Droid Incredible takes top Android phone spot, for now

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.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Telcos
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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

Ed Burnette

About Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette is a software industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience as a programmer, author, and speaker. He has written numerous technical articles and books, most recently "Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform" from the Pragmatic Programmers.

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18 comments
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  • Oh sure. Just ask colleague Chris Dawson! ;)

    nt
    Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate
  • 4G on Evo

    The Evo is a 3G and 4G phone not just a 4G phone. Ed, comments like "Sprint?s 4G coverage is very spotty at the moment and will be slow to grow, while Verizon?s 3G network is everywhere" may seem true, you are deceiving your readers saying that the Evo is not a 3G phone.

    Did you get paid by Verizon to say that?
    da.bell
    • Sprint fallback

      I added a note about falling back to 3G
      Ed Burnette
      • Thanks

        Thank you. Will be a better article now with better more information that the reader can decided on.
        da.bell
  • Amazon has it for $99

    Get it for 1/2 price at Amazon (with new service) http://tinyurl.com/3yaj7h7

    The best deal for existing customers is at Wirefly for $149.99 http://tinyurl.com/37jyauq
    windsurferk
    • Links to others ...

      Since when are Amazon and Wirefly in the tinyurl.com URL ????
      wackoae
    • Order it from Wirefly.com and get another $50 Bing cashback per phone

      Wirefly.com seems to be the only place that actually has the Droid Incredible IN STOCK. Verizon says "ships next week," Amazon says "ships in 8-9 days." Wirefly customers are getting shipping notifications today.

      Start your session at Bing.com, search for "Wirefly" and you'll get another $50 cashback from Microsoft for each phone you order.
      bbneter
      • Microsoft gives you $50 to buy an Android phone?

        Interesting.
        Ed Burnette
  • $99 & $149 Droid Incredible Deals

    I just saw that you can actually get the Droid Incredible for much less than $200. It's $99 with a new service plan, and $149 if you add a line or renew your plan. See http://buydroidphones.com/tag/droid-incredible-deals/ for more details
    estatemaster
  • Evo

    Um...the Evo can just fall back on the 3G network when the 4G network is unavailable.

    Next time, just leave paragraphs like that out. That is, unless you enjoy looking like a moron.
    FantomX
  • RE: Droid Incredible takes top Android phone spot, for now

    HTC EVO 4g falls back on 3g network when 4g is not available and guess what? Sprint 3g is everywhere also.
    markoel
  • RE: Droid Incredible takes top Android phone spot, for now

    markoel... You say "HTC EVO 4g falls back on 3g network when 4g is not available and guess what? Sprint 3g is everywhere also." You have got to be kidding. My wife is forced to use Sprint 3g for work and connection drops at least 2 or 3 time an hour. She has less than 20 signal (bars) in our area. )Indian Shores beach area of Florida.) When she had Verizon, she never dropped a connection. Same can be said for Sprint vs Verizon cell phone in our area.
    TommyNp
    • 3g/4g coverage

      What the person is trying to say is that the Evo is a 3g/4g device. Not just a 4g. IMO, this is [b]terrible[/b] reporting by Ed and Ed must have been paid by Verizon to say that. However, he doesn't comment on if he is sponsored by Verizon either. So, you just have to go off the idea that Ed doesn't report everything correct IMO.
      da.bell
      • also

        It's not about how your network connection is either. Some cities are better than others. Some cities just suck for certain phones/carriers.

        The point is that the author states that the phone is 4g and does not reference anything that it can also support 3g.
        da.bell
        • Network matters

          My wife works as a remote tech employee for a nationwide Fortune top twenty firm. She was given Sprint phone and aircard to use with her laptop. Sprint service was so bad it prevented her from doing her work and she had to change to Verizon. End of problems - for her at least, others still suffering Sprint drops and brownouts nationwide. They can even tell when they are coming. Sorry, but the network does matter and no, I have no connection to Verizon.
          dusty378
  • RE: Droid Incredible takes top Android phone spot, for now

    None of these phones are really useful because they don't sync with the desktop. I can't bring document or media to or from my computer except singly by email. It is senseless insanity - this thing has more processor than my first two laptops, but it's crippled because it lives in a vacuum. If it took a Bluetooth keyboard (but it doesn't) it could be my laptop most days. It has ten times the power and one half the functionality of my old Handspring Visor, which didn't even have a camera. Without desktop sync (which should NOT require a corporate Exchange network) these things are just fancy gossip phones with email.
    dusty378
    • RE: Droid Incredible takes top Android phone spot, for now

      @dusty378 You can hook up the phone to your desktop and treat it as a USB drive if you like. No special sync software required.
      Ed Burnette
  • RE: Droid Incredible takes top Android phone spot, for now

    http://briefmobile.com/incredible-to-resume-shipping-june-22

    Really SUCKS that it is backordered... but according to them ^^^ it'll be back on June 22nd
    spary