HTC DROID DNA vs Samsung Galaxy S III

Being the latest entrant in the smartphone kingdom, there’s no arguing the imposing presence of the super spec’d HTC DROID DNA. Simply put it, the smartphone is one immaculate piece of tech that’s a sure fire competitor ready to fend of the hungry competition this holiday season. However, in order for it be glorified and accepted openly as an upper echelon device, it really needs to show its worth to what’s arguably regarded as the most prestigious Android smartphone pushed out this year – the Samsung Galaxy S III. It’s the summer king versus the new kid on the block, so let’s find out how they stack up against one another.


Looking at the two, it’s rather difficult for us to concretely make a decision as to which of the two is sporting the better design, since they have many likeable elements. In terms of size, they’re both obviously a handful to comfortably use with a single hand, but the Galaxy S III is a smidgen smaller in footprint – while also being the lighter and skinnier in profile as well. Whereas the Galaxy S III is more curvaceous, we still appreciate the stylish industrial design of the DROID DNA, especially when it’s highlighted by its cool red accents. Rounding things out, we absolutely love that the two sport very clean finishes – thanks primarily to the soft touch matte casing of the DROID DNA and the hyper-glaze coating on the Galaxy S III.

Seeing that its trio of Android capacitive buttons are squished in no man’s land, below the screen and above the bottom edge of the phone, it’s more prone to accidental presses. Oppositely, it’s not much of a problem with the Galaxy S III, since it employs a combination physical home button surrounded by two capacitive buttons. Besides finding their earpieces and light/proximity sensors above their displays, we’re also presented with their LED notification lights. It’s more prominent with Sammy’s offering, obviously, considering that it’s incorporated into the earpiece with the DROID DNA. However, it’s neat that there’s a second one in the rear of HTC’s baby.

Not surprisingly, we prefer the physical buttons of the Galaxy S III over the DROID DNA – mainly because they’re so much more prominent and responsive, versus the flush and indistinct feel associated with the DROID DNA’s set. Taking a look around their trims, they pack many commonalities, which include their 3.5mm headset jacks, noise-cancelling microphones, standard mics, and microUSB ports for charging/data/video-out functionality.

Flipping them both around, we spot their 8-megapixel auto-focus cameras, which both feature LED flashes and 1080p video recording. However, it’s the DROID DNA that’s standing out more on paper for its f2.0 lens. Concurrently, the two are also outfitted with front-facing cameras – a 1.9-megapixel one on Sammy’s prodigy and a somewhat more impressive 88-degree wide-angle 2.1-megapixel camera with an f2.0 lens on the DROID DNA.


There’s so much that our eyes can see from a great distance away, right? That’s particularly evident as we glance at the sharp looking displays on these two handsets. Without question, the DROID DNA impresses us with its 5-inch 1080 x 1920 Super LCD-3 display, which sets the bar with its even more spectacular pixel density of 441 ppi. And even though it’s not as high-res as its rival, the Galaxy S III’s 4.8-inch 720 x 1280 HD Super AMOLED display is an attractive one for its showroom vibrancy, which is attributed to its over-saturated color reproduction and exquisite viewing angles. Honestly, it’s hard to gauge from a normal viewing distance as to which is the more detailed display, but upon closer inspection, there’s more evidence of sharpness with the DROID DNA’s display. Even better, we find it far more viewable in outdoor conditions with the sun present. Seriously folks, the display on the DROID DNA is killer in so many aspects.

HTC DROID DNA 360-degrees View:

Samsung Galaxy S III 360-degrees View:



53. xkorpio

Posts: 4; Member since: Aug 11, 2013

HAHAHA well some people just post for the fvck of it. I'm pretty sure we can all google the specs for both phones so lets not get into that. I have both phones. I got my galaxy when verion decided to cut the unlimited data plans. Then I just got a droid DNA a month ago. The screen is beautiful same ass galaxy s4 or iphone 4, 4s, 5. It's High definition at it's best. Is it better than the screen on the galaxy s3? you bet. BUT that about it that's superior to the s3. The camara on the dna sucks! I have BOTH phones and have taken various photos using both phones same circumstances. Now the tactile buttons are SOOO unresponsive, it's a joke. MAYBE its software and they can fix it with an update but.... NOT to mention LAG. I have a stock ROM. On the other hand my galaxy s3 it's just so fluid. LOVE that phone. I like the DNA, But I think HTC still has a lot to learn software wise. Build is excellent, but then again, I tend to buy phones every two years.... so is platic gonna keep me from getting a phone that runs buttery smooth ??? NOT REALLY LOL. Like a lot of people say, memory car is not a must for me, but it would definitely would be nice. Not to mention removable battery. Software wise also... anybody knows how .... on the sammy you can swipe from the top down to show the status bar on MOST applications , but on the DNA it's impossible??? ALSO this is not that important... but ... has anyone notice .... (my friend has a Galaxy S4)... The Galaxy S3 has the most powerful FLASH of any phones I have used.? The Galaxy S4 flash is SO underpower. Even worst than the DROID DNA!!! I know it's something that not a lot of people use, but if you are video taping a movie in low light conditions a strong flash helps a lot. ;)

51. tehalley

Posts: 13; Member since: Jul 03, 2012

I know this old news, but I just got a DNA for $50. I like it soo much better than the S3. Yes on card slot or battery door is a bit bad. These are no issue with me. The DNA has a much better feel & is a lot faster. The screens are no comparison, the DHA wins ands down. As always this is what me thinks! Happy DNA owner.

52. Devadne

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 29, 2013

Can I just say that having someone review this phone recently is very useful! Thanks! This comparison ended on the DNA wins but if you don't want to spend the money the Galaxy 3 is a better value for your money. That's when the DNA was $200 and the Galaxy 3 was $50. Now they're both $50 and I think the DNA wins, even without the door to the battery or memory card slot.

47. thecomputergenius30

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 26, 2012

I have both phones (the DNA and Galaxy S3) Over all I like the feel and the phone quality of the DNA better. The screen is really nice. What is really a bummer for me is the fact that the rear camera video keeps focusing in and out as I take video. The picture quality is fine (not as great as the galaxy s3 but not a deal breaker either. Because of the rest of the features of the this phone I decided to keep the DNA and I hope they come out with a software upgrade for the Video cam on the DNA. Is the video livable yes, but I'd like it to the point of it not bluing out and re focusing in again.

48. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

My reason for liking the GS3 is the external memory, removable battery, and features. I have had phones break or get damaged in the past, and the SD lives. Also, I prefer touch wiz and the extra features in the GS3. It all preference, but those were the real deal breakers.

46. TitoP

Posts: 3; Member since: Dec 23, 2012

I was so torn between these phones I spent 40 minutes at the store and then left without either. Now I've decided to go with AT&T for the 4gLTE, and will probably go with the Galaxy Note 2. I used to think I'd never think of my phone as a camera except for shooting traffic accidents or robberies under way. Then I saw the Note II's camera. As a graphics designer in New York, the thought of taking pics of graphic elements I like, then sending them to myself via AT&T's 4GLTE is powerfully tempting. What an awesome feature, too, to be able to write on the pics.

44. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

Dear author. When you're going to make a bold statement about lagging and a choppy screen. Please TELL US when and where that happened. This isn't a 5th grade essay when you coule leave specifics out like that. Its like you just pulled that out of your.... hat. Did you make it up because the DNA processor is better? We will never know.

34. ghanemsam

Posts: 64; Member since: Nov 21, 2012

and as usual phone arena still biased to samsung over and over and over they dont want to addmit that the the HTC beast is the best around right now

33. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

When I purchased my Note 2, I looked at the DNA for about 30 seconds. It was pretty MEH to me. The screen was great, don't get me wrong.. but besides that.. what else is there? A ton of negatives! Sense - Rather have Touchwiz Battery - small and non removable storage - really?? for this shootout.. It would be a toss up for me. If I had to choose one of those 2, I'd probably DNA because it's a little more future proof than the GSIII at this point. BUT.. luckily, I didn't have to pick one of those 2 and got the Note 2! :P

28. Thephonegeek

Posts: 118; Member since: Nov 22, 2012

Truth to be told. DNA prove it against note 2, S3 is not a big deal in front of it. But only 11GB Native storage is a deal breaker.

38. androiddownsouth

Posts: 598; Member since: May 02, 2012

I thought that too, but got my DNA, set it up, and was amazed at how much storage I actually needed for stuff I actually use. Got all my apps downloaded and put some music on it, and still several GB's of storage left. And, HTC's media manager software for the DNA is sweet. Easy to send iTunes music to your phone no extra apps needed at all.

17. android78 unregistered

You cant go wrong with either of these monster android phones. I have both but im just a sucker for that htc sense, So if i would to pick one it would be the htc droid dna. You just cant beat that 1080p screen, quad core processor, beats audio, and htc sense. Im in love with my dna......

16. K_osss

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

Good review but am I the only one that finds the reference to "tits" in the Internet and Connectivity section humorous? "...such as proper rendering, silky smooth navigational controls, and sharp details thanks to tits high-res displays." It's an adjective in someone's vernacular

42. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

i caught that too and paused for a minute lol

9. MalakiMills

Posts: 257; Member since: Jun 15, 2010

I had the DNA (swapped for Note 2) and my fiance has the S3. Personally I would recommend the S3 first. The screen really is fantastic on the DNA, but the software is just not up to par at all. If you root I would recommend the DNA because you can eventually get better, but for anyone else the S3 just offers a superior user experience. That and things like removable battery, and storage are just nice to have.

22. lzsbleach

Posts: 155; Member since: May 20, 2012

I agree with you man, the DNA is just a bigger One x with a better screen, other than that theres nothing new about this phone. I see alot of people running away from sense and it shows in the sales; sense is just not up to par, theres nothing wrong with it but it doesnt add anything either.

41. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

I agree with botb of you. Some people like simple things. If I liked simple phones, I would have an iPhone. I like all of the effects and features on my GS3. People trip out when I let them look at my phone. Also, what are people on when they comment on bad build quality? It's not bad on the GS3. Its just the gloss smooth feel that feels funny. It has the same build quality as many phones in the past. Remember! Glass is the cheapest and weakest material! Aluminum scratches and dents. Its all about preference.

23. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

I agree with your assessment. The GS III software is more 'usable' than what HTC offers on the DNA. If one is not rooting, then the GS III is better. Rooted, the DNA would get the nod.

54. xkorpio

Posts: 4; Member since: Aug 11, 2013

aman lol same thoughts here. I love the screen on the dna but the software is just crap seriously. ;( and like I mention Later??? Earlier???? Even if the DNA has a faster processor and quad core, it just feels so sluggish and under power compare to the SAMSUNG GALAXY S3, which is older ! lol

6. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Superior high tech horribly crippled by 12GB of storage.. just unacceptable. Having the marvelous screen and inability to even put two full HD movies in the phone. Having a top notch GPU when games that could use it go up to 3.5GB in size. HTC really sabotaged themselves

20. chrisbo5

Posts: 31; Member since: Jan 26, 2012

i have to blame verizon waaaaayy more than htc, remember that the htc j butterfly has a sd card slot.

5. MeoCao unregistered

GS3 is 6 months old and looks boring now, GS3 has more software features but JB has made things like S-Voice obsolete. DNA all the way.

7. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

All the way to hitting the wall of tiny storage.

10. MeoCao unregistered

haha, u guys live in the past now is the era of clouds.

11. tizz06

Posts: 15; Member since: May 17, 2012

we livin in an era of the cloud and data caps so the cloud storage could b your phone bills worse enemy

13. MeoCao unregistered

I don't hear ppl complaining about Nexus 4 with even less memory. Remember Nexus 4 were sold out on contract at Tmo as well. I guess Wifi serves the well?

26. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Nexus 4 is a bargain. It costs as much as a midrange phone, but has the latest OS and tech. You don't have to be a power user to realize the benefit of getting a Nexus 4. As for me, I said it already - no way it could replace my S3, with that kind of storage

36. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

unless you go to Tmobiles truley unlimited plan with no overages or throttle. then cloud life is juuuuuust fine. :)

37. androiddownsouth

Posts: 598; Member since: May 02, 2012

I know Tmo works for you bro, but there are still too many places like where I live where Tmo is straight garbage man. Otherwise you are right.

12. SleepingOz unregistered

Sure, the GSIII is old now and I'd recommend the DNA over it to anyone but don't be in denial of the plus that expandable memory gives you. Not everyone's willing to waste money over data usage when one can access his files for free using a memory card.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless