HTC Droid DNA for Verizon Hands-On

HTC and Verizon have just announced a new Droid, the Droid DNA. The Droid DNA packs in a massive 5″ display that might actually be the world’s best smartphone display. That is because the display packs in 440 ppi and it is capable of playing full 1080p video. It also boasts wide viewing angles, rich colors, and a display that is 50% brighter than the Galaxy S III’s display. This Super LCD3 display is protected with Guerrilla Glass 2 and it sports a curved edge glass design that blends right into the bezel.

HTC says not to confuse this device with a phablet, because it’s absolutely a smartphone. To that effect, they have made sure that the device can still be held comfortably in one hand. They have managed to do this by keeping it thin and lightweight measuring just 9.73mm thick and weighing 4.86 ounces. The Droid DNA is actually slimmer than the Samsung Galaxy Note II and sports a similar profile to the HTC One X. They have also designed the device with red side walls and accents. In particular, the micro perforated edges were inspired by a Lamborghini.

Under the hood, the Droid DNA is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor which promises less heat and better battery life. The device also comes running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with HTC Sense +. This version of HTC sense comes with a few new features, including enhancements to the photo gallery which lets you view photos by event and location and even move and organize albums easily via copy and paste.

HTC has been doing a great job lately with their phone cameras, and the Droid DNA follows that lead with a F2.0 lens for both the front and back-facing cameras. The back facing camera also sports a wide angle lens and the ability to do video chats in HD. Other specs for the Droid DNA include wireless charging support, 4G LTE, NFC, and Beats Audio.

First Impressions

We were quite surprised by how nice the Droid DNA feels to hold in your hand. Thanks to its curved back, light weight design, and soft touch back, it doesn’t feel unwieldy at all. Its display also blew us away. And as much as a tried too, we could not get our eyes to isolate an individual pixel. Needless to say, 1080P videos are breathtaking on this device.

The Droid brand as a whole has always confused us a bit, since both Motorola and HTC make their own Droid devices. Fortunately, the Droid devices in Verizon’s line-up do stand apart from each other. The HTC Droid DNA is available for preorder now and it will be available in stores starting on November 21st for $199 with a contract.