Software - Android 2.2.1 & Sense 2.0

Sense 3.0 appears to be limited to HTC devices that ship with Gingerbread at this point. It's unclear whether or not we'll see an update to the Incredible 2's Sense UI alongside Gingerbread.

The software supports seven home screens, each can be home to a single large widget or multiple smaller ones. HTC offers preconfigured groups of home screens called Scenes for quickly switching between usage models. If nothing HTC supplies suits your fancy you are free to customize all of the home screens to your liking and save the configuration as a custom scene. In my opinion one of the biggest advantages of HTC's scenes is the ability to quickly switch the layout of your widgets when you travel. I find that when I travel I typically use a different set of apps than I do when I'm at home. I can definitely see the usefulness in being able to quickly change the configuration of shortcuts and widgets. HTC does make switching between scenes pretty easy. There's a permanent link to Personalize at the bottom of every home screen (along with all apps and the dialer).

The notification shade does feature a scrollable list of recently used apps, however there is no quick settings tab as there is in Sense 3.0.

The thing I miss the most about not having Sense 3.0 is the lock screen shortcuts that let you fire up apps and unlock the phone with a single gesture. It's honestly one of only a handful of OEM features that I do believe actually improves productivity.

The other Sense customizations are pretty standard. There's widespread integration of Facebook if you provide the Incredible 2 with your login information. The level of integration ranges from cool (automatically populating your address book with Facebook contacts) to frustrating (not delivering as good of a News Feed browsing experience as the dedicated Facebook app).

The UI in general is snappy and maintains a relatively high, but sub-60 fps frame rate. The apps launcher is split up into four screens: all apps, an automatically populated (and very useful) grid of frequent apps, downloaded apps and finally the Verizon preloaded apps.

Verizon puts a ton of preloaded apps on the Incredible 2, unfortunately you can't move them to the SD card or remove them entirely.

 

HTC's web browser is pretty quick and provides relatively smooth scrolling - it's definitely not perfect but not frustrating either. Flash is supported and surprisingly enough it doesn't bog down the browsing experience all that much. Pages are loaded first, followed by flash elements. My biggest complaint about the browser is that tapping on the search/URL bar defaults to URL entry (as in you get a prefilled http://www.). I'm used to Chrome on the desktop which defaults to search instead.

The last thing I'd like to comment on is HTC's Sense keyboard. I was pleased with it in the original Incredible and am still generally happy with it. It's still a bit busier than I'd like but it's functional, the keys are well spaced and I can type quickly on it.

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  • jigglywiggly - Monday, July 4, 2011 - link

    single core and no amoled
    phone sux
    Reply
  • TrackSmart - Monday, July 4, 2011 - link

    Those items don't bother me. It's the lack of LTE on a new Verizon smartphone. Of course, if having a world phone is more valuable to you that might be an okay tradeoff... Reply
  • nomagic - Monday, July 4, 2011 - link

    I cant stand AMOLED.

    AMOLED has awful color balance.

    Why do people like AMOLED so much?
    Reply
  • synaesthetic - Monday, July 4, 2011 - link

    Not sure. I like the SLCD on my Glacier just fine. Sure, blacks aren't quite as black as they were on my old Galaxy S, but the color balance is much nicer and white webpages don't slaughter my battery. Reply
  • vol7ron - Monday, July 4, 2011 - link

    I like the options, but Droid has some identification problems. Apple doesn't come out with a lot of phones, but when it does, it's easy to tell it's an iPhone and what version it is. Part of having a smartphone is having those bragging rights.

    Droid has many options and features, but their products are becoming more and more ambiguous by the time they hit the street. Combine that with all the different version names and it makes it tougher for consumers to remember what one they really wanted.

    I think this problem begins with the manufacturer. So while I might like this, or another phone, I hope I write it down because a month from now, I doubt I'll remember its name.
    Reply
  • The0ne - Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - link

    People follow reviews no matter what, that's how AMOLED is loved. Reply
  • kmmatney - Monday, July 4, 2011 - link

    I have to admit - I don't see the real need for dual-core on a phone. What's it going to do for you? My lowly iPhone 3GS is already pretty darn smooth, and has no trouble browing the web, doing email, playing games. Maybe there are apps that can use it, but the only thing I can think of that really needs the dual GPU would be hardcore games. Reply
  • vision33r - Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - link

    Good software code, trumps any higher end hardware + poor code. In the case of Google, 98% of all their phones run crappy because of OS with OEM modified UI.

    Download any top end game on the Android Market and compare with top end game in iOS.

    It's not even a contest at the moment in terms of software and app quality.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, July 8, 2011 - link

    I wonder how well your 3GS would play my extensive .mkv library consisting of mostly 1080p series and movies. Or how well it would be able to browser flash websites or use google docs etc. :-)
    Just because it's good enough for you doesn't mean it is for everyone else. If everyone thought like you, we'd still go around with 30km/h trains and ride on horses most of the time.
    Reply
  • makken - Monday, July 4, 2011 - link

    It seems like HTC's hardware has been going downhill lately. IMO, HTC's hardware design peaked with the Tmobile G2 / Desire Z.

    Every HTC phone since that has just felt cheaper. I especially loved the metal battery cover with a dedicated release lever; and I wish HTC would incorporate that design into other phones they make instead of the plastic-rip-off cover that they've been going with lately.

    I also liked the fact that it had a dedicated camera button and an optical trackpad, things that HTC has elected to delete from this generation of android phones. I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me on the trackpad, but I found it useful as a wake method (instead of having to push the power button on the top), as a D-pad for quickly repositioning the text input cursor, and as a notification LED.
    Reply

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