incredible

This video was shot using my new Droid Incredible.  This is raw footage with no editing, loaded straight to YouTube, so you can get an idea of what comes “out of the box”

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Droid Incredible Smart PhoneI’ve had my Verizon HTC Droid Incredible smart phone for a little less than 3 days. After 20 odd years as a tech guy, I’m usually not an early adopter – but this time I took a chance on Android. Frustrated by my aging Blackberry and wanting to experience some of the new tools liked Google Goggles (see below), I was drawn in by the early positive reviews. And they were right – In general, I’m blown away by features and performance of the phone.

I only have 3 complaints, and none of them were a surprise after doing my research:

  • The battery life isn’t great
  • There’s no Bluetooth dialing support
  • The display is awesome but doesn’t do well in the sun (the screen is also a fingerprint magnet)

The phone– The phone itself is impressive. Lightweight, fits nicely in my palm, and the buttons and controls are reasonably well placed. I’ve hit the volume controls too many times, but am learning to avoid that area of the phone.  As you can see above, the screen is almost exactly the size of a normal business card.  And although the power drain is faster than I’d like, but it seems to be holding out for a reasonable day’s use. I’m not sure it would make it through an entire day of use on the road. I have Wi-Fi disabled, but GPS enabled. I understand disabling both improves battery life, but what’s the point of a smart phone if you can’t use the location aware applications?

User Interface – This is my first touch screen phone, but I really haven’t had any problems. I had the advantage of some “stick time” on my daughter’s iPod Touch, and the function of the interfaces isn’t that different. The new HTC Sense UI works well, and I’m getting use to hitting the right spots on the screen to make things happen. Typing is taking some time to get used to. The keyboard in the vertical position is fairly tight, and I have trouble hitting the right keys all the time. Right now I’m single finger pecking – fast, but not as fast at the two thumb mode. You can flip the phone into the horizontal and use the expanded keyboard, but you lose the context of where you are typing – you can only see the entry field – no other fields, labels or buttons are visible.

Calls – The call quality is good – I’ve had no complaints. The lack of Bluetooth voice dialing is a major hassle and in my opinion, a safety issue. The voice recognition applet provided with the phone is very rudimentary and not even remotely accurate. The UI does have a limited “favorites” page for one-touch dialing.

Camera – the quality is excellent for a phone. At 8 Megapixels, the resolution is more than adequate for most on the go photos. The built-in flash is great to have in darker areas. The camera also has the ability to capture video. I’ve taken some videos and the quality appears to be similar to most pocket camcorders.

Internet – On Verizon’s 3G network this is the fastest browser performance I’ve seen. It loads many pages as quickly as my laptop.

Email, Contacts, etc. – I have hosted exchange and several other POP email accounts. The setup is very straightforward and the mail application works flawlessly so far.

Social Networks – the available social networking apps for Android are good and getting better. Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook apps all work well, with some limitations. It’s disappointing that there isn’t a native LinkedIn application yet.

Cool StuffGoogle Goggles and Shop Savvy are two of my favorite apps right now. I’ve loaded YouTube, WordPress (not configured yet) and Skype. All need further testing.

If you don’t want to be on AT&T want a great smart phone and can’t wait for the next big thing (whatever that will be), this is definitely a phone worth exploring.

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