Sunday, May 09, 2010

Tech Review – HTC Incredible

J has been trying to convince me to get a smart phone for the past two years. I didn’t take the bait because his “smartphones” really weren’t that great (looking at you, palm, blackberry) and I didn’t want to pay extra just to twitter and email. For the record I had a LG chocolate before I got the Incredible. The Chocolate phone didn’t have a qwerty keyboard or anything fancy. I was mad fast with text messaging anyway though. and my camera (although smaller res) took better photos than the storm2. Why did I finally do the switch? Well, my contract is up and I actually found a legitimate reason for being connected 24/7.

HTC Incredible
bottom line:
sleek multi-task unit that has great phone (talk) abilities

interface, touch screen, keyboard (horizontal mode only), apps, speed, camera, wi-fi, works well with most websites (supports flash, yea). Sharing website/photo/file is a breeze. calling people while surfing the net/gchat/twitter is pretty fun too.

the phone calling app is really messy, causing me to accidentally dial people. thankfully I set up my speed-dial right away. The built-in apps are not always the best and having both the HTC and Android versions of the same app, you get really confused. and if you use all of the phone’s functions (well, that’s why you got the phone right?) it’ll kill your batteries. Don’t forget your charger, ever! And it really bothers me that the calendar app doesn’t have horizontal orientation. The vertical keyboard is nearly impossible for typing. horizontal wallpaper setting makes it hard to use regular pics as your background.

ok, so it’s not the most intuitive phone but better than all the smart phones J tried to push on me (pretty sure he’s making the switch soon, since he’s always had a better phone than I had, haha). Will I make the jump to iphone when it comes to Verizon? who knows. Right now I’m very satisfied with my phone. I’m not a gamer so I haven’t tried too many games. I use it primarily for surfing, social media, text messaging, talking, photos, etc.

unexpected effect:
I managed to forget about my kindle and laptop for days…It’s only when I wanted to blog that I thought I really needed to go back to a real keyboard again. There are a lot of nice apps for the phone so it gets quite addictive.

some are fun and some are quite useful. I wish the market had a better sort (most downloaded, best rated, etc). I’ve put the ones I have and a brief description. If you love widgets you won’t find too many there. I just find them annoying and takes up space. I think I have two widgets and a dozen or so shortcuts on my screens.

Updated June 3, 2010. Come back for more updates or recommend an app here!

  • Note Everything: Add a note in text or paint form. Pretty useful for reminders etc. Fun for doodling!
  • Smooth Calendar [quarter screen, horizontal]: better widget than the built in calendars. it shows today’s date and a compact list of upcoming events.
  • iStockManager: for TD Ameritrade account owners. they did a great job for this. You get balance info, buy/sell, and news. what else do you really need?
  • NYC Bus & Subway: I’m sure there are better ones out there, I just found this one useful for when I’m trying to look for the map in a subway. And it works without any of the fancy GPS stuff.
  • Hanping Chinese English dictionary: Well, this is always useful.
  • FxCamera: features cool filters for your photos like Warhol effect, Polaroid, fish eye, colors, etc.
  • Comeks Fun Photo Blogger Free: Add stickers and speech balloons to your photos. Hilarious and adorable!
  • Vignette (demo version): This one has so many options for frames and colors that you’ll just love exploring it! The paid version allows for higher resolution but I just have the demo for now.
  • PhotoFunia: Allows you to put a photo in a fun setting (billboard, book cover, etc). More of a photo editing than camera app. A bit slow but fun nonetheless.
  • Tone Picker: allows you to set your own music as ringtones. I didn’t get the ringtone editing app in the market because I already had my ringtones on sd card.
  • Pandora: if you have an account you know the deal. If not, create an account and you can create radios based on your favorite band/song and the system will figure out what you like and play it.
  • Shazam: Don't know that song on the radio? Just use this to tag it and figure it out.
  • SportsTap: best sports app ever. great layout design and gives you score updates etc. The ipad app for this is nice too and has a bit more customization (you can pick sport).
  • Mobee [in Chinese and some English]: RSS feeds selected by author. You can pick from a list of different categories such as news, cars, culture, fashion, etc. I love the jokes and news feeds. Only thing is it doesn’t share as easily. You end up having to go to original source and then sending it that way.
  • Congress: Get to know your congressman/woman and learn about new bills
Phone Tweeks
  • Power Control [quarter screen, horizontal]: Default built-in widget, probably one of the most useful. Lets you toggle wi-fi, bluetooth, location, sync, and screen brightness. I think they ran out of space when they designed it because it would have been nice to include airplane mode and mobile internet mode. (I have those two widgets separately on the same screen as the power control widget.
  • Power Monitor Battery Widget: let’s see your % battery remaining. I’m not sure why this was missing from the default…
  • Task Manager (Apollo software): Kill apps easily. You can also add some apps to a list to prevent it from being closed.

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