HTC Droid DNA Ups the Android Ante

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2012-11-20 Print this article Print

HTC also included two amplifiers, one for a good headphone experience and another for clear sound when sharing music with friends—even at a volume loud enough for a few friends in a room to hear. I found it to have succeeded in both cases, and was even impressed by the sound quality on conference calls, even when using cheap earbuds.

As it did with the Windows Phone 8X, HTC paid attention here to the front and back cameras—holding the front camera at arm's length, more people than you'd expect can fit into the frame. There's also a very helpful three-second-countdown button, which addresses how easy it is to take a blurred photo when trying to press the shutter when holding a phone away from the body with one hand.

HTC has also given the DNA new gallery options. Photos can be arranged by Albums, which are very simple to quickly create out of a group of related photos, and Events, which the camera creates itself, understanding that certain photos were taken at the same time. These two little features do quick work of reducing the glut of photos that quickly pile up on a phone's camera—and do so in a way that feels more intuitive to me than the way Samsung offers Albums (but not Events) on the Galaxy Note II.

I was also smitten with the DNA's combination of the super-smooth Gorilla Glass, which runs over the phone's edges, and the amazing tactile sensation behind the touch controls, which seem to have tightly wound springs behind them.

Less great design decisions were the little flap HTC put over the MicroUSB port. The flap is hard to open and, once open, feels distressingly flimsy. Additionally, the power button is flush with the top of the phone and made of something metallic feeling, instead of plastic. I was never sure if I was supposed to be pushing it down extra hard with my fingernail or tapping it with my fingertip—which is something no one should waste even seconds giving thought to.

Still, it's a great phone. It's fast, thin, has excellent cameras, gorgeous display quality and a screen that's larger than the one on the Samsung Galaxy S III but in a body (chassis, if HTC prefers the car-speak) that can be used with one hand.

HTC president Jason Mackenzie has called the DNA "the pinnacle of the Droid brand" and the "most advanced phone on the market."

The first statement is no doubt true, and iPhone 5 fans would be likely and right to contest the second. If it's an Android phone you're after, though, there's not a phone you should buy without first comparing it to the Droid DNA by HTC.

Follow Michelle Maisto on Twitter.


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