Finally, after weeks of rumors, leaks and speculation, HTC and Verizon announced a joint event set for November 13th in New York City where the companies will more than likely show off their latest collaboration, the Droid DNA, a device that is expected to sport a 5-inch display and compete with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 phablet for sales this holiday season.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2, a 5.5-inch phablet that boasts the qualities of a smartphone and tablet, currently faces little opposition on the U.S. market. That though will change when HTC announces its latest Droid device and one that is believed to be called the Droid DNA.
Thus far, all signs point to a device sporting a 5-inch display, 8MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing camera, 2GB of RAM quad-core processor and most likely, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Needless to say, it’s looking like a powerful device, especially if it comes with a 1080p full HD display like its counterpart in Japan, the HTC Butterfly J.
So we know what to expect from the device itself, but what about the actual launch event set to take place on November 13th at 11AM EST in New York? Here, we take a look at what consumers should expect from the launch event itself, an event that should be the launching pad for HTC’s Galaxy Note 2 competitor and newest member to the Droid family, the Droid DNA.
The Droid DNA
While neither company has said it outright, at this point, we expect the 5-inch Droid DNA to launch at this event. There is no other device on our radar left for 2012 that deserves its own event other than this smartphone.
Lack of an Official Live Stream
HTC didn’t provide a live stream for its Windows Phone 8 launch, for whatever reason, and at this point, we don’t expect it to provide one for the launch of the Droid DNA either.
Should that happen, those looking to take in the action live might have to rely on sites like UStream in order to watch the event. If those don’t provide anything, then consumers hoping to catch a glimpse of the Droid DNA will likely have to follow around on live blogs.
Of course, Apple surprised us with a live stream of its iPad mini event, and it could be that HTC goes this route to drum up support for the device. However, given its past, there is no reason to expect it at this point.
HTC events aren’t on par with Samsung’s which have provided theatrics like magic and a live symphony. So those hoping for something other than executives taking the stage to announce and show off the Droid DNA might not want to tune in.
Instead, expect HTC Peter Chou to take the stage, talk about the company’s relationship with Verizon – possibly name dropping the Droid Incredible series – and then show off the phablet.
Droid DNA Release Date and Price
At this point, with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 release date and pricing on all five carriers known – the Verizon Galaxy Note 2 is presumed to launch on November 29th – HTC can’t afford to be vague with a release date and pricing for the Droid DNA. Additionally, the event is going to be taking place in the midst of the holiday shopping season and HTC will want to give shoppers the information they need to make a purchase.
So, this late in the game, we expect HTC to announce both a release date and price for the Droid DNA phablet at the event rather then be vague as many Android manufacturers are at events like these.
At this point, rumors are swirling about a release date either taking place around Thanksgiving, possibly November 20th, or later on in early December. As for pricing, it’s expected to check in with a price tag of $199.99 on-contract which will make it competitive against the Galaxy Note 2’s $299.99 on-contract price.
If the release date doesn’t fall on November 13th and it likely won’t, we expect Verizon to offer a pre-order for the Droid DNA. This will give it an even playing field against the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 which is already up for pre-order.
We know Verizon isn’t opposed to offering a pre-order weeks ahead of a release date so even if the Droid DNA phablet doesn’t arrive until December, we expect some kind of pre-order to arrive soon after the announcement.
Subtle Jabs at Galaxy Note 2
Remember, the point of these events is not only to show off the device but sell the device to the media and consumers alike. This is a device that is already hindered by the Samsung Galaxy Note 2’s arrival in the U.S., its big name and the fact that it been sold millions of times around the world.
HTC needs to sell the Droid DNA as a worthy Galaxy Note 2 rival to the public so don’t be surprised to see HTC boast about what the Droid DNA offers over the Galaxy Note 2. Will it be as vicious as Apple mocking the competition? No. Will there be some selling points that HTC harps on? Yup.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Information
HTC has been lagging with its Android 4.1 Jelly Bean updates to its devices in the U.S. as the HTC One X and HTC One S still remain without Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. At the event, we don’t expect HTC to confirm a date for the T-Mobile HTC One S and HTC One X Jelly Bean roll outs but we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a topic that’s brought up at some point during the event.
HTC announced the HTC One X Jelly Bean roll out for the international HTC One X at an event and it could do the same here, a move that could keep their previous smartphones relevant even as the Samsung Galaxy S3 has started to get Jelly Bean in the U.S.