HTC Droid DNA Impressions: HTC’s Comeback Device is Better Fit for Google’s Nexus Brand

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By Erik Pineda | November 14, 2012 12:37 PM EST

The Big Apple hosted the recent U.S. launch of the latest smartphone flavour from Taiwan-based HTC, the Droid DNA, which Verizon has picked up to become its latest Android mobile device.

Hopes are high for the new smartphone, especially in the case of HTC, with the company aiming to regain some footing that analysts said it lost in the past four quarters. To quote SlashGear's assessment: HTC is but a shadow of its former glory.

It used to be that HTC phones are automatically associated with quality Android phones but such is not the case in previous releases by the firm, obviously overshadowed by the emergence of Samsung, which has enraptured the global Android audience with its Galaxy smartphone lines.

HTC handsets seen from late 2011 to present paled in comparison with Samsung's Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note, at least in terms of sex appeal, which for many is important prior to taking a deeper look on actual capabilities of any given product.

This time around, HTC president Jason Mackenzie appears very confident of that he is rolling out in the Droid DNA.

"The DROID DNA ... embodies a smartphone that pushes the envelope in all of these areas with the first true 1080p HD display, latest quad-core processor, and Verizon's 4G LTE network, all wrapped in a beautifully crafted design," Tom's Hardware reported Mr Mackenzie as saying on Tuesday.

The site further reported that HTC's new Android phone "rivals traditional HDTVs, with the pixel density being among the highest available on any smartphone."

Checking the spec list, the Droid DNA has a 440ppi beamed on a 5-inch screen that is powered by Super LCD 3 display technology. The phone's multimedia and other functions will be fuelled by a quad-core Snapdragon processor with top speed of 1.5GHz. For maximum audio enjoyment, HTC deployed two amplifiers - for headset and speaker - with the phone.

And as mentioned by Mr Mackenzie, the DNA is LTE-capable so surfing the net and streaming online media contents should be a breeze for users. HTC made sure too that producing content, image and video, will be a delight as the Droid is equipped with 8MP rear-camera and 2.1MP front-camera.

Sharing its initial hands-on experience on the phone, SlashGear is obviously sold with the Droid DNA's "beautiful screen, crisp hardware ... and superlative specifications."

"If ever a smartphone deserved Google's Nexus branding, the Droid DNA by HTC is probably it," the popular tech blog site declared. Google though opted to award its Nexus brand this time to LG, which replaces Samsung's Galaxy Nexus with the new Nexus 4.

Setting that aside, SlashGear is convinced that the DNA means redemption for HTC and its partnership with Verizon on the phone is likely to boost its chances of reaching more consumers in the United States. For a 2-year contract, the new HTC handset can be had for one-off payment of $US200.

In a quick assessment of the phone, PC Magazine welcomed the processing power of S4 Pro that was packed with the Droid DNA, which rendered rivals with the exact chips "feels boxy and plasticky."

"I was surprised to find this powerful processor in a phone that was slim, light, and appeared to run relatively cool," Sascha Segan of PC Magazine said.

Noting that the Droid DNA is also a phablet, Mr Segan "found it much easier to cradle in my hand than competing phablets like either generation of Samsung's Galaxy Note.

The new HTC device rolls out Nov 21 in the United States following its earlier Japan debut though the company marketed the Droid DNA by a different name, the Butteryfly J.

By the way, the Droid DNA comes with an optional wireless charging platform, gleefully following the path earlier set by the Nokia Lumia 920, which SlashGear said is made by LG.

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