Droid Incredible takes top Android phone spot, for now

Summary:Verizon customers have an incredible new smartphone choice today as the HTC Droid Incredible finally hit retail stores. The sexy, black and red device sports the fastest processor, the best screen, and the most usable memory of any other Android device currently available.

Verizon customers have an incredible new smartphone choice today as the HTC Droid Incredible finally hit retail stores (see full review). The sexy, black and red device sports the fastest processor, the best screen, and the most usable memory of any other Android device currently available.

Just look at these specs:

  • 1Ghz Snapdragon QSD8650 CPU
  • 3.7-inch 800x480 AMOLED display
  • 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, aGPS, FM Radio
  • 748MB usable ROM* and 512MB RAM
  • 6.6GB extra Flash internal, SD card external
  • Android 2.1 (Eclair) with Sense UI
  • 8 megapixel autofocus camera
  • Optical trackpad
  • 4.6 x 2.3 x 0.47 inches, 4.6 ounces
  • Removable 1300mAh battery
  • Browser supports Flash Lite now, full Flash and AIR available soon
  • Wired tethering option for extra charge
  • TV-out option
  • $199 with 2yr contract after rebate

* The Incredible comes with 8GB of on-board Flash ROM, which is partitioned into a system area where applications can be installed and a data area for big items like photos and videos. It also comes with a standard removable micro SD slot for additional data. If you plug this phone up to your PC and mount it as external storage, you'll see the two data drives listed as separate devices. Right now there are a few Android programs that aren't set up to handle the extra space but I expect as this phone becomes popular their authors will quickly update them.

The most exciting feature for developers, aside from the extra space for app storage, is the new multi-touch sensor used in the Incredible. Unlike the limited Synaptics ClearPad 2000 sensor used by the Nexus One and older Android phones, the Incredible uses an Atmel mXT224 chip which recognizes an "unlimited" number of touches, offers very fast response times, and has an excellent signal-to-noise ratio. You can see it in action in this video from Android Central.

The Incredible's #1 spot may be challenged soon by the Sprint EVO 4G phone, also from HTC. The Sprint phone will have similar specs but will come with a bigger screen (4.3 inch) and a front facing camera, but the biggest draw will be the Sprint 4G network. Initial reports indicate this might not be the advantage you think it is, however. Sprint's 4G coverage is very spotty at the moment and will be slow to grow, while Verizon's 3G network is everywhere. (Updated: Note the EVO 4G falls back to 3G if 4G is not available, but at least in my area Verizon still has the best coverage).

Down the road, look for slightly faster processors (1.2GHz is the next step) and dual-core processors. Right now, the 800x480 screen beats the iPhone, but the next generation iPhone is expected to leapfrog this with a 960x640 display. I'm sure that Android manufacturers won't take that sitting down. Now if the Droid could just get a nice selection of decent fonts. Hello, Adobe, are you listening?

Topics: Mobility, Telcos

About

Ed Burnette has been hooked on computers ever since he laid eyes on a TRS-80 in the local Radio Shack. Since graduating from NC State University he has programmed everything from serial device drivers and debuggers to web servers. After a delightful break working on commercial video games, Ed reluctantly returned to business software. He... Full Bio

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