HTC Incredible S review: Smart and curvy

GSMArena team, 22 March 2011.

Tags: HTC, Android, Touch UI

Video player does DivX/XviD but only up to D1 resolution

Video files can be accessed from the All videos subfolder in the Gallery or from the Videos shortcut in the menu, they launch the same thing.

The video files can be viewed as a grid or filmstrip and can be shared over MMS, email, or YouTube, Facebook and Flickr.

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The Videos app is part of the Gallery

The video player interface on the HTC Incredible S offers a full screen toggle (stretch / crop video to fit the screen) and you can scrub through the video too. SRS sound enhancement is also available but there’s no subtitles support.

The video player does OK in general - 720p MP4 videos were no problem. D1 DivX/XviD videos at reasonable bitrate played just fine as well but 720p DivX or XviD clips were a no-go.

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Playing video

The big screen with excellent viewing angles make the Incredible S a great solution for watching movies on the go. DLNA connectivity can make it useful at home too – like streaming the video you recorded straight to the TV (without a single wire).

Music player is SRS-ly good

The standard music library view is the Artists section, but you can easily switch to one of the other six tabs beneath, which are for Albums, All Songs, Playlists, Songs and Connected media (which handles DLNA).

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The music library

The now playing interface is a Cover-Flow-like visualization of the current playlist – you can swipe sideways to skip songs or go back. You can opt to view the full playlist if you need to skip more than a few phones.

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The new player interface is nice • Equalizer and SRS sound enhancement

The Incredible S offers SRS sound enhancement to boost the listening experience. If you plug in headphones, you can change equalizer settings too.

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Player controls in the notification area • Cover-flow like browsing

Two shortcuts in the top corners act as toggles for shuffle and repeat. From the context menu, you can share a song (over Bluetooth, email or message) and you can look up the music video on YouTube too.

There’s a music recognition app – SoundHound. It easily recognizes a song from just a short sample. Or you can say the name of the artist and song and SoundHound will find it for you, including lyrics. The free version however only offers a limited number of uses (99).

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The SoundHoud app

FM radio has RDS, is slow to start

The HTC Sense UI is also equipped with an FM radio, which has a pretty simple interface. It automatically scans the area for the available stations and allows you to mark some of them as favorite. It also supports RDS and allows loudspeaker playback.

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The FM radio UI

One thing that annoyed us about the radio is that it takes quite a while to start and stop – about five seconds.

Audio quality not as good as we hoped

The HTC Incredible S audio quality is decent, but we feel that for that kind of cash decent equals disappointing.

The smartphone is pretty good when you plug it in an active external amplifier (such as your home or car stereo), save for the higher than average stereo crosstalk. So while not perfect the device is decent on those occasions. Plus its reasonably loud.

The good news is that plugging in a pair of headphones doesn't have as disastrous an effect on stereo crosstalk as we have seen on some other smartphones. So even with its relatively low starting position it still ends up acceptable after the slide. Still, the overall impact of the applied resistance is pretty major with frequency response, dynamic range, and signal-to-noise ratio all taking a hit and the distortion levels increasing. It's nothing more than a mediocre performance by the Incredible S in these conditions.

Check out the table and see for yourself.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
HTC Incredible S+0.03, -0.18-82.482.20.0180.058-71.3
HTC Incredible S (headphones attached)+0.61, -0.15-71.771.20.1260.540-59.6
HTC Desire HD+0.09, -0.44-90.690.40.0140.517-92.6
HTC Desire HD (headphones attached)+0.09, -0.44-93.292.90.0200.728-17.9
Samsung I9000 Galaxy S+0.03 -0.04-90.790.60.014 0.019-90.6
Samsung I9000 Galaxy S (headphones attached)+0.40 -0.12-90.790.60.018 0.329-43.3
HTC Aria+0.12, -0.58-84.586.90.0220.172-85.4
HTC Aria (headphones attached)+0.37, -0.15-87.090.40.0260.400-52.3
Apple iPhone 4+0.01, -0.07-90.590.60.00410.011-92.0
Apple iPhone 4 (headphones attached)+0.01, -0.07-90.490.40.00360.092-68.4

HTC Incredible S frequency response
HTC Incredible S frequency response

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

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