The Motorola Droid Bionic from Verizon Wireless is one of the most powerful Android devices to be released in 2011. The phone is loaded with feature upon feature and touts a powerful battery to back it up. Though the Android experience would be even better without the Motorola UI modifications,
The box contains:
- Motorola DROID BIONIC
- microUSB cable
- Wall Charger
- Getting Started Guide
- Product Safety & Warranty Information
The device shape and build has similarities to both the exterior designs of the Motorola Droid X2 and Droid Pro 3 smartphones melded into one device. It starts out with a 4.3-inch qHD 960×540 resolution display. The Bionic is a touch slate device with a scratch resistant Corning Gorilla Glass screen. The Bionic weighs 5.5 ounces and its dimensions are 66.9 x 127.5 x 10.99 mm (HxWxD).
Just like the others we have the micro-USB and micro-HDMI ports on the left side. These are used for charging and sync, HDMI-out for video playback up to 1080p and even mirror mode for games and apps.
Around to the right side just like its smaller siblings we have a clean, simple, and elegant design with nothing but the aluminum volume up/down rocker. It’s conveniently placed right as the curve around back starts up to give it a natural placement that is easy to access while holding the phone. Then up top we have the usual 3.5mm headphone jack and power/wake button.
On the rear we have the rest of the goods such as an 8 MP camera lens capable of 1080p video capture with dual LED flash, a noise cancellation pinhole, and the speaker grill. That and a few brand tags of course like Verizon, 4G LTE, and with Google.
Clearly the most compelling reason to get a Droid Bionic is that it combines two speedy technologies in one handset: a dual-core processor plus Verizon’s 4G LTE. As we mentioned earlier, navigation certainly felt much snappier than on single-core handsets. The phone’s 1GB of RAM helped boost performance, too.
But it was the Web browser where the 4G LTE speed boost was evident. Motorola packed the browser with HTML5 support and full Adobe Flash support. With most handsets, this can result in slow page loading on Flash-heavy Web sites, but not so with the Droid Bionic.
The Droid Bionic launches with Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread and Motorola’s custom user interface, which used to be known as MotoBlur but Motorola has quickly moved away from that branding. MotoBlur gets a lot of deserved guff but remember that software from handset makers can eventually lead to better things in core Android – MotoBlur was the first Android UI with resizable widgets, which is now a standard in Android for tablets.
The dual-core processor inside the Droid Bionic means that it zooms along, as apps open quickly and it can handle all types of 3D gaming. Unfortunately, I just can’t get into the MotoBlur aesthetic. There’s no major sins here but I just don’t agree with many of the small choices: the app tray swipes left to right, there’s a noticeable screen darkening in the browser when you’re switching between landscape and portrait and I really hate the way the app switcher menu looks.
The Droid Bionic also comes with a ton of preloaded software including the range of V Cast apps, ZumoCast, Amazon Kindle, Blockbuster, Citrix, GoToMeeting, Let’s Golf 2, MotoPrint, a mobile hotspot app, NFL Mobile, Quickoffice, Slacker and the VideoSurf app.
The camera is an 8 MP camera with dual LED flash. I’ve tested it quite a bit both indoors and out and while it takes a great photo
they do seem a bit over exposed in my opinion. The auto focus is pretty slow and can sometimes take over 2 seconds but once focused it takes a great photo.
Video recording has been bumped up to 1080p and the resulting quality improvement is noticeable, but we did see some focus hunting in the resulting footage, particularly when filming closer subjects. Still, it’ll more than suffice for recording your two best friends taking turns chasing each other around the yard.
Utilizing the same music player interface featured on other recent Motorola smartphones, it has a conventional approach with its presentation as songs are being played – displaying such things as the album cover and on-screen controls. However, we do like the nifty looking 3D carousel gallery available when we’re browsing through songs in landscape.
The Motorola Droid Bionic comes with a huge 1735 mAh battery on board. I guess Motorola didn’t want to hear talk about extremely poor battery life like the Thunderbolt suffered when it first was released. So far I’m averaging pretty solid battery life.
The Motorola Droid Bionic, like the Droid 3, uses a TI WL1285 wireless combo for WLAN, Bluetooth, and an FM radio, were the Bionic to have an application for it. WiFi range on the Bionic is totally adequate, I can find nothing to fault with this, and we’ve pointed out where the WLAN antenna is on the device. Things are pretty standard here, the Bionic does a good job hopping on and off of my 2.4 GHz 802.11n network, and with my 20 MHz channels I see a link speed of 65 Mbps, which indicates long guard intervals.
Motorola Droid Bionic Specification
|GENERAL||2G Network||CDMA 800 / 1900|
|3G Network||CDMA2000 1xEV-DO / LTE|
|Status||Available. Released 2011, September|
|SIZE||Dimensions||127.5 x 66.9 x 11 mm|
|DISPLAY||Type||TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||540 x 960 pixels, 4.3 inches (~256 ppi pixel density)|
|- Multi-touch input method
- Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate
- Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
- Touch-sensitive controls
|SOUND||Alert types||Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones|
|MEMORY||Phonebook||Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photo call|
|Call records||Practically unlimited|
|Internal||16 GB storage, 1 GB RAM, 2 GB ROM|
|Card slot||microSD, up to 32 GB, 16 GB included|
|3G||Rev. A, up to 3.1 Mbps, LTE|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot|
|Bluetooth||Yes, v2.1 with A2DP, EDR|
|USB||Yes, microUSB v2.0|
|CAMERA||Primary||8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED flash|
|Features||Geo-tagging, face detection, image stabilization|
|FEATURES||OS||Android OS, v2.3.4 (Gingerbread)|
|CPU||Dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, ULP GeForce GPU, Tegra 2 AP20H chipset|
|Messaging||SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, IM, Push Email|
|Games||Yes + downloadable|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS support|
|Java||Yes, via Java MIDP emulator|
|- SNS integration
- Digital compass
- HDMI port
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- MP3/WAV/WMA/AAC+ player
- MP4/WMV/H.263/H.264 player
- Google Search, Maps, Gmail,
- YouTube, Google Talk
- Document viewer
- Photo viewer/editor
- Adobe Flash 10.1
- Voice memo/dial/commands
- Predictive text input (Swype)
|BATTERY||Standard battery, Li-Ion 1735 mAh|
|Stand-by||Up to 195 h|
|Talk time||Up to 10 h 40 min|
Still, if you really want a dual-core processor with 4G LTE and don’t mind a bit of graininess on your screen, the Motorola Droid Bionic is a good-looking powerful smartphone that should stand the test of time.
Yes the Bionic is feature filled and packs plenty of punches, but it also has features and hardware that have been around separately on other devices for several months for the most part. The Bionic may be the first Verizon Wireless smartphone to finally bring all those features – 4G LTE, 1080p recording, Dual-Core processor, 4.3 qHD screen, and front-facing camera- together in one solid Android phone, but all these features are nearing their life cycle ending.
- 4G LTE connectivity
- Fast dual-core processor
- Great calling quality
- Motorola Webtop functionality
- Shoots great looking 1080p videos
- Signal strength issues
- Poor viewing angles with its display