HTC Droid DNA

Verge Review

Big phones are getting bigger. This trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down in the least, and the new HTC Droid DNA for Verizon Wireless is the latest member of the giant smartphone clan. Priced at $199.99, the DNA has more than just size on its side — it’s also the first smartphone with a crazy high-res 1080p display to be available in the US. But a HDTV-equivalent display alone does not a great smartphone make, and the Droid DNA attempts to be the best on other fronts with a cutting edge...

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Basic Specs

Thickness .38 inches
Weight .31 pounds
Form factor Slab
Screen size (diagonal) 5 inches
Carriers Verizon Wireless
Operating system Android
Launch OS version 4.1
The Verge Battery Test 4 hours and 25 minutes

Recent News

No recent news about HTC Droid DNA.

Recent Discussions

No recent discussions about HTC Droid DNA.

Tech Specs

Hardware

Height 5.55 inches
Width 2.78 inches
Thickness .38 inches
Weight .31 pounds
Form factor Slab
Color Black
Loudspeaker Yes
Noise cancellation Hardware (multi-mic)

Display

Screen size (diagonal) 5 inches
Technology Super LCD 3
Pixel arrangement RGB
Resolution (Y) 1920 px
Resolution (X) 1080 px
PPI 440
Touchscreen type Capacitive

Connectivity

Carriers Verizon Wireless
CDMA Yes
GSM Yes
UMTS / HSPA Yes
LTE Yes
Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi support 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b, 802.11a
GPS Yes
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 4.0
NFC support Yes
Tethering / mobile hotspot Yes
Media streaming DLNA, Media Link HD

Processor

Manufacturer Qualcomm
Brand / family Snapdragon S4 Pro
Model APQ8064
Clock speed 1.5 GHz
Number of cores 4

GPU

Manufacturer Qualcomm
Model Adreno 320

Memory

RAM size 2 GB

Storage

Internal size 16 GB
External No

Front Camera

Resolution 2.2 megapixels

Rear Camera

Resolution 8 megapixels
Flash LED
Focus type Autofocus
Video resolution 1080p

Software

Operating system Android
Skin Sense 4+
Launch OS version 4.1

Interface

Video out Yes
Headphone jack 3.5mm
Other ports Micro USB, MHL

Sensors

Sensors Compass (Magnetometer), Proximity, Ambient light, Gyroscope, Accelerometer

Battery

Capacity 2020 mAh
Removable No
Wireless charging Yes

Benchmarks

The Verge Battery Test 4 hours and 25 minutes

Recent News

No recent news about HTC Droid DNA.

Recent Discussions

No recent discussions about HTC Droid DNA.

8.3

Average User Review

of 7 total reviews
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  • Design 8
  • Display 10
  • Camera(s) 8
  • Reception / call quality 9
  • Performance 9
  • Software 8
  • Battery life 7
  • Ecosystem 9

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  • 8.0
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    Reviewed by Raggioazzura (Currently owns)

    The DNA is an excellent value for the money on Verizon right now. I'd certainly recommend it over anything at its' price point. The design is very pretty to look at, but two ergonomic challenges are bound to frustrate- a hopelessly flimsy charging port door and an oddly placed power button. The power button should really have gone just about anywhere else. The display is flawless, and crystal clear. Cameras are solid, but the front cam lends a reddish cast to most shots. Call quality via Bluetooth is not as good as it was with my old Rezound. Performance is very solid, but nothing to write home about. Sense 4+'s design motifs are dated at this point and well overdue for an update, which should arrive by years' end if we are to believe what HTC tells us. Battery life is solid for a 5-inch quad-core 4GLTE device, and certainly an improvement from the previous generation of 4G phones. The Android app ecosystem, while occasionally a step or two behind iOS on the latest app, is still very robust. All in all, the DNA is not a bad way to spend your $50 if you can't afford the $200 for a One. In addition, its' software will be updated to a version practically identical to the One's, so it will be a very similar experience.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 8
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 7
    • Performance 8
    • Software 7
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 8
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
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    Reviewed by Dirtman16 (Currently owns)

    Great: You'll never be disappointed with the display on this phone. Powerful enough to have no lag. No problems with call quality or mobile data speed/connections.

    Just okay: With the capacitive buttons, the phone is just a little too tall for comfortable use, especially with the power button on top. Also, I almost wish it were a little thicker. The battery life is fine for me, but heavy users will run it down before the day is out. Sense is nothing to get excited about.

    Annoying: Camera performance indoors is not really usable at night. Nagging wifi connection issue (replaced one phone with weak signal, the replacement sometimes won't connect automatically).

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 7
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 6
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 8
    • Software 7
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
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    Reviewed by brosefstalin (Currently owns)

    The Droid DNA is an absolute amazing phone, but it has some flaws, especially battery life. It's able o last you a full day, and maybe some after that, but not much. Furthermore, Sense is a preference for some, but I prefer Nova launcher. All in all, if you're on Verizon, and don't want Galaxy phone, the DNA is the one to get.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 7
    • Performance 9
    • Software 7
    • Battery life 6
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 7.0
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    Reviewed by Squarecat (Previously owned)

    I used the HTC Droid DNA for a week as my primary device (while also trying out the Google/LG Nexus 4 for comparison.)

    There's no question that the standout feature of the Droid DNA is the stunning screen. The only mark I count against it was that it can't be dimmed enough in dark environments. Other than that, everything else is just "OK". Even the exceptionally good call quality can’t undo the fact that HTC and Verizon have injected an unhealthy dose of mediocrity into the DNA, crippling what should be an amazing smartphone.

    The top 3 offenses:

    1) The camera performs well but the default saturation is about a notch or 3 too high (though adjustable) and, worse, at anything larger than 50% of full resolution, it's evident that far too much processing/compression is being applied, as all the fine details look absolutely terrible.

    2) Ergonomics are a mess--with the power button top dead center and the Sense 4 unlock ring bottom center on the massive 5" inch display, unless you are Gollum, every single time you unlock this device you perform a clumsy hand-wrenching contortion. In addition, this top of the line smartphone not only sports capacitive buttons, but they sit right at the very bottom, leaving them far away and with no leverage when your hand is situated for pressing the screen. Your days of one-handed device operation are over with the DNA. (Which begs the question, *who's* dna? A basketball player? The Engineer alien from Prometheus?)

    3) I'll be kind and say that HTC's Sense 4 UI is long in the tooth. Actually, no, since I paid money for the experience, I'll be honest: it's shamefully out-of-date. I mean, it's virtually indistinguishable from what I saw when I powered on my Thunderbolt for the first time, which was tired *then*. (And that's saying a lot coming to the DNA from an iPhone 4S, bearer of the cartoon king, iOS.)

    But wait, there’s more! HTC and Verizon couldn’t let even small details go without a solid acid wash. Let's say you're a normal, reasonable person who sets a daily alarm, goes off to work and puts their phone on vibrate, then, on arrival, listens to music on their headphones. And if you, like most, also leave the typical "location services" on, well, congratulations, you've now populated the entire notification/status bar with icons! God forbid you receive an *actual* notification, like email or a text because there's no room for those now you notification hoarder, you! (Don't forget about the persistent WiFi notification on the pulldown shade, because HTC certainly won't let you.)

    If I were to describe the HTC Droid DNA in a word? Handicapped. Or perhaps, "unfortunate". Because it's terribly unfortunate that both HTC and Verizon Wireless saw fit to handicap what could have been an exceptional smartphone.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 7
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 6
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 8
    • Software 5
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 8
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  • 8.0
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    Reviewed by wingzero0 (Currently owns)

    I think Dan Seifert got and hit on a lot of the points regarding the Droid DNA, though in some areas I have to disagree.

    Namely in the departments of Battery, Design, Recpetion and Performance.

    For myself, battery life has been good. Not great by any means, but good, very average. My DNA last me from 7am to 6pm of normal usage. Twitter updates, Navigation, browsing the web and taking pictures.

    In the design department, I love the black and red motif and the overall shape. It's a large phone, but the tapered design diminishes the impression overall.

    Reception on Verizons network has always been great, I don't know how they got a 7 according to the original review.

    Finally, in the performance catorgory, I'd give the DNA a higher score. I've only experienced lag inthe browser; and only when I've had mutiple windows open.

    Overall, I'd say the score would be alone the line of 8.2-8.5.

    It's a phone that will attract many and not disappoint.

    The Breakdown

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    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 9
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 8
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 10.0
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    Reviewed by arogers2560 (Currently owns)

    The Droid DNA is most definitely the best phone on the market. It is blazing fast in speed and performance. Even my Apple-fanboy friends wanted to trade in their iPhone 5s for it. Sense 4+ is not very intruding, just helpful. The biggest downfall is the battery life which is actually much longer than I expected, but still not incredibly long. The Droid DNA is purely amazing.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 10
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 10
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 10
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  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by gigadroid (Currently owns)

    The Droid DNA is a great all round phone with a beautiful display, top-of-the-line specs and features, and a competitive price point. The Verge review may say the battery life is terrible, but personally having owned this phone for over a month and being a power user, it is safe to say that this phone pulled me through a full day with about 10% battery left at the end of the day. Not to mention that this phone charges CRAZY FAST. One more thing the Verge review talked about was performance hiccups, but the only hiccups I've ever seen were in Chrome for Android Beta, and those were very rare. If you use the stock browser you won't face those problems. And if you don't like HTC Sense, you can always use Nova Launcher. This phone's thin design is very light and only about as wide as the S3, so it won't feel gargantuan like the Note II. The camera takes great shots for a smartphone and the HTC image processing chip makes for clear, crisp, well lit photos in most conditions. Add in NFC, 4G LTE, and the Android ecosystem and this is the best phone I have seen in 2012. If you are on Verizon, THIS IS THE PHONE TO GET. 9.5/10

    The Breakdown

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    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 9
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 10
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
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