Some might view the HTC Incredible S and its 4-inch S-LCD display as a marriage between the earlier HTC Desire and HTC Desire HD. The Incredible S does try to differentiate, with slightly different contours on its body instead of the usual flat designs found on similar candy bar form factors. Unfortunately, there’s still no sure way to avoid fingerprint smudges on its glossy screen. Physical buttons are mostly absent, with the four usual shortcuts for back, home, menu and search represented by touch sensitive buttons, lit by small LEDs beneath.
Preloaded with Google Android 2.2, the Incredible S is enhanced with features such as HTC Sense and the HTCSense.com cloud service, both of which were also showcased on the Desire HD and Desire Z. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 1GHz processor and 768MB of RAM, the incredible S isn’t lacking in performance, performing mostly on par with earlier Android devices.
The Incredible S also focuses heavily on multimedia. The proof is in its SRS WOW HD audio enhancement, which is a boon to both its audio and video playback. Of course, audio quality is still very much subjective, given that some might prefer strong bass, while others might not.
Unfortunately, the Incredible S has two distinct weaknesses, the first of which is lackluster imaging performance. On paper, it is armed with a 8-megapixel camera sensor, capable of 720p video recording and complemented by a dual-LED flash. In reality however, imaging performance for the Incredible S was merely average. While the Incredible S excels in speed and usability, compared with other devices in the same class, the Incredible S doesn’t do as well, with less than four hours as tested in our battery benchmark.
Bottom line, should you get the HTC Incredible S? If you’re a fan of the HTC Sense experience, and find yourself in need of a smartphone soon, the Incredible S is relatively future-proof with an Android 2.3 Gingerbread update due in the second quarter of 2011. The average user will find this Android smartphone adequate, considering its overall performance, as well as a price tag of S758. if you’re looking for something with more raw power though, we recommend holding out for either the Samsung Galaxy SII, or the LG Optimus 2X.