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VZW HTC Incredible: This Is The Droid You’re Looking For

The HTC Incredible is the Droid you’re looking for. Here are my first impressions of Verizon’s new darling…

Let’s start with a list of negatives to get them out of the way. Like every gadget on the market, including the (gasp!) iPhone, the Incredible (“INC”) is not perfect. Here’s a list, in no particular order, of some issues I’ve come across thus far:

  • Battery life – For such a powerful device, I’m not sure why HTC went with a (slightly) smaller capacity (1300 mAh) battery than the Nexus One’s (1400 mAh). Depending on use, the INC will last for an entire day, but don’t be surprised if it falls short under heavy use. Charging via a wall outlet is the best way to juice up your new Droid.
  • Camera app stability issues – Every once in a while, the camera app seems to freeze up after snapping a pic (resolved by hitting the ‘home’ button).
  • Sunlight – The beautiful AMOLED display is almost completely washed out in direct sun. The only workaround is to ratchet up the brightness to the top.
  • HTC widget selection – Most of the widgets are well done, but the amount of variety is not. I would really like to see Gmail and Google Calendar widgets, among others, available in the future.

Despite this short list of cons, there is really very little I don’t like about the INC. Here’s a list of all the positive features/aspects I’ve enjoyed over the last several days:

  • 3.7″ AMOLED touchscreen display – It is simply gorgeous. Colors pop, text is easy to read, and most importantly the touchscreen’s sensitivity is fantastic.
  • 1GHz Snapdragon processor – This thing flies. Whether it is loading an app, flipping through emails, or running Google Earth (more on this, below), there is little to no lag time.
  • Verizon Wireless – OK, so the purchase and sign-up process wasn’t exactly awesome (read: long and tedious), but the network itself has been nothing but great. Phone calls sound clear, 3G downloads are snappy, and signal (despite the rumored issue with the number of bars being displayed as inaccurate) has been good all over San Francisco.
  • HTC – The build quality is damn good. The INC feels solid in the hand and sports a somewhat controversial “topographic” style, which I really dig. The battery cover snaps on securely and the materials used seem to be high quality.
  • Android OS 2.1 with HTC Sense – With a few exceptions, I really enjoy Android and HTC’s own Sense user interface. The 7 “home” screens are very useful, including the ability to “zoom out” to see all 7 at once, a la webOS cards. Combined with the device’s burly processor and sufficient memory, all the transitions, animations, and other designs are rather impressive and feel like a complete package.
  • Camera – More field testing needs to be done, but generally I’ve been rather impressed with the images I’ve captured. (Have yet to try any video)
  • GPS – Google Navigation is extremely capable, providing solid accuracy and turn-by-turn directions around SF.

There are more things I really like, and a few others that I don’t love, but overall the first 72 hours of owning and using this device have been great. The HTC Incredible is the best device in VZW’s lineup of Droids to date, and probably the best Android phone available anywhere today. Without question, this is the Droid you’re looking for.