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
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • LoneWolf15 - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - link

    "I’d say that HTC’s added polish is a real benefit. It makes me wonder why Google doesn’t do some of this on its own."

    Google fails in this way with almost everything they put their hands to. I like their stuff, really, I do. But Google sometimes seems to have a major case of ADD --every product would be awesome, if it had a bit more polish, or additional support, or some bugs fixed, or a feature people have been asking for for xx amount of time.

    We have Google Apps for Domains where I work. The problem is, half of Google's neat software toys for GMail and individual users won't work the moment you have your own custom domain --GMail Notifier is a good example, as are some other apps. Or, you have to figure out ways to make them work that aren't well-documented. By the time I'm done, I want to pull my hair out. Don't even get me started on how Chrome is --it's a great browser that was designed with absolutely no regard for use in the enterprise.

    Other than their search engine, Google Maps, and perhaps Google Earth, so many things seem like something an excited kid started working on, got halfway there, and then walked away from to start something else. I wish they could concentrate on getting what they have going --there are some 65-85% projects that would just be insanely cool if they were ever fully baked.
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - link

    As you didn't mention it, not sure you are aware, but there is no 3G voice in Verizon. Voice and test messages are always carried over the 1x network, while other data uses 3G. Thought this might be relevant to your battery life tests.
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - link

    test messages should be text messages, of course
  • Jaybus - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - link

    One thing to note on battery life is that these phones are multitasking. The iPhone 3GS may have a better task management interface, I don't know. But the Droids come without one, more or less, so that's not saying much. If you didn't kill all the unneeded tasks on the HTC, then who knows what it was running during your battery tests. Was the camera active? The lack of a decent task manager is a glaring omission on the Droids, but there are good task management apps available as free downloads. In any case, the battery tests should be performed with only the necessary apps running (on both iPhone and HTC).
  • v12v12 - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - link

    While I would like to comment on the other features of this phone, the one thing that absolutely burns me up is this fake LED "flash," crap.

    True “flash:” Xe (true) flash provides ~400 times the light output, better light distribution, much longer range, color temperatures match closer to natural sunlight, and much sharper image capture… The only problem with Xe is simply that, it “flashes,” and thus it’s not continuous like an LED, which hinders low-light videos, esp with these tiny+crappy lens provided in most phones. There needs to be a combo of both; each of which serves a dedicated purpose much better than the other. Xe gobbles power if it’s continuous, LEDs; not so much. I’m not going to spend this much on a phone, while it still comes with antiquated technological features, in which people put to use just as much, if not more than they talk on the dang things.

    People use these phones as daily replacements for point-&-shoot, dedicated digi-cams... so this issue is NOT some tiny "inconvenience" as it seems. If the camera/video SUCKS, it's a big deal as many people have actually replaced their P&S cams with their phones for everyday use or don't really use their P&Ss very much at all vs their phone.
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - link

    A real flash is also rather thick compared to the little LEDs used in these phones. I wouldn't be surprised if the flash assembly in the average P&S is as thick as the Incredible. So I imagine someday someone will make a phone that can really compete with decent P&S cameras, and for all I know Nokia does now (not available on Verizon so I really don't care) but the Incredible's image quality isn't nearly a match for even an average P&S so I don't think the lack of a real flash is exactly a deal-breaker for most.
  • v12v12 - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - link

    PRIVACY: These new “smarter,” aka modernized PPCs are going to be the DOOM of us all. Everyone seems to think all these scannable pic/bar-code/GPS features are so “convenient,” UNTIL future legislation comes about allowing misc corp + govt agencies to directly link to your phone and read/view everything you’re doing. They’ll use it to track you (how did Apple find the guy, so fast, that had the alleged “stolen” aka lost, 4G Iphone? Apple actually sent “AGENTS” to his dorm, then the police magically raided Chen’s house soon afterwards) and soon tax you based on where you are. Etc…
    __I want to see more in-depth reporting about the major privacy issues that these (and esp future) phones present. What about LSO/DOM “super cookies,” and *.sol (FLASH based) files that hold tons of data (1-100K!) about where you’ve been browsing etc? What about sites tracking you with these phones etc. I mean, since they are basically pocket-PCs, who knows wtf “they” are doing with all this data you are voluntarily (in ignorance) revealing to them? These phones are inadvertently creating active profiles of any and all users that use them. Don’t you think that all of this immensely private data would be extremely valuable to private corps/govt? Data-miners, marketing, advertising, police and law enforcement agencies, the NSA, the government at a large would LOVE to know where you are, what you’re doing, with who you are with etc. All of this tracking data is extra-ordinarily valuable to said agencies and many more.
    __These days tracking and profiling large groups of consumers is worth millions of dollars to corps/private groups as it provides near exact future estimations about how populations move, when and where they go, why they go, what motivates them etc. If you can accurately and consistently (there are super computers that are designed to PREDICT all of this with enough input data) predict all of the above (and more) you can essentially design products, marketing and advertising schemes around this data, to then constantly feed and predict what the general (or smaller sub-groups) consumer populous will do in and if certain situations arise…. The MILITARY is very, very, very interested in this kind of data, as it directly applies to wartime strategy.

    People please take this stuff very seriously, the “internet” is the “wild-west,” and as we know, there’s many a predator and parasite out there waiting for you to feed them with your info and “profile.” Do you really think these groups wouldn’t attempt to subvert or pay off politicians/controllers of industry for said data? It’s happened before in the past and it’s happening right now as we speak. Hell the FBI can turn your phone into a GPS/audio/video BUGGING device, even if your phone is turned “off,” but the battery is still in. Who says they aren’t doing it now with out legal consent; A La the NSA ILLEGAL, warrantless wire-tapping scandal (which is STILL active today).
    __Yeah-yeah I know, “well if you’re not doing anything ‘wrong,’ then what do you have to hide…” That’s presumed GUILT of action(s)… this is supposedly a “free” nation, but in reality who’s “free,” if unknown entities can track and trace your every move, on-demand, with-out notice/warrant? This is nothing more than a silent version of "Papiere, Bitte" (translation: "Papers, Please”), minus an authority asking you; these phones just GIVE them your “papers,” with out fuss…

    How about this scenario: Law enforcement mistakenly taps your phone, b/c you and some alleged “terrorist,” have the same name and thus you’re on some “list,” that you don’t even know about. Since you’re now on this “list,” “they” can DOWNLOAD ALL of your pictures, files and info from your phone, courtesy of the Patriot Act-I and II. HAHA yep, they can take everything that’s considered “private” to you, view/listen/read it, and then determine if you’re a “treat.” If you’re not, *shrug* so be it, they ignore you, BUT someone else now is in possession of YOUR pictures/identity/”profile.” Do you trust “them” to honestly delete said info after the secret investigation is complete? I don’t, and I don’t want people having the ability to do so with out presenting ME with a legal warrant etc.

    Anand please take this issue seriously, as it uncovers very serious privacy concerns, much more so than what’s on your home computer… Haven’t any of you ever found a lost cel-phone and taken a look inside; of course some of you have, and you know that someone’s phone can provide you so much more info about this person and their likes, dislikes; it’s like a txt/video, mini-dairy of their behavior/associations with their peers etc. Very unnerving to say the least… Be smart folks before you jump on the band-wagon.
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - link

    Tin foil is on aisle 3.

    Seriously though, this type of thing is a concern in any internet activity if that's your thing. If the gov't is going to allow access to phones, the same could be said for landline ISPs. If you are really concerned, don't use these services.
  • v12v12 - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - link

    Tin foil LMFAO dude you're in pure ignorance to say the least... GOOGLE it then if you don't seem to follow the NEWS reports of this happening to people daily. Damn I love how the ignorant among the populous loves to chime in, when in reality you don't know crap about history nor of the misdeeds of this and other governments/law enforcement around the globe.

    The only person that's crazy or UNINFORMED is you buddy... You've already made a fool out of yourself; GOOGLE THE info I've posted, then please report back so we can see just how much you are out of touch with.

    How about Operation Northwoods? The Gulf of Tonkin? The Tuskegee project? The sinking of the Lusitania?... Oh SHIT guess what; ALL of these are DECLASSIFIED government operations designed to DEFRAUD the public for financial and political gain... YOU are the ignorant FOOL as these are FACTS and indisputable lmao. Damn the mass public is so stupid and brainwashed lol... But we know what history has in store for deniers of reality like you; naked, starving and soon to be dumped in a mass grave lol... Enjoy the dirt, dunce...

    Here take a read and educate yourself boy-flounder:

    Laugh now genius.
  • rpmurray - Monday, May 17, 2010 - link

    "how did Apple find the guy, so fast"

    Because one of his roommates called the Police and told them where he was and what he had. But wait a minute, maybe the roommate is a mole planted by the CIA to keep tabs on the guy! Yeah, that's the ticket.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now