"Honest Review (actually user, not a fanboy)"4.0 starson by albickers
Pros: *Nice size+shape (similar to iPhone 3gs), but somehow more comfortable
*Screen is great in low light (vibrant colors)
*Sense UI and HTC widgets, HTC sync
* ear-piece speaker is good - can hear other party well
Cons: * Battery life (not as bad as some say)
* I worry about scratching the camera lens
* Screen not good in bright light (not unusable though)
* Pics often blurry
* Mic could be better; no noise cancellation
Summary: I will avoid reviewing the Android OS and instead focus on this phone, and HTC's Android enhancements.
Size/shape: similar to iPhone, but contoured back makes it feel like less of a box. More comfortable in right hand than left--my right index finger goes to one of the grooves on the back making it feel more secure.
Screen: we have all heard that the screen is great indoors, and not so great outdoors. But, the phone IS usable in bright light. I tried it against an iPhone 3GS at several brightness settings and found that the 3GS is more visible in bright light, but I would tend to shield it with my body anyway to put it in a shadow. The Inc has a smaller viewing angle in bright light, but is usable. This isn't a deal breaker for me, but usually only make calls from outside, which doesn't involve staring at the screen.
Reception: NOTE: bars are not reliable for comparisons across phones. Go to settings->about->network and look at the signal strength directly. The closer the signal strength is to zero, the better; in practice you will get readings from -50dBm to -110dBm. In several informal side-by-side tests, my Dad's Droid got about the same signal strength. The Droid averaged about 2 dBm better, but I doubt this is significant. Both Droids consistently beat my wife's old LG (also on Verizon with updated PRL).
Talking: The other party consistently sounds great. The people I call have never spontaneously reported a problem, but when I ask how I sound they do report a bit of an echo, as if I'm in an empty room. There is no noise cancellation, so it doesn't do well in windy conditions. The dialer is great--just start dialing the letters of a persons name and it will display possible choices. I'm not sure if this is an HTC-specific feature.
Camera: Despite the 8MP, the camera produces some blurry pics. Pressing the joystick to take a pic moves the camera more than pushing a button on the side of a phone--the resulting movement blurs the pics (but it is better than pressing on the screen). The results are better when I tightly hold the phone then press the button. Low-light pics are surprisingly good; the led flashes are bright, but the phone manages to get the white balance right. Video is OK, but there is no stabilization so it isn't great for taking videos while moving. It is hard to take a picture with the sun at your back due to the AMOLED screen (see above) - you can see it a bit, but you have to guess when you have the picture framed and hope for the best (it is hard to focus under these conditions).
8MP produces large image files; I set mine 1MP because I like to share photos and prefer to send 300K instead of 2.5MB. There may be a way to downscale 8MP pics for SMS/email, but it isn't hard to change back to 8MP when you want to take a high res pic. Flickr integration is a nice addition (see below).
Social Apps: I don't enjoy online social networking, but I do maintain Facebook and LinkedIn accounts for family, *actual* friends and coworkers. The HTC Facebook app is great, and it is worth trying even if you aren't really into Facebook. Facebook contacts can be linked to phone contacts, so its easy to get birthdays, photos and other info from your contacts' Facebook profiles. No LinkedIn integration unfortunately and I didn't try the Twitter integration.
Flickr: I usually use Shutterfly to share and store pics, but have found that the Flickr app is an easy way to get pics online. Snap the pic, click "share" then "Flickr" and the pic is online. No fuss.
Optical joystick: one of the biggest surprises was that I actually like the optical joystick. It is a godsend for editing text--no more trying to point my fat finger in between letters... just scroll the joystick. It's useful in other situations too.
Battery: the battery life is not so great, and is most people's main concern with the Incredible. So, I'll give some concrete examples so you can get a better idea: (I'm measuring battery life as the number of hours until I get a low battery warning: ~15% left):
Moderate to Heavy use: 1hr 50min of talk time, Google maps + directions and navigation for a 10 mile trip, moderate web browsing over WiFi ~1 hr, capturing 15 min of video, several pics and playing a game for about 1hr gave me about 7 hours of battery life.
Light use: 20hr 30min battery life after ~30 min of calls, ~15 minutes of web browsing over 3g, checking email 4-5 times, keeping WiFi and GPS turned OFF all the time and mobile data off during the night. On that day, about 60% of the battery was eaten by "phone idle", "cell standby" and "Android System."
Overall: A-/B+ I would buy it again. I already knew about the screen and battery issues, so there were no surprises on the "con" side. I was pleasantly surprised by some of its features though. It is a solid phone, nothing too groundbreaking, but certainly not disappointing. A solid "A" if a software update mitigates the battery problem.