Speculation: Droid Incredible 2 by HTC
The Droid Incredible 2, successor to one of the most popular smartphones in Verizon’s lineup will make its relatively quiet debut tomorrow, Thursday, April 28, 2011. When the device was originally announced as the HTC Incredible S, many cellphone junkies decided to write it off immediately when initial specs revealed that the device was not going to sport a dual-core processor. Although the Droid Incredible 2 falls short in many categories (we’ll discuss them later) compared to the recent and upcoming competition, many would argue that it is still an amazing device that deserves our attention, so let’s talk about the pros and cons of the device and help you decide if it’s worthy of your money.
Aesthetics – The Droid Incredible 2 (click here for an unboxing video) continues its predecessor’s overall design with the stylized back cover, which I don’t mind and actually think is pretty cool looking. A striking difference, however, seems to be the color scheme. HTC (and/or Verizon) have decided to dress the device entirely in black as opposed to having red accents like the original Incredible. It’s personal taste, but I’m digging the black. In my opinion, it makes the device look a lot slicker and more professional. The Incredible 2 ditches the optical joystick, so if you liked that feature in the original, tough luck here. The earpiece grill looks a lot more like recently released and upcoming HTC devices like the Thunderbolt and Sensation, as opposed to the older look found on devices like the EVO 4G and G2. The older grills were indented, which allowed dirt and other nasty stuff (earwax maybe?) to accumulate. The new design is more flush with the chassis so maybe it won’t be so embarrassing to let others use your phone now. And lastly, the overall body of the device seems a little bigger than the original Incredible. When you look straight at the phone, it looks like it actually has a hard rubber/plastic case on it, a rugged look similar to that of the Motorola Defy, but more sleek and less aggressive.
Speed and performance – The Droid Incredible 2 follows in the footsteps of the HTC Thunderbolt by sporting a 2nd generation 1 GHz Snapdragon processor. The device is getting a lot of heat from critics and users for going with a single-core processor when many upcoming devices will be running a dual-core chip. Although this is a bummer for us phone geeks, the lack of a dual-core processor probably means nothing to the average consumer. In terms of performance, the 2nd generation Snapdragon is very capable of holding its own and is quite speedy. The chip seemed satisfactory in the speed department when I had a myTouch 4G, which utilizes the same chip. It’s definitely slower than Nvidia’s Tegra 2 dual-core processor as you can see in various video reviews comparing the T-Mobile G2x and HTC Thunderbolt. Watching these reviews, you’ll see that the G2x is noticeably snappier in overall navigation and browser performance, but again, the Snapdragon’s performance is completely acceptable. Is there really a difference between 10 million and 15 million dollars? Probably, but either way you’re still pretty rich.
Features and functionality – The Droid Incredible 2 has a feature-rich spec sheet, including a 4-inch (diagonal) Super LCD display, an 8 megapixel camera with dual-LED flash that’s capable of 720p video capture, a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, and DLNA capabilities to share media files with other DLNA-supported devices. The phone is powered by Android 2.2 (Froyo) with an HTC Sense 2.0 overlay.
I think 4 inches is a good size for the screen because 4.3-inch devices like the EVO 4G and Thunderbolt feel pretty bulky and are harder to grasp in the hand. The 4-inch display is a happy medium between the 4.3 and 3.7-inch screens currently found on most smartphones. The 8 megapixel shooter should perform pretty much the same as the Thunderbolt’s, which takes pretty good pictures, but I suspect it not to be as good as the cameras found on the iPhone 4 or Galaxy S devices. It’s unfortunate that the Incredible 2 runs Android 2.2 instead of 2.3 (Gingerbread), but there aren’t any drastic changes between the two versions of Android (besides the refined copy and paste feature I guess).
Data – This is another category where the Droid Incredible 2 falls short of the competition on other carriers and Verizon. This device can only make use of Verizon’s 3G network! I don’t know about you, but the lack of 4G LTE support is a pretty big deal. With the availability of Verizon’s blazing 4G network, why isn’t the Droid Incredible 2, a high-profile device on Verizon, taking advantage of the technology? Considering that the recently released HTC Thunderbolt has 4G capabilities, it’s kind of puzzling why they didn’t include the feature on the Incredible 2. Huge bummer here.
And lastly, this final category will sum up my feelings about this device…
Pricing – The Droid Incredible 2 will be available tomorrow (as of this writing) for $200 on a 2-year contract. Considering that many high-end phones with either the same or higher specs are also priced at $200 or less (i.e. T-Mobile G2x, HTC Inspire 4G and Motorola Atrix 4G on AT&T, etc.) are currently available, it makes it harder to justify the Incredible 2′s price given its features. Upcoming high-end phones will most likely be priced around the $200 mark as well…meaning there’ll soon be phones with better specs for the same price as the Incredible 2.
Conclusion – Honestly, I wouldn’t buy the Droid Incredible 2, but I do think that it’s a solid performer. There are many phones on both Verizon and other carriers that are both well spec’ed and either better or equally priced, so there’s really no reason to go for the Incredible 2 unless the way it looks is more important to you than other specs. Realistically, the Incredible 2 isn’t that big of an upgrade from the original and really doesn’t bring anything big or new to the table. You want your phone to be special in some way so you can show off to your friends or whoever right? Then it’s probably wise to skip the Incredible 2 and wait for the next big thing if you’re on Verizon…Motorola Droid Bionic possibly?