Motorola DROID BIONIC Review


We’ve heard the good old saying thattiming makes all of the difference with things, but in the case ofthe Motorola DROID BIONIC, its journey has transcended most othersnamely due to the constant uncertainty surrounding it. Come to thinkabout it, we managed to grasp the handset way back in January duringCES 2011 – and now it has taken nearly 8 months to materialize inthe flesh. On top of that, it’s now the fourth 4G LTE smartphonewith Big Red, which might not seem as profound asif it were launched much sooner, but it’s able to differentiateitself for being the first 4G LTE smartphone to pack a dual-coreprocessor.

Already, the stigma attached toVerizon’s 4G LTE smartphones is that they’re chunky, unwieldy,and pack vociferous appetites for battery life. Well folks, it seemsthat Motorola has been doing some tweaking and tinkering during thelong journey as the Motorola DROID BIONIC attempts to shed thoseassociations seeing that it’s the thinnest and lightest of thebunch – while offering the highest capacity battery as well.Possessing a combination of impressive advanced functionality andwicked hardware under the hood, there’s no kidding that the handsetis future proof. But at $299.99, it’s still one pricey investmentthat will make some people reconsider – let’s see if it’s worthit!

The packagecontains:
Wall Charger
Getting Started Guide
Product Safety &Warranty Information


Havingreceived a significantredesign from the one we first saw at CES, the Motorola DROIDBIONIC is still a nice looking phone –and that’s all we can say about the device. It’s not great noroverly compelling like the original Motorola DROID X, but rather, itstands out amongst the 4G LTE pack for its lightweight (5.6 oz) feeland attempt to be streamlined at (0.43” thick) its thinnest point.However, as much as Motorola wants to tout its thinner design, itactually bulges towards the top where the camera’s sensors areplaced – much like what we see on the DROID X. Nevertheless, itfeels solid all-around thanks to its tough plastic exterior, beveledcontours, soft touch rear cover, and metallic looking paint job.

You can compare the Motorola DROID BIONIC with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

By now, it might not have the sameeffect as before, but that doesn’t stop the DROID BIONIC’s 4.3”qHD (540 x 960) display with Gorilla Glass to be one of itsstandouts. Again, it’s not something new to the table since we’veseen it done by the DROID X2. Obviously, we’re mesmerized by itsbrilliant and detailed output, which is further supplementedby its radiant color production. However, it suffers from the samepoor viewing angle issue plaguing the DROID 3. Specifically, tiltingthe phone just a bit away from a straight 90-degree angle results incolors fading tremendously.

Sitting beneath the display are theusual cast of capacitive Android buttons that are less prone toaccidental pressing since they’re positioned far enough from theedge of the handset. Meanwhile, a front-facing VGA camera sitsdirectly above the display, which makes good use of Google Talk’svideo chat feature since it’s an Android 2.3.4 device.

Unfortunately, we’re not fans of thehandset’s volume rocker and dedicated power button since they’renarrow and difficult to make out with our finger. Even worse, thestraight edge that the power button is sitting on makes it even morefrustratingly difficult to activate the button.

In addition to its microUSB port and3.5mm headset jack, the microHDMI port of the DROID BIONIC offersdeep Webtop integration with some of Motorola’s optionalaccessories for the handset. Still, connecting it to anHD television will get you the usual mirrored experience that we findever so useful.

Besides all of the brandings plasteredon its back, we find its speakerphone notch, directional microphones,and 8-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash. Removing the allsoft touch back cover, we are greeted toits beefy 1,735 mAh battery, which is the largest one to grace an LTEsmartphone thus far. Moreover, we find the 4G LTE SIM card andmicroSD card slots tucked on top of one another.

Motorola DROID BIONIC 360-degrees View:



177. nnaatthhaannx2

Posts: 820; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

does anyone know what phones phoneareana rated a 10?

175. apin77

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 02, 2008

I bought the Bionic & returned it less than 24hrs. Granted that it was fast but the battery life lasted less 3/4 of a day. I'm waiting for the Galaxy Nexus and will hope that it can hold a full days worth of charge.

174. nothanks unregistered

I had this phone for 3 weeks and ended up returning it. It was great for about a week and half then the problems began. Let me start by acknowledging that I may have had a lemon. The very first trouble I had was when the phone did not get any data connection or send texts without any indication one day. The status bar up top showed the 4G icon so it took me until the afternoon to realize this. A reboot fixed this issue. Since then, on at least 2-3 occasions, the touch-screen would not respond or not turn on. I've had to pull the battery out twice. Then let me talk about the back button which annoyed me on several occasions, it just takes you back to whatever was on the screen before. For example, if I'm on the browser, then switch over to maps for a sec to find directions or a store, then switch back over to the browser, hitting the back button should go to the previous page. No, it'll take you back to your map (and there is no back on the orig browser). You'll eventually run into situations where this causes you to restart an app and lose progress. Lemon or not, I'm not taking any chances when I can be stuck with it for the next 2 years. Also, DON'T BUY VERIZON AT RADIOSHACK!!! THEY GET HORRIBLE TRAINING, TAKES FOREVER, MISINFORMS YOU, THEN TRIES TO PUT IT ON YOU.

173. hockeybud unregistered

Does anybody know how to send a text to multiple contacts without having to first group contacts?

169. 1seikor

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 02, 2011

Ugly is the last thing you want to call this phone when you have nothing else to say. Comments like those are very unhelpful and shallow to people looking for any meaningful feedback. Besides, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. On the issue of the battery I solved the problem by buying the Extended Battery which is on sale at Verizon for $25.00. It can easily take you through 12hrs and more with moderate and intermittent heavy use, including internet and photpgraphy. The camera is a disappointment but usable if you avoid the use of indoors flash where you have good ambient light. The flash changes the color of the your subject to greenish. The default setting of the camera overexposes pictures but you can cange this under camera settings. Pixelation of screen pictures do not translate to the real pictures when printed or uploaded on computer screen.The phone is not the best from the camera point of view (for people like me who love photography) but the rest of operation is among the best. My advice to Motorola is to take the camera part of their phones very seriously. People want their handset which is both a mini computer as well a descent camera. It saves them money and extra load for an added point and shoot as well as justfifying the incressing cost of smart phones. Apple and Samsung have understood this; why can't you do so Motorola!!

166. Thump3rDX17

Posts: 2160; Member since: May 10, 2010

i just used my dad's Bionic for Hulu Plus and i had a "Mmmmm!" moment. best video playback experience you can get on a phone. ;)

154. cr8tive007

Posts: 53; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

After saying I wouldn't buy it I did... hump in the back isn't so bad, but the phone has a cheap feeling to it with the all the plastic, the back cover has popped off 3 times so far, it has frozen once or twice, I can kill the battery in 6 hours, camera isn't all that much better than the droid x, so tomorrow is day 13 so back to the store we go and I will pay the 35 dollar re-stocking/ rental fee. No way is the phone worth 295.

151. cnwwyo

Posts: 126; Member since: May 26, 2011

anybody know if u can manually turn off 4g?

148. Obankai

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 14, 2011

Motorola makes such ugly phones that they put ANDROID on the MAP. Come on guys... Lets be for real. The phone is dope and actually looks like something you can have for a business.

146. tkong

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 26, 2011

GottaBeMobile: "Motorola Dinara is rumored to be the successor to the recently released Motorola Droid Bionic."

142. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

a phone with "Signal strength issues" should never be getting a 9 out of 10. Im sorry but you guys were showing your verizon bias on this one.

144. Thump3rDX17

Posts: 2160; Member since: May 10, 2010

the iPhone 4 has the worst signal issues of them all and it got a 9. ;P

139. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

everyone seems to be forgetting the wifi drop issue! It doesnt sound serious but honestly it is BY FAR the most annoying thing to happen on a phone!

127. RE unregistered

The battery life is still a factor with the bionic.

125. Al unregistered

Great review. The signal issue -- dropping from 4G to 3G spontaneously -- can be seen on all of Verizon's 4G LTE phones including the Bionic according to reviews I have read which implies a network issue.

110. Leskid unregistered

I got the Bionic on Friday with the plan of "kicking the tires" around for 2 weeks and then returning it. I was than going to wait to get official information on the Vigor, Droid Prime and Iphone 5 to make my final decisio. At this point it is going to be hard to give the Bionic up in 2 weeks. It's super fast, no lags, and no bugs the I've noticed yet. It's battery life is on par with my OG Droid. Now I'm glad that Moto took thier time to get it right upon release. Oh yeah, since call quality is still most important to me :-) - I have no land line - the Bionic is the best I've owned so far. Decisions, decisions...

112. Thump3rDX17

Posts: 2160; Member since: May 10, 2010

if you like it then just keep it. nobody will think any less of you. (:

107. Lala unregistered

i dont get it. . .what is so special about this phone ? i mean Samsung S2 and many devices are better :)

108. StillStuckWithDroid

Posts: 65; Member since: Jul 19, 2011

many devices? name them please

118. PeterIfromsweden

Posts: 1230; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

Galaxy S2, Sensation, Wave 3, Galaxy Note.

121. Chakra

Posts: 137; Member since: Dec 02, 2009

So definitive. So here's what I look for in a phone, by priority. Please explain to me how those phones are better. 1. Making Phone calls 2. internet connectivity 3. text messaging 4. Social networking. So please educate me how that phones you mentioned would be a better choice.

124. c.hack

Posts: 614; Member since: Dec 09, 2009

There are other priorities in a phone: - legible text - Moto qHD displays are poor and pixelated - flexibility - locked bootloaders on Moto phones result in lack of flexibility - reliability - Moto has been poor with GB on the DX and DX2 (random reboot, signal loss, not waking from sleep, etc) - future-proof - with ICS coming out in a month a flagship phone should have the latest OS, not just a hope.

141. StillStuckWithDroid

Posts: 65; Member since: Jul 19, 2011

freaking laughable comment so tired of the pixelated tardishness.....not legible huh. Well I am reading your stupidity ON my phone with that "horrible pixelation" and wow....I can read it just fine. Flexability......I dont have a problem with the phone just as it who freaking cares reliabilty....havent had it reboot= or loss signal nor a call yet so quit just pulling shyte out of your arse they released the "flagship phone" BEFORE ICS was released......what part of that dont you understand?

93. CRICKETownz

Posts: 980; Member since: Oct 24, 2009

well PA that's what happens when you have a gazillion variations of virtually the same phone. at the rate of new Android devices hitting the market how could you expect a drastic difference? that's the downside of oversaturation...1000 different models, very little variation in experience. ...and people thought only the iPhone was guilty of this. crumbs...

85. Android fan unregistered

I think this can't beat Samsung Galaxy S II...

134. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

It's a matter of preference. Bionic has the advantage of LTE, higher resolution display, and possibly better build quality. SII has the advantage of better screen technology and Exynos processor. I'd personally go for the SII for these reasons, but the Bionic does have significant advantages.

138. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

the bionic honestly doesnt have one advantage. PLEASE dont say screen resolution as it still isnt better.

79. rock9900

Posts: 7; Member since: Sep 10, 2011

Atrix is the best all around phone on planet earth. Lightning fast, great sound, not too big, all features, gorilla glass. Defy plus will be soon if and when it comes to AT&T and gets a front camera.

92. Immolate

Posts: 310; Member since: Jun 17, 2011

The Atrix has a nice battery (1930 MaH) and is 16 grams lighter than the Bionic. It also has a biometric fingerprint reader which is pretty cool. It is also significantly less expensive to buy on-contract. The Atrix has a smaller screen, 4" vs 4.3". The Atrix uses a 1Ghz dual core Tegra 2. Bionics processor is considered to be superior. The Atrix has a 5mp camera and records 720p video, compared to 8mp and 1080p. The Atrix ships with no sdcard. The bionic ships with 16GB. The Atrix is on AT&T and does not have 4G LTE. Bionic is on Verizon and does. So I think that, though the Atrix was the best phone around when it launched in April, the Bionic clearly outclasses it today.

98. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

I still like my fingerprint scanner. AT&T's "4G" is actually plenty speedy for me. Also, here in Missouri Ma Bell gets comparable if not better coverage than Verizon anyway. The processor is still plenty speedy, and the phone plays games and completes tasks with virtually no issues. The camera and video quality are just fine for me. The SD card is no issue for me; I'm just rocking my X's card in the Atrix instead. The Bionic is a fantastic device, I lust after it, but I can see people being perfectly happy with the Atrix. ;)

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

  • Display 4.3 inches
    960 x 540 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
  • Hardware , 1GB RAM
  • Storage 16GB, microSDHC
  • Battery 1735 mAh
  • OS Android 4.1.2

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