HTC Not-so-Incredible
March 3, 2013 4:03 PM   Subscribe

Help me figure out what to do about my buggy HTC Incredible, either to fix it or to replace it.

For a couple years now, I've owned an HTC Incredible. It's been a great phone overall, but it's developed the reboot glitch that
so very very many other people are having. And the problem doesn't seem to be restricted to the Incredible, either. It's not even restricted to HTC phones. And yet none of the carriers or manufacturers that I've seen have either a) offered a consistent explanation for it or b) done anything to solve the problem.

I've seen a lot of speculation as to what causes the problem, and as many ideas about how to fix it. From crafting battery hacks to putting the battery in the freezer for a while, getting rid of task killer apps to uninstalling all third-party apps and then reinstalling them one by one, clearing the cache(s) to performing a factory reset... I've tried most of these methods, and while they may work for a while, the problems always come back. And I'm hesitant to try a factory reset, because it'd be a huge pain in the butt and still might not even work. I've contacted Verizon, and their 'solution' is, after much misdirection and unhelpfulness, basically to buy a new phone.

So, what can I do? I'd ideally prefer to fix my phone, somehow. But if that won't work, I'd like to get a new phone. I'd have the following restrictions:
  • It should be Android. I'm not too picky about which version, though recent would be nice.
  • The phone shouldn't cost more than about US$100 or $150, perhaps a little more if the monthly cost is significantly lower than what I'm paying now.
  • The specs should be about the same or better than my Incredible: good case durability (ideally, metal case and Gorilla Glass, though I'd plan on getting a slipcover and screen protection anyway); good forward and rear cameras; no hardware keyboard (Swype all the way!); a fairly fast processor; microSD slot; 3G or 4G; long battery life. And I don't want a phone much bigger than the Incredible. I specifically don't want a larger screen or bigger phone -- my tablet meets that need.
  • I really, really want to avoid reboot glitches and other such problems. Reliability is a big concern.
  • I'd prefer HTC out of general UI preference, but if it means avoiding things like the reboot bug, anything Android is fine by me.
For the carrier, I'd prefer one that charges significantly less than Verizon does (approximately $100 per month for unlimited data and way more minutes and messages than I use). Stuff like Carrier IQ annoys me, I'd prefer to avoid multi-year contracts, and I'm pretty sick of Verizon's customer service so I think I want to get away from them entirely.

Is it possible to truly fix my phone? Or barring that, what phone and carrier would match my needs?
posted by jiawen to Technology (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think they came out with an update to fix this problem recently. Did you try the update and did it not work?
posted by bluefly at 5:02 PM on March 3, 2013

I was so hopeful there for a moment... but yes, that update is installed and the phone still reboots itself. Maybe even worse now.
posted by jiawen at 5:14 PM on March 3, 2013

Oh, sorry about that. That update came out just this month, and you didn't mention it in your post, so I thought it could be the solution. If you don't need lots of minutes, the prepaid Straight Talk plan is pretty good. I can't speak to the phones; my partner uses it with an iphone, so that's no help to you. Maybe this previous question could help you.
posted by bluefly at 5:25 PM on March 3, 2013

I don't have any solutions about your phone, but you can install Carbon to make the process of backing up and reinstalling much easier. I did this before I sent a phone in for warranty replacement and it greatly sped up the process.

Alternately, get a HTC Evo V 3D from Virgin Mobile. $35/month for 300 minutes, unlimited texts, and 2.5 gigs of data (then they throttle). They also have unlimited plans if you need that many minutes.They're out of stock online but you could certainly find one at Target or Best Buy.
posted by calistasm at 6:08 PM on March 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Is your phone rooted? Have you tried any custom ROMs? I had an Incredible that was having this problem and switching to Cyanogen Mod fixed it.
posted by medusa at 7:50 PM on March 3, 2013

bluefly: "so I thought it could be the solution."

No problem. I'd forgotten that the update had happened, or I'd have mentioned it. I had high hopes when it was pushed out.

medusa: "I had an Incredible that was having this problem and switching to Cyanogen Mod fixed it."

I've heard that solution as well, but I've also seen scattered reports that rooting has left phones inoperable, and at this point I'm getting hesitant about solutions that aren't sure fixes.
posted by jiawen at 9:05 PM on March 3, 2013

calistasm: "but you could certainly find one at Target or Best Buy."

I haven't been able to find any Virgin phones on Target's website. Am I looking in the wrong place?
posted by jiawen at 9:45 PM on March 3, 2013

In the end, I decided to go with calistasm's Evo V recommendation (I'd seen good things about it elsewhere, too). They're really hard to find -- I was driving around for about five hours yesterday trying to find one. Radio Shack has a really good price going on them until March 16, but they didn't have any in stock. After a lot of searching and some very nice help from a Target employee, I found one at a different Target. (They don't make it very obvious on their website that they have Virgin Mobile phones, but they do.) They did price matching, so I now have an Evo V in hand at the Radio Shack price.

I'm still worried that it'll develop some annoyance along the way that will make the phone as useless as my Incredible has been, but at this price, I can afford to get another one later on if necessary.
posted by jiawen at 6:45 AM on March 5, 2013

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