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Verizon's HTC M7 could come to life as a Droid DNA refresh

New details suggest that Big Red may offer the rumored HTC M7 as an updated Droid DNA.

Could Verizon be readying a Droid DNA refresh already? Sarah Tew/CNET

Verizon may soon debut a refreshed version of the HTC Droid DNA smartphone, according to newly uncovered details leaked by software developer and HTC insider @LlabTooFeR.

Hardware specifications for a model known as "DLXPLUS" suggest that the nation's largest wireless provider could be readying a device with details that are not unlike the rumored HTC M7.

The hardware list points to an Android Jelly Bean device with Sense 5.0, a 4.7-inch 1080p display, a 13-megapixel camera, and a quad-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 processor. Said to also have 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage, the DLXPLUS has all the makings of an M7.

The Droid DNA, for its part, was known by the code name of DLX in the months leading up to its announcement.

Interestingly enough, Verizon is not thought to be one of the carriers getting ready to offer HTC's flagship smartphone. Perhaps Big Red wants some breathing room between the Droid DNA and the next big HTC thing.

Another explanation for this variation is that AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile will carry the M7 under a single name, while Verizon bucks the trend with its own version. Logic suggests that the DLXPLUS could be to the Droid DNA what the HTC One X+ is for AT&T's current model. In other words, a beefier, more powerful experience with the same outward appearance. But so soon?

Given just how new the Droid DNA is, I find the scenario of an upcoming M7 competitor potentially confusing to customers. One of the Droid DNA's key selling points is its 5-inch display, something that neither the M7 or DLXPLUS is expected to offer. Will buyers view this as an upgrade if it has a smaller screen? Will Verizon cannibalize sales of the HTC Droid DNA smartphone?

Let's hope that some of this is cleared up come February 19, when HTC takes the stage to unveil its next superphone.