Sunday, February 17, 2013

TECH REVIEW: Verizon Wireless Droid DNA by HTC

It has a clean and cool design...

One thing that I have noticed about the newest Android smartphones is that many are sporting very clean designs. Gone are the days when the iPhone reigned solely as the most stylish smartphone. Not when new smartphones like the Verizon Wireless HTC Droid DNA are now on the market.

I have been reviewing the Droid DNA by HTC now for a week and I have found that this smartphone has some impressive features, including -

- HTC Sense 4+ on the newest Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) Operating System
- 4G LTE speeds on the Verizon Wireless network
- 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor
- 2 GB Internal RAM
- 5-inch LCD2 display
- True HD 1080p screen resolution
- Wireless charging with a compatible Qi wireless charger
- Built in Beats Audio

The first thing that that you notice about the Droid DNA is its design. It has an all black front and back cover accented with red edges. All the buttons on the phone are flush to the case and are red to blend in with the red accents. It is a very cool design that makes for a "WOW" moment when you remove the phone from the box.

Beautiful Screen resolution...
The second thing you notice about the Droid DNA is the big, beautiful 5" screen.  The Droid DNA is the first smartphone in the Droid family to have a 5" display with true HD 1080p resolution. If you are into watching videos on your smartphone, then you will love watching them on the Droid DNA.

HTC Sense v4+ interface with the Clock/Weather widget
That very user friendly Sense interface...
The Droid DNA runs the very familiar HTC Sense interface. If you have ever used an HTC smartphone, then you know that HTC runs their own interface called Sense on top of the phone's standard operating system interface. In the past, I have had a few headaches with a previous Sense version on my HTC Evo View Tablet that made the device run very slow. But HTC Sense v4 that runs on the Droid DNA is very fast and smooth and contains some user friendly widgets including their signature clock/weather widget that I really love.

Hardware built for speed...
One of the things that may be helping to make the HTC Sense 4 interface run so smoothly is the quad-cord Qualcomm Snapdragon processor plus the 2 GB of RM for super-charged performance. There is nothing worst than a slow smartphone and the Droid DNA has all the right hardware for super fast performance of all your apps.

Droid DNA being charged on my Energizer Wireless Qi Charger
More cool features...
The Droid DNA features Near Field Communication (NFC) and Android Beam technologies for exchanging info with other compatible smartphones by touching phones back-to-back. This feature is great for exchanging photos, videos or just contact information. The Droid DNA also has Beats Audio to use with Beats Headphones (sold separately) and the smartphone can also be charged wirelessly with a compatible qi standard charger like the Energizer Qi Wireless Charger.

The volume buttons on the Droid DNA are hard to find
At what price clean design?
The clean design of the Droid DNA is very cool, but in my opinion, it comes at a price in terms of function. The phone is very lightweight, but that is due to the heavy use of a plastic-like material in the phone's body, which I would not have expected on a phone at a retail price of $600. Also the red colored low flush-to-the-body power and volume buttons are so flush that they are hard to find and use. Even the charging port is covered up which makes for a clean design but is a pain to have to remove the plug to charge the phone using the included power cord.

Here is a rundown of my thoughts on the Verzion Droid DNA by HTC -

Pros -
- Very lightweight
- Super Clean design
- Stylish red accents
- Huge 5" stunning screen
- Very good battery life
- NFC for exchanging data effortlessly
- Ability to be charged wirelessly is very convenient
- True 4G LTE speed on the Verizon network

Cons -
- The Plastic body design makes the phone feel not as expensive as other phones at the same price point
- Power and volume buttons are hard to find
- Charging port is hard to use

The Droid DNA is super lightweight and has a clean and cool design that is very stylish and unique. Although the design at times come at a price to functionality, the phone has some great features like a 5" screen, NFC, wireless charging and of course true 4G LTE speed that make for a very user friendly smartphone.

The DROID DNA by HTC is available at Verizon Wireless for $199 with a 2 year contract.


Disclosure: HTC loaned me a Droid DNA for the purpose of writing this review. All opinions are my own.

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