HTC Droid DNA review: A superphone with flaws

HTC's new Android smartphone has some standout hardware elements, but the phone suffers from significant drawbacks.

By , Computerworld |  Consumerization of IT, android phones, HTC Droid

(This, incidentally, is precisely why I prefer to rely on several days of real-world usage as opposed to benchmarks and lab tests in my evaluations. Numerical measurements are fine, but they really don't tell you anything meaningful about how a device performs in day-to-day life.)

The Droid DNA has a nonremovable 2020mAh battery. The device's stamina was okay but not great for me; with light to light-moderate usage, I could make it through a whole day on a single charge, but once I started toeing into moderate to moderate-heavy usage, I found myself hitting dangerously low battery levels before the day was up.

The battery levels dropped disturbingly fast, too, particularly once the phone started to get low on charge. Once I got below the 30% mark, the remaining level seemed to fall a full point every couple minutes, even with basic Web browsing or social media activity. That helped bring me down to single-digit territory in no time.

Looking in the Android battery usage tool, I expected the device's display to be the largest drainer of power. Strangely, though, HTC seems to have tweaked the software so that the display doesn't even show up in the list. Stranger yet, the largest power consumer was almost always the Camera app -- even on days when I didn't open it once.

The Droid DNA comes with a rather limited 16GB of internal storage; once you account for the operating system and various preinstalled files, that leaves you with about 11GB of actual usable space. There is no microSD card slot for external storage expansion.

One area where the Droid DNA does shine is in photography: The phone comes with an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera that's aided by HTC's dedicated image chip -- named, fittingly enough, ImageChip. Images captured with the camera look fantastic, with true-to-life colors and vivid details.

The camera is capable of snapping rapid-fire paparazzi-style photos, too, thanks to HTC's machine-gun-like Continuous Shooting mode. The camera includes an LED flash and is also able to record 1080p HD video.

The Droid DNA's front-facing camera, meanwhile, is a 2.1mp shooter with an unusual 88-degree wide-angle lens. The lens allows you to capture a noticeably larger area than what you get with most front-facing smartphone cameras; if you tend to take a lot of group self-portraits or conduct video chats with other people by your side, that functionality could come in handy.

Connectivity, calling and audio

Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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