HTC Droid DNA vs Google Nexus 4
Google caught the whole smartphone market on fire by introducing LG Google Nexus 4 last month, offering at an amazingly low price point. This price point made the ardent smartphone users delighted, and Google ran out of stock for all the Nexus 4 in all the countries it was available within two hours’ time. The current shortage of stocks emphasizes that even Google wasn’t expecting that much of a market for Nexus 4. Some were even frustrated about not been able to lay hands on this wonderful and cheap smartphone because of the stock outage. All this happened on the 13th of November when Google made it available on their play store, and subsequently after a few days, HTC also announced one of their flagship devices known as Droid DNA. This essentially has hardware similar to that of LG Google Nexus 4 and some added perks like 1080p full HD screen and 4G LTE. Because of this similarity, we couldn’t resist but to compare these two top of the line smartphones from two competing manufacturers tied by the same operating system. We will carry out an extensive review on both smartphones and give our verdict on each of them.
HTC Droid DNA Review
Usually, each flagship device from individual manufacturers has some unique and innovative feature they use to boast in marketing campaigns. Obviously this feature or features may not be that innovative or unique, but if they can conduct a good marketing campaign, people will perceive them as innovative products. In the case of HTC Droid DNA, however, this is not the case. HTC certainly boasts about the 1080p full HD display panel and that is a very good feature to emphasize in this handset. HTC Droid DNA has 5 inches Super LCD3 capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 1080 x 1920 with a provoking pixel density of 441ppi. As we mentioned, this strikes as a controversial step to many analysts out there, and it is worth to check their views on the matter. The argument they are making is that you won’t really feel any difference when you have a screen with a pixel density of 441ppi and a screen with a pixel density of 300ppi. This according to them is a phenomenon of the human eye, but recent researches prove this to be wrong and it is implied that this misconception of the human eye cannot distinguish between a 300ppi screen and a 441ppi screen is encouraged by the announcement made by Steve Jobs when they introduced Retina display. Certain studies carried out implies that the human eye can distinguish a display panel with a pixel density up to 800ppi pessimistically and even more than that if you are optimistic about the calculations. Summing all these technical information in to Layman’s terms, we are trying to imply that 441ppi display panel is not a feature that doesn’t serve any purpose.
Now that we have established that, let us look what more Droid DNA has to offer. HTC Droid DNA is powered by 1.5GHz Krait Quad Core processor on top of Qualcomm APQ8064 chipset with Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM. The operating system in use is Android 4.1 Jelly Bean which will obviously be upgraded to v4.2 very soon. We can’t deny the fact that this configuration itself is very lucrative and bears the characteristics of a smartphone that can reach the top of the market. If you take a close look at the specs, you can see that HTC Droid DNA has the exact raw hardware as of Google LG Nexus 4. The internal memory is fixated at 16GB with 11GB of capacity available to the user without the ability to expand using microSD card. Now let us consider two aspects connected to the massive display panel. To enjoy the true HD display panel, you will need to have the capacity to put 1080p Videos at your liberty. 11GB is still a large capacity, but when you consider all of your other requirements like the photos and recorded 1080p videos, power users may find the memory restriction daunting. The second aspect is more favorable which is the performance of the GPU and CPU needed to recreate vivid graphics on a 1080p full HD screen at such a high pixel density. If there’s any configuration capable of doing that, I’m sure that is the Snapdragon S4 hence HTC’s choice is correct. However, they would have to address the problem of battery draining in powering up such a massive display panel. We’ll get in to that subsequently.
At a glance, HTC Droid DNA is really thin and stylishly attractive. It is also very light compared to the usual phablet range scoring a weight of 141.7g. HTC will release a CDMA edition as well as a GSM edition of Droid DNA while enabling users to enjoy Verizon’s super-fast 4g LTE connectivity. Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n adapter ensures continuous connectivity even when you’re out of range from your LTE network. As usual, it comes with DLNA and the capability to host your own Wi-Fi hotspot to share your internet connection with your friends. HTC has decided to include a 8MP camera in Droid DNA as the main snapper. It has autofocus and LED flash along with simultaneous HD video recording and image capturing. The new video stabilization engine promises better video captures than before with 1080p HD video recording at 30 frames per second. The front camera is also a 2.1MP wide angle camera that can capture 1080p HD video @ 30 frames per second, which would enable you to enjoy your video conferences immensely. The battery is relatively small at 2020mAh, and we are waiting for official announcements on how it would perform throughout the day without draining excessively.
Google Nexus 4 Review
According to Google’s new naming convention, Google Nexus 4 by LG comes with a display that falls in the 4 inch range. To be precise, it’s 4.7 inch True HD IPS Plus Capacitive touchscreen display featuring a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels at a pixel density of 318ppi. It looks almost the same as its predecessor Samsung Galaxy Nexus while Nexus 4 has introduced a black frame surrounding the display. The back plate of Nexus 4 seems to be made of toughened glass, which has an attractive pattern hidden below its surface. Unlike its predecessor, Nexus 4 has a flat display panel although it does compromise around the frame in order to facilitate the prominent gestures used in Android.
As we have mentioned, Google claims that Nexus 4 has the best processor in the smartphone market. First off, we know better not to contradict Google, and second off, given the specifications of the smartphone, that is something we can’t deny. LG Google Nexus 4 is powered by 1.5GHz Krait Quad Core processor on top of Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset along with Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM. This is undoubtedly the best configuration that we can find in a smartphone nowadays, and benchmarking tests will confirm Google’s claims. There are two storage versions ranging from 8GB to 16GB while providing no support for expansion using microSD cards. This might be a turn off for some high end customers who are used to keep a lot of media content in their smartphones, but hey, 16GB is a fair amount to be used.
Nexus 4 will only feature 3G HSDPA connectivity. Google has not issued any official statement about a follow-up with 4G LTE connectivity right now although that may well happen in the future. Right now, Google knows that most of the 4G LTE networks are in their infancy and hence they concentrate on keeping the smartphone compact and hence offer it at a reduced price range. The Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity ensures continuous communication even if 3G connectivity is not available. Nexus 4 also has Near Field Connectivity which is an interesting addition to have. Another attractive feature in Nexus 4 is the ability to use inductive charging. In Layman’s terms, LG Nexus 4 will be able to use wireless charging ability given you buy the supplementary Google’s wireless charging orb.
The operating system used is Android 4.2, which is still called Jelly Bean. However, there seem to have many new features that have been added to v4.2 so you will crave for the update. What’s more, as usual, Nexus 4 comes in Vanilla Android OS which is great news for ardent Android fans. The camera is at 8MP which has become the norm among the smartphones in this range. However, some new features including Photo Sphere, which is a 360 degree panorama, are included with the new operating system. The front facing camera is 1.3MP, and you can use it for video conferencing. The rear camera has LED flash and enables you to capture 1080p HD videos at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. LG Google Nexus 4 comes with a juicy battery of 2100mAh, which is going to last a full day at the most astringent conditions. The 8GB version is priced at £239, and the 16GB version is priced at £279, and released to the market from 13th November 2012. Right now, the availability is restricted to Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada, UK and USA, but Google promises that it would be ubiquitous by the end of November.
A Brief Comparison Between HTC Droid DNA and Google Nexus 4
• HTC Droid DNA is powered by 1.5GHz Krait Quad Core processor on top of Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 chipset with Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM while Google Nexus 4 is powered by 1.5GHz Krait Quad Core processor on top of Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset along with Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM.
• HTC Droid DNA runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean while Google Nexus 4 runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
• HTC Droid DNA has 5 inch Super LCD3 capacitive touchscreen display featuring a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels at a pixel density of 441ppi while Google Nexus 4 has 4.7 inch True HD IPS Plus Capacitive touchscreen display featuring a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels at a pixel density of 318ppi.
• HTC Droid DNA has 8MP back camera and 2.1MP front camera that can capture 1080p HD videos at 30 fps while Google Nexus 4 has 8MP camera that can capture 1080p HD videos at 30 fps and has advanced features like Photo Sphere.
• HTC Droid DNA is bigger, thicker and heftier (141 x 70.5 mm / 9.78 mm / 141.7g) than Google Nexus 4 (133.9 x 68.7 mm / 9.1 mm / 139g).
• Nexus 4 only offers 3G HSDPA connectivity while HTC Droid DNA offers 4G LTE connectivity.
HTC Droid DNA and Google Nexus 4 can be considered as the pinnacle of designs for respective companies. They represent the high end market with the best known raw configurations in any smartphone. HTC Droid DNA goes one step beyond Nexus 4 and introduces 1080p full HD display panel, as well. It also comes with super-fast 4G LTE connectivity while Google Nexus 4 offers dual carrier HSDPA which can give you speeds up to 42Mbps compared to the 100Mbps range of Droid DNA. Taking these facts in to consideration, you may jump to the conclusion than HTC Droid DNA is obviously better than Nexus 4. However, there is another important factor we need to take in to consideration. Google Nexus 4 is offered at a price point of $349 for the 16GB version while HTC Droid DNA will be available from Verizon for $199 on 2 years contract. The unlocked price of HTC Droid DNA to be higher than Google Nexus 4 by at least $200. Hence what you need to think is whether the 1080p full HD screen oppose to 720p HD screen and 100Mbps LTE speed range as opposed to 42Mbps dual carrier HSDPA range is worth your $200+ extra bucks. You can easily make your decision after you answer that question.