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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  • Penti - Monday, July 4, 2011 - link

    There are no units with Mango yet, and they don't even got their hands on development versions. That's really why. Nobody else does either so. I'm sure they'll jump on the band wagon when there is actual hardware and software to test, it's a gadget review-site after all. They did cover earlier WP just fine. As long as nothing happens there you won't see it in the news or via reviews any how. Reply
  • dtomilson - Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - link

    SO let me get this, ignorance is bliss? Awesome. Anandtech has become boring you're so wrong. There are many sites out there that cover mobile phones that have covered Mango. I am a developer for WP7 and find it funny how android phones are covered so much here but they are actually all the same and still disgustingly slow. Dualcore and 1GB of RAM does not make a turtle fast.

    Anandtech will suffer the failure as other tech blogs have. Let the ignorant stick together and die together.
    Reply
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  • NJoy - Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - link

    Finally, you got the review up and i can express some of my feling about htc of late. I've been their supporter for last 6 years, each of my phones over that period been made by HTC and i enjoyed each of them. however, when my upgrade was due last august, i got stuck trying to figure what to figure what to go for - nothing really seemed to be a worthy upgrade. and what HTC had been doing for the next 6 months was just respinning old hardware in different shapes. i was still patient and decided to wait for Sensation , but it was taking forever, so i ended up getting SGS2 that first week of may. And i don't regret it, especially after comparing them side by side - Samsung is faster, lighter , smoother and got much better in-call sound quality. It's just better.
    You also conveniently miss out the fact that sensation is dual A8, whilst tegra and exynos are based on A9
    Locked bootloader is another dealbreaker even if i don't need to root it atm.

    Result is that HTC lost another faithful customer and i am sure i am not the only one.
    Reply
  • NJoy - Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - link

    Ha, how did i mess this up? it was supposed to be in sensation review comments Reply
  • Hxx - Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - link

    You really can't go wrong with the DIncr 2. It's fast, slim, nice screen, goood battery life, excellent price (150 i think after rebate). I played with all 3g and 4g phones currently at verizon and this one was the one i liked the most. The global function is a nice plus although I know i;m never prolly gonna use it. Reply
  • Vepsa - Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - link

    After washing my Droid R2D2 I picked up a Droid Incredible 2 Friday. I really missed Sense (I know, I'm odd) and the phone just feels faster than my R2D2 ever was, even when overclocked. As for the locked bootloader, that is being worked on ;) Reply
  • alent1234 - Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - link

    they have radio chips that will do CDMA and GSM/UMTS/HSPA and whatever so it's not a big deal to make virtually the same phone for AT&T and VZW.

    but i bought my Inspire for $20 from Costco a few months ago and $199 is a huge rip off for this phone. at that price might as well get an iphone 4
    Reply
  • sitharien - Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - link

    Show us Sprint customers some review love, Anand! =) Reply

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