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Motorola DROID BIONIC Hands-on

Posted: , by John V.

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Motorola DROID BIONIC Hands-on
Oh, Verizon customers, it's surely nice to be the ones who constantly find venerable smartphone maker Motorola crafting stellar devices that never fail to galvanize the hearts and minds of consumers all-around. Even now, we're continuing to see the DROID brand resonate deeply as the latest one to join the ranks, the Motorola DROID BIONIC, is coming straight at us at lighting speeds and killer hardware to undeniably drop jaws all-around. So if you're a current Verizon customer, don't flinch for a second, because this thing is aiming to plop itself nicely onto Big Red's lineup.

Before we get into some of the nitty-gritty portions of the Motorola DROID BIONIC, we have to say that for something rocking some next-gen specs, its design is rather on the bland side, when you look at something like the Motorola DROID X. There's no arguing that Motorola can make killer-looking smartphones, but they don't particularly come out to their full potential with the Motorola DROID BIONIC. Despite its all-too-common looking approach, there's still a lot to melt over since every nook and cranny is filled with something spectacular.

Motorola DROID BIONIC Hands-on
Motorola DROID BIONIC Hands-on
Motorola DROID BIONIC Hands-on
Motorola DROID BIONIC Hands-on

Motorola DROID BIONIC Hands-on
Motorola DROID BIONIC Hands-on
Motorola DROID BIONIC Hands-on
Motorola DROID BIONIC Hands-on

In fact, your eyes will pop looking at its 4.3” capacitive qHD display, which packs a respectable 540 x 960 resolution that offers plenty of crisp details to catch your eyes initially. Secondly, we find a dual-core 1GHz processor under the hood that made navigating around the platform extremely fluid and smooth – which is something we'd expect with such a high-flying phone. Third, it's going be one of the few devices for Verizon that will be packing next-generation LTE speeds to match its swift processing prowess. Moreover, it features 512MB of the desktop-grade DDR2 variety, an 8-megapixel auto-focus camera with flash, HDMI output, and a front facing camera for video calling.

Motorola DROID BIONIC Hands-on
Motorola DROID BIONIC Hands-on
Motorola DROID BIONIC Hands-on
Motorola DROID BIONIC Hands-on

Underneath all of the fancy, larger-than-life specs, it's powered by Android 2.2 Froyo with the unique dash of the latest MOTOBLUR interface that some have learned to appreciate. Although some might not be moved by its choice siding with Froyo from the onset, it's going to be interesting to see how quickly we find Gingerbread making the rounds for this device. Nevertheless, with a tentative early Q2 release for Verizon, anything can happen between now and then, that might quickly turn that Froyo treat in an even tastier Gingerbread dessert.

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posted on 06 Jan 2011, 05:32 4

1. timshady337 (Posts: 45; Member since: 19 Nov 2009)


posted on 06 Jan 2011, 19:13 2

8. jogutier (Posts: 324; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)

I second that emotion. :) Did they mention the Mega Pixels of the front faceing camera? Anything above 1mp is good for me. I would like a 2mp atleast.

posted on 07 Jan 2011, 14:51 1

17. LionStone (Posts: 743; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)

yea, in the specs it says 0.3

guess they kinda skimped on the front, oh well, Get the xoom for that

posted on 18 Jan 2011, 15:04

44. dbfender07 (unregistered)

its 1.3 not 0.3

posted on 19 Jan 2011, 14:13

45. cellgeek82 (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Dec 2009)

One thing to remember on the camera quality, its not about megapixel, it's about how good the sensor is. Too much megapixel means more bandwidth is needed and would make the stream more choppy. VGA quality may not be ideal for taking pictures but it makes sense for video calling.

I wish higher quality video would become available too but we have to be realistic too. The sharper the video the more speed and bandwidth is needed. As young as 4G is right now we're lucky to get a front facing camera at this point.

posted on 23 Mar 2011, 15:09

54. Sembazuru (unregistered)

Yes larger megapixel mean more bandwidth required, but that usually isn't an issue at the sensor level. (It might be an issue for using with video streaming for video calling though, but smart software scaling should be able to down-rez the image to fit the data pipe.) The biggest issue with more pixels on the same size sensor (or the same number of pixels on a smaller sensor) is because the pixels are getting so small they are more susceptible to electronic noise which leads to a noisy image capture. There is (for each sensor size given similar fabrication qualities) a sweet-spot that balances number of pixels to an acceptable (usually meaning soft/firmware correctable) signal to noise ratio.

While all my blathering above makes me sound like I know what I'm talking about, the above is about it. I have no idea what the physical size of the sensors being used for the front-facing cameras is, no idea what my above described "sweet-spot" is (for any sensor), nor do I know the relative fabrication qualities between the different sensor chips.

(Not to mention the quality of the lenses which would take a whole 'nother blog to discuss...)

posted on 06 Jan 2011, 22:20 1

10. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

The BIONIC might get me to trade in my Droid X (I am off-contract in July, 2011; upgrade can be done around May, 2011).... I wonder how fast VZWs LTE network is truly going to be. They are supposed to be doing one of the initial batch of LTE implementations in my neck of the woods (San Mateo - just south of SFO on the S.F. peninsula).

Tick-tock, tick-tock :-)

posted on 07 Jan 2011, 03:19 2

12. nycfrank (unregistered)

yea i don't think your gonna be able to upgrade. verizon is changing their upgrade policy on Jan. 16. for a jul upgrade you have to be talking about a yearly upgrade and they are getting rid of that.

they are getting rid of new every 2 also. the only thing they will have is an upgrade after 20 months on a 2 year plan and you will be able to get the phone at a promotional price.

posted on 07 Jan 2011, 12:53

14. redexpress (Posts: 2; Member since: 07 Jan 2011)

unfortunately, nycfrank is right. you can still always choose a 1 yr contract intead of a 2 yr. which you'll be able to upgrade @ 10 months. However you will have to pay more for the phone if you do that.

posted on 12 Jan 2011, 11:08 2

28. ghost (unregistered)

he will still be grandfathered in on annual upgrade policy eligibility. Anyone who signs on or after Jan 16 will not be able to do annual upgrades or receive NE2 credit. You will only have 2 options 1 year to upgrade in 10 months but handsets will cost more or 2 year to upgrade in 20 months and receive standard promotion pricing.

posted on 18 Jan 2011, 03:56

42. jspencer67 (unregistered)

talked to someone I know at Verizon and was told that if you were due for the early upgrade sometime near (but after) the Jan 16th date that they would most likely process it for you. I was due for Feb 25th and she said that I shouldn't have much of a problem. Also they did get away with the new every 2 program but they are going to readjust the promotional pricing to reflect it....phones will be cheaper when they come out

posted on 18 Jan 2011, 10:26

43. vzwservesmewell (Posts: 29; Member since: 05 May 2010)

If you were projected to have an annual upgrade in 2011 you won't lose it.

posted on 24 Mar 2011, 17:24

55. jogutier (Posts: 324; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)

I think Verizon should suck up their loss with the lighting bolt (thunderbolt), and bring this phone out already. lol!

posted on 06 Jan 2011, 06:37 2

2. mouth (unregistered)

Needs to be a LTE Global Phone

posted on 06 Jan 2011, 09:02 1

3. testman22 (Posts: 338; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)

it is

posted on 06 Jan 2011, 13:05 2

6. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)

LTE is GSM technology so you can get 4G anywhere there's coverage but you wouldn't be able to get any of Verizon's 3G coverage out of the country.

posted on 07 Jan 2011, 16:43 1

18. phoneexpert (unregistered)

No way can you get 4g everywhere with Verizon yett.!!! Unless your in 1 of their major cities they offer it too!!

posted on 08 Jan 2011, 03:43

20. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)

i didn't say everywhere, i said anywhere there's coverage.

posted on 13 Jan 2011, 11:19

30. usg305d (unregistered)

I read an article that explained LTE 4G, and the technology is a derivative to GSM and when you see LTE 4G, then all phone's are compatible on different networks. The 4G will also make multi-tasking, phone calls and scrolling the net possible for Verizon and Sprint. I think the problem is getting all the networks, well at this time, to allow each others customers on their 4G network.

posted on 06 Jan 2011, 10:52 5

4. phonefreak (unregistered)

I'd take this over an iPhone anyday. I'll be in line for it when it finally comes out.

posted on 11 Feb 2011, 11:17

50. bonehead189 (Posts: 7; Member since: 03 Feb 2011)

I second that opinion, "I'd take this over an iPhone anyday."

posted on 06 Jan 2011, 12:01

5. henry1086 (Posts: 9; Member since: 26 May 2010)

wow verizon is really stepping it up with what they expect from phone manufacturers. Now all that we have left to wonder about is the tiered data pricing. all of this video calling through their 4g network is great but hopefully verizon gives its customer enough of a data cap to be able to use features such as video calling without going over.... :-/

posted on 06 Jan 2011, 14:47

7. jim (unregistered)

Why are all the great new phones GSM headed for AT&T and Verizon as always lags behind?

posted on 06 Jan 2011, 19:14 4

9. jogutier (Posts: 324; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)

Are you blind? Did you not see the phones (Bionicle) they just annouced?

posted on 11 Jan 2011, 20:13

27. ctony1120 (Posts: 6; Member since: 11 Jan 2011)

your stupid Verizon is coming with 4!!!4g phone i dont see att with that many -_______- dont be jealous

posted on 13 Jan 2011, 13:35

31. g2memphis (unregistered)

Jim's right - ATT is getting upgraded models of the Motorola, Samsung and LG Android phones that VZW is getting. Sprint is getting the upgraded model of VZW's HTC Thunderbolt. Close, but no cigar!

posted on 15 Jan 2011, 13:51

36. fishpower187 (Posts: 88; Member since: 22 Feb 2010)

Wow. You really didn't read this article, did you?

posted on 17 Jan 2011, 16:41

41. vzwservesmewell (Posts: 29; Member since: 05 May 2010)

I think I get what Jim is saying. Historically Phones have come late to Verizon or not come at all, but that will not be the case any more. There are a number of factors for this but I believe the biggest is Cost. Since GSM is cheaper to manufacture and economies of scale are greater with more GSM users world wide, historically these global manufacturing companies seemed to always produce GSM models first (ATT/T-mobile) and CDMA second or not at all (Verizon/sprint). Adding to cost is often the carriers own demands, which can create hurdles for these manufacturers, and Verizon has been notoriously difficult in this department.

That being said, LTE seems to be the Global future of cellular technology, not WiMax or HSPA+, and it is my guess VZW will be in front as New phones are released since they are the largest US Carrier and the first US carrier to roll out LTE. ATT and TMobile will eventually follow suit along with the rest of the develped world. Sprint will eventually feel the sting from choosing WiMax. Because VZW will initially need dual LTE-CDMA/EVDO phones, don't expect the flood gates to open to wide for VZW...but they will once LTE becomes the standard.

posted on 19 Jan 2011, 14:19

46. cellgeek82 (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Dec 2009)

Because GSM is a world standard while CDMA is dominant only in the US. A GSM phone can be programed to any carrier in the world while most CDMA phones are restricted to the US carriers.

Money, That's all it is.

posted on 06 Jan 2011, 22:31 2

11. maccmill (Posts: 67; Member since: 29 Oct 2010)

I love how understated it looks. The droid x is too gimmicky, this things just the business. Gonna get it asap!

posted on 14 Jan 2011, 11:59

33. Hallucinator (Posts: 357; Member since: 24 May 2010)

If by understated you mean boring then I completely agree with you.

posted on 07 Jan 2011, 12:20 1

13. Kartiel (unregistered)

WTF They gave Verizon 512ram and ATT's Atrix gets 1g Ram.

posted on 07 Jan 2011, 13:00

15. jogutier (Posts: 324; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)

They need more RAM for the slower networks. lol :p

posted on 11 Jan 2011, 20:12 1

26. ctony1120 (Posts: 6; Member since: 11 Jan 2011)

what are you talking about ATT isnt even up to Sprints level. Dont get mad and post bad comment just because the phone is obviously better than anything att can get :P

posted on 12 Jan 2011, 12:35

29. boostedIS300 (unregistered)

lol love this comment good 1 slower networks do need more ram haha!!!

posted on 19 Jan 2011, 14:21

47. cellgeek82 (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Dec 2009)

Then why didn't Verizon get more RAM? I get faster speeds on AT&T then what I got when I was on Verizon.

posted on 11 Jan 2011, 20:10

25. ctony1120 (Posts: 6; Member since: 11 Jan 2011)

because verizon is better and it will attract more people..... att is just not good enough :P

posted on 07 Jan 2011, 13:09 1

16. cellking (unregistered)

verizon has several new phones coming out in the first 2 quarters dont no what that guy is talking about saying at&t gets all the new stuff check out the thunderblot and the bionic better than anything at&t has or has coming out plus being on the vVerizon network makes them that much better

posted on 07 Jan 2011, 22:22 3

19. Kobena (unregistered)

I see people bitching on different sites about Bionic "only" getting 512MB of memory. Do people realize that it is 512MB of DDR2? that is twice as fast as a 512MB SDRAM!!! DDRs transfer data on the rising and falling edges of the bus clock signal (i.e. why they are Double Data Rates SDRAM). So the 512MB DDR2 on the Bionic is as fast as the 1gig SDRAM on the Atrix! Now let us go buy us some Bionic.... bring it on Verizon, I have been waiting since october of last year.... come on already!!! lol

posted on 09 Jan 2011, 12:25 1

22. Mike (unregistered)

Thank you for pointing that out. I wish phone arena and others would say that to help with the complaints. I do hope the Bionic gets that same laptop attachment though. I would love to have something like that.

posted on 13 Jan 2011, 15:39

32. Corey (unregistered)

Ummm I hate to break it to you all, but the Atrix is going to support ATT LTE and it has 1gb of DDR2. Sorry but yeah.

posted on 21 Jan 2011, 13:35

49. Whatchutalkingbout? (unregistered)

Actually AT&T's 4G phones are HSPA+ and not LTE. There is a significant difference in speed between the two at this time (in how as the carriers are implementing them) w/ LTE being the faster standard. T-mobile will actually be more competitive in terms of speed w/ Verizon with their upgraded version of HSPA+.

posted on 08 Jan 2011, 10:41

21. Ryan yayaeeeeeeeeeee (unregistered)

Well the phone actually looks a little buggy...but I'm sure that it's because it's a demo and hopefully it will all be worked out when it's released. I can't wait to trade my Env Touch for this baby!

posted on 11 Jan 2011, 14:08 1

23. somepeoplearestupid (unregistered)

enV touch to that phone is a huge jump!! lol

posted on 11 Jan 2011, 15:53

24. ahyeabionicyea (unregistered)

im with ya dude. i have an en v touch too. i hope im not too outdated. lol. im waiting for this one as well.

posted on 15 Jan 2011, 08:45

34. ComeToTerms (unregistered)

The Droid Bionic (or should i say the Droid family) by Motorola is very nice. But Motorola has shown us it can do better with the Motorola Atrix. The Bionic may have the better screen numbers wise but the Atrix is better overall so i will wait for Motorola to put out it's premier VZW handset sometime between March and July of this year.

posted on 15 Jan 2011, 09:05

35. tacoslaad (Posts: 8; Member since: 15 Dec 2010)

sweet phone, but galvanizing our hearts? giving our hearts a layer to prevent rust? am i wrong on the definition?

posted on 16 Jan 2011, 11:40

37. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

No laptop dock for the Bionic but looks damn good to me. I will be getting my Atrix in March

posted on 17 Jan 2011, 00:01

38. Bowtie41 (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)

I'm in week 3 of my 30 day trial of a HTC Droid Incredible.This is my 1st time with a smartphone.My old phone(Motorola E815)was definately a dinosaur,but it still made calls and took pics.WOW,what was I missing not going to a smartphone! I am wanting it as a toy since I'm disabled,and it's been fun,but I have a couple issues.
1.The 8MP camera keeps taking crappy,blurry photos(Going to try tweaking settings to see if it helps)
2.Battery time is horrible while "playing on the web(Saw larger cap. batteries on ebay)
Was thinking of either taking back and trading on a X,or waiting for iPhone,but then they can't have a larger battery.Now I wonder if I should just wait for Bionic?I'm sorta geek so android OS seems fine for me.(Like to tinker,which seems impossible on iPhone)
Also,as far as I have read so far,the Incredible was the only current offering with an full HTML browser,as well as handling Java apps(Love playing at Pogo)
Any advice please?

posted on 17 Jan 2011, 08:05

39. ZB1919 (unregistered)

My cousin has the Incredible, and her husband has the X..they are both good phones but the Incredible is better..Sense > MotoBlur

posted on 17 Jan 2011, 08:21

40. Juan Canola (unregistered)


posted on 20 Jan 2011, 12:33

48. marwan harb (unregistered)

accellaay this moto look like any other moto with bad design and smaller features.
for me , the best android phone is x10

posted on 13 Feb 2011, 11:45

51. Marksplace (unregistered)

I want one now! why do we have to wait till Q2?

posted on 19 Feb 2011, 18:48

52. vegasgirl (unregistered)

Does any one know when this new droid is going to be in the Verizon stores?

posted on 24 Feb 2011, 13:33

53. ty (unregistered)

This looks and sounds like an awesome phone .... if it was already out right now.
I wonder about why Sprint seems to be coming out always with the best new thing... ex. Iphone4, they'll probably be out with the HTC Desire S and the HTC Incredible S before this Bionic comes out. which in my opinion look like some pretty SWEET phones as well!! there's always pros and cons but my question is Why does Verizon always seem to be behind on this??

posted on 01 Apr 2011, 12:09

56. phonedouce (unregistered)

When will we see a release date???????

posted on 18 Apr 2011, 13:47

57. Klaatu (unregistered)

That's not Froyo, that's Gingerbread baby!!!

posted on 30 Jun 2011, 17:41

58. stormlifter (unregistered)

I want this phone now.

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