Verizon Droid DNA.

You got something against large, high-resolution displays and the most powerful processor we've used thus far? What's wrong with you?!?!?!

The Verizon Droid DNA has too many pixels, they said. It'll run too slow. The battery's too small, they said. It'll never last. The screen's too big, they said. It'll be too unwieldy. There's not enough on-board storage, says everybody.

Poppycock. (OK, except for that last one.)

After keeping HTC on the sidelines for most of 2012, Verizon's ending the year with a powerhouse of an Android smartphone in the Droid DNA. All the usual boxes are checked here. Powerful processor. High-resolution display. (The highest we've tested, actually). Great camera. Verizon's fast LTE data.

So what has everybody so worried, and are their concerns really valid? Or is it just the usual "SMARTPHONE SKY IS FALLING!!!" jitters before anyone's actually used the device?

Let's rap, shall we? Read on for the full Android Central Verizon Droid DNA review.

The one-take walkthrough

The hardware - things that are not the awesome display

It's almost difficult to chose the most important part of the Droid DNA hardware. Is it the internals? Is it the display? Is it the sleek design? From the front, it looks like your typical black slab. Big, black slab. We'll get back to that in a minute, because the back of the Droid DNA deserves some love. 

Verizon Droid DNA.

HTC had a bit of a design epiphany in the latter half of 2012 that made its first public appearance with the Windows Phone-powered 8X. (That's it on the right.) Whereas traditional smartphone design has kept the battery on the posterior side of things -- even for phones in which the battery is sealed inside -- HTC changed things up and sandwiched it between the display and the circuit board. The result is a much sleeker smartphone, one that slopes down from 10mm at the apex to just about 4mm at the edge. The Droid DNA isn't the thinnest smartphone out there, but that slope might make you think it is. It's beautifully done, even if the 8X managers to taper off even more. It's also clad in that soft-touch coating that we've long been fans of, though it does lose a bit of its luster as oils from your fingers hit it. (Pro tip: Put it down while you're eating bacon. Just sayin'.)

Verizon Droid DNA.

As long as we're on the backside, things get interesting up around the camera as well. The lens housing has the usual HTC flare to it, with the usual Verizon-red accent. It's damn near flush with the body, though the red ring might play tricks on your eyes. To the left of the lens is a hidden rear notification light. We've only seen it blink green for notifications and glow reddish/orange while charging -- it'll be interesting to see what kind of hackery is done to it. The really cool part is how subtle the light is. If you're looking at it straight on, it's pretty bright. But chances are you're not hovering directly over the phone if it's sitting face-down on a table. And in that case, the light is visible, but much more muted when viewed at an angle. 

But for Lloyd's sake, be careful putting that phone down face-first. Yes, it's got Gorilla Glass 2, but you'll still scratch it if you're not careful. Or probably even if you are careful. Consider yourselves warned.

Verizon Droid DNA.

The rear speaker is powered by a special 2.55v amplifier. And it's pretty darn loud. About as loud as the Nexus 4, but the sound quality is a little better as well. (When you're plugged in, you've got Beats Audio at your disposal, of course, for that extra kick.) Interesting, though, is that the speaker tends to vibrate the entire back of the phone if things are turned up all the way, particularly resonating toward the top of the phone. 

The sides of the DNA are done up in a cool-looking speaker-grille sort of thing. That's just for looks, though. They're not speakers. The volume rocker is on the right-hand side. 

Verizon Droid DNA.

Up top is the 3.5mm headphone jack, a noise-canceling microphone, and the SIM card tray. (There's a little opener thingy in the box, if you need one.) The power button is up top as well, which is normal for HTC phones. But it's been moved to the center. That was a deliberate change. The rationale was that because the phone is even taller than most of the tallest traditional smartphones, you'll be holding it a little different, and we've found that to be the case. So, the button's been moved so that your index finger doesn't have to reach as far for it. You get used to it quickly enough, though it doesn't change the fact that you'll be shifting your grip a bit -- this phone is tall at 141 mm -- that's more than 5 and a half inches.

Verizon Droid DNA.

There seems to have been some confusion over how to classify the Droid DNA. Folks hear "5-inch display" and think "Samsung Galaxy Note 2." And that's just not the case. The DNA is shorter and more narrow than the Note, and it's that difference in width that keeps it firmly planted in the traditional smartphone category, though it definitely is a tall phone. Maybe even a little too tall, as it's more noticeable in our pockets.

What's more, that mistaken comparison to the Galaxy Note 2 also leads to unrealistic expectations of battery life, we've found. But at 3,100 mAh, the Note 2's battery has 53 percent greater capacity. That's like expecting someone who's 4 feet tall to jump as high as someone who's 6 feet tall. It's just not going to happen. No, when comparing the DNA to other phones, you need to stick to the traditional smartphone side of things. Or at least something with a similarly sized battery. But more on that in a brief minute.

Verizon Droid DNA.

Down at the bottom of the phone we find our first real disappointment. This is where the microUSB port lives. And while the rest of the phone is immaculately designed, this port is covered by a rather annoying door. Maybe it's for dust protection and water resistance. (Can't blame anybody for wanting that.) Or a popular conspiracy theory is it's covered to urge you to use a wireless charging pad, for which you'll have to open your wallet even more. Or maybe it was just for design purposes. Whatever the reason, it's annoying, it's in the way, and we won't blame you one bit if you take a knife to it.

Under the h​ood

We're getting ever closer to talking about the display on the Droid DNA. But first, let's talk about what's powering it. 

The latter months of 2012 have been all about Qualcomm processors, and that's what's powering the Droid DNA. It's running the APQ 8064/MDM 9615M combination -- those of us without EE degrees know it as the Snapdragon S4 Pro. It's a quad-core processor setup running at 1.5 GHz, and it's got 2 gigabytes of RAM to use at its leisure. As we've seen on other phones, it's a beast -- fast as hell with some good power management to boot.

Those of you coming from phones born in the early days of LTE will remember the battery suck of the HTC ThunderBolt. In fact, we've heard many of you say it's sworn you off  HTC phones for good. And, frankly, we're not going to blame anyone for feeling burned by the 'Bolt. But just as HTC's design has grown in leaps and bounds from that generation, so, too, Qualcomm's end of things. We've been plenty impressed with the Snapdragon S4 Pro in other phones, and that carries over into the Droid DNA. 

Battery life

Verizon Droid DNA.
The Droid DNA can be charged wirelessly with a Qi-compatable charging pad

So, onto the big question: Battery life. This Qualcomm processor is, after all, pushing a 5-inch display at 1080x1920 resolution. (And, yes, we're going to tell you how great that display is in a minute.) That's a lot of pixels, and that means a lot of math for the processor to be doing.

I start "using" the phone the minute it's unplugged form the charger. Whether or not the display is turned on, the clock is running, and things are happening in the background. E-mails are delivered, Google Now does its spy thing, and lord knows what else is going on behind the scenes.

Two ways I look at my usage: At home/work, in the comfort and safety of a strong Wifi signal, and out and about, on Verizon's LTE network. For the former situation, I was getting somewhere around 15 to 18 hours of use before plugging in for the night. (Why wouldn't you charge your phone while you're sleeping?) Turn off the phone's Wifi and rely on LTE all day, and I've gotten 8 to 10 hours out of it. Sometimes a little more (especially if the kids don't grab it for a few quick games), sometimes a little less. A lot will depend on how hard you push the phone, and how good your network signal is.

Your. Mileage. Will. Vary.

By the way, don't freak out if you don't see display time listed in HTC's battery usage screen. It's not some conspiracy to keep you from knowing what the DNA's 1080p display is doing to your battery life -- it's simply not in Sense 4+. You'll find it's missing from the HTC One X+ as well.

Verizon Droid DNA battery
See that big break in Wifi overnight? That's the infamous Wifi bug at work

But the simple answer is by no means do I consider the Droid DNA to have poor battery life. It's easily as good as what we've seen on the Samsung Galaxy S3 on Verizon, or maybe the HTC One X on AT&T (and that one's got a slightly smaller battery.) And that's good, because the 2020 mAh battery, as we mentioned above, is stuck inside the phone -- you'll need to find a charger when it runs down. If you just have to have a swappable battery and an external charger isn't an option, then you'll need to look elsewhere.

Another question is how the battery would hold out under the load off a movie. So I watched a few. First up: "The Hunger Games," as obtained from Google Play -- $4.99 to rent in HD. I watched it once, streaming, and a second time pinned to the phone. Both showings used about 40 percent of the battery over 2 hours, 15 minutes. That was at 720p, Jerry and I determined. And there's nothing wrong with that -- there's plenty of 720p content out there, you'll undoubtedly run into a lot of it. It looks great on the DNA.

Still, we needed a 1080p test. And for that, I went to my standard (and wonderfully crowd-sourced) testing video -- a live show by Nine Inch Nails, which I played in BS Player. Again, another 2 hours, 15 minutes -- and this time 50 percent of the battery used. 

There's not a lot to say about data speeds -- everything works as advertised. I've had a good Verizon LTE connection for as long as I remember, and the Droid DNA performs as you'd expect. Ditto on Wifi, though it does appear that the infamous "HTC WIfi bug" -- where radios like to shut off when the phone's left dormant (ie overnight) still exists. 

Fun fact: The Droid DNA is SIM-unlocked out of the box, meaning you can use it on AT&T, or any other GSM network.

One last note on the internals: Verizon has opted to go with only 16GB of on-board storage, and that was a mistake. Actually, you've only got 11GB of usable storage, once the operating system and apps and everything else is taken into account. More on that as we talk about the display and movies and apps below, but the bottom line is more storage is always better. And Verizon's given us what we'd consider to be the bare minimum for a retail phone, and certainly less than what we'd expect to find on a top-shelf Verizon phone.

The display - my God, it's full of pixels

So, we know how the 1080p display affects battery. Yes, it needs juice, but, no, it doesn't drain the thing in a matter of minutes. So how does it look?

When being dense is a good thing

Pixels

The answer to that largely lies in this question: What are you used to? The jump from a 4.7-inch, 720p display (say on the HTC One X or the Galaxy S3 or the Nexus 4) to the 5-inch, 1080p display of the Droid DNA isn't as big a leap as you might imagine. The difference in display technology across manufacturers makes a bigger difference here than the change in resolution, I believe. That's not to say you can't necessarily tell the difference. It's not as apparent for me, but I've got old, tired eyes, and a predisposition to believe that 440 pixels per inch on a 5-inch device is just silly. (Silly awesome, but a bit much nonetheless.)

Here's how the Droid DNA display comparisons break down for me:

  • About the same as the HTC One X (4.7-inch Super LCD2 at 720x1280, 312 pip). You can slightly tell the difference in resolution in some instances, but it's hardly a deal-breaker.
  • Better, by far, than the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (4.65-inch Super AMOLED at 720x1280, 315 ppi). A lot of that has to do with the color temperature, and the rest with the way the pixels are arranged.
  • A bit better than the Samsung Galaxy S3 (4.8-inch Super AMOLED at 720x1280, 305 ppi). That should be the pixel arrangement as well as density.
  • Noticeable difference compared to the Galaxy Note 2 (5.5-inch Super AMOLED at 720x1280, 267 ppi), which tries to distract you by its sheer size. But text is especially noticeable.
  • Better (and brighter) than the Nexus 4 (4.7-inch IPS at 768x1280, 320 ppi), which probably has my second-favorite display of the past year.

For me, I think, the bigger differentiator is the Super LCD display. The higher pixel density is nice, I guess, but it's going to be up for debate for some time whether you can really tell the difference when the ppi gets above 320 or so anyway. 

(By the way, anyone who tells you that "OMG my TV has that many pixels!!!" and neglects to mention that said television is some 900 percent larger and viewed much differently should have their head examined.) 

How apps perform at 1080p

Here's the other side of that 1080p coin: You might be wonder whether your current apps will even scale up to 1080p (to say nothing of needing extra processing power for all those pixels flying around at once). The quick and easy answer is "Don't worry your pretty little head about it."

I've put my usual core of apps on the Droid DNA -- everything I use and play on a daily basis -- as well as some old favorites. And I've yet to find an app that doesn't look good at 1080p. Now that's not to say there might not be some rogue app out there that doesn't do things right. But everything I've used -- from Google's own apps to third-party games to keyboards -- looks just fine. That's all part of the plan, though. 

(Update: Ah ha! Angry Birds Star Wars HD crashes and burns. As in there's a bad bug that won't even let you play. That's different than poor graphical performance though.)

As far as pushing all those pixels, again, I've not seen any overall sluggishness, only the occasional hiccup. For instance: In Plague Inc., the ships and planes stutter a little bit. Doesn't really affect gameplay, but it is noticeable. Is that a hardware thing? Is it a software thing? I dunno. You might possibly run into an app that completely freaks out at a 1080p display, but I've yet to really do so.

So is a 1080p display a big deal or not?

Verizon Droid DNA

So here's where it gets a little interesting. On one hand, yes. The Droid DNA having a 1080p display is a big deal because it's simply what's next. You climb the mountain because it's there, and HTC's the first to the top of this summit. Others likely will follow in 2013.

The Droid DNA's screen is beautiful. There's no denying that. I never saw enough of a battery drain to say it's not worth having the extra pixels. That might change depending on your usage case, and what apps you're running. But I'm just not sure those extra pixels make that much of a difference in daily use, on a display that's only 5 inches. There's just not the same leap from 720p to 1080p as there is from 480p to 720p. That wouldn't keep me from buying the DNA though.

But here's another thought in regards to the anemic storage: Maybe there's some method to that madness. You're not going to be ripping Blu-ray discs and loading up them onto the DNA. (OK, yes, Verizon has seen to that by only offering 16 gigabytes of storage.) The Nine Inch Nails video I used was 9.35GB, and that took up the majority of free space on the phone. Transferring that much data can become a little bit of a headache as well. It's not something you're going to want to do on a daily basis, nor is it something you'd expect, say, your parents to do, ya know? Instead, Verizon's expecting you to stream, and stream often. And lord knows there are plenty of options for that these days. If you do sideload content and find that it's not playing back as smoothly as you'd expect, try another app before writing it off to the higher resolution.

In the end, 1080p on the Droid DNA will largely be what it's been in the home entertainment space -- a talking point. Sure, it's better tech. But on a phone that's, well, phone-sized? It's just not necessary, even it if is cool as hell. That said, expect Verizon and HTC to advertise the hell out of it. And they should.

The software

So the Droid DNA is running Android 4.1.1 out of the box. (Don't start moaning about Android 4.2 yet -- that code was released the same day the Droid DNA was announced. But expect HTC to be looking at it, for sure.) On top of that is HTC's excellent custom user interface, the updated Sense 4+. (Also: See our original Sense 4 walkthrough.) If you've used an HTC phone in the past couple years, you'll be right at home. 

Droid DNA home screens

You've got five home screens to make use of, and it's worth noting that neither Verizon nor HTC has overwhelmed the out-of-the-box experience with a lot of crap. There's the usual iconic HTC clock (which looks great but remains a little redundant), plus a handful of apps and a folder of things you'll probably want right away. To the left, a full-screen Amazon widget, for quickly getting movies, music and books. Remember how we said the Droid DNA is better suited for streaming than ripping and copying? And it makes sense, given that Verizon's now loading the "Amazon suite" onto anything not named Nexus.

Other apps of note: Amex Serve (prepaid wallet), Audible, IMDb, NFL Mobile, Reign of Amira (a Qualcomm game to showcase that beautiful display), Slacker Radio, TuneIn Radio, Verizon Tones, Viewdini, VZ Navigator and Zappos.

While that list isn't too heavy, do remember that you've only got 11 GB of storage available to you out of the box. And you won't be able to get rid of the, say, 100 MB or so that is Reign of Amira without rooting the phone first. That's no bueno, Verizon. You wan to skimp on storage? Fine. We get that. But put your preloaded funware on a partition where we can delete it easily.

AmazonAmazon

Verizon's been smart about this Amazon suite thing. You've got the widget, the Amazon Mobile app, Kindle and Amazon MP3. And that's it. No Amazon Appstore (though you can load it if you want.) Google Play is still intact. (And even is on the default home screen, as it should be.) So it's really not that big a deal. Even when you log into that widget and you're presented with a few "Amazon apps" (most of which have already been loaded onto the DNA), the links take you to Google Play, not the Amazon Appstore. A pretty clear line has been drawn here. (And we're willing to bet Google drew it.)

Note that the apps you have in the dock on are still slaved to what you can have on the lock screen. HTC should really allow more customization there.

Verizon continues its annoying habit in regards to Wifi as well. If there's an available hotspot and you're not connected, you'll be asked if you want to connect with an annoying popup. And then reminded with a persistent notification. And if you launch an app that requires an Internet connection (which is, like, all of them), you might well get another pop-up. (At least that one can be turned off in the Wifi settings.) And then when you're connected to a Wifi hotspot you'll be reminded that you're connected to the Wifi hotspot with another persistent notification, never mind that you're the one who connected to the Wifi hotspot in the first place. It's annoying as hell. 

The Droid DNA cameras

HTC has had excellent cameras in it's phones over the past year or so, and that trend continues in the Droid DNA, thanks to the lens tech and its ImageSense processor.

Verizon Droid DNA.

The camera app remains much as it has in Sense 4, though a few icons have changed and a couple options have moved, forcing you a little deeper into the camera app settings than we'd like. You've still got HDR and panorama modes, of course, along with a number of other "scenes," and you apply filters after the fact, if that's your thing.

Of note is that HTC's camera lacks Google's cool new "Photo Sphere" mode, wherein you get a 360-degree panorama. Actually, every device other than the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 lacks Photo Sphere. We mention that not as a knock against the Droid DNA, but as mention of something we'd love to see incorporated in future versions of the software. Will that happen in time for the Droid DNA? Not gonna put money on it. But we'd love to see it.

As for the tech, the front-facing camera is 2.1 megapixels with an f/2.0 lens. It shoots at a relatively wide 88 degrees. The rear camera is 8 megapixels, f/2.0, with a 28mm lens. The sensor is backside illuminated, does video at 1080p, and the whole thing is controlled by HTC's ImageSense (or ImageChip, depending on who you're talking to)./

So, onto the important part -- samples!

Warning: These all open in full resolution on a new page.

The Droid DNA rear camera​

Droid DNA sampleDroid DNA sample

Droid DNA sampleDroid DNA sample

Droid DNA sampleDroid DNA sample

The Droid DNA front camera

Droid DNA front camera

Other ​odds and ends

  • No problems with Bluetooth or GPS. Both work as they should.
  • HTC's keyboard remains one of my favorite default keyboards. It's not my daily driver, but neither does it make me want to throw the phone against a wall.
  • Voice quality is on par with other Verizon devices. No complaints here.
  • Kudos to HTC for the modal dialog you get before entering the developer options. Google's changed that functionality in Android 4.2, but this is a good thing for 99 percent of the population.
  • NFC, mobile hotspot and HTC MediaLink are all on board, and they work fine.
  • Remember how on the HTC One X you're able to choose whether to have the recent-apps button bring up the recently used apps, or to act as a menu button? There's no such option on the DNA.
  • If you're a fan of taking and sharing screen shots, you'll be happy to have Jelly Bean on this phone, because you can share from the notification area. That's important, because HTC (for some ridiculous reason) still doesn't let you share 'em after snapping 'em without going to the gallery first.
  • Let's talk hackability: Verizon locks down its phones. That's not new. But Verizon's also had a trend of unlockable "developer editions." Read that sentence again, slowly. And have a little patience. I'm also willing to bet the DNA gets sequenced (see what I did there?) in its current form.

The bottom line

There's been a tendency to look at the Verizon Droid DNA in some sort of new light. As if adding a 1080p-wide display will radically change the way the phone works, and the way you use the phone. I've found that to not be the case. It's still very much an Android phone, and very much an HTC Sense phone.

More pixels means crisper images -- but it's debatable whether you'll even notice. At 1080x1920, and 440 pixels per inch, the pixel density has far surpassed what's considered to be distinguishable by the human eye on a display that size, that close to your peepers. I'm inclined to agree. Upscale a 720p image to the Droid DNA's display, and it still looks great. A lot of that has to do with the Super LCD3 tech and not the resolution, I think. 

There's also been much gnashing of teeth over how the 1080p display would affect performance and battery life. I've had no issues here, either. Battery life has been above average for me. If I were the sort who runs benchmarks, I would tell you that the Snapdragon S4 Pro performs at the top of the results chart. (Nudge nudge, wink wink.) Day-to-day performance has been as smooth as you'd expect. 

The simple fact is this: Alongside the Samsung Galaxy S3, the HTC Droid DNA is the best Android phone you can get on Verizon. Display, power, camera, and it's running Jelly Bean out of the box. What more do you need?

 

Reader comments

Verizon Droid DNA review

146 Comments

Why?? I think the USB door is AWESOME! You don't get as much dust/gunk in there, and with the wireless charging, you won't be using it nearly as much anyway. If it wasn't for charging my Note 2, I'd literally never use the USB slot.

I liked the battery door on my Galaxy S Epic. Not sure why more phones don't have one like that that slides open. The one on this looks like it will eventually wear and break.

All the ones I've used are usually flimsy. If anything I think it should be a sliding door and not a pull out door. Makes me wanna get that wireless charging orb for my Nexus 4 that much quicker!

I concur on this. The slide open door on my Fascinate was nice to have & provided a small measure of reassurance against a raindrop or 2 getting in there. Placebo effect maybe. But still it wasn't an aggravation to have on there.

That USB door brings me back to my G1 dayz! Mine came off and I tried to get a whole new phone under warranty. They wouldn't let me...

The lack of actual, detailed screen on rundown tests in your reviews, and seeing how that seems to be everyone's concern these days....shows me that you're losing touch with your reader-base. Most people using phones like this, and coming on websites like this aren't just interested in standby battery life (yes we realize that a lot goes on when the screen isn't on)....but frankly we are more interested in screen on metrics, because by this point we don't expect any less than 15-20 hours of standby life...so what matters to us is how much can you actually use the smarthphone like one would prefer to use it, with the screen on. Yes everyon'e usage varies, people can do wildly different things when the screen is on, but we need SOME idea like anandtech and engadget provide about how much the screen draws from the battery (and even if the phone doesn't give them to you like in this case, I'd expect you to do some conclusive tests).

This is making me look elsewhere for comprehensive reviews that do tests like engadget and anandtech. Maybe you may wanna check out some of their reviews and see what kinda detail people expect from a smartphone review these days.

There are nearly 4,000 words in this review -- many of them talk about real-world use, with specific examples. I write reviews. Not benchmark analysis.

Right, because all my buddies that have smartphones do run down tests as we drink beer and snap photos so we can post to Facebook/Instagram/Twitter while checking Gmail and then launching our phones with potato cannons at unsuspecting turkeys. Gobble Gobble!!! I thought the review was good (not perfect) in detailing how an average user would fare with this type of device. I for one do not put much stock in the (X) hours looping video test that Engadget uses, which tells me nothing about how the phone performs on just everyday tasks that average users like myself and lots of other folks do with their phones. Not bashing it in some way, just not as important to me. Bashing someone's point of view because you feel that way doesn't make you right my friend...

Honestly, the wild swings in battery life we've seen across reviews worries me. Is it Verizon's network? Is it flawed testing? Is it benchmark-type testing and not real-world use? Will battery life really vary that much?

I really don't know. All I know is what I've seen, and that's that the battery hasn't been bad for me.

I think there are just to many factors being involved. If I was developer, then yes, I would tend to go with more benchmark testing. But as an above average user (I can unlock my bootloader and load ROM's up on my GNex like it's no one's business), I would gravitate more to everyday user experiences like what you did in your review. Differenct strokes for different folks, that's how I see it.

HTC Sense is awful an old, at least samsung note 2 has a lot of software options and are trying to minimalize touch piss. I'd take the Note 2 over this just because of the multitasking, battery and extra stroage, I love me some screen resolution though but it's not enough. Also with the Duopoly's ATT and VZW charging Data at a premium it is really stupid to not have a lot of on board storage, streaming music alone will eat through that 2 gb data cap for 2 hrs everyday for a month.

I certainly found enough info in this review to know this phone is not for me, even if on ATT. I do not need paralysis from analysis. It is a phone...I do not need as detailed reviews as you suggest.

Um...

"Another question is how the battery would hold out under the load off a movie. So I watched a few. First up: "The Hunger Games," as obtained from Google Play -- $4.99 to rent in HD. I watched it once, streaming, and a second time pinned to the phone. Both showings used about 40 percent of the battery over 2 hours, 15 minutes. That was at 720p, Jerry and I determined. And there's nothing wrong with that -- there's plenty of 720p content out there, you'll undoubtedly run into a lot of it. It looks great on the DNA."

Did you read the whole article? Because he addresses both "light, all-day" usage, and a "heavy usage" of watching movies for two hours solid. This should give you a good means to extrapolate what your own personal battery life expectancy should be.

It is flat out *impossible* for Phil to tell you how the phone's battery is going to hold up to *your* daily usage, since everyone's usage will vary slight around a large number of factors. He provided the information for you to compare and determine if this battery will hold up adequately for you.

Losing touch with your reader base? I'm sorry, who voted you as Queen User?

Most people who read this don't have an account or comment. They search "Verizon HTC DNA review", find this link, and read. Or better yet they could have an account and just don't comment.

Is the display beautiful? Yes. Can the battery last a day without the 4PM charge? Yes. Have 4G LTE? Yes. GREAT!

Relax. You'll be fine. If you don't like the phone, don't get one. Pretty simple.

Phil, thank you for the nice review. What a damn difficult choice. DNA or Note 2... I like them both. Do you think it will look dorky if I carry both phones in my front pockets? LOL

Nice review, however, HTC is biting the hand that feeds it, US the consumer. They are floundering because they offer these one off phones to one carrier which limits their pool of customers. Sure they'll get a few unhappy Note 2 users, plenty of iphoney users. But can they sell enough of this phone on 1 network to compete and pull themselves out of the mess they are in? The resounding answer is NO.

If HTC really wants to be a player, throw this beast on ATT, Sprint & T-Mob.. I'd probably think about this phone over the Note 2 if it were on ATT, but alas its not. And that is a major limitation besides the little 16gb you get, after the junk installed, os, etc, you have about 10 maybe 11GB of room left. Video eats a ton of space, do you want to be downloading every day if you shoot videos? No.. Pics take up space too, not to mention Angry Birds and other apps we install. Good by space rapidly.

All in All a good review, but the phone is severely limited because of A: Verizon only, B: 16Gb only, C: No removable battery. Imagine a 3000 mAh battery, WHOA..

HTC will die a slow painful death unless the copy Sammy and throw their phones to all carriers.

I would not blame HTC on this one. I am sure HTC wanted to release on all US carriers. However, HTC is not as big as Sammy or Apple in terms of market share. Verizon, we all know that they are notorious for releasing exclusive model like their Droid Series. It's a business decision, if push comes to shove, and HTC must decide between Verizon or rest of US carriers and no Verizon, I am sure that HTC executives have no choice but to fulfill Verizon's wishes since they are the #1 carrier in US.

I agree with you to a point, I think they should have offered it to all the carries and maybe Verizon would have wanted exclusive right on the phone but maybe the other three may have said yes and Verizon may have had no choice but to agree or not carry it at all. I think 3 is better than 1, ever if it is Verizon, money speaks very well these days and sometimes hard choices have to be made but I believe HTC is going to have to some out of the box thinking on how it should market it phones or become a memory.

3 is better than one. With the number of phones Verizon offers, well for that matter all the carriers offer, makes it hard for a company like HTC who is losing tons of money to catch up. HTCs strategies haven't worked so far. So yes out of the box thinking is needed. Take a shot HTC with ALL the carriers. I wanted the original EVO but didn't want to switch to 3g Sprint. I wanted the THunderbolt, glad I didn't but would have had to switch. NOW that the Note 2 is available to all carriers, makes my decision to stay with ATT easier. If the DNA was offered on ATT i'd have a tough decision on my hands. But either HTC or ATT or both decided it wasn't a fit or it was never offered to ATT, maybe Phil can fill us in on that one? makes it hard when you see a phone with those good of specks only offered to one carrier when you're in the middle of a contract with another. Good luck HTC you'll need it. I doubt IMHO that the DNA sells a million of these phones by the end of the year.

personally I've got a phone with 16gb of storage too with about 4gb used so far, as well as a spare 8gb card laying around...but i haven't even touched the card yet for space, so the 16gb itself doesn't bother me.
However, I find it real odd that HTC would launch the One X+ with a massive 64gb and launch the DNA with only 16...

I understood that, but it's just not a big deal for me personally, maybe I didn't word that optimally.

My desktop has a 2TB hard drive but I certainly do not need it. However, It is nice to know I have it. Even google gets it with the Nexus 7 since they increased the storage to 32GB after a few months...I thought HTC would have learned from their One X...

Well duh, that's why i bought a phone with an SD card slot in the first place. Just sayin I don't need that security blanket, not on my phone at least for the foreseeable future.

I'm really not sure why you would perform a video test through a window. We're trying to get an idea of the video clarity, not the ability of an airport to keep their windows clean.

Looks nice, just can't stand sense.

I'm ok with the battery, but VZW has tainted everyones opinion on battery by having the Maxx line. Why can't all phones released have a larger battery? This phone could have been 11mm thick and not grade down as much on the side and get a 3000mah battery crammed in there.

I got to play with one a bit early and great phone but the note 2 will be my phablet of choice( and becasue I am on AT&T lol) if I was on Verizon Id still choose the note 2. I like removable batteries and SD card slots

To those of you who are considering getting this phone...I predict that this phone will come out in January or so "new and improved" with more storage like they did with the One X. Buyer beware!

I second that.... and a second reason not to trash my S-Offed, OC'd, Mugen charged, 32GB MicroSDHC Class 10 card added on (48GB total) - ReZound just yet.....

Hey Phil, did you get to test out more games? Did the Adreno 320 have trouble since it was 1080p? Just wondering since some other sites said it could have problems with graphics.

All the games I tested worked fine. Everyone keeps saying the phone could have problems. Are they giving specific examples? Or just presenting the possibility?

Ooooooooo. Yep. Crashing hard. Definitely a bug there. And while that's a big deal, that doesn't mean the game won't play well once it's fixed. We'll have to see.

The number one thing for me would be how long until I can get a new rom or at least a mod to the stock rom for that recent apps button. On my EVO LTE having the recent apps button turned back into a menu buttons was the number one mod I cared about. Having that awful menu bar pop up in apps is hideous. Hopefully the devs will get that sorted quickly and HTC will then release an update like they did on the One X/EVO LTE.

I like this phone a lot, but wish it didn't have Sense. I've never been a fan of any skinned Android phone, and Sense seems to be the worst offender. In some cases actually taking away functionality built into ICS and JB. So while in the past, a skin was almost a must, not so much anymore.

And before someone says it: I'm not a root/ROM guy. And yes, Android phones are meant for more than people who just want to hack their phone. Android is all grown up now :)

You do realize that you're not "stuck" with the stock launcher, even without "hacking" your phone, right? After several years of owning HTC phones, I just got the new Galaxy Note 2. I actually (mostly) like HTC's Sense UI. TouchWiz, not so much. But that's cool. Download NovaLauncher from the market and problem solved :)

The beauty of Android is that they let you change things out to your liking. There are quite a few 3rd party launcher floating around in the market to try out. GoLauncher is another good one, and it's free. ADW recently made a resurgence from obscurity. All three good launchers, and I've run all of them at one point in time. Do some digging and realize that you don't *have* to like Sense to be happy with an HTC phone :)

I can't believe that I'm the only person to notice this but I haven't seen it mentioned on many websites. Of course Verizon is pushing for less on board storage space. They want everything in the cloud, why? Well lets looks at this way, how does Verizon make money? They've learned that minutes and texts per month are not as important to people, everyone wants data. With Verizon getting rid of their unlimited data they want us to have to stream more. They can charge us for that. They would much rather I stream that movie of a data connection then be able to have it sitting directly on the phone.

If they wanted their users to utilize the 4G network, they wouldn't have made the implemented that stupid WIFI notification.

Nice write-up, this just reaffirms my tough decision between this and the Note 2. I need to go to the store so i can handle and play with them both, that's going to be the real deciding factor.

Thanks for the awesome review. You guys didn't rush it out but also got it out in a timely manner. The people complaining about battery methodology are probably the same people obsessed with synthetic benchmarks.

Devotion to accuracy department:

"And you won't be able to get rid of the, say, 100 GB or so that is Reign of Amira without rooting the phone first...."

I'm assuming 100 'megs,' right?

Ecxellent review, balanced and informative, the bacon pro tip is espicially appreciated ;).
As a relative newcomer to the site I have to say that I like the way reviews are done, taking your time and not going for the quick clicks.
About the benchmarking, thats why I use tabs on my browser, when I want that I'll click on Anandtech, Arstechnica etc.
Since i'm from Sweden HTC will probly call this DLC when it's released here. Hopefully it will have 32Gb or an sd-card like the J Butterfly.

In my opinion the three best sites about reviews about phones are Android central, android police and droid life

Yeah, have to agree on that after my 2 months in Androidland.
Anandtechs review of the nexus 4 was pretty good though.

Thanks for a great review.

Trying to Decide between the HTC DNA, Samsung Galaxy 3, and the Moto Razr HD for a purchase in early January. The storage on the DNA has me concerned (no external SD card I gather) and it seems like a deal breaker for me. But the Quad Core processor would sure be nice.

This phone reminds me too much of the first generation Droid Incredible. Awesome hardware but absolutely terrible battery. I'll wait for the inevitable Droid DNA 2 to fix that.

PS - I don't understand how manufacturers allow phones that only last a few hours to reach the production stage. Are the engineers/suits all Yes Men or too ignorant to see such a glaring problem?

A world where a standard day (with sleep) lasts about 18 hours, not the 8-10 hours of NORMAL use Phil was able to get. Is having a dead phone halfway through the day acceptable in your world?

18hrs was the high end when he used it on wifi all day. 8-10 for having it on LTE. 8-10hrs isn't a whole day by any means. even if I can get through the day on it, it looks like I'd have to regulate my use or be nervous at the end of a particularly high use day. Looks like the Maxx HD for me. I'll have to forego the better screen, processor and camera. But I'll get the great battery life and a much purer Android experience in return. Its all about which trade-offs you can live with.

I must have overlooked where he said he was getting 18+ hours of use. Can you point it out to me? All I see is this: "For the former situation, I was getting somewhere around 15 to 18 hours of use before plugging in for the night." And then he says when using LTE, he gets 8 to 10 hours, which I don't find acceptable.

For a 1080p phone with quad-core processor and an anemic 2020mAh battery, 8-10 hours is way more than acceptable. Especially when you couldn't even get that much on a last year's Galaxy Nexus running dual-core with 720p screen on a 2100mAh battery.

You're hedging. It's not acceptable to me, that's all I said. I gather it's acceptable to you.

Having actually used this phone for the past couple days, 8-10 hours would be the extreme exception. As in, will you be streaming full length 1080p movies on a daily basis?

With a mix of wifi and 4g, 24hrs no problem.

Tried a day with straight 4g, typical day for me, unplugged in the morning, check e-mails and forums for probably an hour. 30-40 texts, 20-30 minutes of phone calls, an hour or so of Netflix, streaming music via Bluetooth about 30min each way to work. Had a little over 40% remaining walking out the door after a 10.5hr work day.

Take that for what it's worth, but I'd say that use is on par with a majority of users.

There are reasons why phones are not white, they look like shit after a couple months of use, and if you put a case on it the color of the phone does not matter.

It's a slap in the face when the jbutterfly has a micro sd slot.

Same phones different name. Shame on Verizon!

Great review Phil!

I do have a question that I haven't seen addressed anywhere and that relates to the 3G service. I live in an area that has very limited LTE service and none at my house or work so how does the battery perform when it can't get LTE signal and has to drop to 3G? Also, if you can't force it into 3G only and not to search for LTE at all then will the battery die even faster?

It might be different for other phones but, on my RAZR MAXX, when I don't have 4G service my battery does indeed drain faster. I downloaded the app Phone Info that lets me turn my 4G radio off when I'm in that situation though. It stays off until I turn it back on or reboot the phone.

Phone looks fat when next to the Windows 8 HTC phone. Any chance we can get it pictured next to the GS3 perhaps? Thanks.

8 to 10 hours without wifi? Sweet! Without wifi it will last me until mid-afternoon, and maybe until early evening if I turn off LTE, put the brightness on zero, only have my email sync every 30 minutes, and turn off bluetooth and GPS. This is totally awesome.

Phil, great review! I especially like the airplane pictures. BTW, my Note 2 arrives next week. The DNA is a pretty, lengthened screen. The Note 2 is a beast.

Sometimes I wish I would have never used a razr maxx device. I see these battery times and it makes me cringe even though they would most likely be perfectly fine for daily use.. Guess I am just spoiled :(

I dunno. its a nice phone but I Just got my Nexus 7 a week ago and I'm just not so impressed with this handset to the point where I'm like, "ZOMG I must have this!!!" Compared to your experiences with the DNA I find that my N4 gets better battery life with normal use (16hrs light-8 continuous) possibly due to the thermal throttling software LG integrated to reduce cpu frequencies under load to conserve battery and had more available storage due to the lack of sense launcher(13gigs). For the sake of fairness, when I first got my n4 there was terrible battery drain. I noticed as the days passed and I used the phone normally it "settled" if you will and I saw drastic improvement. I wonder if the poor battery reported from other sites are indicative to this peculiar hardware behavior. What do you think? Do you find it weird as well that they chose such a small battery for that particular form factor?

Darth Vader voice: "I sense conflict in you."

One one hand you state a couple of times that you're not sure if this many pixels is necessary and that you can notice the difference but don't really notice the difference. But then in the video at about 3:30 when opening the weather widget you make a very clear happy noise and declare the display awesome.

Which is it? Is it a matter of getting used to it? Are you trying to not overplay how awesome it is?

I'm curious... cause I think unprompted happy noise during the video (which is an emotional response to experience) trumps logical written analysis when it comes to evaluating awesome pixel density.

Anything past 320 is discernible by the naked eye. Especially at that size of a screen so I'm pretty sure he's referring to color density, brightness, etc. Those super lcd screens are pretty.

Can something not be awesome yet totally unnecessary? Like a third nipple or something? :p

Seriously, the display is great. But so is the 720p on the One X. This is just even better. Make more sense?

My wife hasn't made an "unprompted happy noise" in years. It's good to know that P.N. can still get emotional over things like a beautiful display.

As always, your reviews SUCK! You are apparently genetically incapable of saying anything negative about a device. In this case, you droll on with stupid reasons why the battery in the DNA is fine. It is not fine. The battery life in all HTC phones is not fine.

As your own 10-15-2012 Poll showed, battery life is the most important feature of a new device.

Please add an objective reviewer to your staff!

Feel free to review the phone, or ANY phone for that matter, yourself. We all are waiting with baited breath for your fully objective reviews to appear.

By the way... Objectivity is very much in the eye of the beholder.

Poll results here speak for themselves: considerably higher number of people prefer Galaxy Note 2 over this phone (55% vs. 30%, 5500 votes). This is something you can't ignore. Maybe manufacturers like HTC will learn the lesson and understand that people want to rest assured they won't go out of the phone's memory and also want long battery life, plus good quality photos.

And as for me when it comes to the battery it isn't whether DNA's battery life is good or not, it is about the manufacturer being dumb because not putting anything bigger than 2020 mAh into a 5" device, while there are 4,7" devices out there with 3000+ mAh batteries.

To be fair, it sounds like Verizon is more to blame for the DNA's inferior storage than HTC. Samsung might be "Apple-sized" to the point it can call the shots on it's phones' specs but HTC,Motorola,LG,etc.... are not.It's a shame because otherwise the DNA is beautiful device.Hopefully an unmolested GSM version will be available to the NA market.

I just went to take a look at the DNA in the VZW store. I pre ordered the Galaxy Note II, keeping the lack of removable storage, and small battery in the back of my mind, the reviews and screen resolution peaked my interest. After checking this phone out in the store, I don't understand what the fuss is about. The build quality and form factor seem top notch, however, the screen did not seem any clearer than the screen on my S3. Sense 4+ feels dated, and practically the same as Sense was on the Thunderbolt. No removable storage, and HTC's track record of horrible battery life. It took me only a few minutes to know I had made the right choice ordering the GN2. Now I resume my impatient wait for it to arrive.....

I dont even watch anything in 1080p on my TV. I dont get how cramming pixels in screens is supposed to be the next thing, and get people to buy phones / tablets.

OK my observation is this. I bought a Droid Razr Maxx HD a few weeks ago, full price mind you, to complement my now ancient HTC Rezound & Galaxy S3. I know it isn't popular with most folks but, I've got to admit that Motorola's near stock Blur skin & on screen navigation buttons (like Google intends Android to be) is just a nice combination. The massive battery that lasts me a day and a half is just icing on the cake.

I have gotten to where I detest the capacitive keys on the GS3 & Rezound for various reasons. Sense isn't is tolerable to me as it once was either. It's just too resource hogging intensive on the phone. I looked at all these phones together in my Verizon store this am just to compare & contrast the screens. I'd say the biggest difference is noticeable to my eyes with the GS3 & the Droid DNA. The Rezound & Razr Maxx HD are much harder to discern side by side.

I like the phone. But Sense, the capacitive keys, & well known bugs HTC has yet to squash with the Rezound (the Wi-Fi bug comes to mind) leaves me cold. I'll pass.

So it has 1080p but not enough storage to fit a 1080p movie, and streaming a single 1080p movie on Verizon's new data plans will only cost a small fortune? Sweet!

Sounds this is the perfect device for all the people who want to sit on their couch at home where they have a good wifi connection and look at high res media on a 5" screen instead of their big screen TV. Is that a big market?

You forgot that if you choose to stream it you cannot put the HD movie on the phone physically, you will have consumed 50% of the battery and thus, at 8 hours of use, you are now down to 4 hours. So... go to the airport at 7am, stream a movie while waiting in the lobby, and your phone is dead by 1pm.
This phone rocks!
Ya, no HD movie on the memory card, no battery capable of streaming it and getting you to even the early evening, and when you finally borrow a friends phone to make a hotel reservation, you charge your phone in the room and check your phone bill and realize you just blew through your 2gb, wait, 4gb, crap, 8gb tied phone plan. VZW gets paid via bill pay, and then you don't have money for the hotel room. Crap, now I'm doing dishes because HTC could put a decent battery or mSD in the phone.

I bought a DNA during lunch today, and so far this phone is workhorse. LTE, Processor, camera, RAM, very zipppy OS and Google Now is mind blowing. Still discovering things. Let's face it, us power users will never be satisfied with battery life. I can accept that.

The display is just so vivid and clear, Looks like there is finally a display that beat out Apple's Retina for sure.

Played Street Fighter with it for 45 minutes...my friend's phone btw....it went from 80 percent to 48 percent....dont believe the false hype folks...the DNA Is a battery hog

2.5hours video eat 50% battery. That means less than 4hours on web browsing. This is unacceptable to me. On the other word, this thing can't be considered as "average battery".
I can't figure out HTC's point when put this little cute battery pack into this device?!! A non-removable battery at that capacity in this device is a madness. This may explaining why they left the Android's leading position to Samsung. They should change their banner to : Quietly Bridiot!

My Note 2 consumes about 8-10 percent battery out of watching a 720p movie...yeah 40 percent is just unacceptable

This review is too fishy ...all praises? Too Apple-esque....it's reeking PAYOLA here...the DNA is too jittery to my liking...seems like it is not a fluid phone

Verizon.... never.....not in this lifetime.....
HTC.....never again.....been there done that.....won't get burned a 4th time....

Samsung on any other carrier.....priceless

Ok here it goes today I stopped by verizon to check out this phone the screen was really nice inside but is it visible outside in bright sun light (an issue with my TB. I wanned to hear how loud it was but no music was installed so i tried to open a couple web pages but they were taking for ever the bar showed 3G, so i tried to open the you tube app and as it was opening the phone went dark then went into reboot!!!! WTF is this a bb storm (my 1st smart phone). as for the memory it does seem small but my TB has 8GB and a 32 GB card heres what I have left at this point internal i have 1.61 gb and on card 12.07gb card has apps that would install about 659 photos, 136 videos shot with phone, and 79 apps installed it is still stock not rooted so also still has the bloatware. After the DNA went into rebot I walked out with out a good first impression. So I will try again when I have more time. Maybe the phone had to much use and that the rebot was to clear the cache or something. Time will tell with more reveiws and testing.

Phil, this is another in a long line of great reviews, both from you and the rest of the staff at AC. Thanks for your great work.

I just dropped into a VZW store to check out the latest phones, notably the DNA. I must say that thing is way too big for me. I'm sure there will be plenty of folks who are super-happy with the phone, but it was way too large a screen and body for me. For reference, I'm a 6'2" guy with pretty big hands - I can palm an NBA basketball and the Galaxy Nexus (my current main phone) is pretty much at the border between normal and too-large for me. The DNA just seemed crazy-massive to me in a manner reminiscent of the Galaxy Note.

On this particular visit, I personally came away very impressed with the Razr Maxx HD - that screen looked great, the form factor seemed vastly more comfortable to me, and the battery life seems great.

Not to dissuade or disagree with your positive review, but I wanted to offer my viewpoint. Again, thanks for what you do!

Just got my HTC DNA today. Coming off of a Gnex for about 1 year, and an iPhone 4 before that. For all other things I am all Apple. Macbook Air, Imac, iPad, etc.. Don't do the iPhone as screen is too small. ( yes even the iPhone 5 screen is too small for me, although I think its an excellent device).

I never used more than 6 GB on my Gnex so the storage issue does not matter to me. Battery life on Gnex was average, and I expect this phone will be the same.

The notable things that strike me about the DNA are the screen. Wow! It not only is vivid and just rich, but the curve at the edges is awesome. In addition, the smoothness of the glass itself is unlike any phone I have ever used. Your fingers move over it like teflon.

Sense is fine. I have never used it before, but its simple and does not really get in the way. ( and that is coming from a guy who tried at least a dozen custom Roms on my Gnex over the last year).

The complaints about the power button and volume buttons make no sense. They work just fine, and seem perfectly responsive.

The wireless charging is great. And the phone is blazingly responsive. Its as responsive or even more so than iOS on my wife's iPhone 5.

The only thing that is stupid is the plastic flap. ( easily removed).

I does not look silly against your ear, unlike some other options, and the size is perfect for me.

Phone feels marvelous in the hand, and perfectly weight balanced. Its my first HTC phone and I am truly impressed.

Verizon is determined to screw up HTC's fine stuff. My Rezound should have been marketed as a top of the line big specs phone...instead they ran ads focusing on the hip-hop crowd and the recently acquired Beats...and who couldn't afford it. Now they have a monster on their hands and they limit on board storage. Take a look at the coverage map. Yeah...lots of red and a good amount of 4G, but also a ton of white no coverage. That's where our phones can do other chores like music, off-line maps, a video, pics, etc. I don't even care about data usage...my company pays for my phone and I have unlimited data. Damn, I just want a 5 inch device to be able to access my 3 GB of work data, my offline maps, my music, etc etc.

They'll end up losing 25% of potential customers with the no storage-no battery stigma...even if a lot of users wouldn't be affected. I travel with 4 extra batteries for my Rezound and 32GB of storage in addition to internal. I can go anywhere and know I got everything I need in my pocket. I've been freeing up storage space since the beginning of time...I aint goin back there now.

I'll stick with my EVO LTE on Sprint with a 64GB microSD card in addition to the 16GB internal memory.

No removable battery? No SD card? NO SALE!

Sorry, HTC, that's a totally useless device to me.

an in-depth review that discusses screen quality absolutely needs to include info on the screens white point accuracy and color gamut calibration. these things are just as important as ppi and screen type--maybe more so. if an OEM doesnt properly calibrate a screen, you end up with the dull colors of the N7 or the over-saturated, cartoony colors of the GS3.

My concern is that most reviewers don't seem to test battery life in actual usage. For example, sit down for a couple hours and browser the web. Read the forums, read the news, play some YouTube reviews. I noticed that doing this on my Galaxy Nexus (or any other phone) really kills that battery fast. So it's not just testing screen on time. It's also about testing interacting with the screen like scrolling and zooming etc.

This whole sd-slots-going-extinct trend is not sitting well with me at all; thank goodness the RAZR phones still let me expand my storage. I've never been one for HTC or Sense but this phone is extremely hard to ignore, can't wait to play with it. And Phil, I must say, this review was an absolute pleasure to read, definitely chuckled more than a few time

Second Day with DNA. Battery life is good actually, Really surprising. My Gnex with extended battery would crap out by 8 pm every day. At 11 pm last night the DNA still had 40% left. And I used it alot yesterday. Phone calls, videos, pictures, browsing etc..

Smoothest phone I have ever used. Period...

I've had the Droid DNA since Wednesday. Really impressed so far. The display is outrageous (and that's saying something being that my last phone was a Galaxy Nexus). Battery life has actually been pretty darn good. With moderate use I'm getting through the day no problem. I'm not a huge fan of Sense+, so I'm running Nova launcher over the top (which actually works well being that just enough of Sense+ is leftover with all the customization options of Nova). That quad-core processor absolutely smokes! Zero lag so far. There are some compatibility issues with certain apps that don't like the hi-res display but I've encountered a couple. All in all a great device.

Great review Phil!

For future reference, take the picture prior to putting the phone in your pocket.

Just saying....

This was a real softball of a review. 11gb of storage is a non-starter. HTC rolled over for Verizon big time.
The phone lags. I've seen it and every other review I've read talks about it.
Battery life is pathetic.
I really wanted to like this phone but will go with a Note 2 instead to replace my S3. I also have an iPhone 5 on Verizon.

I've had the phone since launch, I haven't seen a hint of lag (except in Chrome, which lags on every phone I've ever used it on) and the battery life is easily lasting me a day. Storage is a non issue for me. The only review I've seen that has talked about lag was the pretty awful Verge review, which had a few other issues too.

My contract with Verizon is up next week. I seriously looked at the Droid DNA and played with one. Then I ran across the Galaxy Note 2 and played with one.

Given the choice between more pixels and a smaller form factor versus a removable battery with much longer life and a microSD slot, I'll take the latter, especially battery life, every time. The stylus thing and related apps are really nice bonuses, and the Note 2 doesn't suffer from the Sense bloat which will delay software upgrades.

What helped me make up my mind was the complete lack of assurance conveyed by the store employee if (more like when) the DNA's battery life degrades over time. Been there with the Thunderbolt, but at least its battery is replaceable. Not so with the DNA, so no way. I rely heavily on my phone. It *has* to work reliably, no excuses.

Expect eventual disappointment and frustration if you buy a DNA.

Save yourself money and stress and DO NOT by an android powered phone . I have a DNA and got it for something different after having an iPhone 4 . The DNA is a good phone itself , HTC did a good job with it . Good battery life if you keep it plugged in a night and the hd screen is nice . I had the original droid and droid 2 and both were decent but as I learned that any android phone you have is going the have problems and not because of the phone you have but the android services . With all android phones I had I was having to restart them a few times a day because of freezing and my phone just not responding . Every android phone I've had any others I know have problems with the camera just randomly not working and the DNA this has happened extremely fast and my phone hasn't been dropped and its in an otter box so it just stopped working . Android apps freeze constantly and cause you to have to kill the app and restart you phone . I've had problems where none of my apps would work until I turned it off . After my recent switch to the android from the iPhone I've been getting billed for things I haven't purchased and this happened when I had the original droid and droid 2 and the DNA. Something I haven't had happen with The DNA the happened with both droids was I would wake up and look Ay my phone and over night it self cleared everything . I had zero problems with my iPhone , if you don't drop it a million times you won't either . Do yourself a favor and just get an iPhone and DON'T by android .