Verizon smartphone comparison; Is the HTC DROID Incredible the best?

There are getting to be lots of high end smartphone options on Verizon and in this post we take a quick look at the Palm Pre Plus, HTC DROID Incredible, Motorla Devour, and Motorola DROID. The upcoming HTC DROID Incredible stands out from the pack and is an excellent choice.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

I still have a couple more weeks with the HTC DROID Incredible and am getting a ton of questions from YouTube viewers and readers of this blog. With this device launching on Verizon late next week, I thought it would be a good time to talk about the high end smartphones on Verizon Wireless since many are trying to figure out which one to buy and have been sending me requests for my thoughts. I'll present the specs, along with my personal thoughts on each device based on my experiences with them that will hopefully help you with your own personal decision. Let's take a look at the Palm Pre Plus, HTC DROID Incredible, Motorola Devour, and Motorola DROID. I am not including BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices since I have used neither on Verizon Wireless and cannot give you my thoughts or experiences.


Let's take a look at the numbers before we see how they perform and how each distinguishes itself.

Palm Pre Plus

  • Qualcomm 600 MHz processor
  • Palm webOS 1.4
  • 3.1 inch HVGA touchscreen display
  • Slide-down QWERTY keyboard
  • 16GB integrated memory
  • 3 megapixel camera
  • FREE WiFi Mobile Hotspot feature
  • Talk time: 330 minutes
  • Dimensions: 3.9 x 2.3 x 0.67 inches and 4.89 ounces
  • $49.99 with 2 year contract

HTC DROID Incredible I have had YouTube viewers challenge me on the name of this device and even though the retail box does not show the DROID part of the name anywhere, this is officially the HTC DROID Incredible. I am not sure why Verizon uses the DROID series name with some Android devices and not others, but I am just reporting the facts when it comes to the name.

  • 1 GHz Snapdragon processor
  • Google Android 2.1 with HTC Sense 2.5
  • 3.7 inch WVGA OLED touchscreen display
  • Virtual keyboard
  • 8GB internal memory and microSD card slot
  • 8 megapixel camera
  • Talk time: 312 minutes
  • Dimensions: 4.63 x 2.3 x 0.47 inches and 4.59 ounces
  • $199.99 with 2 year contract

Motorola Devour

  • Qualcomm 600 MHz processor
  • Google Android 1.6 with MOTOBLUR social networking interface
  • 3.1 inch HVGA touchscreen display
  • Slide-out QWERTY keyboard
  • microSD card slot
  • 3 megapixel camera
  • Talk time: 340 minutes
  • Dimensions: 4.55 x 2.40 x 0.61 inches and 6.35 ounces
  • $149.99 with 2 year contract

Motorola DROID

  • ARM Cortex A8 550 MHz processor
  • Google Android 2.1
  • 3.7 inch touchscreen display
  • Slide-out QWERTY keyboard
  • microSD card slot
  • 5 megapixel camera
  • Talk time: 385 minutes
  • Dimensions: 4.56 x 2.36 x 0.54 inches and 5.96 ounces
  • $199.99 with 2 year contract

Thoughts and experiences with the devices

Palm Pre Plus I have written a few articles about using the Palm Pre Plus, including this post that talked about why I purchased my own device on Verizon Wireless. There has been a lot of speculation about Palm surviving as a company and I am not sure what is going to happen in the future. That said, I think their webOS may be one of the best mobile operating system out there and I have no problem committing myself to the Palm Pre Plus and webOS. You will find the BEST multi-tasking experience on the Pre Plus, along with excellent service integration (Facebook, Google, Exchange, etc.), awesome gaming experience, and one of the most stable operating systems I have ever used. There are over 2000 apps in their Palm App Catalog and more are released every day and I have to admit there are only a couple of things missing that I would like to see, including Office document support and voice recording.

The hardware feels great in your hand and is quite compact. However, the keyboard has issues and with this second device I have I get double and missing letters all the time and will probably be exchanging it soon since it is starting to drive me crazy. Palm's hardware is subpar compared to what we see from other manufacturers and it really is a shame that their awesome OS doesn't have fantastic hardware to run on.

The FREE WiFi Mobile Hotspot service that just over a month ago cost $40/month is a HUGE factor in my decision to stick with the Palm Pre Plus rather than switch to the HTC DROID Incredible. I enjoy connecting to the Palm Pre Plus with my iPad, Zune HD, and other devices for a connection wherever I need one on the go. The Palm Pre Plus is also dirt cheap to purchase at just $50 so it is a very compelling option. I also started using Palm devices in 1997 so I have a special place in my heart for the company that may sway my opinion a bit.

HTC DROID Incredible HTC is the premier Google Android maker and they do not disappoint with this newest member of the family. I posted my first look of the DROID Incredible yesterday and have to say if I did not have the Palm Pre Plus I would be all over this device. I own a Google Nexus One that runs on T-Mobile and was looking forward to seeing it come to Verizon, which it is still planned to do sometime. Physically, the Nexus One is a bit more solid, but the DROID Incredible has some improved specifications that include the 8 megapixel camera, 8GB integrated memory, and optical joystick. The DROID Incredible feels great in your hand with a slightly narrower body and less weight. The OLED display looks great, except in sunlight. The camera takes good photos and records video quite well.

The DROID Incredible states "with Google" on the back, but also has the latest HTC Sense 2.5 UI. I ended up hacking my Google Nexus One to run Sense after using the Incredible because I find the experience to be that good. You get 7 home screen panels, a new webOS-like Leap card view, multiple Scenes, integrated Exchange support, HTC widget support, and an awesome visual experience with Sense on the Incredible.

I was very pleased to see that Verizon Wireless also left the Incredible pristine without any bloatware like AT&T loads up on their devices so you really feel like you are getting a quality device that you can customize to your personal preferences. NFL Mobile is new and supported on the Incredible with Skype Mobile coming soon too (may be available on the 29 April launch date).

Verizon Wireless also provides official support for Mobile Broadband connectivity on the Incredible, via a wired connection, but I have not yet heard what charges may apply to use this.

Motorola Devour Prior to the DROID Incredible, the latest Google Android device from Verizon was the Motorla Devour. Andrew took a look at this device and posted his review that was complimentary of the device. I held it and played with one for a few minutes at the store, but did not spend an extensive amount of time with it. It runs an older version of Android and has the custom MOTOBLUR user interface that is very focused on social networks. The hardware is pretty solid and IMHO they keyboard is much better than the Motorla DROID.

Motorola DROID The DROID set the bar for Google Android devices on Verizon Wireless and was recently updated to the latest Google Android 2.1 version of the operating system. It is a very nice device with a beautiful display, but the keyboard is not that great and I actually think the outstanding HTC virtual keyboard on the DROID Incredible is even better than this physical one.

The Motorola DROID is still a good option, but with it at the same price as the DROID Incredible I think the better processor, internal memory, and camera specs of the Incredible win for most people.

Final thoughts

As you can see there are some great options for the smartphone buyer on Verizon Wireless and I honestly doubt we will see any iPhone launched with them until at least 2011 so holding out hope for an iPhone on Verizon may be a lost cause. If you are looking for the best smartphone and have no need to tether wireless then the DROID Incredible is probably your best choice. I do find webOS to be a more compelling OS, but the hardware is not superb and there is some uncertainty with Palm at this time.

Editorial standards