Verizon Droid DNA by HTC

We're here in New York City, where Verizon and HTC have just taken the wraps off the highly anticipated Droid DNA. And this one's a looker. Let's break down the Droid DNA specs:

  • 5-inch Super LCD3 display at 1080p resolution (440ppi)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, quad-core at 1.5 GHz.
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB storage (11GB usable)
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Sense 4+.
  • 8MP rear camera with ImageSense and a new "Sightseeing mode"
  • 2.1MP f/2.0 front-facing camera with auto portrait mode.
  • Beats Audio
  • 2.5v headset and speaker amplifier.
  • 4G LTE data.

So, yeah. This thing's a bit of a beast. The Droid DNA builds off the HTC One line (remember that Verizon never picked up any of those phones earlier this year) as well as the new crop of Windows 8 phones, with a soft-touch finish that tapers down to just a mere 4mm at the edges. The sides are done up in a cool-looking speaker-grill sort of motif, though the usual rear speaker with its numerous pinholes remains on the back of the phone. The power button's up top, though it's been moved to the center of the device. 

The Droid DNA goes up for pre-order today, priced at $199 with a service agreement from Verizon. The device will be released next Wednesday, Nov. 21.

Keep watching Android Central for more Droid DNA coverage throughout the day.

More: Droid DNA event liveblog, Droid DNA gallery, Droid DNA specs, Droid DNA forum

 

Reader comments

Verizon and HTC officially announce the Droid DNA

82 Comments

i hope so or else i just bought this 64gb micro sd card for nothing! and 16gb isn't enough. i don't wanna depend on cloud storage and eat up my data plan downloading and uploading my crap. and what if i have no connection? then what?

According to Phonearena, it does not have a microsd slot. Doesn't HTC ever learn that many people didn't buy the HTC one X because it doesn't have a microsd slot.

Yup, this was the deal breaker for me as well. Pre-ordered the Note 2 (waiting for it to ship). I already received my Samsung spare battery charger and its extra 3100mAh battery (50% off too!), so I'll always have the ability to swap out for a fresh battery on the fly at a moments notice; no need to ever tether the phone to a charging cable or worry about trying to grab a charge here or there or have to turn down features to save battery or limit my use to make it through the day. :D

Unless they put in some aggressive power management, I can't imagine it will do all that well. That gorgeous screen has got to suck power. I suspect it will be fine with light use, but if you want to watch a video, better have your charger handy.

My concern as well. Does the quad-core help battery management at all? Otherwise, I'm very concerned. I was really hoping to make this my Thunderbolt replacement, but I need a phone that will last all day with moderate usage...

I had a TBolt too. I decided battery life was more important than screen. So I got the Maxx HD. Very very nice phone. I'm sure the Note 2 and this DNA have better screens, but the Note 2 is too big for my preferences and I has a feeling the battery size was going to be small for the DNA.

So far (only had it a week), very happy with the Maxx HD.

Even so, at this level the dual core is really more than adequate. Sure the quad might allow for some boost at this point but really it is just the ability to boast on a spec sheet, at the end of the day you'll still get great performance out of both.

definitely agree with you, but as things get more processor intensive the quadcore will fare better in the future and some of the quadcore processors have better battery life than the dual core processors so it's a win win.

The actual technology is in the cores themselves, not how many you stick together. Case n' point the Exynos 5

the exynos 5 is a 32nm processor where as the snapdragon s4 is a 28nm processor so that's why the exynos 5 wouldn't fit into phones that only have room for 28nms

Yeah... I was mega-excited about this phone until this...

I guess I will need to see how it does in the real world before I place final judgement, but unless they have made a SERIOUS stride in power management/efficiency, then I don't think it will be up to par with some of its competitors.

this is a big crippling point for the droid dna. i would have sacrificed the wireless charging for a bigger battery. i can't even pick up my phone and play with it while it's charging wirelessly, i just have to stare it and watch the battery icon do its little animation

I was disappointed to see the battery size too but keep these things in mind:

- The processor can run off any number of cores as needed. Well I'm pretty sure of this but not totally. It can definitely run off two cores.
- It's a 28nm die size for the processor and wireless chipset. This saves a lot of power over older OMAP designs that were 45nm or Tegra 2/3 that were 40nm. Older snapdragons from a few years ago (original Evo and Incredible for example) were terrible at 65nm. This battery, even at "only" 2020mAH, is larger than any battery that came with any smartphone before 2012. Remember when we got excited about an 1800mAH battery, and before 2012 phones all had 40, 45, or 65nm die size.
- The LTE chipset and CDMA chipset are integrated. This also saves power compared to any other Verizon LTE chipset other than the snapdragon S4. This means it will do much better on data/lte than the Galaxy Nexus, Razr, and maybe as well as the Razr Maxx.
- The Krait core design is more efficient than the ARM Cortex-A9 that everything older (pre-Snapdragon S4) has.
- Most if not all people are very happy with the battery life of their GS3 which is 2100mAH. It may not be enough for two days but you should be able to do all you want in one day.
- People are thinking the screen will kill the battery. OLED is not better on battery overall. OLED varies a ton based on what's display. LCD is at least consistent for any brightness level and can easily use less power than OLED. Don't count the screen as a battery killer before you see some tests but those extra pixels have to hurt a little. It's just hard to say how much.
- The international GS3 uses a 32nm quad core Cortex-A9 (slower than Krait) design that still only has a 2100mAH battery. I'll take the 28nm and the 2020mAH battery any day.

Having said that, I got a Razr Maxx HD and I love it! Great phone and great battery life! I do wish it had an HTC camera.

Same here mate!
Perfect for me, bust tech available, from HTC with their AWESOME ui, only problem is its not intl' :(
I don't care about the battery, everything is better than my HTC Desire HD.

They probably weighed a larger battery against the efficiency of the quad core and the wireless charging and thought it was enough to make it work. Yet another phone that won't make it through the day or dies when you need it most.

damn this a great looking device but a 2020mah battery seems WAAAAY too small to me to fit a 5inch HTC Sense phone. That is the only deal breaker for me, other than the fact i just got the Razr Maxx HD a couple weeks ago. I hope the software is built to work better with the battery.

hmm no one else is bothered by the power button on top of the phone rather than on the side? My Evo at 4.3 inches has a button on top and that kinda sucked. I'd imagine it'd only be worse on a 5 inch screen.

Looks = Awesome
Power = Awesome
Screen = Awesome
Battery = good luck
Camera = Awesome
Availability = Verizon only... that sucks for many reasons
Adopt-ability = Limited unless they do an unchanged world launch and partner with other carriers which is unlikely.
upgrade-ability= verizon and htc have been horrible on this

All in all, I will now choose the Note 2 for the battery, availability, and the fact that it will sell worldwide and on most carriers so there are tons of accessories to be made availability. Plus it is more widely known and Sprint and Samsung are the most likely to issue upgrades faster

You know Verizon customers got slapped in the face hard when HTC chose not to sell their One S or One X to Big Red. This is hope for those who avoided that lukewarm chunky Incredible LTE.

HTC didn't choose not to sell it to Verizon they are the ones that didn't want it. Problem with HTC is they don't have enough market share or the balls to tell the carriers here this is our phone we are not changing it take it or leave it, like Samsung and Apple do. Either that or they just think exclusive deals are what make them money. Yea see how that turned out for them the last several quarters.

I can't seem to figure which side is actually telling the truth but honestly I'm veering to carrier at fault. After all, I've heard promising stories about HTC encouraging unlocked bootloaders on their phones and supporting the dev community.

Verizon seems to take interest to claiming territory. Hell, they even put a Verizon logo on the Samsung Note II's button. Crazy....

Agreed that was a crazy move on Verizon's part, they are the only carrier that did that to. I guess carrier branding on the back of the device wasn't good enough for them lol.

If you get a wireless charging pad at work and something in the car I figure this would last long enough with those quick bursts, but sense they didn't talk about battery life I think it must be low.
Other than that, this device is great.

Been wanting a razr maxx hd so I'm wondering how this batt will compare . . at 2020 prob not so well :( . . . Ohh - and no sd card? Hopefully this will mean a price drop for the razr hd series

HD MAXX already $199 at amazon, wire fly, etc. hoping that it drops to that price direct from Verizon by the holidays, which is also when it should have JB. I feel like that's a fair price for the 32GB and huge battery.

Droid DNA looks like a BEAST!!!

But Sadly, if a 2200mAh battery wont get me through the day on a Galaxy Nexus, a 2020mAh battery on a larger screen, not going to cut it.

Amazing phone, but the battery is a deal breaker.

Sorry HTC.

Don't compare the battery life of the processor/LTE chips of the Galaxy Nexus versus the Snapdragons. MUCH better life with the new chips.

That said, jury is WAY out on the 202 mAh battery.

SWEET phone! the wireless charging is cool but aren't the charging pads costly? I was hoping this would help me make a clear cut choice between the DNA and the GN2.

Device looks great Htc needs this device to sell and sell big. Looks better than the Galaxy Note 2 no doubt. But not enough to unseat Samsung from sales why cause software and features standpoint as well as storage Htc just gets pimp slapped... Galaxy Note 2 rules all devices period....

I've always wondered (as a custom ROM lover), how do you reset the phone in extreme cases (where a battery pull is needed)? It seems more phones are going to non-removable batteries.

Hold down the power for about 10 seconds and wait for it to Restart. I'm completely surprised people haven't figured that out yet.

Hold Power/Lock + Volume Down (or Power/Lock + Volume Down + Volume Up on some phones) for about 10 to 15 seconds and it will reset. This works for any Android phone. You should NEVER pull the battery out, just do this.

No SD card and small battery make me not want this beast... I would rather have a phone that's thicker and can get me through the day then worry about the thinness of my phone...

This is the coolest looking phone VZW has had in a while... Funny how I already feel "stuck" with my SGS III, Spoiled rotten I am.

Shoulda stuck a Maxx battery in this . . o wait that's right that's motorola - just so used to thinking droid=motorola

Another really nice phone made by HTC only downside its exclusive to one freaking carrier. Wow HTC way to shoot yourself in the foot again. Thats why I left them after the EVO until you can release one flagship phone and stick by it for idk at least a year, release the same phones on all major carriers even regional ones then you can compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung. SMH another great phone that it limited to one carrier.

With a bigger battery and microsd this could have been huge. Without, not so much. GS3 sales will dominate DNA, even on Verizon. HTC just doesn't seem to care about building what consumers want.

2020 mAh battery? Less than the GS3? Bit short eh?

Excited for the screen, and camera...HTC is always great with that...

But that battery...I dunno. Definitely need to rely heavily on light software - which Sense usually is not.

Yea, not sure why only 16GB. That's not enough for media. They finally get the RAM right at 2GB, and they screw up the storage. Back to the drawing board HTC.

For a phone that is being sold on the basis of being a media powerhouse one would think they would actually provide enough room to store any media at all. 11Gb of usable space is nearly useless.

I wanted to love this phone and for it to change my mind from the Note 2, but 2020mAh and only 16Gb just wont cut it. This phone for $199 actually make the Note 2 seem worth $299.

I've been waiting for a bigger phone to move on from my HTC Rezound and thought this was it until these official specs came out today --No removable battery I might be able to deal with, but only 16gb of storage and no sd card???? Huge fail! My 32gb card in my Rezound is almost full, and I've been close to buying a 64gb one. Why would I downgrade? HTC is about to lose it for lack of vision. Guess I'll wait for the Samsung Galaxy S4...

Big disappointment as this one had potential...

I think the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro use less power than any of the processors out there. So 2020 may be fine. I will wait to see the actual battery life test.

Yet another nice phone released with inadequate (16GB) of storage to keep it at $200. That's a non starter for me. I will say I'm glad HTC finally appears to be done with the bulging camera on all their phones. Those always scratched.

Really a beautiful phone. HTC put out a nice package together with this one.

If I personally had to pick an HTC device though I think I would still take the One X+. I hate the fact we are stuck to picking carrier specific phones here so often in the U.S. Just my opinion, now it's time to order my N4, decision has been made. Gonna try this contract free thing out.

I enjoy how everyone who has never touched this phone has instantly become an expert on it. I'd like to see evidence and proof from someone that says that battery won't last a full day. Not "deductive reasoning", because that is nonsense. No combo of this hardware and software has been put together, so you can't deduce anything.

On a side note this thing looks awesome, definitely buying. 16 gigs is no biggie for me sine I don't see the need in taking every single piece of media I've ever owned with me on my phone.

The battery won't last a full day. The battery on my One X does not last a full day, and this one has a bigger, higher resolution screen with a higher performance processor with only 10% more battery.

I want one of these with 64GB and a 3,000 mAh battery. I will pay an extra $100 to $150 and don't care if it is a bit thicker. Someone needs to build a truly premium phone for power users who are willing to pay a premium price.

This one is almost there.

$199? I'm shocked at the price tag. I figured they would jack the price up like they did with rest of their droid line.

They learned their lesson last year when the Rezound didn't sell at $299. They are probably going to be very selective about what phones they sell at higher than $199.

$199 is a great price, but I'd rather pay more for better battery and an SD card option. HTC! I will pay you $299 on contract for this phone with a 3,000 mAh battery and an SD card slot!!!!

Kudos for the launch/sell date being just a week apart. I feel like the Android manufacturers have turned a corner on this.

I love HTC phones. Every smartphone I've had has been an HTC phone (I don't think the Blackberry Curve counted as a smartphone). I switched to Verizon for 2 reasons, the good signal where I live and the Incredible. I moved on to the Rezound wich is an Incredible phone. The only complaint there is battery life.

Now this phone is beautiful. However it doesn't work for me even if I were looking for a new phone right now (not ready to give up my Rezound and don't want to pay the full price to keep my unlimited data yet).
The battery argument, well I can live with the non-removable battery and we don't really know how this is going to perform yet.
The SD slot, well that is the only thing (other than poor reports on battery life) that would stop me from getting this. I've read all the arguments on why do you need the SD card, just use "the cloud". Well, all those arguments are all good for the person making the argument. I want to have the option to have more storage should I need it.

All in all, this phone is amazingly beautiful. Hope to see some good stuff come out this time next year using this as a springboard to launch better phones with better displays.

How much off contract? Probably gonna get it but I wont give up unlimited data. Just curious how much I'm looking at.

I've been a HUGE HTC fan in the past but they are floundering while Samsung is killing it. Samsung has righted many of their past flaws and now you are a fool for not jumping on the Samsung wagon. They are very easy to root and rom compared to HTC. (I switched from EVO LTE to S3 on Sprint). The S3 performed much better than my EVO LTE. The S3 has better ROM support (official CM10 builds). The S3 has great battery life. Samsung is updating faster than HTC. Samsungs common platform means there will be more accessories designed for the phone. The list goes on. HTC used to do these things right but aren't anymore for a number of reasons. I still love their design and their software skin is certainly better than Samsungs but albiet slow. The slowness of Sense (widget refreshes??? wtf) and the browser really were eye opening when I got my S3. The best comparison you can do is compare one flagship to the other flagship and I have. Samsung is winning and getting better for customers. HTC still has a great product for the most part but their company just can't support and innovate as well anymore.

Umm innovate? So having the first phones with 4G, 4G LTE, 720P, and 1080P displays isn't innovating? That's not their problem. Their problem is support, support, and albeit whatdoyaknow support. lol

This looks to be a sweet phone .... Almost certainly going to pick one up early next month. I think the battery will be fine and I was expecting their non removable battery and no expandable storage. Its taken a while but OEMs are finally taking Apple and Googles lead on that ... In another year removable batteries and SD cards will be the exception not the rule. Better get used to it.