HTC Droid DNA vs Samsung Galaxy S3
Remember, we recently discussed how the smartphone technology and the whole mobile computing platforms have come in to a point of saturation in terms of features? Well that milestone is one step closer with the newest announcement from HTC and Verizon Wireless. They have recently announced an Android smartphone that has 1080p superb monster resolution screen which is better than any screen a smartphone has in the market. This was received with different sensation where some people perceived it as just an overkill while some were enthusiastic about what exactly can you do with a 1080p full HD screen on a 5 inch screen. We’ll discuss the implications of the 1080p full HD screen in length, in the HTC Droid DNA review. Other than that, this beauty comes with an eye-catching Red vibe which seems to represent Verizon Wireless’s choice.
We decided to choose another top of the line smartphone to be compared with this absolute beauty and the beast in one shell. Samsung Galaxy S3 is undoubtedly the current Android high end favorite due to various reasons. It’s not only about the raw performance of the device, but rather this is because of their clever marketing campaign, renowned brand name, and the cool features they have introduced with their smartphone. However, it’s almost time for their new flagship Galaxy S4 which should be the successor for Galaxy S3 and techies are already awaiting and making plans for the S4. It is our understanding that HTC Droid DNA may also be an early retaliation against Samsung Galaxy S III ensuring that they have the upper hand because they released the handset early. Let us compare Droid DNA alongside Samsung Galaxy S3 and understand how different they are from one another.
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.
Samsung Galaxy S3 (Galaxy S III) Review
Galaxy S3, the 2012 flagship device of Samsung, comes in two color combinations, Pebble Blue and Marble White. The cover is made with a glossy plastic that Samsung called as Hyperglaze, and I have to tell you, it feels so good in your hands. It retains a striking similarity to Galaxy Nexus rather than Galaxy S II having curvier edges and no hump at the back. It is 136.6 x 70.6mm in dimensions and has a thickness of 8.6mm with a weight of 133g. As you can see, Samsung has managed to produce this monster of a smartphone with a very reasonable size and weight. It comes with a 4.8 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen that features a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 306ppi. There’s apparently, no surprise here, but Samsung has incorporated PenTile matrix instead of using RGB matrix for their touchscreen. The image reproduction quality of the screen is beyond expectation, and the reflex of the screen is also rather low.
The power of any smartphone lies in its processor and Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with a 32nm 1.4GHz Quad Core Cortex A9 processor on top of Samsung Exynos chipset as predicted. It also accompanies this with 1GB of RAM and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Needless to say, this is a very solid combination of specs and tops the market in every aspect possible. A significant performance boost in the Graphics Processing Unit is also ensured by the Mali 400MP GPU. It comes with 16 / 32 and 64GB storage variations with the option of using a microSD card to expand the storage up to 64GB. This versatility has landed Samsung Galaxy S3 with a huge advantage because that was one of the prominent disadvantages in Galaxy Nexus.
As predicted, the network connectivity is reinforced with 4G LTE connectivity that varies regionally. Galaxy S3 also has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n for continuous connectivity and the built in DLNA ensure that you can share your multimedia contents in your big screen easily. S3 can also act as a Wi-Fi hotspot enabling you to share the monster 4G connection with your less fortunate friends. The camera seems to be the same available in Galaxy S2, which is 8MP camera with autofocus and LED flash. Samsung has incorporated simultaneous HD video and image recording to this beast along with geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection and image & video stabilization. The video recording is at 1080p @ 30 frames per second while having the ability to video conference using the front facing camera of 1.9MP. Besides these conventional features, there are a whole lot of usability features.
Samsung is boasting a direct competitor of iOS Siri, the popular Personal Assistant that accepts voice commands named S Voice. The strength of S Voice is the ability to recognize languages other than English, like Italian, German, French and Korean. There are a lot of gestures that can land you in different applications, as well. For instance, if you tap and hold the screen while you rotate the phone, you can go directly in to the camera mode. S3 will also call whoever the contact you were browsing when you raise the handset to your ear, which is a good usability aspect. Samsung Smart Stay is designed to identify whether you’re using the phone and switch the screen off if you’re not. It uses the front camera with facial detection in order to achieve this task. Similarly, Smart Alert feature will make your smartphone vibrate when you pick it up if you have any missed calls of other notifications. Finally, Pop Up Play is a feature that would best explain the performance boost S3 has. Now you can work with any application you like and have a video playing on top of that application on its own window. The window size can be adjusted while the feature worked flawlessly with the tests we ran.
A smartphone of this calibre needs a lot of juice, and that is provided by the 2100mAh batter resting at the back of this handset. It also has a barometer and a TV out while you have to be careful about the SIM because S3 only supports the use of micro SIM cards.
A Brief Comparison Between HTC Droid DNA and Samsung Galaxy S3 (Galaxy S III)
• 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 Samsung Galaxy S3 is powered by 1.5GHz Cortex A9 Quad Core processor on top of Samsung Exynos 4412 Quad chipset with Mali 400MP GPU and 1GB of RAM.
• Both HTC Droid DNA and Samsung Galaxy S3 run on Android OS v4.1 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 Samsung Galaxy S III has 4.8 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 306ppi.
• HTC Droid DNA has 8MP back camera and 2.1MP front camera that can capture 1080p HD videos at 30 fps while Samsung Galaxy S3 has 8MP camera that can capture 1080p HD videos at 30 fps and 1.9MP front camera that can capture 720p HD videos @ 30 fps.
• HTC Droid DNA is bigger, thicker and heftier (141 x 70.5 mm / 9.78 mm / 141.7g) than Samsung Galaxy S III (136.6 x 70.6mm / 8.6mm / 133g).
• HTC Droid DNA has 2020mAh battery while Samsung Galaxy S III has 2100mAh battery.
As we started this review, we mentioned that HTC may have released Droid DNA as an early retaliation against Samsung Galaxy S3’s successor. That statement itself is an implication on how our judgment on these two high end smartphones would be. In terms of performance, we’d say both would manage to score at the same level given the respective processors are in the same ballpark. However, Droid DNA takes the game to a step further by introducing the full HD 1080p display panel. That together with its striking looks may make it appealing to a lot of consumers as one of the top Android smartphones to own in the coming year. As per what we can conclude, we believe both smartphones would serve your requirements well while they may differ in price especially if Samsung is going to release their successor soon. Hence it would pay off to wait for some more time and check with the prices and the carrier options before you make your choice to purchase HTC Droid DNA.