About a week ago, Verizon Wireless unveiled the Droid Incredible 2 by HTC, a follow-up to the original Droid Incredible we reviewed last year. Although the hardware and software have not changed much since last year, it brings plenty of additional polish to attract buyers who might have swayed away to avoid being an early adopter. The friendlier look, some extra RAM for faster multitasking, a front-facing camera for video chat, and more powerful battery are just a few improvements. Unfortunately, the brand new Droid Incredible 2 comes with many drawbacks worth addressing.
For starters, the rubberized plastic black matte finish offers a great grip and wards off most fingerprints. The curved sides make the Droid Incredible 2 easier to hold than its predecessor. It is definitely more compact than the somewhat over sized HTC Thunderbolt. Although the latest Summer 2011 smart phones will pack dual-core processors, this phone still runs on a year old 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. I was also disappointed to find that there is only 1 GB of on-board storage while the original Droid Incredible had 8 GB. Even though HTC makes microSD expansion possible on both devices, the Droid Incredible 2 can only reach a maximum combined total of 33 GB while its predecessor could hold up to 40 GB. For those looking to jump onto Verizon Wireless 4G LTE, this phone sadly is not compatible. Setting those complains aside, I should note that I was glad to see HTC do away with the optical trackpad which contradicts the purpose of a touch screen phone.
The limited hardware is not the only issue, problems extend even further. This phone still runs on the nearly year old Android 2.2 (Froyo) operating system when Google already pushed out Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) a few months ago. I am confident that HTC will roll out an update in a matter of time, but there is no telling how long it will take. Aside from a newer version of HTC Sense, the Droid Incredible 2 still runs on the same operating system as its predecessor. I also found that the pre-installed Skype application still lacks video calling support meaning having to turn to 3rd party solutions to take advantage of the front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera. Verizon Wireless also pre-loads 19 nonremovable applications on this phone. While I do not mind a few such as the 3G mobile hotspot app or Amazon Kindle, it is still starting to get ridiculous.
We will have a full Droid Incredible 2 review published within a week, but this smart phone does not look to promising. Although it looks a lot more attractive than the original with a minimalistic design, it also loses a few features. This device might be a decent mid-range device, but buyers might as well opt for a better handset since the monthly fees are not any different.