Earlier in the year, HTC redefined themselves with the One X and One S. While both phones landed in the U.S., for whatever reason Verizon Wireless didn’t offer either one. Instead they opted to take the One S, destroy it, and call it the DROID Incredible 4G LTE. The One X should have been the 3rd chapter in the DROID Incredible series, just like it was for Sprint’s EVO series. How was it possible that probably the best phone of the year wasn’t on Big Red? When the One X+ was announced a couple of months ago, I assumed that’s what Verizon was waiting for, but there was no indication. As a Verizon customer, I was severely disappointed and annoyed, but all good things come to those who wait. Apparently HTC and Verizon were readying the crème de la crème to finish off the year with a bang. Based on the J Butterfly, The DROID DNA appears to be the most cutting edge phone to date and promises to have the same quality of materials and camera that HTC has been known for. Is this the ultimate DROID? Hit the break to find out, but you can also check out my initial hands on review as well as our hands on at the launch event.
Earlier this year when HTC released the One X, many fans on Verizon wondered why it didn’t land on Big Red. Instead, all they got was the DROID Incredible 4G LTE, which wasn’t even a One S variant. Well patience is a virtue because HTC delivered in a major way. They said they wanted to make the ultimate DROID, and from my vantage point, they did and then some. The DROID DNA is a complete beast inside and out. It features a gorgeous 5-inch (1920 x 1080) Super LCD 3 display at 440 ppi. If that’s not enough to make your jaw drop, throw in a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 2GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera with ImageSense, 2.1MP front facing camera with an 88 degree wide angle lens, 16GB of internal storage, 2020mAh battery, NFC, 4G LTE with worldwide GSM capability, Beats Audio, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and you have what might be the finest phone on earth. Oh there’s still more because the design of this phone is absolutely superb in every way from the polycarbonate back to the Ferrari-like red finish along the sides. I will do a more thorough review in the coming days, but for now, check out my initial hands on video after the break.
It hasn’t even been released yet, but that hasn’t stopped the incredibly efficient developers over at XDA from rooting HTC’s new superphone, the DROID DNA for Verizon. The phone itself is quite the powerhouse, sporting a 5-inch 1080p HD display (the highest resolution display on a smartphone to date), a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 APQ8064 Processor, a capacious 2020 mAh battery, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and basically every other incredible spec that an Android fan could ask for! Combine the awesome hardware with the great custom ROMs that developers will be pushing out thanks to the newly achieved root, and you have yourself quite the handset!
Surprisingly, you will be able to open the bootloader using the HTCDev tools, unless Verizon puts a stop to it with some sort of update. After that’s accomplished, you flash an unsecured kernel and ClockworkMod recovery via fastboot, and finally flash the root.zip file.
If you’re planning on picking up the DROID DNA when it comes out, make sure to head over to the source link to do some reading before you dive into the wonderful world of root!
Verizon employees are getting some special treatment once again, some of us are still seething over the awesome employees-only red and black Razr Maxx from last year, and now Verizon is laughing at us yet again. Rumor has spilled that more special edition red/black DROIDs are on their way to those on Verizon’s payroll for the DROID RAZR M and DROID RAZR MAXX HD. Interestingly enough a special red DROID DNA as well as Windows Phone 8X are also mentioned. No word on whether they will be locked to employee specific usage such as the last round was, so be careful before you try bidding $2000 on Ebay for one of these puppies.
This morning in New York City, HTC and Verizon introduced the DROID DNA. There really weren’t any surprises since all the leaks seemed to be spot on. It will come with a 5.0-inch 1080p (1920 x 1080) Super LCD 3 display, a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, 8MP rear camera, 2MP front camera, NFC, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and Sense 4+. My initial thoughts is that this phone is absolutely stunning. When I picked it up, I thought I was carrying a dummy unit it was so light. The display is by far the best display available on a smartphone, and I can’t wait to spend some more time with it. For now check out our hands on video from the event, of which, I am sure you will be as impressed as I am.
Since the demo units started arriving in stores last week, it’s only a matter of time that we will see the actual Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere II on display and ready for sale. Samsung and Verizon just released a presser stating that it will be available in the coming weeks and it will be priced at $129 after a $50 mail-in-rebate. The original Stratosphere wasn’t a bad device for the money and the second chapter steps it up a bit with the Snapdragon S4 and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. I would say if you’re looking for a budget phone on Verizon, the DROID RAZR M is the best bet, but if a QWERTY slide-out is your thing, then this just might be the phone for you.
Full press release after the break:
This morning Verizon Tweeted a link to the DroidDoes website announcing that they will unveil the DROID DNA via a Google Hangout next Monday, November 19 at 12:00pm EST. Of course it will be officially shown off to the press this Tuesday morning in New York City, and we will be their on hand to give you all the details. There shouldn’t be anything too surprised as most of the information about this phone has already been leaked. Plus, it’s essentially the J Butterfly, which was officially announced a couple of weeks ago for Japan.
We are expecting it to have a Super LCD 3 display with 1080p (1920 x 1080) resolution and 440ppi. If that’s not enough, it will also sport a 1.5GHz quad-code Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, microSD, 8MP rear camera, 2MP front camera, waterproof, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It’s also supposed to come in at close to 9mm thick, which is very impressive. The only real question I have is battery. The J Butterfly sports a 2050mAh, but I am hoping for a little higher. That display will take its toll on any battery.
Verizon’s Galaxy S III has seen no shortage of leaked software updates. Earlier this month we came across an unfinished build of Android 4.1 for the handset, though it contained several bugs that hindered the overall usability of the software.
Posted yesterday, the new leak manages to address a few issues which could potentially prove to be valuable for custom ROM developers. It remains unclear exactly what has been changed, but users are acknowledging its improved performance and stability. In fact, the poster of the leaked firmware says it very well could be the final OTA that is slated to arrive for Verizon customers later this year.
You can download the leaked ROM in both odexed and deodexed versions, as well as find instructions on how to install it at the source links below. If you’re the adventurous type, let us know what you think of the new firmware in the comments.
What was that? Everybody put your hands over your ears now, especially the carriers. At the Open Mobile Summit conference, Google Ventures General Partner and Android co-founder Rich Miner said that carrers should spend more time and money creating unique interfaces for Android phones. He’s actually surprised that carriers like Verizon and AT&T haven’t put more time into it. He points to the fact that Android is open and that anyone can modify it to their heart’s content. True, but that doesn’t mean they should.
“There’s a big opportunity that they seem to have left on the table,” Miner said. “I’m a little curious as to why” carriers haven’t done more to customize their Android phones.
While not one of the most groundbreaking devices to be released this year, Samsung’s long-rumored Stratosphere 2 is expected to serve as a relatively decent entry-level handset on Verizon. A couple of images have revealed dummy units for Samsung’s upcoming QWERTY slider officially making their way to retailers across the country, signaling that a launch may not be too far off.
The device is expected to feature a 4-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB of RAM and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. As with all new devices released on Verizon, the handset will have access to the carrier’s nearly-completed 4G LTE network, boasting impressive data speeds. Pricing still remains up in the air, but we’re assuming $99 would be the sweet spot for what you’re getting here.