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HTC Droid DNA review

Verizon and 'quietly brilliant' HTC get big and flashy

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Maps

As an Android 4.1: Jelly Bean device, the Droid DNA has good old Google Maps to help you get around town.

HTC Droid DNA review

Google Maps used to be a given, until the introduction of Apple Maps on iOS 6. Now Android fans have something they can unquestionably lord over iPhone 5 owners.

Google Maps is as accurate as ever, and its turn-by-turn navigation service makes a reliable alternative to a GPS.

Running errands around San Francisco, on foot or in the car, Verizon's 4G LTE service gave us a reliable Google Maps connection that got us where we needed to go.

However, battery life came at a premium. Other than streaming HD video, this was one of the big power drains on the DNA. As we get into in the Battery and Connectivity section, while the DNA would barely make it to the end of the day on a single charge, extended Google Mapping can mean a midday trip to the charger.

Apps

Once again, as an Android phone, the Droid DNA is part of the Google app ecosystem. Your apps will be coming from the Google Play Store, which has enough content to challenge its rival iTunes.

HTC Droid DNA review

If you're upgrading from a previous Android device, it'll be very easy to load your previously purchased apps unto your new phone. My Apps offers a list of all apps, free of paid for, you currently own. You won't have rebuy anything you've already plunked down for.

Games are definitely a strong suit for the Droid DNA. While most any modern phone, especially one running Jelly Bean, can handle the latest mobile games, the DNA loads them with ease.

A quad-core, 2GB of RAM and a 5-inch display is an excessive amount of hardware. If you're not going to be gaming, there's almost not much point in owning a DNA.

Verizon apps

HTC Droid DNA review

Since Droid is a brand owned by Verizon, all devices baring the moniker are exclusive to the big red carrier. As usual, Verizon has loaded a cluster of its apps onto the Droid DNA, none of which are particularly useful, or removable.

None of this stuff would be egregious if wasn't for the fact that storage on the Droid DNA is at something of a premium. There's just 16GB of internal space, with no microSD option, meaning every proprietary app jammed on the handset is taking space away from the consumer. That's our only real issue with these carrier apps.