HTC Incredible S Review
HTC announced the Android powered HTC Incredible S at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011 in Barcelona. This handset is the successor of the HTC’s popular Incredible smartphone. HTC Incredible S was launched in India on March 22nd. Our review unit, originally came with the old Android 2.2 (Froyo) Operating System, but it was later upgraded to the latest Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS. Let us find out what the handset has to offer in the FoneArena HTC Incredible S Review.
The original HTC Incredible comes with a 3.7 inch AMOLED display, while the new HTC Incredible S features a large 4.0 inch Super LCD, an upgraded processor, Adreno 205 GPU, 8 megapixel camera with HD (720p) video recording and playback, 1.3 megapixel front facing camera, 1450 mAh battery and so on.
The HTC Incredible S has comes with an aluminum body with a soft touch coating on top of the aluminium. The front is covered by a sheet of gorilla glass, while the back is made of a rubberised plastic. Even though, HTC Incredible S sports an 8 megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, a much-needed physical camera button was missing from the device.
HTC has also made a few changes to the standard Android button interface. The optical track pad found on the original Incredible was replaced with the new capacitive buttons and the auto-rotating icons. This handset also comes with the second version of HTC’s Sense UI, which includes satellite navigation software developed by TomTom using maps from Route66 and a fully integrated digital bookstore from Kobo.
Is it still Incredible as the original HTC Incredible? Check out our exclusive review to find out!
Before the launch of this handset, the HTC Incredible S was known as the HTC’s buttonless phone, thanks to the new capacitive buttons. These buttons are activated, only when the phone is in use. It also rotates 90 degree, while using the device on the landscape orientation. These buttons are quite amazing, since you won’t find a single button on the front, when the phone is turned off.
The HTC Incredible S has the same industrial design, which was earlier seen in the original Incredible smartphone. The unique contoured design on the back of this device will not go unnoticed. This handset definitely looks and feels great, thanks to the rubberised plastic material used on the back of this device.
Like I said earlier, on the front, you will only find a large 4 inch Super LCD display with 480 x 800 pixels resolution. The front of this device is covered by a sheet of gorilla glass, which protects and adds durability to this powerful handset. When the phone is activated, you will find 4 buttons on the bottom of the device – home, menu, back and search.
This handset also has an unique earpiece compartment on the front, which has a status LED placed inside the earpiece. The status LED blinks every time, when you receive a text message, missed calls, application updates, etc. The front-facing camera was missing from the HTC Desire HD, but the company managed to add a front-facing camera on this device. A 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera is placed, next to the earpiece, for video calls.
Currently, you can’t use the front-facing camera for Google Talk video calls, since the phone runs on the Android 2.3.3 OS. But, we are expecting that, the Incredible S will soon get the Android 2.3.4 update, which brings the much awaited voice and video chat to the Google Talk, along with some bug fixes and optimizations.
On the left side, you will find a large volume rocker and the microUSB port. The volume rocker is accidentally pressed most of the time while holding the phone. Even while listening to music, we faced some problems, since the volume rocker was pressed accidentally and the volume gets lowered while holding the phone.
On the right side, there are no buttons. The much needed physical camera button is missing from this device. This handset comes with an 8 megapixel camera with HD (720p) video recording. The company should have used the space on the right side to add the camera button, which would have been one of the most important part of this device.
On the top of this device, you will find a universal 3.5mm headset jack and a dedicated power button. The power button can also be used as the lock/unlock button for the touchscreen display. When you click the button, it will lock the display, but when you hold the button for a few seconds, the power-off, airplane mode and restart options will pop-up on the screen. The microphone is placed at the bottom of the device.
On the back, you will find an amazing 8 megapixel camera with dual-LED flash. The camera of this handset is quite impressive. We’ll discuss about the camera in details, later in the camera section. You will also find a loudspeaker grill on the back of the device. Sadly, the loudspeaker was not loud enough.
The back cover is made up of rubberised plastic material and a unique contoured design to fit easily in our hands. Inside the cover, you will find a 1450 mAh battery, microSD card slot and the SIM card slot. Thankfully, the microSD card slot is hot-swappable. The battery comes with a talk-time of up to 9 hrs 40 mins on 2G and stand-by time of up to 290 hrs.
Most of the smartphones, which are recently launched, comes with a dual-core processor. But, the HTC Incredible S has a single-core processor. It features a 1Ghz Qualcomm MSM8255 processor, Adreno 205 GPU and 768MB RAM. These specs were earlier seen in the HTC Desire HD. Even though the phone had a single-core processor, the handset was fast enough. And the HTC Incredible S has a same story. It comes with different connectivity options such as Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP for wireless stereo headsets and FTP/OPP for file transfer, microUSB 2.0, and DLNA.
The HTC Incredible S was originally launched with the old Android 2.2 (Froyo) Operating system, but it was later updated to the Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) OS. The latest update improved the overall performance of the device and the battery life has been optimized by around 15%. It also comes with the Adobe Flash 10.3 and brings 3D Map view to the Google Maps.
The HTC Incredible S will soon receive the Android 2.3.4 update, which will brings the much awaited voice and video chat to the Google Talk, along with some bug fixes and optimizations. After updating your phone to the Android 2.3.4 OS, you will be able to use your front-facing camera to video chat with your Google Talk friends on the go.
The HTC Incredible S comes with the second version of HTC’s Sense UI. There are not many changes in the new HTC Sense, but it looks simply fabulous. If we compare the HTC Sense UI with the Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, then we will definitely give some bonus points to the HTC Sense UI. The Android UI has been completely covered by the HTC’s Sense UI. If you are one of those, who does not like the HTC Sense UI and would like to go for the Android UI, then you should definitely look for some other smartphone.
The HTC Sense UI has a quick settings tab, which allows you to enable or disable the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Wi-fi hotspot, GPS, Mobile Network within a few seconds. The HTC Sensation comes with the third version of the HTC Sense UI, which looks pretty interesting. We hope that the HTC Sense 3.0 would be soon released for the powerful HTC Incredible S smartphone.
Audio and Video:
This handset supports various audio formats such as aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav, .wma and video formats such as .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv. You can also record audio in .amr format and video in .3gp format.
The default music player is quite okay. You can access the music library by selecting the Music shortcut in the menu. By default, you will be greeted with the artist section. But you can select another section by selecting one of the six tabs, shown at the bottom of the screen. The 6 sections are – Artists, Albums, All Songs, Playlists, Songs and Connected media. HTC Incredible S also allows you to share videos, photos and music from the handset direct to a TV using DLNA technology.
You can access the videos from the Videos shortcut in the menu or from the All Videos option in the Gallery. This handset has the ability to record and play videos in HD (720p). We tried playing few HD movies and videos and it worked perfectly. We were also able to play DivX/XviD videos without any problem.
The default video player does its job well. We personally liked the SRS sound enhancement, which improves the overall quality of the audio. The default video player also allows you to watch videos in full screen. You can select 2 options – fit to screen and stretch video, while playing videos on the full screen mode.
The default browser is quite fast and amazing and it also allows you to play flash contents smoothly, thanks to the 1 Ghz processor and Adobe Flash 10.3. Entire screen is used to display the webpage and the minimalistic UI helps to keep the unnecessary stuffs away while viewing a webpage. You can select options, just by hitting the menu button. You can also easily select the text and translate it using the Google Translate or you can share the selected text with your friends on the social networking site.
To zoom the webpage, just double click on the screen, or you can even use the pinch-to-zoom functionality. The Adobe Flash 10.3 allows you to watch YouTube videos smoothly on the handset. By default, the handset opens the YouTube mobile site. After selecting the desktop version, we tried playing a few videos and the results were the same. You can also play the YouTube videos in full screen mode. The default Android browser also has support for HTML5.
While the HTC Desire HD had a 1230 mAh battery, the HTC Incredible S comes with a large 1450 mAh battery. The battery life on this handset is pretty impressive. According to the specs sheet, the Incredible S has a talk-time of up to 580 minutes and a stand-by time of up to 290 hours. While testing this handset, we were able to use the device for nearly a day, with a few calls, YouTube videos and couple of games. We were quite impressed with the battery life of this device. With normal use, the battery will even last for 2 days without charging.
HTC Incredible S sports an amazing 8 megapixel camera with autofocus and dual-LED flash. The maximum resolution for an image is 3264 x 2448 pixels. This handset also allows you to record videos in HD (720p). Sadly, this handset does not come with a dedicated camera button. Taking pictures with the on-screen camera button is really a pain.
Photos taken during the day are absolutely brilliant and the ones taken during the night were above our expectation. Photos taken from other smartphones with 8 megapixel camera are mostly grainy and fuzzy, but the images taken from this handset were nearly perfect. HTC Incredible S is one of the best camera phone.
This handset also comes with a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls. Currently, this handset runs on the Android 2.3.3 OS, so you cannot use the front-facing camera for Google Talk video chat. But this feature will be enabled as soon as you receive the Android 2.3.4 update. Check out the photo samples below.
HTC Incredible S is an amazing smartphone with brilliant display, powerful hardware, beautiful user interface, great camera and above average battery life. This handset is made from an aluminium body with a soft touch coating. The back of the device is made of a rubberised plastic, which give it a premium look and feel. Sadly, this handset does not have the much-needed physical camera button.
The device is absolutely fast, even though it does not have a dual-core processor. The 1450 mAh battery allows us to use the device for a single day, but the company should have packed a large battery, so that the phone can be used for an additional day without charging on a normal use.
The HTC Incredible S is definitely better than the original HTC Incredible smartphone and other HTC devices, but it can’t manage to survive on the smartphone competition for a long time, since the dual-core smartphones like LG Optimus 2X and Samsung Galaxy S II are available at the same price with larger display, full HD video recording and a better battery life. We personally liked this smartphone and we will rate the HTC Incredible S at 7/10.
- Super LCD display
- New capacitive buttons
- HTC Sense UI
- Great camera
- Excellent battery life
- Excellent call quality
- Dolby Mobile and SRS sound enhancement
- Poor audio quality
- No dedicated camera button
- No lens cover
- Poor video recording