Motorola DROID BIONIC Hands-on

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.

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.

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.

Related phones

  • Display 4.3" 540 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1735 mAh(10.83h talk time)



1. timshady337

Posts: 45; Member since: Nov 19, 2009


8. jogutier

Posts: 324; Member since: Feb 12, 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.

17. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

yea, in the specs it says 0.3 guess they kinda skimped on the front, oh well, Get the xoom for that

44. dbfender07 unregistered

its 1.3 not 0.3

45. cellgeek82

Posts: 518; Member since: Dec 20, 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.

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...)

10. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 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 :-)

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.

14. redexpress

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 07, 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.

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.

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

43. vzwservesmewell

Posts: 29; Member since: May 05, 2010

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

55. jogutier

Posts: 324; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

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

2. mouth unregistered

Needs to be a LTE Global Phone

3. testman22

Posts: 339; Member since: Nov 03, 2009

it is

6. Thump3rDX17

Posts: 2160; Member since: May 10, 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.

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!!

20. Thump3rDX17

Posts: 2160; Member since: May 10, 2010

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

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.

4. phonefreak unregistered

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

50. bonehead189

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 03, 2011

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

5. henry1086

Posts: 9; Member since: May 26, 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.... :-/

7. jim unregistered

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

9. jogutier

Posts: 324; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

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

27. ctony1120

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 11, 2011

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

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!

36. fishpower187

Posts: 88; Member since: Feb 22, 2010

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

41. vzwservesmewell

Posts: 29; Member since: May 05, 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.

46. cellgeek82

Posts: 518; Member since: Dec 20, 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.

11. maccmill

Posts: 67; Member since: Oct 29, 2010

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

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless