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.