HTC Droid DNA Review

Last week, HTC and Verizon unveiled the Droid DNA, a 5-inch Android ‘superphone’ with a daunting spec sheet and an incredible full 1080p resolution display. Known as the J Butterfly in Japan and the Droid DLX/Deluxe outside the U.S., the HTC Droid DNA is a truly next-generation Android smartphone.

HTC Droid DNA Review

HTC Droid DNA Features

The HTC Droid DNA is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, backed up with 2GB of on-board RAM – an impressive hardware set for any smartphone. But it’s not the tech-specs that immediately draw attention to the handset . HTC’s biggest achievement is the gorgeous 5-inch display. Apple’s “retina display”, with a pixel-density of 326 ppi doesn’t hold a candle to the 440 pixel-per-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 full 1080p HD display of the Droid DNA.

HTC are also to be commended on the design and physical build quality of the phone itself. The Droid DNA features a sleek form factor, with black aluminum side-panels tinted with Ferrari-red and a durable polycarbonate backing. The front of the device and the beautiful 5-inch display are protected with Gorilla Glass 2, rendering it highly scratch-and-scuff resistant. The red-and-black design schema is HTC’s signature and fits perfectly with their BeatsAudio partnership on the Verizon Droid DNA.

Despite possessing a 5-inch display, the HTC Droid DNA is not nearly as unwieldy in the hand as 5.5-inch Galaxy Note 2, and in-fact is more similar in dimensions to the Samsung Galaxy S3. HTC have gone out of their way to emphasize that the Droid DNA is “not a phablet”, and it certainly fits comfortably in a single hand.

The front of the Verizon HTC Droid DNA is adorned with the same 3-buttons as previous HTC smartphones – home, back and recent apps. At the top of the device is the front-facing camera, which sits to the left of the earpiece. The volume rocker sits near-flush with the edge of the Droid DNA, which improves the overall aesthetic and lines of the handset, but actually makes it much more difficult to press.

Under the cover of the HTC Droid DNA you’ll find a 2,020mAh battery that’s built right into the unibody design, so it can’t be swapped or replaced. It’s worth noting that the battery is compatible with wireless charging, and so if you’re looking to buy the Verizon Droid DNA it may also be worth investing in a genuine wireless charging pad. What you won’t find under the cover however is a microSD card slot. The Droid DNA is limited to its 16GB of internal storage – an oversight by HTC/Verizon in an otherwise feature-rich smartphone. The rear of the casing houses the lens of the 8MP ImageSense camera and LED flash, as well as an LED notification light for message, email and missed call alerts.

HTC Droid DNA

HTC Droid DNA Display

The 1,980 x 1,080 Super LCD3 display is this smartphone’s crowning glory – the one HTC Droid DNA feature that truly sets it apart from the competition. Images are superbly clear and crisp, photos render beautifully with excellent color-accuracy and full HD movies look amazing. The display also performs exceptionally well in bright sunlight, making it a more functional screen for day-to-day use compared with other smartphones.

Taking advantage of the beautiful display is HTC’s Sense 4+ UI, which overlays Android 4.1.1 Jellybean. Verizon have unfortunately taken the liberty to pre-install a rather large number of unnecessary apps, but the majority of which can be disabled or deleted.

HTC Droid DNA Price and Release Date

The HTC Droid DNA will be available from November 21st for $199 on a Verizon 2-year contract. For under $200 bucks, you’re getting one of the most powerful phones on the market, hands-down the best display, a solid camera and Android’s Jelly Bean operating system. Not a bad deal at all.


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