Software - Android 2.2.1 & Sense 2.0

Sense 3.0 appears to be limited to HTC devices that ship with Gingerbread at this point. It's unclear whether or not we'll see an update to the Incredible 2's Sense UI alongside Gingerbread.

The software supports seven home screens, each can be home to a single large widget or multiple smaller ones. HTC offers preconfigured groups of home screens called Scenes for quickly switching between usage models. If nothing HTC supplies suits your fancy you are free to customize all of the home screens to your liking and save the configuration as a custom scene. In my opinion one of the biggest advantages of HTC's scenes is the ability to quickly switch the layout of your widgets when you travel. I find that when I travel I typically use a different set of apps than I do when I'm at home. I can definitely see the usefulness in being able to quickly change the configuration of shortcuts and widgets. HTC does make switching between scenes pretty easy. There's a permanent link to Personalize at the bottom of every home screen (along with all apps and the dialer).

The notification shade does feature a scrollable list of recently used apps, however there is no quick settings tab as there is in Sense 3.0.

The thing I miss the most about not having Sense 3.0 is the lock screen shortcuts that let you fire up apps and unlock the phone with a single gesture. It's honestly one of only a handful of OEM features that I do believe actually improves productivity.

The other Sense customizations are pretty standard. There's widespread integration of Facebook if you provide the Incredible 2 with your login information. The level of integration ranges from cool (automatically populating your address book with Facebook contacts) to frustrating (not delivering as good of a News Feed browsing experience as the dedicated Facebook app).

The UI in general is snappy and maintains a relatively high, but sub-60 fps frame rate. The apps launcher is split up into four screens: all apps, an automatically populated (and very useful) grid of frequent apps, downloaded apps and finally the Verizon preloaded apps.

Verizon puts a ton of preloaded apps on the Incredible 2, unfortunately you can't move them to the SD card or remove them entirely.

 

HTC's web browser is pretty quick and provides relatively smooth scrolling - it's definitely not perfect but not frustrating either. Flash is supported and surprisingly enough it doesn't bog down the browsing experience all that much. Pages are loaded first, followed by flash elements. My biggest complaint about the browser is that tapping on the search/URL bar defaults to URL entry (as in you get a prefilled http://www.). I'm used to Chrome on the desktop which defaults to search instead.

The last thing I'd like to comment on is HTC's Sense keyboard. I was pleased with it in the original Incredible and am still generally happy with it. It's still a bit busier than I'd like but it's functional, the keys are well spaced and I can type quickly on it.

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  • Penti - Monday, July 04, 2011 - link

    There are no units with Mango yet, and they don't even got their hands on development versions. That's really why. Nobody else does either so. I'm sure they'll jump on the band wagon when there is actual hardware and software to test, it's a gadget review-site after all. They did cover earlier WP just fine. As long as nothing happens there you won't see it in the news or via reviews any how. Reply
  • dtomilson - Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - link

    SO let me get this, ignorance is bliss? Awesome. Anandtech has become boring you're so wrong. There are many sites out there that cover mobile phones that have covered Mango. I am a developer for WP7 and find it funny how android phones are covered so much here but they are actually all the same and still disgustingly slow. Dualcore and 1GB of RAM does not make a turtle fast.

    Anandtech will suffer the failure as other tech blogs have. Let the ignorant stick together and die together.
    Reply
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  • NJoy - Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - link

    Finally, you got the review up and i can express some of my feling about htc of late. I've been their supporter for last 6 years, each of my phones over that period been made by HTC and i enjoyed each of them. however, when my upgrade was due last august, i got stuck trying to figure what to figure what to go for - nothing really seemed to be a worthy upgrade. and what HTC had been doing for the next 6 months was just respinning old hardware in different shapes. i was still patient and decided to wait for Sensation , but it was taking forever, so i ended up getting SGS2 that first week of may. And i don't regret it, especially after comparing them side by side - Samsung is faster, lighter , smoother and got much better in-call sound quality. It's just better.
    You also conveniently miss out the fact that sensation is dual A8, whilst tegra and exynos are based on A9
    Locked bootloader is another dealbreaker even if i don't need to root it atm.

    Result is that HTC lost another faithful customer and i am sure i am not the only one.
    Reply
  • NJoy - Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - link

    Ha, how did i mess this up? it was supposed to be in sensation review comments Reply
  • Hxx - Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - link

    You really can't go wrong with the DIncr 2. It's fast, slim, nice screen, goood battery life, excellent price (150 i think after rebate). I played with all 3g and 4g phones currently at verizon and this one was the one i liked the most. The global function is a nice plus although I know i;m never prolly gonna use it. Reply
  • Vepsa - Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - link

    After washing my Droid R2D2 I picked up a Droid Incredible 2 Friday. I really missed Sense (I know, I'm odd) and the phone just feels faster than my R2D2 ever was, even when overclocked. As for the locked bootloader, that is being worked on ;) Reply
  • alent1234 - Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - link

    they have radio chips that will do CDMA and GSM/UMTS/HSPA and whatever so it's not a big deal to make virtually the same phone for AT&T and VZW.

    but i bought my Inspire for $20 from Costco a few months ago and $199 is a huge rip off for this phone. at that price might as well get an iphone 4
    Reply
  • sitharien - Tuesday, July 05, 2011 - link

    Show us Sprint customers some review love, Anand! =) Reply

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