One phone. One name. 22 capital letters. Verizon Wireless announced launch details for its first One-series HTC phone on Monday morning, and the upcoming HTC DROID INCREDIBLE 4G LTE arrived at our offices shortly thereafter. Verizon’s version of the HTC One S — which just so happens to be my favorite Android smartphone at the moment — features a number of key changes compared to the original model. For one thing, it includes 4G LTE connectivity for use on Verizon Wireless’s lightning-fast 4G network. For another, it’s pretty ugly.
The DROID INCREDIBLE 4G LTE trades the One S’s remarkably slim unibody aluminum body for a stubby case that feels very thick in the hand despite measuring 11.7 millimeters around the waist. The added thickness (HTC’s One S is just 7.8 millimeters thick) completely changes the look and feel of the phone, but it was likely a necessity in order to accommodate the 4G LTE radio.
This latest addition to Verizon’s DROID INCREDIBLE lineup also won’t be winning any beauty pageants any time soon. It’s not the ugliest smartphone I’ve seen in recent history, but the asymmetrical design on the back of the device is a bit jarring at first, as was the case with other Incredible phones. Most of the rear case is made of soft-touch rubbery material that feels great in the hand, but one single corner carries the glossy hard plastic from the phone’s bezel to the back of the phone. It’s unique, but very odd.
Moving past superficial matters of taste, the new INCREDIBLE fits right in among the high end of mid-range Android smartphones of late. The phone features a 4-inch Super LCD display in place of the One S’s Super AMOLED panel, but the resolution sits at the same 540 x 960 pixels. Since the DROID INCREDIBLE 4G LTE display measures 4 inches diagonally, however, the screen comes in at 275 pixels per inch compared to 256 ppi on the One S. The result is a display that is slightly sharper than T-Mobile’s version of the phone, but the colors aren’t quite as vibrant.
The 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon chipset is a bit slower than the 1.5GHz model used in the One S, but any difference in terms of performance is not distinguishable. The DROID INCREDIBLE 4G LTE uses the same fantastic 8-megapixel camera and ImageSense software as the One S and One X, and it also runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich as well as the latest version of the HTC Sense 4 UI and service layer. Also of note, this phone features Beats audio tuning but does not ship with any headphones, Beats-branded or otherwise.
I’ll have plenty more to discuss in my upcoming DROID INCREDIBLE 4G LTE review but in the meantime, be sure to check out the photo gallery linked above. Verizon’s latest HTC smartphone launches on July 5th for $149.99 on contract after a $50 mail-in rebate.