HTC Incredible vs. HTC HD2

We break down HTC’s latest newsmaker, the Droid Incredible, against the tried-and-true HD2, stat by stat.

Comparing the HTC Incredible and HTC HD2 is a bit like comparing brothers. In many ways, they’re practically the same phone. They share the same mother, the same processor, and the same slab-like touch form-factor. In other ways, like the operating systems, they couldn’t be more different.

We won’t sit here and try to compare the intangible or subjective aspects of both phones, like build quality, style and value on their respective networks, but when you get down to the meat and bones of both phones, you’ll find some clear winners and losers. Here’s how the HTC Incredible and HTC HD2 break down.


Winner: HTC HD2

Bigger is better. Although both phones sport WVGA screens with 800-by-480-pixel resolution, the HD2 offers 4.3 inches of screen where the Incredible musters only 3.7. Practical for carrying? Debatably not, but that’s not what we’re discussing here. For viewing photos, watching movies, and generally carrying out everyday tasks on a phone, the HD2’s huge, cinematic screen wins, hands down. Though OLED technology may make the Incredible look more vibrant, we suspect few users would trade a little extra color for a wide swath of screen real estate when offered either phone to watch Transformers 2 on a plane ride.


Winner: Tie

With the same 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor beating inside each phone, it’s hard to draw a line between the nearly identical HTC Incredible and HTC HD2. We could point out that the Incredible offers 512MB of RAM where the HD2 offers 448MB, but that’s counting grains of sand in a comparison between two beaches. Differences in operating systems aside, both phones should perform very closely: Blazing fast.


Winner: HTC HD2

The default Windows Mobile 6.5 keyboard has never made fingers happy, but that’s not what you’ll find on the HD2. HTC’s Sense user interface includes a reworked keyboard that most reviewers actually found superbly comfortable when you spread it across a luxurious 4.3 inches of screen – a difference that becomes especially pronounced in portrait mode. The Sense keyboard happens to be the same one splayed across the Incredible, meaning you’re looking at the same keyboard in two different sizes. While close in functionality, we have to hand the title to the HD2 for those extra fractions of an inch.


Winner: HTC Incredible

Both cameras offer autofocus, dual-LED flash, and plenty of adjustments, but the HD2 uses a 5-megapixel sensor while the Incredible offers a full 8 megapixels. As we’ve always pointed out, resolution alone doesn’t determine image quality, but given the otherwise even features, it’s a leg up here. Perhaps a bigger advantage: The Incredible shoots high-quality video at 800 x 480 resolution, while the HD2 only shoots VGA (640 x 480) clips.


Winner: HTC Incredible

No contest: Android crushes Windows Mobile 6.5. Even with HTC’s valiant effort to reskin the decrepit operating system with its Sense user interface, Windows Mobile is clumsier, has fewer apps, and lacks the fluid, touch-savvy interface of Android.

Battery Life

Winner: HTC HD2

As we noted in our review, the relatively poor battery life of the HTC Incredible took us off guard. With only 312 minutes of talk time and 149 hours of standby, it lags behind even competitors like the notoriously quick-to-drain iPhone 3GS. By contrast, the HD2 boasts 380 minutes of talk time (on the GSM version) and a whopping 490 hours of standby.


Winner: HTC Incredible

That massive 4.3-inch screen may help the HD2 conquer the movies, photos and Web surfing, but it also pays a price for it on the scales. Weighing 5.54 ounces to the Incredible’s 4.59 ounces, it’s not only heavier, but taller and wider than its little brother. Depth of only 0.43 inches makes the HD2 a few playing cards thinner than the 0.47-inch thick Incredible, but we can hardly call that a saving grace beside all its other dimensions.


Winner: HTC Incredible

Both phones sport microSD expansion slots that will carry cards up to 32GB, but the Incredible comes with an additional 8GB of internal storage, eliminating the need for a card right off the bat, and boosting total combined storage to 40GB, should you decide to plunk down $200 for one of SanDisk’s new 32GB microSD cards.

Overall Winner: HTC Incredible

On a category-by-category basis, you could call this a tie, but as with most simplifications, that doesn’t come close to telling the whole story. The supremacy of Google Android alone would make us reconsider the Incredible over the HD2, but better portability, storage and a superior camera are just icing on the cake. The enormous screen on the HD2 is certain enough to give pause to those who will use their phones as portable TVs or Web surfing platforms, but not quite enough to justify switching to a massively inferior operating system. The HTC Incredible takes the cake.

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Posted in Technology.

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