iPhone 5 vs. Droid DNA

Apple’s iPhone 5 is going to be facing some fierce competition this holiday season from an assortment of devices. One of those devices is the newly announced Verizon Droid DNA for HTC which packs Google’s latest operating system with a powerful processor, solid camera, and the first full HD 1080p display to hit the United States within the confines of a smartphone.

The Droid DNA is just one of many Android competitors that the iPhone 5 is going to have to stave off in the weeks ahead as shoppers look to pick up smartphones for themselves and for significant others.

Verizon’s brand new Droid-branded device had been rumored for some time, all culminating in a launch event in New York City earlier this month where HTC and Verizon took the stage to show off their latest creation.

Read: iPhone 5 Review: A Month with the New iPhone.

The iPhone 5 is Apple’s current edition of the iPhone and it’s the first to feature a larger display and extremely quick  4G LTE data speeds making it a viable option for those looking for a new smartphone in the weeks and months ahead. Those features and more should put it firmly on shoppers lists, presumably, right near Verizon’s Droid DNA by HTC.

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The iPhone 5 features a 4-inch display.

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So, how do they match up exactly? Here, we take a look at how Droid DNA smartphone stacks up against the iPhone 5 in terms of its release date, its carriers, its price and the hardware and software that are behind them both.

Release Date

In September, after months and months of speculation, Apple finally announced the new iPhone 5 at an event in San Francisco. Shortly afterwards, on September 21st, Apple released the device in the United States to a ton of demand. The iPhone 5 has since launched on a number of other pre-paid and regional U.S. carriers offering up a bit of choice for those interested in the new iPhone.

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As of now, the iPhone 5 is still hard to find in some places. Apple’s website still lists the device as shipping out in two to three weeks in the United States. The device is easier to find through other avenues such as Best Buy and carrier-branded retail outlets, though, it should remain relatively scarce through the holiday season, especially after it picks up after Black Friday.

Unlike the iPhone 5, the Droid DNA still isn’t out yet. Verizon began taking pre-orders for the device on the day it was announced, November 13th, and will likely be doing so up until it’s released on November 21st. Once November 21st arrives, the device will be available both online and in Verizon retail stores.

Design

With the iPhone 5, Apple changed the design of the iPhone. Ditching the glass back, Apple has now added a anodized aluminum back held together by two pieces of glass at the top and bottom. The industrial design is completed with a metal band that runs around the length of the iPhone 5.

It’s also extremely lightweight and slim. It weighs 112 grams which is much lighter than the 140 grams of the iPhone 4S and very light for a smartphone. It’s also 7.6mm thin which makes it one of the slimmest smartphones on the market.

Read: Samsung Galaxy Note 2 vs. Droid DNA.

Because the Droid DNA packs a large screen, its footprint is much bigger. It offers a weight of 138 grams and it checks in at 9.73mm thin. As for the design, it takes bits and pieces from previous HTC releases.

The back looks like that of a Droid Incredible with its large camera sensor in the middle and the soft navigation keys strongly resemble the keys on the HTC EVO 4G LTE. The device is made of plastic, but it’s soft, likely durable and easy to grip.

Display

The iPhone 5 and Droid DNA both feature fantastic displays. Starting the iPhone 5, it offers a 4-inch Retina Display, which is bigger than the screen of every other iPhone, with 1136 x 640 resolution. That is not HD resolution.

However, it does have a high 326 pixels-per-inch which makes for crisp images and text. It also features a 16:9 aspect ratio which offers widescreen resolution for content like television shows and movies.

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The Droid DNA sports a full HD 1080p display.

Verizon’s Droid DNA is going to be ushering a new era of smartphone displays when it arrives. The 5-inch display offers full HD 1080p resolution along with a whopping 440 pixels-per-inch. This means that content is going to look especially crisp and text will appear rich. It also means that users won’t be able to make out any pixels on the display.

It will also feature 16:9 aspect ratio for widescreen content.

Specs

Let’s now take a closer look at the specifications that will be coming on board each device starting with the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 features some powerful hardware including some upgrades over the previous iPhone model, the iPhone 4S.

Here are the key iPhone 5′s specifications.

  • 4-inch Retina Display with 1136 x 640 Resolution
  • 1.5GHz Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro Processor
  • 16GB/32GB/64GB models
  • 8MP rear camera/HD Front-Facing Camera
  • 1440mAh Battery (Non-Removable)
  • 1GB of RAM

And the Droid DNA’s specs.

  • 5-inch LCD-3 Full HD 1080p Display
  • 1.5GHz Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro Processor
  • 16GB Storage (No microSD card slot)
  • 8MP Camera/2.1MP Camera
  • 2,020 mAh Battery (Non-Removable)
  • 2GB of RAM
  • NFC

Both batteries cannot be removed from the shell of the device which means that users will not easily be able to replace the battery should it start to malfunction. It also means that increasing the size is virtually impossible.

The iPhone 5 comes in three storage variants while the Droid DNA only has 16GB of on board storage. It doesn’t have expandable memory either which means that users are stuck with 16GB.

Verizon’s Droid DNA does have NFC support which means it will be able to take advantage of mobile payments once ISIS launches across the United States. It also means that it will be able to utilize Android Beam which allows users to beam files to other phones solely by touching them together.

Camera

The iPhone 5 has one of the best rear cameras available on a smartphone and with the new iPhone, Apple also made an improvement with the front-facing FaceTime camera as well.

Apple’s camera in the iPhone 5 takes great photos during the day and it can handle itself well in low-light environments. One such example can be seen in the photo below.

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iPhone 5 photo sample.

Its FaceTime front-facing camera is in HD which means that those who are constantly using their phone for FaceTime chats or Skype or something else will look great for family members or friends, even when the lighting conditions aren’t the best.

HTC put out a camera with the HTC One X that was on par with the iPhone 4S’ camera and with the Droid DNA, HTC has included the same ImageSense chip that made the One X camera fantastic.

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The Droid DNA packs an 8MP ImageSense rear camera.

In the rear, the Droid DNA has a 8MP camera that will shoot solid photos. The ImageSense chip will help users fast shutter speeds and the ability to shoot photos while taking video.

As for the front-facing camera, it sports a 88% wider ultra-wide 2.1MP lens.

Software

The iPhone 5 features Apple’s latest version of iOS, iOS 6, which brings over 200 new features to the table. Many of those new features can be seen in the video below.

A few of the major features that iOS 6 offers are new features for Siri – iOS’ virtual personal assistant, a useful Do Not Disturb function, Facebook integration, Apple’s new controversial new Maps application, Panorama mode for the device’s stellar camera, and a app called Passbook which allows users to store gift cards, airline tickets and more.

The Droid DNA won’t be coming with the latest version of Android, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and instead will be arriving with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Google’s previous operating system. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean’s best features can be seen in the video below.

Specifics include enhanced notifications, smart widgets, a smooth user interface, an improved suite of stock applications including a much improved browser. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean was Google’s best version of Android until Android 4.2 arrived so it should suit the Droid DNA well.

Carriers

The iPhone 5 is available on a wide swath of carriers in the United States. At launch, the device was made available on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, the three biggest service providers in the United States. Those three host the iPhone 5 on their 4G LTE networks, which means it can pull down data speeds up to 10 times faster than normal 3G connections. The AT&T model also sports support for HSPA+ 4G.

T-Mobile, the nation’s fourth largest carrier, can only handle unlocked iPhone 5s as the device is not available officially on its network. It’s also available on carriers like C-Spire Wireless and Cricket Wireless as well as a host of regional carriers who networks are dwarfed by the markets of the major U.S. carriers.

Those looking to get the Droid DNA will have no such options however. The Droid DNA will only be available on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. Fortunately, it’s the largest one with over 400 markets in the U.S. Today, AT&T caught up a bit as it finally reached the 100 market plateau, however, it’s still far behind.

Price

In the build up to the iPhone 5 launch, many people wondered whether Apple would opt for the similar price point it always takes with the iPhone. Unsurprisingly, the company delivered the same price even as it upgraded the device with a larger 4-inch display and 4G LTE data speeds.

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Here is how the iPhone 5 price breaks down:

  • iPhone 16GB – $199.99 on-contract
  • iPhone 32GB – $299.99 on-contract
  • iPhone 64GB – $399.99 on-contract

At some point Apple, it hasn’t said when, it will also start offering an unlocked iPhone 5 that will function on both AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States. When that unlocked iPhone 5 does arrive, it will feature a hefty price point.

Here is how the unlocked iPhone 5 pricing will look when it arrives:

  • iPhone 16GB – $649.99 off-contract
  • iPhone 32GB – $749.99 off-contract
  • iPhone 64GB – $849.99 off-contract

The Droid DNA will come with two prices and two prices only given that it’s only going to be available in one storage variant. The Droid DNA will cost $199.99 on-contract with Verizon, the same price as the smaller iPhone 5.

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The off-contract price will likely be in the $500-$650 range at Verizon and could be as expensive as $700 at places at Best Buy.

Comments

  1. Ricky says

    That’s a sad part when they mention iPhone 5 has a quad core snapgragon processor instead of A6. May be the writer wrote that in hurry.

  2. Greg W. says

    iPhone 5 is so over-rated. How about all the problems that are documented all over the internet? Horrible mapping program that either can’t find famous landmarks or gives you wrong turn by turn instructions. Light leaking from the casing. Purple haze showing up in pictures and videos taken with the phone. Easily scratched and nicked aluminum body. Bubbles forming on the touchscreen. Virtual keyboard showing flickering lines through the keys or “smudged” keys. Wifi either not connecting or sucking down a months worth of data in 5 days. Battery seems to die very quickly. Green glow when awakening from sleep. Fast Scrolling issue on screen that just came out in the last week.

  3. graider2 says

    feels like the article is written with a spin to make the iphone 5 appear better than the droid dna. more like the exact opposite. LOL

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