The HTC Incredible, or Droid Incredible as it’s known in the States, has been a hugely popular handset. Available only on the Verizon network, it picked up rave review after rave review when it arrived in 2010.
One year on and HTC has decided that something as good as this should be shared with the rest of the world, so the company announced its HTC Incredible S refreshed version of the mobile phone at Mobile World Congress 2011. The questions, as ever, though are whether the newer version is any good and whether, in fact, it’s been worth upgrading at all?
So, to give you a little help on answering those and to offer some advise when it comes time to renewing your phone contract, here is how the old model compares to the new - HTC Incredible S vs HTC Incredible.
1st: HTC Incredible 117.5 x 58.5 x 11.9mm, 130g
2nd: HTC Incredible S 120 x 64 x 11.7mm, 135.5g
By the stats, one would have to say that the original HTC Incredible has the edge on form factor given that it’s smaller almost all round and lighter as well. It is a mite thicker by 0.2mm but that’s not quite a significant enough difference to lose out to the newer model. All the same, one should note that the HTC Incredible S is probably a better looking handset. Gone is the optical trackpad and the jarring red colour trims to leave something all the more minimal and sleek. Naturally, the S version has kept the trademark Incredible “inside out” design on the rear to show the shape of the hardware but somehow it’s just finished a little better this time around.
Now, while that’s all very well and good from the aesthetic point of view, there are some who will miss that trackpad.
1st: HTC Incredible S 4-inch, 480x800
2nd: HTC Incredible 3.7-inch, 480x800
The pixel density may go down as the size of the screen goes up but, in this case, the better display is going to be the one that offers more video and gaming real estate, and that’s the new and improved HTC Incredible S. Unlike with the Desire to Desire S upgrade, it’s great to see that the Taiwanese manufacture has made the effort to bring a more measurably improved experience to the latest version of the handset. Perhaps then the Incredible S will fare a little better come the conclusion at the bottom. No peeking, now.
Oh, and if you’re wondering what the actual screen technology is, it’s a AMOLED or Super LCD as HTC likes to call it.
1st: HTC Incredible Qualcomm MSM8255 1GHz, Adreno 205, 768MB
2nd: HTC Qualcomm QSD8650, Adreno 200, 1GHz, 512MB
Another big change for the Incredible S comes in the form of a few speed bumps. There’s an updated Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset bringing high powered Adreno 205 graphics and also 50 per cent more memory to run off than the last time. The 1GHz Scorpion CPU is pretty much the same deal though which should help to keep the battery consumption at manageable levels. All the same, the other boosts will be easily enough to ensure that games run faster and HD videos smoother. Very handy.
1st: HTC Incredible S 8MP, dual LED, 720p video, 1.3MP webcam
2nd: HTC Incredible 8MP, dual LED, 720p video
The first HTC Incredible already had a very good level of imaging going on and it’s not been messed around with too much for the update. As is the fashion, HTC has added a 1.3MP front facing camera to the set up which means users will now be able to take advantage of video calling over VoIP apps of all shapes and sizes. As before there’s the dual LED flash, auto-focus, image stabilisation and geo-tagging as well; but still, a clear win for the HTC Incredible S.
1st: HTC Incredible 8GB + microSD
2nd: HTC Incredible S 1.1GB + microSD
The original HTC Incredible is one of the best Android phones as far as storage space goes. Not only does it offer more space in total (potentially up to 40GB) but all that in-built flash memory is a real bonus. This is because, since Android 2.2 Froyo, users have been able to save apps onto the removable microSD cards and, even though the ability to do so is now there, only 50 per cent of the developers have actually updated their software to do so. The result is that one still needs as much phone memory as one can get one’s hands on to make sure that one doesn’t have to keep deleting apps to make room for more.
Sadly, and for some unknown reason - most likely price, weight or a combination of the two - HTC has decided to cut that right down to 1.1GB only. Now, that’s still a good wedge but simply not as good a set up.
1st: HTC Incredible S 1450mAh ,580 mins talk time
2nd: HTC Incredible 1300mAh, 320 mins talk time
The battery in the HTC Incredible S is much bigger than the one of the previous incarnation and it’s a massive addition to the updated handset. The Taiwanese company doesn’t tend to quote its figures in terms of browsing or video use but, with nearly twice the projected talk time, it doesn't take much of an extrapolation to work out that you’ll get more juice all round. On the back of the specs, we should imagine this brings the Incredible up to a very normal morning-till-night charge cycle.
1st: HTC Incredible S 3G, GPS, BT 2.1, Wi-Fi, DLNA
2nd: HTC Incredible 3G, GPS, BT 2.1, Wi-Fi
Both the HTC Incredible S and the straight HTC Incredible feature pretty much the basics that one would hope any smartphone to have in this day and age with Bluetooth 2.1, n-Wi-Fi, GPS and 3G all present and correct. What the new model adds is one final significant touch and that’s DLNA. DLNA enables you to stream content directly onto a compatible TV so that all your friends can take a look at your videos, be they home made or actually worth looking at.
Tie: HTC Incredible Android 2.2 Froyo + HTC Sense
Tie: HTC Incredible S Android 2.2 Froyo + HTC Sense
It’s a bit of an embarrassment for HTC but, so far, the HTC Incredible S is stuck with Android 2.2 making it look rather old next to all the Gingerbread models launched at MWC 2011. The manufacturer has reportedly got a team working round the clock to iron out this crease but, for the purpose of this comparison, we’ll have to call it a draw. After all, we have a pretty good idea how long these software updates can take. (Ages, if you hadn't guessed)
1st: HTC Incredible S SRS WOW HD sound
2nd: HTC Incredible No SRS WOW HD sound
To go with the bigger 4-inch screen, HTC has added some surround sound technology to the HTC Incredible S. SRS WOW HD is designed to produce a better audio placement effect when you’ve got your headphones plugged in. The idea is that even though you’re confined to a mobile screen and mobile audio hardware, you get the best possible home cinema-style effect. Obviously, it’s never actually going to compare to the real deal but it’s a welcome bonus. Sound is a hugely important component when increasing perceived video quality.
Winner: Incredible S
Aside the anomaly of storage, it’s a very clean victory for the HTC Incredible S in a way which it just wasn’t for the HTC Desire S vs HTC Desire in the same round of phone updates. There is a clear advantage to owning the newer of the handset. It offers a better video experience with better sound, better gaming, better life span and better battery two. Add into that the fact that you can now do video calling and there really should be no reason for any new customer to make the budget choice of the older handset. The HTC Incredible S shouldn’t make Incredible owners weep but you might want to check if your provider is ready to offer you can upgrade.
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