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HTC Droid DNA: Better hope you've got big thumbs

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(Read caption) The HTC Droid DNA for Verizon.

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We admit to being a little mystified at the rise of the "phablet," a portable device that occupies the awkward middle ground between tablet and smartphone.

Still, the things are apparently selling pretty well – earlier this year, Samsung announced it had sold 3 million Galaxy Note II phablets in just over a month. It was an indicator, TechCrunch argued at the time, of "serious momentum for enormo-phones." 

The latest super-sized smart phone to hit the market is the HTC Droid DNA, a slim gadget equipped with a 5-inch HD display. By comparison, the screen on the iPhone 5 measures 4-inches corner to corner – and that was a size upgrade from the 3.5-inch display on the iPhone 4S. So yes, the Droid DNA has a lot of screen real estate. It's also got a record-setting pixel density of 440 pixels-per-inch. 

"That is the highest-pixel density on any mobile screen to ever hit the States," writes Brent Rose of Gizmodo, "by a gigantic margin (HTC announced the J Butterfly last month in Japan which has the same screen). To put that in perspective, the iPhone 5 has 326 PPI, or 114 fewer pixels per inch than the Droid DNA. It's also better than any tablet, computer, or TV on the market."

Other niceties: The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system, an 8-megapixel camera, a 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, and 2 gigabytes of RAM. The Droid DNA will be powered by Verizon Wireless, and available on Nov. 21. The price is $199 with a two-year voice and data contract. And already, the DNA is enjoying some seriously glowing notices ("this thing is nuts," notes Rose of Gizmodo). 

"On back, the phone’s soft-touch surface cut from premium polycarbonate reminds me more of the HTC One X and One X+’s design language though," writes CNET's Brian Bennet, in a hands-on preview posted today. "You’ll need that soft-touch coating too since its rubber feel provides a sure grip. The device’s large, yet thin. Its 0.16-inch profile make it thinner than the Samsung Galaxy S III." 

More when we know it, including a more comprehensive look at reviews. 

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