HTC Incredible S review

HTC's latest high-end Android smartphone is sleek and sturdy, but is this enough to set it apart from the competition? We take a closer look in our review to find out.

One feature that would drain the battery rapidly, but is still useful to have, is the ability to share the phone's 3G internet connection with your laptop or tablet over WiFi. It essentially turns the phone into a portable wireless router. It's a standard Android 2.2 feature, although you'll almost certainly need an appropriate tethering tariff from your mobile network.

As expected you can set the WiFi network name and password. You can allow up to eight users to connect, although that many simultaneous users could mean sluggish downloads for everyone. Unlike the same feature in iOS 4.3, which requires a password with modern WPA2 encryption, Android 2.2 lets you set a password with weaker, more easily hackable WEP or WPA encryption. Although a potential security risk if you're sending sensitive data, it could still be useful in a pinch for sharing your phone's internet connection with colleagues using laptops with older wireless network cards.

As with all its Android phones HTC has included its own Sense interface overlay which tweaks the standard Android interface. Some of the subtler modifications include the addition of a recently used apps list to the notifications drawer. The web browser now has the ability to subscribe to RSS feeds.

One of the extra features included with Sense is Car Panel, a simplified, six icon screen that integrates with satellite navigation software. Sadly, it's HTC's own, subscription-based app and can't be substituted with Google Maps or an alternative of your own choosing.

The HTC Incredible S is compatible with HTCSense.com, an online portal which offers access to a number of features including remote wipe, something which till recently was only available to Exchange users.

So what's our verdict?

Verdict

The Incredible S doesn’t lack any essential features and is a good smartphone in its own right, but there's little that sets it apart from other Android phones. In a world where new features drive the seemingly never-ending release of smartphones, it feels as though this is a stopgap release. The Incredible S is very similar to the almost identically-priced Google Nexus S. While that phone has the benefit of Android 2.3 and immediate operating system updates, the Incredible S feels more comfortable to hold. The Nexus S only just remains our preferred high-end Android smartphone, but if you have this money much to spend we'd recommend trying both of them out in person first.

Connectivity: GSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 900/1700/2100 Display: 480 x 800 pixels, 4 inches OS: Android 2.2 with HTC Sense Camera: eight megapixels rear facing, 1.3 megapixels forward facing GPS: A-GPS Processor: 1GHz Bluetooth: v2.1 Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n Storage: 1.1GB RAM: 768MB Dimensions: 120 x 64 x 11.7 mm Weight: 136g Battery: Lithium Ion 1450 mAh

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