Build Quality & Touchscreen Display: Worse and Better than the Nexus

Whereas the Nexus One feels very iPhone like in its curves and narrow seams, the Incredible just doesn’t. It feels cheap, mostly because of the back cover. The back snaps (instead of slides) into place. It’s easier to get on/off than the back panel of the Nexus One, but it’s also not as snug of a fit. I found that the cover on my sample squeaked a lot at the sides, which made it feel very cheap. The Incredible also has a pretty powerful motor for vibration, unfortunately that meant whenever the phone vibrated the back cover made even more noise.

Physical Comparison
  Apple iPhone 3GS (ARM Cortex A8) HTC Droid Incredible (Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8650) Google Nexus One (Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250)
Height 115 mm (4.5") 117.5 mm (4.63") 119 mm (4.7")
Width 62.1 mm (2.44") 58.5 mm (2.30") 59.8 mm (2.35")
Depth 12.3 mm (0.48") 11.9 mm (0.47") 11.5 mm (0.45")
Weight 133 g (4.7 oz) 130 g (4.6 oz) 130 g (4.6 oz)
CPU ARM Cortex A8 @ 600MHz Qualcomm Scorpion @ 1GHz Qualcomm Scorpion @ 1GHz
GPU PowerVR SGX 535 Adreno 200 Adreno 200
NAND 16GB or 32GB 8GB + micro SD micro SD
Camera 3MP 8MP with LED Flash 5MP with LED Flash
Screen 3.5" 320 x 480 LCD 3.7" 480 x 800 AMOLED 3.7" 480 x 800 AMOLED
Battery Integrated 4.51Whr Removable 4.81 Whr Removable 5.18 Whr

The front is a different story entirely. It’s simple but sexy, and comfortable to use as well. Since you’re mostly interacting with a solid touch screen the cheap feeling disappears. The simple black face looks a lot more modern than the grey/brown color of the Nexus One’s plastic.

Left to Right: HTC Droid Incredible, Google Nexus One, Apple iPhone 3GS

Left to Right: Google Nexus One, HTC Droid Incredible, Apple iPhone 3GS

Inside the phone you get access to a removable battery and micro SD card slot. Verizon doesn’t ship the phone with a card, but it does come with 8GB of NAND on board. The Incredible’s inner red is cool and solid enough that I wonder why HTC went with such a boring backplate by comparison.

You get three or four physical buttons on the Incredible, depending on how you count. There’s a power/lock switch up top in the same place as the iPhone, so no confusion there. Volume rocker on the left side. And HTC replaced the trackball on the Nexus One with an optical joystick at the bottom of the screen. While i pretty much never used the trackball on the Nexus One, I like the joystick on the Incredible.

You can use the joystick to scroll, but I used it to move between characters when fixing a typing error (very useful) and as the shutter button in the camera app.

The four fixed, but virtual buttons along the bottom of the phone are like those on the Nexus One although the Menu and Back button positions are reversed. Haptic (vibrate) feedback is enabled by default but you can thankfully disable it on the HTC Incredible.

You get the same 3.7” AMOLED display from the Nexus One with a 480 x 800 resolution. That means it’s something sharper than the iPhone 3GS, with very saturated colors, but beautiful to look at indoors. Outside, in direct sunlight, it’s virtually useless.

Prepare to crank the display up to full brightness if you use it a lot in direct sunlight.

The touchscreen didn't have nearly the same sort of responsiveness problems I encountered on the Nexus One. I'd say HTC managed to deliver a capacitive touchscreen that's virtually indistinguishably from the iPhone in day to day use. I will say that there were a few isolated situations where I had to tap multiple times to get the screen to recognize what I was trying to do. This mostly happened at the corners of the screen

HTC's Head in the Clouds Hallelujah, The Keyboard
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  • Chloiber - Monday, May 10, 2010 - link

    "If you want to quickly see what’s on all of your home screens just press the optical joystick and you’ll zoom out to see all five screens at once."

    Five? Really? ;)
  • Chloiber - Monday, May 10, 2010 - link

    Sorry, still no edit.


    "There’s still no way to delete multiple emails at once, no way to copy/paste from an email and no way to search through emails stored on an IMAP server other than Gmail. Imperfect much?"

    I hope I'm not wrong: but isn't it the exact same mail app as in the HTC Desire. There is a GMAIL App and a MAIL app. You CAN copy/paste from the normal Mail app and you CAN delete multiple messages from the standard Mail app.
  • jasperjones - Monday, May 10, 2010 - link


    I'm on a Nexus One here and I can delete multiple emails at once in the Gmail app. Just tap on the check mark (to the left of the email title) for each email you want to delete. On the bottom of the screen, a delete button automatically pops up. Tap it--done.

    Copy-and-paste works only if you're editing an email.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, May 10, 2010 - link

    But can you delete multiple emails in the standard Mail app? I haven't been able to find a way to do this. In fact, deleting emails is a bit of a pain as there's no swipe to delete. You have to hit the confirmation box for every message you delete.

    Take care,
  • jasperjones - Monday, May 10, 2010 - link


    I set up the regular mail app just to test. It's exactly the same thing as in the gmail app: you hit those little, greyed out check marks to the left of the email subject. After checking the first message, on the bottom of the screen, the virtual buttons "Mark read," "Add star," and "Delete" appears. Again, the is on the Nexus One (with stock firmware). No troubles deleting multiple emails at once at all...
  • Jaybus - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - link

    Works the same on my Motorola Droid. In the list of e-mails, just touch the check boxes of the ones you want to delete, then select the delete button. When you touch the first check box, the "Mark read", "star", and "delete buttons pop up at the bottom of the screen.

    I've had the Moto Droid for about 4 months now and have found the standard e-mail app just works, at least with my business mail server ( Postfix using TLS and user authentication, Dovecot using IMAP / TLS, both on standard ports). Incoming e-mails show up in the notification bar and you can define a ring tone for them. HTML e-mail works just fine.

    FWIW, I too was confused as to how to delete multiple e-mails at first. It was so simple it alluded me. :)
  • geniekid - Monday, May 10, 2010 - link

    Tap Mail. Tap Menu. Tap Delete. That allows me to use checkboxes to delete multiple emails at once. This is from my HTC Incredible using the defautl Mail app on the Home screen.
  • jaydee - Monday, May 10, 2010 - link


    I know you didn't officially review it, but I would like to see the Motorola Droid in these comparisons. I know it's older, but it's the one that "started it all" for android being a real iPhone competitor, and there are a LOT more people using with Droid's than with Nexus One's. Plus the hardware differentiates itself much more from the Incredible than the N1 (different manufacturer, different processor, RAM/ROM specs, ETC).

  • jaydee - Monday, May 10, 2010 - link

    Also, there's an app called PDAnet. $30 one time charge for unlimited data via USB. Why even bother with Verizon's own version for $25-30/month?
  • secret99 - Monday, May 10, 2010 - link

    I don't think the Nexus has 8 GB of storage. Just FYI.

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