HTC Droid Incredible
The Incredible lives up to its boastful name
The Incredible is yet another slab phone, but it has some interesting touches; for instance, the inside of the phone is painted red. The Incredible's body is primarily contoured, soft-touch plastic, with a large 3.7-inch, 800-by-480 OLED touch screen on the front. At 4.63 by 2.3 by.47 inches (HWD) and 4.6 ounces, it's about as big as its major competitors, such as the iPhone 3GS. Below the screen, there's an optical mouse taking the place of a track ball. The 8-megapixel camera is on the back; somewhat disappointingly, there's no dedicated camera button, although it does have power and volume buttons on the top and side of the phone. Snap off the cover to replace the microSD memory card without replacing the battery.
The Incredible is a very good multimedia phone, though maybe not quite as good as it's billed to be. Like with all Android phones, you have to choose one of several poorly-explained options to sync music and video over to the phone; I prefer to use the free program DoubleTwist (Free), which worked perfectly and even synced iTunes playlists. You can load files into the 8GB of internal memory or on a microSD card (not included)—my 16GB card worked fine.
Motorola Droid X (Verizon Wireless)
The second coming of Android
The Droid X is big iron. In terms of surface area, it's the largest phone available in the US today. At 5 by 2.6 by .4 inches, it's 0.2 inches longer than the HTC EVO 4G, which is already pretty large. The Droid X's size is only played up by the camera hump on the back. The HTC Droid Incredible looks like a child next to the X. Small hands will not hold this phone comfortably. But it's relatively thin and light, considering its size.
The 4.3-inch, 854 by 480 screen is beautiful to look at, and it's slightly higher resolution than the 800 by 480 panels on other Android super-phones. It's not quite an iPhone 4 "retina screen," but it's as high resolution as anyone will need. Below the vast screen are four hardware buttons.
The Droid X is an excellent phone for watching video, as long as you're watching it on the phone. It supports an unusually deep range of codecs—I played 480p-format files in simple MP4, H.264, WMV, and even DIVX and XVID format.
Apple iPhone 4
The best multimedia Smartphones
With a revamped design, a sparkling new display, a speedy processor, and additional features, the iPhone 4 is the biggest upgrade to Apple's Smartphones since the iPhone 3G. It's also the showcase handset for Apple's newest operating system, iOS 4, which adds a selection of long-overdue features, plus a selection of smaller tweaks that we weren't expecting. There's an Apple A4 processor, a 5-megapixel camera with HD video capture, FaceTime video calling, and of course the "retina display"—at 960-by-640, the highest-resolution display available on any smartphone today.
The display is so high-res that Apple says your eyes are physically unable to see the pixels. It uses IPS (in-plane switching), an LCD technology we haven't seen on any other phone, to offer very good contrast and true colors. Existing apps will automatically be updated by the OS to show high-res fonts and smooth graphics on the new screen, so all older iPhone apps will still work.
HTC EVO 4G (Sprint)
The first WiMAX phone in the U.S.
The EVO is a big black slab, superficially similar to the HTC HD2 for T-Mobile. Like the HD2, the EVO has a 4.3-inch, 800-by-480 LCD screen. The screen is terribly reflective; it's barely usable outdoors. Indoors, though, it's gorgeous—even better than the 3.7-inch OLED on the HTC Droid Incredible and Google Nexus One. Making the screen slightly bigger makes text more readable and icons more clickable without any visible jagginess.
Streaming media seems to be 4G's calling, for now, and the EVO offers a wide variety of options. Rhapsody, Pandora, and Slacker all streamed music loud and clear, though I wish 4G improved their sound quality. You don't have Hulu, but Sprint TV nowadays is almost as good, with content from Disney, FOX, USA, ABC, CBS, NBC, Bravo, ESPN, SyFy, and others, including full episodes of top hits like "Lost," "CSI" and "NCIS." A separate CBS application called TV.com streams more CBS shows. Sprint TV didn't always play in full screen, but shows looked smooth and clear. TV.com shows, on the other hand, looked low-res—they appeared to be upscaled from 320-by-240 videos.
HTC HD2 (T-Mobile)
The most impressive T-Mobile smartphone tested to date
This is one striking phone. The extra-slim HD2 measures 4.74 by 2.64 by 0.43 inches and weighs 5.54 ounces, making it a bit longer, wider, and thinner than the iPhone 3GS. The HD2 features soft-touch sides, a brushed aluminum back panel, and a 4.3-inch glass capacitive touch screen with 480-by-800-pixel resolution. Dialing numbers was simple. In portrait mode, the on-screen QWERTY keyboard felt just about wide enough for comfortable typing. That's good, since it doesn't always appear in landscape mode (depending on the app).
HTC didn't skimp on the multimedia features, though many will cost extra. The HD2 comes preloaded with Blockbuster on Demand, which downloads full-length video rentals that you pay for individually. It also comes with MobiTV for streamed live television at $9.99 per month, Gogo Inflight Internet with six months of free access, and Barnes & Nobles' eReader application that works with over a million e-books. TeleNav GPS Navigation is on board for voice-enabled, turn-by-turn directions at $9.99 per month.
The above Smartphones review are mainly from pcmag.com.
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