- Reception and call quality No comments
- Display No comments
- Battery life No comments
- Camera No comments
- Ease of use No comments
- Design and form factor No comments
- Portability (size / weight) No comments
- Media support No comments
- Durability No comments
- Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.) No comments
For the moment, the DROID DNA is unparalleled in the smartphone world. It's the first to deliver a 1080p screen into a smartphone (aside from its cousin the J Butterfly) and shockingly it squeezes the 5" screen in without feeling like a "phablet."
The camera on this device is fantastic--if you're used to the HTC One X you'll be familiar with a lot of the features, but coming from the Rezound it's a staggering improvement. It's still 8MP, but HTC's new sensors are amazing. You can take snapshots midway through recording video, and the continuous shooting mode works exceptionally well, offering a "best shot" option to automatically delete all the other pictures in the series if you only like one of them. The panorama feature works exceptionally well, and I wowed friends with its ease and quality.
Simply put, the DROID DNA's display is absolutely stunning. At five inches, 1080p and 440 pixels per inch, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything that even begins to come close to this. Watching videos or looking at photos on your favorite photography site/app is an absolute treat.
The Auto Brightness setting works flawlessly, adjusting to the level of ambient lighting seemingly before the display is even turned on. This is a stark contrast from other Android phones, which are often too dim, and frequently change brightness midway through using them.
FEATURES: Build Quality/Design
The device feels exceptional. The material covering the back is slightly grippy, which adds a feeling of security when you hold the device in your hand. There isn’t a creak or groan to be found anywhere on the device, which is a hallmark of HTC quality I’ve become accustomed to.
EASE OF USE
The DROID DNA runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with HTC's Sense 4+ UI. What this means is it's EXCEPTIONALLY EASY to use. Everything is where it should be, and everything works the way you expect it to, which makes for an enjoyable experience. Further, Sense 4+ adds a layer of polish that the harsh lines and contrast of vanilla Android lacks.
The DNA retains the three primary softkeys (that have become the standard since ICS) just below the screen instead of the on-screen buttons found on Nexus devices. The missing Menu button is somewhat annoying, as apps' inclusion of the on-screen Menu button is inconsistent, and navigating to the phone's setting menu requires a swipe of the top pulldown. This is pretty nit-picky, but it's my only gripe about the ease of using the device.
I struggled when trying to decide whether to select "Good" or "Excellent" under Battery Life in the Product Rating above. At 2020 mAh, the battery might seem a bit lacking for a 5" 1080p monster like the DROID DNA at first. Though after a month's use, I've found it to be pretty respectable. The battery lasts me through the day easily with heavy use, and typically I go for two days before charging it with normal usage.
HTC has always had the best radios. Period. I've used several other manufacturer's Androids, and they simply do not compare. In tough service areas (like basements or large buildings), the DNA outperformed the competition every time. The DROID DNA even held 3G signal in my gym (in a university basement) where I usually drop to 1x consistently.
The DROID DNA's signal is excellent, and it's call quality is as well. Callers sounded crisp and clear on my end of the phone, and they reported good quality sound on their end as well.
Upon opening the Navigation app, the GPS locks on instantaneously. This is a huge advantage over the other Android devices I've used, which often take literally minutes to acquire GPS signal and begin directing me on the road. Again, I'm used to good radios/GPS from HTC, my Rezound and Droid Incredible were both flawless in this department as well.
Overall, this device is simply magnificent. I was shocked when I first held it, and even more shocked when I slid it easily into my pocket. It felt fantastic, as if it weren't even there. If you buy any device in the next six months, it had better be the HTC DROID DNA.
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