Launch in Late November or Early January
Verizon's LTE network will come into its own on 2011. That's when we'll see the first smartphones hit it. Sprint's Evo and Epic have another month and change of "4G" dominance before they have to deal with a new wave of next-gen devices.
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The Incredible HD is the first Verizon LTE phone to leak in detail. We know it will have a 4.3" display and a 1 GHz processor, plus 768 MB of RAM. The camera is 8 MP and the there is a kickstand on the back. It will launch with Android 2.2 and has been rumored to launch as early as November 23. That date is highly unlikely though- don't expect to see an LTE phone in stores before January.
Today Android Central brings word that the new Incredible will also go by the name 'HTC Mecha'. Android 2.2 has been confirmed, as has a new version of HTC Sense. Leaked in-use images reveal the 4G symbol on top. Currently, testers report 8 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream.
By comparison, my Evo averages somewhere between 4-7 Mbps using 4G WiMAX. Verizon's LTE sounds rather impressive, but it is worth noting that we have yet to receive any speed reports of their network in mass use. That data won't be available until customers start hopping onto the LTE.
Until then, it is probably safe to assume that Verizon's in-use 4G will be as good as Sprint's, if not slightly/moderately better. The Incredible HD is pretty much the pinnacle of this generation of smartphone design. It's an Evo with a few extra bells-and-whistles and a different provider for its high-speed mobile Internet.
If you have an overpowering urge to be "first", buying this thing when it launches in November/January probably isn't a terrible decision. But you should know that January-February and May-June are bound to see some impressive "4G" products from both Verizon and Sprint. If you have the time, it might be worth waiting a few months to see what else shows up.