July 5, 2010 | by Chris Smith
This week we are going to take a look at HTC’s two latest superphones, the HTC EVO 4G and the HTC DROID Incredible. These two phones are very similar; both with Android 2.1 with Sense UI, 1Ghz Snapdragon processor, 8MP Camera, and vibrant touchscreens. But there are some differences that may sway potential buyers to one or the other. Today we will look at the build of the phones and gives some first impressions.
At first glance you will of course notice how much larger the EVO is compared to the Incredible. Although this means more screen space for the EVO, the EVO does not gain any jumps in resolution as both are 800×480 (we will give you a full screen comparison later this week). What you will notice is that the Incredible and the EVO are about the same height, but the EVO is substantially thicker. They both have the same type of buttons on the front but the EVO is lacking the optical button. This is something that I have found to be very useful when editing long emails or selecting text. I personally feel that HTC ditched the optical button to save on a little space, but I feel that this is something that is sadly missing from the EVO.
Some more of the apparent differences are the location of the Micro USB charging ports with the EVO’s on the bottom next to the HDMI port (which the Incredible lacks) and the Incredible’s on the left, lower side. The volume rockers are on opposite sides as well as the lock button on top of the phone. I can’t understand the reasoning behind this. I feel that HTC needs to sit down and start creating some standards for their devices.
On the backside both have large 8MP cameras with dual LED flash that for some reason rest on whatever surface you are laying them on. This always results in the thought that I am scratching the lens cover but HTC made a small design decision of making the outer bevel of the lens just a little longer than the lens cover. This makes the outside bevel rest on the surface, rather than the lens cover. You will also notice how much heavier and daunting the EVO is in your hands compared the Incredible. It’s not bad, the EVO isn’t exactly a brick, but if you have small, dainty hands I suggest playing with the EVO for a while before choosing it.
Of course I would be considered an EVO hater if I didn’t mention the quirky kickstand on the back of the phone. It’s made of metal and is spring loaded. I don’t watch too many movies or videos on my phone, but I do use it as a desk clock. Forget about buying an extra dock; just use the kickstand.
The outside edges of both devices are covered in shiny plastic that really does feel quite cheap. If you put either the HTC Incredible or the EVO up next to a Moto Droid you will notice quite the difference in build quality; the HTC’s just feel like toys, especially the Incredible as the EVO feels heavier and more stable. I don’t quite understand what HTC is doing here with chincy plastic side binding, especially when another fruity company is shipping phones that are made of solid glass and metal. In my opinion this is a rather large mistake and HTC needs to step up the quality for their upcoming phones.
The Incredible also has some sort of creakiness in the battery door on the sides that some of suggested fixing with electrical tape. My take on this is that HTC should have fixed it before they starting selling the Incredible. The battery door on the Incredible does seem weak and after a year or two swapping out batteries I have a feeling that it will break. The battery door on the EVO is much more sound as it doesn’t wrap around the phone edges as the Incredible’s does. I feel that this would have been the better solution for the Incredible.
In my honest opinion and limited time with both phones together I would have to say that the EVO 4G has a slightly better build. Now, if you are deathly afraid of larger phones, then the EVO is not for you. But if you need a quality build and you think “bigger is better” than the EVO stands out against the Incredible. Mind you I own an Incredible so it pains me to say it, but build wise the EVO is definitely the phone that wins.