In the last month, two high-end Android OS smartphones have come on the market: Verizon Wireless is offering the HTC Droid Incredible, while Sprint's new flagship model is the HTC EVO 4G. Both of these are great devices that are similar in many ways, but which one is better?
Of course, this is a moot question unless you are willing to change the carrier you get wireless service from. If you're a committed Verizon customer you can't get the EVO 4G, and Sprint customers can't get an Incredible. But these two models are good enough to make switching carriers worth serious consideration.
One of the most important differences between these two is screen size. The EVO 4G has a 4.3-inch display, significantly larger than the 3.7-inch display on the Incredible.
This makes the Sprint model a better option for watching movies, surfing the Web, playing games, and virtually everything else besides making phone calls and listening to music.
But there's a down side to the extra screen real estate: the EVO 4G is noticeably bigger and heavier than its rival:
- HTC EVO 4G: 4.8 x 2.6 x 0.5 inches, 6.0 ounces
- HTC Droid Incredible: 4.6 x 2.3 x 0.5 inches, 4.6 ounces
It's possible the difference doesn't come across in the dimensions, but with the two devices side-by-side, the Incredible is clearly smaller and lighter.
These two smartphones use different types of screens. The Incredible AMOLED display gives it better colors, but it also makes it harder to see outside.
4G vs. 3G
The HTC EVO 4G is the first smartphone available in the United States with WiMAX. which gives it peak download speeds of up to 12 Mbps, and an average download speed of 2-4 Mbps.
The Droid Incredible has the 3G standard EV-DO Rev. A, giving it a max download speed of 3.1 Mbps, and average download speeds of half that or less.
In real-world testing, there's no doubt the EVO 4G is noticeably faster. EV-DO Rev. A is quick but WiMAX opens most web pages virtually instantaneously.
There is an important caveat, though: Sprint's WiMAX network is only available in limited areas. Some major cities have it, but not all by any means. Still, the carrier is promising that 120 million people will have access to its 4G network by year's end.
In places that don't have WiMAX, the EVO 4G depends on EV-DO Rev. A, just like its rival.
Sprint's smartphone has one more trick up its sleeve: it allows users to share its 4G or 3G connection to the Internet with up to eight other computers over Wi-Fi. Verizon's model doesn't.
his means that you could use the EVO 4G as the only wireless modem you need for your desktop or laptop.
You have to pay $20 extra a month for this feature, but it's worth it if it saves you from needing a cable modem or DSL connection for your home.
Aside from these difference, the HTC Droid Incredible and the HTC EVO 4G are practically identical.
Both run Google Android OS 2.1 on a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, use the HTC Sense user interface overlay, sport 8 megapixel cameras with a flash, and come with 8 GB of storage, Wi-Fi, GPS, and an array of other features. They even cost the same: $200 with a two-year service contract.
And there's one more thing they have in common: they are hard to get. Demand is so high that both Sprint and Verizon have their respective products on backorder.
When considering which of these smartphones is better, the answer varies from person to person.
The EVO 4G has a better screen and WiMAX, while the Incredible is easier to carry around. And the EVO 4G's WiMAX function is pointless if you don't live in a place where Sprint is offering WiMAX. Still, the EVO 4G's connection-sharing feature could save you a lot of money.