HTC Droid DNA Android Smartphone Review

Performance Characteristics and Conclusion

The DNA's 8MP rear-facing camera is quite good overall. Camera controls are simple and intuitive with manual options for ISO, exposure, image effects, depth of field, vignette and Instagram-like filters. The camera's white balance gets tripped up sometimes but you can adjust it manually if you like.

HTC Droid DNA Camera App

HTC Droid DNA Camera Samples

Low light performance is right on par with most smartphones.  It's respectable for a quick shot but the DNA pales in comparison to the NokiaLumia 920 (our current watermark) in terms of general camera performance. Video, on the other hand, really is not the Droid DNA’s strong suit. White balance and over-exposure issues can sometime flare up, along with relatively poor audio quality from the on-board mic. These issues could possibly be resolved or improved with a firmware update of course.

Performance Benchmarks 
HTC Droid DNA Performance

Both in terms of general compute performance and graphics horsepower, the HTC Droid DNA is one of the fastest high-end smartphone's on the market currently.  As you can see in our Linpack testing, the DNA absolutely ripped past other devices with its quad-core Snapdragon SoC.  It also kept pace or edged out some of the faster devices on the market currently in our graphics tests.

Where the DNA fell short somewhat, was in our battery life test.  This is a large 5-inch phone remember. One would think there is plenty of real estate within to incorporate a large battery, but the DNA's 2020mAh battery only allowed it to place somewhere in the middle of the pack.  It still managed over 6 hours of uptime in continuous web browsing with its large display set to 50% brightness, so it certainly wasn't a bad showing.  Day-long performance in mixed usage scenarios also proved to be no problem for the device, so we'll give it a passing grade in this area.

The HTC Droid DNA has a few quirks but they're mostly minor. The hardware is very well built but a few design choices, like the top-center mounted power button, hold this otherwise amazing device back. It’s great to see Android 4.1 on board but Sense tends to get in the way more often than not.  Then again the DNA delivers arguably the best display on any smartphone out there right now, so there's a lot of forgiveness in that feature alone.  The Droid DNA also boasts one of the fastest processors on the market currently, with Qualcomm's venerable Snapdragon S4 quad-core at 1.5GHz serving up best in class benchmark numbers in many test cases.  It's a potent combination to be sure and for $199 on contract, if you like 'em big, the HTC Droid DNA is bodacious and beautiful.

  • Fast and responsive
  • Gorgeous screen
  • Excellent build quality
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • microUSB cover gets in the way
  • Middling battery life for such a large phone
  • Power button placement not optimal

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