The first of HTC’s many devices unveiled at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) two weeks ago are starting to reach Singapore. The HTC Incredible S, a more powerful descendent of the original Incredible, will be going for S$758 (without a carrier contract), and will line up our shelves starting this weekend (March 5-6, 2011).
To be honest, we’re not sure how to position the Incredible S, especially looking at all the powerhouses that will come later this year. Unless you’re a big fan of HTC Sense, it’s hard to find a feature unique enough to convince us to choose this over, say, the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S II or LG Optimus 3D.
The Incredible S does not ship with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which would only be available via an update at a yet unspecified time frame. (NOTE: We had been told initially by HTC that the phone would come with Android 2.3. It has since said that this would be available only via an update in Q2, 2011.)
Beneath the 4-inch (800 x 480) screen are the usual suspects: a 1GHz processor, 768MB of RAM, GPS, and WiFi b/g/n. A microSD card slot lets you bolster the 1.1GB of built-in storage, and an 8-megapixel camera with dual LED flash takes 720p videos.
If we saw these specs six months ago, we would have been impressed. But with other vendors frantically trying the differentiate their Android-based products – Sony, for example, is bringing the PlayStation brand to its phones, while LG is trying to push 3D as a unique feature – the Incredible S may just seem bland.
Nonetheless, it’s a solid phone with a decent price. The hardware is beautifully designed, and there are nice features that make this phone good for media consumption.
For instance, the Super LCD screen should make viewing videos and Web content a joy. If you plug in your headset, virtual surround sound via SRS WOW HD kicks up, guaranteeing a great cinematic experience for a mobile phone. In addition, built-in DLNA lets you stream photos and movies straight to the TV, doing away with those pesky cables.
It’s a phone we can recommend, but only if you’re not one of those early adopters who like to be on the bleeding edge of technology. Moreover, HTC has always delivered its promise on future software updates, so the Incredible S looks to be future-proof to a certain extent.
For now, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for HTC to quickly bring the OnLive’s cloud gaming service to its mobile phones.