HTC Droid DNA – the new King of Android?

Posted Dec 08, 2012 at 6:32 pm in Threads > Opinions

After reading Nick Gray’s rather stellar review of the DNA, HTC’s latest handset really seems to be setting the bar high for Q1 2013. For me, the hardware on this device really puts it streaks ahead of anything out right now: killer screen (for me, the most important feature on a smartphone), snappy processor and some neat optics are woven together in gorgeous unibody casing. Surely this is the phone to beat until either the update to the One X or the Galaxy S IV…

…or is it? Is there anything that you would choose over the DNA? Is this just a (rather apt) bookend to 2012 without much to shout about once you’ve had the 2,073,600 pixels burnt into your vision-holes?

  • Glenbot3000

    P.S. where’s the UK release at, HTC? :(

  • juno23

    Glen smells

    • Glenbot3000

      Yes, my olfactory sense functions fine. ;)

  • kelltrash14

    I’m choosing a Note over it right now so it’s hard for me to call it the King of anything. It is certainly a high bar set, but I don’t feel it rules all others. If they make a quick DNA+ version like the OneX+ with a larger battery and 64 gb internal, I would let it have that title =). Not really complaining about either of those 2 weaker features, just keeps it from being the undisputed king for me.

    • Glenbot3000

      I think the battery is more than passable in today’s market. I own a One X that runs on 1800mAh and I get a full day fairly easily – and I’m an enthusiast, so I’m often running graphically intense games, taking and editing pictures, using location-based services etc. I can’t comment on this phone specifically, but HTC have a decent track record with battery life for me. They’re also actively trying to counter complaints made about battery management, with Sense 4+ featuring “Power Saver” mode which limits certain features (such as underclocking the processor, reducing GUI frame rate and getting rid of certain animations) and initiatives such as the Battery Stamina Boost Project combining to help you survive that extra hour or two until you can find a charger. The extra 220mAh should be enough juice to keep the screen running, and it’s worth noting that consumption on newer chipsets (the S4 Pro being the latest and greatest) is constantly aiming to be reduced.

      With regards to storage, 16GB is enough, but I would certainly agree that more would be nicer. To use my One X as an example again, I have 10GB free of 32GB, including over 600 photos, about a dozen 1080p videos, 3,000 cached “extreme quality” Spotify tracks and every app installed to SD. It’s certainly a nice feature to still have all that storage still available to me, but I think 16GB hits on the happy medium, especially with the abundance of cloud-based services now.

      • kelltrash14

        Yeah, I could and do live fine on 32gb. 16 is a bit squeemish to me though, if it makes you have to think about how to use space, it’s a bit of a problem.

        In regards to the battery, reports seem to be that it is very good at squeezing every bit of life possible out of its battery size, but it’s not enough for many. I just want something I don’t want to ever have to worry about surviving the day.

        I guess my point is really that the DNA is great progress, and probably a tie for best available phone depending on personal needs…but not a clear winner.

        • Glenbot3000

          Mmm, good point. I think excuses can be made for having 16GB, but I’d agree that on a flagship device there should be no compromise.

          Out of interest, what do you consider the joint best device? :)

          • kelltrash14

            Well I was thinking in the realm of Verizon, so Note II. I don’t know if I have an answer to that question across multiple carriers. One of the nice parts of being locked into them is I can try to not think about other devices (or I’d get jealous).

          • kelltrash14

            Forgot to mention, I really do hope they do a DNA+ version with similar stat bumps to the OneX+, it really could make this phone perfect. Sad part there is it will happen after it starts getting one upped later, so won’t be a clear winner still. If it happens.

        • LukeT32

          Try owning a GNex and then talk about battery life. :)

  • orangestrat

    N4 still wins it for me. Software is so much more important to me than hardware, and I can actually buy one in canada.

    • Glenbot3000

      I feel that buying an Android device nowadays is more akin to buying a computer than a phone: the software is completely open to your manipulation, so hardware plays a significantly larger factor. And speaking as somebody who’s had both Sense and vanilla 4.1 as a daily driver for a number of months, there are some features in Sense that are really top notch – namely the camera app and dialler – that make using vanilla Android feel a bit backward.

      • orangestrat

        I’ll have to disagree with you about the dialer, I found that HTC did a bunch to it that makes it a lot slower and less functional than the stock dialer (other than T9, but CM has that in their dialer),but the sense camera is really, really great. As far as manipulation goes, nexus is better. Custom ROMs “just work” there is no spotty wifi or degraded camera performance. I dislike nearly every change HTC makes in their software and the hardware doesn’t support AOSP out of the box, so I have to wait to buy one or wait for it to work properly if it ever gets to that state. If I go nexus, i have to settle for LG, but I get software that is better, more usable, and more consistent in addition to being much more manipulable.

        • Glenbot3000

          I can’t say I notice the slightest bit of lag in the Sense dialler. Besides the T9 entry, the social network integration is pretty awesome. Not only are contact pictures set for me, but I get a neat little glimpse at their latest posts (which for someone like me, who pretty much never comes off Facebook, is a very neat feature).

          Whilst I understand your complaint regarding AOSP compatibility, it hardly limits a device so long as it has a decently active dev community. There’s more ROMs than I can shake a stick at for my One X, with a formiddable amount being “senseless” and based off of either AOSP or AOKP.

          • orangestrat

            Its not laggy, its slow. the tabs and things just get in the way and everything is very cluttered. I find the uncluttered and swipable navigation can keep up with my usage a lot better.
            I really wish facebook would get their shit together and update their app for 2.3 so that contact sync would work again.

    • kelltrash14

      Can’t believe anyone downvoted you for approving the N4…gave you back that point! Seems like a very nice device, though I haven’t seen in person yet.

      • Glenbot3000

        I threw an upvote in myself too – why are people so angry? :’(

  • redraider133

    With it releasing this late in the year for me I would wait and see what they announce at CES and the like. I feel there will be many more 1080p phones come next year with specs the same or even better than the DNA. I think if you need a phone now, you can’t go wrong with the DNA though and can only imagine how the launch of it will fuel the other manufacturers to step it up.

    • Glenbot3000

      Beyond a bit more storage, I don’t see how you can improve on this beast. Alas, we shall sit tight and hopefully see something pretty spectacular cum CES or MWC.

      • redraider133

        Well there is always room for a bigger battery even though it is getting decent battery life for most, a little extra reassurance never hurts, plus I am sure the manufacturers especially samsung have something up their sleeves.

  • sandy105

    yes think so..
    ps come 2013 and everybody’s releasing 1080p ,s4 pro,2gb ram handsets.

  • Dezzy

    I’d rather get the international version thats coming out for gsm carriers called the Butterfly. And it will have the s/d card slot. I waited all year for another carrier to get the One X. Got burned waiting. Well i’m still waiting and this is the one i’m not going to wait to come to Tmobile. I will be purchasing it out right and bmod now. I believe it should be able to use Tmobile LTE thats coming next yr too.

    • Glenbot3000

      I’m quite sure the Butterfly is only for the East Asian market. Why not go for a Nexus 4 if you’re buying outright?

  • CTown

    I’m sure,if HTC makes a sequel to the HTC One (with that uni-body design) with this screen and processor, everyone would probably pay less attention to this phone.The DNA has a plain Droid design and Droid battery life (excluding the Droid Razor Maxx). This is a nice phone but it doesn’t demolish its competition. LG’s phones may not have the same resolution, meaining they will perform better due to these phones having the same CPU/GPU (and don’t ignore the Nexus 4′s price).

    In short: This phone isn’t “king”, considering that HTC can (and probably will very soon) due better,

  • heynomi4u

    The battery on it is not as good as I had hoped. But the display is just mesmerizing.

  • dino13

    As long as Samsung Galaxy S3 is sold so well there is no place for HTC Droid DNA. There is more to beeing the King thén just having great specs.

    • Glenbot3000

      What, a great marketing campaign?

  • Nwemo

    I like this threat.
    HTC do it for me,One X all the way.

    • juno23


  • cliffy223

    HTC needs to be king or else they will have bigger problems with their investors. I like HTC and between me and my wife we have owned three of their phones (MyTouch3G, MyTouch4G, and Rezound), but I think this year I am getting an Nexus or the S4 when it comes out.

    HTC needs to get some Android market share by creating one phone to put on all carriers. When the One X came out I was hoping Verizon was going to carry it. Instead Verizon got its cousin and it looked horrible next to the One X. Until HTC can get more clout then Google or Samsung will my top choices.

    • Glenbot3000

      I don’t get this apocalyptic view of HTC. They’re still making a profit in a very poor consumer market – just because they aren’t doing as well as Apple or Samsung doesn’t mean they’re doing badly.

  • Esoth

    I’d be great if HTC could hurry up and release an international version. As far as I know, it’s pretty much the same as the Butterfly in China and the J Butterfly (or was it Butterfly J) in Japan, but no other countries have this phone yet.

  • Rahul Verma

    Whether a king or not… this is sure going to benefit the consumers. Companies will come up with competitive hardware. We should expect to see the 1080p display becoming standard on phones in the coming year and next. :)

  • Prasoon Tiwari 1

    I don’t think that DROID DNA is king of all .

    Ckeck this –

    And Sorry Glenbot3000 for redirecting to other Thread .

  • nks7

    How long before the new king arrives

  • KingCrow02

    Maybe “King” for now but as in mind share, customer always mention the Galaxy S III.

    • orangestrat

      I never understood how the S3 got so much mindshare compared to the One X. The display, build, software and camera are all not better and the specs are identical. ugh.

      • Glenbot3000

        Marketing, marketing and more marketing.

  • kendartra

    I am a Samsung user and have been dedicated to them for the last 5 years. After reading the article I would likt to try the Droid DNA. My. Att contract is up in febuary should I move to a rooted DNA wuthould s contract?

  • Ankushpm

    I would like to use htc too…. currently using SGS3

  • Nicko01

    All it needed to be perfect was an SD card slot and maybe a bigger battery. Other than that, it’s an amazing phone. I can’t wait to see what other manufacturers release to compete with this.

  • pol biswas

    Never try a HTC device but seen some of my friends using it.HTC has a great hardware compare to sumsang in terms of looks. Screen and processor but lack in marketing.

    • Glenbot3000

      It’s a shame really that even most techies are swayed by a bit of svelte marketing. When this is the case for people who are passionate about consumer electronics, what does it say about your average Joe?

      I’ve seen more adverts for the One X than any other HTC handset. Hopefully they’ll uphold this trend and really go all-out with the mythical M7.

  • jonstle

    For me it is all about usability. Is it easy to root and rom? The specs are impressive but if it doesn’t show through in everyday use then who cares.

    As far as the screen goes I am not sure my can tell the difference between it and most other phones unless I hold the screen a few inches from my face.

    I don’t mean to sound negative but I am getting to the point where the software on the phone or the ability to easily change it is more important than hardware. There are several great teams out there creating ROMS that make phones that are several years old run faster with better battery life than the manufacturer ever did and keep them competitive with some phones coming out today. Not the high end ones of of course but more the mid to low end. My old epic 4g is a great example running android 4.1 thanks to the cyanogen team.

    • Glenbot3000

      I’m firmly in the camp that 320ppi is far from a golden standard – more something Apple cooked up to avoid innovating in screen tech for 2 years. As mentioned previously, the 720p screen on my phone is quite far from immaculate, even if I hold it at arms length.

      Regarding root access, HTC have a very good track record for this. provides a foolproof tutorial to rooting your phone through HTC, not to mention libraries and sources for developers.

  • jaysond

    anyone say marketing with a side of forced marketing lol

  • awwang67

    I own a Droid DNA, and I love it. It’s not fair to compare DNA with Note II, as Verizon charged Note II nearly $100 more under a 2 year contract. At the same price tag, the other worthy comparison are Galaxy S3 and iPhone5.

    DNA easily beat iPhone5 by the screen size. 5 inch vs 4 inch. And it’s CPU and internal memory give you “twice” more for the same price vs S3. (quad-core vs dual-core, 2GB vs 1GB). For those who do not appreciate technical terms, like my wife, I simply told her, we get twice more for the same price. Needless to say S3 only has 4.8 inch monitor, 0.2 inch less than DNA.

    As for Note II, yes, it has a larger display at 5.5 inch, but somebody should pay attention to DNA’s 1080p over Note II’s 720p. I am sure that meant some something for those who enjoy watching movies. I don’t and I think $100 cheaper meant something more practical to me since these two phone are pretty much par in the spc..