Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Droid DNA - a welcome sidekick at CES


I learned several years ago to take more than one mobile phone to CES. Batteries run down and service can sometimes be spotty in the bowels of huge Las Vegas Convention Center or in hotel ballrooms.

This year my back-up mobile was the Droid DNA, an Android phone made by HTC for the Verizon network. And although I only made a couple of calls on the DNA, it turned out to be a terrific companion for other reasons. The DNA was my camera, my notebook and a reliable link to my Gizmo Editor blog.

When I saw a woman launch a toy helicopter user her brain waves, a snapped a photo, cropped it inside the phone, and had it posted online in about five minutes.

At another stop, I shot a short video of a robotic device that washed windows.

The guy in the center of this infrared image? That's me snapping a picture of a demo at the Verizon booth.

 The DNA's camera turned out to be just as good and a lot more versatile than the point-and-shoot camera that I usually take to CES. The picture quality was very good and the editing features are available directly from the camera function, so you don't have to load a separate app. And the 5-inch HD display gave me a good look ath detail in every image.

The DNA's on-screen keyboard was particularly helpful when I had to write a couple of paragraphs on the run. The auto-correct feature was far more robust than the what I get on my fruit-branded mobile phone.

I didn't get to explore the DNA's Near Field Communication feature, a wireless link that swaps data with other NFC devices. But there are plenty of those devices coming out way. Sony, Samsung and others displayed cameras, computers, audio systems and other gadgets that support NFC.

The DNA turned out to be a real workhorse and a worthy competitor to the iPhone 5 or Samsung's Galaxy IIIS.  

Look for the DNA for $199 with a two-year contract at Verizon outlets.


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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.


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