Launched as an Android 2.2.1 smartphone, HTC says the HTC Incredible S's over-the-air upgrade to Gingerbread 2.3 will be "before the end of May".
The very bright 4in LCD screen has a widescreen resolution of 800x480 pixels, ideal for video playback or video chat. The solid 8Mp main camera credentials are joined by a 1.3Mp camera on the rear and 720p video capture.
These run off a 1GHz processor with 768MB RAM. HTC fits a powerful 1450mAh battery too. HTC claims 580 minutes of talktime on GSM, but despite some timely app and connectivity management, we still found ourselves needing to recharge this handset within 24 hours.
The camera has a flash, digital zoom and autofocus which we were impressed to find was able to focus effectively at just 2-3cm from an object. Photo effects can be set in advance or applied post-shot. Colour options include sepia, lively, vintage, bleak and overexposed, while there’s a distortion fisheye lens effect and vignette, plus solarise and posterise effects. Any of these can also be applied to video you capture.
Some smartphones offer unified messaging and the ability to Tweet to friends on several social networks at once, but few do it with as much panache as HTC handsets. FriendStream allows you to go straight to your Facebook, Flickr or Twitter account and get or post updates to each or any. The useful URL shortener will win over inveterate twitterers.
Another solidly executed feature is that for media sharing via the Connected Media app. This offers a straightforward way of showing off your handset-produced media content. You can share your Facebook photos with it too.
Another impressive element relates to call handling. Click the usefully large Phone lozenge at the bottom of the screen and you’re immediately shown a list of recent callers and their numbers. Smart Dial lets you sort through lengthy contact lists by initial characters or numbers.
Finally, there’s solid web browsing and a highly accurate G-Sensor and digital compass that, with the built-in GPS, swiftly pinpointed our location and orientation.
The HTC Droid Incredible was a huge success in the US when it launched on Verizon. Does the next generation HTC Incredible S measure up? Pretty much. It isn't a huge overhaul in design or specs from the original Incredible, but there are some nice little upgrades and tweaks throughout the phone.
The big difference between the Droid Incredible and the HTC Incredible S is that it has a solid unibody aluminium design. This is pretty much becoming HTC's trademark for its high-end phones and I'm all for it. The phone feels tougher, yet more elegant than the somewhat plasticky original Incredible.
There is one disturbing detail, however. The HTC Incredible S will ship with Google Android 2.2 'Froyo' - not Android 2.3 'Gingerbread'. Let's hope that an upgrade will be available shortly.
The crisp, bright 3.7in display showcased HTC Sense nicely and the UI moved fluidly throughout the phone. The HTC Incredible S is powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor. We've been hearing so much about dual-core phones that 1GHz seems weak in comparison. But in actuality, there is a lot that goes into how a phone performs other than its processor speed. The HTC Incredible S did just fine as I opened multiple apps and navigated throughout its interface.
The HTC Incredible S sports an 8Mp camera and gets the nice upgrade of 720p video capture. Testing out the camera was difficult on the crowded MWC show floor, but what I shot looked pretty good.
The HTC Incredible S, along with the HTC Desire S and the HTC Wildfire S, will be heading to Europe and Asia in the second quarter of 2011.
If you going to call something Incredible, it should really stretch the boundaries of imagination or perform feats previously thought to be beyond the realms of possibility. The HTC Incredible S does nothing of the sort, but there’s plenty to like here and we were charmed by some of the device’s attention to social media detail.