So far this year we’ve had two smartphone elimination tournaments: In the Smartphone Madness tournament in March, the Verizon Palm Pre Plus beat the Motorola Droid to claim the title. Yesterday, the HTC Droid Incredible won the 2010 Android Cup as the best phone to run Google’s operating system. So it’s only natural that these two phones face off against each other.
For those of you who don’t remember, the Palm Pre Plus was the follow-up to the Palm Pre. Palm improved the QWERTY keyboard on this slider, making the keys slightly larger and easier to press. The Pre Plus has a 3.1-inch, 480 x 320-pixel display, which seems almost quaint by today’s standards, but is plenty bright and supports multitouch gestures. The phone weighs a light 4.9 ounces, and has a 3-megapixel camera on the back.
The Pre uses a Texas Instruments OMAP 3430 processor, has 512MB of RAM, and 16GB of onboard memory. We really liked the webOS operating system designed by Palm, and hope that HP uses it to the fullest on future touchscreen devices, as they’ve intimated recently. Palm Synergy makes it very easy to sync your calendar, contacts, and e-mail, and even integrates your contacts into a single view for each person and layers your multiple calendars.
A hotspot app turns the Pre Plus into a 802.11b/g wireless router; it used to cost $40 per month, but now it’s free. However, you can’t make calls while using it. The Pre Plus lacks free navigation, but the phone can be had for as little as $49.99 through Verizon.
The HTC Droid Incredible has a large 3.7-inch 800 x 480 AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, an 8-megapixel camera, a 1-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and runs Android 2.1. It has 8GB of onboard storage, plus it can accept 32GB microSDHC cards. Despite its large size (4.6 x 2.3 x 0.5 inches), it weighs 4.6 ounces.
Out of the box, consumers can tether the phone–Verizon says a mobile hotspot feature is in the works–and its soft keyboard is one of the better ones we’ve used. We also like how the Sense user interface lets you “leap” to any one of seven home screens, and the Friend Stream does a good job aggregating all your social networking info.
Compared to the Pre Plus, the Incredible is a relatively pricey $199, and some may find the terraced design on its back to be polarizing. Also, its optical trackpad, while functional, is slightly recessed, making swiping actions a little awkward. Finally, call quality was inconsistent, something unusual for a phone on Verizon’s network.
So, which phone do you think is better? Vote between now and 12 a.m. ET today (July 7, 2010). We’ll announce the winner tomorrow.