HTC Droid Incredible blends function, fun

Six months after Verizon released a new line of smartphones headlined by the HTC Droid Eris and the Motorola Droid, there is a new addition to the Droid family: the HTC Droid Incredible. The previous two Droid models have brought success to the Android market, allowing those on Verizon to experience the evolving world of the Android mobile operating system. The Droid Incredible has built upon this foundation and is the best Android phone to date.

There are two hardware components that set this phone apart from most other Android devices on the market. The first is the processor. Like the Nexus One by Google, the Droid Incredible has a one gigahertz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, which is much faster than the ones found in other smartphones on the market. This means that the phone is faster than the Droid and much faster than older generation Android phones like the T-Mobile G1 and Sprint Hero.

The second is the camera. The Droid Incredible has an eight megapixel camera with dual LED flash. It takes very stunning and bright photos.

Other hardware improvements the Incredible has over other phones include having 512MB RAM, double the amount of the Motorola Droid. The screen is a 3.7 in. AMOLED capacitive touch screen that includes multi-touch gestures like pinch-zoom. There is a MicroUSB port on the side along with volume rocker, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack along the top.

Looking at the exterior design of the phone, there are a few things worth mentioning. Born from what HTC calls a “race car inspired design,” the first thing anyone notices is the contoured layering on the back. HTC also decided to add some red accents (following the race car inspiration), such as around the camera on the back and on the earpiece on the front.

When the battery casing is open, the inside has a bright red interior. It does not add any function or usability to the phone, but it adds a level of flare and looks cool. Although a MicroSD card is not included, the phone does include an 8GB onboard storage location for things like music and pictures, and a MicroSD card up to 32GB can be added for a total space of up to 40GB. This makes the phone perfect for those who also want to use the phone as an MP3 player.

The software on the phone is also a big part of the Droid Incredible experience. It runs the latest widespread release of Android, 2.1 (Android 2.2 having just been announced at Google I/O). However, it does not run a completely plain look of the operating system like the Motorola Droid.

HTC Sense includes many useful features, the most important one being useful widgets that integrate well into the text messaging, stocks and music applications.

However great the Droid Incredible is as a device, there are a few shortcomings. The major thing is battery life. Typical use, normal internet browsing every so often, a few texts and emails here and there and music for about two to three hours in the day, will power the phone for most of the day.

The Droid Incredible is a perfect mix of enterprise features for power users and social features for casual users. It is great for those who are looking to transition to a smartphone but still want the easy-to-use functionality of most other phones. If anyone in the market is looking for an upgrade on Verizon, look no further than the HTC Droid Incredible, which is $199 on a new two-year contract or upgrade.