on May 19, 2011
Overall it's a good sized phone. To me coming from an iPhone, the Incredible 2 has a similar look as the iPhone. The big difference is that the Incredible 2 is a bigger screen. I'm overall impressed with the design. It's sleek and fits well in the hands and pocket. It's not cumbersome like the HTC thunderbolt. I also like that that there is a notification light at the top of the phone (something that the iPhone does not have). The screen itself has good resolution, it might not be the Retina display of the iPhone or the super AMOLED of the droid charge, but to my eye it's good enough to watch movies clearly.
I really like the HTC Sense. Some people prefer the unadulterated google android system, but I think HTC sense is a very fluid system. I like the large clock in the center screen. I also love the weather clearly displayed on the home screen (often with cute animations, such as rain drops or clouds). If you pinch the home screen, you are able to zoom out and see the total of 7 screens where you are able to place shortcuts to apps or use widgets. I like that the main home screen is at the center of all the other screens (with 3 on the left and 3 on the right). The iPhone has the main home screen all the way on the left (like the first page in a book), so that if you want to go to page 5, you have to shuffle across several pages, which is annoying. Using the keyboard is fluid and I like the use of auto-correction/suggestion. On the main screen is a button to go straight to the phone. When you press it, it launches the phone and large number pad appears, on the bottom of the screen, while on the top it lists your recent calls. Accessing your contact list from the screen is a bit of pain and requires several button pushes. But then I realized there is a smart dial feature (where you use the number pad to enter a person's name, and a matched contact name appears). Makes it really easy.
Android software I think has become on par with Apple's iPhone. There are also some great apps that iPhone does not have, like free navigation from google, full integration with google voice, and plenty of other amazing google apps (like google sky). I've found all the apps I've wanted from the android market. The phone is quick and very responsive. 3G to me is good enough and internet pages launch quickly enough.
Good quality. The pictures come out well. The video camera is great but has difficulty picking out sounds so that if you are filming someone who is talking, on playback on your computer you can't really hear them. The camera as expected does poorly in low light.
My phone has a distinct but faint echo when speaking into it. I can hear my own voice (the person on the other line does not hear an echo). It's not very obvious but somewhat annoying. I considered whether this was a deal breaker, but didn't think that it was that much of annoyance. It seems that the first droid incredible also suffered from similar issues. I haven't found that many people complaining of this in the Droid Incredible 2. Verizon was unable to help fix the problem and HTC recommended replacing the system, which I haven't decided on whether to do it, not wanting to get a badly refurbed version. The other annoyance is that the speaker phone is on the underside of the phone, so that when you put the phone with the screen face up, the speaker gets muffled (which is annoying when making calls and wanting to use the speaker phone). Obviously turning the phone face down helps solve this problem, but then I can't input anything (since the screen is now covered).
Overall the phone has all the features you want to listen to your music and podcasts. I have found that on HTC models there is a soft though obvious hiss when listening to music with headphones. It's more noticeable during quieted points in the music. It also is obvious between songs and will last for 2-3 seconds after you turn off the music. Apparently this has been a problem with HTC phones (just search for this on the internet). I have a high end set of skullcandy in-ear headphones, with my iPod and prior iPhone I never noticed a hiss. The hiss can be stopped by getting a high impedance (20-30 ohms) headphones or getting a headphone with inline volume control (which then then can be adjusted to get rid of the hiss). I already have a nice set of headphone, so I'm not sure what to do here (paying another $40 or just dealing with it). But this is annoying that there even is a hiss (though you can only notice it in quiet environments, while walking on the street you can't hear).
If you are a mac user, then no worries you can easily sync your droid (in fact any droid) to the Mac. Doubletwist is not recommended because often times it does not sync album art. The best is iSyncr which costs like $3 from the store and does a great job syncing photos, videos, and movies. Your contacts and calender can be synced using Google (both iCal and the Address book on your mac can be synced to google, which then is synced to your phone). As an aside, you might be used to beautiful high pixel photos on your phone, unfortunately when you sync with google your pics are downgraded so that when you get them on your phone they are heavily pixelated.
This phone gets 3.5 stars. The HTC sense is great and easy to use. The camera and video recorder gives good clear pictures (with nice strong flash). But the echo during calls is off putting and the hiss on music playback is extremely annoying. The dilemma I faced was whether to return it for another phone. If I had paid the retail value of $200, it would be a no brainer and this phone would be gone in a heartbeat. But since I paid $80 it's maybe worthwhile to keep around, because there are a lot of great pluses (though two major minuses). Bottom line, if you have $200 to blow, shop elsewhere. If you're budget is less than $100 then I recommend checking out this phone.
ONE MONTH UPDATE
I've been using this phone for a full month now. I decided not to return it. Overall I really like it. I originally gave it 3 stars but now I've bumped it to 4 stars. The echo on phone calls is there, but I've gotten used to it and it doesn't bother me. The soft hiss on the music is also not noticeable in most places I use the phone, traveling on the bus or car (walking down the street). I really like all the great apps I get on it (for free from Amazon) and I love Google Music (having all your music in the clouds, so I don't even have to sync my music to my phone). Also Google voice allows me to send free text messages. So overall 4/5 stars after a month of use.
FOUR MONTH UPDATE
So this is my final update. I thought I'd share my experience. The major thing I'd found annoying is battery life. I've noticed lately that battery use is somewhat sub-par. Sometimes I find that my phone has drained itself to less than 40% power. This occurs with what I consider, light use, including listening to music for my 20 minute drive, checking email maybe twice, sending a few text messages, browsing the net (one page at most) for 15 minutes at most, and one or two calls. And with this light use, I drain my battery. For example today, I'm down to 40% (it's 2 pm in the afternoon).
Here are my stats:
Display= 39%, used for ~40 minutes (set at 50% brightness)
Google Maps= 11%, used for 4 minutes, with GPS nav used for 8 minutes
Wifi= 9%, used since the AM 6 hours (though I haven't surfed the net today)
Voice calls= 7%, 3 minute conversation
Those were my top applications used, yet I'm down to 40%, which is pathetic. My only guess is that the Wifi is constantly checking for a signal and perhaps draining the battery. I've never had the phone die on me, as an aside. This battery life is as good as my 3 year old iPhone. This is problematic enough that I'm downgrading the phone to 3.5 stars (unfortunately, amazon doesn't allow this so it'll be set to 3 stars). I like to keep my phones for several years and with this one I'm foreseeing having to buy another battery for it in the future, which is annoying.
In retrospect, would I still buy the phone? I'd definitely get an android phone. I've now heavily customized it that probably any android phone would probably do. I'd likely consider looking elsewhere if the phone costs > $100.
on May 4, 2011
I have used the original Incredible since it came out one year ago. Loved it always, but had a few drawbacks. Those drawbacks are addressed in the Incredible 2. Screen size is now perfect at 4". I always found the 3.7" display on the original Incredible just a bit small. I find most 4.3" displays just a tad too large for my hands, so this is perfect. The sound quality in the earpiece during normal conversation is also much improved, not that it was ever bad, it's just clearer. Now, the biggest improvement-battery life. With the original Incredible during a normal day, no problem, but on days when I worked a 12 hour shift I had to carry an extra battery or charge the phone occasionally. No such issues with the Incredible 2. I used the phone as normal all day today and still had over 70% battery life remaining when I got home after 9 p.m.! I never charged it once in all that time.
Is the Incredible 2 a dual core processor, no. Is it really fast, you bet. Is it 4G, again, no, but I'll take battery longevity and a beautifully slim profile over a few minutes of super speed every time. And the clarity. What can I say-after all, it is a phone-a device built for the purpose of communication.
And you don't need to pay VZ retail price for the upgrade. It's a lot less right here on Amazon and some retail stores will even match price.
Those are my reasons for calling the Incredible 2 a "Very Worthy Upgrade".
on May 24, 2011
I upgraded to the Incredible 2 from the LG Env Touch, so this is my first fully touch screen phone and my first Android. Overall, I'm pretty happy with it, but I docked a star as it's not the most intuitive device and the apps can be a little frustrating for beginners.
I tried several phones in the Verizon store and aside from streaming video (which I never do) I thought this phone was about as zippy as the Thunderbolt or Charge. I like the layout of this particular phone, the 4" screen is clear and bright and the size is a nice upgrade from the LG Env but not so bulky as the new 4.3" LTE phones. I like the LED notification that blinks when you have a voicemail/mail/text (and you can customize what will trigger the notification). The notification is well designed, you'll notice it but it's not so big/bright that it will be distracting to others.
Lots of good free or cheap apps which make it very useful right out of the box. On the downside (for Android in general I guess), a lot of apps do not have an exit/close option in their menu which bugs me. Some will exit automatically when you clear them from the screen but others linger in the background. I use task killer which is simple enough, but I think it's a flaw in the Android platform that such an application is necessary at all. Every Windows/Linux application has an Exit option, why not Android apps?
Full load= 4 hours. The day after I got the android we drove to the coast, which took about four hours, and we kept the Android humming the whole time with GPS/WiFi, etc. and had mapping/traffic/Internet programs up on the screen for most of the trip. I would consider this a pretty heavy load and it died just before we arrived. The navigation apps took a little while to figure out (again, not always intuitive) but were useful enough that a cheap car charger is worth it (there's one on Amazon for $4).
Light load= all day. Today was a typical weekday load for the phone and I did not charge it at work. GPS/Wifi/bluetooth were turned off. Between 7am and 6pm I listened to MP3s and played Angry Birds for 40 minutes on the bus to work, sent a few texts and downloaded a couple of apps while at work, played music and birds again for 30 minutes going home, talked on the phone for about a half hour, and had 60% of battery left. I thought this was pretty decent.
on May 2, 2011
I love this phone to death. I constantly use it all day long and get about a day's charge out of the battery which is fine and above average for most Android phones. It's ease of use, responsive touch and input make this phone fantastic. Everything is fast and smooth, the CPU installed is a powerhouse and fast enough for most people. Don't care about the lack of 4G since my area won't have it for a year or two at least. I would recommend this phone to anyone who likes Android and HTC Sense.
Upgraded my Verizon Wireless phone mid-2011 to the HTC Incredible 2 and had issues right away with lack of signal strength and volume... tried for a couple weeks but it just sucked, so I called VZW and they promptly sent a replacement.
The replacement has been fantastic. Easy to use, great virtual keyboard/touchscreen alignment, plenty of pages to store apps on, and excellent battery life. Battery life was initially nothing to write home about, but I'd used the Easy Battery Saver app before and installed it pronto -- now the battery lasts an average of 2 to 2 1/4 days (usage depending of course). Out of the box I was probably just barely getting through the day.
Prior to this phone I had a Motorola Droid 2, Droid, and an HTC Eris and I like the Incredible 2 the best of them all . The Droids were nice, but they were heavy and clunky. The Eris was nice until an Android software update essentially destroyed its virtual keyboard to touchscreen alignment.
This Incredible 2 is thin enough for me, lightweight compared to the others I had, and the screens are totally easy to use. Text is very simple, and email setup was a breeze. It works perfectly with Google Navigator and I have even lost my Garmin GPS having not used it since getting this phone.
How could it be better? Well, it does come preloaded with apps that you can't get rid of like Verizon Navigator, Skype, Slacker Radio, Books, Facebook, Flickr, Amazon Kindle, NFL Mobile, Peep, YouTube and other byte stealers that I really do not care about using on my phone... would be nice to be able to delete them altogether, but hiding them works OK too.
I like and recommend this phone, but suggest that you get very aggressive right away with VZW Customer Service if you get a lemon and hopefully they would treat you like they did me and send a replacement that was outstanding.
on June 23, 2011
Full disclosure: I'm fickle and neurotic.
Unfortunately, this condition often leaves me hard to please, which is why I've had a Motorola Q for five years. It's not for lack of trying, as I've bought and returned about a half a dozen phones over the last four years including the Saga, various Blackberries, and the Motorola X2. The Incredible II is the first one I'll keep.
There are many reasons why I waited so long. First it was due to the bad experiences I've had with each one I've tried, and then it became a matter of waiting simply for a dual core, 4G phone like so many others. Let's address those.
Dual core would make the phone snappier when multitasking, but is it needed? After a while I decided this was more of a want than a need. Most people, including me, could never tell the difference.
In spite of the hype, I'm also turned off by 4G but for different reasons than most users, whose chief complaint is battery life, which is dismal on 4G Droids (and will be until the new integrated GSM/CDMA/LTE chipsets to come out, around mid 2012, MDM9615). My reason has to do with reliability.
When I purchased a 4G modem in January from Verizon, the connection was intermittent. And it would be down completely while searching for backup 3G... totally unacceptable. Verizon claimed that it should be a good connection based on the geography (Bay Area). Tech support was no help.
Recently while standing in the Verizon store admiring the Samsung Charge, low and behold the phone lost connectivity... while the 3G phones right next to it just hummed right along.
This led me to do some further investigating, and others report similar experiences, such as PhoneDog, who claims he has spotty performance with 4G in Philly. He's convinced 4G isn't ready for prime, and I have to agree. While these personal experiences don't qualify as scientific, I have no faith in 4G.
Most would-be buyers probably want to know why I returned the X2. The large 4.3 inch screen size was both a blessing and a curse: It was a great phone when I was using it, but when I wasn't it was too intrusive to carry around. I thought that after I used it a few days that I would get used to its large size, but the opposite occurred - every day it made me fussier. Many users, particularly women with their large purses, may not have this problem but it was a deal breaker for me. And besides, the X2's battery life isn't very good compared to the Incredible II.
Here are the pros and cons as I see them:
- Size. I slip it into my front pants pocket and don't even notice it.
- The casing is made of hard rubber. Awesome, why aren't all phones made this way?
- Speed. It's fast, with no noticeable delay.
- Ease of use.
- Front facing camera (matters to some, makes no difference to me).
- Battery life is excellent; two days using Battery XL app (free).
- Verizon is the best carrier at this time.
- All the apps I've tried work.
- 3G (Better than 4G IMO at this time.)
- Droid syncs flawlessly with Gmail, especially contacts. (Windows Mobile Device Sync is a disaster of epic proportions, by the way. Stay away unless you don't value your contact list.)
- Sometime the texting is buggy, yielding a white screen. But clicking home and trying again it works fine.
- The speaker phone is dismal... the audio far too low to be audible in all but the quietest of rooms.
- No HDMI output. No biggy if you don't plan on connecting it to your TV.
- The GUI is HTC Sense, which some users will love but others may not.
- Loaded with many apps that most users won't use but can't be uninstalled.
I should also mention that some users have reported bad or tingy sound quality for both parties on a call, I haven't experienced that. Some people also complain of poor reception, and while this phone's reception is not as good as the X2 (the best reception of any phone available right now), it is as good as the Q which is plenty good enough for me.
I considered the iPhone 4 (or 5 which is due out in 2 months), but ultimately decided that the Droid is better for me. The iPhone is an excellent choice but Apple's heavy-handedness regarding their apps and Steve's Job's "you're holding it wrong" comment in response to antenna issues turned me off. Besides, the screen size is too small for me. And yet many people love the iPhone so good for them! Mostly it's all just personal preference anyway, as there seems to be many good phone choices out there right now. How cool is that if you're buying right now?
Overall, the Incredible II is an excellent phone and coming from me that's quite an endorsement.
After having this phone for a month, I've discovered some unpleasant idiosyncrasies. One is the phone locking up for 30-45 seconds after a call ends, and another is that texts cannot be attached simple photos, but instead will send a single photo as a slide show with 1-9 seconds viewing times--very annoying.
Fortunately there's a fix for all of this (and the white screen texting bug), which is to root the phone (voids warranty) and install Cyanogenmod 7.1. This isn't for the faint of heart, however, but it does solve these problems and works a great deal better that the stock OS (Froyo aka Android 2.2 and HTC Sense), upgrades it to Gingerbread (Android 2.3.4). It's faster and the GUI is far superior. The only complaint I have so far is the return key is missing from the text messaging, but that is also cured with the Handcent addon, which is something every Droid user should have anyway.
The stock phone is more like 3.5 stars but still one of the best choices out there, but with Cyanogenmod it's more like 4.5 stars. A real step up. I mean this things sings!
The boxed phone as of this writing has Froyo, but Verizon now has a Gingerbread update. If you plan on using Cyanogenmod, the root tools won't work if you make the upgrade to Gingerbread. So make sure and tell Verizon not to upgrade your phone if you intend on using Cyanogenmod.
on May 9, 2011
When I first decided to buy this phone, I was worried about battery life. I am not a heavy user, but I usually check my email,Twitter and update Facebook once or twice an hour and listen to Pandora for one hour a day. With this level of usage and occasional use of camera, I actually got more than one **FULL** day of battery every single time. This weekend I was at home and I charged the phone on Friday morning and by Sunday morning it is still showing 30%!. Having said all this, the phone itself is excellent and more than enough for a light-moderate user like me. Both front and main camera are pretty good and I have yet to test the video... Call quality is good but it depends on the network availability. 3G speeds are good enough(Chicago) to browse,upload pics and listen to Pandora without interruption. Overall for $99.99(now its 79.99) on Amazon, its a steal. Dont worry about 4G yet. By the time you are done with the contract or be eligible for an upgrade(around early 2013) that technology would have matured enough for the 4G capable phones and networks to be ubiquitous. Till then, I think this phone will be more than enough for an average user like me!
on June 8, 2011
Two days ago, I dropped my original Incredible and shattered the screen. Yesterday I received an Incredible 2 from the insurance company as a replacement. Awesome turnaround and it's nice to get an upgrade without having to renew your contract. But about the phone....
The phone is very nice. It is a definite upgrade from my original Incredible. The problem is, when the original Incredible came out, it was actually incredible, while this is phone is merely good. On it's own, this phone will function just fine, but when compared to other Verizon Android devices that have come out recently and especially T-Mobile and Sprint's Android collection.
What I like:
-The size and design. The Thunderbolt, Charge, and X2 don't fit comfortably in my hand. If I'm waiting in line reading from the kindle app, this phone is still comfortable. When I helped my dad set up his Inspire 4g it wasn't comfortable holding or trying to use one handed. The design of the phone looks solid. I want my phone to look clean, and this phone certainly fits that. No ugly buttons like on the X2 or Charge.
-The screen. I live in the south and during the summer I spend a lot of time with a beer in one hand out by the pool. My original Incredible was hopeless under the sunlight. It might as well have been a black brick. Now I can actually see my dialer to call out or read my Google Voice messages without having to build a makeshift tent out of beach towels and umbrellas to block the sunlight. This is a huge HUGE plus for me.
-The battery life. I can't believe I left this out originally. I use my phone. A lot. I listen to Sirius on it on my commute. I read books on my lunch break. I constantly update Twitter and follow friends on Facebook. For the first couple of days this phone has kept up with me much better than the original Incredible and much much better than my Palm Pre plus prior to that. It seems on par with the iPhone 3G I had before I switched to Verizon. It is definitely much better than my co-workers Thunderbolt and my bosses Inspire 4G. Full disclosure, during the day I keep the brightness at it's lowest setting (still very bright on this phone), disable Bluetooth, and disable the GPS. I keep wireless on, although there isn't an open wireless signal within range of my work area.
-The camera. One day of taking pictures of my kids and uploading them to Facebook has me impressed. The original Incredible had a good camera, too, but this one seems to take sharper images.
-It doesn't have Bing. Which sadly, on Verizon, is saying something.
What I don't like:
-Future proof? This phone isn't even now proof- It has the same processor as the original Incredible? That can't be right? I mean, that is an Apple move, no? No 4G option? While not a deal breaker as 4G in Arkansas is a ways away (plenty of places still don't have high speed land lines) if you're going to release a phone in 2011 and call it incredible, it should have 4G. No dual core processors? That would have been a deal breaker for me if I were buying a new phone. The lack of the upgrades on this phone make it feel like a lazy cash in move by HTC and Verizon. I had loaded CyanagenMod on my Incredible and had 2.3 running. My NEW phone released last month ships with 2.2? Come on. I could go on.
-Verizon bloatware. Why on earth would anyone pay the VZW navigation when you can get it for free on the phone? With Amazon mp3, why do we need VZW's music options? My daughter loves the Talking Tom app, so I purchased it. VZW installed the free version. I can't effing uninstall the free one? What the hell, V?
-HTC Sense UI. Nothing is wrong with Sense UI other than this version is already outdated, but if I don't want it, I shouldn't be stuck with it. Let it be an app available for purchse, or even better, for free. As soon as developers get a stable mod for this phone, I will load it and run as close to stock Android as I can. I don't understand the need for a giant clock located under the clock on the info bar. I don't understand the need for a slide to unlock prompt after you slide to unlock. If Twitter has an app, why have a built in app for Twitter that I can't uninstall. Same for Facebook. Android should be free and open to the users, but VZW and HTC (and other) do a good job locking the stuff down.
Final thoughts. This is a fine phone. I guess I'm just disappointed that instead of being the flagship model that the original Incredible was, the Incredible 2 seems more like a Droid starter phone. That being said, the screen really is the best I've seen from a non RIM smartphone in the sunlight. If you spend a lot of time outdoors and are on VZW, this may be the selling point for you. If not, VZW has better phones, and if you are in an area with other options, the Android grass is much greener on the T-Mobile and Sprint side.
on October 21, 2012
I was very happy with it when I recieved it everything worked great! This seller also did a great job packaging due to me being in Afghanistan my product got to me safe and sound.
on June 1, 2013
I really like it so far, fast, not too big nice display. Runs smoother than my droid 3. Running on Page Plus.
Signal reception is maybe one bar lower than the droid 3 but i can live with that as long as I don't get the lag.
Hopefully it will get ICS soon. Very nice phone