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HTC DROID DNA Review

HTC DROID DNA

Posted: , posted by John V.

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Seen as a rarity even now, we’re humbled to find the HTC DROID DNA running Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean out of the box. Knowing that, it’s wonderful that we’re given access to all the neat features in tow with the Jelly Bean experience. Meaning, we’re presented with useful things such as Google Now, enhanced notification system, and project butter. Layered over it all, however, is the HTC Sense 4.0+ experience, which may lack some of the additional features found with other custom UIs – like Smart Stay and Multi Windows from Samsung's TouchWiz, for example, but overall, it's a well-made interface with good-looking and polished UI.

The HTC DROID DNA comes with the HTC sense 4.0+ user interface - HTC DROID DNA Review
The HTC DROID DNA comes with the HTC sense 4.0+ user interface - HTC DROID DNA Review
The HTC DROID DNA comes with the HTC sense 4.0+ user interface - HTC DROID DNA Review
The HTC DROID DNA comes with the HTC sense 4.0+ user interface - HTC DROID DNA Review
The HTC DROID DNA comes with the HTC sense 4.0+ user interface - HTC DROID DNA Review
The HTC DROID DNA comes with the HTC sense 4.0+ user interface - HTC DROID DNA Review
The HTC DROID DNA comes with the HTC sense 4.0+ user interface - HTC DROID DNA Review
The HTC DROID DNA comes with the HTC sense 4.0+ user interface - HTC DROID DNA Review

Indeed, there’s still a lot to like about the Sense 4.0+ experience, like its variety of useful widgets, deep personalization, and quick apps access via the lock screen, but beyond that, there is nothing particularly new with this latest version.

App drawer - HTC DROID DNA Review
App drawer - HTC DROID DNA Review
App drawer - HTC DROID DNA Review


Functionality:

As we’ve clearly made well known, the Sense 4.0+ experience on the DROID DNA doesn’t differ from past versions. Therefore, all of the core organizer apps have remained intact. So whether it’s the calendar or clock apps you’re looking at, their presentations and features are carried over from the previous version of Sense.

The core organizer functions of the HTC DROID DNA have remained intact - HTC DROID DNA Review
The core organizer functions of the HTC DROID DNA have remained intact - HTC DROID DNA Review
The core organizer functions of the HTC DROID DNA have remained intact - HTC DROID DNA Review
The core organizer functions of the HTC DROID DNA have remained intact - HTC DROID DNA Review
The core organizer functions of the HTC DROID DNA have remained intact - HTC DROID DNA Review
The core organizer functions of the HTC DROID DNA have remained intact - HTC DROID DNA Review
The core organizer functions of the HTC DROID DNA have remained intact - HTC DROID DNA Review
The core organizer functions of the HTC DROID DNA have remained intact - HTC DROID DNA Review


Additionally, the email experience on the handset is your typical one, as they consist of the Gmail and standard Email apps. With the former, we’re given all of the extensive set of features found with the usual Gmail desktop experience, and with the latter, it’s used to organize our other email accounts. Obviously, the setup process is an uncomplicated one, seeing that it only requires our email address and password for automatic setup completion.

Email - HTC DROID DNA Review
Email - HTC DROID DNA Review
Email - HTC DROID DNA Review
Email - HTC DROID DNA Review


Dishing up a new Sense keyboard layout, we’re initially typing at a slow pace due to the minimal spacing between buttons, which causes accidental presses along the way – and that’s despite having a sizable 5-inch display! However, after some practice and the aid of its auto-correct feature, we’re soon finding ourselves moving at a steadier pace.

The onscreen keyboard - HTC DROID DNA Review
The onscreen keyboard - HTC DROID DNA Review
The onscreen keyboard - HTC DROID DNA Review



Processor and Memory:

Most people forget, higher resolution screens require beefy hardware in order to maintain a tolerable performance. Well, the HTC DROID DNA isn’t a slouch in the processing department – that’s because it’s outfitted with the latest and greatest from Qualcomm. Specifically, it’s being powered by a quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with an Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM. Looking at its overall performance, we really can’t complain about it, since it exhibits a fair amount of finesse with basic operations – like opening apps or surfing the web. Although it’s very responsive with all tasks, even more processor intensive ones like playing 3D games, it doesn’t quite have the same level of snappiness we’ve seen on the LG Optimus G. Nonetheless, quickly glancing over its benchmark scores undeniably shows why it’s a beast on its own.


Quadrant Standard AnTuTu NenaMark 2
HTC DROID DNA 7888 13917 59,1
Motorola DROID RAZR HD 4972 6787 59,6
Samsung Galaxy Note II
5715 13579 58
LG Intuition 3482 6854 36,5

Bummer to say the least, the HTC DROID DNA doesn’t offer any storage expandability whatsoever. Instead, it’s stuffed with 16GB of internal storage, which translates over to a laughable 11GB out of the box.


Internet and Connectivity:

Surfing the web couldn’t be any sweeter on the DROID DNA, especially knowing that it has one flawless performance and lightning fast 4G LTE connectivity with it. Not surprisingly, complex web pages like ours load in a jiffy thanks to the goodness of 4G LTE speeds, but even better with this HTC-made device, it’s not plagued by those annoying blinking actions found with the HTC One X and its variants. Rather, we’re greeted with proper rendering, super details courtesy of its 1080p display, buttery smooth navigational controls, and perfect reflowing of text with each zoom level. All in all, things couldn’t be any sweeter in the web browsing department!

Browsing the web on the HTC DROID DNA's 1080p display - HTC DROID DNA Review
Browsing the web on the HTC DROID DNA's 1080p display - HTC DROID DNA Review
Browsing the web on the HTC DROID DNA's 1080p display - HTC DROID DNA Review
Browsing the web on the HTC DROID DNA's 1080p display - HTC DROID DNA Review
Browsing the web on the HTC DROID DNA's 1080p display - HTC DROID DNA Review
Browsing the web on the HTC DROID DNA's 1080p display - HTC DROID DNA Review
Browsing the web on the HTC DROID DNA's 1080p display - HTC DROID DNA Review


Even though it’s enabled to work on Verizon’s network domestically, the DROID DNA actually has a GSM radio inside of it for international travel – though stateside, 4G LTE connectivity is achieved through Verizon only. Testing out its speeds, we’re able to achieve maximum results of 21Mbps down and 2Mbps up. Positioned as a high-end smartphone, it’s armed to the tooth with all of the contemporary connectivity features we’d expect to find – such as aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, mobile hotspot functionality, and NFC.

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HTC DROID DNA

HTC DROID DNA

OS: Android 4.4 4.2.2 4.1.1
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
9Excellent
Display5.0 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (441 ppi) S-LCD 3
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, Quad-core, 1500 MHz, Krait processor
2 GB RAM
Size5.55 x 2.78 x 0.38 inches
(141 x 70.5 x 9.73 mm)
4.87 oz  (138 g)
Battery2020 mAh, 12.8 hours talk time

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