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Wednesday, May 5, 2010
A week with the HTC Incredible
As a contributing blogger for CNET's TechRepublic, I get the chance to test out a lot of new smartphones. I generally have pretty high expectations for devices and, honestly, most handsets don't meet all of them.

HTC Incredible

I spent the past week using the new HTC Incredible from Verizon Wireless. It may be the best smartphone available in the U.S. right now.

The Good
There is a lot to love about the Incredible, but I will focus on three:

1. The design
The Incredible is a light and sleek handset despite having a big 3.7" screen. One of my favorite elements of the hardware design is the back of the case.

HTC Incredible

The back of the case is designed so that your hands are always holding the Incredible at the thinnest points. So rather than try and create the thinnest smartphone, HTC choose to make the phone *feel* thinner. Really smart design choice.

2. Sense UI + Android 2.1
I love Android, but it feels a bit unpolished in spots. HTC has developed their own Sense UI that runs on top of Android and makes it a much more refined experience. Really makes a big difference. It was one of the reasons I preferred the underpowered Droid Eris to the beefy, bulky Motorola Droid. It is also why I love using the Incredible.

3. The overall speed
The Incredible really blew me away with its speed. Everyone that picked up the phone over the past week commented on just how fast it is. It is the most responsive handset I've ever used. There is absolutely no lag.

The Not-So-Good
Of course, with just about every device, you will find things that you wish were a bit better. The Incredible is no exception.

1. Battery life
This one shouldn't be too much of a surprise. The Incredible is a powerful smartphone with GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi and a big, bright screen. No matter the handset, that is a recipe for shorter-than-optimal battery life.

I found that I could usually get through the work day (and well into the evening) on a single charge. Not terrible, but I found on heavy usage days that I would need to charge up during the day to keep it running. Not terrible for most users, but the Incredible would definitely not survive a day at SXSW Interactive.

2. The back of the case
While I love the design of the back of the case, I don't like how you take it on and off. First, it is made of plastic, so it may not be the most durable. Second, it doesn't slide on and off. You have to pry it off. I always found myself feeling like I was going to snap it in half.

This is the same issue I had with the Droid Eris. Wish HTC would rethink that choice. If you need to swap the battery or the microSD card, you will need to pry the case off each time.

The Bottom Line
Despite those small issues, the HTC Incredible is the best mobile device that I've ever used. The only reason I'm not picking one up is that I am waiting on the Sprint EVO 4G in June. If you're on Verizon, it is definitely the phone to have. Go get one right now. You'll thank me later :)

About Shawn Morton

Married father of 6; VP of Social Media at JPMorgan Chase; gluten-free; gadget enthusiast; hair metal aficionado; #Movember man View more on LinkedIn.