Droid Incredible 4G LTE impressions: Third time’s a charm for HTC

Rumors have been swirling around the Internet-osphere for months, but yesterday, Verizon and HTC officially unveiled the Droid Incredible 4G LTE. It’s the first phone on Verizon to run Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) outside of the Galaxy Nexus and unlike the Incredible S, it comes loaded with 4G LTE, making it an attractive package all around, and one that may not break the bank.

Vs. HTC One series

I got a chance to play around with the Droid Incredible 4G LTE at HTC’s booth at CTIA 2012 today (in New Orleans!) and walked away fairly impressed. Though the new Droid Incredible isn’t technically a part of the HTC One series, it does run the same HTC Sense 4.0 user interface and seems to be loaded with almost all of the benefits of the One devices. 

We went over the basic specs of the Droid Incredible 4G LTE yesterday. The device we played with seems to have the same high-end performance that the One phones have been giving us, with impressive response times from the dual-core processor and a Quadrant benchmark speed of about 4600, which is a bit less than the One S and One X, but far better than almost any other phone on the market.

Those hoping for Beats Audio integration, rest assured that it’s still here, as are most of the cool video features of the One series. Unfortunately, continuous shooting on the 8-megapixel camera isn’t possible here since this doesn’t come with the dedicated ImageSense chip that’s inside the One phones, but it can still snap photos while recording video and perform most other image tasks. Compared to anything but HTC’s own One series, this is still a stellar camera. 

Smaller screen = more comfort

Design-wise, it definitely feels almost exactly like the HTC Rezound and older Incredible phones, but it doesn’t have quite as much bright red highlights. If you open up the battery cover, it’s all black. As much as we like the bright red buttons and highlights, it’s likely a good idea that HTC is toning it down. It was getting to be a bit much.

The feel of the phone is great, partially due to the nice rubberized design, but also because of the 4-inch screen. I prefer 4.3-inch screens myself, but the 4-inch size that Incredible phones have always catered to is great because almost anyone can use it, not just guys with big hands. This is a great iPhone 4S alternative for women who may not want a giant phone, or don’t feel like buying the purple HTC Rhyme.

Overall

Overall, we’re not entirely happy that Verizon keeps forcing devices to be black, gray, and red, but of the available choices, the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE may be one of the best new options. We don’t know its price yet, but it should sell for less than $200, which makes it a viable competitor to the Galaxy Nexus and almost any other phone on Verizon. We look forward to doing a full review. 

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