Incredible Beats the Bold 9650
The Nexus One offered a great mobile Web experience. But with the same OS, pretty much the same apps, same processor and other details, it's no surprise that Verizon and/or Google opted not to offer the Nexus One on the Verizon network. Offering the Nexus One solely through a virtual store and subsidized by the No. 4 U.S. wireless carrier in T-Mobile is not a recipe for success. Whoever nixed the Nexus One on Verizon's network-some say Verizon, some say Google-proved the point. The Incredible could easily cannibalize the Nexus One and it wouldn't be a shame.I won't yet predict the Incredible will sell more than 1 million-plus units like the Motorola Droid. How do we know the Froyo phones won't come out in May to blow everyone away? But the Incredible will certainly sell more than the reported 200,000 to 250,000 Nexus One devices Google has sold. I took the Incredible with me to Research In Motion's Wireless Enterprise Symposium this week. What better way to field test the latest high-end Android gadget than against the latest and greatest gadget the leading smartphone maker in the United States has to offer? I took the Incredible to the BlackBerry booth and measured its Web browsing capabilities versus the forthcoming BlackBerry Bold 9650, RIM's latest high-end smartphone. See them side-by-side here. The Bold 9650 is a sweet gadget. It's small, sleek and powerful, boasting the optical trackpad that makes the trackball seem like an 8-track player and the full QWERTY keyboard road warriors have grown to know and love. Navigating the many applications-RIM is getting more media-happy-on the Bold 9650 was a snap, and typing long e-mails was a dream. But, and this is a big but for a heavy Web user, the Bold 9650 rendered most Web pages I tested against the Incredible in about half the time. Whether it was just the Best Buy Website, or the media-intensive ESPN.com, I watched the Bold 9650 parse, mull and churn its way to surface content. The Incredible rendered the same Websites with greater efficiency. I know, I know. The BlackBerry is meant to be a messaging device and in that vein it is clearly the superior gadget. But having tested the original Droid, its baby brother the Droid Eris, the Nexus One and now the Incredible, I've gotten comfortable with typing e-mails and doing manual searches on the Android virtual keyboards. It's funny because when I type on the Android virtual keyboards, it feels as though I'm not hitting the right keys because they are so narrow, yet the technology picks up my little taps with surprising accuracy-and I'm not a novice typist on a virtual keyboard. When it comes down to it, I'd choose an Incredible over the 9650 because I can e-mail on both (obviously much better typing on the Bold keyboard), but get much faster Web results from the Droid. Putting the Incredible and Bold 9650 toe-to-toe, browsing speed wins the day. If e-mailing is more important for you, the Bold is a better bet.
It's not a technology issue; it's a go-to-market obstacle. Why would Verizon get behind the Nexus One with a similar, yet superior device in the fold?