Share this Story

HTC DROID DNA Bootloader Can be Unlocked Through HTCDev

Well, that’s good news, right? The HTC DROID DNA bootloader can be unlocked through HTCDev, opening it up (for the most part) to a world that many of Verizon’s phones cannot enter. The phone is left with S-ON afterwards, but to my knowledge most HTC phones are after using this tool. The device pictured is more than likely a retail unit. Unless something changes or a software update blocks HTCDev from working, I’d say we are in luck.Β 

In theory, with the phone having S-ON, ROMs can still be flashed, you just have to flash a boot.img file before doing the heavy lifting. For example, my One X is unlocked via HTCDev and has S-ON, yet I can flash all sorts of goodies. (Updated)Β In order to flash kernels you will need to do it through fastboot, but in this day, that’s not nearly as big of a deal as it once was.

In order to unlock, we’ve been told that all you need to do is use HTCDev’s unlock instructions after choosing the “All other supported models” option from the device selection pulldown.

Assuming (and hoping) this carries through to launch, does this change your opinion of the DNA?

Cheers DNA!

  • If this device supports developers, I will go insane over it.

  • Jim

    As soon as VZW gets wind of this…Party Over!! I hope I’m wrong, but I bet it’s unlockable by launch day. Again, I really hope I’m wrong.

  • brando56894

    Apparently it’s already rooted, has it’s first custom kernel and a custom recovery already: http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/11/15/htc-droid-dna-gets-root-custom-recovery-and-modified-kernel-ahead-of-official-release/

    You’re slacking Kellex! πŸ˜›

  • It’s muuuuuuuuuuuuch more likely that I’ll buy one now. I just need to make sure CM10 will support it ASAP.

    • John Mozelewski

      Sorry but you’ll be lucky of they support it at all

  • Tyler Casilio

    So the review………

  • Whoohoo! Goodbye Note 2.

  • ddevito

    If only it had on-screen navigation keys

    • jay

      not the way the razr hd and razr maxx hd do it. i wouldn’t want any real estate taken away from me. i’m all good with the physical keys.

  • Its so interesting how everyone looks at the battery mah and assume they are some kind of scientist to foretell the battery life. Hopefully these DNA reviews will shut people in the future about assuming battery life of a phone they haven’t touched

    • Diablo81588

      Lol battery size doesn’t lie. You’ll soon find out.

      • 4 people have reviewed and they have said that the battery life is pretty good. 2020 is just barely beneath the GS3 and the screen is efficient with power. I think people just like to hate on HTC for some odd reason

        • John Mozelewski

          Nah its just small compared to note 2 (battery and screen size:)) plus sense needs a new look moto blur looks a lot better now than sense and not big fan of touchwiz but the note 2 just looks bad ass in every other way

          • SA_NYC

            Here’s a question about something I haven’t heard anyone comment about wrt battery life on the DNA: what about battery degradation over time? I’ve replaced both my GNex batteries in the year I’ve had that phone. What’s battery life likely to be on the DNA in 6-12 months? That’s actually my biggest concern about this phone right now. Thoughts?

        • Diablo81588

          The reason is HTC is notorious for pathetic battery life. It’s not just the screen that’s the problem either, it’s the GPU power required to push a 1080p display. That’s over 2 million pixels that need to be rendered by an ultra low TDP chipset. Also, comparing to the s3 is foolish as well, because that has a dual core processor with no where near the resolution.

  • RW-1

    If it stays through launch it is just another example of how moto is still in bed with VZ calling the shots on device locking. You can’t keep saying the carrier made us do ti when other devices are sitting on the same network unlocked and still on subsidy. Plain and simple. Dev edition is such a fracking scam ….

    • JoshGroff

      Not if you’re buying off contract anyway. πŸ˜‰

    • Samsung has started locking phones with the GS3 on Verizon only. We know its Verizon, plain and simple.

  • schoat333

    Why can’t this phone be hacked for s-off just like older HTC phones?

    • brando56894

      It probably will be, they just have to find an exploit that will let us in. It took about 5 months for the UnlimitedIO team to break into the Rezound and it required a physical hack to do so.

      • JoshGroff

        The Sensation only took a month. πŸ™‚ Either way I usually wait for s-off to buy an HTC phone.

        • brando56894

          Yea my mistake was buying it when it first came out because I bought both of my previous phones (OG Droid and Incredible) about 6-9 months after they came out so everything was in full swing.

          • JoshGroff

            That’s usually a good time to buy, gives the dev community some time to create a variety of ROMs and get some of the bugs worked out.

      • schoat333

        I’m not a fan of physical exploits, so I hope its just a simple hacked H-boot like the Tbolt. If that happens, I will consider buying this phone.

        • brando56894

          Yea I was a slight pain in the ass to do (all you had to do was bridge two contact for a second, but you had to do it in intervals of 1.7 seconds) and scared a lot of people out of doing it. I was hoping it would have been something simple like unrevoked did for the incredible (plug your phone in, turn on ADB, click a button then boom! You’re S-Off).

  • moelsen8

    wow, how’d this happen.. first the phone is unlocked for any GSM carrier, now the bootloader can be unlocked? it’s a crazy world.

    • JoshGroff

      HTC has magical powers. (maybe it was in the exclusivity agreement between them and Verizon?)

  • Well this has put me one step closer to considering this phone, waiting to see how that 2020mah battery holds up before i finalize it. Cracked the screen on the gnex so its time to get something a little more higher quality as far as materials and build quality.

  • Travis Shepherd

    still doesnt change my mind, I’m locked in for another year on my GNex.

  • eleazar

    Please don’t let this change before next Wednesday! I wish this hadn’t come out for another week. :

  • Well considering I only have VZW, got suckered into a Rezound due to my love for HTC and again being stuck with Verizon, I cannot afford to get the DNA. It looks bad ass and I hope this helps HTC crawl out of the funk its been in. I hope it will restore them to the glory of the Droid Incredible days and keep them out of trouble building 15+ different models for everybody.

    • brando56894

      I agree, I loved the Incredible and was let down with the Rezound. I got it on launch day and had it for a year, then I just bought a used GNex to replace it while I wait for the next “superphone” that strikes my fancy. IDK about your Rez but my first one had radio problems after about 6 months and then my second one had battery problems where it would get up to 120-130F under normal usage, not to mention the horrible battery life on it. I’m most likely going to stay away from HTC for my next phone or at least wait until a phone from them is out for a month or two until I decide to get it.

  • Johnathan Denney

    I really am leaning towards this phone, but my upgrade is not until january, and it comes down to if I should play the dreaded waiting game or not. Seeing as how MWC is in February and I have a gnex that’s running like a champ as well as a optimus g on sprint which is a beast btw. hmmmmmmmmmmm decisions decisions

  • majormudafuckinhun

    They’ll come up with a wire trick eventually to get s-off. Nonetheless, this is awesome! I’m currently using the iPhone 5 but I’d be all over this if I wasn’t! Love HTC!

  • John Paul

    If I don’t switch to Tmobile and get the Nexus 4, I’ll probably go for this phone.

  • Alvin

    I’m waiting on the Red Employee edition. If it gets locked down and you guys are able to get it unlocked I’m gonna be so jelly lol. But I can’t beat the price for $99, sexy red backing and free wireless charging pillow. If it does get locked down before I get mine I guess my Nexus 7, Galaxy Nexus, and Nexus 4 will do for my flashing love. I just really wanna see AOSP on this thing although I actually like Sense UI. Just wanna see what it would be like if the HTC Nexus 5 was real lol.

  • Zach

    Awesome! So I can have an unlocked phone that will last for 4 hours to play with as opposed to a locked phone that I can have 4 hours to play with. Ha

  • I am ridiculously excited for this phone, but I still think it ought to be HTC cyborg something or another, since I guess it’s got DNA.

    • Mack

      It could have been the DIX…

  • not sure i if anyone knows this but wirefly has this phone up for pre-order for 149.99

    • Symbiotx

      I don’t see it on there..

      • Checked it out its still on there, and but hard to get too, but have to click on Verizon, and then HTC phones and it should be on the first page

        • Symbiotx

          Ahh I did find it. Thanks.

  • this probably be a stupid question, but is there some kind of external memory card reader that you can plug into the phone?, i think i read it somewhere on this site about someone doing that with the nexus 4

    • staticx57

      It’s called USB on the Go or USB OTG and it’s neat but not a replacement for a microsd or more onboard storage as it’s not different than plugging in any other USB cable-not that portable.

    • RaptorOO7

      Sure USB OTG is an alternative and so is the Galaxy Note 2 with support for 64GB microSD cards. That is my direction. Yes I would prefer a super nice true 1080p display but I want have a need for more storage first. With the GN2 I can finally kill off my iPod and carry my music and podcasts with me and flip Apple the (turkey) bird this holiday season.

  • Can Verizon somehow block this? I would hope not for the sake of the new owners…

  • superdry

    Interesting. This also happened with the Droid Incredible 4G before it was pulled from the HTCDev site (using the “other devices” option).

    • Zach

      Yes, this won’t last for long. It will more than likely be patched and locked up tight by the time it releases.

  • Austin00

    Stupid newb question if I unlock will asurion not take my device of I unlocked it with HTC Dev never used HTC Dev before or owned an HTC device but this thing looks amazing

    • brando56894

      They’ll take it. I unlocked my Rezound via HTCdev and then it kept dropping data after I attempted S-Off. After I locked it back up I went into a Verizon store and showed them and they sent me a new one. Numerous other people have sent their phones back to both VZW and Asurion and haven’t had any problems. Some people even said that they’ve sent back phones that were S-Off and had no problems. I actually sent back an Incredible that had turned itself back to S-On while CWM was still installed and had no problems.

  • kervation

    Why is HTC making my decision difficult regarding my next device! Really hope the battery life is solid on this bad boy.

    • RaptorOO7

      I hope you are right, but, given HTC’s past on battery life especially where LTE is concerned I would be afraid, be very afraid.

      • brando56894

        Exactly. The battery life on the Rezound was absolutely horrible, mostly due to the screen. When will HTC learn and throw a giant battery in one of their phones so we don’t have to constantly charge the damn thing every 4-6 hours?

      • kervation

        Don’t I know all too well, that’s why I hope! LOL

    • Sqube

      Reports seem to indicate 30hrs with light usage and a precipitous drop once LTE is turned on and the phone is really put through its paces.

      I’m holding out for a Developer Edition with a bigger battery and at least 32GB of storage. A microSD slot would still be nice, but not necessary if the storage and battery life were sufficient.

  • Just got my Nexus 4 today and I wish I got the DNA instead πŸ™ I love the body of the N4 and all, but the display isn’t as good as the previous Nexus. Looking forward to Wednesday when this thing comes out.

    • brando56894

      “The screen isn’t as good as the previous Nexus?” That’s pretty bad because the screen on the Galaxy Nexus is pretty crappy IMO. I had a Rezound for a year and then I just got the GN and it pales in comparison to the Rezound, which leads me to believe the screen on the Nexus 4 sucks balls :-/

      • EC8CH

        What is so bad about the screen on the G-Nex? The only complaint I really have about it is the “dirty whites”, but once I bump up the screen brightness a bit that goes away.

        I love the contrast it has, it blows away the screen on my N7 which looks terribly washed out in comparison.

        • brando56894

          Stock for Stock the Gnex has the awful blue tint to it, once you have it calibrated it does look at lot better but no matter how much you tweak it it still isn’t as nice as many of the screens that are out there. Even after being calibrated, it will still have that awful blue tint to it when you look at it at any other angle other than head on. The “dirty whites” that you speak of are kind of annoying, but I’ve learned to live it with. You must have a defective N7 because I had the 8 GB which was perfectly fine and then I sold that and got the 32 GB, which is also fine.

      • JoshGroff

        The Rezound is also 100 ppi over what the G-Nex is, and it’s non pentile?

        • Rocketjrb

          Rezound has a 26 ppi over the G-Nex. The bigger difference like you said is the S-LCD > Pentile

  • Ohiwastedmylife

    You got it to work? Awesome!

  • Korey Page

    This has really put me to 65-75% range of buying it. I guess the next 25-35% that will put me in the automatic buy category is seeing it up close and holding it. Guess I’ll know Nov. 21st.

    • brando56894

      I must admit this definitely did change my opinion from “definitely not” to “it’s a possibility”, the next thing that will sway me even more is the battery life. If this gets horrible battery life like the Rezound it’s a definite no. I was getting around 5 hours with about an hour screen on time on my Rezound, even when it was underclocked to 384 when the screen was off.

      • Tom

        There is a review on youtube by mobile tech review…. Said battery lives is good…yay

      • James

        According to CNET’s review it gets about 40 fewer minutes than the S3 on their benchmark… like 8:40 vs 9:30 while the RZRMAX rocked 14+ hours.

        • QQpayne

          If battery life is truly that good, this will be my next phone for sure.

        • brando56894

          Not bad, but not phenomenal either. Hopefully they’re make an extended battery for it that doesn’t create an ugly bulge like it did on the Rezound. I had the extended battery (2,850 mAH) but never really used it unless I had to because it added so much weight to the phone and made it look ugly and it was uncomfortable to hold. One the flipside my GNex has the extended battery (2,100 mAH) and it is a slight improvement over the stock battery (1,850 mAH) but no ugly at all.

          • the battery is non removable

          • brando56894

            It that case it’s a gamble.

        • cocamoxb

          Link? My search-foo is weak this morning……. >.<

        • Diablo81588

          Rating battery performance by measuring call time is completely ignorant. When you’re on a call, the screen is usually off and the CPU is in an idle state. The true test of battery life is LTE browsing time with the screen on auto brightness.

          • zUFC

            I disagree. My Phones are used for (and at) work. I answer phones all day long! Plus my usuall other things I do with the phone. During the work week od answering non stop calls my phones are on the charger by 2:00 every day. On the weekends when I use the phone more like normal people so (not as many phone calls as during the week) my phone lasts ALL day. I’m talking about Gnex then S3. Phone calls are the biggest battery killer there is!!! (even though the screen is off). Not arguing with you just telling you what i know. yes there are a million other factors but phone calls are killer

          • Diablo81588

            If all you do is talk then you don’t need a smartphone. I can assure you that phone calls are not a battery killer, especially if the maxx can do 21 hours straight. LTE is the ultimate battery killer.

          • zUFC

            Of course I need a smart phone. It’s my phone. Work pays so cutomers call it (and the land line). So it’s works and mine. I have the maxx now and they even hurt that thing. Not as bad as my other two but still hurt it. I know LTE is a killer but I’m tellling you that phone calls hurt also. trust me. been living and testing it for 5 years now

    • C-Law

      Same here. I want more than 3.5 hours screen on time though! I hate how often I have to charge my gnex, even with the extended battery

      • James

        It gets right around 3.5 hours of screen time according to reviewers. Sorry.

      • mustbepbs

        The max I get even with my Nexus 7 with the screen brightness all the way down is 6.5-7 hours of screen on time. It’s just the nature of these devices.

  • UncleFan

    This phone is like a monster that came out of nowhere. I’m *THIS CLOSE* to pulling the trigger on a Nexus 4, but now I have… doubts.

  • John Mozelewski

    Wow first thing that this phone beats note 2 at but still don’t think its not big enough

  • steve0

    Does this mean I will be able to install Bugless Beast on the DNA?

    • John Mozelewski

      Prob not unless it gets s off

      • David Hayden

        S-OFF is irrelevant in terms of flashing ROMs. What matters is the developer actually making a ROM for the device, and as far as I am aware, Pete primarily develops for Nexus/AOSP devices.

        • Mack

          S-Off matters only when it comes to AOSP based ROM’s.

          Sense based ROM’s will work.

          • brando56894

            Not true, you can still have AOSP ROMs without S-Off. S-Off only makes it easier to flash kernels, radio images and RUUs. While S-On you can still flash all of those but kernels and radio images need to be flashed via fastboot instead of via the recovery and the phone needs to be relocked in order to flash RUUs. The only other thing S-Off provides is the ability to downgrade radio images at will.

  • With htcdev unlock you CAN flash boot.img/recovery.img, you cant how ever flash them from m a custom recovery lke cwm for example, cause with htcdev unlock you cant flash kernel/recovery partitions :nless your on fastboot mode.

    • Haven’t flashed kernels yet on my One X, so I wasn’t aware. Thanks for clarifying. Updated post.

  • You can flash kernels while S-ON, you just have to do it through fastboot. It’s inconvenient though…

    • Ahh that’s good to know.

    • David Hayden

      All it really takes is booting into the bootloader and manually flashing the kernel. It’s hardly any work.

      • Still inconvenient compared to S-OFF lol.

      • brando56894

        While I agree it isn’t as big of a deal as people make it out to be but it is a pain in the ass, especially when you’re out somewhere and decide to flash a ROM or want to go from AOSP to Sense since you need to change kernels.

        • Who feels the need to flash a ROM while they’re “out somewhere.” Jesus, get a life…

          • KB Smoka

            ha,,,for real

          • brando56894

            I didn’t mean while at a social gathering or something. I just mean when you’re stuck somewhere and bored, or if you’re at work and have nothing to do. Pretty much any place where you don’t have a computer with fastboot at your disposal.

          • SA

            Ha ha ha, nicely said!

        • JoshGroff

          All you have to do is rename the kernel and have it on the root of your SD card. Really not that bad, but it’s annoying when you boot into recovery and forget to rename the kernel and have to reboot to do so.

          • brando56894

            yep, the good ol’ PH98IMG.zip

  • B592

    Coming from my S3 the DNA is mine, I’m excited for it not worried about 16GB because its all about the cloud these days.

    • LiterofCola

      Hopefully you have unlimited data, because if you dont, then constant streaming from the cloud will gobble your tiered data plan.

      • zepfloyd

        Yea just like everyone running to do prepaid with a Nexus 4 and it’s 8 or 16GB….LOL.

        Haters gonna hate.

        • chris125

          because prepaid has unlimited……..

      • mustbepbs

        If you’re on WiFi a lot of your day, you have nothing to worry about.

        • ciscore

          This is exactly the case. I’m an IT guy and use my phone A LOT. I’m on wifi at work and wifi at home and use around 500MB of data a month. I had to lose my unlimited to get the DNA, but I’m not really too worried about it.

          • nickS

            lost unlimited upgrading to dna? really?

          • ciscore

            I’m on my 3rd Nexus because of their crap factory refurbs. I really want a new phone and like I explained above, I’ve never topped a gig a month. You guys that value unlimited so much really need to discover wifi….
            Also, all plans on all carriers will eventually drop unlimited. They’re being nice right now, but they’ll force everyone out of it soon enough.

          • Daistaar

            You my friend, need to discover Mobile Wifi. It’s called 4G LTE. Lol.

          • ciscore

            You realize not all of the country has 4G right?

          • Daistaar

            Most of the country has 4G. Most Verizon customers have 4G LTE. Technically, HSDPA and HSDPA+ is 4G as is WiMax.

          • ciscore

            You obviously don’t live outside a large city in the midwest. There are cities with 80k+ people in the midwest that still don’t have 4G. When Verizon says “most” of the country has 4G, they mean the large population centers, not land area. I’m not trying to argue here, just let you know that there’s plenty of areas without 4G and a 4G mobile hotspot is useless in a lot of the country. Verizon’s 3G is horribly overloaded in a lot of areas as well. Maybe that’s why I barely use their data service!

    • leoingle

      You sir couldn’t be anymore wrong. Screw the cloud, I don’t want my data eaten up by stuff I could have on my phone if I had the room.

      • trob6969

        Yeah, screw the cloud. I agree. I don’t see why people can’t seem to realize that cloud storage was designed to benefit companies, not consumers. Why would I pay a company to have control over MY files? Not even considering that cloud needs an internet connection, can be hacked AND is prone to rate hikes whenever. the server feels like it.

  • This phone is getting better and better

  • Jonathan Bunch

    good! lets hope this trend continues! This will be the deciding factor for many in this community!