Droid DNA and Galaxy Note 2.

They're both big, for sure - but the waistline is where things really show

What a difference a half-inch can make. So in one hand we've got the new Verizon Droid DNA. A 5-inch display that's taller than most phones, but retains the slim waistline. And in the other hand we've got the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. It's 5.5 inches diagonally. And while it's even taller than the DNA -- by about a centimeter -- it's the extra width of the Galaxy Note 2 that really separates the two phones. 

The Droid DNA still feels like a relatively traditional Android smartphone in your hand. A big one, sure. But HTC's new design, with the battery sandwiched between the PCB and the display, keeps it feeling slim, when, in fact it's actually 0.33 mm thicker than the Note 2. 

But it's that difference in width that sends the Note 2 over the top. Again, it's a full centimeter difference. And what the Note 2 makes up for in size it lacks in resolution, still sporting a 720p display, whereas the DNA is a full 1080p. That'll likely change in the next generation. But for now, the DNA takes it in pixels per inch, and it's definitely apparent.

Some other differences -- buttons in different places, Touchwiz versus Sense -- we'd almost call cosmetic. Maybe you prefer one over the other, and that's cool. (My preferences are well known.) The Note 2 wins out in that you can swap batteries and add a microSD card, for sure.

But pound for pound, the Droid DNA and the Note 2 really are in different classes. 

 

Reader comments

Droid DNA and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2

78 Comments

Thank you, Phil! You answered my request. Tough call between these two monster phones. When can we expect a DNA review?

Better yet, when can we get an update as to when the Verizon Note 2 will be released? That way we can compare them side by side for ourselves! :)

I just hope it will be sooner rather than later. I want ONE of these phones, but won't know which one until I can look at them side by side. ARRRGH! The wait! ;p

Scott

Yes two different classes all together. The DNA has only 11 gigabytes of memory, with current 720P games coming in at 2.25 gigs, that means you can only have four apps on your device and the memory is full. When I say full I mean no room for anything else at all, no pictures videos or anything. Also it has been shown that the DNA only lasts 4.5 hrs on a charge, one of the worst batteries on a so called flagship phone. Lets see worst battery in its class, worst memory in its class. Yes I would say that even with a better screen (higher res at least) the DNA is a total failure, and HTC is in serious trouble in the smartphone segment. I can only hope they fire the CEO and start to make some changes.

Apple started the trend of not letting the carrier dictate the features of your device and now are the biggest company in the world (money wise) then this year Samsung realized that the new business model (used by apple) is the only way to be profitable in the new market and started doing the same, not letting the carrier dictate what the phone has. Unfortunately for HTC they are still using an old dead business model and their profits show it.

You see the old model was for the carrier to dictate the phone features, and when they did this they were not building what the customer wants, but what they felt would maximize their (carrier ) profits. In doing so they build a failed cionsumer product.

The new business model is for the

been proven to last only 4.5 hrs on a charge? ive read ever single review thats out so far, and nowhere have i seen any review state that!

MobileTechReview stated they are still testing but it looks like it can last a full day at normal use fine. Another review said its on par with the S3.

You fan boys are ridiculous.

You do realize that The Verge's battery test is a stress test and not a daily usage endurance test, right? And as with all tests, you have to compare it to other phones that get put through the same. Compared to the Samsung Galaxy S3, The Verge's battery test yielded 4h31m with the same stress test and having owned the SGS3, I have never had issues with battery life.

stress test....we'll see though, i'm making the jump to verizon. currently on sprint, tired of their non existing service. At&t is not an option for me. This looks to be the best phone on Verizon right now.

Gizmodo: That big screen is paired with LTE and a relatively modest 2020 mAh Li-Ion battery, but the Droid DNA still lasted until 10pm every night with moderately heavy usage. It's certainly nowhere near the marathon levels of the Droid RAZR MAXX HD, but it outlasts the Galaxy S III.

Every comment you have posted has been bashing the Droid DNA lol hilarious. I understand your point on the storage, but battery life hasn't been fully tested yet to even state that its already been "proven"

and i am not a HTC fan boy, i currently have a SG3, debating on getting the Droid DNA or waiting for the S4.

The only total failure here is yourself. You see some people that actually have jobs
use their phones for Business. Unemployed folks such as yourself lying in bed all day
watching movies and playing games may have a problem with this phone.

Actual tests by the way show a good 10 hours of use on Verizons LTE network.
Your business model argument also makes absolutely no sense. Instead of trolling the internet sprouting useless verbatim, maybe its time you moved out of your parents house and stood up on your own two feet.

Hey some of us have jobs and travel a lot. When I'm on a plane and I want to watch a movie or listen to music I use my phone. I leave my Macbook in storage. I need a good battery and The Verge does excellent reviews. If they say the battery sucks it sucks. I've had HTC phones. They have nice builds but their battery and storage suck. 11GB and no Microsd card is just sad. I like to have a few movies and some music on my phone. Along with pictures of my family. 11GB will not cut it and their crappy battery won't either. So do us a favor and get over yourself. Calling some people unemployed is such crap. Grow up man!

Jeff it is clearly obvious your making all this up. Time to awaken from this fantasy. You've never been on a plane and do not have a Macbook. I think I'll watch some movies on my smart phone instead of putting all my effort into landing that next big contract on your way to that important business meeting. Sounds like a great recipe for failure. Wake up man! The battery is fully optimized to run the DNA for almost 10 hours under heavy use. Several reviews say the same, the HD screen uses 50% less power, the new quad core S4 is much more efficient and likewise so is Jellybean, buttery smooth, faster leaner, better integration.

The difference between pixels is negligible in most cases and in normal use, one won't make the other look bad. What isn't negligible is the extra 1000mAh in battery, the option of removing the battery or doing a battery swap, having more than 11GB of space, the addition of a pen, having a more well known device, and having a ton of accessories to chose from on a phone that is available world wide and on most carriers with millions being sold. I wish the Note had a 5-5.2" display because it is just a little large for easy hand holding in some cases...even if you want a huge phone...but the decision for me is easy.

Do you own the Note 2? I'd assume not. I'm 5'9" 170lb male, average sized person (maybe a little fat :P) and I have no problems holding the Note 2. I can do just about everything on it one handed. Yes typing can be annoying, but it's not impossible. I wanted the phone to be difficult to use with one hand. I want it right on the EDGE of usable with one hand. I wish it had been 5.8" it would have made more sense compared to the S3 and Nexus 7.

I keep hearing comments like this about the Note 2 but I don't think the people that say these things have actually held one. It's really not as unmanageable as people seem to think. I'm an average size guy (6'/190lbs)and its feels quite confortable in my hands. The width does take a little getting used to but it doesn't feel like it's going to slip out of your hand every moment of the day.

I have used it and should be getting it within 2 weeks. I'm sure I will get used to it. I use a GS3 now and I remember it seeming big when I first got it and now it feels small most of the time. For me, The note 2 felt a bit wide (not as bad as the 1st though) for my hands, but it is such an awesome device, I just can't pass it up.

Let me start off by saying 6' isn't average height. Average height for men is 5'9. Average height for humans in general would probably be along the lines of 5'7ish. Given that your hands would be proportionately larger than the average person, please be a little empathetic to someone who's hands are average or smaller than averae.

I'm 5'6". I've held one quite a few times, and it does feel uncomfortable in the hand. Can I get used to it? Give me a few days and absolutely. But you have to understand that some people choose not to buy a phone that they have to adjust to. They choose a phone that is an easy fit for them. You can't blame them for it-it's just their preference. There's still the GS3 (might I add-with pretty much the same features). It's cool-not much of a big deal.

And besides, dswatson already stated the decision is easy and was shooting for the GS3. No need to jump on his back.

Just my two cents.

He didn't define average height for what or where. The average white male in the US is 5' 10.5" so by that metric, he is as close to average height as you are by your metric claiming the average person is 5' 7"

I don't have a Note 2 (yet) but in general when it comes to image editing, higher resolution isn't always better. For example, a 500 pixel image would appear smaller on the DNA at 100% zoom than it would on the Note 2. Compared to a monitor these devices are tiny, so once the pixels get too crunched together image editing is more clumsy and less precise, and just zooming in past 100% isn't usually ideal.

Of course this is a moot point since most people aren't going to do much drawing or editing on the DNA, but I don't think an ultra high resolution on the Note would necessarily be ideal (It's a two way argument though, since a higher resolution would be nice in many cases for creating artwork entirely on the phone).

while you are right in that when editing a low pixel image it will look smaller...who in the world edits anything that's that low of resolution. 1080p is 2 megapixels....and i can't imagine anyone wanting to edit photos under two megapixels. Higher resolution is always better for photo editing because the picture looks closer to print quality.

I'm a little biased as I do have the GN2, but it seems like Sammy offered a pretty feature rich phone on every major US carrier (don't know about overseas!) and HTC is putting out a phone that pigeon holes you to VZW and puts pretty strict limitations on what you can do with your phone.

I don't do a ton of gaming, but if chakra is right about the size of the new HD games then you are going to be severely limited on what you can do with your phone. Just seems kinda silly to get the DNA all your looking for is a (slightly) nicer screen.

From the reviews I have seen the DNA kills the note 2 on screen and speed. The difference in screen is noticable when looking at pictures and watching movies. And from every comparison done on youtube the DNA is more snappy and faster so seems to me like HTC might have something here.

Am I the only one that notices these phones are targeting difference audiences for the most part?

+1...The Note 2 audience is more productivity whereas the DNA audience is more entertainment/multimedia.

Nope. Lots of manufacturers aiming for specific segments.

Pretty clear the manufacturers are understanding their user base pretty well.

They also seem be feeling around for just the right size of device.

We are seeing multiple vendors handing down 5 inch devices. People were posting here (you know who you are) that anything over 4.2 was just too big, and they would never even consider buying a 4.3 device (magic line in the sand) just this time last year.

Then 4.7 devices appeared.

I bet every one of those small phone junkies is running something bigger these days.

I'm willing to keep an open mind towards the DNA's battery performance while waiting on real-world reviews.However HTC giving the DNA only 11 GBs in usable memory storage with no SD card option is totally unacceptable for an otherwise high-end device.

I got the note 2 on sprint and I love it. After 2 days use I was completely adjusted to the size and now, everything else seems anemic.

The removable battery, stylus and sd card are all benefits but I must say, the multitasking is fantastic and the screen is gorgeous!

To top it all off, and it performs better than my Asus infinity tablet by a noticeable margin!

I am very pleased with it and while the dna looks interesting, I am staying with my note 2. Besides, higher resolution mean more power is needed to perform and more battery life is lost.

BTW, I have always had HTC phones up to this point. This is my first Samsung after an Evo, Evo 3d and Evo lte so I am not a Samsung fanboy and hope their reputation for slow updates doesn't bite me in the butt...

Except Nexus devices, Samsung was the first company to offer the Jelly Bean update for their customers so you don't have to worry about it.

I like the screen resolution of the DNA but, for me, the Note 2 is better on all other fronts. I still like to have the option of a microSD card & removeable battery on something I am going to put that much $ into.

I also think the functionality of the S-pen, split screen multi-tasking, & larger battery makes the Note 2 well worth the extra cost.

Gonna grab the DNA on launch day. Pretty excited to try out an HTC device. Have always had Motorola and Samsung devices so this will be a nice change. To the people bitching about the battery and storage, DON'T BUY THE PHONE. Trust me, if you're not going to buy the phone you don't have to let us know.

The thing is, I think a lot of us are torn, and we're letting our arguments play out on the forums. But you know, now that you mention it, I could easily cancel my Note 2 pre-order, pick up a DNA on Wednesday, then swap it out on the 29th if the hawtness fades.

Alot of great debate about these phone which is good that means carries are stepping up their game ( as we know apple has noticed) I'm a former Thunderbolt owner and after that nightmare HTC lose me, when I get my Note 2 it will be my first Sammy but overall it seems they are in tune with us and what we are looking for as far as balanced phones with battery life,display and features and it seems they get updates to OS rather quickly. DNA very tempting (like a pretty girl with a big A@% walking by in yoga pants but what is she going to look like after she has a kid.LOL

The DNA is a Corvette ZR1 motor in a Chevette chassis with a Corvette body kit on it.

I liked my Thunderbolt and love my Rezound. But, if I have to get a new phone any time soon, it would be a Galaxy S III or a Note 2. Either of those *might* only be a regular Corvette Z06 motor and not a ZR1, but at least it's in a Corvette chassis.

A ZR1 motor won't do you any good if you run out of gas, you're away from any gas stations, and you have no way to carry any extra fuel.

And what good is any car if you can't even carry enough stuff in it to go to work and back? 11GB available to store your pictures, videos, game apps, MP3s, etc.. is just, well, for people who are fine to live with a "Smart". Certainly wouldn't get me through even one airplane flight.

I'm a former thunderbolt owner as well. Even through all of the issues with that phone I really wanted the DNA, but only having 16GB, and a smaller battery thanI would like and No SD card I'm getting a Note 2 as well. Add in the issue of the shared data plans and the fact that I love music. The note 2 and Razr Maxx HD were the only options and the HD's camera is average at best. The note 2 was a pretty easy decision.

So I actually have a Note2 on pre-order and I'm seriously considering whether I should cancel and pick up the DNA.

I have a GS3 now, and I had an Og-Note for a few months until my distaste for AT&T won over my love for the phone. I had a Thunderbolt back in the day, and there were a lot of thing I liked about the HTC build, and the phone was well-supported by the development community.

I watched a couple of reviews and read a few articles last night, and to me it looked like, while the DNA had the edge on performance, it wasn't by a lot, and the Note 2 won a couple of benchmarks as well. I'm assuming that the Note 2 performs relatively better around mass pixel pushing operations because it pushes around a lot more pixels. This was corroborated by a video demonstrating some screen hesitancy on the DNA in transitions... something that I haven't seen on the N2.

So while I'll allow for Phil's sake that it's entirely possible that the overall aesthetic of the DNA is a step up from the N2, a subjective call of course and one that others may differ on, if there's a gulf between the utility of the two phones, it favors the N2. The N2 has great battery life, great storage space, a larger screen, a pen, and a ton of applications and UI tweaks that you can't find on many other phones. Once you're over the raw sexiness of the power and the beauty of the DNA, you're left with a phone that does exactly what every other phone out there does, but with less storage.

Now I'm not discounting the sex appeal of the DNA. It's powerful, and why I'm still thinking about it. I'm just saying that if it weren't for that one thing the DNA has, it wouldn't even be a contest. In other words, in the 15th round, the N2 is killing on points, but there's still a good chance the DNA will score a knock-out.

"the DNA takes it in pixels per inch, and it's definitely apparent."

Wasn't it somewhere else on this very site that I read that anything over about 300ppi is indistinguishable to the naked eye?

Your comment that I quoted is basically saying that you can the difference in ppi between the Note 2's 720p display and the DNA's 1080p display. So, what is the Note 2's pixel density? Is it so far below 300ppi that you really can tell a difference between on the pixel density?

Or is it really the case that the DNA display looks better but the difference is nothing to do with pixel density? In which case, a 720p display with the same technology would look just as good while also chewing less battery and less CPU...?

Or was the statement that you can't tell any difference over about 300ppi a load of horse hockey?

Not answering for Phil, but with one being Amoled and the other LCD, there's going to be a difference built in. What I've read from reviews on the Note 2, the new pixel arrangement on its screen is a big step up for Amoled.

The S3 has tighter pixel density than the Note 2. It has the same number of pixels as the Note2 on a 4.8 vs. 5.5 inch screen. I can see the pixels on the S3, though I have to look a bit closer than normal to do it. I'm guessing density itself won't make a practical difference.

The S3 has a pixel density of 306. Note 2 is 267.

To me it's a no brainer, I need storage and battery power. The HTC after the software has only 11gb of usable storage, that is pathetic. I use my phones for work and I carry important files I need access to when I need them. Digging to the cloud is not always very practical, no signal, no power, lousy location, goes on and on. The bottom line the loyal Android users have been asking for more storage and large batteries for a very long time. The only company that has listened is Samsung. Not only has Samsung listened but their software is over the top. Phil keeps saying he doesn't care for touchwiz, so what, the software in the Note 2 is so innovative, there is no other phone in the world with it, every day I find something new and slick. I have always rooted my phones and flashed different roms, this is the only device I have not found it needed, this phone is fantastic. I really think Phil is trying to push the HTC, Let him, that is his business. The 2020mAh battery in the HTC is smaller than the battery in the SGS3 and that just barely gets you thru the day if you are careful, there is no way in hell it will push that screen and the LTE radio thru the day, No Way. The Note 2 has a 3100mAh battery, Samsung listens. I buy from the companies that listen and take care of it's customers, Samsung right now is making the best and most innovative phones in the world.

I have used a Evo, Evo 3D, Epic Touch (S2), and currently a S3. I just sold my S2 an S3 to buy a Note II off contract. Granted I haven't used it yet, but the lack of a removable battery and micro sd card should be requirements on high end devices.

I have 3 childrens movies for car rides w/ kids, 16gb of music, and throughout the day will swap out a fresh battery instead of having to charge my device. I'd imagine the battery would die even faster if I was streaming all my media from the cloud.

Also, with so many carriers going away from unlimited data plans, why WOULDN'T you include a micro sd slot? Sprint (my carrier) still offers unlimited, but their network is a joke and I stick around because of wifi and my SERO plan. I cant even imagine trying to stream a movie in the grocery store with two whining kids on their horrible towers.

I have nothing bad to say about the HTC DNA, because it's a nice phone and will sell fairly well in Verizon's line up. However, the one advantage that should not be overlooked, is that there is one clear advantage the buyer of the Galaxy Note 2 has over the buyer of the DNA; the availability of accessories.

With a worldwide launch of the GN2, and basically the same physical specs all around the world, means that the GN2 owner can buy accessories for his/her device from anywhere.

Although I own a Sprint version GN2, yesterday, I walked into the At&t store and picked up a flip case. If I wanted to, I could go online and have any one of millions of cases, desk docks, and screen protectors available around the world for the international version shipped to my house and know it will fit perfectly.

So, aside from the arguments about pixels, battery life, software, and hardware, Samsung, like Apple, has produced one device that has millions of companies making and selling accessories. That's huge when you are considering which of these two phones to buy.

EDIT: These accessory manufacturers are not going to pour millions of dollars and effort into building products for a single carrier launch. Unless Verizon and HTC pull off a miracle and sell literally millions of these devices, there will be a very limited supply of accessories.

On the other hand, on Nov. 29, that same Verizon customer can pick up the GN2, and know without a doubt they will have no problem at all finding any type of accessory they will need.

The DNA looks nice, but the functionality of the S Pen is one of the reasons why I like the Note 2.

I love how I talk about Business models and how the old carrier centric model of letting the carrier decide what your phone should have and be like is dead. And the new model which is customer centric building what people want,, and having a valid usage model in mind when doing so thus leading to a succesful and wanted product, then not allowing the carrier to change that device in order to up their profits.

The rebuttal I get is that I am laying around at home without a job. lol

You must be the CEO of HTC because your comments are just about as dumb as the decisions that HTC are making lately.

Putting together words like business and model don't mean you know what the hell you're talking about. No one cares for the rantings of an obvious Samsung fanboy. Go away please.

No rebuttal is necessary. Talk to me next quarter when the sales reports are released. The phone is almost a direct copy of the butterfly. If I'm Verizon and spending millions on the Christmas add campaign as well as investing thousands of hours over the last 18 months to optimize this phone for my network, than that entitles my company with first launch rights. Just who is Verizon anyways? The largest cellphone provider in the United states. Go back to bed and play some more video games. Maybe have some ice cream while your at it, that should sharpen up your analyst abilities

Phablet...phablet...phablet.

What do you suggest someone call something that is larger than the average phone & smaller than the average tablet? A tablone?

Sorry, but "phablet" is here to stay. You'll just have to manage somehow.

lol...oh absolutely. I was just goofin'. They're both outstanding devices. I upgrade next month and it's come down between these two.

I was looking forward to the DNA to be a true competitor to the note sadly it has failed prior to leaving the gates. 1 design over function- while it's nice that the phone gets super thin on the edges but a 2020mah battery really. 2 repeating past mistakes one x was released on att with to little storage and without the option to expand it it excludes many potential customers. While this phone will be great for the people that decide to buy it it has too many limitations for me to recommend it over the note 2. I was hoping HTC learned from their past mistakes and obviously they haven't I wish them luck but the prognosis for a profitable year are slim

Not that I object to technological improvements, but is there really a need for such high resolutions on such small screens? I'm currently looking at my 24" 1920x1200 PC monitor and everything is sharp and clear. I don't typically hold my smartphone all that much closer to my eyes than where my PC monitor is, and yet they're already cramming 1920x1080 pixels into a comparatively tiny 5" and people are in all honesty saying the difference from 1280x720 is obvious?

Perhaps it is, I haven't had a chance to compare it myself, but unless you're holding your phone right in front of your eyes (in which case you must be so nearsighted that I'm not sure a reliable resolution comparison is realistic? :)) I'm just having a bit of a hard time believing all those extra pixels should actually make a visible difference.
Even the display on my now outdated Galaxy S2 - what's the resolution, something like 860x480 or thereabouts? - looks pretty sharp to me and at normal viewing distance I most certainly don't notice the individual pixels. Same thing with the 1280x800 on my Transformer TF300, which obviously falls far short of a few other tablets.

Quite frankly, saying there's a "big difference" between 720P and 1080P strains credibility..it's just not the case. Most people are barely going to be able to tell the difference, if at all. Having a screen that is 440 PPI (or whatever it is) is pretty hot to us tech lovers, but even then, I doubt most of our eyes will be able to register a big improvement. Other reviewers, particularly the folks over at Android Police, have said exactly this after some time with the DNA.

I will, however, concede that these devices are in two different leagues: once you get over the initial geek-shock of a 1080P screen, the reality is that the DNA can't compete with the Note 2 on almost any level. Sure, there is the issue of size preferences, and that's totally legitimate. However, the fact remains that the GN2 is just a much more versatile phone; it really doesn't have a single weak point outside of the polarizing size..you can't say the same thing about the DNA. For starters, it has a small, non-removable battery (though we'll still have to see how it fares during use), and storage capacity that borders on insulting.

I don't know..I guess I'm shocked that people are so "wowed" by the supposed screen advantage that they don't see that the DNA isn't really pushing Android phones much at all. That's what I appreciate about the Note 2: its not just another flagship phone. It's different, and it's deeply innovative. It's not just more of the same. The DNA largely is. Lots of you guys will disagree with me, but I really do find it to be a boring offering by HTC. Take that screen away..nothing special at all.

The human eye is enormously complicated - a perfect and interrelated system of about 40 individual subsystems, including the retina, pupil, iris, cornea, lens and optic nerve. For instance, the retina has approximately 137 million special cells that respond to light and send messages to the brain. About 130 million of these cells look like rods and handle the black and white vision. The other seven million are cone shaped and allow us to see in color.Incredibly, the eye, optic nerve and visual cortex are totally separate and distinct subsystems. Yet, together, they capture, deliver and interpret up to 1.5 million pulse messages a milli-second! It would take dozens of Cray supercomputers programmed perfectly and operating together flawlessly to even get close to performing this task. Poor Mco taking for granted the miracle of sight

Yep, the human eye (as well as the rest of the body) is fairly mind-boggling in its complexity..awe-inspiring really. Ha, and yet there are limitations. Not being able to detect increased pixels over a PPI level of 330 is one of them.

It's different, and it's deeply innovative, good grief a phone the size of noahs ark, yes it better have everything stuffed into it, only problem is it won't fit into most peoples hands now. This is just lazy ass engineering 1957 Cadillac style, 183 grams of it. The HTC Droid DNA is not a phablet,it is a smartphone, so wrong comparison. The 5 inch droid DNA has managed to keep the weight off and surprising weighs 3 grams more then the one x plus. Lets see Super LCD 3, which allows for better viewing angles, reduced glare, and smoother transitions (less choppy video playback) thanks to a faster refresh rate. Earlier this year, HTC decided to incorporate non-removable batteries in many of its flagship devices in an effort to keep handset profiles as thin as possible. Technically, this allows HTC to find a slightly larger battery into a phone without increasing the phone’s footprint. More weight savings. To put things into perspective, a 2,020 mAh battery is actually quite large for a mobile device. There are less than a half dozen Android-powered phones on the market with larger batteries.Qualcomm’s quad-core processor may sound extremely power hungry, but it’s actually extremely power efficient.Qualcomm uses asynchronous core technology. This allows each of the four cores to operate independently, meaning that all four cores are dynamically clocked based on the the processing load required. Therefore, the CPU can operate a lot more efficiently when the device is not loading web pages, watching videos or playing games. Maybe for once in your life you should really open up your eyes and trust in the details.

Take a look at this website. About 60% of the way down, they have two pictures that are about 5" across of the same car in the same spot. One is 720 and the other is 1080. If you computer screen is HD, you can see a "little" difference. It might be only due to the different exposure level. I.e. in the 720 image, I can see more detail on the cars interior where it is lighter. Thus, the extra detail that I can see on the spots on the wall, might be because the darker exposure shows more like black paint shows more scratches.
http://snapsort.com/learn/movie-capability/format

Thanks for the link. Further confirmation to me that there is not a "big difference" between 720P and 1080P, and certainly not one that the vast majority of people would ever notice. Heck, I'm intentionally doing all I can to spot it, and I'm having a tough time doing so.

Again, I think the nerd side many of us have is causing us to majorly, majorly over-inflate the importance of this "new" screen technology. Nobody would ever argue that more pixels hurts image quality, but I would certainly argue that it doesn't necessarily IMPROVE image quality either; as many have said, there is a point past which the human eye can no longer register the increased number of pixels (Steve Jobs said at least one true thing), and the screens of most top-tier smartphones have already hit, or even surpassed, that mark. Pushing a screen to 1080P and 440 PPI strikes me as doing something for the sake of doing it..and so that you have a chip to play in the publicity game. It's the latter more than anything; a screen like this will play pied piper to a lot of Android techies across the globe..and it'll help camouflage the fact that there isn't a whole lot else special or unique about the Droid DNA.

I don't know..just show me one way this phone will differentiate itself from other high end devices once the magic of the screen (placebo or not) wears off.

I don't own a Note 2, but I did play with one the other day; its screen was stunning. It looked fantastic side by side with an HTC One X, and some are saying the HOX's display is still the best out there (yes, over the DNA's screen). Trust me, you're getting wrapped up in a problem that doesn't exist; both the DNA and the Note are going to look great.

I'm by no means a conspiracy theorist but I know that only VZW benefits from not having a micro SD slot and not the consumer. Let's face it, you will absolutely have to use some sort of cloud service. This benefits those cloud service providers (ehem... Google drive) and data providers (cough.. VZW) all at a time when unlimited plans are going the way of the dinosaur. What good is a phone that is so obviously geared towards multi media if you don't have the storage to use it? Doesn't make sense right? Oh yeah, it does.. It makes perfect sense to the providers!

Looks like Engadget agrees with you....Last but not least, internal storage is limited to 16GB with no option for expandable memory, a poor decision on HTC's part. Sure, the idea of shunning the microSD slot is nothing new, and HTC has done this plenty of times before -- the One X+ is guilty of the same thing -- but we have a feeling that this particular choice was made by Verizon, since the J Butterfly (the DNA's Japanese counterpart) does allow for expandable storage. In other words, Verizon would have had to go out of its way to make sure the slot wasn't included.

I currently have 3 phones: the SG2, SG3 and the new Note2. I have to admit I did try the Note1in the past but its impractical aspect ratio (the huge width) made me return it after 3 days - I simply could not use it while still having an enjoyable experience. Meanwhile I have used the SG2 and then the SG3 and although very, very pleased with the SG3 I decided to also give the Note2 a try despite the disappointing experience I've had with its predecessor ...and guess what? I was in for a BIG SURPRISE!! The phone/phablet IS big, I'm not gonna argue with that and although its width still feels a little too wide EVERYTHING ELSE is a joy. Browsing the internet feels more like a desktop experience, all programs that I now have on both, seem to have more "depth" on the Note2, the external speaker is a huge improvement, the 3100mA battery lasts significantly longer, the Wi-Fi signal is considerably stronger and although not visible immediately, the quad core processor gives the Note2 quite a sensible edge over the SG3 (and all the other phones, including the HTC DNA). Did I mention yet that the 64GB card works like a charm and an OEM extra battery with its own charger truly make the Note2 the uncontested travel companion? Yes, it is!
To me, HTC simply made an UNFORGIVABLE strategic mistake when they decided to throw away the huge advantages of having an external SD card and removable battery, not to mention the ridiculously undersized battery. Would I trade HTC's new revolutionary resolution for all the other advantages of Samsung Note2 - DEFINITELY NOT especially since this truly is NO advantage at all given that most users wouldn't even be able to tell the difference. Note 2 screen looks fantastic On the othe hand, is the Note2 a little too large? For most users probably yes, but it definitely is a keeper for a certain category and I, for one, although myself surprised by this odd outcome, I'm here. As far as the HTC DNA goes, well it's just not an option; they compromised exactly where they shouldn't have.

I wish I could have the best of both phones. I own the Note 2 and I have to say that it's very awkward holding it in one hand. What makes it worse is that Samsung uses this slick cover that I feel the phone is going to slip out of my hand at any time. I have to get a protection cover to feel secure on it, which then makes the phone thicker.

I do think 5.5 is a tad too big for one hand operation. It is very trying. My last phone was the HTC Evo 4G and I must say I miss its secure and ergonomic grip.

But swap out batteries and external SD card is something I'm not sure I can live without yet, unless they have a 48gb version that costs the same as the Note 2. And that their battery is reliably lasting. And the S pen addition is nice (though I haven't felt the need to use it much).

So my perfect phone would be somewhere in between these two. 5.0 inch slim with a stable cover surface, but with swap-out battery and SD card, and yes the 1080p screen is also nice too (though not a deal breaker).

Gotta ask ya, buddy, why are even still trying to use it with one hand? It isn't an iPhone. I went to two handed operation with the Galaxy Nexus..ha, it's really not that big of a deal to make the switch. Two hands works fine in about 95% of situations.

I do use it with both hands now and then. But with a phone you are always on the go. I live in New York and riding the bus and subway, one of your hands is used to hold on strap hangers. Sometimes you carry a briefcase and would like to type a text/email with one hand. As I said without a cover, the phone feels very unsecured with my one hand. It just doesn't feel comfortable. it is better with a cover, but then the phone gets thicker and heavier. I do love the big screen, but half a centimeter narrower phone would be ideal.

Being an average sized male (6'5/240) I Dont understand why people are saying the note 2 is hard to use in one handed operation... I have no problems at all and feel it fits me better than any phone I ever owned has. Even better than my note 1. I'm a former HTC fanboy also. But they've lost their pizzazz. I remember when HTC was ground breaking!! (I.e.g1, nexus 1, OG Evo etc.. ) which for their times were the cream of the crop.. but now its like they've made dismall investments and lost touch of what made them amazing... pushing the limits!!!

6'5"/240 is not average. An average height for a guy is 5'9". I think you might have a larger than average guy's hand. I'm 5'10" and my palm is probably small, but I do have long fingers. But I have a hard time reaching the back button with my left thumb. And the Note 2 is narrower than the Note 1.

Yea 6'4 240 is average. For the study i conducted anyway. :P lol I took me and my dads height and weights added them up and divided by 2 to get the average I quoted earlier.. sorry if you misunderstood.

Can anyone comment on how the screens compare for bright daylight viewing? Can anyone compare to the S3 or Moto HD Maxx for outside viewing?