Verizon Droid DNA has multiple personalities; open GSM access?

Verizon Droid DNA
Call the newest Verizon flagship device from HTC what you will. I recommend these names:

Any other name is probably wrong, but I won’t get in the way of your freedom of speech to call it what you want.

If you’re a Verizon customer who’s still debating the switch to prepaid wireless service, and are due for a contract renewal and want to try the latest and greatest device they have to offer, the two goals are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Android Central noticed something a little interesting in the technical specs: it supports UTMS/HSPA radio frequencies, which is highly unusual for a CDMA device, especially one on Verizon. Even more interesting is that the GSM portion of the device is completely GSM unlocked! Phil Nickinson even registered his device on the AT&T network.

In other words, if you purchase a new Droid DNA, and later decide to switch to a prepaid GSM provider, you don’t need a new device. You can use the same phone. If you really like spending money on wireless service every month, you can even switch between the two networks by modifying your phone’s settings.

Some people have rightly pointed out that Phil was using a pre-release phone, and it’s possible that Verizon will carrier lock the device when it officially ships to customers. Fortunately, since Verizon uses the Block C 700 MHz spectrum, the FCC won’t let them do that:

(e) Handset locking prohibited. No licensee may disable features on handsets it provides to customers, to the extent such features are compliant with the licensee’s standards pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, nor configure handsets it provides to prohibit use of such handsets on other providers’ networks.

Wirefly currently has the Droid DNA on sale for $649.99 off-contract (Verizon price: $599.99). While that’s considerably more expensive than the Nexus 4, at least it’s not stuck in a limbo state of stock availability.

Droid DNA Specs

The Droid DNA is no slacker when it comes to hardware either. With a full 2 GB of RAM and 1.5 GHz quad-core CPU, all tucked behind a 5″ full-1080p screen (with a whopping 440 PPI!), this device is certainly a powerhouse.

  • Camera: 8MP, f/2.0, 28mm wide angle lens, smart LTE flash, BSI sensor, autofocus, HTC ImageChip and 1080p HD video recorder; 2.1MP front-facing camera with BSI sensor and 1080p video recorder.
  • Display: 5-inch HD 1080p Super LCD 3 screen (1920×1080); 440PPI
  • Processor: 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 APQ8064 and MDM9615m
  • OS: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean + HTC Sense 4+
  • Memory: 16GB eMMC, (11GB usable storage), 2 GB RAM
  • Battery: 2020mAh lithium ion – embedded
  • Network Technology: 4G LTE (700 MHz); CDMA (800/1900 MHz); GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz); UMTS/HSPA (850/900/1900/2100 MHz); LTE (700 MHz – Band 13).
  • Wifi: 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Dimensions: 141 x 70.5 x 9.73 mm
  • Weight: 138 grams / 4.86 ounces
  • Additional features: NFC, HDMI via MHL, HTML5, Bluetooth 4.0 aptX, microUSB, microSIM, headset and speaker amplifiers, 3.5mm 2.55v stereo audio jack, dual microphone noise cancellation, embedded wireless charging, G-sensor, ambient light sensor, digital compass, proximity sensor, gyro sensor.

Oh, and if you’re the type who’s into these sorts of things, the HTC Droid DNA is already rooted with a custom recovery. And it hasn’t even launched yet.

Way to go, enterprising Android tinkers.

I’m just one guy on the internet who’s come about this knowledge of prepaid phone plans from various sources and become empassioned enough about it that I feel like it should be shared with everyone in one easy to find place. It is my goal to provide you with the information and the tools you need to make an informed decision in the easiest way possible. IF you find my information helpful and you make the switch to a prepaid phone plan, I do have referral links which throw a monetary kickback in my direction if you sign up, and I’d appreciate if you use them – but if you don’t, that’s fine too. My goal is education, not monetization. There are no lies, no marketing spin, no abstractions of the truth, and no fine print to be found here.

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About Aaron Burke

I’m just one guy on the internet who’s come about this knowledge of prepaid phone plans from various sources and become empassioned enough about it that I feel like it should be shared with everyone in one easy to find place. It is my goal to provide you with the information and the tools you need to make an informed decision in the easiest way possible. IF you find my information helpful and you make the switch to a prepaid phone plan, I do have referral links which throw a monetary kickback in my direction if you sign up, and I’d appreciate if you use them – but if you don’t, that’s fine too. My goal is education, not monetization. There are no lies, no marketing spin, no abstractions of the truth, and no fine print to be found here.
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