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HTC Incredible S Review
Dated 24/09/2012 07:36:26
Review of HTC Incredible S

Pros and Cons

The Positive….

  • Fluid User Interface
  • Good 8MP camera
  • Large screen
  • Responsive and intuitive capacitive buttons

The Negative….

  • Display poor in direct sunlight
  • Poor battery life
  • Older version of Android OS
  • Poor radio reception
  • Some video file formats not supported


HTC Incredible S Review


The HTC Incredible launched in the US never made it to the shores of the UK but unlike its successor the Incredible S has landed here, but can it live up to its name? 


The Incredible S design feels very contemporary.  It has a more sporty than chic appearance.  The outer black matte casing is made of plastic with the look and feel of rubber.  The back cover hugs the shape of the internal hardware making this handset feel more bulky to hold.  The Incredible S measures 120 x 64 x 11.7mm and weighs 135.5g.

Physical buttons on the Incredible S are limited to the power key along the top edge and the volume rocker switch on the left hand side.  Apart from that there is a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top and a microUSB port on the left spine. Rather disappointingly there is no dedicated camera key. 

On the front beneath the screen are the four capacitive buttons you would expect to find on an HTC handset – Menu, Home, Search and Back.  A nifty design trick is that these illuminated cut-outs actually rotate as you move the device from portrait to landscape position. The keys themselves are very responsive and give a buzz to acknowledge when they are activated.

The large 4 inch S-LCD touchscreen has a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels and a pixel density of 233ppi. Unfortunately the screen is barely visible in direct sunlight, even if you crank up the brightness to its maximum setting. 


Running the rather dated Android’s 2.2 Froyo operating system the Incredible S has the familiar HTC Sense User Interface skin.  This combination enhances the Android experience by adding more widgets and Homescreens and gives a smooth and fluid user experience. The 1GHz single-core processor with768MB RAM ensures there is no
slowdown and you will find you can scroll through pages quickly, drag down the notifications bar whilst using another application and still not experience any lag. There is a fast-boot function on the Incredible S, as seen on the HTC Desire S, and when you turn your phone back on the screen is up and running in less than 8 seconds.

The internal storage of 1GB can be expanded by up to 32GB via the microSD card, the slot for which you can access by removing the cover at the back.

As a media device the HTC Incredible S has a fairly average music player and an FM radio.  The radio reception is poor and as is so often the case can only be listened to when headphones are plugged in.  Watching video on the Incredible S the images are sharp and the processing is fast but DivX files are not supported and AVI files sometimes failed to work as well.


The rear-mounted 8 megapixel camera has a super powerful dual LED flash.  The autofocus function slows the
camera reaction time.  If you disable that feature you can capture images at a rate of approximately one every two seconds.  However realistically it will take a couple of extra seconds each time to check the focus.  The HTC Incredible S does have the tap to focus enabling you to select a particular focal point of the composition.  The camera does this very well and in general the quality of still shots is good.  Close up works well and the digital zoom did not pose any problem. The 720p, 30fps video recording capability of the HTC Incredible S is acceptable but not outstanding.   

Battery Life

The 1450mAh battery is not one of the strengths of the HTC Incredible S.  Despite HTC improving the efficiency of the Incredible S the large 4 inch screen sucks up to 50% of battery power and if you need to increase the brightness to see it in sunlight it is even more draining.  Another strain on the battery is background syncing. If you use the Incredible S for anything other than calls and messages you may need recharge the battery before the day is up.

Incredible S Price

You can purchase an HTC Incredible S for around £449 with a Pay As You Go deal.  Alternatively you can receive a free handset if you take out a 24 month contract with fees starting at around £26 per month depending on the terms and supplier of the contract. 


Priced as a high-end smartphone the Incredible S does have some worthy features, but its poor battery duration, out-dated operating system and single-core processor don’t match up to other top-end models.

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