I’ve screaming about Verizon getting the iPhone, but HTC’s Droid Incredible smartphone is shutting me up.
I’ve been playing with one since late last week and love it. OK, the iPhone has apps numbering the six figures and there’s only 10,000 (yeah, only…) for the Incredible, but I like the Verizon network and don’t want to switch to AT&T which has that VERY ANNOYING exclusive on the iPhone. We can blame Apple for that. I think the Incredible and more Android-based phones coming from other manufacturers represent the first serious challenge to the iPhone.
So far, Motorola, Google and HTC (who’s “quietly brilliant” HTC? Click here) have designed and manufacturered Android phones for the U.S. market, but can Nokia, Samsung, LG and maybe even Apple be far behind?
The Incredible’s resident applications are too numerous to comprehensively review, but the 8-megapixel camera and video cam are exceptional. The zoom leaves something to be desired as my photos show, but you can upload photos and the MP4’s videos directly to e-mail, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook other social media sites directly from the Incredible (for video, a WIFI connection is required). Any video beyond 30 seconds takes a few minutes and sometimes a couple of tries. After all, this is only 1-2 Megabit per second 3G technology – much faster 4G will fix that.
Check out my home office video below shot with the Incredible. I also shot my yard, but the Incredible’s mike picked up the crashing sound of a stiff wind. Both of these will confirm my non-standing as a professional videographer.
The camera comes 8GB of memory and you can add a 16GB SD card. The 25-30 second videos I’ve been shooting take between 6-8MB so I won’t be running out of RAM any time soon unless I shoot a full length motion picture with the Incredible.
The 3.7 inch high definition AMOLED (AMOLED is very bright LED display technology with no power-draining back-lighting required) touch screen is a killer and you can read books given the crispness of the type. One drawback is that it’s hard to make out in the bright sunlight – harder than the touch screen on my new Palm Pre Plus, which is a generation behind the Incredible in most other respects.
The pricing shows it: the discounted Droid Incredible at Verizon Wireless is $200 versus $30 for Palm Pre Plus. Despite solid reviews, the Pre has not sold well during the few months Verizon has offered it so it’s being heavily discounted and coming with enticements such as free mobile broadband.
I wrote about the original Droid (Motorola) at SmartPlanet.com (my former blog) and liked it. But the HTC Incredible’s camera is far superior than any other cell phone’s save the iPhone (I wouldn’t know…) and much sleeker than its brick-ishly shaped Motorola predecessor. At that time, I wrote about the Droid’s terrific voice search and it’s just as good in the Incredible.
Follow this link to check out the specs.
The dilemma for me now is whether to send back my 10-day-old Palm Pre Plus and give up the its free mobile broadband which will cost me $30 a month using the Incredible as a modem like I did my now retired Blackberry Curve. The Pre is nowhere near as versatile and fun as the Incredible, but over my just renewed two-year indentured servitude to Verizon, I will save $720 at today’s mobile broadband prices. Double that savings with the Pre if you trade in a USB modem with requires what amounts to its own separate phone number and costs $60 a month.
What’s more, the Pre is a WIFI hotspot so you don’t have to load and deal with the Verizon Access Manager software every time you want to connect. And it’s not a bad touch screen phone. It’s certainly worth 30 bucks (actually, I’m checking to see if the free mobile broadband promotion is still good….with that, Verizon is leaving a lot of money on the table).
But the Droid Incredible is an awfully nice smart phone rivaled only by the iPhone.
Also bear in mind that both the Pre and the Incredible are far different phones than the popular Blackberry Curve with its familiar keyboard. But the Curve is comparatively crude with the Internet and after e-mail, it’s just a phone for talking. The Pre has a keyboard, but is a good compromise between the Curve and the Incredible, which is touch screen all the way and very Internet-centric.
Follow me on Twitter.