HTC DROID DNA vs Apple iPhone 5

Introduction and Design

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.

Considerably more prominent in feel and springier in response, we’re digging the iPhone 5’s power button and volume control – whereas, it’s flush to the surface and lacking any distinctive response with the DROID DNA. Checking out some of the commonalities they share around their trims, they include the 3.5mm headset jack, noise-cancelling microphone, and standard mic. However, the DROID DNA employs the more favorable microUSB port for charging/data/video-out connectivity – with the iPhone 5 sticking with Apple’s new Lighting docking port, which lacks video-out functionality.

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.


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.

HTC DROID DNA 360-degrees View:

Apple iPhone 5 360-degrees View:

Interface and Functionality:

Frankly, it’s yet another case of Android versus iOS – meaning, it’s a matter of personal preference. With the iPhone 5, we never get tired of seeing iOS as the more straightforward and easy platform to navigate. Certainly, some people will appreciate that aspect, but it’s simply lacking in the personalization department, which is the strongest part about the DROID DNA. Donning its Sense 4+ UI on top of Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, the DROID DNA’s experience adheres to power users – much like all Android smartphones as a whole.

Always there to help us maintain a level of organization, they both feature their own digital personal assistance services – Google Now with the DROID DNA and Siri for the iPhone 5. On the surface, they integrate with various organizer apps, but Google Now extends its worth outside with other aspects – like providing us driving directions, traffic conditions, and sports scores. Naturally, the two excel in the email experience, but again, the DROID DNA’s worth shows itself in the Gmail app, as it parallels the experience we get out of a desktop.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the DROID DNA’s Sense keyboard is sporting the more spacious layout, while still being super snappy with its response, but the iPhone 5 still manages to deliver a great experience thanks to its equally quick responsiveness and superb auto-correct feature.

Processor and Memory:

No doubt, people will be impress on paper by the HTC DROID DNA, since it’s newer of course, but more importantly, it’s powered by a quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chip with 2GB of RAM. In contrast, the iPhone 5’s hardware might seem insigficant in the face of its rival’s quad-core silicon, but regardless of that, its dual-core 1.3GHz Apple A6 processor with 1GB of RAM actually exhibits the snappier performance – though, to be perfectly honest, the Sense 4+UI is a bit more graphically intensive than the static look of iOS 6. Nonetheless, the two perform similarly with other functions and their executions are fast to match their high-end association.

For high caliber smartphones and all, it’s somewhat disheartening to know that there’s no storage expandability with either device. In fact, the DROID DNA is stuck with only 16GB of storage – while the iPhone 5 is available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities.

Internet and Connectivity:

Continually a comforting item to see on today’s modern smartphones, both are blessed with 4G LTE connectivity for speedy data speeds. Beyond that, the web browsing experiences are equally smashing with the two, as they feature proper page rendering, slick navigational controls, and plenty of sharp details. Overall, you can’t go wrong with either of them!

At this point, it’s known that the DROID DNA is able to surf on other networks aside from Verizon, seeing that it’s also a world phone with GSM capabilities. And of course, the iPhone 5 is available in specific versions enabled for GSM and CDMA. Finally, they pack along similar connectivity features too – such as aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and mobile hotspot functionality. However, it’s the DROID DNA benefiting with NFC.


Not surprisingly, the iPhone 5 is a constant smartphone praised for its photo-taking abilities with its 8-megapixel snapper. Well, the DROID DNA’s 8-megapixel camera also manages to entice us with its great quality too – so much so that it rivals the iPhone 5’s quality step-by-step. Overall, the iPhone 5’s results are filled with luscious details complemented by their subtle color saturation, which splashes that hint of vibrancy with its shots. Conversely, the DROID DNA also delivers some good looking visuals, but with its indoor shots with artificial lighting, images tend to have an ethereal/hazy appearance. And even though the DROID DNA is sporting an f2.0 lens, versus the f2.4 one in the iPhone 5, its shots don’t appear as bright compared to its competition, but they’re still more than good looking as well.

Call it a photo finish with their still image qualities, it’s downright a unanimous win for the iPhone 5 in the 1080p video recording quality department. Remarkably, the iPhone 5 maintains sharp visuals throughout its recording. However, with the DROID DNA, we’re distracted a lot by its flat looks and the pervasive amount of artifacting elements that diminishes its quality.

HTC DROID DNA Sample Video:

Apple iPhone 5 Sample Video:


When playing a track, the two share very similar presentations, which aren’t visually stellar to tell you the truth. Yet, the iPhone 5’s coverflow mode continues to be an attraction in this day and age for its cool movement. Although the iPhone 5 pumps out some pleasant tones from its speaker, it doesn’t match the distinct and bass filled tones produced by the amplifier aided speaker of the DROID DNA. Additionally, it’s nice to find Beats Audio support with HTC’s beast.

Mainly because it’s sporting the larger display, we find it more pleasing to use the DROID DNA for watching high definition videos. Well, the two can handle the process effortlessly, but the DROID DNA offers a wider support of various codecs as well – not to mention less conversion required for getting 1080p videos to run.

Call Quality:

Surprisingly enough, their call qualities are identical to one another, since voices through the earpiece are audible and have plenty of clarity to make us fully comprehend our conversations. At the same time, however, we find the same subtle amount of distortion with voices when using their speakerphones.


With 4G LTE in tow with them, battery life is always something to be conscious about – especially when they’re only good to get you through an 8-hour work shift. However, if you’re connected to last-generation data networks, it’s a bit more average with the two, as they can get a single day of normal usage with their fully charged batteries. Worth pointing out, the DROID DNA features wireless charging via the Qi wireless charging standard.


Simply put it folks, the outcome basically boils down to personal preference – even more when they perform similarly in nearly all departments. It’s Android or iOS, so you just have to pick your poison. Also, it’s a matter of big versus smaller in this comparison, which is another thing that might factor into your decision. With the two priced at $200 on-contract, some might see the value in the DROID DNA’s impressive specs sheet, but then again, the iPhone 5 matches its rival’s performance with hardware specs that don’t appear to be drool worthy amongst the masses. In the end, whichever you decide to go with, we’re certain they’re two hot devices that are going to be on the gift list of many people this holiday season.

HTC DROID DNA vs Apple iPhone 5 Video Comparison:

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