HTC Incredible S review

HTC's first UK four inch screen on a novel chassis shape

TODO alt text

HTC incredible s review

HTC Incredible S review: Verdict

Now comes the tricky bit when it comes to reviewing a phone - trying to sum it all up in a few words at the end. It's especially tricky with phones like the HTC Incredible S (pretentious name aside) as the sheer range of gadgetry on offer make us coo like we're in the presence of a five star handset, which is why we rated the HTC Desire so highly.

But while back then we were prepared to forego a few little niggles, lower battery life and poor screen performance in direct sunlight, things have moved on and a year later it's irritating to see that those things that irritated us then still haven't died.

We liked

Don't get us wrong though - the HTC Incredible is a market-leading smartphone, and a phone that's going to delight many users. We're impressed with the snaps we managed to bag with the 8MP camera for instance, and the slick interface that pervades across all the applications shows that HTC really has done its homework when trying to find out what users want.

The Sense UI is as good as ever on the Incredible S, and the likes of the HTC Hub and the inbuilt e-book reader are real bonuses in our eyes. The chassis is also sleek and feels very nice in the hand, if a little cheap feeling thanks to the lightness.

The sheer speed at which the internet works, the phone opens up applications and general day to day use impressed us - the Incredible S is one nippy phone and one that we'd be proud to call our own.

We disliked

But like the middle child, we don't love it as much as our other phones, namely because it doesn't really move things far enough forward in terms of functionality and use.

Landing on Android 2.2 is an irritation, given we've had the Google Nexus S to play with for a while now, and the battery life issue, while not day-wrecking, is a worry - if the battery power retention starts to slide over time, we're really worried for the future of the phone.

The screen's invisibility in direct sunlight is something that will irritate a few, and the odd vacuum packed styling of the rear also isn't going to be to everyone's cup of tea.

The HD video recording is pretty good, but the auto-focus isn't too good, as it messes up the exposure.


We know why you've come here: you want to know if we think that the HTC Incredible S is the phone you should be going for. Well, if you're thinking that the HTC Desire HD was a great handset, but the screen was a little too large and the battery life was a real worry, then you're in for a treat - this is the phone for you.

You'll enjoy the compact stylings, and if you've never used the Sense UI, you'll bloomin' love it - in our opinion it's the best version of Android out there (although we know some people will be wishing that there was an option to remove it.

However, the problems it has will really come to the fore in the next month or so, when the HTC Desire S launches, as this will be the real test: Android 2.3 in the chassis that won so many awards last year. Sure, it only has that 3.7-inch screen, and a 5MP camera, so you'll need to make up your mind whether to snap up the Incredible S or wait and compare with the sequel to an award winner.

Thanks to Carphone Warehouse for supplying our handset.


Phones and Tablets Editor

Gareth (Twitter, Google+) has been part of the mobile phone industry from the era of the brick to the tiny device in the pocket... and now watching them grow back up to behemothic proportions once more. He's spent five years dissecting all the top phones in the world as TechRadar's Phones and Tablets Editor, and still can't resist answering the dreaded question - "which new phone should I get?" - with 15 choices.