HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE Review: A New Android Phone That's Actually Not HugeS

Gargantuan Android phones are everywhere. But a lot of people just want something smaller. The Incredible 4G is one of the few phones that isn't the size of a dinner plate, but it also raises a question: Does an Android OS even make sense on smaller screens anymore?

What Is It

The best HTC phone on Verizon—which did not get the HTC One series.

Who's It For

Android fans who love small phones. HTC Sense enthusiasts. Beats by Dre fans, maybe, but probably not.

Design

It's an HTC phone. It's solidly built, with a matte rubberized back. It's thick enough that, when you first pick it up, you're not sure if it has a slide-out keyboard or not.

Using It

Using the Incredible never feels like using a premium phone. It's fast, until it's not. Lag creeps in under medium loads. With several apps running, actions like returning to the home page slow to a crawl.

The Best Part

The camera. HTC's been making good cameras for a while, going back to the Amaze last year, and definitely including the One series. The Incredible's camera is very fast, produces nice, natural colors, and handles low light as well as you can expect from a phone.

Tragic Flaw

The buttons. The volume rocker and power button are flush with the edges. They're hard to find when you want to, and easy to press when you don't.

This Is Weird...

The microUSB port is insanely hard to insert cables into. It defies logic.

Test Notes

  • Android just doesn't feel like it fits a smaller phone anymore. Stripping it of large, readable widgets makes it feel like a dumpy iPhone on smaller screens.
  • Battery life isn't great. Usually it's less than a day. Sometimes you could leave home with a full charge, spend a night out with LTE turned on, and it would be dead before getting home.
  • The display isn't as pristine as HTC's One X, but it's still quite good.
  • It gets uncomfortably hot while streaming music or video over LTE.

Should You Buy It?

Probably not. If you're on Verizon and want an Android phone, you're better off with a Galaxy S III. But if you want a smaller phone, and it has to be Android, the Incredible is your best choice.

HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE Specs

• Network: Verizon
• OS: Android 4.0
• Processor: 1.2-GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4
• Screen: 4-inch 960 x 540 275 PPI
• RAM: 1GB
• Storage: 8GB, support for up to 32GB microSD
• Camera: 8MP LED flash, BSI, f/2.2 and 28 mm lens
• Battery: 1700 mAh Li-Ion
• Price: $200, $150 with $50 mail-in rebate
Giz Rank: 3.0 stars

Photos by Nick Stango