HTC Droid DNA from Verizon Wireless Is a 5-Inch Brand Refresher
Droid DNA by HTC
The Droid DNA, like the rest of HTC's Droid franchise, will be exclusive to Verizon Wireless, at least through the holidays. It features a 5-inch display with 440ppi, a quad-core processor, and brag-worthy camera and audio features. It measures 5.5 by 2.78 by 0.38 inches and weighs 4.9 ounces.
The DNA is also the first Android device with wireless charging—a feature likely to arrive on countless new devices in the coming year, along with accessories like this wireless charging pad.
Other DNA accessories will include the Beats Pill, a portable speaker that Verizon Wireless will sell. The DNA has two built-in amplifiers, helping it to offer sound quality said to be sufficient for several people in a room to listen to, even without the speaker.
DNA Design Cues
Jonah Becker, HTC's design director, likened the styling of the DNA to that of a supercar, in that designers take a car and "transform it into an object of desire unlike anything else on the road." More literally, the "micro-grilled pattern" on the sidewalls of the device, said Becker, were inspired by a design element seen on a Lamborghini engine.
While HTC's Droid brand had a successful launch, in recent years it has struggled against Samsung's Galaxy line of devices. HTC's Becker insisted that the DNA, despite its 5-inch display, is a phone, not a phablet, and can be used with one hand. A criticism of Samsung's increasingly large devices, which have nonetheless sold incredibly well, is that they require two hands.
The DNA narrows to 0.38 inches at its sides.
The DNA features a rear-facing 8-megapixel camera with an f/2.0 aperture lens said to be ideal for low-light performance. It can also capture 1080p HD video, as can the front-facing camcorder.
Other HTC advances to the camera include a Sight Seeing mode that goes straight from locked to the camera, and a new Gallery that offers users several ways to arrange photos and better organize them.
The DNA is able to run on Verizon's 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. Tami Erwin, Verizon's chief marketing officer, called LTE a "game-changer" that will change "how people work, live and play." Verizon's LTE network is now in 415 markets covering 80 percent of the U.S. population.
Droid Is Back
Expect to see a major advertising push for the DNA and the Droid brand. "This is Droid like only HTC can do," HTC President Jason Mackenzie told the New York audience. "It's about bringing Droid back to its original roots."