Apr 27 AT 10:41 AM Nick Gray 10 Comments

HTC DROID Incredible 2 first impressions

Verizon and HTC are all set to launch the DROID Incredible 2 in less than 24 hours.  For many, the Incredible 2 may sound like old news since its twin brother, the HTC DROID Incredible S, hit store shelves in Europe last month.  The HTC DROID Incredible 2 may not be as extreme as the HTC Thunderbolt with its 4.3-inch display, kickstand, and support for Verizon’s 4G LTE network, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Hardware

Anyone who’s held the original HTC DROID Incredible will find that the Incredible 2 has a very familiar feel.  Instead of a uni-body aluminum design, HTC opted for a soft-touch black rubber casing with a tiered back panel which is intended to evoke the curves of a sports car. The front of the handset features a 4-inch Super LCD display, 1.3 megapixel camera in the top right corner and capacitive buttons (Home, Menu, Back, and Search) along the bottom that are only visible when the handset’s display is on. This “feature” actually allows the buttons to rotate with the screen orientation.

The power button and 3.5mm headphone jack can be found along the top, while the volume rocker and microUSB charging port can be found on the left side of the handset.

Unlike some Android handsets, the Incredible 2 feels extremely solid and well made,  The soft-touch casing gives the phone a stealthy look while minimizing and even hiding those greasy fingerprints that glossy plastics tend to attract.

Powering the Incredible 2 is a 1 GHz second generation Qualcomm Snapdragon processor paired with 768MB of RAM and a 1450 mAh battery.

Software

The HTC DROID Incredible 2 is currently running on Android 2.2.1 with HTC Sense 2.0.  If you’ve played with the HTC Thunderbolt or Inspire 4G, you should be pretty familiar with what the handset has to offer.  The only tweak we’ve been able to identify so far if the app drawer which appears to have been pulled in from HTC Sense 2.5.

On the Incredible 2, the app drawer’s continuous scroll has been disabled.  Users must now swipe up or down, moving through a 4×4 grip of app with every swipe. Another new feature in the app drawer is the option to filter apps into several different categories (All Apps, Downloaded, Frequent, and Verizon Wireless).  Over the past 24 hours I’ve found myself using the Frequent filter on a regular basis which definitely helps access app a lot quicker since I find myself using the same 10-15 apps on a regular basis.  HTC does give you the option to remove or reorganize the four application filters as you see fit.

All the other features in HTC Sense appear to be unchanged.  Users are able to customize their 7 home panels with the 70 different widgets provided by HTC, create and load preset Scenes, and even completely change the UI’s look by applying one of four pre-loaded Skins.

Unfortunately, Verizon has chosen not to include integration with htcsense.com at this time.  This means users will not be able to download any additional Scenes or Skins for the Incredible 2 or take advantage of HTC’s phone tracking, online backup, remote wipe, or online SMS services.

Battery Life

After a few days of testing, we’ll have a better idea of how the Incredible 2’s battery will stand up to our daily routine, but we do feel like the HTC DROID Incredible 2’s lasting power is better than most.  The 1450 mAh battery was able to get us through our entire first day with the device.  As soon as the phone was removed from the box, it was loaded up with 30+ applications which were downloaded from the Android Market.  We then proceeded to take a few dozen pictures, record a few video clips, play a few games, browse the web, and constantly check Twitter.

At the end of the night, the Incredible 2 still had a 22% charge remaining.

Conclusion

Verizon and HTC have gone out of their way to deliver a great handset.  The single-core processor may not be cutting edge, but it’s certainly more than adequate for some casual 3D gaming and day-to-day use.  Though it may lack brute processing power, the Incredible 2′s refined design is certainly one of the handset’s most appealing traits.  If you’re not willing to spend the extra money or don’t really need a phone from Verizon’s 4G LTE lineup, the $199 price tag for the HTC Incredible 2 is certainly a great deal.

Update: As Edgar has pointed out in the comments, the Incredible 2 will sell for $439.99 without a contract.  Definitely an appealing price for anyone still bound by their current two year contract.

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Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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