HTC Incredible Revisited

I’ve had an HTC Incredible, on Verizon, since early June now and thought I’d put up some further thoughts on it.

I’ve gotten rather used to Sense / Android’s UI. Hitting the top button and swiping down to unlock the phone is second nature; now unlocking an iPhone feels weird. Having widgets on the main landing UI is wonderful and I can’t imagine not having it. One swipe and I can see my calendar, current weather, most recent email. One more and I see recent twitter and facebook updates. No app launching, no flipping around, just info, right there. 

It’s plenty fast for me, feels as fast as my wife’s 3GS. I havn’t played with the iPhone 4 yet, so no real comparison, but I have played with iOS4 on a 3GS. Scrolling through lists still feels better on iOS, more physical and reactive, but supposedly that’ll get better when Froyo shows up. Either way, it’s only an issue when you use both phones at the same time. You just get used to it and it works fine. 

I like the notification system much more than iOS. Notifications appear up in the top of the UI and you swipe down to see what’s shown up recently. This is much much much better than Apple’s system of showing a modal dialog and launching the associated app. I can easily ignore notifications I don’t care about and see info about the ones I do.

Apps vary wildly in quality on Android and finding the good ones can be hard. I like well designed apps and the fancy well-designed-app-following crowd all seems to still be on iOS. I’m sure more stuff is coming. The Android market is just a hodge podge of crap; if someone can come up with an editorialized store featured just the good apps, that would be stellar.

I really wish battery life was better. When I first got the phone, I was only making it a half day, but that turned out to be because of the HTC Facebook app. For some reason, it refuses to let the phone sleep, so it was always on and it just burned through battery. With that off, I can get a full day out of it pretty easily, especially if I’m in an area with good Verizon reception. Bad reception drains the battery pretty quickly. Since I don’t have to sync it with iTunes to get updates, I generally never plug it into my computer. With my iPhone, it was always plugged in when I was at my computer, so it was always charged and ready. Without that motivation to plug it in, I’m finding more cases where the phone is dead. I think battery life is comparable between the devices, there’s just less motivation to plug in the Incredible. 

The screen is great. Reports of being useless in bright daylight are mostly on the money, but it’s never really been a problem; just shade it with a hand and it’s fine. Indoors, it’s wonderful.

Though I had the Google app on my iPhone, I never tried the voice search. I use it all the time on the Incredible. Just say “directions to target” and up comes the nav app with directions to Target. It’s like magic and often way faster than typing things in. 

Speaking of typing, i got on the Swype beta. Swype is amazing, wonderful, and should be on every phone. It’s hands down the best way to enter text on a phone.

Overall, I give it an A. Love the phone, love the service.