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A Second Look at the HTC DROID DNA

HTC DROID DNA

After we posted up our full review of the HTC DROID DNA, I was able to get a hold of a second device and take it for a spin of my own. Since it’s such a major device for Verizon, I couldn’t help but share some of my thoughts on it as well. This isn’t a second review, but just a quick list of some things that stood out to me, both good and bad. 

Liking

  • Display:  The 5″ 1080p display on the DNA is the best in the business. As I mentioned during last week’s DL Show, you have to see it to believe it. Looking at something as simple as an icon will probably blow your mind. The amount of detail, clarity, and correct color that the Super LCD 3 is able to produce is something to marvel at. We’ve posted up our standard macro shots from it (here too), something you should definitely check out.
  • Battery Life:  I was skeptical when first powering on the DNA. I thought, at 2020mAh, there is no way this battery is going to get me through a day. It has proven me wrong each day over the last week or so, easily powering me through days without having to worry about where the nearest power outlet is. On my first charge, I was at 14 hours off the charger and still had 14% left. It has only gotten better since.
  • Size:  Coming from the Galaxy Note 2, and deciding that it was far too large for my hands, I figured my opinion of the DNA would be similar. Thankfully, HTC managed to pack in a 5″ screen without making the body of the device enormous. In hand, it’s large, but not overwhelming. When compared to a Galaxy S3 or Nexus 4, it’s only a bit taller, but not wider.
  • Build:  I love the build quality of HTC phones. Dating back to the One X, HTC has been doing amazing things when it comes to materials and feel. With the soft-touch finish on the back of the DNA, along with the gentle curve to the backside, you can hold it effortlessly. It does grab fingerprints fairly easily, and is also prone to scratches, but overall, I’m a big fan.
  • Design:  This might be one of the sexiest phone designs ever. It’s so simple, yet has enough complexity to keep you looking back for more. The red grills on the sides were unexpectedly beautiful. The cascading edges of the display not only look stunning from the side, but help make it so your finger never feels a sharp edge. Even the volume rocker and power switch have a spiraled metal design that helps with grip, while adding to the finish.
  • Price:  At $199, this phone is practically a steal. It sports the newest processor on the block, has 2GB RAM, Android 4.1, the best display in the business, and runs on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. If this phone would have come out in 2011, Big Red would have tried to charge you $400 on-contract for it. To see it drop in at the old standard of $199, which is $100 less than the Galaxy Note 2, it’d be tough to pass it up.
  • Wireless Charging:  My life feels close to being complete now that it has wireless charging in it on a regular basis. The DNA, 8X, and Nexus 4 that are in my possession all have wireless charging built-in. I do not remember the last time I plugged in a phone to charge it. And on the DNA, that’s a good thing, since HTC included a cover to the USB port which can be a bit of a nuisance.
  • Camera:  Dave wasn’t all that big of a fan of the DNA camera in his review. I on the other hand, don’t mind it. I wouldn’t necessarily call it the best smartphone camera on Earth, but I found it to produce pretty decent images. It’s not all that great in low-light or indoor situations, but with great outdoor light, I liked some of the results I saw. I’m also a fan of HTC’s camera suite of software. You can quickly toggle cameras for selfies, change to filters if you’d like, snap 20 shots in seconds with burst mode, and record full 1080p video. I have some sample shots below (that have been resized). If you want to see sample 1080p video, check out my review of Falcon Pro which was filmed with the DNA.

Not Liking

  • Sense 4+:  I’m really not fan of Sense, whether it be 3.5 or 4.0 or 4+. It’s a tired Android skin, desperately in need of a makeover. The keyboard is one of my least favorites from any Android skin, the fact that the notification bar background toggles from transparent to solid black depending on the screen drives me nuts, the calendar app won’t show a weekly layout, you can’t fully customize the lockscreen apps, and the Personalize menu needs to disappear forever with a much simpler option for changing wallpapers or sounds. I could go on and on with the little issues, but will instead just recommend that you grab a third party launcher and move on from most of Sense.
  • Hardware Navigation Buttons:  The hardware nav buttons on the DNA aren’t the worst thing that’s ever happened to a phone, but since developers are still building in the legacy menu to their apps, they are still an issue. And for whatever reason, HTC forgot to include the option for mapping the Recent Apps button to be a menu button. Too many times have I see the evil black bar with 3-dots in it.
  • Stuttering:  I don’t know if I had something running in the background or if the DNA was begging for a reboot, but during gaming, I noticed the phone lagging on a number of occasions. You would think with the Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, Adreno 320 GPU, and 2GB of RAM that nothing would have the power to slow this bad boy down. Well, you would be wrong. I’d probably blame that more on HTC’s Sense optimizations (or lack there of) than hardware, though. The rest of the UI had no issues.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I don’t have many complaints about this phone. The few that I do, shouldn’t be enough to deter anyone from considering the DNA. Again, the display is in a class of its own, the price is right, battery life seems stellar, and the rest of the specs and hardware should get you through at least a 2 year contract. There is a lot to like about this phone.

  • PhoneMan

    I have had a DNA for few months. Great phone. I was a moto guy and picked it over the Razr based on price. Specs at half the price of the HD Maxx which I would have been forced to buy so that I could not complain. I check my calendar daily, email, text, twitter, facebook, some apps (flashlight), live wallpaper, no streaming without plugging in, and your other random app access. I have had multiple two day charges with the battery. Or, I should say day and a half. The battery does well for a day. You can use the phone under my usage plus about an hour of heavy usage (streaming) and make it through the day. The storage memory is not a problem. I loaded 3 gig from my Droid X and that is still a majority of the storage usage. That was 3 years of pictures and videos with two new kids during that time. The screen, you know the answer, awesome. Size, the small gel cover actually helped. I don’t have big hands, but it works well. If you want to be a single hand user exclusively this phone is on the edge. But dont let it deter you, it just takes time to adjust. The quad core processor works great. For the price in the age of a phone every two years this is a great phone right now. In about 3 months it will probably be out speced, but at what cost. If you are a heavy storage and battery user, get the Razr HD Maxx. Great phone, but I wanted the screen space that the DNA offers becuase it is my tablet too. That is also why the hardware buttons are a plus, they add to the available screen size. Unparalleled for the price. Not perfect, but a better build than the Samsung Galaxy Plastic. I hope this helps, previous posts have helped me so I felt obligated.

  • Hologram Man

    Regarding the main camera on the HTC DNA you have to be blind or completely undiscerning not to see how in standard picture mode the images are distorted– they are stretched at the very edges the images are stretched out and people appear either wide or vertically stretched. This can clearly be seen in most of the reference images the writer posted. When taking a picture of a square or rectangular object (holding the camera very square to the object) you can see that the edges of the object are a little pin-cushioned (which is weird because it is contrary to the stretching).

    I have checked multiple DNA’s and they all exhibited this fault. With all other Android phones I haven’t seen this issue anything as bad as this. I know it isn’t the software because I have tried second party apps and portrait mode and seen the same thing. My guess is that like the front facing lens for wide angle to allow multiple people to be seen they have used a wider angle lens for the main camera as well and this is the root cause. All this frankly to say is very disappointing– as I’m willing to live with the marginal battery life and lack of external SD card but this is bad. I’m trying to contact HTC and get their response. If anyone else has noticed this issue it would be appreciated if you would post it as well.

  • Uriah Romero

    I was more than happy to get a Droid DNA. It has a great screen and it’s
    much better than past Droids, some of which I’ve owned. There isn’t an easy way
    to describe the quality of the display. Shows look bright and crisp on the
    1080p screen and I wouldn’t trade it for another phone. I have the DISH Remote
    Access app on my phone, which lets me stream live TV through the Sling Adapter
    that I have connected to my receiver at home. The app is really useful when I
    can’t be at home to watch my shows, and the gorgeous display only helps. One of
    my DISH coworkers also bought a DNA and he is in love with it just as much as I
    am.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.krauth Aaron Krauth

    how do i do a soft reset on this??

  • Technozmania
  • frankandsimple

    “You would think with the Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, Adreno 320 GPU, and 2GB of RAM that nothing would have the power to slow this bad boy down. Well, you would be wrong.”

    It’s ALL about the software.. which is why the iphone is still THE KING!.. even with a mediocre “engine” that runs the phone.

  • Taglogical

    YAY LCD3 :D

  • Kerry Davies

    love mine dont totally hate sense but i know ill be rooting it, not to long from now. Im getting about 15h avg batter life on mine. I miss my nexus being able to pretty much use the whole screen by losing the on screen nav keys but meh

  • http://twitter.com/QSMinSD Q

    This seems like a great phone. Too bad is marred by Sense.

  • Bionicman

    sorry no more sub-par battery life for me. too many DNA users reporting real world battery results of 2-3 hours of screen time and half a day use. thats not going to be me anymore. Note 2 has my back with 7-8 hours screen time and over a day of medium to heavy usage. and the specs and other features are nice too!

  • Chuckk

    Kellex, I think you should look at the wifi modems more in your reviews. This is something I noticed pretty quickly when I first turned on wifi with this device. The modem is insanely fast and has a much better reception than any other android device I’ve seen in the same location. I only have a Gnex, DX, and the Prime to compare however (the Prime obviously is not a good example to compare). But the link speed seems to go to at least 150 mbps, maybe even up to 300 if I play around with my router settings so that the channel supports that speed. Just thought you should consider this in reviews considering how important wifi is when you are on Verizon and get your stupid unlimited plan taken away from you.

  • http://aldenrobbins.webstarts.com/ DillonFrazier

    Phone of the future with regards to display, yes. In conditions of storage and battery pack size, it’s the device from last year, available today.

  • jonathon johnston

    I was going to get the DNA but Sense crashed on me 5 times in 7 minutes with a reboot in the middle. So I went with the Note 2…love the 7+ hours of screen on time playing games and browsing the web.
    My only complaint with the Note is the feel, the plastic is too slick and I love what HTC did with the DNA.

  • Bionic

    Lag is a big deal to me.

  • cooksta32676

    I have two friends with DNAs. They experience the same stuttering, anybody think as great as the Adreno320 is, that maybe pushing 1080p is pretty tough for it?

    • Diablo81588

      Most likely. That’s over 2 million pixels!

  • valium12

    I came from a GNex with extended battery.

    1. Consistently the GNex would die at 7PM every night. Almost like clockwork.

    2. The DNA which I have had since launch day, consistently has 40% left by 7 PM each night. I use it the same way as I did the GNex. I have NEVER EVER had battery anxiety with this phone. Surprised me completely. I even went out and bought an external battery replacement with usb dongle, I was so concerned. Never have had to use it.

    3. The screen is awesome. Its not just the color or clarity, its the smoothness of the glass and the way it drops off on the edges. Very Nice.

    4. My first HTC phone, and first time user of Sense. Coming from pure Android it took a little getting used to – but its just fine.

    5. Wireless charging is fantastic!

    6. I never used more than 6-7GB of storage on GNex- so 16Gb does not affect me, but if Storage is an issue for you – this phone is simply a no-go.

  • mcdonsco

    I’ve only rooted Motorola’s, want to root this one but googling around produced some processes that certainly aren’t as simple as rooting a Motorola…anyone rooted this yet and have a good dimple method?

  • mcdonsco

    Just got the DNA yesterday and I was worried about battery too, buy here I am having taken it off the charger at 7am, its now after ,4pm and I’m still in the green (barely). My maxx and maxx hd didn’t do a lit better battery wise, but they were a little better…the wireless charging makes up for that though (have the pads everywhere at home now and even installed one in my car).

    Build quality though, its not horrible, but compared to moyorolas build quality this should have a Mattel label on it (only real complaint).

    Again though, otherwise I love it and agree with the articles author.

  • Tyler

    So where should I buy this off contract for under or at 500?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dominick-White/642535026 Dominick White

      599 off contract….its a verizon phone wont see it cheaper than off contract for a long time,can wait a few months a check out ebay for a use one

  • http://twitter.com/DrLovePiston Roy Psy.D., M.D.

    Menu>Edit Tabs.Hold down the Week tab and drag to the bottom.
    Boom weekly view.

  • http://twitter.com/JayGood259Ozz Kris

    Also, I’ve used Sense for 3 yrs, picked up a galaxy nexus for friend and I was lost. I like sense

    • Diablo81588

      Exactly, it hasn’t changed much in 3 years. Might as well have an iPhone.

  • Ken

    I’ve had the DNA for a week or so. ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT.

    Getting the LG wireless charger tonight from the Verizon store.

    My Sprint contract just ended and I’ve been paying an extra $10 for 4g service and I’ve never once seen 4g on it. 3g barely works at my house and my work. 4g wont be here in Tucson for another year or so.

    I had to jump ship and leave my unlimited plan and come to Verizon.

    I get 4g LTE everywhere except me work, but great 3g signal.

    The HTC DNA is badass

  • KOBALT

    To hell with that battery. I had 19 hours on my Note2 with 45% left. Suck it HTC.

    • KOBALT

      I’m at 10H, 8 min right now @ 90%

      • Diablo81588

        Use your phone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JoeGDavis Joe Davis

    Kellex the calendar app does show a weekly layout….if you hit the options button in the top right and go to edit tabs its in there

  • Warwick

    This phone has really caught my attention but i have never owned a HTC phone. Ive been using Motos since OG Droid. I really want the RAZR MAXX HD but this is also one I am considering. What would you guys prefer?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dominick-White/642535026 Dominick White

      it all depends on what you are looking for in a phone….price wise the dna is cheaper, can get it on wirefly and amazonwireless for 149, the screen is better, but no sd card and only 16 gb, and also the maxx battery would last you a lot longer, while only get say about 11 to 16 battery life out of the dna

  • http://gplus.to/boojay boo Jay

    Funny, even aspects of the phone you didn’t like (Sense and capacitive buttons) are actually plusses to me. I love Sense and despise on-screen buttons so this must be the perfect phone for me!

    In regards to the stuttering, I have the Op G and I noticed this on some games too, so I’m not sure it’s a Sense thing.

  • Symbiotx

    I love this phone. I haven’t been this happy with a phone since the original Droid.

  • The Dude

    I went from an Evo 4G to the Galaxy S3, and truth be told, I still have a soft spot for HTC phones – so nicely made, and custom rom’s fix any software issues. In fact on HTC phones a custom rom probably makes a much bigger difference due to Sense being the heaviest oem skin at the moment.

    • milanyc

      this is so true.

  • AxemRed

    I looked at the DNA myself today. According to the specs, it’s 7.5mm taller and about 3mm wider than my GNex, enough that it was noticeable to me. Right now, I can shift the GNex in my hand to hit the far corner with my thumb. I think that the small size increase of the DNA will push it past that threshold where I can no longer do that. It’s a nice phone, but it’s not for me.

    • Tim242

      The phone you played with was attached to a security sensor. You couldn’t get a true feel. It fits in my small hands much better than the Nexus did. It is only the same thickness in the middle. It tapers down to just 4mm on the sides. That makes it much easier to navigate than the Nexus.

  • http://twitter.com/Craigboy Craig Boyte

    For those of us who have to pay full retail the DNA is $50 cheaper than the Note II (I am still leaning twords the note)

    • Ibrick

      $100 actually.. $599 DNA, $699 Note

  • bogy25

    The First Look was enough – typing on my RAZR MAXX HD…..

  • chris125

    Might as well wait for the m7 looks like it’s gonna be a slightly beefed up version of this like the one x +

  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.m.duncan.7 Justin Michael Duncan

    Not sure if I want to root my DNA to make it faster or swap it out for the galaxy note 2

    • steevka

      Had my dna for a week then exchanged it for my note 2 on release day. I would suggest doing the same. Battery life, S pen, screen size, tw> sense. This phone is revolutionary while the dna is just a temporary powerhouse.

      • milanyc

        trying to figure out what’s so revolutionary about Note 2…
        The screen is a window to Android User Experience.
        I’d take highest pixel density smartphone over a larger screen phablet (with even lower res than Note 1) any day.

        • Tim242

          Your ignorance is really showing. The Note II has a much better display than the Note. Despite its slightly lower res, it is non pentile and has 3 times the subpixels.

          • chris125

            Yet last week you bashed every one for even considering the DNA. Hypocrite much?

        • Diablo81588

          I bet you wish you had a retina display don’t you? Pixel density is negligible between those phones. You’re buying into marketing.

  • http://peoplewho.tumblr.com wireless G

    Honestly, I suspect many if not most loyal Droid-Life readers aren’t thinking about subsidized prices anymore, as we want to keep our unlimited data with Verizon. It would be nice to see some discussion of actual costs instead, like whether it’s worth $700, rather than $200.

    • FAL_Fan

      If you have a family plan with a basic phone line you just transfer your upgrade to the basic line, buy the phone on that line, then switch it to yours. It’s that simple. I’ve done it 3 times already and still have my unlimited data. Otherwise add a line with the new phone, switch the phone to your line, then throw a basic phone for $10/month on it and give it to your mother/father/grandparents that refuse to use smartphones…done that too.

      • http://twitter.com/Craigboy Craig Boyte

        This is a good idea. $10/month X 24 months + $199 is still less than $599

        *Edit* I just saw “if you have a family plan part* shoot

        • kg215

          That and 480 for a phone is a lot if you are used to 2 year contract pricing.

      • transamturbo350

        this is exactly what i do . its the only way to get new phones with upgrades and keep unlimted

      • Mark Mann

        so lemme get this straight, i wait for an upgrade on one of my non-main lines(i.e. we have 4 lines, my husband and my smartphone lines, and then two dumbphones we keep at home to use as home phones) so i wait for one of my dumbphones to upgrade, and upgrade that to say the DNA, but the switch it over to my or my husband’s line, and put the dumbphone back on that line, and we can keep our unlimited data? i thought once one line lost unlimited data the whole plan did? also, can you switch updates to other lines on your plan? my line is upgradeable at the moment, can i switch it to one of the dumbphone lines and use that to upgrade to the DNA or the Razr maxx hd, switch the upgraded phone over to my line, and put the dumbphone back on the line in question?

        • http://twitter.com/mrcamillo Pete

          Upgrades only affect the line being upgraded.. Your basic devices don’t have data features, so the other lines are not touched.. I know this for a fact.. ;-)

          • Mark Mann

            just an update, tried this last night at my local store, am now the proud owner of a razr hd…thanks for the info guys!

          • FAL_Fan

            Well done :-) and you’re welcome

        • FAL_Fan

          You don’t have to wait for the upgrade for your basic line, if you have an upgrade for your primary line you can transfer the upgrade eligibility to your “dumb-phone”, upgrade on that line then transfer the new phone to your primary line. I have done it to keep unlimited already and I thought I had figured out a loophole, but when I called verizon and told the CSR that I would pay full retail for a phone to keep my unlimited she told me to do what I had already been doing. Best CSR ever in my opinion.

          • Mark Mann

            awesome you guys, thanks for the info…wanting to upgrade to either the dna or the razr maxx hd…and don’t have to wait now…thumbs up for both of you

        • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.krauth Aaron Krauth

          that is a glitch in the system. it doesn’t always work, so just be prepared

      • Kerry Davies

        I have also done this, i have two lines and this is my second time transferring my upgrade to another phone. works great

      • http://twitter.com/SJFee SJFee

        Sorry to beat this horse to death but I just want to confirm one thing – VZ will allow you to use the upgrade (which you transfer from your unlim data line to basic line) to buy a subsidized $199 DNA without converting that basic line to a data line?

        In other words – I remembered hearing that I can’t buy a smartphone at the subsidized $199 price UNLESS I bought into a new 2-yr data contract on said line as well.

        Thanks for the clarifications!

    • LionStone

      It’s $599.99 … $650. after tax

    • http://twitter.com/JayGood259Ozz Kris

      I was going to do full price,but I opted out. Verizon gonna take away the data eventually, 1 way or another. I just had to go back to Wi-Fi and intelligent data use. On4g I’d let my apps update whenever, wherever…

    • Tim242

      It’s $600. The Note II is $700.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rad-Stevens/783228723 Rad Stevens

    What’s with all this thunderbolt hate?

  • Butters619

    The Sense keyboard is the worst keyboard known to mankind.

    When I bought my One X, I downloaded SwiftKey before I even left the store.

    • carlisimo

      It’s one of the few Android keyboards with good built-in Chinese input though. Stock Android is terrible for that. So for a few people, the less-than-stellar English keyboard is worth the compromise.

      • Diablo81588

        Why would anyone on Verizon care about Chinese input?

        • carlisimo

          I have family in Taiwan that I communicate with. Other people might have business contacts abroad. I’m not saying it should matter to everyone. And for what it’s worth, iOS has done multiple language input really well. When I switched over I was surprised how rudimentary it was on Android.

    • LionStone

      Have you used the DNAs KB? Its fine, and I’m coming from Smart Keyboard Plus, haven’t needed to install it. The stock trace (swipe) function is fast and accurate, no complaints here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Graham-Cluck/1848256183 Graham Cluck

    lack of SD storage kills it for me, seeing as how it only has 16 internal and only 11.5 GB are accessible. 32 internal, ok I can live with that. Not cool these days. I was apprehensive about the Note 2 but after playing with it, I’m impressed. Big battery, removable battery, AND SD storage up to 64gb. Good bye iPod. And the display, while not as mind blowing as the DNA, is plenty good enough for 95% of us. Yeah I’m willing to spend an extra $100 for all that awesomeness. Plus all the accessories being available for it? Sammy got me again lol.

  • Hunter Hambrick

    Great review. Would you recomend this over a older s3 because of the features and popularity of samsung?

  • http://twitter.com/Defenestratus Defenestratus

    Sense alone is reason enough to kill this phone with fire.

  • Captain_Doug

    If only it had on screen keys. I can live with 16GB of storage. I can live with a non-removable battery. I can live with Sense(by using CM). What I can’t live with are the hardware keys. Just killer.

    • Tim242

      Really? You like wasting screen space on buttons? I will never understand that nonsense.

      • Captain_Doug

        So then leave it be. I don’t like wasting phone space with hardware buttons. Software buttons can hide on demand, rotate with the device, and be customized.

  • Matt P

    @kellex:disqus Everyone that hates sense forgets about this biggest feature—group contact communication! It will do group text, and group emails. I have many groups in my google contacts that I use a lot. For my hockey teams, fantasy football, etc…Stock android cannot do this. You can edit your groups and see them, but cannot send emails to them. With sense you can go to the “people” app and choose “groups” then “group actions” If someone knows how to do this on AOSP please ping me!

  • http://www.facebook.com/SushiHuntr Byron Harley

    and today the first senseless roms have been released… and kernels are off and running… for only being a few weeks old the development isn’t that of a nexus device but its definitely promising… kernels are already coming out OC to 1.8ghz …

    • http://www.lovesicklives.com Curtis Fox

      Do you have a link to share for the ROM’s?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dominick-White/642535026 Dominick White

      That is great news, thank you for sharing, planning on rooting and rom this thing in the next month

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Hokin/100000334220036 Adam Hokin

    Those extra pixels on the 1080p display might also be a reason for stutter(but sense probably is the biggest reason for it).

    • Captain_Doug

      I agree. I’m sure if you put a custom rom on it or just de-sensed it. It’d run like a champ.

  • CaptainHowdy13

    Build quality is always my favorite thing about HTC. I want to play with an 8x because its so awesome looking. The DNA is pretty similar, simple and attractive. The only thing that detracts from the ONEX is the nipple.

  • jb

    The fact that HTC has absolutely destroyed my potential loyalty via the Thunderbolt is the SINGLE FACTOR that is strong enough to keep me from even thinking about this phone. With every positive sentence I finish reading, I then ask myself… “but what about the future…”

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      You are not alone in those feelings as a Thunderbolt owner, that’s for sure.

    • polioman

      The Thunderbolt was one of the worst phones HTC’s ever released. Don’t let that one mistake ruin your faith in the entire company.

      • Tim242

        I loved my Thunderbolt.

        • Dustinv

          said no one ever…

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dominick-White/642535026 Dominick White

            i loved my thunderbolt as well, it was a great phone, only problem i had was the battery,but with a extended battery it was amazing

    • T4rd

      Just get the Note 2 or Razr HD/Maxx. The display isn’t worth getting dicked around by HTC about updates, IMO. Moto has shown a lot of improvement in this area in the Razr HDs and the Razr M, as well as Samsung in the Galaxy S/Note flagships.

      Took HTC 9 months to get ICS on the Rezound and it probably won’t see JB even though the hardware is perfectly able to run it and it’s just an incremental update to ICS. The DNA is the next Rezound (which also debuted new display tech to the mobile world with its first to market 720p SLCD display).

      • jb

        been kicking around the idea of buying the Note 2. My wife has the S3 and I figure if she can handle the size of that phone with her hands, I should be able to tackle the Note 2 with mine.

    • Dan Livingston

      I’m feeling the burn of the TB as well. I knew it was a risk being an early adopter, but I didn’t think I would feel punished for my mistake.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.pumphrey1 Kevin Pumphrey

    Got mine on Friday. Was very skeptical about owning another HTC (had eris and thunderbolt) but I must say its a great phone so far. Battery life is good, display is lovely and its a pretty fast phone.

    • guest

      whats your opinon on the skin?

      • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.pumphrey1 Kevin Pumphrey

        Its not the worst thing in the world to me. I have a nexus7 as well and love the stock look. But sense has all the convenience of jelly bean plus a couple more things I like. Ex. being able to choose which apps I want to access from the lock screen.

        • LionStone

          Well you can do this but its limited to just a few apps on the N7, swipe left. And Ex. 2: being able to do away with the lock screen altogether if you wish…DNA does.

    • Nick Norman

      I had the exact same phones and still sitting on the TBolt. I am due for an upgrade next week and was thinking the DNA. HTC’s build quality of the TBolt steers me toward HTC again, but the battery life and lack of updates on the OS kills me. Do you think its worth buying?

      • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.pumphrey1 Kevin Pumphrey

        I have no regrets. Got rid of my RAZR for this phone. Don’t buy it if you don’t like sense or don’t want to be limited to 16 gigs of storage.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.turnley Jeremy Turnley

        OS updates remain an issue with HTC, but the unlockable bootloader helps with that some. My HOXL still has not gotten JB, but there is a Cyanogen port out for it now that has a kitbash of 4.1/4.2 features and removes Sense. It’s still not really JB, but it’s better than stock by far.

      • Kerry Davies

        I had a Tbolt and hated every min of it but it was so pretty, i have always loved HTC for that. the battery life is amazing 15h for me. its already running 4.1 and 4.2 isnt really that much different. Having the best processor on the mobile market its really a winner, no one has produced anything better yet so its a safe bet. and to see a better phone you are going to have to wait for a GS4 if thats your kind of thing.

      • Mr.Android

        Hi nick, trust me you will love the dna, battery life is great for a phone like this. I think htc will do much better on the updates. I feel if you are a fan of htc phones you will definitely love this phone, this is the best product htc has ever produce. Now go down to your local verizon store and purchase the phone of the year.

        • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.krauth Aaron Krauth

          thanks for the advice! how do you do a soft reset on this? pressed the power and volume down and got to the bootloader screen and did it, but there has to be a more efficient way

  • Despyse

    I can’t get the back of my phone that clean lol… teach me your ways XD

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      That’s how it looked straight out of the box. It no longer looks that good. :P

      • Ibrick

        A babywipe works the best of anything I’ve tried.
        I have some of those disposable wipes for eye glasses and even those don’t clean it up like a babywipe.

  • mustbepbs

    Honestly, I saw the device and played around with it at my local Verizon shop, and I wasn’t impressed. I still saw stuttering, the screen was nice but I wasn’t blown away. Sense still looks like Gingerbread.

    I was far more impressed when I first got my hands on the Galaxy S3. Sure the display on the DNA is a world above, but I feel like it’s in diminishing returns territory. I just can’t tell the difference other than AMOLED vs Super LCD and the color temperature.

    Maybe I’m just jaded. I wasn’t blown away in anything the device had to offer.

    • http://twitter.com/EzioAuditore007 Ezio 007 Shepard

      After using both for a while, I prefer Sense to TouchWiz, and the fact that G SIII uses an entire row on my home screens to show me which home screen I am on. Plus, I have to add a widget package to get the widgets already built into Sense. For reading books, looking at web sites, watching videos, I prefer the DNA to the G SIII.

      • Diablo81588

        Launcher.

    • BSweetness

      The international version of the S3 has four different color temperatures (called Screen Modes) that the user can pick from – Dynamic, Standard, Natural, and Movie. Natural and Movie look far more realistic and are able to compete much better on the color accuracy front. For some reason, that’s not present in the Verizon version. The Note 2 on Verizon has these options, but the S3 doesn’t.

  • milanyc

    It’s the first phone from the future, available today. That screen we’ll be seeing in 5-6 months from now as a industry standard.
    Happy to be an early adopter, absolutely loving DNA!

    • T4rd

      Phone of the future in terms of display, yes. In terms of storage and battery size, it’s the phone from last year, available today!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Travis-Erickson/563313398 Travis Erickson

        precisely why I passed on it after playing with it last night

        • Jonathan Williams

          That’s what she said…

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Travis-Erickson/563313398 Travis Erickson

            to you

      • milanyc

        Why are you so cought up with the “battery size” if it easily gets you through the day? You should be concerned about “battery life” instead which is better than my old SGS3.

        • T4rd

          I knew this reply was coming.

          Yes, it gets through the day.. for some people/reviewers (which almost never include screen on time). But there’s no reason why they couldn’t have put an extra 300-500 mAh’s in there like the new Razr HD, which is thinner and has a 2530 mAh battery in it, to ensure that it will last all day for even heavy users.

          It’s a re-occurring issues with HTC, they always try to scrape by with the smallest battery possible in their phones.

          • milanyc

            Okay then explain why would HTC try to be cheap with the battery capacity? Verizon SGS3 had a higher battery capacity but the battery life is worse than my DNA… Nexus 4 with the same CPU has even worse battery LIFE.
            Thin Design + Wireless Charging built in or some Conspiracy theory?

          • T4rd

            I haven’t seen any direct comparisons/graphs/numbers between the DNA, GS3 and Nexus 4. The battery rating between them is negligible (2030 mAh vs 2100 mAh) too. If you can produce some links to back your statements up, then cool. But that wasn’t even my argument; my argument was that HTC could have easily squeezed a larger battery into that big-ass phone, but chose not to, as they do with all of their phones. Not a conspiracy theory, that’s a fact when comparing it to its competition. The 1620 mAh battery in the Rezound was lol-worthy and the 1800 mAh in the One X was below par too.

          • milanyc

            Look at Anandtech battery tests for Nexus 4. Sure DNA is not there yet, but expect it to perform a tad better than Verizon’s GS3.

            Again, no need to get all railed up with battery capacity, and the reasons for HTC not to include a “larger” battery, since a properly optimized software takes care of it.
            Just look at the 1440mAh iPhone 5 battery “capacity”. That phone has a better battery LIFE than any other LTE phone sans RazR Maxx or big ass phablets.

          • T4rd

            I’m sorry that you’re misinterpreting me as being “riled up”, lol, I assure you, I’m not. I’m just making a point that I’m sure most would agree with; that one would rather than longer battery life than shorter.

            The “optimized software” statement is useless, because that “optimized software” would still be in effect when being used with a larger battery, therefore would scale appropriately with any other size battery. More is better and they could have easily fit more into the DNA if they wanted to. I get that battery life may be acceptable already on this phone, by why not make it competitive with the Razr HD and Note 2 that still get considerably better battery life still and people are still able to kill those within a day on LTE.

            Also, you can’t directly compare the iPhone 5′s battery size/life with Android phones because it’s well know that iOS is much more power efficient than Android. They work completely differently and handle background tasks/syncing differently.

          • milanyc

            Oh I finally got ya…
            Let me contribute:

            My perfect phone:

            DNA screen,
            hexa core SoC
            4GB of RAM
            4000mAh battery
            Wireless Charging Built in
            in a 4mm frame.

            Except, thats not the topic…

          • Diablo81588

            No it doesn’t. Everyone that I know with the iPhone 5 say battery life is poor on LTE.

          • Tim242

            You seem to think mAh = battery life. These are not the days of the tbolt or rezound. The display on the DNA is 50% brighter, but uses 20% less power. Not to mention, the reduction of power from the S4 Pro. You need to stop judging so quickly. Things change.

          • T4rd

            Hah, you seem to think mAh != battery life. More is always better. If they put a 2500 mAh battery in there, it could probably almost compete with a Razr HD Maxx. That’s all fine and dandy that the DNA still lasts a day and that the tech is more power efficient than previous gen phones. But it’s irrefutable that a bigger battery would make the phone last longer and that there’s no reason (other than cost) that HTC couldn’t have put a larger battery in there. I’m sure I could kill the DNA in 5-6 hours on constant screen-on time, wouldn’t you want to up that to 6-7 if you could for heavy usage days? That’s the point I was making; not that it had bad battery life.

          • Tim242

            It’s also about design. The DNA tapers to a mere 4mm on the sides. It makes a big phone much more manageable.

          • T4rd

            Yes, but the phone is still thicker than the Razr HD everywhere else and has a battery that is 500 mAh smaller. They could have still fit a bigger battery in there and kept the same dimensions. I’ll bet the reason is that they didn’t want to use a Lithium Polymer battery in order to make use of as much room as possible inside the phone (again, because of cost). I’m not sure, but I think that’s what the Razr line uses.

          • Tim242

            The Razr HD has a smaller screen, and lacks wireless charging.

          • T4rd

            Lol, well that’s quite the astute observation there, bro. I thought we were talking about battery size/life here though..?

          • Tim242

            The point is that hardware differences determine the size of the phone. Keep up.

          • T4rd

            Yes, and a smaller phone with a bigger battery helps your argument how? Wireless charging material doesn’t affect thickness of a phone to any significant degree either. Make sense.

          • Tim242

            It takes more than the coils on the cover to make wireless charging work.

          • T4rd
          • LionStone

            Wow man, you massage your phone that much!?

          • transamturbo350

            believe it or not the new quad cores that are in the dna and the note 2 are amazingly more efficient than the duel core in the s3. i just dumped my s3 for the note 2 and its amazing how much better the note 2 is on battery life. and that being said the s3 wasn’t bad at all with battery life

          • milanyc

            I just can’t digest how ridiculous I would look when making a call on Note 2. I can’t get over that form factor, especially the width.
            DNA is still a smartphone phone form factor.

          • LionStone

            Exactly…N2 has bigger form factor, not much bigger screen- higher cost-$100. more. More is not always better.

          • techpro1993

            Are you kidding??? Note2 has much bigger battery than Galaxy S3, 50% more. But Battery life of Note 2 is less than 50% more than Galaxy S3. It reasonable conclusion is Note2 CPU is not more efficient than S3.

          • Diablo81588

            That’s because according to HTC, thin is in! Even though it’s not as thin as the RAZR.. Lol

          • techpro1993

            You should buy RAZR MAXX (HD) if all you care is battery size. Any how, Razr is a good choice. At least it does not have ugly physical button.

          • yarrellray

            My point EXACTLY. Everyone puts claims talking how good the so called battery life is on the HTC DNA but no facts to back it up. If you are labeled heavy user of your device the HTC DNA WILL NOT GET YOU THROUGH THE DAY PERIOD. There would be hours upon hours of non usage just to be able to get through that day. You would never have worry at all with the Galaxy Note 2. Plain and simple the Galaxy Note 2 pimp slaps the HTC DNA DRASTICALLY and any other device as well. On screen time tells the true story not words.

          • yarrellray

            Matter of fact here is more proof how great the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 really is battery life. Yes I am a heavy user and stillgot this battery life amount as postedSo imagine if I become a very light user which will never happen the battery life would be unheard of for todtoday’s devices in the last days of 2012..

          • milanyc

            You’re also using HSPA only version. And you’re also trolling.

        • Armorthane

          I’m not worried about the battery life so much now as I am in a year from now. Even my Razr Maxx is not as good as it was back in January, though It’s still pretty decent. But without a battery this size being removable, I just can’t bring myself to pull the trigger….YET.

        • transamturbo350

          when i get a new phone the first thing i look for is battery size. and if its removable or not. htc has always made beautiful phones but they always put small battery in. ie inc 1 and 2 thunderbolt etc i work construction and am not always by an outlet where i can leave my phone so i have to have extra battery with me at all times. the s3 had a great battery life but i just picked up the note 2 and it blows the s3 away in battery life. i unplug at 5am stream spotifiy 8-9 hours a day Facebook text phone calls and read all my blogs and with the note to i get about 14 hours till complete dead . the s3 i would get about 8 and the gnex before that got about 4 hahahah and this is on 4g the whole time. when htc makes a phone as amazing as they do now but make a removable battery ill give them a try again. until than im all Samsung .or until the dream of moto nexus for verizon comes.

          • Aj

            I say we make phones solar powered.

      • Tim242

        The battery is actually quite good. I have been using it since 7:30 this morning, moderate use. It’s now 12 hours later and I’m at 48%.

        • Symbiotx

          Yep, I haven’t had it die on me once. It has held up well every single day.