Motorola Droid Bionic ratings

The Motorola Droid Bionic is a hell of a phone —
but can it possibly live up to the months and months of hype?

Motorola Droid Bionic


The Good

Finally, Verizon combines LTE data with a dual-core processor in a familiar and stylish form factor. It's fast, well-built with a large screen.

The Bad

What took this phone so long to get to market? It's found itself in a precarious place, with a new version of Android imminent, along with new hardware. Then there's the Pentile display and continued LTE battery suck, plus a suspect camera.

Conclusion

This should have been Verizon's Droid X2. Or maybe it was supposed to be the Droid X3. Regardless, it's the best LTE device available today.

Inside this review

More info

The background: Eight months of hype

Hype is a dangerous thing for a smartphone. On one hand, a certain level of excitement does wonders, turning the launch of a device into a near-celebratory event. Verizon's set the bar high in marketing its DROID line, nearly single-handedly putting Android on the map with the original Motorola Droid nearly two years ago. Fast forward some 500 days or so later, and that brings us to the Motorola Droid Bionic.

Droid Bionic-Etna To say this phone has had an interesting road to launch would also be the biggest understatement of the year. First and foremost, what you hold in your hand today looks a far cry different than what was announced at CES in January, some eight months earlier, and which you see here at right.

For whatever reason, that original Droid Bionic hardware was unceremoniously scrapped, launch plans presumably put on hold, and so the waiting -- and the hyping -- began.

So you have to be careful when talking about the Droid Bionic now. In fact, you can't even say we've been waiting on this phone since CES. It's a completely different phone, and one that stayed under cover for much of its development process.

Motorola's obviously brought a top-shelf device to the table here. But will it -- and can it -- possibly live up to the hype generated over the past 200 or so days and nights while we waited and waited? Let's find out.

The video walkthrough


Youtube link for mobile viewing

So here's your official video walkthrough of the Droid Bionic. If it looks a little familiar, well, it should. Take a Droid 3, make it a little faster and remove the keyboard, toss in LTE data, and here you have it. Largely the same experience.

The hardware

Like we said, there's really no reason to compare the Droid Bionic with what we saw at CES. It's gone. Dead. Never happened.

Motorola Droid Bionic Design-wise, the new Bionic fits right into Verizon's current DROID lineup. It basically looks like a cross between the Droid X2 and Droid 3. Or a Droid 3 without a keyboard. Dealer's choice.

Done up in the same glossy gray color scheme, the Droid Bionic sports a 4.3-inch display, covered in Gorilla Glass. It shares a few design cues with Sprint's Motorola Photon 4G in that the glass curves down at the edges, and the capacitive buttons beneath the display are done with the same large stenciling. We're seeing a very slight gap between the display and the body of the phone. (Look at the top edge in the image below.) It's more visible at certain angles and could be limited to our review unit.

The display is of qHD resolution -- that is to say 540 pixels wide by 960 deep. That's as high as you can get on an Android smartphone right now, and it helps make images and text look crisp and clear. But it's mitigated somewhat by what's called a "Pentile Matrix" screen. Never mind what it really means. To you, it means you're going to see faint crosshatching on the screen where there actually is none. It can make whites look a little less white, or it could just generally mess with your eyesight. The general consensus is that the Pentile crosshatching isn't quite as noticeable on the Droid Bionic as it is on other devices, but we can definitely still see it.

If you never noticed this sort of thing before we just mentioned, you have our apologies.

Motorola Droid Bionic

Above the display is the front-facing camera (which shoots up to 480x640 resolution), earpiece and Motorola's logo. The ambient light sensor is up there, too, but is nicely hidden. There's also (blessedly) a hidden notifications light.

Motorola Droid Bionic

On the chin you have the Verizon logo and microphone pinhole. The Droid Bionic's definitely a looker from the front, but the pinhole mic at the bottom does break up the otherwise clean lines somewhat.

Motorola Droid BionicMotorola Droid Bionic

Motorola Droid BionicMotorola Droid Bionic

The sides of the DB are pretty uneventful. You've got the microUSB and microHDMI ports on the left, and volume rocker on the right. There's no physical camera button.

Motorola Droid Bionic

Up top is the 3.5mm headphone jack on one side, and the power button on the other. Because of the phone's size, you might find the power button tough to reach if you hold the phone in your left hand.

Motorola Droid Bionic

The back of the phone is taken up entirely by battery cover. It's all logo'd up with Verizon, 4G LTE and "with Google" logos, plus the Motorola bat wings. You'll find the 8MP rear camera back here as well. It's stylishly done a glossy chrome finish and has a faux speaker grille just above it. The real speaker is nicely displayed in a lower corner. And like nearly all Motorola speakers, it's plenty loud.

Motorola Droid Bionic Motorola Droid Bionic

Also worth noting on the back is another pinhole mic. This one's for noise-cancellation. And Moto's done a solid by putting a removable plastic stick on top of it, pointing out that there's a microphone there, and you shouldn't cover it up. (Occasionally you'll find some lower-quality cases and accessories that somehow manage to ignore the secondary mic, covering it and thus degrading performance.) That's a nice attention to detail for the consumers.

Motorola Droid Bionic

Opening the battery cover is easy enough thanks to a little notch at the top. Once it's removed, you have access to the 1735 mAh battery -- that's just about the largest-capacity stock battery you'll find these days, without going to a third-party retailer.

Motorola Droid Bionic

You can remove the included 16GB microSD card without first removing the battery, which is nice. There's also a SIM card for the 4G LTE radio, and it actually has an interesting design to it as well, sliding into the phone sideways. Also note the gold pins for the optional inductive (wireless) charging back.

Physically, the Droid Bionic has been called "Verizon's Photon," or basically just a thicker Droid X2. And neither one of those statements is really inaccurate.

Motorola Droid Bionic specs

What's under the hood

This is where the Droid Bionic really sets itself apart. We've had 4G LTE devices on Verizon for some time now. We've had dual-core processors. Now we have both on one phone. The DB sports a dual-core TI OMAP processor running at 1 GHz. If you're new to dual-core devices, you might be surprised in that for the most part you won't really notice a difference. That's not to say the Droid Bionic likely isn't faster and smoother than any phone you're upgrading from -- unless you're using something released in the past 8 months or so, it almost certainly is. Instead, the dual-core processor is meant to shine in ways that might not be readily apparent. Theoretically, you should see better battery life. (More on that in a bit.) More graphic-intensive applications should run smoother. And multicore processors allow the phone to output video via the HDMI port or DLNA more easily.

Also of import is that the Droid Bionic has a full 1GB of RAM, of which about 900MB or so is accessible during normal smartphone use. That extra RAM (which is what phones and computers use to actually run apps) really is there to help out with the Webtop applications, but we're more than happy to make daily use of that memory.

Storage-wise, there's about 3.5 gigabytes for installing applications, and another 8GB of user-accessible internal storage for pictures, music or whatever. That's to go along with the 16GB microSD card, of course. So the DB is not lacking in that department one bit, even if you don't get to use all 16GB of the advertised internal memory.

ThunderBolt LTE speeds Droid Bionic LTE speeds
HTC ThunderBolt LTE speeds (left) and Droid Bionic LTE speeds (right)

As for data speeds, your results will vary, of course, depending on where you live. But it eats up LTE data just like we'd expect it to, and doing so at speeds relatively comparable (as you can see in the pics above, they were kind of all over the place) to our other resident LTE device, the HTC ThunderBolt. That also means it's eating up battery -- 4G phones do that, of course.

And battery life really is our big wild card with the Droid Bionic. On one hand, the phone's got a dual-core processor, which generally (but not necessarily universally) will give you more life out of a single charge because the phone's not working as hard. On the other hand, the Droid Bionic has a 1735 mAh battery, so you're going to get more life out of it than you would out of another LTE device using a smaller battery.

As for our testing? It's business as usual. Verizon's LTE data is fast, and it chews through a battery -- especially if it starts switching between 3G and 4G. We also saw the same strange overnight (an unplugged) battery drain we've seen with Verizon's other LTE devices.

The phone also did get pretty warm -- hot, even -- on a number of occasions when it was chugging through data. That's never a comforting feeling.

Droid Bionic LTE switchIt's worth noting that you can turn off the LTE data by going into the Mobile Network settings and choosing "CDMA only." We'd still like to see an on/off widget though. Most  people won't ever find this, or take the time to use it even if they do.

We could do benchmark tests all day, but benchmark tests always come with the caveat that they don't really show the full extent of a phone's capabilities. And none of them actually tests one phone's hardware against another because of the way applications interact with the hardware via a virtual machine.

No, for us the real story of the Droid Bionic is this:

  • It's damn fast when flipping through Motorola's custom user interface.
  • We're still seeing the occasional slight lag in that user interface, though. We're pretty sure that's a software thing and not a hardware thing.
  • So it's got a slightly bigger battery. Great. But LTE data is still power-hungry. That hasn't changed, even with the dual-core processor. And that makes sense.

If you're not in a position where you can keep your phone plugged in, you're probably going to want a spare battery or an extended battery. That's just the way it is.


Youtube link for mobile viewing

The software

The Droid Bionic is running Android 2.3.4, commonly referred to as "Gingerbread." On top of that is Motorola's custom user interface and framework. Once known as "Motoblur," the latest version of the UI has shed that moniker (unless you hear it lovingly referred to as "Philblur"). The whole thing still has sort of a cold, metallic feel to it.

Droid Bionic Screens
Droid Bionic home screens

Motorola's done a nice job of not overloading the five home screens, instead opting to only pre-load icons and widgets on three. You get the Google search widget, Verizon's data usage widget and some help and account icons, the very cool favorite contacts widget (drag it down to see more), voicemail, e-mail, browser and the Android Market, a photo gallery widget, and icons to Google Talk, VZ Navigator, ZumoCast and Youtube.

Motorola's also got its custom launcher on board, with three static icons at the bottom of the screen that can be swapped out for different applications. By default, they go to the phone dialer, text messages, camera and the app drawer. (And we're still not crazy about the design of those icons -- the text messaging icon looks like it should go to e-mail, and the camera icon looks like a washing machine.)

Motorola Droid Bionic Motorola Droid Bionic
Droid Bionic app drawer

Opening the app drawer, you can find more little tweaks from Motorola. Hit the "All apps" button in the top left, and you can group and sort the apps on your phone. By default, there's "All apps," "Recent apps," "Downloaded" apps and "Verizon Wireless." At the top right is a quick link to the Android Market.

Motorola Droid Bionic Motorola Droid Bionic
Droid Bionic app drawer options

Hit the menu button while in the app drawer, and you have options to sort your apps alphabetically, by frequent use or by recent use, you can search the Android Market for new apps, go to the "Manage apps" settings or get to the device settings. If you press and hold on an app in the app drawer, you'll have options to uninstall (if possible) and add to home.

You've got plenty of apps pre-loaded -- most of them the usual Verizon standbys -- including Amazon Kindle, Blockbuster movies, Citrix, City ID, Go to Meeting, Let's Golf 2, NFL Mobile, Quickoffice, Slacker, all the VCAST apps, VideoSurf, VZ Navigator and ZumoCast.

Really, the bottom line on the software is this: You've seen it before. It's the latest version of Blur, and it's plenty fast, thanks to the hardware thrown its way.

Droid Bionic Motorola Droid Bionic
Motorola's multitouch keyboard, left and the Swype keyboard

You've got two keyboards from which to choose, or you can install your own. By default, the Droid Bionic sports Motorola's multitouch keyboard. The multitouch part means you can hold the shift key and type a capital letter. Swype is the very popular keyboard in which you can swipe your finger from one letter to the next, without lifting your finger from the glass. (Or you can just type normally.)

The camera

Motorola Droid Bionic

The Droid Bionic has an 8-megapixel rear camera, but it doesn't actually shoot at 8MP by default. Instead, it uses a slightly lower 6MP resolution, with the images measuring 3264x1840 pixels. It does that so the pictures you take more properly fit the Droid Bionic's display and is something Motorola's been doing for some time now. You can easily switch to the full 8MP in the settings. And Motorola still has a great camera user interface, with easy-to-use buttons and settings.

The camera's done in, however, but a laggy focus. Press the shutter, and the camera will start to focus ... and focus ... and focus. Eventually it snaps the shot, and if you're lucky it'll be in focus. Or maybe it won't be.

Images below open in full resolution in a new window

Motorola Droid Bionic camera testMotorola Droid Bionic camera test

Motorola Droid Bionic camera testMotorola Droid Bionic camera test

Motorola Droid Bionic camera testMotorola Droid Bionic camera test

The Droid Bionic shoots video at 720p by default, which is more than capable. But you can easily crank it up to 1080p in the settings. The front-facing camera is, well, it's a front-facing camera.


1080p video

Front-facing video

Other odds and ends

A few other tidbits:

  • Phone calls: Crisp and clear, for the most part. If there were any issues, we're fairly sure they were network- and not hardware-related.
  • Speakerphone: Mentioned this earlier, but it's worth repeating. It's nice and loud. Motorola continues to lead the way.
  • Web browser: Between the dual-core processor and extra RAM, scrolling across a full webpage is a breeze. That's not to say that there won't be any pages out there that might confound it, but all of our usual haunts loaded up just fine.
  • Wifi hotspot: The Droid Bionic will serve a Wifi signal to as many as five other devices while on LTE. We wouldn't recommend leaving it on your lap while doing so.
  • Webtop accessories: Like other recent Motorola phones, the Droid Bionic has a bunch of "Webtop" accessories that turn the phone into a true mini-computer, running a full version of Firefox from the device. They're a fun idea, but we still can't recommend them over a real laptop or netbook. And Moto's really overloaded on the accessories (as if that's a bad thing, we suppose). A dock. An HD dock (for Webtop use with a monitor). A Webtop adapter (for if you don't want to use a dock). That's a lot of options for a gimmick.

The wrap-up

We asked at the beginning of this review if the Droid Bionic had any chance of living up to all the hype of the past eight months or so since the first version was announced at CES. Any answer to that is pretty subjective.

The simple fact is this: The Droid Bionic should have been the Droid X2, which is only a few months old now. And it might very well have been scheduled to be, but plans changed. Or perhaps it was destined to be the Droid X3. Or maybe none of the above.

What you have is this: A powerful Android smartphone with Verizon's LTE data and Motorola's custom user interface. There's nothing necessarily magical about any of those things (though we've certainly been a fan of dual-core processors and LTE data), and even combined in one phone, it's not like you're getting an all-new experience. It makes call, it surfs the web, it handles e-mail, it has apps. It plays video. It takes pictures. And for the most part, it does these things well, thanks to the dual-core processor and extra RAM.

But the Droid Bionic is an LTE-capable device. And while that means great data speeds, it means poor battery life, and an occasionally hot device. And the Pentile display isn't for everyone.

There are trade-offs. There are caveats. And there's the fact that, yes, the Droid Bionic was overhyped. But there's also this fact: The Droid Bionic without question is currently the best LTE-enabled smartphone in Verizon's stable. How long will it remain on top? We'll just have to see.

 
There are 82 comments

svargas05 says:

New review system = WIN!

gadgetpimpin says:

Im taking mine back. Its not worth 300. Getting sprints galaxy s2 for $99 at walmart. Oh yeah... FIRST!

El Jefe says:

LOL!

FAIL @ the "First" attempt & an upcoming FAIL @ your future WiMAX network & late non-existent updates from Samsung.

svargas05 says:

At first, I was like "im gonna give him 3-stars"

and then I saw your hating-a$$ comment following shortly after.... Douche.

El Jefe says:

LOL!

svargas05 says:

I was talking to you......

"LOL!"

El Jefe says:

I know you were. WiMAX is a joke that makes me laugh, sorry if that offends you.

svargas05 says:

My WiMax coverage is perfect.

Dont know where you tried it out.

Besides, who the hell wants capped data and high priced data packages???

tehsusenoh says:

He never said the coverage sucked.

1LoudLS says:

i dont have capped data on my bionic

trejrco says:

For those of us grand-fathered in, our unlimited plans are a Good Thing. I have 3 of them right now (DB, OG-Droid and aircard in my laptop) ... (and one metered, on my still-not-LTE-enabled XOOM).

On a related note: Limited / metered plans are (IMHO, obviously) a pox on the internet we know, use and (in some cases) nearly love. Even if we don't normally/ever hit our caps, just having to think about it _changes how we behave_. One of the key factors that has allowed the Internet to grow the way it has is that we, until fairly recently anyway, didn't have to count minutes/Kbps. Going back to this *busted* model hurts all of us, and **please** rant at/about your vendor/carrier of choice as often as possible against this.

SpaceDroid says:

It seems that the SGS2 offends you. Out since May and still selling out in the US launch. Well see how many FAILONICS will be sold in 6 months.

Love the new review system. You guys rock!

MedioGringo says:

Woah, awesome design on the review! I really love the graphics and your star ratings at the beginning. With a million new Android handsets coming out every day, it's nice to have something quick to and easy to look at.

Kudos Phil.

Agreed with everyone above. The new review system is great. Probably the best one I've seen on any site. Also, extremely thorough review. Can't wait for the SGSIIET4G review, as I will probably get that phone in October

svargas05 says:

Sprint's a boss for even making a phone with a full name that long :)

SGSIIET4G = WIN, too!

IceDree says:

SGSIIET4G ... !
I thought shortcuts are supposed to make it easier to remember the names , but this sounds like a Nuclear launch codes or something

svargas05 says:

2 digits shy of a damn vehicle VIN number!

Hahaha!

IceDree says:

Indeed

Jish92 says:

Good review! I'm still not sure whether it's worth switching to from my Droid X. I'll probably wait for the next 4g phone to come out on Verizon.

I'm so tired of always hearing reviewers (in any genre) say "This is what the _____ should have been." It seems like such a cop-out, too-easy, space-filler answer. That being said, Phil is awesome and so is AC :)

1LoudLS says:

he doesn't mean it in a bad way for the new phone, its more of a statement of the short comings from a slightly older phone, that the new phone fixes

El Cantante says:

Very satisfied with my BIONIC I bought on my lunch break on 8 September. A little nervous to see what's available a couple months from now. But an ENORMOUS improvement from a stock OG. really feeling this phone. I hope I'll be satisfied to this extent until my next upgrade in May of '13.

droidify says:

By far the most comprehensive review to date. I appreciate the objectivity here on androidcentral. This is the only place for android news as far as I'm concerned.

ricbon says:

great review but i do disagree with one thing is the screen resolution is still not the highest the iphone is, 960x640. that being said i waited for this phone to hit the streets and i am passing it by. two things i look for in a phone is screen and camera and that pentile screen sucks huevos! I played with the droid3 and put it on the live grass wallpaper and man my droid inc still beats it. camera doesnt look to appealing, but i'm going to check it out in a store and test it out. not my phone but to each their own! Thanks for the write up.

IceDree says:

Not to sound like a douche or something ...
Probably won't count , since this is an androidcentral (keyword : Android)
but you are right , the Retina Display (iPhone 4's screen) have the highest resolution in a cell phone

There is also the Samsung Galaxy Tab P1000 with screen resolution of 600 x 1024 , but that thing is more like Mini-Tablet , instead of a giant phone

Other than these two , qHDs are highest resolutions in Android phones
(ATRIX ,Sensation ,EVO 3D ,PHOTON 4G ,DROID X2 , MyTouch 4G slide & the DROID BIONIC)

ricbon says:

no offense taken but the statement was "That's as high as you can get on a smartphone right now, and it helps make images and text look crisp and clear", and i'm not trying to defend the iphone but the bioinc imo isnt the highest resolution. i hope the next wave of htc phones rival the retina display.

Ok... not to be "that guy" but if you actually go back and read again you will notice he says its the highest res on any ANDROID SMARTPHONE right now!! Not just smartphone, so enough talk about the freaking iPhone!! Obviously that's higher Res! He was only talking about android as this is ANDROID CENTRAL!!!! Learn to read people! Geez Louise pappa cheese

Kimo91 says:

Awesome informative review but unfortunately it didn't "blow wind up my skirt" as Charleston Heston said in movies. I'm due for an upgrade in 3 weeks and I'm not liking Motorola's UI at all. Currently have a D2G and looking to go to HTC 4G/LTE phone instead. 8 months and this is the best Motorola can pull out their rear ends. So long Motorola hello HTC

Cahramrod says:

Love the new review system. Keep up the awesome work guys.

movielover76 says:

I have a thunderbolt (running a gingerbread leak, which has improved my battery life and speed a lot.) and I went to the Verizon store to test out this dual core wonder and compare it to my phone and to be honest I was disappointed, it didn't seem any faster than my phone. I've heard that gingerbread still doesn't take complete advantage of a phone's dual core abilities, I don't know the accuracy of that statement, but it seems to be true in my experience.

This is just one person's opinion but I think it's better to wait for a phone that comes with ICS and more impressive specs, the bionic seems like it's too little too late to be a good choice, unless you have something that's really outdated of course, and need an upgrade right away, it didn't seem like a bad phone but it didn't leave me with any envy that I usually have when a new phone comes out which is better than mine lol.

IceDree says:

That was fast !

"Also of import is that the Droid Bionic has a full 1GB of RAM, of which about 900MB or so is accessible during normal smartphone use. That extra RAM (which is what phones and computers use to actually run apps) really is there to help out with the Webtop applications, but we're more than happy to make daily use of that memory."

Thanks Phil for pointing that out , allot of people are assuming that its a divided 50\50 for the phone & the webtop

The new review style is awesome
Great review Phil , Thanks

jean15paul says:

Agreed with other comments. I like the new "review UI". That's what you should call it. The "AC Review UI"

IceDree says:

+1

mbentley3 says:

Good review. I upgrade to the Bionic from a BB Curve, what a huge difference. I've been waiting for a good 4G LTE device and I am happy with what the Bionic has shown me so far.

I agree the camera isnt the greatest, and the focus delay can get annoying.

As far as the pentile display, it doesnt bother me but I can understand it bothering some people. Check it for yourself if you think its something that may be a deal breaker for you.

This phone is super fast and the battery seems decent considering its an LTE device. I actually watched last nights football game on my ride home from work, had no delay or buffering with 4G. Was great.

Lee_R3D says:

The spec sheet should be a bit closer to the top IMO. I like the new review layout.

Love the new review set up Phil. And nice Bionic review, I'm going to try and pick one up through work.

HAAS599 says:

Not a fan of the numbered review system. But I like the phone info and good and bad graphics. After Engadget adopted the numbering system, their reviews went to poopville. Please be consistent.

cjbrigol says:

New review system is awesome. I'd love to see more reviews on all phones, even low end ones. I know most of the readers don't care, but I'm often converting my friends to android and as much as I try to convince them, they just don't care about the latest hardware and want a good price. So I go search for a good option for them and having these types of review on the low end models too would be great. If you need more help you can even e-mail me! Seriously. Thanks again, Android Central!

Davest says:

I'm just curious how many of you who are constantly cracking on the Bionic's screen have actually seen it and, if so, what exactly your complaint is? I actually *have* the Bionic, and I'm thrilled with the screen. I don't like Samsung's screens...the colors are blown all out of proportion, especially the greens. I much prefer the color scheme on my Bionic, which is far more realistic.

skinja99 says:

I have compared a lot VZW screens next to eachother because I was curious about this whole 'pentile' thing. The Bionic is better than the D3. And the Bionic looks great, until you look at it next to the Charge. Then it is night and day. So something that probably wouldn't even be noticed without having them next to each other.

The Charge is so much brighter, crisper, and more clear than the Bionic, tho.

AnGeLFaCe77 says:

Samsung's colors are to colorful. Is there a way we can adjust the colors, Samsung will be selling more devices.

1LoudLS says:

dont get me wrong, i love my bionic, however my sisters Dinc blows the display out of the water. its pretty much the biggest thing keeping this phone from being damn near perfect. for the most part it really doesn't bother me unless i have something setting right next to it making it stick out like a sore thumb, anybody that says that they dont see what everybody is talking about, either is lying to themselves or isnt wearing their glasses

Taz says:

I have the droid incredible and the Bionic, and there is no way the Incredible's display is better.I do not have any of the cross hatching i hear about.

skinja99 says:

He may have meant the Incredible 2.

You can see the lines on the Bionic, I can see them around the edges of icons on the home screen. But they are more pronounced to me if I open the market app. Maybe cause the market has a lot of green.

You may just be thinking they are normal lines of resolution like I did....until you look at it next to the Charge or another SAMOLED+

Droid-life has some comparisons of close ups. (Note Bionic Screen is not in their comparisons)

http://www.droid-life.com/2011/05/26/a-closer-look-at-the-droidx2-and-it...

1LoudLS says:

No, I did mean the original Droid Incredible.

1LoudLS says:

well then you must have a defective set of eyes, because they are there as plain as day. since Im not using my device to consume HD video all day long, it's not a deal breaker for me, especially if it helps on batter life then its more than worth it. but saying that its not there is just lying to yourself.

I disagree and agree on your comment.

Disagree with the fondness of the bionic screen. I spent a few minutes playing around with it at verizon yesterday and it is very pixelated on green and red's and the white are... Off white.

The phone itself is pretty quick, but comparing it to my dx running Shuji 2.1, not much of a difference.

I agree with the Samsung screens, the amoled screens are just way over saturated and cartoonish looking.. Especially on the charge.

I'm looking forward to seeing what the htc thunderbolt 2/vigor comes with.

Nevertheless, the bionic is a pretty substantial upgrade from most phones.

Great review Phil.

triangle8 says:

Like the review. Great layout. While it certainly looks like a great phone, I'm with rest of the crowd waiting to see what's coming out in the next couple of months.

Another "+1" on liking the new Review system. Odds are I won't be buying the Bionic but at least Motorola has discovered the baseline needed to run MotoBlur properly.From now on 1GB Ram should be the minimum Moto uses for it's high-end Android devices. Next on Moto's "to-do" list: Fix that camera software,either in-house or by subcontracting a company to do it.Kodak did a nice job with some of Motorola's earlier cameraphones.

duke82722009 says:

Best review of the Bionic I've seen. Great job Phil! I would totally get that phone (If I had the money).I guess I'll keep drooling till I get my first android. Also, was that a stature of St.Francis in the photo log

mapexonly says:

Love the style of the review! On the camera if you touch the screen in the middle it focuses pretty fast then click the button and its pretty amazing quality every time for me so far anyway maybe after sending my order 5 days late they gave me the only truly working unit haha

Davest says:

One other note. Everyone is always commenting on the fact that the Droid was delayed to market. Seems that we're forgetting that the reason that it was delayed was so that it could be *completely redesigned*. It's more accurate to say that the phone originally called the Droid Bionic was cancelled, and the name was used eight months later on a completely different phone.

Dirk Giggler says:

Something important should be noted here:

Although your battery is dead in ~4 hours when constantly browsing via LTE...it would take you 12 hours (maybe longer) to use the same amount of data browsing on 3G. Is your 3G phone going to last 12 hours under constant use? How much time have you waisted? I mean, 3G phones can't even be used the same way.

LTE makes the Bionic more useful on a completely different level. I was at Fry's Electronics over the weekend and they have an internet price match guarantee on their products. I was barcode scanning that bitch up and down, getting instant page loads with the Newegg app...finding the best deals on the best reviewed merchandise and getting it for the lowest price. It was "magical".

Nirvana328 says:

great review, and I love the new review system. But one simple request, can we have a real spec sheet instead of a pretty spec graphic?

Where was the RAM, battery size, inputs, sensors and other odds and ends like notification light? Yes they were in the review, but a spec sheet should include that stuff too. That way I can open the review, skim to the spec sheet and instantly know everything (ie: the specs) about the phone before I even read the 1st paragraph.

Otherwise nice job Phil.

eric6052 says:

It's unfortunate but it seems like Motorola just can't load a decent camera onto their devices. My wife has a Droid 2 and I have an X and they both have meh cameras. We have young children so having a good camera on our phones is important to us. Luckily the Galaxy S2 seemed to get great reviews for its camera, and I will be picking up whatever version of that Verizon eventually launches.

Read the reviews on the Moto ZINE ZN5 from 2 YEARS ago.Great cameraphone for T-Mobile. Why is Moto accepting going backwards on this feature if they can't do it themselves?

AnGeLFaCe77 says:

You should be good with the Samsung prime from verizon. It will be almost like gs2 but better :) I love moto but i am considering buying my first Samsung phone.

Driven says:

"We also saw the same strange overnight (an unplugged) battery drain we've seen with Verizon's other LTE devices."

What's "strange" and/or confusing? It happens on many of the Android phones that come loaded with bloatware that starts up whenever it d*mn well pleases and transmits whatever they want to, however often they want to until they heat up your phone and completely drain your battery, it can happen a heck of a lot faster than overnight. Def Root and ROM your Android, you'll love it even more.... :-)

trejrco says:

Rant aside (no offense), I agree that rooting is a good idea for anyone so inclined. I haven't rooted my DB yet, but have a rooted OG-Droid and a rooted D2 (R2D2 :) ) around here somewhere ... and recommend it.

My XOOM and DB will be rooted someday, too busy with work (and trying to get a better feel for the non-rooted "experience") for now.

AnGeLFaCe77 says:

Why root, when this device is plenty fast with a lot of ram. Remember you rooted your OG droid before, but you could not put more memory in it when you rooted. I feel root is worthless

jouststar says:

I picked up this phone Sunday and returned it today.

Streaming video i.e. Netflix, HBO GO etc. looks like you are looking
thru a screen door at a picture tubed t.v. from the 90's!
I am sure that is a update issue with these sites but damn!
I will wait until this issue is resolved and use my 1st generation
Droid until they do.

ICS in 1-2 months. doesn't matter how good this phone is, or any others that show before ICS phones. If a new phone isn't critical, just wait for the Prime. Who knows when the bionic will get ICS, it took all year just to get released.

trejrco says:

I am hoping, especially with Google's impending purchase of Motorola, that updates in general, and ICS specifically, will not be that long-delayed - maybe I'm just overly optimistic?

Also, you could argue that (in general) you could always wait another 1-3 months for the next Best Shiny ... ? In the meantime, I am pretty darned happy with my DB!

(Worse comes to worse, I will have another upgrade I can transfer over in ~4 months :P ... the only real upside of having several devices from the same carrier!)

AnGeLFaCe77 says:

As of this moment Moto is leading the way when it comes to updates. They are pusshing GB to all their devices but the OG droid.

WALLIEDIRT says:

The phone is... lets say it was shock and AWE for me. Stupid fast and HD videos looks great along with photos. Maybe its just me on this. I've very happy with it and the Lapdock is wonderful! good bye laptop!

KillerG says:

Phil likes City ID :0.
Lol well I do like the new reviewing system, keep it up.

trejrco says:

Just got mine yesterday, and work has prevented a lot of experimentation ... but so far, my first thoughts:

1) Yes, can be a battery hog. VZW rep recommended (and I got) the "iGo Green" plug in + portable (dual-USB) charger. So far that has helped me get through the day.
(Also considering an additional battery, but I want to get one of the "extended ones" - without killing off the case I also bought ... grr.)

2) The WiFi HotSpot has worked great so far, but I am a bit disappointed that it doesn't support IPv6 (no DHCPv6-PD, etc.) ... was *really* hoping VZW/Google/Moto would have that nailed down for LTE+IPv6 enabled devices!!

AnGeLFaCe77 says:

I feel the device it is 9 out of 10 :)They could of improve the front facing cam to megapixel instead of vga. I have to point out that out of all the display HTC are the best ones including my beloved Moto devices. They use the best pentile matrix. The only thing that bothers me about my bionic's pentile it is the black letters and white background.

AnGeLFaCe77 says:

Guys you did a good job reviewing this device. Do you feel the prime will be better? Lets wait and see

I am loving the new review presentation! nice to look at.

I went to the Verizon store to check out the Bionic last night. I twisted and turned the screen trying to see the Pentile lines in the white spaces and I did see them, but with some effort. In normal viewing I couldn't see them. However, when viewing some photos online I did notice that the pictures looked like they were made up of millions if teeny tiny little squares, but they would smooth out/go away with just a slight turn of the screen. But they kept reappearing. I don't know enough to know if this is an effect of the Pentile stuff or not, but it was pretty noticeable. I didn't view videos so I don't know if it appears there too. Are those little squares Pentile-related? If so, that's not good. However, even with the squares issue I found the Bionic to be a really nice phone. My OG Droid (running PE6.5) has served me well but it's time to retire it. I'm going with the Bionic next month when I'm eligible.

Uh oh. I just did a bunch of reading up on the "teeny tiny little boxes" I noticed on the phone and found out that it is, in fact, the issue everyone's talking about. The original, faint lines I struggled to see aren't the same thing (and are essentially invisible, so forget about them). The "chain link fence" or "screen door" descriptors apply to what I saw on the screen. I had the phone at about the distance I would normally hold it, so to me it is certainly visible. I don't know if I can deal with it all the time (I use my phone constantly for various tasks), but I'm going back to the store this weekend to play around with the Bionic for a good long while (or until they kick me out) to see if I can tolerate it. Bummer, but I need a new phone. My OG Droid is not long for this world.

lloydsboy says:

I was hoping to use my Bionic to help me stay connected to my office while traveling on the road.
I WAS WRONG!!!!. When you travel in and out of 4G coverage YOU WILL LOSE DATA CONNECTIVITY!!!.
3 ways to fix this.
1.) Pull out and re-install sim card.
2.) Toggle airplane mode on and off.
3.) Samsung Charge. Which I should have kept!

gdbjr says:

I drive home from a 4G area into a 3G area and my DB has no problems with the handoff.

1LoudLS says:

agreed, my house is right at the edge of the LTE range so my phone is constantly bouncing in and out of LTE anytime that i am home and have never had a problem with losing connectivity.

bullydogger says:

Mine does the same exact thing where I live to a point that I have to turn wifi on in the house for reliable data

bullydogger says:

Thanks for a great review.
Well after almost a week of owning one I have to say I absolutely love it and yes it is everything it promised to be. I do however find the reception in 3G worst than my Samsung which is quite odd cause Motorolas radios are typically excellent. Other than that it is a awesome fast beast

bajanut says:

I was thinking on exchanging my samsung charge for the motorola bionic so i went to a verizon store to play with and compare it to my charge. One thing that was very noticeable is the screen I played the VERIZONS NFL mobile VIDEOS synchronized with my charge and the bionic and although the picture was more vivid or bright (don't know if the charge has a brightness setting or if i have to change it from the save battery mode) and the colors more natural (faces looked red in my charge) but the picture in the bionic was so pixelated you could not tell the faces, the field grass also was so pixelated in the bionic that was annoying, it looked sooo much better in my samsung charge, no pixelation, faces where very distinctive overal a much much better picture, (I tried 2 different bionics) i don't know if there is a setting to increase the resolution in the bionic, but the charge wins that battle easily. the verizon salesperson told me that she was going to try to get a hold of the motorola rep and ask about it... Very disappointing :-( i wish verizon would have carried the galaxy SII

mhanda45 says:

Hopefully the nexus is as nice as the galaxy

WOW A 1GHZ DUL ..... The GS4 has a 1.9 qud humm let me think....

AndroidBIO says:

Bravo for commentating on a phone that's almost 2 year old now and comparing it to a phone released a couple of months ago.