Droid Incredible 4G LTE Review

The Droid Incredible 4G LTE on Verizon continues the tradition of past Incredible devices, staking out a claim to the 4-inch Android smartphone market.

Verizon offers the new Droid Incredible 4G LTE with, that’s right 4G LTE connectivity for faster uploads and downloads while out.

The phones small size and distinctive contoured back beckon to earlier Incredible owners, much like new versions of the iPhone attract attention from current iPhone owners.

While the exterior looks much like the Droid Incredible 2, inside, the Droid Incredible 4G LTE packs a new dual core processor and improved GPU.

Pros

  • Small Size
  • Sharp 4-inch display
  • 4G LTE
Cons

  • Small Battery
  • 8GB of on board memory

Droid Incredible 4G LTE Front

The Droid Incredible 4G LTE looks the same, but packs updated internals.

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Droid Incredible 4G LTE | $149 | Verizon

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Hands On/Video Review

Our Droid Incredible 4G LTE hands on video features a hardware tour of Verizon’s latest Droid branded smartphone and highlights the specs of this Android 4.0 smartphone.

Design

The Droid Incredible 4G LTE design is much like the design of the Droid Incredible 2, with minor changes to the contour of the back and the finish.

The Droid 4G LTE packs the same 4-inch display, which means the phone is roughly the same size, though the edges taper in all the corners a bit more dramatically than on the Incredible 4G LTE. The rear is made of a lined rubber finish which is pleasant to the touch and helps with grip.

Droid Incredible 4G LTE back

The back of the Droid Incredible 4G LTE.

The power button is easy to hit in the upper right corner of the device, but the volume buttons are very slim and nestled against the right side making them difficult to press at times.

There is a charging port on the lower left side and a headphone jack on the top of the Incredible 4G LTE.

Droid Incredible 4G LTE battery back off

The Droid Incredible 4G LTE back pops off.

The back peels off providing access to the 1700mAh  battery and a MicroSD card slot to boost the phone’s 8GB of internal memory.

Display

In a world where bigger screens are a bragging right for marketing material it’s tough to find a 4G LTE android phone with a 4-inch display. Especially one that’s not aimed at your mom (Honestly, this is my mom’s new phone).

Droid Incredible 4G LTE closeup

The Droid incredible 4G LTE boasts a 4-inch display.

The 4-inch display features a 960 x 540 qHD resolution, which is acceptable, but lower than many new phones on the market.

Droid Incredible 4G LTE Screen - Text

Text on the Droid Incredible 4G LTE display.

Despite the wish for a higher resolution, the display shines. Text looks great on the small display and viewing angles are good enough to share a video with a friend without losing significant quality. Colors are also impressive and realistic.

Performance

The 1.2 GHZ Snapdragon S4 processor and 1GB RAM deliver good performance, though the HTC Sense overlay feels a tad slow compared to the Galaxy S III.

That’s not to say the phone lags noticeably during most operations. Launching apps and using the built-in browser are snappy. Switching between apps with the multitasking button is swift and vastly better than on earlier versions of the phone.

While not a deal breaker, we hope a Jelly Bean update for the Droid Incredible 4G LTE brings faster performance when launching the app drawer and in other areas thanks to Project Butter.  The video below shows the benefits of Project Butter on a device with Android 4.1.

There’s no promise of Android 4.1 for the Droid Incredible 4G LTE, but given the recent release and specs it looks likely.

Games like Canabalt and Fruit Ninja which require fast action and responsive controls perform well on the Droid Incredible 4G LTE, though Fruit Ninja may lag briefly when many more than 10 fruit pieces and bombs arrive on screen.

Battery Life

The battery in the Droid Incredible 4G LTE is a meager 1,700 mAh, but it is surprisingly big enough to get me through most days of average use. That’s surfing the web, little bit of gaming and syncing two email accounts.

Droid Incredible 4G LTE Battery

Small in comparison to the Droid RAZR MAXX, the Incredible 4G LTE still gets through a day of moderate use.

There’s no need to look for an outlet on most days, but heavy users will want to invest in a second battery or be ready to charge up mid-day at least once or twice a week.

Call Quality and Audio

The Droid Incredible 4G LTE functions great as a phone, with callers reporting excellent call quality. Callers sound good on the receiving end as well. This isn’t going to match up to a landline, but it’s pretty close to the call quality on Motorola phones, which set the standard.

Droid incredible 4G LTE Call quality and audio

The Droid Incredible 4G LTE delivers solid call quality and audio.

HTC includes Beats Audio in the Incredible 4G LTE. This tie around Beats applies to all music, not just the stock audio player, which is great as I rarely touch the stock player.

Beats Audio delivers a boost to audio, but it doesn’t turn the phone into a multimedia center. With Beats, the Incredible 4G LTE is loud enough to fill up a small hotel room without sacrificing too much quality.

Camera

The 8MP rear facing camera is quite capable, though it isn’t as fast as the Galaxy S III or the iPhone 4S. This is mostly due to a second autofocus that occurs when taking the photo.

Droid Incredible 4G LTE camera

The Droid Incredible 4G LTE sports a 8MP rear facing camera.

This autofocus, and a slow flash rule out taking good photos of anything moving in medium to low light. Photos of our puppies indoors turned out blurry more often than not.

Outdoors and with group shots it’s a different matter. The camera performs well with good light and offers a good reproduction of color.

Software and Apps

The HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with a HTC Sense 4.0 overlay. This provides a more pleasant-looking experience.

Droid incredible 4G LTE software

Sample of Droid Incredible 4G LTE home screens.

With HTC Sense 4.0 users gain access to a number of widgets and extra touches. Though not all users will prefer this branded version of Android, most will find the lock screen widgets for music control and contacts.

Unlike the standard versions of Android 4.0, HTC lets users add widgets and customize the home screen with a long press on the home screen.

Verizon keeps pre-installed apps to a minimum, but users will still find trials for Lets Golf 3 HD, Real Racing 2, and links to apps like Slingbox. One the upside NFL Mobile is pre-installed and ready to deliver football action this fall.

Out of the box the phone sports the familiar black and red Droid branding, but other themes exist in settings.

Is the Droid Incredible 4G LTE Worth It?

The Droid Incredible 4G LTE is a good phone, but users who don’t desire a small 4-inch display should be sure to look at the Samsung Galaxy S III, which offers a better experience for just $50 more.

If size is a major factor, the Droid Incredible 4G LTE is a worthy phone, and thanks to the 4G LTE connectivity, one I can recommend for many users, even with a two-year contract ahead.

Shoppers on the fence may want to wait for September 12th, when Apple is rumored to announce the iPhone 5 with a 4-inch display.

The appeal of the Droid Incredible 4G LTE is much greater at the $49 Amazon Wireless price, and arguably Verizon should have priced this phone at $99 after rebate instead of $149.

Droid Incredible 4G LTE Gallery

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