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Hands on with the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE at CTIA

Consumer Reports News: May 09, 2012 12:38 PM

The HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE is one of the higher-profile phones launched at CTIA. But I was underwhelmed by this new Verizon offering during a brief hands-on opportunity here at CTIA.

On the positive side, I do appreciate that this phone has the ability to run on Verizon's ultra-fast data network, and the 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor seemed to help the phone to be fairly responsive. But to my eyes, the 4-inch super LCD qHD display seemed a little less bright and sharp than some other screens I've seen recently. (Perhaps my perspective was tinged by the fact that I had viewed and used the gorgeous Super Amoled display of the Samsung Galaxy S III I just an hour earlier.)

Another relative letdown was the phone's 8-megapixel rear-facing camera. When the Droid Incredible 4G LTE was announced, I had assumed its camera would boast the impressive new capabilities of those of some other HTC phones recently launched on Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Among other tricks, those phones can take bursts of up to 20 photos at a time, and shoot HD video at 60 frames per second (twice the frame rate of all other smart phone cameras) and capture photos at the same time.

Yet the camera on the Incredible 4G LTE doesn't offer those features. While it appears to be competent enough, it's a no-frills HD camera.

To its credit, the phone is small enough to fit comfortably in my hand, and it comes preloaded with Ice Cream Sandwich, the newest Android operating system.

Verizon hasn't yet announced a price for this phone or committed to the actual launch date, other than saying it will be available "in the coming weeks." I'll find it incredible if this phone costs more than $100 with a two-year contract when it finally does come out.

I'll also be especially curious as to how the phone's display, camera, and other performance attributes stack up against its competitors when this Droid arrives in our lab and is subjected to rigorous and controlled testing by our engineers.

Mike Gikas

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