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What is an unlocked phone?
An unlocked phone is a device that is not bound to any carrier or plan. It allows you to choose your phone first and your carrier second. Upon selecting a plan, simply insert the carrier's SIM card into the phone and you're ready to go. If you decide you want to change carriers down the road or want to take an international trip, it's as simple as replacing your existing SIM card with a new SIM and activating your new plan.
What are the benefits of an unlocked phone?
Freedom: Choose the carrier with the best service or price. If you find a better deal later, you have the ability to change to a different carrier.
Travel: Take your phone internationally and use the carrier of your choice. It's as easy as inserting an active SIM card.
Selection: Choose the phone with the features you want, whether or not your carrier sells it, and get more service options without a contract.
How do I set up my unlocked phone?
The first thing you’ll need is a SIM card for your desired carrier. When activated, the SIM card will let your phone connect to your carrier’s network. If you decide to upgrade to a newer unlocked phone in the future, you can easily remove the SIM card from your old phone and put it in your new phone—just make sure you get the right size of SIM card (nano, micro, or standard) for your phone. If you want to use your phone while traveling internationally, you can easily buy a SIM card for a carrier that operates where you’re traveling. As long as it’s activated, you can just swap SIM cards when you arrive at your destination.
Keep in touch on the go with this HTC DROID DNA HTC6435LVW mobile phone that features 4G LTE speed for quick Web connection and a 5" Super LCD 3 touch screen for fast, efficient browsing. Bluetooth connectivity enables use with a compatible device.
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Top customer reviews
Size: In short, it is NOT too big to put up to your face or to keep on your belt 100% of the time or to use one handed. It really does feel like a phone and not a phablet. Compared to my old Thunderbolt, the DNA is thinner, about the same width and about 1/2 inch longer. It weighs exactly the same as my Thunderbolt after you remove the battery and back cover.
Appearance: It is a very nice looking phone. No one who has held it has thought it was too big or too heavy or cheap or boring or whatever. It feels good in your hand.
Speed: There is remarkably little hesitation in responding to my requests. Apps downloaded and installed much faster than my HTC Thunderbolt. Emails with graphics load astonishingly fast. Four core is the way to go. I quickly get frustrated with the speed of my old phone now. The phone is not any slower, my expectations are now that much higher.
Phone quality: It has the best speaker and microphone for making phone calls of any phone I have owned yet. Better than using my $100 bluetooth headset (which was not true of my previous phone)
MHL: They do not mention MHL and I suspect part of the reason is that they use the old MHL 1.0 not the newer MHL 2.0, and as a result, a 1080 screen has issues.
Also, since it is the 5pin not 11pin configuration that Samsung is now using, you cannot use MHL and OTG at the same time.
This MHL adaptor works: BoxWave HTC Rezound HDMI Adapter - MHL Adapter for the HTC Rezound, Stream Content From Your HTC Rezound Straight to Any HDMI Source Such as an HDTV! I put my review of it there. It works just fine without power, but with my 2amp charger, it WILL charge the DNA while streaming FHD HDMI out, tho if you leave it in overnight, it always locked up my phone. I was unable to get it to work with any HDMI->DVI adaptor I had, tho one of the HDMI->VGA adapter I tried sorta worked (it topped out at 720)
The MHL to VGA adaptor from Monoprice also works so that I can view the output on every monitor I have, however I cannot get a full 1080p display (even tho the adaptor says it supports 1920x1080 and HDCP). It too will charge the phone.
The 1080 display on the DNA begs to be used for streaming HD video to the big screen (hotel room, visiting family, bedroom, etc), but so far, I have only been able to get 1080p out of it on one TV set. On monitors I have only been able to get 720p which for me is more than frustrating... it takes away the single biggest reason I wanted a 1920x1080 screen on my phone.
Screen: Watching FHD video on this screen is captivating. It is stunningly clear. With a FHD display, it begs to be used as a computer. You can browse the web EXACTLY like you would at your desktop and still find the resulting tiny, tiny text quite readable. <Update: I am now at my mom's and I normally would try to get to her computer to use the internet and for the first time, I am quite happy just using my DNA. In fact I am now typing this on my bluetooth keyboard looking at my DNA screen. I am using this phone for a much higher percentage of my web browsing than I ever was before. When I used the built in screen to RemoteDesktop, I was very glad I did not go with a 720 display.>
WebBrowser: I have always preferred the HTC web browser due to its text reflow when pinch-zooming. However, they have added a new feature that I am liking a lot. Add To - Reading List, which saves that web page for later viewing (even if you do not have any connection) and the links still work (if you do have a connection). They have also added this Labs - Quick Controls which I am liking a lot. It remains full screen, and to reach your options, you slide your finger in from the edge of the screen.
Camera: I like the camera very much. It takes low light photos very quickly and with good quality. Much faster than the Thunderbolt... my wife will LOVE that when out and about with the kids. I am loving it for taking quick snapshots of something I am reading and want to be able to refer to later while on the train (with the Thunderbolt, this was very difficult to do). I am also liking the ability to rotate and crop my photos within the camera.
>4GB files: I had no problem uploading via the USB cable a 7GB WTV file to the internal memory and playing it with MX Player.
USB Host Mode OTG (OnTheGo): Using this adaptor T & S Electronics Micro USB OTG Cable - Google Nexus 7, Xoom, Samsung Galaxy, Iconia A510, Toshiba Excite 305, & more. LIFETIME WARRANTY! you can do all sorts of stuff with that USB port. The one big downside is that there is no way to charge the phone when the USB port is in Host mode. This is a BIG disadvantage to going this route... but I did already have all the equipment to test this out, so I will leave it in the review. It does NOT provide enough power to properly run my 3.5" external USB drive, tho my USB Flash Memory Key works fine.
USB Keyboard: I was able to use a standard USB keyboard and even my small usb wireless keyboard with built in trackpad: Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 with Built-In Multi-Touch Touchpad (920-003070). I like this combination.
USB Speakers: Using the OTG adaptor, I was able to power my speakers via the speaker's USB power supply cord and (using a 1/8 plug M-M cord) get fabulous and loud sound: Logitech USB Laptop Speaker Z305. I do not need to lug a notebook computer around (or sacrifice it) to play movies for the kids (via NetFlix/Hulu/Amazon/WTV files from my HTPC/video files) or background music when away from home (via Pandora/mp3 files/etc).
USB Key / Flash Drive: I reformatted my Flash Drive to FAT32 (Neither NTFS nor exFAT natively work on this phone -- I tried) and had no problem playing any of the Win7 FHD WTV TV shows I had copied to it. HOWEVER, FAT32 is limited to files of less than 4GB. Fortunately I discovered Nexus Media Importer by HomeySoft. With it I was able to restore NTFS to my USB stick and with MX Player associated with Video files in Setup-AppAssociations, I had no problem playing my 9GB WTV files from within Nexus Media Importer.
USB Hub: I was also able to plug it into my USB 3.0 powered HUB and view both the keyboard and flash drive and power the speakers and power my 3.5" external USB hard drive all at the same time. It would not charge the Droid at the same time. Since the devices are drawing their power from the Hub and not the phone, it should help lessen the drain on the DNA's battery.
Wireless Charging: Any QI charging pad should work, but they seem a bit hard to come by just yet. Since it is smaller than the phone, I had my eye on this one Nokia DT-900 Wireless Charging Plate - Retail Packaging - Black), but I got impatient and picked up a Verizon branded one and it works great. It looks identical to and carries the same WCP-700 designation as this Amazon listing LG WCP-700 Portable Power Mat Home and Office Charging Pad. It is larger than the DNA, but with my corporate discount it was only $42 and it was available today.
Beeping: THe WCP700 beeps when you place it on the pad in the correct orientation and it beeps repeatedly at some point after it is fully charged. Three times now I have been awakened by this beeping. See the comments for instructions on how I removed the speaker. The one big advantage of the beep when placed on the charger is that I now wake up every so often to find that I did not quite place it on the charger just right and a beep would have let me know this. If only it did not beep when fully charged.
Fastboot: Under the battery section, there is a checkbox for fastboot just like my Thunderbolt. It makes the PowerOff work like hybernation, so if I turn it off at night and back on the next morning and it boots up in about 7 seconds (12 if you count the 5 seconds you need to hold down the button)... if I need to clean out cobwebs, I need to choose re-start. However, I have found that it uses so little battery power when all the radios are off and the screen is off, that maybe this is no longer really needed.
Notification light: Easy to miss, there is a barely noticable round led light to the left of the camera lens. My case covered it up so I drilled a hole for it. I have never yet just left my phone lying on the table upside down in front of me, but it makes sense that to minimize distractions during a meeting that a phone on silent upside down with a small blinking led notification light would be helpful.
DLNA / wireless HDMI out: I finally received and tested the HTC Media Link HD H200 (99H10801-00) for One X, One S, One V, Droid Incredible 4G LTE, EVO 4G LTE in Retail Packaging. My review of that is there, however in short, it worked well for video and apps. For FHD Remote Desktop use and games, you definately notice the 1 second delay. I returned it because MHL is working so much better (however, the H200 WILL work via HTML->DVI).
Sound Quality: I have watched a couple of movies now and listened to Pandora a bit and I have no complaints about the sound quality via headphones or external speakers and I am rather picky about that sort of thing, so that is a strong plus. From my point of view, no phone, no notebook computer, no tv set has adequate speakers, so I will not comment on this phone's speaker other than it is adequate for speakerphone use.
The new Recent Apps button: The OpenApp button in the lower right corner is nearly identical in usage as how the HP Touchpad works. Swipe sideways to see the running apps and swipe up to close them. Nice.
ScreenShot: Power+Home. Very nice.
<The 2/19/2013 update fixed whatever problem that kept Angry Birds Star Wars from playing.>
MicroSD slot: This is big negative for me. I thought that I'd be okay with USB Hub option, but since I have no way of keeping the phone's battery from draining using that method, a 64GB SD Card would be a GREAT option. That said, if you do not plan on putting hours and hours of music or FHD video on this device, 16GB should be plenty. I have researched/tested many wireless storage options and rejected them all but one: Seagate Wireless Plus 1 TB Mobile Device Storage with Built-In Wi-Fi Streaming (STCK1000100)
12GB of available memory: Since it has no MicroSD slot and you cannot charge it while in USB Host mode, the 12GB memory limitation winds up being a problem if you want to upload any large video files (upload 1 file, view it, delete it, repeat). After all my apps have taken up their space, there is not enough room left over to upload any large video file.
No Drive Letter: I am about to refresh my backup of my phone and none of my normal tools for comparing the contents of two folders works because no traditional means of referring to folders understands what Computer\HTC6435LVW\Internal storage means. With previous phones with SD cards, I was able to do. This makes my normal routine of backup via Windows Explorer much more difficult.
Wireless Charging: The Qi charger does not work if you have a USB Host Mode OTG (or the MHL) cable plugged into it, which is a shame because that is the primary reason I purchased it.
Micro USB Cover: It may help in keeping out water and dirt, however it is one extra step every time I want to plug something in. 4 months later, I have gotten used to it and it is still there. It helped that I caved in and bought a wireless Qi charger. I have also recently seen a tear down of this phone and there is a rubber gasket going all the way around the outer edge. Between the gasket and the usb cover, it should be more water resistant than most phones.
Micro HDMI port: I am disappointed that there is no micro HDMI port to allow me to use the OTG cable at the same time as an HDMI cable. MHL has issues that a dedicated port may have not had.
FM Radio App: It did not come with the FM Radio app which has been preinstalled on every HTC phone I have every owned before now (this being my 4th or 5th). I use this app every morning as my wife's favorite radio station blocks all avenues I have tried to stream to my phone via the internet, except of course for it's own Android App, of which I am not fond. My old HTC Thunderbolt has become my full-time bed-side radio alarm clock.
Removable Battery: I am worried about the non-user-replaceable battery. I always had a spare for the Thunderbolt with me at all times and have used it many times. So far, after 4 months usage and lots of testing... I have never been below 20% battery life left. Soldering it in there enables them to use a smaller battery and case and therefore make the phone noticably smaller and thinner and lighter. I have a lot more MicroUSB chargers these days, so there should be a charger most every where i go, but I still expect that at some point, I am going to be left with a dead phone. But is that really the end of the world... no, not really. The one big issue will be getting it replaced when the battery is no longer effective (probably 4 years). However, this will likely also be an issue with ANY low volume phone. Unless the battery is also used by a newer phone (or is a highly popular phone), the probability of finding anyone who currently manufacturers a replacement battery for any phone that is 4 years old is a bit low. more likely you will buy one and find it was manufactured 4 years ago and sitting on a shelf for 4 years.
Menu button: I know it is the new standard according to Google, however its absence means that the 3 dot menu bar pops up on every application that is not programming to deal with it (most annoying so: LogMeInIgnitionForAndroid).
Keyboard: There is an option to "swipe" your words. As a long fan of Swype I was intrigued, but after 1 day trial, I gave it the boot and install the Swype "beta".
NFC: Samsung really sells this with it touch-to-S-Beam videos, however you can do this with the any phone with Android 4.1+ which has NFC built it like the DNA. It all depends on how the app uses it, which is where Samsung has really run with it... HTC not as much, but there are 3rd party apps. I have not tried it yet.
Holster: I dropped by the Verizon store on day 1 and they had in stock a very slick belt holster (Verizon branded) for it that looks good, allows the wireless charging to still work, has a nifty option to display the phone at an angle to watch a movie or use a keyboard and view it like a monitor. OEM HTC DROID DNA Shell Combo w/Holster & Kickstand HTC6435. 6 months later I have yet to find a case/holster that provides good protection and ease of use.
Screen Protector: So far I am liking this one: IQ Shield LIQuidSkin - HTC Droid DNA Screen Protector Ultra Smooth Film + Lifetime Replacement Warranty
Bloatware: Verizon has forced upon us a suprising limited number of auto-start-up garbage apps (compared to the Thunderbolt 2 years ago).
HTC. My last 4 phones have been HTC. As annoying as some of my phones have been at times, they had their good qualities and no phone is perfect.
Unlimited Data Plan: I was worried about loosing my unlimited LTE plan, but in reality, I never used more than 4GB per month and the 4GB/mo plan with tethering ($50) is cheaper than my old unlimited plan with tethering ($30+$30). Yes, I paid for tethering.
Battery Life: So far, I have used it daily for over 5 months and I have yet to have a dead phone.
-With all the radios on and no effort to conserve battery power, using a bluetooth headset:
--Phone 1: 12 hours no travel 48% - 14 hours and 300 miles of driving 37% - 14 hours and 300 miles of driving 27% -
--Phone 2: 14 hours 66% - 19 hours 50%. - 16 hours 47%
-With MobileData Off unless needed and Bluetooth and Wifi on 100% of the time: 14 hours 73%, 21 hours 49%
-With Bluetooth and MobileData off and WiFi on: 16 hours 83%. 11 hours 78%.
-With Bluetooth and MobileData and WiFi all OFF and turning them on only as needed with less than 1 hour of screen time per day: 12 hours 94%, 36 hours 76%
-With Bluetooth ON 100% of the time and MobileData OFF and WiFi OFF - turning them on only as needed with less than 1 hour of screen time per day: 42 hours 75%, 52 hours 60% (worth noteing... I keep my bluetooth headset OFF until my phone rings as it connects quickly enough I do not need to waste battery power)
-With a lot of screen time and a terrible LTE signal in my office (when I accidentally leave it on all day), I find that after 12 hours, I am generally down to about 20% battery life left.
-In short, I keep my MobileData and WiFi off until needed in order to buy me more screen time. There is no need to burn battery time to hunt for a signal when I do not need a connection.
-I have started using the Tasker to automatically turn on the WiFi when I am within 1km of home and turn off the WiFi radio when I leave and to turn on the LTE radio when I turn on the Display and off again when I turn off the Display, so it is much like leaving both on 24/7 and yet I seldom have less than 70% battery life left at the end of the day with normal usage (1 or 2 brief phone calls, 15 min of web browsing, 30 min of Kindle reading on the train, a few texts, checking the time).
-I have seen it warn me to plug it in a few times, but I was always able to plug it in and use it plugged in.
-It is 6 months later now, still using Tasker to turn of LTE when the screen is off and on when I turn on the screen. I tend to find it at 40% when I put it on the charger 16 to 18 hours after I picked it up and the "most used" app in terms of battery power tends to be Kindle while on the train (i.e. screen time), so that is not so bad. I seldom get 70% anymore tho... I may need to do a factory reset to get back to that number. I say this because I often find it at 50% after 12 hours and the only usage is "Android System" at 75% of battery power. This makes no sense to me and the last time I found that to happen, a factory reset seemed to work (for a couple of months anyway).
Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse: I was able to pair it up and us each just fine, but the mouse was way too erratic, so it is tucked away in a drawer forever (the Logitech Tablet Mouse for Android 3.1+).
Speed: I am amazed how much faster Google maps locates my current location (super fast GPS lock) and how quickly it shows traffic conditions. My Thunderbolt took about 1 full second (vs instantly now) for the location and it frequently took FOREVER to display current traffic (vs instantly now). This alone will save me a LOT of frustration if this continues.
Reset: If the DNA becomes completely unresponsive and you cannot perform a restart, then simply hold down the power button for at least 10 seconds.
Wired Ethernet: I had hoped this might work, but it did not: [BobjGear USB to RJ45 Compact Fast Ethernet Adapter made for Android]
Thin-Client Remote Desktop: I have moved this into the comments. I doubt many people are trying to achieve what I am trying to achieve with a phone.
HTC Media Link HD H300?: I tried three times to order the H200 on HTC's website, but it was cancelled on me each time and they finally told me the reason... the computers say it is discontinued. Perhaps there is a H300 coming out soon? No one knew anything.
Google Play: I had no problem signing into my HTC Thunderbolt's existing Google Play account (putting 2 phones on the same account)
Exchange: I encountered no issues with connecting to my company's Exchange Server during the initial walk thru. I had previously been using Touchdown for Exchange, but I thought I'd give Google's email handler a try and so far, after 4 months now, I am still liking it, tho I did have to consolidate my calendars into one.
Crashing: My first phone would crash or reboot whenever I used a FHD app for more than 8 minutes. My 1st replacement phone did not have this problem, however I do occasionally have apps mysterious shutting down that seems to be related to lack of resources for certain FHD requests (FHD Angry Birds Star Wars?). I am guessing that this might go away if they increased the RAM. I thought my 2nd phone was rebooting on its own, but it turns out that the default sound for new google mail was the same sound as the reboot sound and since I so seldom get gmail, it took a long time for me to make that connection, but once I did, I just changed the sound for "Default notification".
Rooting: I researched rooting mostly to enable NTFS, however I came across a post by someone who notice that the phone keeps track that you rooted it, so even when he unrooted it, the notification was readily available to any Verizon rep who would decide to deny the warranty because it had been rooted. True or not, I decided against it, just in case.
It came with a 1 amp charger that looks just like the one that came with my Thunderbolt. I frequently charge it with the 2 amp charger that came with my HP Touchpad.
It is running Android 4.1.1 and HTC Sense 4. It has 2B of internal memory with not quite 12GB of alternate-pseudo-SDCard memory available for me to use.
Bluetooth displays as 4.0
I like Android 4.1.1 very much. I forsee me installing far fewer utility applications (folders, task killer, etc).
Contract Expiration Date: I have discovered that I am eligible for a new discounted phone on 07/21/14... 20 not 24 months. -- correction... after 6 months of showing a 7/21 date, I just noticed that they are now showing a 11/21/2014 date.
Both phones I received (1 directly from VerizonWireless 11/21/2012 and later in the store 11/26/2012) came pre-charged.
Update: Verizon did release an updated operating system last night, however it is still 4.1.1 and HTC Sense 4+. "This update includes improvements for WiFi connectivity, Bluetooth connectivity, and other things such as improved audio quality over wired headsets and earpieces." Also repaired: Angry Birds Star Wars now plays just fine.
If you have any specific questions, just leave me a comment.
<Note: I am planning on getting a Samsung S4, mostly so that I can use it in the SmartDock and be able to use MHL 2.0 and OTG and charging all at once at FHD on a 15.6" FHD monitor>
The soft touch coating is lovely, and it feels lighter and more sure in the hand than the One. I'm not sure if it's as durable, though, because I've yet to drop it as seriously as I have my One.
Basically, this is a lot of phone for 100, and if you can find it for less, just buy it. The aftermarket support is excellent (I got it s-offed with moonshine, and running Liquidsmooth 5.0.2 with only about an hour of real effort), and it's more than capable of modern web chores. 2GB of RAM is still more than an iPhone 6 Plus, don't forget, and with the same screen res, too!
...which I know isn't a fair comparison, because the A8 trounces the S4 Pro in this, but who cares about how fast the CPU is? That's right, the poor sap whose tabs are being recompiled, by said stronger cpu, literally all the time. Always. It's inescapable, which is why I've never held onto a portable Apple product since they fell behind the curve. The new Air 2 seems like an omen of a newer, less recalcitrant Apple in the mobile space, so we'll see what 2015 brings.
Anyway. This phone also has God's LayoutTM, as I'm referring to it, my agnosticism notwithstanding, because its main buttons are back, home, and recents, IN THAT ORDER. As Google intended. Not some BS like the One, where recents is buried as a secondary function, which annoys me every time I go to use it.
Another fun fact! No homescreen lag when going home with this phone, unlike the One, which has about half a second of the phone doing absolutely nothing before it finally drags its drunken rear to your homescreen! Mind you, that's not THAT long, but it's annoying. And why is it happening? Exactly. No excusable reason exists for such a thing. So that this aging, much cheaper phone can handle something that simple with such comparative grace, is something worth noting to me.
What else...hmm. The port cover for the USB jack is annoying, so rip it off. It looks almost stock without it, and port covers are annoying, so just get rid of it. You'll bend it up and it'll never fit right again unless you fastidiously reinsert it just-so every single time you use it, so rip it off. It's like a benign growth. The micro USB plug itself is oriented wrong compared to almost every other android device I know of: the wider part faces up, not down. That takes some getting used to, but the HTC faithful won't notice.
No IR blaster, and the Beats audio amp doesn't power the speaker. It's worthless.
Great phone, comfortable, fast, and cheap. Highly recomended to anyone who wants a little piece of valu-tastin' history in their pocket (this was the first FHD phone in the US, as far as I know).
Netflix with Bluetooth headset works great. The battery is a little weak, but not bad. I think they could've made it at least a 2500ma without much difference in size, but maybe they'll come out with a maxx version later.
Had the Razr HD before, the DNA is much smoother and faster than the Razr.
Cons: The glass goes all the way to the corner so a case is a MUST! one little drop on a hard surface and the screen is done. I had a Thunderbolt and a Rezound also, they were dropped many times without a case and didn't break; I don't think this one would fare as well.
Bluetooth phone audio quality isn't the best. Supposedly there is an update coming to fix the problem.
No SD card slot. Stupid thing to leave out. The Butterfly (same phone available in some other markets) has it, why not the DNA? Must've been a Verizon trick so you have to buy a higher Data plan
Yes, I recommend this phone