HTC Incredible S review: Smart and curvy

GSMArena team, 22 March 2011.

Tags: HTC, Android, Touch UI

Tabbed phonebook with social inclinations

The Incredible S features HTC’s all-knowing phonebook with heavy social networking integration. It manages to keep things neatly in order, even though it’s juggling everything from SMS to Facebook photo albums.

Selecting a contact displays the basic details: name and photo, numbers, emails and such. That’s just the first tab – the other tabs hold other categories of info and communication methods, like emails or a call log.

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Viewing a contact

The second tab holds the text messages received from the contact – it would have been a lot more useful if it used conversation style view, but for that you’d have to go to the full-featured Messaging app.

The third tab holds a list of emails you've exchanged with the contact.

The next two tabs are what really turn the Incredible S into a powerful networking tool. The first holds Facebook contact updates, and the other called "Albums" pulls the albums that contacts have created on Flickr and Facebook.

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Facebook updates • Facebook and Flickr albums

The final tab shows the call history for the contact.

The entire People app (the phonebook) is tabbed too and with more tabs than the stock Android. You have all contacts, groups (including favorite contacts there), as well as a call log and "Online directories". The latter holds information for all your friends’ online profiles.

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Phonebook • groups • online directories

When editing a contact, you start off with just one of each essential field but you can easily add more fields, including other fields in case you want to write down every last scrap of info you have on a contact.

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Editing a contact • Linking Dexter with his Facebook account

If you’re switching from another phone don’t worry – you don’t even need a computer to pull out your contacts, messages and calendar items from the old phone into your new Incredible S. The Transfer Data app supports many phones from major manufacturers and pulls the data over Bluetooth.

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The Transfer Data app will easily copy your contacts from your old phone

It’s an old trick (Symbian-powered Nokias have been doing this for ever) and most people would probably go with syncing the contacts over the cloud, but still it’s a handy tool to have.

Telephony has Smart Dialing, clever tricks

The in-call sound quality of the HTC Incredible S is good and loud and the reception was pretty strong, only giving out when the signal got very weak.

The on-screen dialer features a keypad, a shortcut to the call log and a list of contacts beneath (you can hide the keypad).

The HTC Incredible S has both Smart Dialing and Voice dialing is here too – just press and hold the search key and say, for example, “Call Dexter”.

The alphabet scroll is an alternative as well and has an interesting change: it puts the Recent calls and Favorite contacts just before the contacts starting with A. This has consequences on contact ordering – if you’ve recently called Dexter, he won’t show up under “D”.

The Incredible S has three accelerometer-based tricks – turning the phone over will mute the ringer of an incoming call or putting it down can activate the loudspeaker automatically when you are in the middle of a call. The other feature is Quiet ring on pickup – once you move the phone, the ringer will quiet down (but not cancel the call).

Yet another option is pocket mode – the ringer volume will increase if the phone is in your pocket (the proximity sensor takes care of detecting that).

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The dialer has smart dialing • calling Dexter

Another very handy feature is that when someone calls, their latest Tweet or Facebook update will show up – possibly reminding you what the caller has been up to or is after. We can see how that can be useful.

Here's how the HTC Incredible S fares in our traditional loudspeaker performance test. It scored a Good mark putting it somewhere in the middle among its competitors.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOverall score
Samsung I9000 Galaxy S66.6 65.966.6Below Average
LG Optimus 2X65.7 60.067.7Below Average
Motorola MILESTONE 266.563.674.9Average
LG Optimus 766.666.775.7Good
HTC Incredible S66.566.176.7Good
HTC Desire HD69.766.678.3Good
Nokia N875.866.282.7Very Good
HTC Gratia73.273.683.5Excellent
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