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Hands-on with the DROID BIONIC by Motorola

We just left the Motorola event and had plenty of hands-on time with the new DROID BIONIC that is headed to Verizon as one of their premiere 4G LTE devices.  This newest family member will sport a 4.3″ qHD screen, 1GB RAM 512MB of RAM, a dual-core processor, front facing camera, 8MP back camera, 1080p HDMI out, and gaming awesomeness.

We have video on the way, so that you can all get a full look at this device and its new version of Blur which actually impressed us a little.  It has a few new tweaks to the UI that we haven’t seen on any Android device before, but only real hands-on time will prove if it’s worth keeping active.

Overall though, the device felt great in hand.  It doesn’t necessarily look or feel like any of the Droids we’ve seen in the past, but that’s not a bad thing in this case.  Now sporting some lovely curves and a qHD screen, this might be the phone to save your money for, only you won’t be able to grab one until the middle of this year.  The Tegra 2 processor is easily felt, you can fly through homescreens, you’ll never have any lag, and again, a couple of the tweaks in Blur that we noticed are acceptable.

Check out our glamour photos after the break. 

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  • tommytmt

    Its design is a little mundane looking … I don’t think its ugly like others on here but whatev, what I’m wondering about are the physical specs. More importantly what’s its thickness? In some views it looks thick and chunky and in others it looks very thin. I can’t find any of the physical specs on it anywhere…

  • Davidukfl

    hate verizon for announcing a tonne of sweet new phones…..as well as changing the update plans so I can’t get said new phones

  • DroidXer

    Lost me at the 512mb.

  • Misphit917

    All this hype over a phone that does not seem to have a front facing camera hmmm…it’s very funny how Verizon is planning to take away the every two knowing that they have all these new 4G devices coming out.

  • Misphit917

    All this hype over a phone that does not seem to have a front facing camera hmmm…it’s very funny how Verizon is planning to take away the every two knowing that they have all these new 4G devices coming out.

    • Justin

      They mentioned and its pictured that it does indeed have a front facing camera

  • Tabe

    You state it has the Tegra 2 processor above but the guy in the video you posted says it has a TI processor

  • Mike

    Wish this phone was out sooner. I have an upgrade available now but I want a worthy replacement for my OG Droid.

  • Dtd
  • Bigrob60

    I find it just too funny whenever a new phone comes out how people junp on it and say this will be there next phone. Two days later a new phone will be annouced & the same ppl jump on that phone now. If you sit back and look it is quite funny. I’ve done it myself so I can say that. :]

    • Tabe

      That’s technology in general… Everybody always wants the latest and greatest.

      • Bigrob60

        I know… Just after almost a year of perusing this site its just funny to see that happen over & over. Or have people really want it & then go the complete opposite direction. Like the R2D2 phone. Alas, such promise that phone had. :[

  • Buckgrad

    Take the X, add dual core processor and front cam, round the edges, and maybe make it thicker and you’ve got the Bionic. 512 RAM?? Meanwhile, AT&T gets the Atrix with the neat docking options and more RAM? Not sure if Motorola loses me of it Verizon does when my contact is up in a year and a half. Either way, will continue to enjoy my X until that time.

  • do

    Excuse me tegra processors

  • Rpolnett

    Has anyone confirm if its tetra processor s?

  • Northstar 69

    Nahhh.. Just gonna wait to see what HTC puts out. I hate BLUR.. I want HTC SENSE.

  • Anonymous

    Moto Bluuuurrrr! :(…why can’t we just have stock anymore?

  • Racingmaniac

    Lots of new phones coming, good news since I do feel the old-ness of my OG Droid, though I noticed the phone running better now with Saph 2.0.0….

  • Anonymous

    So is the screen the same dimensions as the Droid X screen or is it more of a box shape like the EVO screen?

    I like my DX screen damnit.

  • Love the phone, but don’t need 4G. Any top flight phones coming out that are not 4G?

    • Justin

      Wait you’ll you see 4g, its like dial up compared to dsl

  • Dshizzel

    That’s looking like a serious candidate for when I upgrade my Droid 2 via NE2 later this year.

  • Piper

    How much is verizon going to charge for this phone since they are getting rid of their NE2 plan?

    How much is verizon going to rape people that want to use their 4G as well?

  • Kdkinc1

    This is the phone best yet!
    Drooling over the specs and possible speed. Styling excellent.
    This is a gotta to have phone. I’ll sign up now to get this.
    Show me the contract so I can sign it!!!

    What? Did you say Motorola …..FAIL.
    nevermind……………..

  • Anonymous

    dang i was all set to leave verizon too…after the report about them cutting the n2 and upgrades…. still might since this will have blur and i prefer stock…. gotta wait for what sprint has in store.

  • Dfgfd Fgh

    shoeboxs.us

  • Anonymous

    Love the specs but i dont like the design too much it doesnt feel “droidy”. I wish the x came out with those internals..

  • 1 gigabyte of ram I’ll buy one tomorrow. 512 megabytes I’ll wait for something better.

  • Michael

    I really wish the Bionic gets same hardware as the Atrix . The problem is that with the Xoom comming out, Verizon will want you to buy both so no docking.

  • Anonymous

    Why is it that ATT is getting the awesome Atrix and we get THIS from Verizon? Maybe time to switch back (Atrix has the 1gb ram that Bionic should have and has awesome docks).

  • Shaun

    Great phone hardware wise, but I still think that Blur skin is awful. It looks improved, but compared to stock Gingerbread it just seems unnecessary. They retro up a few icons and it just doesn’t gel with everything else. And I hate the horizontal battery meter after getting used to the vertical one on GB.

    Still, this phone is making me rethink my desire for the Thunderbolt. It’ll come down to which one is more open and which one has a better car mount.

  • Anonymous

    Just a general 4G LTE question … I’m in an area that likely won’t see LTE until late 2012. If I buy an LTE phone now do I have to pay for a more expensive data package that I won’t be able to use, or can I stick with my $30/month 3G plan?

    • DBK

      You will have to pay for a 4G data package, I believe.

      • Anonymous

        I haven’t seen anything to suggest that VZW will charge extra for 4G. $30/mo for unlimited data is already a compromise between unlimited service and an expensive package. Charge any more and people will be less likely to adopt it. Put a cap on usage and people will be less likely to adopt it. I think they are aware of that, and I hope they plan to keep the using the same model.

  • DelaGhetto

    Did they say anything about whether the Bionic will be able to pull the desktop dock functions like the Atrix? If not, I may have to switch to AT&T. Now that phone is all that and a bag of chips!

    • Sparking22

      I doubt it. as verizon will have the Xoom and i am sure that extra thing for the atrix will cost more then that XOOM or the same price.

  • is this the same qHD display as in 960 by 540 res???

  • F*CK BLUR I WILL NOT BUY ANY DEVICES WITHOUT STOCK ANDROID

    • Anonymous

      Fella!!!!

    • DBK

      Well, according to kellex, they seem to have improved Blur enough to make it likable. I wouldn’t count it out just yet.

  • chistian

    wow must it have that motorola UI please vanilla android

  • Lakerzz

    My question is: Will it have a “real life” good camera? Droid X camera specs are great, but in a “real life” situation, it ends up being mediocre. Did Motorola fix their camera issue on their phones? We can only hope…

    • front face camera has a 2mega pixel, not very good.

  • Anonymous

    in your other post regarding the bionic it says available early 2nd quarter. wouldnt that mean april at the earliest?

    • DBK

      That is correct.

  • Chris Nimon

    Well this answers my HDMI question from the earlier post on the Bionic. All I can say is THIS IS THE DROID I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR. (after its rooted of course)

  • DroidGirly<3

    So with this phone i bet they are also promoting Christina Aguileras lates album Bionic that was suuchhh a hit? haha

  • Anonymous

    what about the hands on for the Atrix?

  • Anonymous

    what about the hands on for the Atrix?

  • Hell…

    YEAH!

    This is surely the phone to get if you are a Verizon(and hopefully by the time i*hone 4 gets released, half of the world will be, as well) customer.

    Wow. I’m going to try to talk my dad into getting this beast of a phone, so I can try it out(lol..) which will give me something to look forward to in a new phone this time next year. Insane!

    • Bigrob60

      You have to think that by this time next year the Bionic could be obsolete. I say that b/c technology doubles every 13 months. Phone technology seems to double every 6 month or so. Starting w/ the Droid 1 in November of ’09. Then around 6 months later the DX. Around 6 months after that Tegra 2, front faceing camera, 512Mb-1Gb of Ram etc… All in a phone. A year from NOW(Jan 2012) my phone should cook me breakfast & wash my clothes for me. :]

  • Anonymous

    Well I WAS a Motorola fan, with the OG Droid and it’s measly onboard storage for apps (Aps2SD) does not do enough! I’m left with all of 30MB of Free space after I clear the cache daily…

    Now they want to short change the RAM too, wtf?
    I hope Samsung or HTC isn’t as dumb!

    Plus a VGA front cam really? how about 1-2MP? come on, VGA looks like crap!

  • Anonymous

    Thats my next phone right there. My upgrade doesnt come til September…more than enough time for the Bionic to come out and get some patch upgrades.

  • Anonymous

    Thats my next phone right there. My upgrade doesnt come til September…more than enough time for the Bionic to come out and get some patch upgrades.

  • I don’t understand why Motorola (Mobility), a company that is basically only still alive because of Verizon and the DROID brand, would give AT&T a 1GB model and Verizon a 512MB. I mean, sure, Verizon will have the XOOM while AT&T has their fancy little laptop dock for the Atrix–which is possibly the worst name for a phone I’ve ever heard–but it still seems illogical. Maybe international businesses aren’t interested in loyalty and gratitude.

    Blur is definitely starting to look better. I feel like Motorola has to be taking some cues from their work with Google on Honeycomb. But, really, I’d almost rather have the BIONIC with 512MB and the new Blur instead of the Atrix with 1GB Crayola Blur.

    • Da

      why would they release the fancy netbook dock and have a phone do practically everything that the tablet could do? who would ever buy the tablet?

  • Jawshua

    The Bionic is definitely the next phone I’m chomping at the bit for! I wish I didn’t have to wait so long to get it! But at least I don’t have to mess with launch problems like broken phones and huge wait times. By the time my renew comes up they will have had the phone out for a while.

    You never talk about how good the back speakers are on these new phones! And I actually care because I do a lot of media on my phone especially creating ringtones for Mabilo. And I was crushed when I finally received a DROIDX that worked only to find out they went backwards from the OG Droid and gave the X a horrible puny piece of crap back speaker. So let us know how these new phones sound, I don’t want to be disappointed again. A good back speaker and a front facing camera would make the DROIDX the ultimate phone, and some working everywhere 4G as well.

  • Mrhug3

    The 512mb just killed it for me. Looks like LG is calling my name.

  • Anonymous

    Another kickass feature is that this phone will allow me to tear a phone book in half.

  • Mscaduto

    how were the dimensions compared to the droid x? does it feel bigger/smaller in your hand?

    • Its a little smaller, and it feels… well better

  • Anonymous

    Benchmark?

  • i don’t see a google tramp stamp on it…does that mean this thing is bing-tastic? I’m looking toward the thunderbolt for my next phone i think.

  • Mr.Joe

    1GB RAM is a deal breaker for me. It has to have 1GB for me to want to it.

  • Bah Moto just updated their website to 512 MB RAM 🙁 Why they got my hopes so high just to crush it.

    http://www.motorola.com/Consumers/US-EN/Consumer-Product-and-Services/Mobile-Phones/DROID-BIONIC-US-EN

    • Slagg3r

      still says 1gb =) they didnt change a thing

    • They have half a year to release this phone, they will probably upgrade the RAM before it comes out

      • I hope you are right.

        • Me too. I could just ask Mark or Matt, but I doubt that they’ll know

    • They have half a year to release this phone, they will probably upgrade the RAM before it comes out

    • Jinoda

      Yep, definitely still seeing it as 1GB.

      • Jarrough

        gotta clear your cache

    • Jinoda

      Yep, definitely still seeing it as 1GB.

    • [IMG]http://i56.tinypic.com/53s00m.png[/IMG]

      Moto’s site updated to say 512… it’s official (if it still shows 1GB for you, just refresh it over and over.. it’ll change)

      • Mr.Joe

        Man F this. I’m waiting then. Hopefully at vzw press they’ll announce something good.

        • lol what? its a dual core phone with 512MB of ram. thats plenty

          • No it’s not enough. Why have dual core phone with only 512g ram? Think about a PC with a dual core processor and that little memory..bleck i’ll pass as well 🙁

          • edguy

            When PC’s moved to dual core you didnt need double the ram… You have no basis on your complaint. Only reason the atrix has 1gb is cus it has the desktop viewer and needs to run both the phone and that at same time.

          • Bob Stoff

            Last time I checked, this was a phone and not a computer. Thats like saying that you want the power of a lion in the body of a household cat

    • [IMG]http://i56.tinypic.com/53s00m.png[/IMG]

      Moto’s site updated to say 512… it’s official (if it still shows 1GB for you, just refresh it over and over.. it’ll change)

  • C0ruptiv3

    Personally. Im not to thrilled for this phone. After dealing with the Droid X since its release day, after having an Incredible since its release day before that, and having the OG Droid before that. Especially if this phone also has a locked bootloader like the DX or D2 (Which i would assume it does). It truly kills me sometimes that i cant have different kernels or that i cant have a rom not built off of the one on the phone. (besides Obsidian which is still buggy and kind of slow) and it just isnt ready for prime time. I Cannot stand motoblur, it wouldnt be so bad if it wasnt so slow most of the time or buggy (Im Glaring right at you Battery Manager) Im probably going after the HTC Thunderbolt. It looks like some new hotness (even if it doesnt have the Specs the Bionic has.) Im sorry Motorola, but i promised myself after having the Droid X and this Beautiful locked Bootloader, i would not be buying another phone from you…and i dont want you to make a liar out of me. 🙂

  • C0ruptiv3

    Personally. Im not to thrilled for this phone. After dealing with the Droid X since its release day, after having an Incredible since its release day before that, and having the OG Droid before that. Especially if this phone also has a locked bootloader like the DX or D2 (Which i would assume it does). It truly kills me sometimes that i cant have different kernels or that i cant have a rom not built off of the one on the phone. (besides Obsidian which is still buggy and kind of slow) and it just isnt ready for prime time. I Cannot stand motoblur, it wouldnt be so bad if it wasnt so slow most of the time or buggy (Im Glaring right at you Battery Manager) Im probably going after the HTC Thunderbolt. It looks like some new hotness (even if it doesnt have the Specs the Bionic has.) Im sorry Motorola, but i promised myself after having the Droid X and this Beautiful locked Bootloader, i would not be buying another phone from you…and i dont want you to make a liar out of me. 🙂

  • I’ve been trying to hold out on a new phone until after CES. Depending on how awesome the Thunderbolt is, I might have a tough decision to make.

  • We know from that leaked “End of Life” table that both the Dorid2 and Droid X shuffle off to the discount rack on 31 MAR so this *has* to be available on April 1. Right? RIGHT?! Please say, “Yes”.

  • Fabian

    So with all the talk at Nvidia’s press conference about Tegra 2’s efficiency, will these things at least take a small step towards better battery life?

  • Trdracer21

    bionic and xoom good job moto.. apple thinking twince and there ipad 2

  • Motorola said early 2nd quarter, and 2nd quarter begins in April.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah ’cause we know Motorola always makes their deadlines.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah ’cause we know Motorola always makes their deadlines.

  • vitsdroid

    motorola is evil if they wait till summer to release this!

    • DMBatCOFC

      I’m “expecting” an April release, but hoping for an early surprise!!!!

      • Sketch2000

        im expecting october

    • Ya, so everyone with a OG Droid can upgrade to it

  • Mrpicolas

    it really is not to bad of a device from what we have seen hopefully we get a more in depth hands on at motos party later this week

  • Puck

    wheres the hands on video? damn im so excited i wanna see this beast in action!!!

    • Chris Jones

      Engadget has a hands on video. Nothing in depth, though.

    • Chris Jones

      Engadget has a hands on video. Nothing in depth, though.

  • My next phone will be one made by Motorola and it WILL be the BIONIC!!!!

    • As long as it has the Steve Austin sound as a ring tone…

    • As long as it has the Steve Austin sound as a ring tone…

  • Tojiro

    Yeah, that’s nice and all, but how about Motorola do something REALLY newsworthy and tell all of their existing customers when we can expect to be running a current version of the OS? I know I’m not the only Moto user that will be pissed off if this thing hits the shelves and my Droid X doesn’t have Gingerbread yet.

    • XxXDroidXxX

      Hey, it could be worst, we could be one of the many samsung owners waiting for 2.2

      • Anonymous

        Im still surprised that anyone actually purchased the Samsung Fascinate.

    • Anonymous

      Meh, I’ll just upgrade and throw my Droid X down the toilet 😛 lol I “liked” your comment

    • Jawshua

      Yep you won’t be alone being pissed off, I waited forever for Froyo. The 2.3.340 is the only update I’ve gotten quickly since I’ve owned my DROIDX. Damn you Verizon!

    • How can you be bitching about gingerbread when its barely even been rolled out to the nexus devices. You are probably the same type of person that would get it day one and do nothing but bitch then that it is buggy. Seriously if you want it that bad root, build your own source and drivers and then you will have it. If you don’t have those skills then GTFO, GTBW (Go To Bed Without). I am so sick of people thinking that you can just install android and it will work. Why do you think ROMs are missing things at release like blue tooth they have get the kernel and things all straightened out. There is no driver repo like on Windows. I don’t expect the X to get gingerbread before this obviously this is close to ready if they are letting people go hands on with it. Now all of the time that was spent on this there are a few people working on the X to get things going. Motorola is never going to upgrade existing devices to gingerbread when they have a new device shipping with it IMO. This will be out for at least a month before we get an official gingerbread release for existing phones. They want you to drop the cash on it to have gingerbread and guess what a lot of people will.

      /Rant

      Sorry about that but ffs people understand they are running a business

      • frisco4one5

        hahahahaha holy cow do you need a hug

      • FreeHugs

        Pssst. Ginger is 2.3
        Not 2.2 which is Froyo 😉
        ***He was saying that many Samsung devices still lack 2.2***
        Why bitch and post this huge long rant on something that you misread?

        *Hugs*
        It’s ok

  • Knothle

    Give me a phone that can actually take night photos and things in motion while.

    • That would be one big and expensive phone, assuming that it would have a large sensor and quality lens to allow in enough light to be at a high shutter speed.

    • Anonymous

      That really has nothing to do with the phone technology – that’s very difficult to do even with professional cameras. You could just add a huge flash to your phone then you’re all set though.

    • Anonymous

      Can’t be right, I looked at their website and it stated 1g ram. Read here
      http://www.motorola.com/consumers/US-EN/DROID-BIONIC-US-EN.do?vgnextoid=6fc4227138bec210VgnVCM10000081bbb00aRCRD

      • They’re website was wrong before when the Droid OG came out… I’d trust their twitter account + slides at the show over motorola’s website that is designed by (more than likely) a third company

      • Chris Jones

        The slide package from the show said 512.

      • [IMG]http://i56.tinypic.com/53s00m.png[/IMG]

        Moto’s site updated to say 512… it’s official (if it still shows 1GB for you, just refresh it over and over.. it’ll change)

        • Anonymous

          Total bummer. It did state 1g earlier. Oh well…I’ll just keep rockin my DX.

      • [IMG]http://i56.tinypic.com/53s00m.png[/IMG]

        Moto’s site updated to say 512… it’s official (if it still shows 1GB for you, just refresh it over and over.. it’ll change)

    • palomosan

      Very disappointed but before the release things can change.

  • Uhhh I cannot wait to upgrade; but dammit why the middle of the year!? im pissed.

    • palomosan

      Yeah me too, I’m due to upgrade this month, what up with that 2nd quarter stuff.

  • I was hoping for another “pure” Android phone like the OG DROID, but it’s looking that that ship sailed long ago.

    That being said, I’m very interested to see if the new version of Blur has all of the Exchange kinks that the DX, D2, and R2-D2 have suffered from worked out or not.

    • Anonymous

      i agree, no additives. best i can get is the incredible….and thats not saying much.

  • demoltionman427

    I SOOOOOOOOOOOOO wish i was there right now

  • Puck

    waiting for video……. 😛

  • Haneyg

    1080p HDMI out.

    WIN.

  • Anonymous

    Moto..you out did yourself this year at CES. Proud of you!!

  • Zingalope

    i love it already

  • Anonymous

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
    THIS LOOKS AWESOME!

  • Looks like my new Droid is in the horizon 🙂

    • ieatapples

      Agreed. One beast of a phone.

      • Dredamanfoo2

        Your screen name is great!

  • Gcforreal

    is this device coming out within the next 2 months or will it debut in the summer like the droid x did?

    • NewsWorthy

      Probably more like this summer. This is more than likely my next phone.
      ~ Slim ~

    • Puck

      Available early 2nd quarter.

  • ieatapples

    Motorola FTW!