Since the One X, HTC has put everything it is can into a smartphone. While some may think it is a desperate move to recapture the glory days, others feel that HTC has found a different lane. Unlike Samsung, who has flooded the market with low end phones, HTC is taking the “high spec” road and bringing out the best of the best. The latest surprise in 2012 was the DROID DNA. For lack of better terms, the name is terrible. Considering that the phone’s main selling point is its large 5″ edge-to-edge screen with Full HD resolution. Not sure what that has to do with a double helix. The DNA is the first of its kind with 440ppi pixel density. That’s a 1080p display! This is and I repeat is the best display on a mobile phone. HTC chose to throw every hardware and software improvement in the DNA does that make it better than phones like the Galaxy Note 2 or Nexus 4. Check out more in the written and video review below.
The first thing I noticed was the screen. It is simply a work of art. The 1080p LCD3 blows away any display I’ve seen on a phone. I spent hours watching content just to see how well it performed. To my delight, I had no problem viewing it in broad daylight. The gorilla corning glass 2 keeps the scratches at bay. I have to be honest, I wasn’t too excited to review this phone. I knew the display would be good but the 5″ screen and design just seems like a joke. We have all seen the images of the iPhone 8 with its long design and awkward orientation. That’s what the DNA looked like to me. However, the phone is very thin to me and feels great in my hands. I have medium sized hands and the phone did take two hands to use at times. However, I felt that a display this big on any slate will demand attention from both of your hands. The power button and volume buttons are easy to press for me. Although I would have wished that the placement were a little forgiving to medium sized hands. In short, you get used to it. But I found myself thinking. I shouldn’t have to get used to a phone. It should get used to me. That’s the least of my concerns about the hardware. Overall, its everything you expect from HTC’s latest. No expandable memory and no removable battery with a compromised of uni-body hardware with great design and materials. It supports wireless charging and NFC, which is a must because there is a stupid flap covering the sync/charge port.
The fact that HTC released a phone with the latest version of Android is a shock. Don’t call me ungrateful but I still can’t get past Sense UI. The Sense experience is everywhere. You really don’t even know that you are using Android 4.1. Sense replaces the stock email, calendar, browser and keyboard. All of which function smoothly but take away from the true Android experience.
The camera app itself is nothing different from the One X and One X+ but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Everyone will appreciate that it has a balance set of manual controls and shooting modes. All of the usual features like burst shooting and the ability to snap a photo while shooting a video are present. The optics is an 8-megapixel auto-focus camera that features an f2.0 lens. The images were decent. They didn’t look like they came from a cell phone and that’s a good thing. If you have good lighting, the quality is only rivaled by point n shoot cameras. Video wasn’t as good. I noticed some issues with color correction while panning and moving images. The auto white balance had trouble keeping up.
The HTC Droid DNA is the first of its kind, a 5-inch monster phone with 1080p screen resulting in a pixel density of 441ppi. It is probably one of the few phones I can recommend that will last you the entire two years of your contract. $199 on contract makes for an even better deal.