x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

Motorola DROID BIONIC Review


Posted: , by John V.




Wow! The Motorola DROID BIONIC is probably one of the best devices we’ve had the pleasure of using for phone calls. In fact, calling quality is superb on both ends of the line as we’re treated with distinctive voices with no evidence of any background noise or static muddying things up – and it helps that the earpiece is boisterous in tone too! Moreover, the speakerphone presents us with a similar experience since it doesn’t distort voices in any way.

Strangely, the handset appears to have some issues with signal strength seeing that we experienced it dropping from 4G LTE to 3G connectivity on numerous occasions – all in the same spot even. Still, even though the handset displays an average connection to the network in high coverage areas, we didn’t experience any dropped calls during our testing.

Motorola DROID BIONIC Review

Leading the 4G LTE pack, the Motorola DROID BIONIC is packaged with one massive 1,735 mAh battery that manages to impress us by offering 10 hours of continuous voice calling on a single charge, which is spot on with the manufacturer’s rating. Setting it on ‘nighttime saver’ mode, we’re only able to get 10 hours of juice with normal usage consisting of web browsing, emailing, texting, and the occasional phone call. Honestly, it still has one vociferous appetite for sucking the juice out of the battery – meaning, you’ll need to charge this one constantly if you want it to survive through a normal working day.


Without a doubt, the Motorola DROID BIONIC is a long time in the making, but after checking all the fanfare regarding it, we’re actually not all that impressed mainly due to the fact that everything it has to offer has been done already. Sure it claims to fame as being the first 4G LTE smartphone with a dual-core processor, but when you break it down, there isn’t one sole new thing found with it.

For example, dual-core CPUs are all the rage amongst smartphones. With 4G LTE connectivity, we’ve already seen three other devices beat it to the punch. How about that new MOTOBLUR whatever interface? Well, the DROID 3 managed to nab that prestigious spot. And finally, the Motorola ATRIX 4G introduced us to the available accessories that provide Motorola’s unique added functionality with Webtop.

So you ask, what’s great about the Motorola DROID BIONIC? Well, it’s the one handset that’s actually able to combine everything perfectly into one device – thus, setting the bar in what we expect out of a top-shelf smartphone. Yes, its late arrival on the scene is preventing it from fully expressing itself as an out of this world smartphone, but if you simply look at it as regular high-end smartphone, we guarantee you won't end up disappointed. There's really a lot to like about the DROID BIONIC, even if it's advent doesn't involve a range offirsts. The only thing that's left to be considered is its premium price tag of $299.99, but when you factor in the fact that it performs so competently on a number of fronts, it looks like the Motorola DROID BIONIC justifies it.

However, if you don't feel like shelling all of that cash out right now, we should say that the tried and true HTC ThunderBolt is still a pretty decent option. Well, it is a bit chubbier, and lacks the dual-core chipset, but if you're ready to compromise with that, it will too bless you with its expertise on the 4G LTE front.

Software version of the reviewed unit:

Android version: 2.3.4

Build number: 5.5.1_84_DBN-55

Kernal version:


  • 4G LTE connectivity
  • Fast dual-core processor
  • Great calling quality
  • Motorola Webtop functionality
  • Shoots great looking 1080p videos


  • Late arrival
  • Signal strength issues
  • Poor viewing angles with its display
  • Expensive
PhoneArena rating:
User rating:
821 Reviews

  • Options

posted on 10 Sep 2011, 04:54 21

1. PeterIfromsweden (Posts: 1230; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)

This got to be one of the ugliest phones i've ever seen.

posted on 10 Sep 2011, 05:08 11

2. nuadar (unregistered)

yeah true...its really ugly looking device

posted on 10 Sep 2011, 05:30 12

4. winsaki234 (Posts: 63; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

but powerful

posted on 10 Sep 2011, 15:52 7

63. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)

And bloaty.

posted on 11 Sep 2011, 01:07 4

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

oh you didn't hear? it was rooted as of like a week ago. no bloat if you don't want it. xD

posted on 13 Sep 2011, 01:42 5

135. Mark_Washington (Posts: 8; Member since: 05 Sep 2011)

A long time smart phone buyer (anyone remember the Samsung i730?), I am still waiting for the perfect phone. I upgraded from the HTC Incredible but I also have an AT&T iPhone 4 (employer-provided), so I have the best of both worlds. The phone is upstairs on the charger as I write this, but here are my impressions after a day of use:

- handset feels lightweight and wide compared to my other phones. It seems to be of good quality, but not as solid as the iPhone. I tend to prefer metal phones and don't mind the added weight, so I'm probably in the minority here. Nice soft-touch back makes the grip feel solid.

- Very responsive, smooth interface. Few lags even when jumping between applications while downloading and updating marketplace apps. No cons here.

- Screen is a mixed bag. I can see it in the daylight which is better than any smart phone that I've used. The downside is that it has a very digital feel to it - almost like you're viewing it through a window screen, if you can picture that. It's not natural looking like the iPhone 4 and it isn't even as nice as my HTC Incredible, but it didn't bother me after the initial impression wore off. This will definitely be an issue for some people, so make sure you try before you buy.

- ZumoCast is AWESOME! I don't know if I *need* the ability to open files on my phone that are residing on my Windows laptop, but it sure was fun to play an mp4 on my phone that I didn't have to transfer first. Audio and video weren't a perfect match, but they were close enough. I have more trouble trying to do the same thing with my iPad and iTunes (using this same laptop), so this is nothing short of amazing in my opinion.

- Photo quality is not good - no better than my nearly 2 year old HTC Incredible. I wasn't expecting a high-end, point-and-shoot quality camera, but this was still a disappointment. The iPhone camera is significantly better. Video is pretty decent, though. I haven't transferred one to a PC yet, but on the phone it looks great. I'll take good quality videos over pictures in this instance, but I wish I didn't have to.

That about sums it up. The Bionic is a good quality phone, a definite step up from the HTC Incredible, and it does a great job of running my favorite mobile OS. I suspect there will be better phones on the market in the next couple of months (rumor of a Verizon Nexus phone), but if you are in the market now, you want an Android phone, and you are a Verizon customer, then I think this is your best bet.

And lastly, if you will buy this Droid Bionic I suggest for best buy at -->www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B005IQOFW0/phonearena.com-offer-20

posted on 14 Sep 2011, 10:18 1

145. Soulmanager11 (Posts: 26; Member since: 04 May 2011)

Thanks for your info.

posted on 22 Sep 2011, 01:19

158. cr8tive007 (Posts: 53; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

all that time writing and three thumbs up.... if your looking for a job on phone arena, I wouldn't hold your breath.

posted on 10 Sep 2011, 07:05 7

8. thtank (unregistered)

I've used this phone. It does look kind of odd in pictures. but when I used it myself it was the opposite. Very nice phone actually. there are definitely more ugly phones out there though

posted on 10 Sep 2011, 08:42 6

18. Derick (unregistered)

I have this phone. It is far from ugly.

posted on 10 Sep 2011, 13:07 3

43. KMS0694 (Posts: 3; Member since: 08 Dec 2010)

I've seen and held it at the Verizon store. IT's actually a very slick phone it feels really nice and aside from the thing at the bottom looks very nice. Does look weird in pictures though I'll agree with thtank on that.

posted on 10 Sep 2011, 13:27 6

45. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

I agree Motorola makes very ugly phones. This one is just the norm for them.

posted on 10 Sep 2011, 18:59 2

74. zuno gyakusatsu (Posts: 257; Member since: 16 Mar 2010)

fits right in with the rest of the android lineup.

posted on 12 Sep 2011, 14:03 5

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

This would come from someone that owns a style-less phone. O' look the dimensions change by a fraction of a centimeter. Let me go buy the iPhone 4 1/2

posted on 16 Sep 2011, 18:18 2

149. jherz6 (Posts: 217; Member since: 23 May 2008)

Go ahead if you want to waste your money on a phone that hasnt changed with the time.

posted on 12 Sep 2011, 20:44 1

130. jroc74 (Posts: 6019; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

Aaww...look at the 3 Stooges....always good for a laugh.

Which one is Curly?

posted on 10 Sep 2011, 23:11 11

86. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

YOUZE need to clean up your ENGLISH...lol....wow, Steve Jobs must pay this clown to bash any ANDROID phone.....

posted on 11 Sep 2011, 14:08 7

117. PeterIfromsweden (Posts: 1230; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)

It is ugly, but being rude is not nice Miz. Here is a advise. You can talk about the iphone being better than Android, but don't be rude about it. That way people will like you better.

posted on 10 Sep 2011, 22:49 9

80. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

What was that about you never coming onto Android articles and talking smack, because you're not interested in them...?

posted on 11 Sep 2011, 13:39 3

115. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

I'm not saying anything bad about android and I'm not talking smack. I think Motorola makes ugly looking phones. I think HTC and Samsung makes good looking android phones.

posted on 11 Sep 2011, 15:19 3

119. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

You talked plenty of smack about me on the other pages though. You're a lying sack of s**t.

posted on 11 Sep 2011, 15:56 1

120. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

I tell the truth about you which is that you're a pompous hypocrite and an androne.

posted on 11 Sep 2011, 17:27 3

122. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

You tell people your opinion of me, even though I routinely smack you down with facts. You've been caught red handed as a liar, Taco. You're not worming your way out of this.

posted on 16 Sep 2011, 18:25 2

150. jherz6 (Posts: 217; Member since: 23 May 2008)

The may make nice looking phones , however HTC is notorius for having poor battery life especially the thunderbolt, and the samsungs extended batteries which with a 4g phone is an absolute must are as big as bricks. Which to me ruins the look of the phone. So what good is a nice looking phone that you need to spend so much time charging, and or cant buy a case for because its so darn thick.

posted on 12 Sep 2011, 22:56 2

132. Commentator (Posts: 3722; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

No idea why you have so many thumbs down, you're just voicing your opinion. I also believe Motorola makes unattractive phones, no offense to anyone who thinks otherwise. I personally think the original Palm Pre, the Nexus One and the iPhone 5 are the three most attractive phone models to this day.

posted on 26 Sep 2011, 14:19 2

165. tragichero (Posts: 163; Member since: 07 Jan 2011)


posted on 10 Sep 2011, 19:41 3

76. GH (unregistered)

Certainly it's not the most appealing phone out there but isn't ugly. It looks tough, it was thought for guys.

posted on 11 Sep 2011, 00:28 6

91. Mark_Washington (Posts: 8; Member since: 05 Sep 2011)

Well to start it off i went to verizon the morning of phone release about 10 min. before they opened and to my surprise there was only one other car waiting. They unlocked the doors and i was the first in followed by only 2 other people. Got the phone and ran home to charge and play with my new investment. My first impression was a nice solid built phone with nothing special on the outside but little did i know the wow inside.

The phone is FAST! Pulls up apps quick and of course 4g LTE is no joke. Very very fast. The screen resolution doesnt look any different than the past droids and the camera only has a single light for flash but honestly i don't care. All i want is a solid well built phone and thats exactly what i have. A true winner in quality and reliability. One thing that sux is the "bloat ware" on this thing. Way too much without the option to erase is stupid.

You'll have to root it and that voids the warranty. I do though like a few apps that come with it. Like the Motoprint is awesome. Does a great job of syncing with my wireless printer. Havent printed yet but looks like it will be good. Also like the files app, Task app(which helps me keep up with all my daily running around), Video surf(which i really like. just point it at the tv and it uploads, recognizes the show. you can pick a picture from the clip and post a comment about it on twitter or facebook. I like it), slacker radio(just like pandora), voice command and zumocast. Since we're on apps PDAnet and fildo i recommend.

Google fildo and download from the internet. All in all a great under rated long over due phone that im glad i have. Im sure that in the coming months there will be pretty flashy phones with one or two main selling points but will be crap in the overall picture. I think its solid and will last through til my next contract. Almost forgot to comment on battery life. It is great. After i charged it i played with it all day and was only at 60% when i went to bed.

Thats awesome compared to the HTC turdbolt and the Samsung discharge. Heck its almost better than any smartphone that i've ever had. Oh and i love how it conjoins all the social network sites into one messaging center. Very smooth merger. Just buy it!

P.S. I bought this Droid Bionic at amazon it's best deal for now, then if you will buy this smartphone I suggest at:www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B005IQOFW0/phonearena.com-offer-20

posted on 11 Sep 2011, 06:52 2

103. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

You can root and unroot your phone and still do a warranty on it....

posted on 11 Sep 2011, 06:54

104. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

I just read your P.S. section - it makes me think you are lying when I read the phrase 'I bought this Droid Bionic at Amazon....."

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

Want to comment? Please login or register.



OS: Android 4.1.2 4.0.4 2.3.4
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display4.3 inches, 540 x 960 pixels (256 ppi)
Camera8 megapixels
Dual-core, 1000 MHz
Size5.02 x 2.63 x 0.43 inches
(127.5 x 66.9 x 10.9 mm)
5.60 oz  (159 g)
Battery1735 mAh, 10.83 hours talk time

Latest stories