE Twitter app that gives me all the functionally that I have using Twitter on my PC. LOVED IT!

One of the most important uses of my Smartphone is to store all my contact information. My contacts are currently stored on my work PC in Outlook. Since the Incredible uses the Google Android OS, I knew I had to transfer my contacts over to my online Google account. I did an export from Outlook and an import into Google. I had a lot of rework to do with the contacts since every field did not match and all the names were stored First Last instead of Last First. I worked everything out, but Google has some work to do if they want to match the ease of how contacts are stored in Outlook.

One of the best features of an Android phone is how contacts are integrated with Facbook. Once you logon the Facebook app, it matches the contacts to their Facebook accounts and includes birthdays, email accounts, and photos from Facebook into your contacts list. TOO SWEAT! The Facebook app itself works just like using it on your PC. It you are a big Facebook user, you will LOVE this phone.

Calendar - Houston we have a problem.
My primary calendar is in my Outlook account on my work PC. My employer uses Microsoft products exclusively on our workstations for collaboration. The Incredible syncs wirelessly with Google calenders, so I had to download the Google calendar sync client to my work PC. I set it to sync every 30 minutes and thought everything was fine - until I noticed that some of my meetings were missing. NOT COOL! There appears to be an issue with the Google Calendar Sync Client that recurring meetings don't always sync properly and other meetings just don't show up. Until Google fixes this problem, this issue is a deal breaker for me since I have to have an up-to-date accurate calendar on my smartphone that integrates with my work calendar.

The Incredible is Slick and Fast!
The Droid Incredible itself in one great phone. The phone is a great size, with a clear, bright screen and slick buttonless keys. I have always had issues with my smartphones freezing when I had lots of apps running, but this NEVER happened with the Incredible. I quickly shifted from app to app and everything was lighting fast. I was very impressed. I was also impressed that the Incredible has an 8 megapixal digital camera and a FLASH.

Lots and Lots of Apps!
The Android Marketplace contains tons of applications, many which are FREE. One of the apps that comes on the Incredible in the FM Radio app. The app uses your headphones as an antenna. Just plug your wired headphones into the jack, and you have a fully functioning FM radio on your phone. SWEET!

A few drawbacks..
The battery life on the Incredible is not what I expected. By the end of the day, the phone battery was nearly dead - which was surprising. Also the phone tended at times to run warm which was also surprising. I have never known a smartphone to be warm to the touch. I also had some trouble getting used to the virtual keyboard. I was always triggering the wrong key while typing. It got better as I went along, but it was still frustrating at times.

If you remember my HTC Imagio review, my son fell in love with the Imagio's VCAST TV and Video features. When he found out the Incredible only had VCAST Video and not VCAST TV, he gave the phone back to me while shaking his head in total disbelief that such an important feature as TV would be left off the Incredible.

It's a little short of Incredible, but still a great phone.
Overall, I found the Droid Incredible by HTC to be a great smartphone. I loved the speed of the processor, and the size and clarity of the screen. The Android marketplace is fantastic with tons of FREE apps that can give the phone lots of wonderful features. The integration with Facebook is amazing. If you are into taking photos, who would not love a smartphone with a 8 megapixal camera with a flash.

Those who use Google exclusively for calendaring and contacts will find this phone a great extension of their current setup. If Google can fix the problem with the Outlook calendar syncing, I would seriously consider replacing my current phone with the Incredible.

Disclosure: I was loaned the Droid Incredible by HTC by Verizon for the purpose of writing this review.

FACEBOOK CONTEST - Enter to win a Droid Incredible by HTC and a Trip to Vegas

There is currently a contest on the Droid Incredible by HTC Facebook page to win an Incredible and a 3 day trip to Vegas. Click here to check it out. HURRY - Contest ends on Monday June 28, 2010

blog comments powered by Disqus