Photo: Business Insider, William Wei
I’ve been testing and using a lot of Android devices lately. While many are underwhelming, I was impressed with HTC’s new Droid DNA from the moment I took it out of the box.The first thing I noticed was the phone’s large 5-inch screen. It’s a nice size. And even though it’s slightly larger than the display on Samsung’s Galaxy S III, it doesn’t feel absurdly large.
And the display gets better. Measuring by pixel density, the Droid DNA has the highest resolution display on any mobile device, and it’s the first that can show full 1080p HD video.
Besides having a great screen, the phone is fast too. The 1.5-GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor coupled with 2GB of RAM can handle multitasking very well. I was able to switch between web browsing, texting, listening to music, and playing games seamlessly.
The Droid DNA isn’t just for techy people who want everything out of their phone, it’s great for the average user too.
SpecsBesides the high quality screen and quick quad-core processor, the Droid DNA uses Verizon’s lightning fast 4G LTE network. Verizon’s LTE helped the phone to feel even more modern, directions loaded fast, and downloading a song was a breeze. In many cases, Verizon’s network is faster than your cable or DSL modem.
The DNA’s software is a winner too. It has the latest version of Android, 4.1 Jelly Bean, which includes the Siri-killing voice service Google Now.
I was really impressed with the battery life. In my tests, I averaged about 10 hours on a single charge. This was with normal use, including listening to music, browsing the internet, making phone calls, and streaming a few videos here and there.
For a more detailed battery analysis check out this rigorous test Android Police put the DNA through.
Using the DNA
Because of the non-removable back, one of the DNA’s shortcomings is physical storage.
The DNA only comes in one size, 16GB, and with no room for a SD card slot you’ll be stuck with cloud storage alternatives. Still, 16GB will be enough for most people.
The rear camera is 8 MP, while the front facing camera squeezes out 2.1 megapixels with a wide-angle lens that is great for video chatting. Pictures came out great especially outdoors. In low light the flash helped but the camera is better suited for adequate light.
The Droid DNA also supports wireless charging using a standard charging pad that Verizon will sell separately.
[image url="http://static.businessinsider.com/image/50a6c7f36bb3f79d4800000b/image.jpg" link="lightbox" caption="" source="" alt="droid dna, droid, android, bi, dng" align="left" size="xlarge" nocrop="true" clear="true"]
[credit provider="Daniel Goodman / Business Insider" url="http://www.businessinsider.com.au/author/daniel-goodman"]
The back cover of the Droid DNA is made from a rubbery-feeling polycarbonate plastic, which is a magnet for fingerprints. While this is a slight annoyance, the texture still helps the phone to not slip off of surfaces when on its back.
HTC added a handy notification light to the back cover, so you know when you have a new text message or email, even if the phone is sitting face down. That’s a nice touch.
The power button and volume rockers are hard to press at times because they’re almost flush with the edges of the phone. I kept wanted to press the right side of the phone to power it on because I forgot the power button was at the top.
It’s also annoying that the USB port for charging is blocked by a tiny door. HTC did this so the phone could remain water resistant, but it’s more of a bother than anything else.
But besides a few manageable kinks that are easy to get used to, HTC hit a home run with this smartphone.
Is this the right phone for you?
The Droid DNA retails for $199.99 with a two-year contract and is an excellent alternative if you haven’t bought into Apple’s ecosystem. The fast processor, great camera, 4G LTE, and beautiful screen should be enough to last you two-years and beyond. I was very pleased with the Droid DNA’s performance, features, and size and could easily see myself using it as a primary phone.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.