Incredible S Review: 3 days In, So Far So Good

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vido.ardes

Inactive Recognized Developer
Aug 22, 2008
1,695
1,635
UK
If you are only into the latest and greatest hardware, and have to have dual core CPU's, this is not for you!

If you are actually interested in this phone, hopefully this will be of some help :D

Form Factor & Appearance
First off, this phone feels great in the hand. I don't have particularly large hands, and the Desire HD felt a bit too big, but this is perfect. It's nice to hold in landscape in two hands, or to use in one handed operation. The materials are nice and expensive feeling, very strong and sturdy construction, and it has enough weight to feel expensive without being heavy. The soft touch rubberised back is comfy to hold in the hand (even with the big ridge). From a looks perspective, to me it is a very attractive phone (from the front it looks like an iPod touch without the home button), very clean lines with almost the entire of the front being taken up by the 4" screen. The 4 capacitive buttons are accurate and responsive, and the rotating feature is a nice touch. They are completely invisible when not lit, which gives the phone a very clean appearance when the screen is off.

Screen - 4" SLCD
Let me start by saying yes, next to an AMOLED or a SAMOLED the colours do not 'pop' as much, but it is in my opinion a lot clearer (this may not be true of SAMOLED+ as that no longer uses pentile, but I have no way of comparing). In short it is a very nice screen. It is crisp and clear, and the colours are accurately represented to my eyes. Pictures and videos are sharp and pleasing to look at, and I have read for an hour on the Kindle app without problem. Games like Angry Birds look bright and colourful, but blacks are deep enough to not distract when watching a movie in the dark.

Horsepower - 1GHz MSM8255 Snapdragon & 768MB RAM
This thing is snappy. I am beginning to wonder what this dual-core noise is about as this phone literally flies through screens without a hint of lag or stutter. Whether it be browsing the web, playing games, adding contacts or using the sat-nav, I have not noticed a single hint of slowdown. I used a wide range of what I would consider to be fairly hardware intensive apps, including Angry Birds, Raging Thunder, Asphalt and CoPilot all of which ran without a hitch. For the benchmark junkies it linpacked ~ 38 MFLOPS, Neocore'd ~ 57 FPS and Quadranted ~ 1700.

Storage - 1.1GB Internal App Storage & 8GB Class 4 SDHC (Bundled)
Although I would like all internal storage, I am happy with the current arangement of > 1GB app storage and microSD cards. 1GB is more than enough for me, and I am planning to add a 32GB Class 10 microSD at the end of this month (here is the cheapest I have found if you are interested). Some may find this OK, some might want all internal storage, matter of personal preference really.

Cameras - 8MP Rear facing inc. Dual LED Flash & 1.3 MP Front Facing
The camera on the back is one of the nicest Android shooters I have had the privilege to use. Pretty sure it is the same as the one on the Desire HD, it takes clear crisp and bright pictures, the auto focus and face detection working quickly an accurately, and the time between being able to take photo's is very minimal (even when tested with a crappy Class 2 SD at 8MP!). The LED's provide very harsh, bright and unflattering lighting, but as no one appears to want to put a proper Xenon flash on an Android phone, it's the best we can get :mad:. They do however make for an excellent flashlight, and can be used with video recording. The camera can record 720p footage at 30FPS, and is pretty standard fare, while you won't be recording the next hollywood blockbuster on it, it is more than good enough for your next YouTube masterpiece of "Guy falling off skateboard" :p. The zoom level is not fixed for camera recording either, which is a nice feature to have.

The front facing camera is bog standard, good enough for video calling, and works well as a pocket mirror.

Battery - 1450 mAh
The battery life on this surprised me, especially after the Desire HD. HTC seemed to have learnt from their mistakes as this phone can get through more than 24 hours with fairly heavy usage. Might take a few more days to get a more acurate idea of how it will last, but I am pleasantly surprised

Other Notable Features -Notification LED, Dual Mics & FM Radio
An annoying feature missing from the samsung and Motorola phones, HTC have included a notification LED on the Incredible S (much to my delight). A small feature, but a much needed one and worth noting IMHO. The dual mics for noise cancellation work well and are a welcome feature, and something some have been phasing out is the FM radio. It hasn't been turned off yet!

And now for the cons...
This phone isn't without it's downsides. If I were putting together a list of improvements...
  • Better loudspeaker - the loudspeaker is very weak, and could do with improving.
  • Xenon Flash - Missing from all Android phones IMHO
  • Dedicated Camera Button - I don't see why people keep missing this simple yet much needed feature
  • Mini HDMI Port - It includes DLNA support, but a mini HDMI port would have been nice

Conclusion
HTC say this phone sits between the Desire S and the Desire HD, but I beg to differ. To me this is a Desire HD 1.5. Not a revolution of the flagship, but a marked improvement in several areas. The change in design and the slight shrink in screen size make it more comfortable to hold an easier to sit in the pocket. The smaller screen also helps the larger battery to fix the major flaw in the DHD, and the front facing camera makes the phone relevant n a world where video calling is trying to become popular (again, am I the only one who had a video mobile phone 8 years ago?!). I would recommend this phone to anyone looking for an upgrade now, unless you want to wait for the dual core craze to begin.

This phone was purchased at Carphone Warehouse on Vodaphone, 24 Months @ £30 with 500 min, unlimited texts and 500MB internet (free phone).

Note: I actually got this phone for my Fianceé as she was due an upgrade. She had a Samsun Pixon M8800 and she thinks it's the best thing in the world ever, and hasn't spoken to me for two days as she has been too engrossed in it :p. I am seriously considering one as an upgrade from My Hero, and will probably have my own before tomorrow is finished. I will upload some pics of the device, and sample footage and pics from the camera when I get the chance :D
 

c33v33

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2011
61
2
Great review!

Can you confirm AWS band on the Incredible S?

GSMArena used to have a 900/1700/2100 HSPDA band spec for this phone, but has now changed it to 900/2100.

I want to import for T-Mobile USA, but need to know if it supports AWS.
 

gudge

Senior Member
Sep 20, 2009
173
7
Great review, I have exact same deal from Carphone as you, and i am delighted with the phone, it is truly awesome. I agree with everything you said, except I am not so sure about the battery life. Mine has not had a great deal of use today, but its been off charge for only 12 hours and I reckon it will need to go on the charger pretty soon if I do a bit of surfing this evening. Cheers
 

vido.ardes

Inactive Recognized Developer
Aug 22, 2008
1,695
1,635
UK
Bands are as follows:

HSPA/WCDMA:
Europe/Asia: 900/AWS/2100 MHz
Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz

Hope that helps!
 

Bantu85

Senior Member
Apr 6, 2010
82
14
Thanks for this review... One thing i wanted to ask was how "fingerprinty" does the phone get?

I'll be upgrading from the HTC Hero, which has stood up quite well thanks to the efforts of various devs.

I'm also planning on buying it handset only as i'm on an amazing phone plan and i'd rather get lower line rental than the free phone! Prices i've seen are around £480-£500... not yet sure if it's worth that.
 

ganstakillerz

Member
Dec 13, 2007
9
1
Thanks for this review... One thing i wanted to ask was how "fingerprinty" does the phone get?

I'll be upgrading from the HTC Hero, which has stood up quite well thanks to the efforts of various devs.

I'm also planning on buying it handset only as i'm on an amazing phone plan and i'd rather get lower line rental than the free phone! Prices i've seen are around £480-£500... not yet sure if it's worth that.

Much better than those plastic phones i.e Samsung Gal S & Neux 2. The screen will get fingers prints (as per most phones) but the back is covered in a rubber coating which is nice to grip and leaves no prints, unless the fingers were covered in grease in the first place :)

Note: CPW £449 pay as you go.... Their phones are unlocked. I know cos I have brought my last 3 handsets inc the HTC Incred S from CPW
 

xspyda

Senior Member
Mar 8, 2006
627
25
If you are actually interested in this phone, hopefully this will be of some help :D

Very much so, best run down I have seen upto now! Thanks for the taking the time out and I look forward to hearing more from you and seeing the pics you are planning to upload.

Prices i've seen are around £480-£500... not yet sure if it's worth that.

Totally agree especially given that HTC market this as being 'in between' the Desire and the Desire HD. Should it not therefore hold an in between price tag too?

Note: CPW £449 pay as you go.... Their phones are unlocked. I know cos I have brought my last 3 handsets inc the HTC Incred S from CPW

Nice tip, thanks for that, still pricey but a little less painful I guess!
 

vido.ardes

Inactive Recognized Developer
Aug 22, 2008
1,695
1,635
UK
I actually went back today and got my own, so I will upload all the pics & video tomorrow. I am also looking into rooting it as no devs appear to have picked one up, but I am not making any promises, I am working pretty much totally off the internet and what info I can piece together
 

xspyda

Senior Member
Mar 8, 2006
627
25
I actually went back today and got my own, so I will upload all the pics & video tomorrow. I am also looking into rooting it as no devs appear to have picked one up, but I am not making any promises, I am working pretty much totally off the internet and what info I can piece together

Hah, so you and your other half are sat in silence now as you both play with your new toys I take it? ;-p

Excellent, great to hear. I think it's early days for the devs at the moment and when it starts to show on Verizon etc state side I think we can expect more from this - after all, it's always only a matter of time isn't it :)

Thanks for your input, I am considering picking one of these up myself as I really do not want anything above 4" and the only real 'superphones' that have come out of MWC 2011 are 4.3 - with the exception of some of the lesser tried and tested makes.

The speaker REALLY puts me off though, I had really hoped HTC would have learned their lesson!
 

vido.ardes

Inactive Recognized Developer
Aug 22, 2008
1,695
1,635
UK
Hah, so you and your other half are sat in silence now as you both play with your new toys I take it? ;-p

Excellent, great to hear. I think it's early days for the devs at the moment and when it starts to show on Verizon etc state side I think we can expect more from this - after all, it's always only a matter of time isn't it :)

Thanks for your input, I am considering picking one of these up myself as I really do not want anything above 4" and the only real 'superphones' that have come out of MWC 2011 are 4.3 - with the exception of some of the lesser tried and tested makes.

The speaker REALLY puts me off though, I had really hoped HTC would have learned their lesson!

I personally use the headphones and don't use the loudspeaker, but I can see it being a turn off if it is important to you. I don't mind it for watching a youtube video and turning on SRS helps, but it is still pretty tinny. I wish I had a DHD to compare to so I could let you know how it matches up, but I don't know anyone with one
 

xspyda

Senior Member
Mar 8, 2006
627
25
Well from my short time with both devices I can say that neither are great but the DHD seemed marginally better to me. That said, I spent a good few days with the DHD in different ambient conditions whereas I spent minutes with the Incredible S and was only able to listen to the audio supplied on the phone which to be fair is a poor example.

I don't want to listen to music on the phone but as I say, watching video's / clips the tinny sound is very grating. Seriously considering getting one on an 'able to return' basis though to see if I can put up with it as this phone seems to have everything else I want.

Maybe someone else with this and the DHD will be able to comment on the speaker comparison?
 

HD2_MANIAC

Member
May 10, 2010
5
0
If you are only into the latest and greatest hardware, and have to have dual core CPU's, this is not for you!

If you are actually interested in this phone, hopefully this will be of some help :D[/SI


Hi to all, could you tell me about the flash player in this phone? has it the one that desire hd has?(10.1) or the lite edition?
thank u
 

vido.ardes

Inactive Recognized Developer
Aug 22, 2008
1,695
1,635
UK
If you are only into the latest and greatest hardware, and have to have dual core CPU's, this is not for you!

If you are actually interested in this phone, hopefully this will be of some help :D[/SI


Hi to all, could you tell me about the flash player in this phone? has it the one that desire hd has?(10.1) or the lite edition?
thank u


It has full Flash 10.1 (soon to be 10.2)
 
  • Like
Reactions: HD2_MANIAC

xspyda

Senior Member
Mar 8, 2006
627
25
Any info on how it handles video codecs? I assume out of the box it will not play avi / divx?

Presume such apps as Vplayer / QQPlayer and Rockplayer will let you play a full sized avi with no fuss though and remain in sync throughout?
 

Jazd71

Senior Member
Apr 13, 2010
95
14
Any info on how it handles video codecs? I assume out of the box it will not play avi / divx?

Presume such apps as Vplayer / QQPlayer and Rockplayer will let you play a full sized avi with no fuss though and remain in sync throughout?

I found that it does actually play some avi files without the likes of rockplayer; however when using rockplayer it seems to be flawless, though sound is adequate rather than amazing via loud speaker, ear phones is perfectly acceptable.
 

olyloh6696

Senior Member
Oct 20, 2009
7,674
1,556
24
Manchester
Great review!
Cheers!
I am currently deciding between this and the DHD... I prefably like the DHD for it's price. Much cheaper than the Incredible. The battery performance on the incredible actually sounds bloody amazing according to your review! The DHD 1230Mah battery is it's weakness point. I am in a dilema on which to get...
Like you said though, it isnt a MAJOR upgrade. So should i get the DHD for a worse battery but for a cheaper £389 compared to £499?
Cheers!
 

DuoM

Senior Member
Mar 7, 2009
224
8
Thanks for posting this review and the follow-up. I'm looking at getting this phone instead of the DHD because of the poor battery life and the uni-body design of the DHD.
 

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  • 7
    If you are only into the latest and greatest hardware, and have to have dual core CPU's, this is not for you!

    If you are actually interested in this phone, hopefully this will be of some help :D

    Form Factor & Appearance
    First off, this phone feels great in the hand. I don't have particularly large hands, and the Desire HD felt a bit too big, but this is perfect. It's nice to hold in landscape in two hands, or to use in one handed operation. The materials are nice and expensive feeling, very strong and sturdy construction, and it has enough weight to feel expensive without being heavy. The soft touch rubberised back is comfy to hold in the hand (even with the big ridge). From a looks perspective, to me it is a very attractive phone (from the front it looks like an iPod touch without the home button), very clean lines with almost the entire of the front being taken up by the 4" screen. The 4 capacitive buttons are accurate and responsive, and the rotating feature is a nice touch. They are completely invisible when not lit, which gives the phone a very clean appearance when the screen is off.

    Screen - 4" SLCD
    Let me start by saying yes, next to an AMOLED or a SAMOLED the colours do not 'pop' as much, but it is in my opinion a lot clearer (this may not be true of SAMOLED+ as that no longer uses pentile, but I have no way of comparing). In short it is a very nice screen. It is crisp and clear, and the colours are accurately represented to my eyes. Pictures and videos are sharp and pleasing to look at, and I have read for an hour on the Kindle app without problem. Games like Angry Birds look bright and colourful, but blacks are deep enough to not distract when watching a movie in the dark.

    Horsepower - 1GHz MSM8255 Snapdragon & 768MB RAM
    This thing is snappy. I am beginning to wonder what this dual-core noise is about as this phone literally flies through screens without a hint of lag or stutter. Whether it be browsing the web, playing games, adding contacts or using the sat-nav, I have not noticed a single hint of slowdown. I used a wide range of what I would consider to be fairly hardware intensive apps, including Angry Birds, Raging Thunder, Asphalt and CoPilot all of which ran without a hitch. For the benchmark junkies it linpacked ~ 38 MFLOPS, Neocore'd ~ 57 FPS and Quadranted ~ 1700.

    Storage - 1.1GB Internal App Storage & 8GB Class 4 SDHC (Bundled)
    Although I would like all internal storage, I am happy with the current arangement of > 1GB app storage and microSD cards. 1GB is more than enough for me, and I am planning to add a 32GB Class 10 microSD at the end of this month (here is the cheapest I have found if you are interested). Some may find this OK, some might want all internal storage, matter of personal preference really.

    Cameras - 8MP Rear facing inc. Dual LED Flash & 1.3 MP Front Facing
    The camera on the back is one of the nicest Android shooters I have had the privilege to use. Pretty sure it is the same as the one on the Desire HD, it takes clear crisp and bright pictures, the auto focus and face detection working quickly an accurately, and the time between being able to take photo's is very minimal (even when tested with a crappy Class 2 SD at 8MP!). The LED's provide very harsh, bright and unflattering lighting, but as no one appears to want to put a proper Xenon flash on an Android phone, it's the best we can get :mad:. They do however make for an excellent flashlight, and can be used with video recording. The camera can record 720p footage at 30FPS, and is pretty standard fare, while you won't be recording the next hollywood blockbuster on it, it is more than good enough for your next YouTube masterpiece of "Guy falling off skateboard" :p. The zoom level is not fixed for camera recording either, which is a nice feature to have.

    The front facing camera is bog standard, good enough for video calling, and works well as a pocket mirror.

    Battery - 1450 mAh
    The battery life on this surprised me, especially after the Desire HD. HTC seemed to have learnt from their mistakes as this phone can get through more than 24 hours with fairly heavy usage. Might take a few more days to get a more acurate idea of how it will last, but I am pleasantly surprised

    Other Notable Features -Notification LED, Dual Mics & FM Radio
    An annoying feature missing from the samsung and Motorola phones, HTC have included a notification LED on the Incredible S (much to my delight). A small feature, but a much needed one and worth noting IMHO. The dual mics for noise cancellation work well and are a welcome feature, and something some have been phasing out is the FM radio. It hasn't been turned off yet!

    And now for the cons...
    This phone isn't without it's downsides. If I were putting together a list of improvements...
    • Better loudspeaker - the loudspeaker is very weak, and could do with improving.
    • Xenon Flash - Missing from all Android phones IMHO
    • Dedicated Camera Button - I don't see why people keep missing this simple yet much needed feature
    • Mini HDMI Port - It includes DLNA support, but a mini HDMI port would have been nice

    Conclusion
    HTC say this phone sits between the Desire S and the Desire HD, but I beg to differ. To me this is a Desire HD 1.5. Not a revolution of the flagship, but a marked improvement in several areas. The change in design and the slight shrink in screen size make it more comfortable to hold an easier to sit in the pocket. The smaller screen also helps the larger battery to fix the major flaw in the DHD, and the front facing camera makes the phone relevant n a world where video calling is trying to become popular (again, am I the only one who had a video mobile phone 8 years ago?!). I would recommend this phone to anyone looking for an upgrade now, unless you want to wait for the dual core craze to begin.

    This phone was purchased at Carphone Warehouse on Vodaphone, 24 Months @ £30 with 500 min, unlimited texts and 500MB internet (free phone).

    Note: I actually got this phone for my Fianceé as she was due an upgrade. She had a Samsun Pixon M8800 and she thinks it's the best thing in the world ever, and hasn't spoken to me for two days as she has been too engrossed in it :p. I am seriously considering one as an upgrade from My Hero, and will probably have my own before tomorrow is finished. I will upload some pics of the device, and sample footage and pics from the camera when I get the chance :D
    1
    If you are only into the latest and greatest hardware, and have to have dual core CPU's, this is not for you!

    If you are actually interested in this phone, hopefully this will be of some help :D[/SI


    Hi to all, could you tell me about the flash player in this phone? has it the one that desire hd has?(10.1) or the lite edition?
    thank u


    It has full Flash 10.1 (soon to be 10.2)
    1
    remember it's £459 if buying from CPW - you can buy the cheaper PAYG deal as they are all sim free anyway!
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