Review: HTC Incredible 2

  • May 6, 2011 9:20 am
  • by: Mike

Another Android device in a sea of little green robots. How is it different? What sets it appart? And most importantly: Is it powerful enough to last through 2011? The HTC Incredible 2 is a sleek, sexy device shacking up on Verizon’s 3G network. It could be in your hands. But before you make any brash decisions, hop inside and check out our full review…

This 4″ device from HTC may not pack LTE like its bigger cousin, the HTC Thunderbolt, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less worthy. Quite the contrary we’d say. If you can do without LTE (or don’t have the option), pay attention. The Incredible 2 is where it’s at.

Hardware

As alluded to above, the HTC Incredible 2 has a 4″ 480 x 800 display, 1GHz (single-core) Qualcomm MSM8655 processor, 768 MB of RAM, 8-megapixel rear/1.3-megapixel front-facing cameras, 16 GB built-in/up to 32 GB external storage, Bluetooth and Wifi, and a 1450mAh battery. No, the I2 isn’t the fastest boat in the water, but it’s definitely a nicely waxed contender.

The top of the phone houses your headphone port and power button. The left side takes the microUSB port and up/down volume keys. The remaining two sides are void — nice and sleek. ‘Round back you’ll find cut outs for the 8-megapixel camera, dual-LED flash, and standard HTC branding. We’ll note here that the I2 is an…sorry for the pun… incredibly…thin phone. It’s not iPhone 4 thin, but it’s close. With that said, we’d rather have seen the I2 another 2-3mm thicker if it meant a bigger battery. (We’ll take runtime over the “thin fad” any day.)

The entire phone is covered in a soft-touch plastic/rubber compound that feels downright awesome in the hand. Lint haters shouldn’t jump to conclusions though. We didn’t notice any dirt or dust clinging to the phone because of its coating.

Camera & Video

The rear-facing 8-megapixel camera is actually very good. Auto-focusing was fast and accurate, as were colors and white balance. Rarely did we manually have to adjust any of the aforementioned settings. The front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera on the other hand was really only usable for quick self-shots or avatar sized photos.

Video calling quality went off without a hitch over WiFi and only the occasional stutter over 3G. Though when conducted over 3G, video quality was noticeably degraded. Still, now that video calling features and services are finally taking off in the U.S., just having the feature to begin with is nice.

Software

Like most Android phones released in early/mid-2011, Android 2.2 is the standard code on board. We would have loved to see HTC adopt Google’s latest (and already several month old) 2.3/Gingerbread flavor, but we’ll take what we can get.

Being an HTC product means Sense UI comes pre-loaded with it’s own assortment of widgets, shortcuts, and other little tweaks. We like it for the most part, though would ultimately prefer stock Android. Nonetheless, millions of sales later, HTC obviously has a winner on their hands with Sense UI.

Call Quality And Data Throughput

As we’ve come to expect with HTC’s Android phones, call quality was exceptional with callers sounding loud and clear on our end. Ditto the other way around, too.

Data over Verizon’s 3G network was reliable and relatively fast. In most instances we were averaging ~800Kbps-1Mbps. An added bonus of their far reaching network is that even in more rural areas, data speeds stayed brisk and voice calls remained clear. Still, we would have loved some LTE action. Though judging by the already so-so battery life, we see why HTC (and possibly Verizon) decided against it.

Battery Life

We’ll be honest and admit we weren’t expecting anything too impressive in terms of battery life. And after almost a week of constant flogging, we’ll confirm that the Incredible 2′s battery life is just like every other CDMA Android device — mediocre. Taking out the electrical IV at ~5:30 am and powering through an active morning and lunch with constant emails, google chat sessions, a phone call or four, and copious amounts of Twitter usage had us seeing %30 by 11-12 every day.

That’s not to discount the I2 though. Short of the battery life, we really like this phone.

Conclusion

In Short: The Incredible 2 is a worthy successor with a newer generation Snapdragon processor, crystal clear 4″ display, and highly regarded Sense UI. The phone is thin and fast, though we’d wish battery life were a bit better.

Should you buy the Incredible 2 over the Thunderbolt? What about the iPhone 4? In regards to the former, if you either (1) don’t have LTE service in your area or (2) don’t care about LTE, then by all means check out the Incredible 2. (We actually prefer the slightly smaller 4″ display to the Thunderbolt’s larger 4.3″ display.) As far as comparing the Incredible 2 to the iPhone 4 — such a comparison opens an entirely different bag. First and foremost you have to ask yourself what you like more: Android’s open, do-whatever-you-want approach or Apple’s closed, calculated, consistant platform. Once you get past that you can begin to make some more important decisions.

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  • Electrocatz

    i happy get this phone

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Author: Mike

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Gadget lover, smartphone collector, and beer connoisseur. I've been writing about gadgets for three years now and loving every minute of it. Outside of the digital landscape, I enjoy being active outdoors. I'm always up for a good conversation, so feel free to drop me a line!