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HTC Droid DNA review

Verizon and 'quietly brilliant' HTC get big and flashy

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Our Verdict

For

  • Seriously beefy specs
  • First-rate camera
  • Great display
  • Runs Jelly Bean very well
  • Nice price

Against

  • HTC's UI is a bit tacky
  • No removable storage, only 16GB internal
  • Difficult to use with one hand
  • Mediocre battery life

In what must be a bid for simplicity, the Droid DNA's default browser is simply called the "Internet." Android 4.1: Jelly Bean is certainly not wanting for browser options, with Firefox, Opera and Google's own Chrome waiting in the Google Play store, but smartphone users could do a lot worse than the proprietary offering by HTC.

HTC Droid DNA review

HTC's default Internet app is your standard tabbed browsing experience, and the DNA's ample RAM and able processor make it easy to multitask plenty of pages.

Tabs are laid out similarly to the way HTC's Sense 4+ UI shows recent apps. Displayed as a large, rectangular previews, they're attractive, but not a terribly efficient use of space. We also found scrolling between them to be a bit slippery. It was easy to overshoot our target, or not slide at all.

Also, an annoying "Add to Bookmarks" bar appears at the bottom of the page every time you scroll upwards. It seemed pretty superfluous, and was easy to hit by accident.

However, the Internet browser did a surprisingly elegant job formatting and resizing text for easy reading. Browsing dozens of different sites, we never needed to pan around to see everything. Best of all, when double tapping to zoom in on a block of text, it would quickly format it to fit the screen.

HTC Droid DNA review

There are also a ton of settings and options, many of which save precious bandwidth. There's an option to toggle animated GIF support, disabling images on web pages, pre-loading videos, a built-in pop-up block and an option to automatically load the desktop (rather than mobile) version of sites.

Of course, many users will likely opt out of this proprietary Internet app in favor of their personal browser preference. If that's the case, the Droid DNA is ready to play ball, letting you easily change your default browser from the settings menu.

Browsing the web with Chrome and the default Internet app, we found that both offered zippy performance. The TechRadar homepage loaded in about three seconds.

Also, both browsers have great bookmark widgets, which display tiles of your favorite websites. Simply touching the tile takes you right to the site. Since this is Jelly Bean, the widget is resizable, letting you choose how much screen space to devote to your bookmarked favorites.

Basically, the Droid DNA is another Android phone with a great web experience. The DNA's awesome hardware make loading times trim, and running tons of tabs is no problem at all. Also, HTC's stock browser, while not our preference, is far from bad. But, we still recommend users download other browsers and experiment to find a favorite.