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Android face-off: Nexus 4 vs. Droid DNA

We put the two latest and greatest Android smartphones up against each other

By , Network World
November 16, 2012 02:01 PM ET
Nexus 4 vs. Droid DNA

Network World - There has been no shortage of hot new Android phones lately, but the LG Nexus 4 and HTC Droid DNA are undeniably the most talked-about, and for good reason. In their own ways, both are groundbreaking devices that push the envelope of what's possible on the Android platform.

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However, they're also very different -- and they're likely to compete for some of the same prospective buyers. Here's our in-depth comparison between the Droid DNA and the Nexus 4, on paper.

DISPLAY

Were the Nexus 4 up against almost anything else, its display would likely be considered highly competitive at the very least, with a resolution of 1280x768 and 4.7 inches of viewable area. That makes for a pixel density of 318 pixels per inch, nearly as good as the iPhone 5.

However, there's no getting around the fact that, for the moment, the Droid DNA looks to have the single most impressive smartphone display on the planet. An enormous 5-inch screen, checking in at a resolution of 1920x1080, is tough to beat. Even with the large size of the display, that's good for 441 ppi.

DIMENSIONS

Interestingly, the Droid DNA isn't too much bigger than the Nexus 4, despite the larger screen, thanks to a thinner bezel. (And it somehow manages to pack hardware buttons on there as well, though some might question HTC's judgment in persisting with those.) The Nexus 4 is actually slightly heavier than the DNA, though only by a solitary gram.

HARDWARE

The Droid DNA and Nexus 4 are very, very evenly matched in terms of their under-the-hood loadouts, with one notable exception -- the Droid DNA includes full LTE support, while the Nexus 4 does not. Other than that, they both sport 1.5GHz Krait quad-core CPUs, Adreno 320 graphics processors, and 2GB of RAM. Neither has an SD card slot -- much to the irritation of some users -- and both have 16GB of internal storage, though there's also an 8GB model available for the Nexus 4.

The Droid DNA has a slightly smaller battery than the Nexus 4, which, given the general parity of internal specs and much larger screen, might limit available usage time and require more frequent charging. We haven't tested this, however.

INTERFACE/SOFTWARE

While both the Nexus 4 and Droid DNA run Jelly Bean out of the box, the HTC device's operating system is overlaid with the company's Sense UI and a host of pre-installed applications that might not appeal to all users. That includes a big suite of Amazon stuff that, some have speculated, could eventually replace the Google Play store, though that hasn't happened on the Droid DNA.

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