Review: Droid Incredible 2 delivers a big bang for the buck

Summary:The Droid Incredible 2 by HTC lacks Verizon 4G connectivity, but is a solid refresh to the popular Droid Incredible on the Verizon network. It delivers a big bang for the buck to appeal to consumers.

The Droid Charge may be the darling of the Verizon smartphone lineup, but it is overkill (and expensive) for most consumers. The smaller Droid Incredible 2 by HTC lacks 4G connectivity, but is a solid refresh to the popular Droid Incredible on the Verizon network. I have been testing the Droid Incredible 2 for a few weeks, and it is a very good Android smartphone that could be a good choice for many buyers.

The hardware

The body of the Incredible 2 is very solid and is designed to fit comfortably in the hand. The phone is light yet feels substantial during use rather than cheap like some plastic phones. HTC included the latest Snapdragon processor which keeps things humming along nicely, even though it is not a dual-core processor currently in vogue. The phone exhibits very little lag that plagues some Android phones, and is a solid performer.

Check out the Droid Incredible 2 photo gallery


Image Gallery: Droid Incredible 2 -- a solid refresh to a popular phone
Image Gallery: Charge
Image Gallery: Charge

The Droid Incredible 2 does not have the latest 4G LTE connectivity on the Verizon network, it is a 3G-only smartphone. It a CDMA/EVDO phone for Verizon, but also a world phone with HSPA for international roaming. This makes it worth considering for frequent business travelers needing a single solution.

Specs:

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 1GHz
  • Memory: 1GB ROM, 768MB RAM, 16GB internal microsSD installed
  • Display: 4-inch (480x800) Super LCD
  • Cameras: 1.3MP front, 8MP rear (auto-focus, dual LED flash)
  • Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth
  • Battery: 1450 mAh
  • OS: Android 2.2
  • Dimensions: 4.75 x 2.52 x 0.48 inches, 4.77 ounces

The Incredible 2 has the standard four Android buttons on the front bottom of the phone, which are touch sensitive. These buttons are backlit and the icons representing the buttons rotate to remain properly upright when the phone is tilted to landscape. The front of the phone is otherwise devoted to the 4-inch display, with the 1.3MP camera in the upper right of the display.

The left side of the handset has the volume buttons and the microUSB used for charging and PC connections. The right side and bottome of the Incredible 2 have no controls whatsoever, and the top of the phone a 3.5mm headphone jack and power button.

The entire back of the Incredible 2 is a one piece cover that removes to provide access to the battery and memory card. This back has a raised portion in the middle to keep the phone as thin as possible while providing room for the battery. This lip makes the phone very comfortable to hold. The 8MP camera is in the upper left of the back, with the dual-LED flash to the right of the lens. There is a tiny speaker to the right of the flash for speakerphone operation of the phone.

Software

HTC has installed Android 2.2 on the Incredible 2, which may not be popular with those wanting the latest and greatest version of the OS. It is very stable in operation though, and works as expected. The HTC Sense interface is in use and operates well on the phone.

There are a number of Verizon apps preinstalled on the Incredible 2, including VZNavigator, Backup Assistant, 3G Mobile Hotspot, Blockbuster among others. The full suite of Google Android apps are also installed and ready to go out of the box.

Operation

The Droid Incredible 2 has worked flawlessly for this evaluation, with no issues either software nor hardware. The performance of the phone in operation is not the fastest, but it is solid with little noticeable lag. The display is nice and bright and while it is not as easy to see in bright sunlight like the AMOLED displays, it is a decent solution for mobile operation.

The 8MP camera operates well on the Incredible 2, and while it won't rival professional grade cameras it works well as a simple point-and-shoot. The auto-focus works nicely and the flash is pretty good for a phone of this type. Video records well and the Incredible 2 can do in a pinch for capturing things on the spur of the moment.

Conclusion

HTC has produced a decent refresh to the popular Incredible, and the Droid Incredible 2 is worth a good look for those in the market for a solid Android phone on the Verizon network. The global roaming capability is a decent feature for travelers, and the phone is a good size for those wanting a phone that is easy to carry.

The Droid Incredible 2 is available from Verizon for $199 with a 2-year contract, but I have seen it online as low as $99. This makes the Incredible 2 a good investment for those wanting a full-featured Android phone without breaking the bank.

See related coverage:

Topics: Smartphones, Hardware, Mobility

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.