HTC DROID Incredible 2 First Impressions

Aaron Baker
Writer from  Dallas, TX
| April 28, 2011

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I've been working with Verizon's HTC DROID Incredible 2 for a couple of days now, and I have to say - insert "Anchorman" voice here - HTC makes 4-inches look good.  Originally announced as the HTC Incredible S at Mobile World Congress, the DROID Incredible 2 is the successor to last year's wildly popular DROID Incredible.  Packing a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, 8-megapixel camera, and Android 2.2, it's available now for $199.99 with a two-year agreement, and it packs some nifty new features like a larger 4-inch Super LCD, a new version of HTC's Sense UI, and global roaming capabilities.  I've been working with the unit for a couple of days, and here's what I've discovered thus far:

  • The 1 GHz Snapdragon processor isn't dual core, but it's still snappy.  Even with a custom overlay (more on that later), I was able to browse, pinch, and click without any lag.  Like other recent HTC devices, the Incredible 2 has the "fast boot" technology, which allows it to power on exceptionally fast (provided the battery hasn't been pulled).
  • The 4-inch display is a nice upgrade from the 3.7-inch display on the HTC DROID Incredible, and is the sweet spot between 3.7 and 4.3-inch displays.  It's a Super LCD, so colors are absolutely beautiful.  I'd put it behind Apple's Retina Display and Samsung's Super AMOLED Plus display, but it's certainly nice.

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  • The Incredible 2 ships with Android 2.2 with HTC Sense 2.1.  It offers all of the benefits of Sense 2.0, but sports a slightly redesigned menu structure.  Applications are grouped by "All apps," "Frequent," "Downloaded," and "Verizon Wireless."  Outside of the menu structure and minor icon changes, it's no different than Sense 2.0, which offers new personalization options like the ability to "skin" the dock.  The Incredible 2 has "moving" capacitive buttons; when you rotate the device from portrait to landscape mode, the buttons follow along.
  • Like the ThunderBolt, Verizon removed access to and HTC Hub, two awesome (and free!) features that HTC offers on their high-end smartphones.  As a result, you're forced to choose between the preinstalled wallpapers, skins, and ringtones.  I see it as a ploy to push people to the carrier's VCAST services, but I think both can co-exist (plus, I like some of the additional skins that HTC offers for download).  On that note, the Incredible 2 is LOADED with Verizon bloatware like V CAST Apps, V CAST Media, and VZ Navigator.  What's worse, they can't be uninstalled.

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  • As expected, the 8-megapixel camera takes great pictures, and the camcorder does a nice job of capturing 720p video.  I'll be throwing up a sample of it today, so be on the lookout.  The Incredible 2 offers a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for chatting via video, and while it's nothing spectacular (pretty grainy, in fact), it gets the job done.
  • The Incredible 2 is a 3G-only device, so you won't be getting those 4G LTE speeds that ThunderBolt users (and Charge users, depending on when you're reading this) have been enjoying.  Verizon's 3G network is old and slow, particularly so if you're used to a faster technology like LTE, HSPA+, or WiMAX.  In my limited testing, I've averaged download speeds of 1.35 Mbps, and upload speeds of 0.52 Mbps.
  • The Incredible 2 offers global roaming capabilities via a SIM card slot behind the battery.  Thanks to the fact that Verizon is embracing international roaming on some of their high-end Android handsets, jet-setters are no longer relegated to the carrier's BlackBerry lineup for their international wireless needs.

More to come!  While you're waiting, check out the unboxing below.

Products mentioned