The HTC Droid Incredible is now available for preorder on the Verizon Wireless network, with a posted delivery date of April 29 - the Thursday it's scheduled to arrive in stores.
The Incredible is priced at $199, after an online discount and with a two-year service agreement. The full retail price, Verizon notes, is $529.99.
Introduced April 15, the Incredible runs Google's Android 2.1 operating system, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and features a 3.7-inch WVGA (480 by 800) capacitive touch screen. GPS and 802.11 b/g WiFi are also included, as is - for the first time on a Verizon phone - an 8-megapixel camera.
Incredible owners will also have access to exclusive Verizon apps, such the Skype mobile VOIP (voice over IP) app for unlimited Skype-to-Skype calls and instant messages.
Early reviews are already in and positive, with PhoneScoop calling it "one of the best Android devices yet," and "one of the sharpest-looking handsets to hit Verizon's shelves in recent memory.
(For a memory jog of another Verizon looker, click here for images of the Motorola Droid, which arrived on shelves Nov. 6.)
Engadget has likewise called it the "best Android device that you can purchase in America right now."
Analysts agree that with the Incredible, Taiwan-based handset maker HTC has solidified its standing as a top U.S. smartphone brand. Analyst Charles King has described HTC's journey over the last year as going "from the edge to the cutting edge."
King went on to say, "It stands as evidence that the game should not be handed to Apple by default. There are people out there with great ideas and great design concepts, and with Android they have an OS to build those on."
Some suspect, in fact, that HTC's success in the U.S. with the Android mobile operating system was a contributing factor to the lawsuit Apple filed against HTC March 2, alleging that it infringes on patents related to the iPhone.
Analyst Roger Kay, with Endpoint Technologies, has suggested that HTC should settle the matter quickly, so as not to slow any of the momentum it has so successfully built in the U.S.
"It would be hard for HTC to do business in the U.S. with this hanging over its head," Kay told eWEEK.