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Tests show the Droid DNA’s battery may not be quite as pathetic as feared

The 2020mAh battery installed inside the HTC Droid DNA, announced in conjunction with Verizon last week, did put a bit of a downer on the whole affair. Few thought such a weedy cell could adequately power a device with a 5-inch, 1080p screen and a quad-core processor.

Things looked bleak when one compared the Droid DNA with the competition, as not only does the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 beat it with a whopping 3100mAh battery, but the Galaxy S3 smartphone — with a smaller, lower resolution screen — does too, as it hides a 2100mAh battery behind its rear cover.

The chance of the Droid DNA lasting a day before needing a trip to the charger were looking slim, and many had begun to doubt the device would be worth investigating further.

Now though, proving again we should never judge a phone by its spec sheet, GSMArena.com has published its independent Droid DNA battery test, and it’s ability to power the phone nowhere near as terrible as we feared.

The site gave the Droid DNA an endurance rating — which is the expected amount of standby time with an hour of calls, browsing and video playback — of 49 hours. The Galaxy S3 managed 50 hours, the HTC One X+ achieved 44 hours and the Apple iPhone 5, 51 hours. The Galaxy Note 2 steals the show with 69 hours.

Comparable to the Galaxy S3

Breaking its performance down, the test shows the Droid DNA achieved just over 11 hours of 3G talk time, 6 hours 40 minutes of web browsing and finally, 7 hours 30 minutes of video before expiring. HTC has clearly worked hard to optimize its Sense UI and Android to work well with a smaller battery.

Looking at previous results, the Droid DNA outperforms the Galaxy S3, the HTC One X and the iPhone 5 in the talk time charts, but can’t get close to any of them in browsing or video tests. Unsurprisingly, it’s blitzed by the Galaxy Note 2 in each category, but overall, it’s performance is very similar to the Galaxy S3.

So, on the positive side, millions use the Galaxy S3 everyday, but then anyone who does so knows it struggles to see the day out with heavy use. The big advantage with the S3 is the battery can be swapped out, something that can’t happen with the sealed Droid DNA. There’s another problem too, as 4G LTE wasn’t covered in the test, so expect another drop when that’s enabled.

However, anyone considering a 4G LTE phone knows it’ll consume more power, and it’s hardly a secret the Droid DNA has a battery that can’t be swapped out either. While the 2020mAh battery is anemic, its performance could have been a lot worse, and is really in-line or better than many other high-end smartphones already found in plenty of pockets. Whether that’s acceptable or not is down to you.