Dec 07 AT 5:37 PM Nick Gray 234 Comments

HTC has been pushing out phones with large displays ever since the HTC HD2 hit the market three years ago. Since then a lot of things have changed within the mobile industry, but HTC still thinks that there’s huge consumer appetite for smartphones with even larger displays. Enter the HTC Droid DNA. The phone’s full HD display is by far its main attraction. But do the phone’s design, software and performance match up with our pixel perfect expectations of a great flagship smartphone? Let’s find out.

1. Hardware

I’ll lead with the full 1920×1080 HD Super LCD 3 screen, since that’s the groundbreaking feature on the DNA. But really, all the hardware in the DNA is top notch. It uses the Snapdragon S4 Pro, which in case you aren’t familiar, is a quad-core processor running at 1.5 GHz with the Adreno 320 graphics processor. It also has a full 2GB of RAM. That all sounds a bit crazy, but with the number of pixels this thing is pushing around I think that it squeezes every last ounce of juice out of that processor.

The DNA also offers the full gamut of connectivity options with Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi (a/b/g/n 5GHz), NFC, DLNA, MHL and, of course, micro-USB. While I can’t promise that the latest OS update will always be there, this is about as future-proofed a device as you’re going to find at the moment.

As is somewhat inevitable with a 5-inch screen, the DNA isn’t a small device. It measures 5.55-inches tall by 2.78 inches wide and 9.73mm thick. It is, however, lighter than you would probably expect. At 4.87 ounces, the phone manages to wear its size well, as I’ll cover in the design section.

2. Design


The DNA isn’t a significant departure from most Droid branded offerings; it’s a basic black slab with red accents. Viewed head-on, the phone is particularly monolithic with just a glimpse of red at the earpiece to break up the inky blackness. Taken as a whole, though, the phone offers a professional appearance without being too staid.

HTC Droid DNA compared to the EVO LTE and Note II

The “fit” of a phone is naturally subjective, but the DNA is one of those phones that just feels right when I’m holding it. The back of the phone is tapered and made of a soft touch material that feels like a high quality case. No question: this is a large device. But HTC has done an excellent job of masking that.

There are two misfires with the DNA design. While neither is catastrophic, they are both quite irritating. The first is the placement of the power button at the top of the phone. I’ve been using the DNA for a week now and I’ve started to adjust, but this is still a flawed design for a phone this large. It requires you to contort your hand or shift your grip somewhat awkwardly. The second problem is minor by comparison. HTC opted to cover the micro-USB port with a bit of rubber that I would probably tear off the phone inside of two weeks. Unless you’re making a military spec phone, you just don’t need to cover the ports.

htc-droid-dna (1) htc-droid-dna (2) htc-droid-dna (3) htc-droid-dna (4) htc-droid-dna (5) htc-droid-dna (6) htc-droid-dna (7) htc-droid-dna (8) htc-droid-dna (9) htc-droid-dna (10) htc-droid-dna (11)

3. Build quality

While the DNA doesn’t match the unibody construction of the One X, it still feels like a well constructed phone. The front is protected by the fairly pervasive Corning Gorilla Glass 2, and the back is that soft touch material I already praised. As a purely aesthetic complaint, the back does show lint and fingerprints, but I suspect it’ll fare better in a fall than some of the metal- or glass-backed phones out there. And how often are you looking at the back of your phone, anyway?

htc-droid-dna (14) htc-droid-dna (15) htc-droid-dna (16) htc-droid-dna (17) htc-droid-dna (18) htc-droid-dna (19) htc-droid-dna (20) htc-droid-dna (21) HTC Droid DNA compared to the EVO LTE and Note II DSC_5943 htc-droid-dna-camera-sample (13)

4. Display

The 5-inch 1920×1080 Super LCD 3 display is, without question, the highlight feature of the DNA. It’s the first of its kind in the US. Whether this is overkill or not is up for debate, but it’s hard to argue with the results. Text and images pop off the screen, and eyesight permitting, it means that you can view webpages in their entirety without ever needing to pinch and zoom. The DNA’s 446 pixels per inch (ppi) blows every Apple “retina” product completely out of the water in terms of resolution. And it does a far superior job of faithfully rendering colors than any mobile device I’ve used previously.

5. Software

The DNA comes with Android 4.1.1 and a helping of Sense 4+ on top. I’ve never really liked Sense, so I’m going to avoid delving too deeply. Fortunately it continues to scale back,which means there isn’t much to dive into anyway. One positive thing that Sense offers is the ability to at least hide some of the abundant bloatware found on the DNA. By and large, though, Sense does feel almost purely cosmetic. Although I do prefer the stock version, I can imagine someone who has historically used HTC devices might like what they see in Sense 4+.

The one inexcusable miscue to me is that HTC or Verizon opted to go with the multitasking capacitive button rather than menu. There’s no way to change this in settings, which seems beyond bizarre. You get a fresh reminder anytime you see a menu button appear on screen.

6. Performance

Phones running on Qualcomm’s quad-core Snapdragon S4 processors have been all the rage this year, but the Droid DNA takes things to a new level. The phone is one of the first to ship with the new Snapdragon S4 Pro (APQ8064) quad-core 1.5 GHz processor. HTC has paired the quad-core chip with 2GB or RAM, giving the DNA enough power to easily manage its 1080p display and muscle through the most taxing 3D games.

Our benchmark tests show that the HTC Droid DNA performs slightly better than the Samsung Galaxy Note II, but it would be impossible to notice in normal day-to-day use. We did encounter a few hiccups here and there while playing our favorite games (we’ve been playing Samurai vs Zombies Defense a little too much lately), but we have a feeling that the slight stutters we’ve encountered will be resolved once developers optimize their games for 1080p displays.

Benchmark Test HTC Droid DNA Samsung Galaxy Note II
AnTuTU  20,996 13,527
Quadrant  8,173 5,861
Nenamark 2  59.1 FPS 60.3 FPS
Vellamo  2,405 2,439
SunSpider 0.9.1  1,158 1,038

7. Cameras

Taking pictures with the HTC Droid DNA is pure pleasure. The phone comes equipped with an 8 megapixel rear camera enhanced with a BSI sensor and f/2.0 aperture to improve low light picture quality. The hardware components on the main camera allow the HTC Droid DNA to produce images comparable to the Samsung Galaxy S III and other HTC One series devices. If you’re not the kind of person who likes walking around with a DSLR all the time, the Droid DNA could definitely act as a replacement for a mid- to low-end point-and-shoot camera. Scaled to 100%, the images are grainy, but most of those flaws will never be visible in a printed image unless you’re planing to print an 8.5″ x 11″ picture for your living room wall.

Front facing camera with an 88 degree wide-angle lens

While the main camera on the Droid DNA is impressive, what makes the phone really stand out is its front-facing camera. HTC has equipped a front-facing camera on the Droid DNA with a 2.1 megapixel imaging chip and an amazing 88 degree wide-angle lens. I’ve never been a fan of self-portraits or video chat; most front-facing cameras on other devices produce images that can only get in my ugly mug. With wide-angle lens, the DNA can easily caputre my upper body and the background in the frame.

If you hold the Droid DNA at arm’s length, you can effortlessly capture a group shot of four to five people. Predicting that self-portraits would be a huge draw with the 88 degree wide-angle lens, HTC tweaked the camera app with a two-second timer (triggered by simply touching the screen).

The HTC Droid DNA is also able to capture 1080p video with both cameras. Simply choose which camera you want to use and hit the video button. As an added bonus, you can also snap a 6 megapixel image with VideoPic by pressing the camera shutter button while recording video. If you miss the shot, you can always go back and extract a 1080p (roughly 2 megapixels) resolution image from the video at a later time. The second feature also comes in handy if you want to extract an image from a movie you’ve saved to the device.

Other HTC Droid DNA camera features include:

  • Sightseeing mode: bypasses the lock screen and automatically launches the camera app when pressing the power button if the device was turned off while the camera was in use.
  • Burst Mode: press and hold the shutter button to capture four images per second (up to 99 shots) – great feature for capturing that perfect moment with children (who don’t always like to smile on cue), group shots or sporting events.
  • Panorama Mode: easily capture great panoramic shots with on-screen frame guidance. The feature works vertically and horizontally – allowing users to capture sweeping landscapes or an entire skyscraper in a single image.

Sample Images

htc-droid-dna-camera-sample (1) htc-droid-dna-camera-sample (2) htc-droid-dna-camera-sample (3) htc-droid-dna-camera-sample (4) htc-droid-dna-camera-sample (5) htc-droid-dna-camera-sample (6) Front facing camera with an 88 degree wide-angle lens htc-droid-dna-camera-sample (8) htc-droid-dna-camera-sample (9) htc-droid-dna-camera-sample (10) htc-droid-dna-camera-sample (11) htc-droid-dna-camera-sample (12) htc-droid-dna-camera-sample (13) htc-droid-dna-camera-sample (14) htc-droid-dna-camera-sample (15) htc-droid-dna-camera-sample (16)

8. Battery

When I first heard that the HTC Droid DNA would ship with a 2,020 mAh non-removable battery, I was a bit worried. Yes, the HTC EVO 4G LTE and the HTC One X have decent battery life and can manage 11-13 hours on a single charge, but those two phones were paired with a smaller 4.7-inch 720p display. Surely the 5-inch, 1080p display on the DNA would act as a catalyst to make the phone an overpriced paperweight that requires users to be tethered to an outlet three or four times a day.

To my surprise, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. In the seven days that I’ve used the HTC Droid DNA, the phone has averaged 13 hours and 50 minutes on a full charge with roughly three and a half hours of screen-on time. During that time, I used the Droid DNA to stay on top of three Gmail accounts, two twitter accounts, browse the web, play games, capture dozens of portals on Ingress and snap a dozen or so pictures each day.

No, the Droid DNA will not last as long as the Note II or Droid RAZR MAXX, but its battery life is comparable to the Samsung Galaxy S III and should get most users through a full day without any issues.

9. Call quality and sound

The HTC Droid DNA can do some amazing things, but let’s not forget that it can also make phone calls. During our week of testing the Droid DNA, we didn’t experience any dropped calls. We typically had three to five bars of 4G LTE coverage everywhere we went. I even tested the Droid DNA in the elevator at work (I typically lose all reception with T-Mobile and Sprint devices), but the Droid DNA managed to hold on to two bars of service, and the caller on the other line did not notice any reduction in audio quality. Like most other phones, audio during calls isn’t as clear as it could be, but you’d probably only notice if you’ve had the opportunity to use a phone with Sprint’s new HD Voice functionality.

If you’re looking for a phone with great sound quality from the speaker phone and 3.5mm headphone jack, the Droid DNA is currently one of the best Android options out there. Yes, HTC is still touting Beats Audio integration as a selling point for the DNA. But, HTC has also included a 2.55v amp for the speakerphone and headphone jack to enhance the audio experience with the phone. Unfortunately, the amp does not increase the volume output from the DNA, but the sound is much clearer when the volume is cranked to max. The difference is subtle, but definitely noticeable if you enjoy listening to music on your phone.

10. Wireless charging

In past reviews, we’ve given devices an extra point for incorporating NFC. Yes, the Droid DNA does have NFC, but since NFC is now considered to be a standard feature in high-end Android phones, we think it’s now time to shift our focus to wireless charging.

We’ve covered wireless charging a little over the past few years, but the Droid DNA is the very first Android phone from Verizon to enable the feature right out of the box. For a while, Verizon has been pushing the Qi wireless charging standard and has encouraged many of its OEM partners to provide Qi enabled replacement back covers for their phones. But with the Droid DNA, there’s no replacement cover to buy since the wireless charging coil is incorporated directly into the uni-body shell. All you have to do is decide which Qi compatible wireless charger you want to buy.

While Qi is currently the most popular wireless charging standard in the industry, there are still only a handful of chargers available. LG and Energizer have had their charging pads on the market for some time, but we found that Nokia’s new wireless charging accessories to be more aesthetically pleasing. A decent charger will set you back about $50, but it’s certainly a great investment if you need a few extra hours of battery life every day without having to fiddle with a charging cable or the DNA’s ridiculous microUSB flap.

HTC DROID DNA9 / 10

The HTC Droid DNA is, in my opinion, the best pure smartphone on Verizon at the moment. That isn’t to say it’s the best option for everyone; the Note II offers a number of unique features, and the Droid RAZR MAXX HD, of course, delivers endless battery life. If you aren’t swayed by the specific advantages of those handsets, though, the specs on the DNA (and most importantly the screen) are simply untouchable right now. It has some flaws. But they’re manageable. And in the end worth it for the rest of what the phone has to offer. I’ll be surprised if a year from now this phone doesn’t still stack up well against the competition.

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • mr 1338

    Oh my, i need this Phone, it is amazing!
    Now if only i had Money to actually buy it :(

    • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

      My problem isn’t about the cost of the phone but is because of this exclusivity bullcrap. HTC will NEVER bounce back big unless they stop with this exclusive crap and just sell their phones on all the carriers, like Samsung did with the Galaxy S III. Hell, they should have done this with the One X – it would have been a huge hit!!

      • honourbound68

        no kidding… on another note, how does this fit into their plans of cutting down on models?

        • eallan

          Those plans went away long ago my friend. Remember the, ahem, “HTC EVO 4G LTE”

      • mr 1338

        I am not saying HTC phones are too expensive, it’s just that i am broke atm ;-)

      • colino17

        Yeah exclusivity sucks…no one really wants to switch carriers just for a phone

        • bha

          This can use in any network .. this is come with sim slot and it is unlock not like T-mobile or at&t phone .. this is the best phone …

      • Mike

        This is so true. HTC has some incredible devices but they let themselves get handcuffed and fucked by the Abuser.

    • Aj

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • LukeT32

      Vanilla Android and I would be all over it. Maybe I missed it, but is the boot loader locked?

    • Hom0ncruse

      final nail in the coffin for HTC

    • Balaram Vineeth Venugopal .P

      I feel your pain, mr 1338

  • paladaxar

    sort of off topic, but man, I gotta say, it blows my mind that we’ve got 1080p displays on a 5 INCH device now! …when we were all excited about 1080 on a 55 inch TV just a few years ago!

    I love technology…always and forever :)

    • ArticulateFool

      I agree. Technology in this sector is evolving at breakneck speeds.

      I expect to see a war between x86 and ARM architecture within the next few years.

      • Agret

        It’s funny that TV technology hasn’t advanced past 1080p displays though. They just keep making the panels larger but the resolution is the same low res garbage =(

        • EmagehtmaI

          Yeah, but we just made the switch to blu-ray a few years ago. We had VHS tapes for 20 years, DVDS for nearly that long. Even though technology can now support higher definition formats, Idon’t think you would have much luck convincing movie industry execs to move to yet another format when blu ray has barely been around 5 years.

          • dcortright

            Agreed. Fragmenting the movie format would be a nightmare and only encourage more pirating!

        • jonathan3579

          While that’s mostly true, I think we will be satisfied once 4K HDTV becomes mainstream and loses those crazy high price tags.

    • tanman888

      Manufacturers still struggle to standardise 1080p in mainstream laptops. No wonder more & more are progressively moving to tablet/phone solution.

  • Moises Rivera

    I love the way they designed the device itself.

  • janK

    Nice read!

    I wish HTC would stick to its one naming scheme (HTC One) though.

    • Virtue

      I think that was more Verizon’s fault than HTC’s.

      • eallan

        HTC still has to say yes.

        • mrforrest

          True, but VZW could just as easily drop the phone if HTC refused the Droid branding, which the hardware already visually reflects.

  • techweaver

    I’ll always remeber my shock when I’ve read the first time something like “13h is a decent work time for a smartphone” like wat da fuq? You call this long?
    Now I kinda got used to it and it ain’t sk bad. (My previous Wave 1) still work for about 6 days.

    • EmagehtmaI

      I know. I felt the same way going from feature phones to a smart phone. I would charge my phones maybe every 3 days with my old Sony Ericsson W series phones, then I switched to smart phones (an Xperia Play, actually), and I’m looking for a charger by 6 pm.

      • PJofTheGame

        lol- don’t go anywhere without a couple chargers, don’t get in the vehicle without plugging in the phone.

  • R.S

    Great review! Even though I’m not a fan of HTC, if I were still on Verizon, I’d definitely consider this phone.

    One thing though, doesn’t the Nexus 4 come “out the box” with wireless charging also? If so, with an earlier release date of I believe one week, wouldn’t the DNA be the second Android phone with wireless charging?

  • stenzor

    “but the Droid DNA is the very first Android phone to enable the feature right out of the box.”

    What about the Nexus 4?

  • auronblue

    Impressive device. I’m glad to hear the battery life isn’t as bad as initially guessed.

    • jonathan3579

      I currently am sitting at 19% remaining with 15h 31m on the clock. Keep in mind though that I am using the DNA on T-Mobile.

  • aarontam

    I’ll never buy it, but I wish I owned it. Sense has no place in my life :)

    • Thomas Biard

      I really despise Sense. I understand there are millions of people that like it, but in my opinion it is not intuitive to navigate compared to other skins and plain Android OS.

      I prefer the more natural Android experience. I would still love the phone though. Awesome device. HTC makes a great product.

    • Mike

      You ROOT the phone and you install AOKP or CM ROMs. This way you get rid of Sense and basically turn your DNA into a DNA Nexus. It blows my mind on how many people are scared to root their phone. Its one of the huge advantages of having Android. Grow some balls.

      • yoaj
      • http://ArtisticAbode.com BetterWithRoot

        I totally see your point. However, there is still a chance you can brick your phone. Rooting the DNA is not like rooting a nexus. There is no one click root method. There is no “fastboot OEM unlock” command. In order to root the DNA you essentially have to brick the device to wipe the partition so you can put a different CID onto the phone to get it unlocked from HTCDev. It’s not a novice root. While it’s nice that HTC provides an unlocking service, it’d be nice if the carriers would play along. In other words, rooting isn’t for everybody. It requires a certain amount of computer/technical expertise.

        Also, there is not yet any AOSP ROM for the DNA. They are a little senseless, debloated, with an AOSP style launcher. But don’t let the launcher fool you, Sense is still there.

        • iamXiV92a

          Bingo – like BetterWithRoot said, rooting an HTC device isn’t a novice job. I watch my younger brother battle for 3 days trying to root his Vivid. It was a mess. He’ll never buy another HTC phone because of it.

  • zolikaaa666

    Another trying…I hope they will breaktrough with this one!

  • cj100570

    Wireless charging in its current form is about as useful as a 3rd leg. I’ll keep the old charging cable; I can still use my phone while it charges!

  • Adryan maldonado

    Great review guys. If want for the fact that i want to leave Verizon and had won a HTC one x plus i would totally lay out the cash for this right now

  • jefflarkin

    I’m glad to see HTC finally putting out a solid phone again. This seems to have all the right features to stand out in the high-end market.

  • Christopher Bettis

    Great review bud. Good read ;-)
    Christopher Bettis
    Digital Rx
    http://www.digitalrxcloud.com/blog

  • Jorge Eslava

    They need to make this available to more carriers, or even better an unlocked gsm version

    • DROID Sam

      They did not mention it in the review, but the Droid DNA is GSM unlocked and work on AT&T and T-Mobile perfectly. Just pop in your SIM card and you’re good to go.

      • naypalm

        Oh wow I did not know this, Thanks for the info!

      • scubabum

        Thanks for this info. I was looking for this (ie world phone) info in the review but didn’t find it.

    • ArticulateFool

      Expect the majority of Verizon phones to come GSM unlocked in the future. They have an agreement to not GSM lock future phones. (even the iPhone 5 is GSM unlocked)

      Do not make the mistake of assuming LTE will work on GSM carriers though. The bands Verizon uses for LTE are not compatible with those of AT&T or T-Mobile’s planned deployment.

      • EmagehtmaI

        Bingo. They may work on At&t and T-mobile’s networks, but you’ll be using at&t’s HSPA + 3g network, and you’ll only get 2g on tmobile.

  • mrvander

    I should know better than to read reviews just after I bought a brand new GS3 on Black Friday. Still, the old adage holds true, it’s obsolete the moment you buy it. j/k, I love my GS3 and barring any major disasters, it’s my phone for at least two years – so I better.

  • KOBesucker

    Wait, so you got only three and a half hours of usage time, and you’re pretty much implying that batter life was good. No, that was terrible. THREE AND A HALF HOURS.

    Looking at some reviews from other sites, they mention lower than ideal battery time (and that’s expected of course because of the screen). one example The Verge, they mention they got four hours and 25 minutes during their battery test and they called THAT as meager battery life.

    “It’s certainly a phone that requires a trip to the battery charger at least once, possibly even twice, during the day to make it to the evening. ‘

    http://www.theverge.com/2012/11/16/3653508/htc-droid-dna-review

    This has me worried about rumors that the Galaxy S4 will have a 1080 HD display. They better have some battery advancements that the industry hasn’t seen yet, or a battery sipping (and I mean more of a drip) screen.

    • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

      There’s a huge difference between the way we tested the battery on the DNA compared to the Verge. They set their device to run video loops and browse the web to see how fast they can drain the battery. We test the phone in day to day usage scenarios to see how long it lasts and then compare it to other devices. In our testing, the DNA lasted longer than the HTC One X, One S and only a little less than the SGSIII.

      And lets not forget that The Verge posted its review of the DNA less than 48 hours after they initially received it. In my book, 48 hours is never enough time to get a good feel for battery life, especially if you’re installing apps, running benchmarks, testing the camera, recording video, capturing screen shots and using a full 4.5 hours to do a battery drain test. That’s not how a normal consumer uses a phone.

      • Richard Yarrell

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

        • snowbdr89

          8 to 10 hours of screen on eh dick see id love to see a screenshot of that oh and im also pulling about the sametime of battery life on my dna so neener neener dick ( head ) yarrell

        • squiddy20

          What’s sad is this “8 to 10hrs screen time” you’re coming up with. That detail tells me that for about 8 hours a day, you’ve got nothing better to do with your miserable little life than screw around on your stupid 5 inch phone. Excluding about 7 hours for sleeping, thats almost half the day gone. On your phone. And you constantly insult *me* about not having a life? Haha ok.

    • Mike

      He got 3.5 hours of screen on which is great, you idiot

  • kjsantaularia

    Got the note 2 over this and couldve bought the dna but I realky like the overall usage of the note. I knoe sense is horrible plus not really any pkus features except for 1080p the note 2s picture looks hd so…. htc rushed the device.. samsung really did well with the note

    • Agret

      If you install another launcher on your phone like Apex Launcher you probably won’t notice Sense too much except for camera / lockscreen. As for ” not really any pkus features except for 1080p the note 2s picture looks hd” I’m not sure what you mean by “looks HD”, the ppi is much much higher on the DNA.

  • sunrise

    Beautiful looking phone.

  • Kaustubh_Adhav

    HTC really needs to redesign sense. I’m not saying it’s ugly but it seems a bit dated. Sure sense 4 was a major revamp but they should really make it better! The stock google android design seems a lot better! No issues on hardware though, HTC has the best hardware out there!

  • lou2cool88

    This is a great looking phone. I wish that HTC would put a greater emphasis on battery life and tone down Sense even more than they have.

    Also, It’s a shame Verizon insists on locked boot loaders. Verizon should strive to make the Droid line different than regular android non-nexus devices. Maybe make it a “pure google” line. That would really differentiate them from the competition

  • nikhilverma

    This 1920×1080 HD Super LCD 3 screen is such a turn on.

  • thechad

    Looks like a cool phone. Thanks for the review.

  • http://genesischess.com/ MJM128

    Is the Front facing camera with an 88 degree wide-angle lens the same thing that HTC is toting for their Windows Phone 8X/S devices? If so it’s actually a pretty impressive front facing camera. I was at the htc goes full frontal event in hollywood and was quite impressed by the quality of the shots.

    • bellken

      Yes, the DNA, also, has a wide angle lens on the front

      • Agret

        Yes he said that, he is asking if that is the same thing they use on the Windows Phone 8X/S.

  • doublin

    Great phone and great review also!

  • avijaunty
  • MC_Android

    The lack of a sd card is such a killer for an otherwise good device… HTC, make a device that has microsd slot, >3000mAh battery and sell it unlocked and/or without carrier exclusivity.

    • Agret

      I hate the new trend towards dropping microsd slot, the cards are so cheap that I would love to just add 32gb/64gb storage to a device but Google seem to think external sd cards are evil and don’t need support from their OS anymore =/

      • EmagehtmaI

        Truth. For years one of the arguments I used when arguing the pro-android side against Apple fanboys was “yeah, well almost every android phone has expandable memory, something your iphone never will”. It seems this argument is becoming less relevant. What was the last major phone to be launched with expandable memory? The GS3?

      • mrforrest

        While I totally agree with you, I remember reading somewhere (might have been here) that Mattias Duarte basically said the reason for the dropping of SD card slots in Android phones over the past couple of years has been because it streamlines file storage on the phone. Something along the lines of the “average” user (keep in mind, these are the people they really need to impress because they are the vast majority) will become confused over where things on the phone are stored, especially on phones that already have pretty beefy internal storage. For instance, I know on my OG Droid, it was never a problem, because the only thing that could be stored to the internal storage was the system data and apps, while if there was an SD card slot in this phone or any with loads of internal storage, you can run into the problem of “wait, did i put that on the SD card or the internal storage? If I take the card out, what stuff will go missing?” etc. It makes perfect sense to me, and after he said that, I never complained about internal storage again. Just make sure you stick to phones with lots of storage already built in. My 32gb GNex has never run out of space once.

        • creeem

          that is called “dumbing down” technology. That is what Apple does. Its sad that Google has followed.
          I think instead of dropping the SD card Google/HTC should simply created a version called the Google Nexus 4 DUMBphone version for idiots who cannot manage their sd cards.
          I keed I keed :-P. Practically speaking they can create and app/mode where only music will be kept on the card. Users can select that options so they don’t get……….errr……..confused.
          Its a bad move Google will lose their fanboys. I think I am going to go back to Nokia and get their 920 which has everything and the windows OS. I would never buy APple ad now if Android is going to go the apple way they lick my balls.

  • fletchtb

    I find this review to be quite accurate. I’ve been really happy with this phone as a follow up to my galaxy nexus.

  • digvijaya07

    Awesome Review …… :)

  • Rahul Verma

    Great review!!! I guess by next year the features in this phone will become mainstream. I currently own a Note 2 but I guess can look for an upgrade by end of next year. :)

  • http://jwtear.blogspot.com/ cutiyar neriman

    its best i have ever seen, iam waiting u dna.

  • rr2009

    Good to hear that the battery is lasting as much as Galaxy SIII. With that much pixels under the hood along with quad-core Snapdragron processor, the Adreno graphics processor, and 2 GB RAM, I think it is fair time. I can’t wait to play 3D games in it.

  • Fede Montemurri

    Pretty design, very good display… good job HTC ;)

  • dino13

    This screensize enlargement should stop one day, otherwise were going to walk around in 3-4 years with 7 inch smartphones. Is there any other inovation out there?

  • acidone

    Screen looks amazing… Nice right up!

  • davehuze

    Thanks for the review! I have been looking at the DNA but the battery life had me worried.

  • revs

    bets phone out for now but the fact its exclusive to verizon sucks

  • JonJJon

    I honestly can’t see the point of a 1080 HD screen on a screen so small but I can’t deny I still want to see what it looks like ;-P

    • Jorge Vieira

      It looks fake until you actually use the interface you really can’t see any pixles. Head to your nearest Verizon store

      • rrrryrytry

        So hard to chose phones. I want this but afraid of the 16GB storage, and the battery.

  • bellken

    I have to agree with your s/w quibble. A menu button vs the multi-tasking button would been great, and, making it configurable would have been even better.

    • mr 1338

      on the HTC One series it was configurable once you install a small rot app

    • Agret

      Pretty sure that’s the Android 4 standard, now the menu button appears in the top corner of apps that use a menu.

  • sandy105

    i just hope they release the international version soon and everywhere not only in china…:) fingers crossed

  • SimonelliSays

    Its a nice feeling phone. Played around with it at the VZW Store. I’m shocked that the battery lasts as long as it does with all that horse power and that screen!

  • rbcameron1

    HTC’s UI is not quite as handy as it used to be. Not a huge fan of the way you interact with it. However 5″ screen at 1080p will make me over look that.

  • Mustin

    Great review! Pushing me back in the direction of the DNA. Got the EVO 4G LTE this summer and love it but getting QUITE fed up with Sprint. This will help smooth over the transition to Verizon.

    I do REALLY wish that HTC would calm down on the exclusives and also keep some consistency. Every raves about the One X but it doesn’t have the kickstand that the 4G LTE has and that drives me nuts! The kickstand is such a great feature that so many of my iFriends drool over. As much as I travel, it’s PERFECT for plane rides and emulated gaming. I wish HTC would have it on every phone (along with dedicated camera button) – THAT’S what’s going to make it hard to switch.

    Anyway, thanks for the review and I’ll go mess around with it some more at the Verizon store today.

    • Dray

      If you are paying for the phone anyway look at getting the case with the kickstand… Its a slim case with a matching holster and I love it, plus it helps with the grip (its a really smooth phone lol)

  • Pravas

    Wow if not for aesthetic this would have been HTC OneX replacement IMO.

  • sasepatrupc

    Niceee. If only it came without the contract.

  • sctrait

    Love the phone but really can’t stand sense, ruins it for me. Would be nice to not have to root htc phones

  • juno23

    Gorgeous phone!

  • eViLSt3ve

    Going to be getting this!

  • Nicko01

    If only it had an SD slot… I would love to put a 64GB microSD in this thing.
    I guess I’ll just have to keep waiting

  • LwmHWK20

    So nice, so much $$

  • cinhills123

    really spendy, don’t you think?

  • Himal Limbu

    this indeed is a great device but lack of proper advertisement…they gonna kill it.

  • Huggie87

    I love the specs on this phone but the lack of a sd card is a no go for me and I’m starting to get tired of sense as well

  • David Sumner

    This is a beast of a phone an I’m actually considering it. My T-mo contract doesn’t end for 3 months so I’m curious how long this phone will stay relevant…

  • squib

    They need to hurry up and release a UK version!!

  • titan13

    I can’t find in the review how much storage this has, mb I missed it? but on another site it says it has 16gb of storage with 11gb available to the user. Hopefully 32gb and 64gb versions will be available. Otherwise I think HTC are actually insane because this obviously isn’t a cheap phone or even slightly cheap.

    • Jeffdwisc

      I did a search, no mention of storage. I’m surprised that that was not mentioned. 16Gb would be a little low for a phone this powerful.

  • yoaj

    I would love this phone rooted with stock.

    But I will wait until 2013 starts oozing 5+” 1080p screened phones that run like track stars and have massibe batteries.

    I used to love getting bleeding edge phones ( helio, og droid, thunderbolt, galaxy nexus currently) but I think I’ll hold off now..

  • Prince77

    This is a great review of this device. I plan on leaving Sprint, more than likely for Verizon, but I will wait until I see the M7 and the GS4 to decide on what I want. I’m sure there will will be lots to choose from in the next 6 months.

  • pilot1

    I wonder how the power usage is on wireless charging. Does anyone know if the qi chargers draw significantly more power than wired chargers?

  • tom

    Great phone except for lack of storage. 16gb with 12-11gb usable with no microSD slot. Major fail on that.

  • Jorge Vieira

    Im getting this phone purely because I want to use it on ATT!

  • Snebz

    Sounds like a beast of a phone!

  • ConfuciusTse

    I know a swappable battery adds like 2mm to a phone but that absence is a deal breaker to me. Is that right that it also has limited storage with no micro sd? Forget it then, not even close to being on my list.

    • Agret

      Unfortunately you are correct on both counts.

    • titan13

      I had a dumb phone which had the battery built into the shell of a phone. It was removable and when in place it made up part of the external shell. maybe HTC could build the battery into the removable cover? might save a mm.

  • StEVO_M

    I have the EVO LTE. It’s a nice phone, but from time to time it seams to really lag. I reboot usually fixes it, but you would think with specs like this it should run much better.

  • http://ilysespieces.tumblr.com Ilyse Rose

    Even with reassurance from reviews I’m still uncomfortable with a non-removable battery. I like the option too much.

  • Tico4674

    Great looking device but my gs3 will do just fine until the next version of the galaxy s series(gs4).

  • KingCrow02

    Sounds like a great phone just wish it was not CDMA

  • sweet

    if i didnt get the note II, this would be my next phone of choice

  • kookeetree

    One word… wow.

  • Nolerltw

    I can’t stand covered ports of any kind.

  • Snowman81

    With no micro sd card slot the DNA should have come with at least 32gb of storage. Really not sure what HTC and Verizon were thinking here.

    • Anamelesssomebody

      That you can CLOUD ; ) Oh wait they got rid of unlimited, you have to pay more for your data. Oh wait again, I think that was their plan.

  • alexanderharri3

    Less the lack of microsd card slot mention a bit more prominent, that was a great review!

  • cainneach

    WANT!!!!!!!!!

  • redraider133

    I am glad this phone is getting good reviews. I want to see HTC succeed again, they make nice hardware and can’t wait to see what they bring after this

  • DroidPower

    best of everything AND wireless charging!!!

  • aby2aby

    Mob Con is near. Everyone coming with their next flagship.
    HTC DNA will go into Oblivion soon.

    We had enough of Hardware Innovations (for now). Already outmatched std gaming PC config.
    Now we need Innovations and tweaking in Software and features.

    Bring wonders!!!!

  • arminla

    I really hate the face that there is sense on these phones!!

  • bquach87

    I love htc, one of the best android hardware manufacturer. I’ll def buy this when it’s cheaper.

  • Nathan D.

    This is an awesome device, hopefully other carrier will get similar product from HTC.

  • FranzVz

    This thing is a pure beast. I wonder if it could have potentially been the Nexus 4 instead of LG getting the deal.

  • misael

    without a doubt it is a piece of art, but smartphones are getting bigger every day.

  • nipunmehta7

    nice review

  • obee76

    I am using one since past 2 weeks and just LOVE it….Bought my wife iPhone 5 and then returned it after 4 days. Got her the Galaxy S3 (kept DNA for myself = )

    The areas which I was concerned about before buying DNA were

    1 – Size – I don’t have big hands but this phone can be easily handled after you use it for a couple of days
    2 – Battery – It is nothing close to the ‘fear’ that is hyped in ‘reviews’. The battery is more (and I say more) than enough to last me from 7am to 11pm. Lots of talk including blue tooth headset, gps and music for my half hour morning run, email/msging and limited websurfing during daytime, games, tango, downloading lots of wallpapers, wasting time on Google play and watching useless videos (maybe 20 mins total) in the evening. Oh and the paranoia of checking weather every 20 mins as if somehow it will go from 32 degrees to 75 degrees…
    3 – Swype – Believe it or not Samsung’s swype typing was one of the best features I liked on my previous Samsung fascinate. I did not know that jelly bean actually has its own …so that was a great surprise

    Thats it…other than that…a fantastic piece of engineering to hold and use daily.

    …and a friend who got iphone5, drooled over my DNA for a week then went ahead and bought Note 2 !! …. so now he finds excuse to hold DNA and say ‘ your screen is awesome – you know that?’

  • http://www.jimtravis.com jimtravis

    May just buy this phone as a Christmas gift for myself since I am a gadget enthusiast. I currently have a Galaxy Nexus with Verizon, and I should be able to buy the DNA off contract without impacting my contract status in any way. I do not want a contract extension. According to Verizon, I can swap the LTE SIM to / from the DNA, and Galaxy Nexus without any cost, or problem. Will stop by the Verizon Store tomorrow to confirm the info I was given over the phone today.

    I am concerned about two trends I see in top of the line smartphones – no replaceable batteries, and no microSD support. Cloud storage is nice, but cell / WiFi is not always available at least at the speed you need for quality video streaming along with the demise of true high speed unlimited data on some USA carriers. I currently carry spare batteries for all my smartphones, and it is a rare day that I do not change the battery in at least one of them in the course of the day. I do use the phone constantly throughout the day, and it is the norm for at least one battery to drain completely before I get home. I’ll take carrying around a small, light, reasonably priced spare battery vs. the alternative heavy, bulky external USB battery pack. I do not like this obsession with thinness, and avoidance of cover lines. I will gladly take the 1 or 2 mm increase in thickness to permit a replaceable battery, and microSD card support (and / or an alternative USB host for thumbdrive support). But other than these two all two frequent trends in top of the line phones, this phone seems like the king of the hill at least for the next few months.

    • http://www.jimtravis.com jimtravis

      still no editing.

      should read …other than these two all too frequent trends …
      I enjoy predictive text, but sometimes …

      • http://www.jimtravis.com jimtravis

        Did purchase the DNA at Verizon off contract, and am using the LTE SIM from my Galaxy Nexus which still has one year left on contract. Did not want to extend the contract.

        It was close between the Note II, and DNA. I have the original GT7000 international version of the Note, and absolutely love it. A Note II. or III is definitely in my future.

        The screen on the DNA is fantastic, everything is crisp, and super clear. Unlike other reviews, I do not agree that the fantastic DNA screen makes other top of the line screens look bad. Although the DNA’s screen is sharper, and definitely king of the hill, the screens on the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and the original Note still look nice.

        One of my concerns was the lack of microSD support. The DNA does support USB host Mass Storage. I brought my USB host cable, and a thumb drive to the Verizon Store to ensure I could store videos on a thumb drive since no external SD card is available. The USB Mass Storage worked fine on both the Note II, and DNA. In addition to thumb drives, the USB3 micro / SD reader from my computer with the host cable should work OK like it does on the Note 1, and 7.7 Tab. I have not had the device long enough to ascertain how decent (or not) the battery life is.

        Firefox Beta and Flash seem to work fine. I know it is “cool” to hate Flash, but you don’t get the full web without it.

        Downloaded all my apps from the Play Store, and have not encountered any major problems yet. A few minor glitches, but nothing distracting.

        The DNA seems well built, and I like the red trim. Haven’t tried the camera yet, but the phone voice quality seems to be top notch based on the few calls I made.

        Since it is the holiday season, I have until Jan 15 to return the DNA to the Verizon Store albeit with a $35 return fee.. The DNA is expensive, but the price is in-line with other non-contract top of the line smartphones. A nice feature of the Verizon Store vs. some big box stores is all the phones are working, and the reps had no problem with me trying them including using the USB host cable, and thumb drive.

        I like the feel of the DNA in my hand. I liked the Galaxy Nexus, but always thought it was a bit too narrow for its height. I do have long fingers.

        No doubt the Note II is an excellent choice as well. If I did not already have the Note 1, I may have purchased the Note 2, but it was a difficult choice. If possible, go to the Verizon Store, or other vendor who has the phones actually working so you can try them out, and compare the features which are important to you.

  • Lindsey

    iPhone 5 is way better, i have an iPhone 5. I heard the htc company is almost bankrupt, who buys their phones then????? I bought the iPhone from the richest company, Apple. They wont go bankrupt.
    Just sayin.

  • yankeesusa

    I was a die hard htc fan till the evo 3d. Although the specs and the smoothness of the evo 3d were great that hardware quality was horrible. I had it replaced about 6-8 times including the first week after buying it. After that they left sour taste in my mouth so I finally switched and tried samsung and got the note 2. But after all the reviews and great specs on this dna I probably would have given htc another chance if they wouldn’t have gone the exclusive route. Oh well. Samsung will be my phone for at least 2 years.

  • yankeesusa

    Can they please change it so when you leave a comment you have to be registered? I’m sure your not going to respond but lindsey, since you say iphone 5 is better, when was the last time you used an android phone? I have heard several people say they went back to their 4s because of all the negatives from the 5. Yes its a great phone but it was over hyped. Its not me thats saying it its all the disgruntled iphone fans that were let down 1 being my wife. She is still using her 4 since the 5 wasn’t really an upgrade except for processor and screen size. I really hope you continue the conversation if not I guess its just like every other apple fan, make one comment and can’t back it up. Oh well, that’s why I stick with android, an os I believe in and can prove why its better or at least better for me!

  • coldheater

    nice…I hope to win!

  • Richard Yarrell

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • Talemaster

    I’m going to have to get one of these

  • dbcher

    Have to admit that this is a pretty nice looking phone.
    My SII is starting to look a bit long in the tooth compared to some of these newer phones coming out.

  • Jess

    Hi! My name is Jess and I’m from the Philippines, my wife is coming home this summer from the US and she asked me if what smartphone should she give me as gift this coming Christmas. Then I thought that maybe I should tell her to get this one…BUT the biggest question that keeps bugging me is WHAT IF she purchased the US version of this model and when she’s finally here in the Philippines… would that cause any problem like Network Connectivity, SIM CARD, WiFi Connection, Charger/Adapter or anything that could affect it’s functions. In short…is the US Version only FOR the US Users? I’m new to this stuff, so this question maybe stupid for you.

  • Uriah

    I continue to be impressed by the performance of my Droid DNA. I was even more surprised with how good the screen looks. Watching shows on the 1080p display is wonderful. I use the DISH Remote Access app on my phone which lets me stream live TV through the Sling Adapter that I have connected to my receiver at home. It’s a really useful app that I use to catch my shows when I’m not at home since it works wherever I go. One of my DISH coworkers also has a Droid DNA, and we both agree that it’s one of the best phones you can buy.

  • jaysun420

    This phone has no sd card slot, no hdmi out and has the charge of the original droid razr. What a waste of a phone!

  • snownebula

    The HTC Droid DNA seems like a sweet phone, but it’s yet another phone that’s missing the SD card slot. This is one of the many phones lately where SD card functionality was dropped. This a bit troubling for me since that’s one of key differentiating features that I identify with Android phones when comparing with Apple’s offering. Are manufacturers taking design cues from the Nexus line?

    • http://www.jimtravis.com jimtravis

      I miss the SD card slot as well, but more so back when the SD cards were externally accessible without removing the back cover, and sometimes the battery. The DNA supports USB Host, no rooting, no tricking, just plug in a OTG cable. Using a less than a dollar cable from Amazon, and a thumb drive,you can stream, and / or copy any file I wish to / from the DNA. Using the USB card reader from my PC, the DNA (using the same cable) can stream from microSD, and SD cards as well. In many ways, the native USB host is a more flexible solution although it would be nice to have both USB host, and SD card support particularly if the SD card could be removed without shutting down, removing cover, and removing battery. Carrying around a 3″ or so cable, and small thumbdrive is no problem, hardly feel them in the pocket.

      The screen is spectacular, everything is so crisp, and sharp.

      • Dave

        USB Host is not working on my Droid DNA with latest updates from Verizon. When I plug in my cable that works on many other devices, I get “unsupported charger” messages. No detection of attached device. Anyone else seen this?

  • rvetsch

    Nice phone but from HTC. Great Hardware, but software…… not so nice in my opinion

  • dillonshepherd1991

    I bet that screen is BE-AU-TI-FULL!

  • Goldclip

    They should of made the battery removable. Great phone though.

  • humidity

    My buddy got one and loves it!

  • Bozz019

    Totally love!

  • Mehhh

    Is android beam in the app drawer? Sorry, i’m wondering because im upgrading to this from the HTC Thunderbolt. HTC all the way. I was about to go iPhone, but I want a big screen. :)

  • awesomellamas57

    So incredible that we now have a 1080p display on a 5 inch phone! Really hope the DNA will help HTC get back on their feet next year

  • cflo

    Seems legit

  • mightynaf

    Aren’t we getting to the point where screen resolution doesn’t make that much of a difference?

  • nipunmehta7
  • nobile

    Some good design from HTC.

  • mjhombre

    This or the Note 2. Decisions, decisions.

    • naypalm

      I just checked out my brothers Note 2 and it is a solid phone. I’m not yet convinced about having such a huge screen but that’s just me or my pocketbook talking :)

  • trailblazerz

    Always liked HTC design and this has great specs but of all the Skins I hate Sense the most. Most cluttered and heavy.

  • dutrak

    I wish there was one around so I can at least look at the thing… Not having one available in the UK sucks

  • John

    It takes approx. 260 days to get to Mars, or approx 9 months. We send the rover up there to explore and play in Mars dirt! That thing has to have somes batteries…right? So why can’t someone develop a phone that lasts more than day….by the way, huge HTC fan….this comment is really for all phone manufactures!

    • naypalm

      I used to own strictly Nokia phones during 2003-2007 era. The battery life from their phones are phenomenal (5 to 6 days)! Unfortunately developers moved to iOS and Android so I had to switch too. I’ve been happy ever since.

  • http://n4zim.timblr.com Nazim Lachter

    … 5GHz :O

  • donger

    Wish this beast came with vanilla Android.

  • jonstle

    Looks like a nice phone!

  • cjleines

    I can’t have a phone unless it has a replaceable battery. I generally have the screen on for five or more hours between charges. And with the lte upgrade in my area recently, standard batteries aren’t cutting it

  • nobile

    Very nice phone :)

  • redraider133

    I finally got to hold and play with one of these today and man is this a nice phone. HTC is going in the right direction with that phone, between the smoothness, the screen, and even the size did not feel bad at all in hand. Hopefully this will fuel HTC to get back to where they used to be making phones.

  • Artificial Bacon

    Great review but seriously, HTC: One major phone, all carriers. I wrote out this long and complicated reason as to why they should change up the way they operate but at this point, we all know they’re doing it wrong even with such high-end hardware.

  • Snowman81

    Really feeling the Droid DNA, but the 16gb storage really take the wind out of the sails. A phone that screams video playback super device, 16gb just isn’t enough.

  • Bill Sincavage

    Looks like a good device. I was hoping HTC would have made the next Nexus instead of LG

  • aBax

    Me gusta.

  • breckdroid

    Solid phone. I just wish us normal folk could get the red-backed VZW employee version.

  • naypalm

    Thanks for the great review!!! If only I could get the DNA for AT&T. This phone is Awesome!!!!

  • http://n4zim.timblr.com Nazim Lachter

    The irreplaceable design of HTC devices <3

  • bgssilva

    i need see the screen now!

  • PUTALE

    one of the best phone for sure but I think HTC did not time the launch so that it can gain much exposure. Also, I think HTC made a bad choice of going with verizon since it won’t be easy sell for them.

  • klcow92

    will there be an international model for this coming out? just wondering

  • radaan

    Great article!

  • radaan

    And great device

  • mydnightsorrow

    i love htc pones. I wish I had this one to add to my arsenal, but I like my razr maxx hd as well (other than its shitty camera)

  • Stig03

    I love it! Just sense lets it down :(!

  • Ezy03

    I love this phone!

  • TheStig

    its a great phone! if onlly we had a nexus phablet

  • prime_optimus

    Amazing !

  • marcus1518

    This was a good review…I would so get this device.

  • melan26

    I really want to get this one.

  • c1liu

    dude this phone is siiiiick i’d get it if my contract were over.. or close to ending..

  • altonwang

    Might even go to Verizon just for this…

  • bleeew

    Can’t wait to get this phone. I was about to get an iPhone, but it doesn’t do all the cool things android does. NFC seems REALLY useful. Inductive charging seems cool to have, but I know I’m not gonna use it, and the best is in the display. Better than the “retina” display. I look at my brothers iPhone, and I see the pixels.

  • troysyx

    Amazing phone! Now, how to stop manufactures from doing carrier exclusives….

  • Mhax

    You have to understand that having a phone on all lines is impractical, not for you but for your service provider. This phone is Verizon exclusive because it attracts people to Verizon. If Metro PCS had this phone and someone wanted it they would switch over to metro for the low prices. Don’t be a selfish buyer and understand why this device is a Verizon exclusive.

    Plus Verizon is great, I love the service I’m getting. I’m still rolling with a cracked up Droid Incredible 2, works great, The prices aren’t bad. HTC makes similar models of their shit, Sprint will get this phone in some sort of Evo form.

    • Mhax

      Also, I’m a sense user and its just annoying hearing people with iphones and samsungs complaining about sense. You might have only seen it or used it for a few seconds, but it is really great.

  • Eric Wilborn

    Love my DNA. Always loved HTC.. this is a home run.

  • Denenatse
  • Balaram Vineeth Venugopal .P

    And my device has a 320/240 screen :(

  • rposenato1216

    after a few of my friends getting this, i totally want it. it works great, and is still HTC which is awesome.

  • Jimmy

    I would be up against Notes2 or its siblings. Samgsung doesn’t even has originality, they pretty much copy Apple series in which they are also refered as SamgPle.

  • JaneBales

    I really love this phone but since I have AT&T I’ll likely get the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 since it’s on 4G LTE. I work as a real estate agent and it would be great for viewing large images of my properties before sending them to my Atlanta clients or to the brochure printers. I have to have the 4G speed now; anything less won’t do. The DNA is a beauty, though.

  • g1user

    Very nice review! Thanks again guys!!

  • bloodsushi

    I’m a little tempted to switch out my s3 for this beast

  • Dan Keogh

    Good to See HTC come up trumps with this one, My first smartphone was the HTC Desire and I liked the style and features of it, but went for the Samsung galaxy SIII as I wanted the micro sd card and changable battery. Looking Good

  • John

    I hate this phone! On a scale of 1-10 I give it a 3! They over sold it. The internet is way to slow for a 4G lte! I have to turn it off to many times when I want to use it. Highly NOT recommended

  • Jefferson17

    Sorry but I have to disagree. I’ve owned the DNA for 3 weeks. The screen is great but the sum of the parts, great as they are, are undermined by the way that one must be forced to USE it.

    My hands are big. Yet, there is no practical way to use this thing one-handed. Let’s say that you want to make a call / txt, whatever? Ok well either you must use your other hand to hit that button way up top, or you must really shift the phone around in your hand quite a bit to hit it and then … shimmy your hand back down to where the icons actually are. Sorry but this just isn’t “1 handed” design. It’s a total pain and a deal killer all by itself. Don’t think of this as a phone. Think of it as a very small tablet. That is how it was designed.

    The battery life is “ok”. Not good not great and I could LIVE with that, if the feel of the thing was based on how a person will actually USE the thing.

    Another example. Let’s say that you are in the phone app and you … wish to check your visual voicemail. You can’t just hold down 1 to get there, like you can on Motorola. Instead you must go back to the home screen, then go into the voicemail app. This may seem like “only one extra step”. But these really add up.

    I’m trading my DNA back in and getting one of the Motorola models. They are designed to work the way that I work, just like iphones do (owned these for 5 years). Sorry but just I’m NOT going to spend the next 2 years struggling w/ a DNA. HTC needs to pay attention to Use and Feel.

  • kmdolce15

    Honestly, this phone lost great in pictures and on paper… but the second I picked it up and played with it a hated it. I think Sense used to be the best UI but now it is just boring, I have a Galaxy S3, which is big, but this phone is huge to the point it is annoying in the hand, and a phone of this shape and material was slippery for me.
    ?Just my opinion?

  • stringdidj

    Sense makes little sense these days, Pure Jelly bean is far more fluid and user friendly/ I have to say I do like the design and build quality of HTC phones though. Just put a new screen on a Wildfire S and was impressed by the way its constructed and how it can be taken apart compared to the insides of the iphone I repaired.

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  • Rob L

    Regarding the main camera on the HTC DNA you must be blind not to see how in standard picture mode that the images are distorted– they are stretched at the very edges the images are stretched out and people appear either wide or vertically stretched. This can clearly be seen in most of the reference images the writer posted. When taking a picture of a square or rectangular object (holding the camera very square to the object) you can see that the edges of the object are a little pin-cushioned (which is weird because it is contrary to the stretching). I have checked multiple DNA’s and they all exhibited this fault. With all other Android phones I haven’t seen this issue anything as bad as this. I know it isn’t the software because I have tried second party apps and portrait mode and seen the same thing. My guess is that like the front facing lens for wide angle to allow multiple people to be seen they have used a wider angle lens for the main camera as well and this is the root cause. All this frankly to say is very disappointing– as I’m willing to live with the marginal battery life and lack of external SD card but this is bad. I’m trying to contact HTC and get their response. If anyone else has noticed this issue it would be appreciated if you would post it as well.

    • DG

      I see the exact same problem with distortion and stretching at edges of photos. Checked with verizon and HTC and there’s no fix. HTC claimed on the phone they didn’t see it but at Verizon store several models had the same issue.

    • Your sign, here it is

      It’s a 88° fish eye front lens facing the user folks. This is for attracting users that take self portraits on their device. Verizon is the perfect carrier for the device also, streaming my Netflix in HD takes a ton of data. And as for Sense, if you’re a serious techie then most likely you bought it out of contract, as I did to maintain my unlimited data and if I’m gonna spend over $600 on a phone I think it would be silly to complain about spending a few bucks on an HD launcher and pack of widgets. Having the USB host option means one OTG cable connected to a cheap multicard reader means all my spare 32gb sdcards are put to use. Oh, and dragon assistant is the $#!& for making use of the stereo Bluetooth suggested for it. While I have my concerns about replacing the battery, I have been browsing the web for about ten hours now off the charger and my battery is still in the green. My point is, the software is open sourced… If you don’t like it, ANYONE can do something about it BESIDES complain! Write a better app! It’ll be a LOT harder to swap hardware. So really, isn’t that what should matter most?

  • George Warr

    Man, I love this phone! The weather widget is a must see- when you unlock the home screen, depending on how the weather is at that moment (it’s been raining here), you’ll get heavy clouds coming at you at first and then it’ll retreat and show rain (with sound!) all in a span of 2-3 seconds! Effin’ awesome!

  • babyflr

    They need to make this available to more carriers, or even better an unlocked gsm version
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yup i agree with this point.. Even though you can get the HTC unlocked by yourself from any vendors online like http://www.prounlocking.com so that you can access with any GSM carrier

  1. Oh my, i need this Phone, it is amazing!
    Now if only i had Money to actually buy it :(

  2. sort of off topic, but man, I gotta say, it blows my mind that we’ve got 1080p displays on a 5 INCH device now! …when we were all excited about 1080 on a 55 inch TV just a few years ago!

    I love technology…always and forever :)

    • I agree. Technology in this sector is evolving at breakneck speeds.

      I expect to see a war between x86 and ARM architecture within the next few years.

      • It’s funny that TV technology hasn’t advanced past 1080p displays though. They just keep making the panels larger but the resolution is the same low res garbage =(

        • EmagehtmaIGuest 2 years ago

          Yeah, but we just made the switch to blu-ray a few years ago. We had VHS tapes for 20 years, DVDS for nearly that long. Even though technology can now support higher definition formats, Idon’t think you would have much luck convincing movie industry execs to move to yet another format when blu ray has barely been around 5 years.

        • While that’s mostly true, I think we will be satisfied once 4K HDTV becomes mainstream and loses those crazy high price tags.

    • Manufacturers still struggle to standardise 1080p in mainstream laptops. No wonder more & more are progressively moving to tablet/phone solution.

  3. I love the way they designed the device itself.

  4. Nice read!

    I wish HTC would stick to its one naming scheme (HTC One) though.

  5. techweaverGuest 2 years ago

    I’ll always remeber my shock when I’ve read the first time something like “13h is a decent work time for a smartphone” like wat da fuq? You call this long?
    Now I kinda got used to it and it ain’t sk bad. (My previous Wave 1) still work for about 6 days.

    • EmagehtmaIGuest 2 years ago

      I know. I felt the same way going from feature phones to a smart phone. I would charge my phones maybe every 3 days with my old Sony Ericsson W series phones, then I switched to smart phones (an Xperia Play, actually), and I’m looking for a charger by 6 pm.

  6. Great review! Even though I’m not a fan of HTC, if I were still on Verizon, I’d definitely consider this phone.

    One thing though, doesn’t the Nexus 4 come “out the box” with wireless charging also? If so, with an earlier release date of I believe one week, wouldn’t the DNA be the second Android phone with wireless charging?

  7. “but the Droid DNA is the very first Android phone to enable the feature right out of the box.”

    What about the Nexus 4?

  8. Impressive device. I’m glad to hear the battery life isn’t as bad as initially guessed.

  9. I’ll never buy it, but I wish I owned it. Sense has no place in my life :)

    • I really despise Sense. I understand there are millions of people that like it, but in my opinion it is not intuitive to navigate compared to other skins and plain Android OS.

      I prefer the more natural Android experience. I would still love the phone though. Awesome device. HTC makes a great product.

    • MikeGuest 2 years ago

      You ROOT the phone and you install AOKP or CM ROMs. This way you get rid of Sense and basically turn your DNA into a DNA Nexus. It blows my mind on how many people are scared to root their phone. Its one of the huge advantages of having Android. Grow some balls.

      • I totally see your point. However, there is still a chance you can brick your phone. Rooting the DNA is not like rooting a nexus. There is no one click root method. There is no “fastboot OEM unlock” command. In order to root the DNA you essentially have to brick the device to wipe the partition so you can put a different CID onto the phone to get it unlocked from HTCDev. It’s not a novice root. While it’s nice that HTC provides an unlocking service, it’d be nice if the carriers would play along. In other words, rooting isn’t for everybody. It requires a certain amount of computer/technical expertise.

        Also, there is not yet any AOSP ROM for the DNA. They are a little senseless, debloated, with an AOSP style launcher. But don’t let the launcher fool you, Sense is still there.

        • Bingo – like BetterWithRoot said, rooting an HTC device isn’t a novice job. I watch my younger brother battle for 3 days trying to root his Vivid. It was a mess. He’ll never buy another HTC phone because of it.

  10. Another trying…I hope they will breaktrough with this one!

  11. Wireless charging in its current form is about as useful as a 3rd leg. I’ll keep the old charging cable; I can still use my phone while it charges!

  12. Great review guys. If want for the fact that i want to leave Verizon and had won a HTC one x plus i would totally lay out the cash for this right now

  13. I’m glad to see HTC finally putting out a solid phone again. This seems to have all the right features to stand out in the high-end market.

  14. Christopher BettisGuest 2 years ago

    Great review bud. Good read ;-)
    Christopher Bettis
    Digital Rx
    http://www.digitalrxcloud.com/blog

  15. They need to make this available to more carriers, or even better an unlocked gsm version

    • DROID SamGuest 2 years ago

      They did not mention it in the review, but the Droid DNA is GSM unlocked and work on AT&T and T-Mobile perfectly. Just pop in your SIM card and you’re good to go.

    • Expect the majority of Verizon phones to come GSM unlocked in the future. They have an agreement to not GSM lock future phones. (even the iPhone 5 is GSM unlocked)

      Do not make the mistake of assuming LTE will work on GSM carriers though. The bands Verizon uses for LTE are not compatible with those of AT&T or T-Mobile’s planned deployment.

      • EmagehtmaIGuest 2 years ago

        Bingo. They may work on At&t and T-mobile’s networks, but you’ll be using at&t’s HSPA + 3g network, and you’ll only get 2g on tmobile.

  16. I should know better than to read reviews just after I bought a brand new GS3 on Black Friday. Still, the old adage holds true, it’s obsolete the moment you buy it. j/k, I love my GS3 and barring any major disasters, it’s my phone for at least two years – so I better.

  17. Wait, so you got only three and a half hours of usage time, and you’re pretty much implying that batter life was good. No, that was terrible. THREE AND A HALF HOURS.

    Looking at some reviews from other sites, they mention lower than ideal battery time (and that’s expected of course because of the screen). one example The Verge, they mention they got four hours and 25 minutes during their battery test and they called THAT as meager battery life.

    “It’s certainly a phone that requires a trip to the battery charger at least once, possibly even twice, during the day to make it to the evening. ‘

    http://www.theverge.com/2012/11/16/3653508/htc-droid-dna-review

    This has me worried about rumors that the Galaxy S4 will have a 1080 HD display. They better have some battery advancements that the industry hasn’t seen yet, or a battery sipping (and I mean more of a drip) screen.

    • There’s a huge difference between the way we tested the battery on the DNA compared to the Verge. They set their device to run video loops and browse the web to see how fast they can drain the battery. We test the phone in day to day usage scenarios to see how long it lasts and then compare it to other devices. In our testing, the DNA lasted longer than the HTC One X, One S and only a little less than the SGSIII.

      And lets not forget that The Verge posted its review of the DNA less than 48 hours after they initially received it. In my book, 48 hours is never enough time to get a good feel for battery life, especially if you’re installing apps, running benchmarks, testing the camera, recording video, capturing screen shots and using a full 4.5 hours to do a battery drain test. That’s not how a normal consumer uses a phone.

      • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

        • snowbdr89Guest 2 years ago

          8 to 10 hours of screen on eh dick see id love to see a screenshot of that oh and im also pulling about the sametime of battery life on my dna so neener neener dick ( head ) yarrell

        • squiddy20Guest 2 years ago

          What’s sad is this “8 to 10hrs screen time” you’re coming up with. That detail tells me that for about 8 hours a day, you’ve got nothing better to do with your miserable little life than screw around on your stupid 5 inch phone. Excluding about 7 hours for sleeping, thats almost half the day gone. On your phone. And you constantly insult *me* about not having a life? Haha ok.

    • MikeGuest 2 years ago

      He got 3.5 hours of screen on which is great, you idiot

  18. Got the note 2 over this and couldve bought the dna but I realky like the overall usage of the note. I knoe sense is horrible plus not really any pkus features except for 1080p the note 2s picture looks hd so…. htc rushed the device.. samsung really did well with the note

    • If you install another launcher on your phone like Apex Launcher you probably won’t notice Sense too much except for camera / lockscreen. As for ” not really any pkus features except for 1080p the note 2s picture looks hd” I’m not sure what you mean by “looks HD”, the ppi is much much higher on the DNA.

  19. Beautiful looking phone.

  20. HTC really needs to redesign sense. I’m not saying it’s ugly but it seems a bit dated. Sure sense 4 was a major revamp but they should really make it better! The stock google android design seems a lot better! No issues on hardware though, HTC has the best hardware out there!

  21. This is a great looking phone. I wish that HTC would put a greater emphasis on battery life and tone down Sense even more than they have.

    Also, It’s a shame Verizon insists on locked boot loaders. Verizon should strive to make the Droid line different than regular android non-nexus devices. Maybe make it a “pure google” line. That would really differentiate them from the competition

  22. This 1920×1080 HD Super LCD 3 screen is such a turn on.

  23. Looks like a cool phone. Thanks for the review.

  24. Is the Front facing camera with an 88 degree wide-angle lens the same thing that HTC is toting for their Windows Phone 8X/S devices? If so it’s actually a pretty impressive front facing camera. I was at the htc goes full frontal event in hollywood and was quite impressed by the quality of the shots.

  25. Great phone and great review also!

  26. The lack of a sd card is such a killer for an otherwise good device… HTC, make a device that has microsd slot, >3000mAh battery and sell it unlocked and/or without carrier exclusivity.

    • I hate the new trend towards dropping microsd slot, the cards are so cheap that I would love to just add 32gb/64gb storage to a device but Google seem to think external sd cards are evil and don’t need support from their OS anymore =/

      • EmagehtmaIGuest 2 years ago

        Truth. For years one of the arguments I used when arguing the pro-android side against Apple fanboys was “yeah, well almost every android phone has expandable memory, something your iphone never will”. It seems this argument is becoming less relevant. What was the last major phone to be launched with expandable memory? The GS3?

      • While I totally agree with you, I remember reading somewhere (might have been here) that Mattias Duarte basically said the reason for the dropping of SD card slots in Android phones over the past couple of years has been because it streamlines file storage on the phone. Something along the lines of the “average” user (keep in mind, these are the people they really need to impress because they are the vast majority) will become confused over where things on the phone are stored, especially on phones that already have pretty beefy internal storage. For instance, I know on my OG Droid, it was never a problem, because the only thing that could be stored to the internal storage was the system data and apps, while if there was an SD card slot in this phone or any with loads of internal storage, you can run into the problem of “wait, did i put that on the SD card or the internal storage? If I take the card out, what stuff will go missing?” etc. It makes perfect sense to me, and after he said that, I never complained about internal storage again. Just make sure you stick to phones with lots of storage already built in. My 32gb GNex has never run out of space once.

        • creeemGuest 2 years ago

          that is called “dumbing down” technology. That is what Apple does. Its sad that Google has followed.
          I think instead of dropping the SD card Google/HTC should simply created a version called the Google Nexus 4 DUMBphone version for idiots who cannot manage their sd cards.
          I keed I keed :-P. Practically speaking they can create and app/mode where only music will be kept on the card. Users can select that options so they don’t get……….errr……..confused.
          Its a bad move Google will lose their fanboys. I think I am going to go back to Nokia and get their 920 which has everything and the windows OS. I would never buy APple ad now if Android is going to go the apple way they lick my balls.

  27. I find this review to be quite accurate. I’ve been really happy with this phone as a follow up to my galaxy nexus.

  28. Awesome Review …… :)

  29. Great review!!! I guess by next year the features in this phone will become mainstream. I currently own a Note 2 but I guess can look for an upgrade by end of next year. :)

  30. its best i have ever seen, iam waiting u dna.

  31. Good to hear that the battery is lasting as much as Galaxy SIII. With that much pixels under the hood along with quad-core Snapdragron processor, the Adreno graphics processor, and 2 GB RAM, I think it is fair time. I can’t wait to play 3D games in it.

  32. Pretty design, very good display… good job HTC ;)

  33. This screensize enlargement should stop one day, otherwise were going to walk around in 3-4 years with 7 inch smartphones. Is there any other inovation out there?

  34. Screen looks amazing… Nice right up!

  35. Thanks for the review! I have been looking at the DNA but the battery life had me worried.

  36. revsGuest 2 years ago

    bets phone out for now but the fact its exclusive to verizon sucks

  37. I honestly can’t see the point of a 1080 HD screen on a screen so small but I can’t deny I still want to see what it looks like ;-P

  38. I have to agree with your s/w quibble. A menu button vs the multi-tasking button would been great, and, making it configurable would have been even better.

  39. i just hope they release the international version soon and everywhere not only in china…:) fingers crossed

  40. Its a nice feeling phone. Played around with it at the VZW Store. I’m shocked that the battery lasts as long as it does with all that horse power and that screen!

  41. HTC’s UI is not quite as handy as it used to be. Not a huge fan of the way you interact with it. However 5″ screen at 1080p will make me over look that.

  42. Great review! Pushing me back in the direction of the DNA. Got the EVO 4G LTE this summer and love it but getting QUITE fed up with Sprint. This will help smooth over the transition to Verizon.

    I do REALLY wish that HTC would calm down on the exclusives and also keep some consistency. Every raves about the One X but it doesn’t have the kickstand that the 4G LTE has and that drives me nuts! The kickstand is such a great feature that so many of my iFriends drool over. As much as I travel, it’s PERFECT for plane rides and emulated gaming. I wish HTC would have it on every phone (along with dedicated camera button) – THAT’S what’s going to make it hard to switch.

    Anyway, thanks for the review and I’ll go mess around with it some more at the Verizon store today.

    • DrayGuest 2 years ago

      If you are paying for the phone anyway look at getting the case with the kickstand… Its a slim case with a matching holster and I love it, plus it helps with the grip (its a really smooth phone lol)

  43. Wow if not for aesthetic this would have been HTC OneX replacement IMO.

  44. Niceee. If only it came without the contract.

  45. Love the phone but really can’t stand sense, ruins it for me. Would be nice to not have to root htc phones

  46. Going to be getting this!

  47. If only it had an SD slot… I would love to put a 64GB microSD in this thing.
    I guess I’ll just have to keep waiting

  48. really spendy, don’t you think?

  49. this indeed is a great device but lack of proper advertisement…they gonna kill it.

  50. I love the specs on this phone but the lack of a sd card is a no go for me and I’m starting to get tired of sense as well

  51. This is a beast of a phone an I’m actually considering it. My T-mo contract doesn’t end for 3 months so I’m curious how long this phone will stay relevant…

  52. They need to hurry up and release a UK version!!

  53. I can’t find in the review how much storage this has, mb I missed it? but on another site it says it has 16gb of storage with 11gb available to the user. Hopefully 32gb and 64gb versions will be available. Otherwise I think HTC are actually insane because this obviously isn’t a cheap phone or even slightly cheap.

  54. I would love this phone rooted with stock.

    But I will wait until 2013 starts oozing 5+” 1080p screened phones that run like track stars and have massibe batteries.

    I used to love getting bleeding edge phones ( helio, og droid, thunderbolt, galaxy nexus currently) but I think I’ll hold off now..

  55. This is a great review of this device. I plan on leaving Sprint, more than likely for Verizon, but I will wait until I see the M7 and the GS4 to decide on what I want. I’m sure there will will be lots to choose from in the next 6 months.

  56. I wonder how the power usage is on wireless charging. Does anyone know if the qi chargers draw significantly more power than wired chargers?

  57. tomGuest 2 years ago

    Great phone except for lack of storage. 16gb with 12-11gb usable with no microSD slot. Major fail on that.

  58. Im getting this phone purely because I want to use it on ATT!

  59. Sounds like a beast of a phone!

  60. I know a swappable battery adds like 2mm to a phone but that absence is a deal breaker to me. Is that right that it also has limited storage with no micro sd? Forget it then, not even close to being on my list.

  61. I have the EVO LTE. It’s a nice phone, but from time to time it seams to really lag. I reboot usually fixes it, but you would think with specs like this it should run much better.

  62. Even with reassurance from reviews I’m still uncomfortable with a non-removable battery. I like the option too much.

  63. Great looking device but my gs3 will do just fine until the next version of the galaxy s series(gs4).

  64. Sounds like a great phone just wish it was not CDMA

  65. if i didnt get the note II, this would be my next phone of choice

  66. I can’t stand covered ports of any kind.

  67. With no micro sd card slot the DNA should have come with at least 32gb of storage. Really not sure what HTC and Verizon were thinking here.

    • AnamelesssomebodyGuest 2 years ago

      That you can CLOUD ; ) Oh wait they got rid of unlimited, you have to pay more for your data. Oh wait again, I think that was their plan.

  68. Less the lack of microsd card slot mention a bit more prominent, that was a great review!

  69. I am glad this phone is getting good reviews. I want to see HTC succeed again, they make nice hardware and can’t wait to see what they bring after this

  70. best of everything AND wireless charging!!!

  71. Mob Con is near. Everyone coming with their next flagship.
    HTC DNA will go into Oblivion soon.

    We had enough of Hardware Innovations (for now). Already outmatched std gaming PC config.
    Now we need Innovations and tweaking in Software and features.

    Bring wonders!!!!

  72. I really hate the face that there is sense on these phones!!

  73. I love htc, one of the best android hardware manufacturer. I’ll def buy this when it’s cheaper.

  74. This is an awesome device, hopefully other carrier will get similar product from HTC.

  75. This thing is a pure beast. I wonder if it could have potentially been the Nexus 4 instead of LG getting the deal.

  76. without a doubt it is a piece of art, but smartphones are getting bigger every day.

  77. I am using one since past 2 weeks and just LOVE it….Bought my wife iPhone 5 and then returned it after 4 days. Got her the Galaxy S3 (kept DNA for myself = )

    The areas which I was concerned about before buying DNA were

    1 – Size – I don’t have big hands but this phone can be easily handled after you use it for a couple of days
    2 – Battery – It is nothing close to the ‘fear’ that is hyped in ‘reviews’. The battery is more (and I say more) than enough to last me from 7am to 11pm. Lots of talk including blue tooth headset, gps and music for my half hour morning run, email/msging and limited websurfing during daytime, games, tango, downloading lots of wallpapers, wasting time on Google play and watching useless videos (maybe 20 mins total) in the evening. Oh and the paranoia of checking weather every 20 mins as if somehow it will go from 32 degrees to 75 degrees…
    3 – Swype – Believe it or not Samsung’s swype typing was one of the best features I liked on my previous Samsung fascinate. I did not know that jelly bean actually has its own …so that was a great surprise

    Thats it…other than that…a fantastic piece of engineering to hold and use daily.

    …and a friend who got iphone5, drooled over my DNA for a week then went ahead and bought Note 2 !! …. so now he finds excuse to hold DNA and say ‘ your screen is awesome – you know that?’

  78. May just buy this phone as a Christmas gift for myself since I am a gadget enthusiast. I currently have a Galaxy Nexus with Verizon, and I should be able to buy the DNA off contract without impacting my contract status in any way. I do not want a contract extension. According to Verizon, I can swap the LTE SIM to / from the DNA, and Galaxy Nexus without any cost, or problem. Will stop by the Verizon Store tomorrow to confirm the info I was given over the phone today.

    I am concerned about two trends I see in top of the line smartphones – no replaceable batteries, and no microSD support. Cloud storage is nice, but cell / WiFi is not always available at least at the speed you need for quality video streaming along with the demise of true high speed unlimited data on some USA carriers. I currently carry spare batteries for all my smartphones, and it is a rare day that I do not change the battery in at least one of them in the course of the day. I do use the phone constantly throughout the day, and it is the norm for at least one battery to drain completely before I get home. I’ll take carrying around a small, light, reasonably priced spare battery vs. the alternative heavy, bulky external USB battery pack. I do not like this obsession with thinness, and avoidance of cover lines. I will gladly take the 1 or 2 mm increase in thickness to permit a replaceable battery, and microSD card support (and / or an alternative USB host for thumbdrive support). But other than these two all two frequent trends in top of the line phones, this phone seems like the king of the hill at least for the next few months.

    • still no editing.

      should read …other than these two all too frequent trends …
      I enjoy predictive text, but sometimes …

      • Did purchase the DNA at Verizon off contract, and am using the LTE SIM from my Galaxy Nexus which still has one year left on contract. Did not want to extend the contract.

        It was close between the Note II, and DNA. I have the original GT7000 international version of the Note, and absolutely love it. A Note II. or III is definitely in my future.

        The screen on the DNA is fantastic, everything is crisp, and super clear. Unlike other reviews, I do not agree that the fantastic DNA screen makes other top of the line screens look bad. Although the DNA’s screen is sharper, and definitely king of the hill, the screens on the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and the original Note still look nice.

        One of my concerns was the lack of microSD support. The DNA does support USB host Mass Storage. I brought my USB host cable, and a thumb drive to the Verizon Store to ensure I could store videos on a thumb drive since no external SD card is available. The USB Mass Storage worked fine on both the Note II, and DNA. In addition to thumb drives, the USB3 micro / SD reader from my computer with the host cable should work OK like it does on the Note 1, and 7.7 Tab. I have not had the device long enough to ascertain how decent (or not) the battery life is.

        Firefox Beta and Flash seem to work fine. I know it is “cool” to hate Flash, but you don’t get the full web without it.

        Downloaded all my apps from the Play Store, and have not encountered any major problems yet. A few minor glitches, but nothing distracting.

        The DNA seems well built, and I like the red trim. Haven’t tried the camera yet, but the phone voice quality seems to be top notch based on the few calls I made.

        Since it is the holiday season, I have until Jan 15 to return the DNA to the Verizon Store albeit with a $35 return fee.. The DNA is expensive, but the price is in-line with other non-contract top of the line smartphones. A nice feature of the Verizon Store vs. some big box stores is all the phones are working, and the reps had no problem with me trying them including using the USB host cable, and thumb drive.

        I like the feel of the DNA in my hand. I liked the Galaxy Nexus, but always thought it was a bit too narrow for its height. I do have long fingers.

        No doubt the Note II is an excellent choice as well. If I did not already have the Note 1, I may have purchased the Note 2, but it was a difficult choice. If possible, go to the Verizon Store, or other vendor who has the phones actually working so you can try them out, and compare the features which are important to you.

  79. LindseyGuest 2 years ago

    iPhone 5 is way better, i have an iPhone 5. I heard the htc company is almost bankrupt, who buys their phones then????? I bought the iPhone from the richest company, Apple. They wont go bankrupt.
    Just sayin.

  80. I was a die hard htc fan till the evo 3d. Although the specs and the smoothness of the evo 3d were great that hardware quality was horrible. I had it replaced about 6-8 times including the first week after buying it. After that they left sour taste in my mouth so I finally switched and tried samsung and got the note 2. But after all the reviews and great specs on this dna I probably would have given htc another chance if they wouldn’t have gone the exclusive route. Oh well. Samsung will be my phone for at least 2 years.

  81. Can they please change it so when you leave a comment you have to be registered? I’m sure your not going to respond but lindsey, since you say iphone 5 is better, when was the last time you used an android phone? I have heard several people say they went back to their 4s because of all the negatives from the 5. Yes its a great phone but it was over hyped. Its not me thats saying it its all the disgruntled iphone fans that were let down 1 being my wife. She is still using her 4 since the 5 wasn’t really an upgrade except for processor and screen size. I really hope you continue the conversation if not I guess its just like every other apple fan, make one comment and can’t back it up. Oh well, that’s why I stick with android, an os I believe in and can prove why its better or at least better for me!

  82. nice…I hope to win!

  83. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  84. I’m going to have to get one of these

  85. Have to admit that this is a pretty nice looking phone.
    My SII is starting to look a bit long in the tooth compared to some of these newer phones coming out.

  86. JessGuest 2 years ago

    Hi! My name is Jess and I’m from the Philippines, my wife is coming home this summer from the US and she asked me if what smartphone should she give me as gift this coming Christmas. Then I thought that maybe I should tell her to get this one…BUT the biggest question that keeps bugging me is WHAT IF she purchased the US version of this model and when she’s finally here in the Philippines… would that cause any problem like Network Connectivity, SIM CARD, WiFi Connection, Charger/Adapter or anything that could affect it’s functions. In short…is the US Version only FOR the US Users? I’m new to this stuff, so this question maybe stupid for you.

  87. UriahGuest 2 years ago

    I continue to be impressed by the performance of my Droid DNA. I was even more surprised with how good the screen looks. Watching shows on the 1080p display is wonderful. I use the DISH Remote Access app on my phone which lets me stream live TV through the Sling Adapter that I have connected to my receiver at home. It’s a really useful app that I use to catch my shows when I’m not at home since it works wherever I go. One of my DISH coworkers also has a Droid DNA, and we both agree that it’s one of the best phones you can buy.

  88. This phone has no sd card slot, no hdmi out and has the charge of the original droid razr. What a waste of a phone!

  89. The HTC Droid DNA seems like a sweet phone, but it’s yet another phone that’s missing the SD card slot. This is one of the many phones lately where SD card functionality was dropped. This a bit troubling for me since that’s one of key differentiating features that I identify with Android phones when comparing with Apple’s offering. Are manufacturers taking design cues from the Nexus line?

    • I miss the SD card slot as well, but more so back when the SD cards were externally accessible without removing the back cover, and sometimes the battery. The DNA supports USB Host, no rooting, no tricking, just plug in a OTG cable. Using a less than a dollar cable from Amazon, and a thumb drive,you can stream, and / or copy any file I wish to / from the DNA. Using the USB card reader from my PC, the DNA (using the same cable) can stream from microSD, and SD cards as well. In many ways, the native USB host is a more flexible solution although it would be nice to have both USB host, and SD card support particularly if the SD card could be removed without shutting down, removing cover, and removing battery. Carrying around a 3″ or so cable, and small thumbdrive is no problem, hardly feel them in the pocket.

      The screen is spectacular, everything is so crisp, and sharp.

      • DaveGuest 2 years ago

        USB Host is not working on my Droid DNA with latest updates from Verizon. When I plug in my cable that works on many other devices, I get “unsupported charger” messages. No detection of attached device. Anyone else seen this?

  90. Nice phone but from HTC. Great Hardware, but software…… not so nice in my opinion

  91. I bet that screen is BE-AU-TI-FULL!

  92. They should of made the battery removable. Great phone though.

  93. My buddy got one and loves it!

  94. MehhhGuest 2 years ago

    Is android beam in the app drawer? Sorry, i’m wondering because im upgrading to this from the HTC Thunderbolt. HTC all the way. I was about to go iPhone, but I want a big screen. :)

  95. So incredible that we now have a 1080p display on a 5 inch phone! Really hope the DNA will help HTC get back on their feet next year

  96. Aren’t we getting to the point where screen resolution doesn’t make that much of a difference?

  97. Some good design from HTC.

  98. This or the Note 2. Decisions, decisions.

    • I just checked out my brothers Note 2 and it is a solid phone. I’m not yet convinced about having such a huge screen but that’s just me or my pocketbook talking :)

  99. Always liked HTC design and this has great specs but of all the Skins I hate Sense the most. Most cluttered and heavy.

  100. I wish there was one around so I can at least look at the thing… Not having one available in the UK sucks

  101. JohnGuest 2 years ago

    It takes approx. 260 days to get to Mars, or approx 9 months. We send the rover up there to explore and play in Mars dirt! That thing has to have somes batteries…right? So why can’t someone develop a phone that lasts more than day….by the way, huge HTC fan….this comment is really for all phone manufactures!

    • I used to own strictly Nokia phones during 2003-2007 era. The battery life from their phones are phenomenal (5 to 6 days)! Unfortunately developers moved to iOS and Android so I had to switch too. I’ve been happy ever since.

  102. Wish this beast came with vanilla Android.

  103. Looks like a nice phone!

  104. I can’t have a phone unless it has a replaceable battery. I generally have the screen on for five or more hours between charges. And with the lte upgrade in my area recently, standard batteries aren’t cutting it

  105. Very nice phone :)

  106. I finally got to hold and play with one of these today and man is this a nice phone. HTC is going in the right direction with that phone, between the smoothness, the screen, and even the size did not feel bad at all in hand. Hopefully this will fuel HTC to get back to where they used to be making phones.

  107. Great review but seriously, HTC: One major phone, all carriers. I wrote out this long and complicated reason as to why they should change up the way they operate but at this point, we all know they’re doing it wrong even with such high-end hardware.

  108. Really feeling the Droid DNA, but the 16gb storage really take the wind out of the sails. A phone that screams video playback super device, 16gb just isn’t enough.

  109. Looks like a good device. I was hoping HTC would have made the next Nexus instead of LG

  110. Solid phone. I just wish us normal folk could get the red-backed VZW employee version.

  111. Thanks for the great review!!! If only I could get the DNA for AT&T. This phone is Awesome!!!!

  112. The irreplaceable design of HTC devices <3

  113. i need see the screen now!

  114. one of the best phone for sure but I think HTC did not time the launch so that it can gain much exposure. Also, I think HTC made a bad choice of going with verizon since it won’t be easy sell for them.

  115. will there be an international model for this coming out? just wondering

  116. i love htc pones. I wish I had this one to add to my arsenal, but I like my razr maxx hd as well (other than its shitty camera)

  117. I love it! Just sense lets it down :(!

  118. I love this phone!

  119. its a great phone! if onlly we had a nexus phablet

  120. This was a good review…I would so get this device.

  121. I really want to get this one.

  122. dude this phone is siiiiick i’d get it if my contract were over.. or close to ending..

  123. Might even go to Verizon just for this…

  124. Can’t wait to get this phone. I was about to get an iPhone, but it doesn’t do all the cool things android does. NFC seems REALLY useful. Inductive charging seems cool to have, but I know I’m not gonna use it, and the best is in the display. Better than the “retina” display. I look at my brothers iPhone, and I see the pixels.

  125. Amazing phone! Now, how to stop manufactures from doing carrier exclusives….

  126. MhaxGuest 2 years ago

    You have to understand that having a phone on all lines is impractical, not for you but for your service provider. This phone is Verizon exclusive because it attracts people to Verizon. If Metro PCS had this phone and someone wanted it they would switch over to metro for the low prices. Don’t be a selfish buyer and understand why this device is a Verizon exclusive.

    Plus Verizon is great, I love the service I’m getting. I’m still rolling with a cracked up Droid Incredible 2, works great, The prices aren’t bad. HTC makes similar models of their shit, Sprint will get this phone in some sort of Evo form.

    • MhaxGuest 2 years ago

      Also, I’m a sense user and its just annoying hearing people with iphones and samsungs complaining about sense. You might have only seen it or used it for a few seconds, but it is really great.

  127. Love my DNA. Always loved HTC.. this is a home run.

  128. And my device has a 320/240 screen :(

  129. after a few of my friends getting this, i totally want it. it works great, and is still HTC which is awesome.

  130. JimmyGuest 2 years ago

    I would be up against Notes2 or its siblings. Samgsung doesn’t even has originality, they pretty much copy Apple series in which they are also refered as SamgPle.

  131. JaneBalesGuest 2 years ago

    I really love this phone but since I have AT&T I’ll likely get the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 since it’s on 4G LTE. I work as a real estate agent and it would be great for viewing large images of my properties before sending them to my Atlanta clients or to the brochure printers. I have to have the 4G speed now; anything less won’t do. The DNA is a beauty, though.

  132. Very nice review! Thanks again guys!!

  133. I’m a little tempted to switch out my s3 for this beast

  134. Good to See HTC come up trumps with this one, My first smartphone was the HTC Desire and I liked the style and features of it, but went for the Samsung galaxy SIII as I wanted the micro sd card and changable battery. Looking Good

  135. JohnGuest 2 years ago

    I hate this phone! On a scale of 1-10 I give it a 3! They over sold it. The internet is way to slow for a 4G lte! I have to turn it off to many times when I want to use it. Highly NOT recommended

  136. Jefferson17Guest 2 years ago

    Sorry but I have to disagree. I’ve owned the DNA for 3 weeks. The screen is great but the sum of the parts, great as they are, are undermined by the way that one must be forced to USE it.

    My hands are big. Yet, there is no practical way to use this thing one-handed. Let’s say that you want to make a call / txt, whatever? Ok well either you must use your other hand to hit that button way up top, or you must really shift the phone around in your hand quite a bit to hit it and then … shimmy your hand back down to where the icons actually are. Sorry but this just isn’t “1 handed” design. It’s a total pain and a deal killer all by itself. Don’t think of this as a phone. Think of it as a very small tablet. That is how it was designed.

    The battery life is “ok”. Not good not great and I could LIVE with that, if the feel of the thing was based on how a person will actually USE the thing.

    Another example. Let’s say that you are in the phone app and you … wish to check your visual voicemail. You can’t just hold down 1 to get there, like you can on Motorola. Instead you must go back to the home screen, then go into the voicemail app. This may seem like “only one extra step”. But these really add up.

    I’m trading my DNA back in and getting one of the Motorola models. They are designed to work the way that I work, just like iphones do (owned these for 5 years). Sorry but just I’m NOT going to spend the next 2 years struggling w/ a DNA. HTC needs to pay attention to Use and Feel.

  137. Honestly, this phone lost great in pictures and on paper… but the second I picked it up and played with it a hated it. I think Sense used to be the best UI but now it is just boring, I have a Galaxy S3, which is big, but this phone is huge to the point it is annoying in the hand, and a phone of this shape and material was slippery for me.
    ?Just my opinion?

  138. Sense makes little sense these days, Pure Jelly bean is far more fluid and user friendly/ I have to say I do like the design and build quality of HTC phones though. Just put a new screen on a Wildfire S and was impressed by the way its constructed and how it can be taken apart compared to the insides of the iphone I repaired.

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  141. Rob LGuest 2 years ago

    Regarding the main camera on the HTC DNA you must be blind not to see how in standard picture mode that the images are distorted– they are stretched at the very edges the images are stretched out and people appear either wide or vertically stretched. This can clearly be seen in most of the reference images the writer posted. When taking a picture of a square or rectangular object (holding the camera very square to the object) you can see that the edges of the object are a little pin-cushioned (which is weird because it is contrary to the stretching). I have checked multiple DNA’s and they all exhibited this fault. With all other Android phones I haven’t seen this issue anything as bad as this. I know it isn’t the software because I have tried second party apps and portrait mode and seen the same thing. My guess is that like the front facing lens for wide angle to allow multiple people to be seen they have used a wider angle lens for the main camera as well and this is the root cause. All this frankly to say is very disappointing– as I’m willing to live with the marginal battery life and lack of external SD card but this is bad. I’m trying to contact HTC and get their response. If anyone else has noticed this issue it would be appreciated if you would post it as well.

    • DGGuest 2 years ago

      I see the exact same problem with distortion and stretching at edges of photos. Checked with verizon and HTC and there’s no fix. HTC claimed on the phone they didn’t see it but at Verizon store several models had the same issue.

    • Your sign, here it isGuest 2 years ago

      It’s a 88° fish eye front lens facing the user folks. This is for attracting users that take self portraits on their device. Verizon is the perfect carrier for the device also, streaming my Netflix in HD takes a ton of data. And as for Sense, if you’re a serious techie then most likely you bought it out of contract, as I did to maintain my unlimited data and if I’m gonna spend over $600 on a phone I think it would be silly to complain about spending a few bucks on an HD launcher and pack of widgets. Having the USB host option means one OTG cable connected to a cheap multicard reader means all my spare 32gb sdcards are put to use. Oh, and dragon assistant is the $#!& for making use of the stereo Bluetooth suggested for it. While I have my concerns about replacing the battery, I have been browsing the web for about ten hours now off the charger and my battery is still in the green. My point is, the software is open sourced… If you don’t like it, ANYONE can do something about it BESIDES complain! Write a better app! It’ll be a LOT harder to swap hardware. So really, isn’t that what should matter most?

  142. George WarrGuest 2 years ago

    Man, I love this phone! The weather widget is a must see- when you unlock the home screen, depending on how the weather is at that moment (it’s been raining here), you’ll get heavy clouds coming at you at first and then it’ll retreat and show rain (with sound!) all in a span of 2-3 seconds! Effin’ awesome!

  143. babyflrGuest 2 years ago

    They need to make this available to more carriers, or even better an unlocked gsm version
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yup i agree with this point.. Even though you can get the HTC unlocked by yourself from any vendors online like http://www.prounlocking.com so that you can access with any GSM carrier