HTC Droid DNA: Is 440 PPI Really Necessary?

HTC Droid DNA all sidesSo HTC formally launched the Droid DNA for Verizon. It’s powered by a quad core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, coupled with a healthy 2Gb of RAM and 16Gb of internal storage, but what really makes this Jelly Bean 4.1 Android smartphone standout is the massive 5″ Super LCD 3 screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. Yes, that’s the same Full HD resolution that you will typically find on those high end 60″ Smart TVs. What kind of pixel density do those numbers translate to? 440 PPI. That’s a screen so sharp it’ll make your eyes bleed.

Exaggeration aside, do we really need 440PPI? The short answer is no. Steve Jobs famously pointed out when the Retina Display on the iPhone 4 came out that anything with more than 300PPI will be imperceptible by the human eye from a distance of 12 inches. That means you can hold up the 326PPI Retina Displays of the iPhone 4, 4S and 5 up to the 440PPI screen of the HTC Droid DNA and I can guarantee that you won’t be able to tell the difference. Heck, with a 5″ screen, you’ll even be holding it farther away from your face than you would an iPhone 4S or 5!

In fact, a uselessly high resolution and pixel density might actually hamper the phone from performing well in other areas. The HTC Droid DNA’s resolution of 1080 x 1920 means it has more than 2 million pixels to push, graphics-wise. In comparison, the larger 5.5″ display of the Galaxy Note 2 only has a resolution of 720 x 1280, which translates to only about 900,000 pixels. Those 4 Krait cores will have to work much harder just to achieve the same kind of smoothness that other Jelly Bean devices enjoy while having lower resolutions. Not only will smoothness of operation take a toll, but so will battery life. The Droid DNA has a largish 2,020mAh battery, but the Galaxy Note 2 only manages average battery life despite it’s 3,100mAh battery.

Still, it’s already looking like the HTC Droid DNA will be the phone to beat for the next few months, and it’s not as if I wouldn’t have a techgasm from being able to flaunt a screen like that alone. It won’t be available in the Philippines or anyplace asides from the US since this is a Verizon phone, but an international version should be out shortly. After all, the HTC Droid DNA is just a regional version of the HTC J Butterfly, which is only available in Japan. Watch out for any updates on an international version making it here as I’ll be posting updates on pricing and availability in the Philippines as soon as the news becomes available.

HTC Droid DNA Specifications

  • 5″ Super LCD3 capacitive touchscreen at 1080 x 1920 (440PPI) protected by Gorilla Glass 2
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait CPU
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • 2Gb RAM
  • 16Gb Internal Storage (11Gb user available)
  • 8MP autofocus rear-facing camera, 2.1MP front-facing camera
  • LTE up to 100Mbps, HSPA, EDGE, GPRS
  • WiFi a/b/g/n
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 2,020mAh battery

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