After a couple weeks worth of use, some more observations on my new HTC Incredible smartphone:
- Although the 1300 mAh OEM battery is way underpowered for a phone with these capabilities, it did hold up a little better than I'd expected (or feared). Two Sundays ago, I took it on a long hike with the GPS and tracking functions turned on (using the My Tracks app from Google and it didn't run out; on the other hand, at the halfway point it was under 50% so I hit it with a portable USB battery pack I happened to have with me.
- Today, I received a 3rd party battery upgrade from Seidio, a 3500 mAh extended battery which, if it works as advertised, should give me more than 2.5x as much juice. The only downside is it does add some heft to to the phone, but they did a good job with the replacement back cover. I might even photograph my left index finger less often, as it gives me more to grip when holding the phone horizontally. We'll see if it actually does the job, power-wise; the instructions advise several charge/recharge cycles to get maximum function. (On update: I went on a 4 hour hike with GPS and Tracking on, used it normally (but not heavily) the last few days, played a couple YouTube videos, checked weather radar, taken maybe a couple dozen pictures, have not turned off WiFi, BlueTooth, network synchronization, or GPS — and after about 48 hours, I still have 39% charge. I'm planning to let it get down to about 20-25 before I recharge. Update-update: I'm consistently getting more than 4 days per charge on the new battery.)
- Noticed that while at home the phone battery actually lasts longer if I leave the WiFi turned on. Probably this is because I'm in a marginal cell reception area and so the phone has to run through more power to stay connected that way and to access the 3G network.
- Another minor complaint others have noted is that in direct bright sunlight the display can be difficult to see, but I never found it impossible. Still, other than the old plain black LCD displays of yore, I've never seen a color LCD that worked well in total sun. And a little shade isn't that hard to find.
- Speed. Oh yah, this thing is fast. No matter what I'm doing with the phone, whether browsing or using the GPS functions, I have never noticed it slowing down the least bit. The only time it gets slow is when I'm someplace where the reception is poor and I'm trying to do things like download GPS maps or upload map tracks or messages.
- Played a few YouTube videos on it — they look great, and the sound out of the little speakerphone speaker is surprisingly good. Even better with headphones.
- Many devices like this come with a little bit of available memory and an empty additional memory slot. I really like the fact the Incredible started with about 6GB internal RAM free and an extra 2 GB microSD card. That said, I've upgraded the card to 8GB Class 6, which was dead cheap to do at about $20. I could've gone higher but don't really need it (yet) and the 16 GB price jumps to $60 which seemed excessive. A shame iPhones aren't upgradable at all, and require a factory return to change the battery.