HTC Incredible S review: Smart and curvy
The HTC Incredible S has all the ingredients of a great smartphone. A large screen with great image quality, powerful hardware under the hood and a decent camera with HD video recording sounds like a great formula for success. It also provides a solid user experience so all seems fine, right?
Well, not quite so. See the thing is, while the Incredible S hardware is perfectly adequate for the moment, it’s far from future-proofed. The first dual-core droids just hit the shelves and there’s a whole bunch more to come.
Developers will soon start to make use of the extra processing power and make their apps and games more demanding, which will render them incompatible with the Incredible S. And you wouldn’t want your new high-end smartphone to look underpowered in six-months time, do you?
Plus the Incredible S lacks any unique differentiating features. You know, something like dedicated gaming keys (the XPERIA Play), or a Super AMOLED screen that can seal a deal by itself.
All that coupled with a high asking price like this makes the Incredible S a device that’s pretty hard to recommend. Of course, if your carrier offers it at a bargain price you may disregard this argument and get the handset – the solid smartphone experience is guaranteed.
Yet if you are looking for a SIM-free device and are paying full price, we feel there are better alternatives out there.
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc should hit the shelves any moment now for a price comparable to that of the Incredible S. If you go with the Sony Ericsson flagship you will get to taste Gingerbread out of the box. You will also be getting a Bravia powered screen of slightly higher resolution (though with not quite so impressive viewing angles) and an impressively slim waistline (it’s 8.7mm at its slimmest part). Not to mention the batter camera quality.
For the ultimate power you can get the LG Optimus 2X. The dual-core droid is still running on Froyo too, but the Tegra 2 muscle will make sure everything runs smooth for quite some time to come.
Next you can get the Samsung I9000 Galaxy S, which runs the same Android 2.2 Froyo OS, only coupled with TouchWiz, rather than Sense. And while the choice between the two launchers is strictly a matter of personal taste, there’s no argument that the splendid display and the far lower price tilt the scales in favor of the Samsung smartphone. All you will be sacrificing is the 8 megapixel camera, but you will be getting smoother video capture with continuous autofocus so it’s not too bad a deal. Plus, the Galaxy S will playback most DivX and Xvid videos in up to 720p resolution without any converting whatsoever.
Finally if you can live without the Super AMOLED deep blacks, then you can check out the Samsung I9003 Galaxy SL, which will save you even more cash to spend on apps.
So the HTC Incredible S is put in a quite awkward position. Not so much by its failure to perform as expected – it does just fine. The Incredible S main undoing is its creators’ failure to anticipate market trends and equip it with the hardware that would let it remain competitive for more than six months after its release.