Verizon Droid DNA on GSM

I'm getting a bit of a tingle down my spine. If you look at the specs for the HTC Droid DNA, you'll notice something that looks a little out of place. but only a little. Specifically, that there's a listing for UTMS/HSPA radio frequencies. Now that's not all that out of the ordinary -- Verizon's had world phones with GSM capability for some time now, and LTE's an offshoot of GSM. But generally such frequencies aren't listed out in the open like that.

That means it's time to experiment. And as you can see from the picture above, we've had success.

More: Check out our Droid DNA forums!

The Verizon Droid DNA is completely GSM unlocked. Pop in your SIM card, change your APN settings, and it'll work on any GSM network with 850/900/1900/2100 MHz. Here in the United States, that means AT&T, and T-Mobile as well, though you won't get 3G/4G speeds on the latter because the phone doesn't run on 1700 MHz. And, of course, it means you can use it outside the United States, whether you're using a roaming plan with Verizon, AT&T -- or use a foreign carrier's SIM card. Just change the APN settings and you're golden.

Of course, you'll also lose Verizon's excellent LTE network if you do this. But, still, a nice little trick. So how'd it do? We've got video and some speed tests after the break.

 

Reader comments

How to use the Verizon Droid DNA on AT&T (or any other GSM network)

39 Comments

There is no way that it ships like that....none

That being said, It will be easy for a dev to uncover the menu...

FCC regulation for Block C, the 700mhz spectrum that Verizon uses

(e) Handset locking prohibited. No licensee may disable features on handsets it provides to customers, to the extent such features are compliant with the licensee's standards pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, nor configure handsets it provides to prohibit use of such handsets on other providers' networks.

Source: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=d2c82656d42b92d9f16bd914...

There we go it will ship unlocked

I wonder I it has to do with newer LTE chips an that 700mhz spectrum because the older LTE devices were not unlocked. The newest iphone on Verizon is also factory unlocked. I def like the trend.

$599.99 according to the Verizon website.

In a completely unrelated note, why the extra 99 cents? Why not just say $600 and call it a day? Is it a psychological thing?

I can't imagine people buying these devices outright and using them on AT&T. Or Verizon users paying an EFT and jumping ship.

If its so simple to do, and the phone is unlocked GSM and LTE capable, how far off is AT&T from getting their own?

I'd be a bit more open to the idea of doing so, but I don't think I could get past the Verizon branding.

It does have advantages for those people who like to phone swap all the time though. When you take to craigslist or ebay, you can sell it to vzw AND att customers before you go out and buy your new phone at full price. It has great advantages for people whether they are in contract or not.

I'm hoping they realize that unlocked phone prices are so high that it doesn't matter if they ship phones with the GSM radio unlocked. Heck, even subsidized phones on AT&T should be unlocked, they don't care if you use the phone in other networks, there's only one place to buy exclusive phones subsidized which us how 99.9% of Americans buy phones.

Does the ATT network give it more than 11 gigs of user accessible memory? I know, I am a broken record, but I am just blown away that HTC gave up the chance to compete on a even playing field with APPLE and Samsung and instead let VZW dictate what size memory to use. Biggest fail of the year.

Repeat it all you want. The reality is, Joe the average user wont care or have any problem using 11GB usable storage, and that's who they build phones for. As much as people like us who frequent sites like these and really push the limits of our devices, we are nowhere near the volume of people who will end up using these phones.

It may suck for us to be limited, but the manufacturers can't build for everyone, so they do what will give the best result for the most people.

I could not agree more. Such a beast of a phone but so limited. I will be getting the Note 2 because of this. I was excited for this phone but I just knew the rumored 16 gb storage would change when they officially announced it. Big disappointment. They had to ruin it somehow. This phone will not be the big hit they were hoping for. Samsung will blow this out of the water with their sales. And this is coming from someone currently using an HTC phone.

Don't you know anything about HTC? Wait 6 months when their financials fall even farther, and then they will release the droid dna+ with a bigger battery and more storage.

I have no idea how such a formerly great company keeps making one huge mistake after the other.

I'm confused. Getting over 3000kbps should be considered 3g right? I dont think 2g goes beyone 200kbps.

Agreed. Somehow, VZW can lock SIMs domestically but allow it internationally. Cause my Razr HD is the same way (if I understand it correctly as I don't have a Tmob or AT&T microSIM to test it.)

The comment about not being able to use HSPA+ on T-Mobile is slightly not true.

In cities like Las Vegas, soon Houston and eventually the rest of the country, T-Mobile's 3G service will be on 1900mhz, which is perfectly usable by the DNA and any iPhone out there actually.

They're moving their 3G service to be more compatible with other netowrks, and to make room on 1700mhz for LTE.

Not sure it was Verizon's doing because all it does is killing this phone on arrival. Along with lousy int memory the 2020mAh battery is a joke. The SGS3 has 2100mAh, the Note 2 has 3100mAh. With the amount of pixels on the new 5 inch screen this phone will kill that pathetic battery very fast. Not even talking about the LTE radio, this battery is a failure. Doesn't matter what HTC threw in to help the battery last longer it just ain't going to cut the mustard. The 11gb of usable int memory makes the phone dead on arrival as far as I'm concerned. The only manufacturer who gets it is Samsung, today's customers have been asking, no that is not the right word, begging for memory and battery, Samsung is the only company to deliver. Not only that but Samsung is the most developer friendly phone made today. I don't know but I would take a gamble and say that the new HTC will be thrown to the public with the bootloader locked up tite as a ducks ass. I don't understand why the writers of this site and others don't scream about this issue. Putting great specs like that in a phone and not give int memory and make it seem like it's no big deal makes me pissed off. The more we settle for it the longer it will go on. Just don't buy it, I'm not.

what this means to me is that the DROID DNA might be the missing nexus5 -=X Hopefully an announcement around January?!?!

Doubt it!!

The are getting the Note 2 and the Galaxy SIII is steal a nice phone. An upgrade to the 64GB version rumored would be a nice bonus!

Does it mean it will work on any European GSM 3G network?
Will it work on 2G or 2.5G (EDGE/GPRS) GSM networks?