The original Droid Incredible by HTC was the second Android phone I ever officially reviewed. The first was Google's Nexus One. A year ago I proudly proclaimed that the Incredible was clearly better than the Nexus One thanks to the added features HTC delivered through Sense. Since then we've seen Google improve Android tremendously. The OS has come so far in the past twelve months that I do wish more vendors would actually ship unaltered versions of it on their devices. HTC has kept up with Google's evolution, at least on some of their devices. The Sensation 4G, EVO 3D and Flyer all ship with a brand new version of the Sense UI (3.0) that actually adds some pretty neat features to the OS (e.g. the ability to launch apps from the lock screen).

Unfortunately the successor to the original Incredible isn't blessed with Sense 3.0, it's still running version 2.0. The Incredible 2 also doesn't ship with Gingerbread, it's currently only available with Android 2.2.1. Qualcomm does have a working Gingerbread port, something HTC is quite familiar with as all of the devices I mentioned above ship with Gingerbread. The Incredible 2 is due for an update to Gingerbread soon but if you buy it today all you get is Froyo.

The seemingly dated software comes with similarly dated hardware, at least by today's standards. The Incredible 2 ships with Qualcomm's MSM8655 SoC. That's a 45nm SoC with a single-core 1GHz Snapdragon and an Adreno 205 GPU. The chip has 768MB of memory on package. CPU performance isn't improved compared to the original Incredible although the GPU is faster and power consumption is lower thanks to the 45nm process (the original Incredible had a 65nm QSD8650 with an Adreno 200).

While this is an upgrade from the original Incredible, HTC's high end phones these days ship with MSM8660 SoCs: the dual-core, Adreno 220 packing successor to the 8655. In a world where the past six months have been dominated by talk of NVIDIA's dual-core Tegra 2, shipping a high end single-core phone seems silly.

The Incredible 2 increases screen size over the original to a comfortable 4-inches. HTC went with a Super LCD display (PVA) with an 800 x 480 resolution. With Android I firmly believe that the 4-inch screen is ideal for the platform. Anything smaller and it's too difficult to type on. Anything larger and it's not as comfortable to carry around with you.

In your hand the Incredible 2 feels good but not perfect. It's a few mm too wide in my opinion. The front is all glass save for a thin bezel around the sides. The bezel is raised so you can lay the phone flat without worrying about scratching the glass. The four Android buttons are capacitive touch and backlit. The Android buttons will also rotate orientation if you hold the Incredible 2 in landscape vs. portrait. They'll always be in the same place but they'll simply rotate 90 degrees so they're always facing up. Like we saw on the Flyer this button rotation only works if you hold the phone in portrait mode with the Verizon logo facing up or rotate it 90 degrees counter clockwise so the buttons are to the right of you.

Anything that isn't glass is made of soft touch plastic. Despite having a removable back the device feels solid and didn't exhibit any squeaks or creaks when handled. My only concern about soft touch plastic like this is it tends to age really poorly and develop shiny splotches as it accumulates oils from your skin and some of the finish wears off.

The power/lock button is up top and the volume rocker is on the left side. There's also a micro USB port on the left side for charge/sync - there is no HDMI output on the Incredible 2.

Around back is an 8MP camera sensor with dual LED flash. The speakerphone grill is to the right of the rear camera. There's a 1.3MP front facing camera as well.

The back cover pulls off with the uncomfortable release of a few clips around the edge. I'm always afraid I'm going to break something whenever I pull off these HTC covers. Underneath the cover is the Incredible 2's 5.36Whr battery, an upgrade from its predecessor.

Go down one more level and you'll find a SIM card slot behind the battery. The Incredible 2 is a world phone that supports 800/1900MHz CDMA networks, 900/2100MHz UMTS/HSPA+ and 850/900/1800/1900MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks. I traveled to both Abu Dhabi and Taiwan with the Incredible 2, unfortunately I didn't tell Verizon beforehand and thus didn't have service in either location. As a world phone you do get a number of additional plugs for the power adapter:

Keeping with recent HTC tradition, the back cover actually houses the cellular, Bluetooth and WiFi antennas. Remove the cover and you quickly lose all cellular reception on the Incredible 2. In the US, EVDO is the fastest cellular network supported - there's no WiMAX or LTE here. The Incredible 2 supports 802.11b/g/n.

The microSD card slot is accessible without removing the battery but you still need to take off the case to get to it. Verizon sells the Incredible 2 under contract (2-year agreement) for $199 with a 16GB microSD card.

Physical Comparison
  Apple iPhone 4 HTC Thunderbolt Motorola Droid X2 HTC Droid Incredible HTC Droid Incredible 2
Height 115.2 mm (4.5") 122 mm (4.8") 126.5 mm (4.98") 117.5 mm (4.63") 126.3 mm (4.97")
Width 58.6 mm (2.31") 67 mm (2.63") 65.5 mm (2.58") 58.5 mm (2.30") 65.5 mm (2.58")
Depth 9.3 mm ( 0.37") 13.2 mm (0.52") 9.9 mm (0.39") 11.9 mm (0.47") 11.6 mm (0.46")
Weight 137 g (4.8 oz) 183.3 g (6.46 oz) 155 g 130 g (4.6 oz) 148 g (5.22 oz)
CPU Apple A4 @ ~800MHz 1 GHz MSM8655 45nm Snapdragon 1 GHz Dual Core Cortex-A9 Tegra 2 1 GHz Snapdragon QSD8650 1 GHz Snapdragon MSM8655
GPU PowerVR SGX 535 Adreno 205 ULP GeForce Adreno 200 Adreno 205
RAM 512MB LPDDR1 (?) 768 MB LPDDR2 512 MB LPDDR2 512MB LPDDR1 768 MB LPDDR2
NAND 16GB or 32GB integrated 4 GB NAND with 32 GB microSD Class 4 preinstalled 8 GB NAND with 8 GB microSD preinstalled 8 GB NAND with up to 16GB microSD 4 GB NAND with 16 GB microSD preinstalled
Camera 5MP with LED Flash + Front Facing Camera 8 MP with autofocus and dual LED flash, 720p30 video recording, 1.3 MP front facing 8 MP with AF/dual LED Flash, 720p30 video recording 8 MP with AF/LED Flash, 720p30 video recording 8 MP AF/Dual LED flash, 720p30 video recording, 1.3MP front facing
Screen 3.5" 640 x 960 LED backlit LCD 4.3” 800 x 480 LCD-TFT 4.3" 960 x 540 LCD-TFT 3.7" 800 x 480 AMOLED 4.0" 800 x 480 S-LCD
Battery Integrated 5.254Whr Removable 5.18 Whr Removable 5.7 Whr Removable 4.81 Whr Removable 5.36 Whr

 

Software - Android 2.2.1 & Sense 2.0
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  • poohbear - Monday, July 4, 2011 - link

    hey, the majority of Anandtechs new reviews are smartphone or tablet related, and yet there's no smartphone/tablet sub-forum for us to discuss this? when will you create one? seems your reporting is ahead of your site. Reply
  • A5 - Monday, July 4, 2011 - link

    What are you talking about?

    http://forums.anandtech.com/forumdisplay.php?f=37
    Reply
  • rs2 - Monday, July 4, 2011 - link

    Love all the griping about the phone shipping with Froyo. You'd think that Froyo was the Vista of Android OS's, judging by the tone of the opening paragraphs. Nevermind that fact that Froyo was getting rave reviews on this very site not so long ago.

    Is it really so terrible that the device ships with Froyo? You can always upgrade, and a good OS doesn't become a crappy OS just because the current version was bumped from 2.2.x to 2.3.x a few months ago. Look at how long people continued running Windows XP.
    Reply
  • clarkn0va - Monday, July 4, 2011 - link

    I updated my Desire and wife's Galaxy S both from Froyo to CM7 for one simple reason: ingegrated voip. I tried a bunch of voip apps from the market and none of them worked to my satisfaction. In 2.3 it just works.

    Other than that, I can't name a single difference between Froyo and Gingerbread (accounting for the differences between Sense and CM7, anyway).
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, July 6, 2011 - link

    If nothing else, the security patches that arrived in later versions of FroYo and in Gingerbread would be nice. Otherwise, it is just the fact that everyone who knows wants the latest version of the OS, and Gingerbread has been available for months. Reply
  • Anubis - Monday, July 4, 2011 - link

    I really think everyone who bitches about phones not having LTE are forgetting that LTE coverage currently flat out sucks. a huge number of VZW subscribers don't live anywhere near LTE networks. They currently offer 2 levels of phones. More expensive flagship models that do have LTE for those that want it and then cheaper general 3G models for everyone else.

    I am in the everyone else category. my next phone will NOT be an LTE phone as i wont see it where i live for years
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, July 6, 2011 - link

    I forget if they said it would be by the end of 2012 or 2013 that they would have LTE coverage to match their 3G coverage. Either way, assuming they actually pull that off your location might well have LTE before you are ready to replace your next phone. Reply
  • deputc26 - Monday, July 4, 2011 - link

    Anand,

    In your conclusion you state that the Droid X2 is bigger than the inc 2 but on the first page the dimensions for the two appear to be almost identical, only .1mm off.
    Reply
  • orizaba - Monday, July 4, 2011 - link

    Body is not all plastic, BTW. Front bezel is brushed black aluminum all around which largely makes for the solid feel. Came from a Droid1 since release day and have had this phone a month. Love the speed, stability, form factor. No 4G in my area and the no battery sucking dual core (which isn't necessary for the purpose of this phone). Best 3G phone on the market IMO. Froyo has become a solid reliable OS. Will wait for 2.3 until it is well implemented without issues seen today on many phones. Reply
  • dtomilson - Monday, July 4, 2011 - link

    Where are you mentioning the updates of Mango? All I see are the same slow Android phones with no hardware acceleration on a dualcore system where it is still _slow_.

    Let's hear some real news regarding mobile platforms and how they benefit the user.
    Reply

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