Google Nexus 4 vs HTC DROID DNA
Introduction:

Crazy to imagine it, but it has been a long time since we’ve seen HTC’s name attached to the Nexus moniker. Since the birth of the original Google Nexus One, Google has gone on to commission other reputable companies to manufacture its various Nexus devices – with LG most recently nabbing that prestigious opportunity. Even though the Google Nexus 4 from LG is positioned as the pure Android device straight from el Goog, HTC is being fairly proactive on its end with its equally grand offering in the HTC DROID DNA, which fittingly allows them to stand tall throughout this crucial holiday season. Despite their affinity to Android, there’s no arguing that these two are in contention against one another at the moment.


Design:

With so many likable elements seen between them, it’s hard to say with enough certainty which design we actually prefer the most. For the Nexus 4, we like the premium feel that its glass surfaces and rear pattern design brings to the handset, but at the same time, it makes the handset feel super slippery and prone to unwanted distractions such as smudging and fingerprints. Conversely, the DROID DNA is a handful to hold since its overall footprint is larger, however, its matte soft touch body and precise red accents add a dab of styling that matches its DROID DOES attitude.


Scanning their facades, we spot their earpieces, light & proximity sensors, and LED notification lights. With the latter, it’s a single blue pulsating one below the screen on the Nexus 4, while the DROID DNA has a tiny one incorporated into its earpiece and another one discretely on the back of the phone.


Due to their flush appearance, the DROID DNA’s power button and volume rocker are indistinct to the touch, and at the same time, they exhibit poor responses when pressed. Needless to say, it’s not an issue for the Nexus 4, as its set are prominent in feel and offer springy responses. As for some of the common items seen throughout their trims, they include the 3.5mm headset jack, noise-cancellation microphone, standard mic, and microUSB port for charging/data/video-out connectivity. Unfortunately, you’ll still need to snag additional adapters in order to get video-out functionality – a MHL adapter for the DROID DNA and a SlimPort one for the Nexus 4.




Display:

Certainly, a cursory glance would make it difficult for anyone to concretely determine which is packing the better-looking display – especially when they produce sharp details from a normal viewing distance. However, as we meticulously comb every inch of their screen, it becomes clear that the DROID DNA is a clear favorite. For starters, it’s impressive for its 5-inch 1080 x 1920 Super LCD 3 display, which so happens to pull off an impressive




Google Nexus 4 360-degrees View:



HTC DROID DNA 360-degrees View:



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47 Comments

1. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Anyone with a google nexus device can clear data on the framework app and check system update - 4.2.1 is out - root is same as 4.2. I believe either phone is a winner ...at least to me....

13. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I have the HTC Droid DNA. I got it on the 21st & rooted it on the 25th. To me there is nothing more STUNNING than the DNA's 1080p TRUE HD Screen. It literally is a technological marvel. I have NEVER used a phone that has such a detailed screen EVEN during direct sun light. You can see EVERYTHING. The perfect phone for outdoor use. The 5" 1080p HD screen is the differentiator compared to the LG Nexus 4. Now that I have the HTC Droid DNA rooted it literally becomes a Nexus device for me because I am only going to rock Android 4.2.1 AOSP ROM's on the Epic phone that is the 4G LTE HTC Droid DNA. To me the HTC Droid DNA is a better device than the LG Nexus 4. Verizon’s 4G LTE is WAY more common & covers over 225 million people compared to the small foot print HSPA+ has in the U.S.

15. MeoCao unregistered

And there are people who say anything higher than "Retina" is waste. I think right now most apps do not support 1080p, but once they do DNA will have clear advantage. W/o the price consideration I cast my vote to DNA, otherwise it's Nexus 4.

16. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

This same issue happened when 720p HD screens first came out. This time around the 1080p transition should be a lot faster because the 1080p push is coming & they have the experience from the last major jump in pixel density. Basically 1080p is the NEW norm for ALL high-end phones that will start to come out. No high-end phone will be released with a 720p HD screen in 2013. All the new "Spring" phones of 2013 will be 1080p IF they are high-end. To me the HTC Droid DNA is future proof because 1080p now has been reached & should be the norm for years to come. The SLCD-3 technology is truly impressive, I mean you literally have no issues reading even the finest details under DIRECT 12’noon sun light. You REALLY won’t believe it until you actually experience what I am talking about. The HTC Droid DNA has the BEST display EVER made in my opinion. It has NO flaws even outdoors & that is truly amazing. +1

36. VictoriaFont

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 26, 2012

battery life?

42. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Sorry about the late post. Battery life on the HTC Droid DNA is great. I got this 2 days 14 hours on a single charge using the phone moderately. That means average amount of calls, texting, emailing, videos, gaming & web surfing. The one thing I hate about HTC Sense is that it doesn't show actual screen on time. My estimate was maybe 3 to 3 1/2 hours of screen on time on my HTC Droid DNA. I say this because when I was on my GNex an average day would be 1 day 3 hours on a single charge with 1hour & 18 minutes of actual screen on time. My usage hasn’t changed just my device has changed. I really hope this helps, the SLCD-3 & the Qualcomm Krait S4 Pro are VERY frugal with the battery. It’s a GREAT combination.

19. MobileCaseReview

Posts: 242; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

So you pulled the trigger on the DNA huh? Good call. I ended up getting the Note 2 last minute last week. Pretty happy with it. I should have some cm10.1 ports very soon from my international counterparts. I checked out the DNA, and thought about it. But coming from the note 1, i couldn't see myself getting a smaller screen. Amazing phone none the less. Kudos +1

20. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I was going to get the Samsung Galaxy Note II but when I actually saw the HTC Droid DNA's 1080p HD screen I was sold. I figured that the Samsung Galaxy Note III will have a 6" 1080p HD screen so I figured I will rock the 1080p HTC Droid DNA & be an early adopter of the fabulous 1080p SLCD-3. Can you imagine a 5.5" or 6" 1080p Super AMOLED RGB HD display? I am salivating that the thought. lol Kudos to you too! Your Samsung Galaxy Note II is indeed epic also! To me the world’s 2 best phones are the HTC Droid DNA & the Samsung Galaxy Note II by a landslide, followed VERY closely by the LG Optimus G/LG Nexus 4.

25. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

hey, SAE, Remember when we were arguing over chips and I said anything from the Quad pro with Adreno and up was more than anyone will need for quite a while? Totally right on that. Dude, I run the nexus 4 clocked DOWN to 700mhz and it has ZERO slowdown on anything... games, browsing, facebook, camera, voice commands.. nothin. Huge battery savings though. When you root it, give it a shot.. knock it down to 1ghz see how it does.. if its still running fine, clock it lower. Its a HUGE battery savings.

32. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

Remember when you where bashing the S4 and saying that is only an slightly upgraded S3 and the 4414 was going to be better then the S4 pro. Guess you were totally wrong on that.

26. MobileCaseReview

Posts: 242; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I think most screens were a huge upgrade over my note 1 screen. But I have to admit I saw the DNA and instantly stopped what I was doing. Amazing device. This is the right direction for HTC. If they use the DNA specs for HTC's rumored nexus, I will be sold it and be happy with it. I was comparing the screens between the N4 and DNA, both are absolutely amazing. On another note, I sold my note for a good price, and got my note 2 from a buddy brand new for 650 off contract. Too much of a good thing to pass up. One thing I am enjoying from TW is the multi-window functionality. If they can just incoporate that with a custom rom running so AOSP love that would be perfect haha. Remix, I do the same on my Note 2. I'm running it on stupid low numbers and I don't experience any lag what so ever. I'll try the 700mhz and let you know. That's pretty insane btw haha.

27. MobileCaseReview

Posts: 242; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Forgot to ask, how's the battery life been for you so far?

44. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Hey read my post 42 or 43, there were multiple people asking the same thing. Sorry for the late post. lol

24. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

you do realize that HSPA+ has a much bigger footprint than LTE right? you could combine all the LTE networks together and it doesnt equal HSPA+. However, being on VZW, you need LTE since otherwise your on 1.5mb/s "3g". really they should call that 2g now if people want to argue that 42mb/s is somehow 3g (its not folks get over it) I'd add a slighty bigger battery to the note4 and some better camera software (which I will add), and otherwise its stunningly perfect for me. Everyone has their preference. However, 4.2 and 4.2.1 should be AVOIDED if you can. Its a huge battery drain. While google now works a bit better, the rest is a trade off. stay on 4.1 for a bit.

31. Nadr1212

Posts: 741; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

How are they similar In any possible way?!?!??!!

40. mills0806

Posts: 37; Member since: Nov 13, 2011

How is the battery life with the DNA?

43. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Sorry about the late post. I posted this same responce earlier. Battery life on the HTC Droid DNA is great. I got this 2 days 14 hours on a single charge using the phone moderately. That means average amount of calls, texting, emailing, videos, gaming & web surfing. The one thing I hate about HTC Sense is that it doesn't show actual screen on time. My estimate was maybe 3 to 3 1/2 hours of screen on time on my HTC Droid DNA. I say this because when I was on my GNex an average day would be 1 day 3 hours on a single charge with 1hour & 18 minutes of actual screen on time. My usage hasn’t changed just my device has changed. I really hope this helps, the SLCD-3 & the Qualcomm Krait S4 Pro are VERY frugal with the battery. It’s a GREAT combination.

2. bubbadoes

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 03, 2012

PA the DNA runs JB also . Both are nice devices and credit should be given to both devices for running JB in conclusion vice just the N4

18. g2a5b0e unregistered

The DNA runs JB 4.1. The Nexus runs JB 4.2.

3. louiemapa

Posts: 28; Member since: Nov 01, 2012

why no lumia 920 comparison PA? c'mon..

4. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

http://www.phonearena.com/windows/reviews There are a few lumia comparisons on the link I posted....

9. louiemapa

Posts: 28; Member since: Nov 01, 2012

i mean compare it with other phones, like 920 vs iphone or S3 or nexus 4

11. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

yes, there are some comparisons there...

12. louiemapa

Posts: 28; Member since: Nov 01, 2012

but its not lumia 920 against other flagship.

5. wendygarett unregistered

Nexus 4 I choose you!!!

8. wendygarett unregistered

Omg 1080p does visible o.o!!! Thank you pa for showing us the display comparison...

6. mydi.maus unregistered

both are great phones there is just up and down for either,but im gonna go with dna on this one,...

14. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I agree totally. The DNA's 1080p TRUE HD Screen makes the LG Nexus 4's 720p HD screen obsolete. As a matter of fact it makes EVERY other display out in the market obsolete. This time NEXT year every HIGH-END smartphone will have a 1080p HD screen. The future is now & 1080p is the NEW standard. +1

21. android78 unregistered

I thought you was a apple fanboy???? I love android and will never switch sides to the dark side, I got the dna, and the sg3. The dna is the best smartphone i ever owned, I like the nexus 4, but I have always been a fan of htc phones, the htc sense, beats audio, now the 1080p screen. How the hell can ppl even want a i phone 5. Go get that Htc Droid Dna!!!!!!!

7. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

This will come down to the price point. If you can get the DNA under $400 off contract, I'd easily recommend it over the Nexus 4, but over that price it's Note II territory, and if you're willing to pay for a high-end device, that's by far the best you can get. Luckily for us I expect the DNA to drop to that mark in months or 3, and it will still be very much futureproof.

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