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Rumor: DROID BIONIC and Atrix Suffering from Power Management Issues

We had heard about power issues with the DROID BIONIC essentially on the day we returned from CES, but brushed them off as the units we used were clearly no where near finalized.  In fact, we were told that we might not see the device in the first half of 2011 because of these issues, but again, pushed our worries aside hoping that Moto would take action.  And then this week, those rumors became more visible over at Howard Forums through a couple of “trusted” members.

The first post by xbernaut that started this whole debacle…

If your really posting from a bionic I feel so sorry for you.that POS is so far from usable in any way shape or form.I bet that if it even makes it to shelves it will be through a bribe.the Etna and its twin for att both have a major unfixable flaw that will plaque it forever.too bad as I like it’s concept.its basically a ggalaxyS with motos XOOMs guts.almost exact!.I been using them as door stops since they are far from ready to be used daily.too bad I couldn’t hand them out as hockey pucks.

If it was given the proper dev time then I would feel differently.but knowing it’ll be rushed makes it a pass and wait for the droid X refresh or the Droid3.good luck with that sig of yours.

After pages worth of worried posts, we get another post, this time from CellZealot whom you may know from the various DROID and DROID X software leaks that we’ve all enjoyed…

The problem has to do with the PMU and causes a variety of issues including severe overheating even while at idle, power fluctuations affecting RF performance and cold boot issues.

These things were told to me by someone who is testing the devices. I have no hands on experience myself.

If you want to believe me that’s fine…if not…that’s fine too.

I have no intention of disclosing or discussing anything about my sources.

Satisfying people’s curiosity on internet forums is utterly worthless compared to their trust and my continued ability to have access to them.

If the reasons why aren’t plainly obvious to you then I needn’t bother explaining…sorry.

Seven hours later, CellZealot returns to clarify…

I asked if the PMU was a discreet component on the board like with the original Droid(actually a dual PMIC solution) which controls both the AP(Applications Processor) and BP(Baseband Processor), he said “Yes both”.

I responded that that was bad because it meant that this could be laid directly at the feet of Moto because they selected that component as opposed to it having been an integrated chipset problem.

He said “Yup!”.

And finally, a response to CellZealot from Winston25 who is apparently deep inside Motorola…

I expect that PMU issue will be solved, shortly. This week. Maybe even today. (and don’t ask me to say more)

kbman (CellZealot), I don’t know who your source is but I am impressed. That is some very deep level information.

Again, we avoided this story for weeks, but with an apparent confirmation that this problem will be fixed from someone we’re believing to be on the inside, we can all try to relax.  There is no way in hell that Motorola would let these two devices, which will carry them through 2011, contain a serious and “unfixable” power issue.  The Atrix is scheduled for a March release, so we have to assume they are confident enough in the product they have.  It’s their new flagship device.  While we love a good rumor, this is one that does nothing but unnecessary damage.

Anyone worried?

  • Sitcom

    I picked up my bionic yesterday and this morning the screen went dark. Brand new unit.  I think it has problems.

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  • drinksprite

    motorola needs to get with the program, they’re f*cking up

  • Brady

    Thunderbolt it is

  • I’m sure this is the first product to ever have serious problems six weeks from release – not! People are freaking out over nothing, if they announce it’s delayed or it’s released and everyone has problems with it then you can freak out and complain about Moto.

  • Anonymous

    This is off-topic, but I want to say that the post by xbernaut is an excellent example why this is the only Android blog/forum I visit. Between your well-written posts and excellent information, there is no need for any Android user to expose themselves to the hot mess out there.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, I appreciate your comment more than you will probably know.

  • Anonymous

    I was part of that thread, I asked for some proof and all they did was insult me for not accepting there words at face value

  • Anonymous

    that sucks- I was looking forward to try out the BIONIC! : /

  • I don’t mean to sound callous about this situation, but I’m just not that upset. We have all seen these kinds of issues before – not just with smartphones, but also back when we were foaming at the mouth for the latest new PC. (Some of you might even remember back in the old 386-486 days when we couldn’t get our hands on the newest processors fast enough.) Moto will ultimately fix the issue. It’s unfortunate that they made have made some bad design choices up front, but ultimately they will get it right. The time to worry comes if they start trying to ‘whitewash’ or ‘spin’ this into something that seems incredulously minor and then we are waiting around for the unit like we were waiting around for FroYo. (I will not go there again.) For myself, I’m stuck in my current contract with Verizon and as such I can’t even consider a new phone until July of 2012. This makes me happy that I got my DX (flagship status as far as I concerned) when I did. I still have a great deal of love for it. Everyone loves the latest new thing – myself included. However, this is one time where I have a wonderful device from Moto and I’m not feeling the pressure to jump right on to something new. I’m more obsessed with XOOM at the moment. If we starting hearing about issues with that, that will be the time that I start panicking. For now, it’s just all part of the promo vs hype vs reality process that comes will all new devices. Patience my friends….patience.

    • Anonymous


      plus if we think about it technology has involve so much that its hard to put all this features that we didnt have before on smartphones in a short period of time. well I stick to my D1 until something makes me cheat on my Droid! 🙂

      • Sex_you_00

        Amen, my D1 is still kickin, and fast as ever…thanks to some good rooting. Ill have to pass on the Bionic until I find a device I deem worthy to replace it… @Migoy, it did feel like it took 30yrs for Froyo to come out…lol

  • Justin

    ill wait a few weeks after it’s release to see what complaints arise before I buy it

  • MikeC

    Plaque it? Speeleeng ez ded on tha wub 😀

  • Anonymous

    The Bionic interested me at first but I am also interested in hearing more about the DX2 as more info becomes available.

  • Viper1549

    Hell no, but that is because im getting the thunderbolt.. LOL

    its been in testing for days so it should be close to flawless hahaa

  • Viper1549

    Hell no, but that is because im getting the thunderbolt.. LOL

    its been in testing for days so it should be close to flawless hahaa

  • Given that it’s been essentially aired out in regards to what the problem is, hopefully that’s enough of a shot to get it fixed and be able to fix it relatively quickly….but this could be a massive delay and may end up putting me in another device.

  • basically i dont care what the problems are, all i care about is that they fix them and do it in a hurry bc plenty people are waiting for these phones

  • Porno

    If your biggest worry is the power consumption of some hot new smart phone, your life is good.

  • Cosmicbidder

    Dosen’t surprise me. My X can’t handle downloading an email without locking up the screen. 15 reboots a day sucks.

  • I can understand why some people would be concerned, but xbernaut’s post is a bit over the top for a product which has yet to be launched.

  • Prime7

    Sounds like my DROID SuX can be called DROID X again.

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully Moto will get this fixed which I am sure they will. Thier rep is on the line as well as the competition from Apple and the other manafactures HTC ie.. To have a device ship with major flaws will definitely kill sales and return business to other vendors.

  • Sputnick

    The videos of the Bionic on youtube were a little to be desired…lots of lagging when moving around on the phone. Based off of those videos, I wouldn’t have bought it. Hope those issues can be resolved.

    • shr1k3r

      the bionic at ces was only utilizing one core. hence the lag

    • Justin

      The lag was from your internet connection!

  • jboy06

    An Android with power issues??!?!? What android does not have power issues? The quality of Droids in general has gotten so bad that Verizon has decided to go with an obviously superior phone, the iPhone. The iPhone will never have power issues as bad as any Droid/Android has.

    • VaXer

      My rooted Droid X gets 26 hours with moderate use. This is a problem? LOL…Oh, and I also don’t have to have a case on my phone to keep from dropping calls..Yea, you’re iPhoney is superior.. ROFLMAO!!

    • Hilly

      That’s actually true but that’s mainly because the iPhone doesn’t allow you to have the flexibility/functionality of Android devices. Things like widgets are great but they do take power if you don’t allow them they can’t use power.

    • shr1k3r

      everyone with an iphone carries around a usb charger! every smartphone only lasts around 8 hours

    • Me Again

      …the real reason VZ wanted iphone – they need bait for clueless hipsters…

    • Anonymous

      Still not sure why iphone fanboys come onto a clearly droid-centric site and spew their non-sense.

      BTW, I get 15-20 hours of battery life throughout the day on my Droid X with medium use.

    • Anonymous

      Its called live wallpapers, flash, widgets..some things that i*hone knows nothing about..and to know that these devices are still comparable to the i*hones battery life is hilarious…there is no argument here..if you want more on your phone, you will need more battery, common sense

    • OneDroidToRuleThemAll

      You mean “inferior phone” the assphone is the worst thing that could have ever come on the market.
      So many cover ups because they couldn’t fix anything.
      The only way the assphone can be good is if assple junks all their phones and buys motorola phone.
      Droid taking over the world, asspple is finished.

    • scrizzo

      Not every phone with the Android OS is a Droid, friend. You’ll notice that the phones that have the Droid brand are touted as the phones that are superior to the iphone in more than a few ways.

      Besides that, this phone isn’t ready to ship. Of course its going to have flaws. A manufacturer shipping a phone with flaws is just stupid but if your an iPhone user i see why this would be a sensitive subject and something that shouldn’t be overlooked 🙂

    • Skandalousmax

      You should know your facts before you post the I*hone was originally to go to Verizon but could not agree with apples need for total control…and as far as the I*hone being “superior” you must be joking look past wanting to be a clone and check the specs!!

    • Fitbritz

      The Android phone outdoes iphone in world sales. Iphone can’ t do flash, isn’t 4G so wont be as fast as new 4G Droids will be, has a crap 5 megs camera, no HDMI plugin for HD TV viewing. So not really an obviously superior phone, just trendy for narrow minded mac users!!

  • Motta2003

    That is the reason I was going with the Thunderbolt over the Bionic…I figured with First Gen product that they’d have to work out any kinks despite whatever research and development they do. Plus the boot-loader ‘issue’ sort of sealed the deal for me.

  • Anonymous

    They will fix it!!! Its to big!!!

  • Here is to hoping that it gets fixed! Don’t rain on my parade Motorola, I have money ready for you to take!… of course if it doesn’t work and the Droid 3 is right around the corner, I’ll still throw money at you… but that’s besides the point!

  • The350zWolf

    Well, I guess that kinda puts some light on the pressures of corporate competitiveness and to the rush of getting devices out the door half baked. I’m perfectly happy with 3G, will stick with my OG Droid/Droid2 combo and perhaps see if I can pick up a Droid2 Global. Will patiently wait for the Droid X2/Droid3 and spend my money now on a netbook with nvidia ion graphics and on a Pioneer DVD receiver upgrade for my Z.

  • JagoX

    Just give the phone to the XDA community and they’ll fix it 😉

  • JagoX

    Just give the phone to the XDA community and they’ll fix it 😉

    • xyzlene

      no more relying on xda! they are great for the android community, but they should not have to fix faulty gps units or adjust code in order to make other phones function properly.

      what happened to taking the phone out of the box, powering it up, and not having any hardware/software issues……

      test, test, and retest – this message is for you – cell manufacturers. Is it to mucgh to ask

  • Dmbatcofc

    I’m concerned…

  • Sleek2g

    Heating issues and a lock bootloader. What else does MOTO has for us this year?

    Keeping my DX for now.

  • Anonymous

    I think the grammar in xbernaut’s post is worse than the power issue….geez

    • Anonymous

      I’ll say. It’s worse than the power issue that will *plaque* the phone.

  • Chris

    Can you say Dual-Core isn’t all its cracked up to be?

    • Washingtoniib

      It has nothing to do with dualcore it is motorola’s fault they added a bad PMU to the board and they must fix it

      • Chris

        point taken. I’m just slightly dissapointed that they have to fix it. But at least they are righting the ship. I’m still on the fence with keeping my droid x.

        • Chris

          keeping my droid x or getting the bionic to be more specific.

  • Jerryarose

    I would say looks like 2-3rd quarter for 4g LTE moto phones. Ha this close to release time, there is 300,000 in a container ship all screwed. Doom Xoom too, see ya this summer. P.s. I just clean the bathrooms at moto HQ.

  • NewsWorthy

    Not worried at all. The fact that they are addressing the issue is reassuring. As was stated in the writeup, Moto has a lot riding on these two devices. They will be subjected to quite a bit of scrutiny. Therefore, I personally believe they will do everything in their power to bring it to market correctly. Come correct or don’t come at all.
    ~ Slim ~

  • VZ iPhone. It Begins.

    and Kellex had the audacity to compare this to iPhone 4. Shame on you!

    • Anonymous

      Oh god, you’re back. 😛

      The iPhone 4 was actually released with a MAJOR flaw. We avoided this story because the phone is months from release. Silly i*hone fan.

      • VZ iPhone. It Begins.

        I was addressing the fact that you made comparison with a device that won’t be available anytime soon.

        • Anonymous

          We’re not having this dead end conversation again. The comparisons are as fair as it gets, if you can’t see that, you never will.

          • VZ iPhone. It Begins.

            guess you will never see my point as well… what a shame.

      • VZ iPhone. It Begins.

        btw, nothing personal Kellex. I think you’re awesome in what you do for Android community, but not when it comes to comparing or addressing the Apple products. =)

      • EC8CH

        nothing a few thousand rubber bands couldn’t solve 😛

    • Mth2134

      He did a good job then. They’re both worthless.

  • Anonymous

    that’s disconcerting

  • Hmmm opportunity for HTC to score some sales?

    • Mth2134