HTC Droid DNA versus Samsung Galaxy Note 2

HTC Droid DNA vs Note 2

With most smartphone owners looking for large screen devices, there have become quite a few great choices. In the 5-inch and higher category, the two most tempting devices on the market are likely going to be the HTC Droid DNA and Samsung Galaxy Note 2. So which should you get?

Honestly, it’s hard to say for sure. If you are in to power and want the device that looks the best on paper, you’ll find these two phones perform quite similarly when it comes down to it.

HTC Droid DNA versus Samsung Galaxy Note 2

The biggest reasons to get a Droid DNA are the following:

  • You want a 5-inch screen in as small a package as possible
  • The 1080p screen resolution is important to you.
  • You are a fan of the Droid series
  • A lighter device is appealing to you.
  • It doesn’t bother you that the device can’t expand through SD.

As for the Galaxy Note 2? It’s all about the “phablet features”:

  • You want MASSIVE screen, and don’t mind the bulk.
  • The Note 2 has the S-Pen and all the special features that come with it.
  • You want full expandability and multiple storage configuration sizes.
  • You want carrier options besides just Verizon, since Note 2 is available on multiple carriers.

There are other reasons, but the bottom-line is that you get they have a lot of similarities on paper when it comes to processing power and RAM. The biggest differences are expandability, screen size, the stylus and overall dimensions.

We aren’t going to compare each and every category, but instead we’ll simply say, they both have a lot to offer and neither is really the “better choice”, it’s about what fits into what you are looking for. Sometimes a video just tells the story better than words ever can. Pocket Now has an excellent “VS” video that is worth checking out.

So what do you think, are you interested in the Note 2 or the Droid DNA?

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23 Comments

  1. Randi Joyner says:

    Great review. I’m torn between these phones. I’ve on contract with AT&T (like the 4GLTE) and my next phone is a toss-up since it seems to have a wide selection. I have a graphics design firm in Atlanta and my smartphone is becoming like a third arm since the data speeds are so good.

  2. kc2oon says:

    The DNA doesn’t have memory storage because Verizon want’s you to stream video over the cell service so they can get you on the data overages. They left it out for that reason alone. The international DNA version has a micro sd card slot.

  3. bpw says:

    You missed a huge difference that really matters: BATTERY LIFE. And let’s not ignore replaceable vs. non-replaceable.

    You can have all the features in the world, but if your battery is dead your phone is useless.

    I’ll put up with the larger size and weight for the removable battery that lasts far longer.

  4. tmomikeo says:

    I went to Verizon to buy a Note 2. I simultaneously download the Trailer for Skyfall on Youtube using my ancient Galaxy 1 (Vibrant) and the Note2. The Note2 was significantly darker and more blurry with a distinct bluish tint to all whites (as a battery power saving scheme.) I left without buying it ONLY BECAUSE OF THE INFERIOR SCREEN? I have a Samsung tv and a Tab 10.1, so I love Samsung products but this is an inferior product for those things that I consider to be most important. Yes, of secondary importance are all of those super cool Note2 features that are state of the art. I want to check out the Verizon HTC DNA with it 441ppi screen compared to the darket, blurry 260 ppi screen on the Note2. Otherwise, the Note2 is the coolest phone on the market. My phone is useless in the sun, so the darket, more blurry Note2 is worse than my ancient Galaxy 1.

    • asadian says:

      You used a defective Note 2 LOL. Srsly bro this is the BEST AMOLED screen Sammy has ever produced. You can take that to the bank.

      When I compared my N2 to my OG Fascinate the screen on the N2 was like a 1000x better. Whites are WAY whiter on the N2 compared to the Fascinate. Not to mention the far superior color reproduction and sharpness.

      I think you were using a Note 2 in battery saving mode or something bro. Either that or get your eyes checked Lol

  5. Seth Moyer says:

    Not to mention that the Note II gets about double the battery life and the battery is user-replaceable.

  6. mb1108 says:

    I feel like all the comparisons I’ve read thus far are either completely biased and geeking for the 1080 resolution or they’re pulling punches on the Droid DNA altogether. Nobody spends enough time talking about the benefits of the Note 2.

    Namely:
    Better battery life – because a 5″ 1080 screen is nothing if the battery doesn’t last
    Storage – again its nothing if you can’t store and watch movies and have music collections
    Multiwindow feature – is simply unparalleled by any phone but never gets mentioned in these
    Popup video – again unparalleled
    Popup browser – yet again, unmatched
    S Pen’s Airview – Allows you to preview video and picture albums plus works like a mouse while in the browser allowing users to hover over links and dropdowns

    And the list goes on. It seems all the comparisons really want to cover is specs and sometimes benchmarks but there is way more that goes in to making a truly great device. IMO the Droid DNA is like a bigger updated version of the HTC Incredible. And no removable battery or storage is simply a shame!

  7. Ummm, what about the 50% greater battery capacity of the Note 2? Nobody considers battery life a pro? The DNA looks like a fine phone and I’m sure the next note will have a 1080p screen, but like another poster mentioned, the value of the 1080P screen is vastly diminished when you’re so limited by your non-expandable 16GB storage.

  8. spr says:

    Dude! By a country MILE you are the best reviewer on the Web. Keep up the BOSS work!

  9. Note Lover says:

    I found that there are 7 reasons to go with the GN2 and that’s why I purchased it. This is the best device I’ve ever owned and I will be getting a GN3 if it does get released next year.

  10. MrMLK says:

    By the way, this line “…and don’t mind the bulk.” is silly. Does 10mm (4/10 of an inch) wider and taller really add that much to one phone over the other?

    • Andrew_Grush says:

      Good point. I suppose it doesn’t make a huge difference, but most reviews have pointed to how it just feels “better” in your hands and not as hefty. :)

    • MrMLK says:

      I went a tried them both at the Verizon store yesterday. The DNA body looks very cool and is clearly a bit lighter, neither device is small enough to reach the whole screen will gripping behind the back. Both have to be held from the side and feel about the same to me. I wonder what the reviewers who think the DNA is better to hold are concentrating on.

  11. paul says:

    Note 2 wins for me, bigger and removable battery, expandable storage, cool multitasking features, and s-pen. Who needs a 1080p resolution for a 5″ display. Also, the author of this article makes a quick mention about the Note 2 and Verizon: “You can’t or won’t use Verizon and need coverage from another carrier.” That’s just wrong, it is coming out for Verizon this week.

    • inflagrantedelicto says:

      Umm, Paul, I think you missed the point. I think the author understands that the phone is coming out for Verizon tomorrow. The HTC is exclusive to Verizon. The Note 2 is already on most other US carriers. If you have or want a carrier other than Verizon, your only choice (of these 2) is the Note 2.

    • Andrew_Grush says:

      Correct, I did in fact mean that with the Note 2 you have carrier choices: verizon, AT&T, etc| While the Droid DNA is exclusive to Verizon.

      I probably could have worded that better, though. :)

  12. MrMLK says:

    I just don’t understand the logic of a 1080p screen on a device that doesn’t have enough space to store an entire 1080p movie. I’ve got better screens at home when connected to Wifi, and when I am out of the house, I’m not sure I want to use my entire month’s bandwidth to play the first 20 minutes of a hi-def movie.

    • Rex_D says:

      I agree. The point of an 1080p screen is really for movies, not photos. If accessibility to HD movies is not easy (or affordable) then the screen is not really useful. I am sure there are people out there who watch movies on their phone, like business folks on a plane, but I think MOST of us are near easy access to our televisions. Especially when we are using wi-fi. I don’t see people using wi-fi at Wal-mart or Starbucks to sit and watch an HD movie on their phone. 4g LTE is great, but in the 2 years I’ve had it, it is NO WHERE NEAR reliable enough for me to commit to a movie on it. I am sure the screen is gorgeous, but I’d much prefer an SD slot and a better batter over that high resolution screen.

    • trob6969 says:

      Yeah, I agree. But what I don’t get is why HTC didn’t give the phone expandable memory AND swappable battery. It’s not like the company had to choose between those two features and a 1080p screen because when HTC put out the rezound over a year ago, it was first to market with a 720p display but it also had a microSD slot and removable battery.

    • Reg says:

      A 1080p movie compressed with H.264 which most downloaded movies are except for Vudu(uncompressed). are between 1.2GB to 3 GB depending on length. compression without loss with this codec is around 1.2GB or higher. can also stream a 1080p video which storage isn’t needed

    • MrMLK says:

      I think your numbers are really low. What’s the point of getting a 1080p screen if you are going to use such a low bit rate that everything is going to look blocky and pixalated. But lest assume that you are right. So what you are saying is that if you really compress your videos, you can squeeze 6 or 7 of them onto your 11 GB of free space, if you skip having any music or apps. If you want to only devote half you rstorage, that’s about 3 movies. That sounds fantastic. (Note, this is sarcasm).

      And if you don’t want to do that, you can stream a whole movie or two every month before you use up your bandwidth. That sounds even better. (More sarcasm).

      No, thanks. I’ll happily give up the slight advantage of a 1080p 5inch screen over a 720p one for the possibility to store a lot more content.

    • Kieran M says:

      Are you kidding? SD movies were either 700MB or 1.37GB in the days of XivD. H.264 is now the de facto standard and an average 1080p movie is between 7GB and 15GB, with a remux coming in at around 18GB – 30GB depending on the movie.

      Any 1080p movie smaller than 7GB is going to be terrible quality. And given that Android has a problem with files larger than 4GB unless they’re on an external SD formatted in exFat…

  13. Samsung Galaxy Note 2 the winner.

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