HTC DROID DNA vs Apple iPhone 5
Always being a force to reckon with at any time, Apple’s mighty iPhone 5 stands highly amongst the crowded smartphone landscape with its suave personality that’s capable of entrancing consumers with its cohesive quality elements. In this day and age, however, we’ve seen several other devices that prove to be more cutting edge than the device widely panned as the most popular smartphone in the world. Quickly making its arrival and presence known in time for this crucial holiday period, the HTC DROID DNA is simply one of those new smartphones on the block that really catches attention for its killer specs sheet. More importantly, the question is whether or not it has the right stuff to steer people away from Apple’s beloved smartphone?
By just looking at the two, there’s a stark contrast with their designs, which makes it rather difficult to choose one more than the other since they have their own lovable aspects. For sure, there’s a huge size disparity between the two, as the iPhone 5’s smaller footprint proves to be more manageable in the hand – whereas the DROID DNA is a handful to operate. At the same time, Apple’s pride and joy is both lighter and skinnier in profile than its rival, but above all, it’s the premium element associated with the iPhone 5’s construction that continues to be its most attractive feature. Still, the DROID DNA has a stylish design of its own, though a bit more modest, thanks to its tapered design and the clean finish that its soft touch matte casing offers.
Relying on that iconic recessed home button, which is springy in response, there are no accidental presses with the iPhone 5. Oppositely, seeing that the DROID DNA utilizes the usual trio of capacitive buttons, which are positioned close to the bottom edge of the display, we’re still finding ourselves accidentally pressing them. Meanwhile, it’s nice to find that HTC’s beauty is packing an LED notification light – both on the front and back of the handset.
In the rear, they’re both sporting 8-megapixel auto-focus cameras that feature backside illuminated sensors, LED flashes, and 1080p video recording. However, the DROID DNA flaunts an f2.0 lens – with the iPhone 5 siding with an f2.4 one instead. As for their front-facing cameras, it’s a 1.2-megapixel snapper on the iPhone 5, which can shoot videos in 720p. Somewhat more impressive, the DROID DNA features an 88-degree wide-angle 2.1-mgepixel camera that features an f2.0 lens and 1080p video recording.
The sides of the HTC DROID DNA (bottom, left) and the Apple iPhone 5 (top, right)
Ever since the introduction of the iPhone 4, Apple has coined the term “Retina Display” for its super detailed screens, and with the iPhone 5, it finally moved up to a 4-inch Retina Display featuring a resolution of 640 x 1136. Sure, it’s sharp and detailed with its very respectable 326 ppi pixel density, but it has been surpassed by the 441 ppi pixel density conjured up by the DROID DNA’s 5-inch 1080 x 1920 Super LCD-3 display. Although it’s sizable advantage on paper for the DROID DNA, our eyes have difficulty in distinguishing which of the two is delivering the better detail from a normal viewing distance – so essentially, they look equally sharp. Upon closer inspection, however, it becomes evident that there’s more definition with the sharpness of the DROID DNA’s display. In terms of color production, they both exhibit some warm tones, which adds an appealing sense of vibrancy to their looks. Yes, they’re extremely visible outdoors with the sun present, but we notice that the iPhone 5 has the higher brightness output and wider viewing angles.
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1. Izzy_V (Posts: 216; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)
The ip5 looks like it's a tiny bit larger than the DNA's screen. We all know which one should have won, that bias though. Bias everywhere. :(
2. louiemapa (Posts: 28; Member since: 01 Nov 2012)
its not bias actually. im not an apple fan BTW.
4. Izzy_V (Posts: 216; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)
But it is. I'm an apple fan and even I know that the DNA should have been declared the winner.
21. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4704; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
The HTC Droid DNA is way more future proof compared to the Apple iPhone 5. I can appreciate an Apple fan who can admit when there is clearly a better device.
You are unbiased.
27. bucky (Posts: 2082; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
The only real future proof android phones that can match apple are the nexus lines. Even the sgs3 (which is a great phone btw) is still on ics in certain areas.
30. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 645; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
Still future proofed, as only Verizon GS3 are left to get their update to jellybean. Carrier specific phones are the reason for the death of phones before their time with slow updates and the like. Once the Google initiative hits this should fix that crap, as all OEM phones will be required to have Vanilla Android and OEM tweaked Android and the user makes the choice on which to use.
45. iDroidWin (Posts: 117; Member since: 07 Dec 2012)
I desperately want them to give us this choice between vanilla and OEM tweaked version of Android,
42. iDroidWin (Posts: 117; Member since: 07 Dec 2012)
To some extent I agree with you. Irregular updates is a true story. For geeks, DNA is the winner. Future phones will need to have these specs to run all apps smoothly. I am already feeling the pinch because of my ancient hardware. But, even Android 4.0 is better than iOS 6 , infact I have met people who preferred not to update their OS from 5 to 6. Until and unless Apple decides to redesign its whole OS, I will stick with Android as even older iterations of Android are better than latest of iOS. Also, on android, OS itself isn't the only way to get all the new features. Already developers are providing Daydream, 4.2 keyboard and camera functions to 4.1. Also, old phones like iPhone 4 can't enjoy some of the latest features of iOS, not even after jailbreaking (which btw hasn't arrived for iOS 6). I am using HTC Desire with 4.1, never had any regrets with Android.
58. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4201; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Future proof, until you realize that HTC won't give more than 2 major updates to it, if that.
I love HTC (obviously), but what's the use of giving a phone such monstrous specs when you aren't going to update it? I doubt the DNA will see past 4.2, and if it does, it'll be way down the road.
And if you mention roms, then just about every Android device is future proof given the right amount of dev support.
106. miket1737 (Posts: 1309; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)
Why should the DNA have won?
It has a worse screen with worse color production and viewing angles, lower brightness the the iPhone 5 screen
Worse cameras then the iPhone 5 cameras
Worse build quality then the iPhone 5
The DNA is running a year old OS with no future support from HTC, so i will be on iOS 8 while the DNA is still stuck on JellyBean
Worse battery life then the iPhone 5
Slower GPU then the iPhone 5
Slower web browsing performance then the iPhone 5
Care to tell me how the reviewer was biased in anyway? Its pretty obvious your a butthurt Android fan
39. darkkjedii (Posts: 16331; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Y do u have to say you're not an apple fan dude? It's like people make a point to say that so the droiders won't pick on them or thumb them down. Not saying that's what u did, but screw these droiders they don't own PA. U should say what u want, if u did then more power to u. Who the hell r they...
72. kidtronic (Posts: 13; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)
What the hell is a droider? You sound like the fanboy equivalent of a bigot.
74. Barbara (Posts: 2; Member since: 15 Dec 2012)
Why do you have to start name-calling. What's wrong with being a Droider? I have a client at my NYC hair salon who got one of these HTC phones and LOVES it. She also likes taht it's on AT&T's 4GLTE vs. HSPA+. It's all about speed in this city.
31. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
actually, i have to agree with phonearena. It's up to your personal preference in this matter. Their both great handset.
It's not bias. I see a clear and fair review here.
37. amiroo (Posts: 269; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
plz rw bw droid dna & lumia 920..
both are the best this year..
Dna = android
lumia 920= wp
43. iDroidWin (Posts: 117; Member since: 07 Dec 2012)
The bias is in the language. I have been following PA for a long time to notice it. In case if droid performs better than iP5, than they prefer to write "the rival (iP5) matches the performance of ". If iP5 performs better, they write "iP5 is a bit better in performance". This kind of language can affect a consumers decision. Also, they have been playing down 4 inch screen size for far too long and the argument of thumb friendliness evades me. If thats the case, can we expect them to stick to 4 inch and 16:10 ratio? No. Apple will increase the screen size of future iterations. Suddenly, that will become the best design and best iPhone ever. Most people doesn't even know the best part of iP5's design. Its awesome battery life in a small lighter package. Infact, I would prefer 4S's design instead of 5's scratch-ophilic aluminium with a trade off on weight. iPhones are known to look beautiful. Its a shame you have to hide iP5's back.
48. iDroidWin (Posts: 117; Member since: 07 Dec 2012)
Just read the introduction of both devices, and you will feel what I am trying to say. May be you can remove the sugar coating and be objective, but the same is not the case with everyone. People do make their assumptions subconscious while reading, which if biased, can affect their final decision.
69. bayusuputra (Posts: 961; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)
PhoneArena is not biased..
they are just trying to be politically correct..
77. StretchDee1 (Posts: 2; Member since: 25 Dec 2011)
I agree. You ever seem to noticed no matter what phone/tablet they put up against the apple they always say apple is the winner. Even though nothing has really changed since the first Iphone was released. There is really no sense in reading the review or watching the video you already know who they are going to declare the winner.
83. Jonathan41 (Posts: 532; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)
I believe the DNA did win. PA seldomly ever out right says that the "rival" (Which implies that the iPhone 5 is the champion of these comparisons) is a better buy than the iP5. So usually when the reviewer says it all comes down to "personal preference" take that as the iP5 just lost. You don't have A vs. B comparison and then as a result say it comes down to personal preference. Especially, when The DNA has such obvious advantages over the iP5. Of course it comes down to personal preference. I though the point of these head to head comparison was to have an informed opinion on which phone gives the average user the most for their money. If that is the point then the DNA is the obvious winner but, if these comparison are just side by side reviews with no winners or losers then PA should treat them as such.
3. sadaivadai (Posts: 156; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
Is HTC DNA's brightness level kept low ?
107. miket1737 (Posts: 1309; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)
No, its just the iPhone 5 has higher nits, thus making it a brighter, better screen
5. MeoCao (unregistered)
Big vs small? Apple fanboys always use this argument: it's preference. Really? Now iP5 moved to bigger screen they claim it's big IMPROVEMENT from 4S and that they can't come back to the TINY screen of the 4S again.
Of course there are people who prefer small phones, but I'm sure that the overwhelming majority will prefer DNA's size to iP5.
There can be only 1 winner, DNA all the way.
6. Kuherrn (Posts: 16; Member since: 09 Nov 2012)
I don't live in the US. But I know that HTC's sales went up because of this phone. Given a choice I would go for the phone with the highest value: The Droid DNA
The only sensible conclusion I could come up is that the only phone the Iphone 5 manages to beat is the Iphone 4S.
68. RiseAgainst94 (Posts: 281; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)
How is this 10 thumbs up? There are more anti-apple people than there are Apple fanboys and such bias is really aggravating. I'm a Lumia 900 user and will never buy an Apple device, but at least I see that they aren't complete trash like people say they are. The Iphone has a better camera, better video, brighter screen, better viewing angles, more apps, (probably better battery life this comparison is really vague), lighter, easier to carry, etc. While I'm not trying to suggest that the Iphone is the better of the two devices, I am certainly not ignorant enough to say that the only phone the Iphone 5 beats is the Iphone 4s.
Lets remember that without Apple, phones would not be where they are now.
71. Kuherrn (Posts: 16; Member since: 09 Nov 2012)
I am abusing Apple because they are the ones that come out saying that iOS 6 is the world's most advanced operating system and let's not get started on their ridiculous patents. So when they say that they are the best, we expect the best. When consumers don't see those claims being fulfilled, Apple will be criticized and be hated for. That is what I am doing, and that is why those thumbs up are for.
I will agree that me saying the iPhone 5 beats the iPhone 4S only is an over cry and I apologize.
But until Apple changes its way and stops suing everyone, there will more anti-Apple people than there are Apple fanboys
75. RiseAgainst94 (Posts: 281; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)
And I completely agree with you. I hate Apple for all the legal patent bull sh*t that they pull and their over-hyping every aspect of their products, but I think people take their hate too far. They may be a terrible company when it comes to ethics, but their products are not the worst things ever made.
So yeah, I absolutely agree with you, I just think people bash Apple to bash Apple and are really close minded about it all.
89. Dommer (Posts: 4; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)
Have you have ever invented anything or patented an idea? If you have, then you may understand the importance of protecting that which you have so heavily invested in.
Create vs Copy - that is what is stake.
90. Dave_B (Posts: 5; Member since: 06 Dec 2012)
But of course. I mean, remember a few years back when Apple invented the rectangle with rounded edges? I can't imagine how people got by before that was created by Apple. We should give them more money so they can develop other innovative shapes.
73. caseball2051 (Posts: 31; Member since: 09 Feb 2012)
phones would be much farther advanced without apple.
dont kid yourself. they have been holding back innovation for years. before you come on here and bash others you should stop for a minute and think abotu what youre typing.
76. RiseAgainst94 (Posts: 281; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)
I would agree that they would be without Apple placing a patent on every little thing they think is "innovative" but it's also important to note that Apple were the first to really revolutionize the smartphone. They are part of the reason that we have the phones that we have today and it's ignorant to come on here and just start bashing Apple.
100. UNIT057 (Posts: 8; Member since: 22 Feb 2013)
Wait what? Lets keep in mind Google was creating a BlackBerry OS competitor before they saw iPhone.
108. miket1737 (Posts: 1309; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)
Wait, Apple was making iOS years before it came out aswell so your point?
8. CODHP13 (Posts: 13; Member since: 27 Nov 2012)
is this phonearena or iPhone arena? I accept that iphone's camera z bttr but vat about burst mode,group shot features of htc?
10. ghanemsam (Posts: 64; Member since: 21 Nov 2012)
and HTC's monster win again yesterday against S3 and today against iPhone
plz iphonearena just admit it
11. Raymond_htc (Posts: 430; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)
No need comparison- Droid DNA wins handsdown! No need to seee the specs.....its obviously better!
78. StretchDee1 (Posts: 2; Member since: 25 Dec 2011)
I think apple is paying them to say otherwise.
12. wendygarett (unregistered)
iPhone 5 I choose you!!!!
14. bucky (Posts: 2082; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
I'll take the phone I already have a tablet :)
15. Aeires (unregistered)
Basing my choice purely on the arguments continually made by Apple since revealing the Retina Display, I'd have to give the win to the DNA just for screen alone.
16. lzsbleach (Posts: 155; Member since: 20 May 2012)
The point is the DNA is nothing new, all it has is a better screen thats it. The DNA is a blown up One x+ with a better screen. If the One x couldnt completely take out the Iphone 5 what makes you think the DNA will.
18. bubbadoes (Posts: 618; Member since: 03 May 2012)
So then if it's nothing new, then what the heck is the iphone5...other than an iphone, 3g, 3gs, 4, 4s, etc. Your comment makes no sense!
22. lzsbleach (Posts: 155; Member since: 20 May 2012)
Thats the point, everyone bashes apple for there increment updates but when Android does it, its the best thing in the world, I know theres alot of HTC fanboys on this site but to tell the truth HTC is the first to come out with everything but they still manage to finish last. You know why because Sense is mediocre and the mass think that way and thats why there on a down hill spiral. DNA is a better phone than Iphone5 but phonearena left it a tie because of Sense; thats the point I was trying to get across. Software will always beat hardware in the end because hardware will eventually become the norm and what your phone can do will be praised more than its hardware.
26. bucky (Posts: 2082; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
One of the best points I'v read in a while.
33. Dave_B (Posts: 5; Member since: 06 Dec 2012)
Sense can be disabled if you don't like it(HTC even releases tools to unlock their own phones). And, if you want to talk about software, what about Google maps? The DNA has it, while Apple banned people from using the app on their phone.
Swipe and Swiftkey are also android exclusive, as Apple doesn't want to "confuse" users by allowing them to change the Sacred Apple Interface.
And, on average, software on the Android costs less than on the iPhone. So, add that to the cost of also paying more for proprietary iPhone cables and adapters, and paying more for the phone to begin with.
46. iDroidWin (Posts: 117; Member since: 07 Dec 2012)
Can you please point out which part of Sense if bad and if yes, which part is irreplaceable? Dialer? MMS? Launcher? Notification Drawer? Music Player? Calender? Notes? Widgets? Camera?
84. Jonathan41 (Posts: 532; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)
Right! Can some one tell me why Sense is such "problem"? It's one of the best android manufacture skins but, still people love to hate it. Whatever problems you have with Sense believe me they no longer exist in Sense 4+ and if you still find problems, no worries you can just replace it with a home launcher or a rom.
32. Dave_B (Posts: 5; Member since: 06 Dec 2012)
The DNA is the first and only consumer device below 9.7 inches with a 1080p resolution. It has a pixel density that's head and shoulders above the "revolutionary" retina display. It has a pixel density over 10 times that of some "full HD" big screen TV's. That's not incremental, that's a huge leap ahead. According to Intel, 5" premium smartphones aren't supposed to be reaching this resolution until 2015 - 3 years from now! (source: w ww.tomshardware.com/news/Intel-Higher-Resolution-Displays-Coming,15329.html )
Secondly, you say that "all it has is a better screen thats it"? Maybe if you read the specs, you'd notice that it has other nice features as well. It has the Snapdragon S4 Pro quadcore processor - the fastest smartphone processor on the market. It has two 1080p video cameras built in, featuring a wide-angle lens on the front one, so you can hold your phone and take a video or photo of yourself with friends. It has wireless charging, NFC, gorilla glass, a narrow body(so you can use it with one hand, unlike the 5"+ "phablets"), a soft-touch back(read: doesn't slide off of things easily), Google maps, a standard micro USB port, and hdmi output(with an adapter).
Note that the iPhone 5 has almost none of those listed features.
Sure, it has some flaws, but it is the best smartphone out there, for numerous reasons. And, it's cheap. You can buy them for $150 right now with 2 year verizon contract, or $600 retail. The cheapest iPhone 5 costs $200 on a verizon contract, or $650 retail. So, far superior and cheaper, as well.
38. lzsbleach (Posts: 155; Member since: 20 May 2012)
Your right phonearena did not give credit where its due. You cant say the GS3 is better than the Iphone and then turn around and say the DNA is better than the GS3 but ties with the Iphone. HTC is usually the first ones to the market with something new but it seems like they can never finish strong. The DNA shows how hungry they are and how much they wana turn things around but will it happen or will Samsung continue to be the king.
17. bubbadoes (Posts: 618; Member since: 03 May 2012)
PA will never pick a winner over the iphone!! They are so biased there! When clearly the DNA wins in every corner. DISPLAY, PROCESSOR, SIZE, FUNCTIONALITY, MAPS, ETC!!!!!!!!!!!
20. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)
this is what i have realised too,they have no problem making the iphone a winner but when theres a phone that clearly tops tops the iphone they call it a draw and depends on what os you what...if thats the case then all phones that have different os when compared the conclusion should be depends what os you want lol
109. miket1737 (Posts: 1309; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)
Every app on iOS is better then Android, Google Maps is better on iOS then it is on Android(even Google admitted this)
Bigger doesnt mean better,
Build quality of DNA is a joke compared to the i5
The human eye cant discern the difference between 332 ppi and 440 ppi, plus brightness, color production and viewing angles are worse on the DNA
DNA will be stuck on JellyBean while iphone 5 will have iOS 8 and beyond
Both cameras are worse on the DNA then the iPhone 5
iPhone 5 beats the DNA in browser speed tests
iphone 5 is lighter, more durable and has a better build quality over the Droid DNA.
23. lzsbleach (Posts: 155; Member since: 20 May 2012)
Not true because they actually gave GS3 the win over the Iphone5.
"Ultimately, it’s the TouchWiz Nature UX experience and its extensive set of functionality that makes the SGSIII the more productive and complete handset between the two."
25. androiddownsouth (Posts: 598; Member since: 02 May 2012)
And then they gave the DNA a slight win over the GSIII, so what sense does it make that the DNA and the iP5 tie when GSIII > iP5 and DNA > GSIII?
28. lzsbleach (Posts: 155; Member since: 20 May 2012)
You have a point. Phone arena logic is out of whack.
29. lzsbleach (Posts: 155; Member since: 20 May 2012)
I guess its one of those things when Water beats Fire and Fire beats Leaf but Leaf beats Water.
40. androiddownsouth (Posts: 598; Member since: 02 May 2012)
Guess maybe they didn't give it the old Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock try lol.
35. -box- (Posts: 3978; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
I direct your attention to the Lumia 920 vs ip5 face off. IPhail lost.