HTC Incredible S review

HTC announced a whole swathe of new products last month and the first to surface is the firm’s new flagship Android phone. The Incredible S is initially available free on a £30 per month, two-year Vodafone contract exclusively through Carphone Warehouse, and it looks like a tempting deal.

You’re getting a lot for your money: a large, beautifully crisp 4in screen with a resolution of 480 x 800, an 8-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, 1.1GB of built-in storage with 8GB supplied on a microSD card, plus the usual array of connectivity hardware, from A-GPS to 5.76Mbits/sec HSDPA and 802.11n Wi-Fi. Despite announcing the Incredible S with Android 2.3, our review sample was running Android 2.2, with HTC Sense 3 running on top; an Android 2.3 update has been promised in a matter of weeks.

HTC Incredible S

In terms of size, the HTC Incredible S sits somewhere between the 3.7in Desire and the 4.3in Desire HD, and it’s the ideal compromise. The 4in screen offers better readability and makes using the onscreen keyboard easier than on the Desire, while avoiding the awkward bulk of its bigger HD sibling. It’s crisp, clear and bright, too – easily the match of the Desire’s original OLED panel.

The design won’t be for everyone (the matte-black rear panel features a raised panel some might call ugly), but the curved corners, narrow profile and rubbery casing combine to make this a comfortable phone to hold and slip in the pocket. One further design point to note is that the Incredible S ditches the optical trackpad of the Desire and Desire Z. To compensate, the four glowing touch buttons below the screen perform the nifty trick of rotating whenever the screen does, so they’re always the right way up.

Performance and battery life

Another advantage the Incredible holds over the Desire HD is better battery life. Our test involves an hour of audio playback through headphones, an hour of screen on idle time, a half-hour phone call and a 50MB podcast download, plus email checking via the phone’s default method throughout the day. The Incredible S had 50% remaining on the gauge after 24 hours of use, compared with a poor 30% for the Desire HD.

Details

Cheapest price on contractFree
Contract monthly charge£30.00
Contract period24 months
Contract providerwww.carphonewarehouse.co.uk

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted9hrs 40mins
Standby, quoted15 days, 10hrs

Physical

Dimensions64 x 11.9 x 120.3mm (WDH)
Weight136g
Touchscreenyes
Primary keyboardOn-screen

Core Specifications

RAM capacity768MB
ROM size1,100MB
Camera megapixel rating8.0mp
Front-facing camera?yes
Video capture?yes

Display

Screen size4.0in
Resolution480 x 800
Landscape mode?yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth supportyes
Integrated GPSyes

Software

OS familyAndroid

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