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Hands-on with the DROID Bionic by Motorola (Updated: Video Added)

And a DROID Bionic is in our possession.  I obviously haven’t had enough time with it to do a full review or anything, but can give you my first impressions on a device that has been 9 painful months in the making.

So what do I think of Verizon’s first dual-core and 4G LTE device?  All good so far.  I am loving the feel in hand – the build quality lives up to Moto standards.  It’s a heck of a lot lighter than I expected it to be.  Is thinner than I expected it to be.  Is definitely snappier than the DROID3 even though they have almost identical specs, aside from the doubling of the RAM of course.

“But what about the screen?  Is it PenTile Matrix?”  Yes, unfortunately it is.  However, it’s not completely killing my eyes at this moment.  You can definitely see some black pixels and some not-so-straight lines, along with it struggling to produce green.  This will be a problem, but we are going to try our best to not focus just on that as one of its downfalls.

Again, so far I am really liking the phone.  With that said, let’s not jump to any crazy conclusions until we have some real time with it to decide if it should be your next device or if you should pass on it for the HTC Vigor or Nexus Prime.

Gallery after the jump!  (Video added)

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  • KC

    I bought the Bionic Friday.  A comment about battery life.  The battery is at 50% after 5 hours of mostly idle time, with a lifespan of about 9 hours before requiring a charge.  If you have Bluetooth or WiFi turned on the total life span is about 3.5 hours.  It is just awful. 
    My wife has the Droid Charge and that thing can sit with WiFi turned on (and 4G) for 36 hours straight without having to charge.  My old Storm could go the same with WiFi and Bluetooth turned on.
    If something doesn’t change quick, the Bionic going back to Verizon and I will be getting the Charge, or waiting for Samsung’s next model.

  • Anonymous

    Did anyone notice that Moto car dock, and the desktop dock now have an insert that you can remove so you can “dock” without removing the phone’s cover? I’m sure it’s probably designed just for their silicon cover… but that’s freak’n awesome!

  • Legoturte92

    I miss the charge light on my og droid and my contacts aren’t syncing correctly. That is the only things I didn’t like on this phone. I did have to return my first one for a faulty screen though.

    • Legoturte92

      They did give me a 2nd battery cover for the hassle though.

  • Joseph Sanders

    My two bits:

    I bought one yesterday.
    Screen:  its fine.  Not as much punch as the galaxy phones but usability is fine. I’ve very willing to trade a punchy screen for better battery life.

    Speed: its fast.  You never wait .

    Motoblur: I never used earlier versions.  I like it better than HTC sense.

    My opinion:  the best 4G phone on the verizon right NOW.


  • Nruiz

    i am trying to sync my Rdio music but it keeps synching onto internal storage.  it is very frustrating.

  • Nruiz

    Anyone know how to move apps to external sd card on this “Beast” ???

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Damon-Marshall/100001953279468 Damon Marshall

    Got my Bionic today!!! I’m fully satisfied with it.

  • Anonymous

    I loved the phone after i got some hands on time with it, however i love to see a 4.5 inch screen( verizo still dosent have one. And a 1.5 dual core processor wouldent have hurt, it reminds me of just a DROIDX 2 with 4G.

  • tlspatt

    the lifted edge (or “lint trapping machine”) keeps you from scratching the screen or anti-glare screen protector when laying the phone flat on it’s face. it’s actually quite helpful and I hate not having one on my DX.  

  • Eric Jones

    Can you comment on the status LED?  One of the things I love about my original droid is the ability to have a near limitless number of notification colors for different types of events, but I’ve noticed that this is the exception to the rule more than it is the norm, with the Incredible 2 only supporting two colors and many devices not even having LEDs.  What’s the situation like on the BIONIC?

  • Billyrouth2000

    I was on the verizon website and they have the screen as being super amoled. What gives?

    • Billyrouth2000

      Just noticed they also say its a 1g humingbird processer. Lmao who the heck is running that website

  • Donnavon Hallgren

    It’s missing a slider!

  • http://lunineke.servehttp.com/cheap-phentermine-375.html Victor1978

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  • Bob

    Looks like I’ll be sticking with my OG Droid then.

  • T.O.

    How’s the mobile hotspot does it have the same problem as the thunderbolt and disconnect while using it

  • tomNasty

    That screen is crap….pass

  • http://twitter.com/nathanielnewman Nathaniel Newman

    Sad no Fm Radio! Maybe Spirit FM Radio (root) will work. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m here from 2014 with a very important message:  Don’t wait.  I’ve got my Motorola Droid Vendetta running Android 6.0.1 (aka KitKat).  Rooted of course.  (BTW the partnership between Googlerola and Hershey’s has been a delicious pairing.)  I can tell you that in the end all of the waiting meant nothing.  The next phone after the next phone will always be better than your current phone.  They will always be released overpriced and buggy.  Manufacturers will always put in the bare minimum to beat their last model but spin it like you’re getting an all new phone.  The Vigor and Prime came and went and many an android fan felt cheated.  Because you just can’t please every Android fan all the time.  Period.  (Although the Nexus Shockwave was a neat phone.)  But hey, you could be an iPhoney fan.  The 8th installment of *THAT* phone was just released and yup, it’s still on a 3G network.  P.S. It’s extremely hot and dirty in 2014.  Get that “save the environment” stuff going again, okay?

  • http://twitter.com/bobukcat Bob Kloentrup

    Kellex, can we see a side by side with the Bionic and GSII in very bright sunlight? Supposedly PenTile is easier to view in bright sunlight versus SAMOLED+ so I’d like to see them next to each other outdoors on a bright, sunny day.

  • Anonymous

    I’m confused and maybe someone can clarify.  Kellex’s review says it has the Pentile display but Engadget says qHD:

    “Up front is what looks to be the same 4.3-inch qHD display that wowed us on the X2, and it’s still impressive here. Very impressive. It doesn’t quite offer the eye-popping saturation of Samsung’s Super AMOLED Plus displays, but that’s not to say it’s lacking in contrast, brightness or, indeed, resolution. Viewing angles are as close to 180 degrees as you need, and ultimately this is a screen that has the pixel count and the picture quality to stand up with the best of them.”

    Are they the same?

    • Billyrouth2000

      The Bionic has a pentile qhd screen it is the same as the dx2 which did not wow anybody. Its not as bad as some mmake it out to be but its still pretty bad in some areas and looks really good in other areas.

      • http://twitter.com/bobukcat Bob Kloentrup

        Actually the review of the display on Engadget was very favorable, they mention the colors aren’t as saturated and don’t pop like on SAMOLED+ but they didn’t mention any of the negatives that are prevalent in the reviews and (more so) comments on this site.

    • Anonymous

      qHD is a resolution, and PenTile is the technology behind the way the screen renders pixels.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Please test the battery life. And also that lint trap. I’ve got tons of lint in my OG Droid due to those edge creases. Would hate to see lint under the qHD screen… Lastly, any quick way to remove the bloatware, or is rooting a must to get rid of it. Everything else looks good. Great job as always DL!

    • Billyrouth2000

      If you want to get rid of the bloatware then yes root is required

  • Anonymous

    nice phone, being me being 4 months from upgrade elegibility effectively puts this phone as forever a non-option for me. It makes sense really… The way android devices come out on verizon, if you do not purchase a new device within 2 months of release you might as well wait until its successor or whatever is around the corner that has better build/specs. So I guess if we are lucky I would(in my dreams) get the galaxy note/nexus prime/bionic 2. This pos thunderbolt will hold me over until then.

    Next rumor please!!

  • Anonymous

    I understand that during the redesign it was probably too much to ask to upgrade the screen, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.  So much hope for this phone that has seemingly jumped into the top spot on the leaderboard, only to be dethroned in less than a month.  At least on Verizon, while ignoring iFails.  Love my DroidX most the time and Motorola too, but Samsung’s visuals are hard to beat right now anywhere including the phone world.  That GII screen is just plain sexy.

    • Anonymous

      thats true, but I would’nt even buy the nexus prime unless it had at least a qhd screen. Samsung is lagging is screen resolution hard core here lately(gs2 for example.)

      • Anonymous

        I would have to disagree with Samsung lagging in anything to do with screens lately.  Their phones and to a lesser extent, their TVs are simply some of the best.  The contrast on the Galaxy2 is really only outdone by the iFail and even then I’d stick with the Samsung.  Hell even the original galaxy looks better than the X or X2 in my humble opinion.

        • Anonymous

          man I agree with you on the overall display quality on sammy’s devices, SAMOLED is awesome!! And yes I have a pn64d8000 so I know what you’re talking about their plasmas are best in the industry. I was just saying that compared to other OEMs sammy’s displays are still the same ole’ 480×800 from a year ago – HTC, MOTO have moved up to QHD resolution. The GS2 will be a fantastic device, but I was literally shocked when I read the same resolution as last years GS phones. I’m still hoping sammy gives big red the galaxy note, but that will likely never happen…

          • Anonymous

            I hear ya.  I guess, in my opinion, if they can do more with less resolution then I say go for it.  I’m a bit disappointed the GS2 won’t be coming to Verizon if the rumors are true, but my contract isn’t up till March so it doesn’t matter too much in the long run for me personally.  I’ve enjoyed my DroidX but unless things change I just don’t see me sticking with a Moto phone again.  I’ll also agree the Note looks pretty cool as a fun and somewhat functional device to play with.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mtate0408 Michael Tate

    I’m very interested to know just how long the battery life is … I have a Sammy Charge and the battery is not that great.  I’d like to move to another LTE device that has better battery life. Let us know that you find Kelex! Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/muffnman Muffnman

    Does is have the fabled FM tuner or not? – just curious.

  • http://twitter.com/Purie Purie

    Have you done a Vellamo benchmark yet?  I was kinda shocked when I tested the thunderbolt, X2, and the Incredible 2 in store that the X2 was the slowest and the Inc. 2 was fastest.  Is moto blur really that much bloat on a phone?

  • http://www.facebook.com/2cheezy4u Eric Chee

    I know this may be a silly question since it’s motorola but is the Bionic bootloader locked? Since kellex has it in his hands he should be able to tell us right? If anyone else who has it in there hands could they let me know =]

    • Anonymous

      its locked down so hard, harry houdini couldn’t have a whore’s chance in church of ever breaking it out of jail!!

    • Billyrouth2000

      I do believe it is locked down but i believe it has allready been rooted.

  • Kevin

    Is that power button on the left? Why!?

    • Fkfh

      Because it’s sucks phone~

  • Anonymous

    Droid Bionic is irrelevant and will be assimilated…we are Borg…

  • Anonymous

    Droid Bionic is irrelevant and will be assimilated…we are Borg…

  • Lakerzz

    If the pentile screen is REALLY that much of a battery saver, then this is my device. I work out in the field all day without a chance to charge.

  • Anonymous

    You’re not sure what to say … disappointment maybe?
    9 months and it didn’t even raise my heart rate during the video. That’s how i know it’s not for me at least.

    I’m praying that android releases a phone that is just badass and innovative (roll eyes), and that android developers get some sense of design smacked into their heads for their UI or else I’m going to have to jump ship.

    • Anonymous

      me too, but verizon will get it a whole year later than everybody else as usual so it will be doubly outdated by the time we are all excited over +insert device name here+

  • Anonymous

    Whether you buy it or not, the fact that this is a 4G LTE + Dual-Core on Verizon’s network = Sickest smartphone to date. & don’t give me that SGS2 crap, cause I already said the 2 things that make this phone buyable on first sight anyways. Also waiting for Prime and Vigor? Good for you, but some people just want something to literally control all machines, pun intended. O_________o

  • http://twitter.com/BrettWcislo Brett Wcislo

    Should I unroot the Droid before buying the Bionic??

  • Dylan Hageman

    I just ordered this phone on the phone! haha

  • Anonymous

    I had the chance to try it out at the Verizon Store today after asking if they had a unit to “play with”. I was extremely impressed and I’m picky when it comes to phones. The iPhone (yes, hiss at me I deserve it) just doesn’t work for me anymore. I’m too much of a phone fanatic.

    After having a major scare where I accidentally dropped the Bionic on the floor (thank god for the carpeting like floor), and the ensuing joke by the employees that I’ve bought it now, I played with it for about 5 minutes. Decided that I really liked how they improved Blur on it and it’s very useful/functional now compared to when I used test units before.

    Plus the large screen made it perfect in my hand compared to the cramped iPhone, especially in texting. So I’ve decided tomorrow I’m getting it at retail and if all goes well after week 1 of heavily testing the Bionic, I will sell the iPhone and not miss it =)

    The only reason I even went to iPhone was because I had an OG Droid that was struggling even after cleaning it up on apps and unfortunately in February there wasn’t any Android phones I wanted. I want the Bionic now

    • Anonymous

      I am just wondering if the Bionic is just a big version of the D3 w/ LTE and a updated version of Blur???  I would imagine it’s snappier with double the Memoery and 1Ghz of proc. power  But all in all it’s a bigger version of the D3??  Your thoughts :) 

      • Anonymous

        It can seem like a big version of the D3 but the specs are much more powerful than the D3 from what I’ve read. The only downside is no physical keyboard.

        I love physical keyboards but with a 4.3″ screen, and the fact I was forced to adjust to go from no HW keyboard to touch only on the iPhone, it makes up for missing physical keys. I didn’t get a lot of hands on time with the D3 though, so I can’t compare it as well

        • Anonymous

          Besides the LTE and more RAM I think everything else is the same.  So more powerful than the D3, but not hugely so.

          • Anonymous

            Both devices have pros and cons. I can’t sway your decision one way or the other. My opinion is I really liked the Bionic

  • Anonymous

    Glad to see you’re happy with it. I’m still not sold on it, especially not at the expense of the Galaxy S2 (if the rumor is true) but if you have LTE this is definitely the best phone that can use it.

    • Anonymous

      I would consider it the bigger, faster, more up-to-date brother of the Droid X. I mean look at it. It looks like MOTO basically took the X2 and upgraded the internals. Otherwise the camera is the same, and the display is the same. Like Ive said before, all the bionic is(is) a turbo-charged droid X!!

  • Ad3pt

    dang dude pulled out like 3 verizon android phones… hook a brotha up my og droid touch sensitivity is shot and since i dont have an upgrade for a while im stuck on an ally :( send me one of those (x, d3, tbolt) im dying over here

  • Ad3pt

    dang dude pulled out like 3 verizon android phones… hook a brotha up my og droid touch sensitivity is shot and since i dont have an upgrade for a while im stuck on an ally :( send me one of those (x, d3, tbolt) im dying over here

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NEOS2HO2ITOC6GKUN2Q4DZHZCA Daniel

    Used my early upgrade and will have 4g LTE and dual core goodness in my hands Friday! Can’t wait!  If you order online with Big Red it’s only $249 not $299.  I’m going to send my X in and use that $100 gift card for my brothers upgrade.

    • dude

      do they take smartphones for that 100 dollar trade it thing? i thought it said just basic phones

    • Anonymous

      100 gift card ONLY applies to folks with a dumbzor phone upgrading to a smart phone so you would be better off pawing you DX to gazelle/ebay for bionic funding

  • Anonymous


  • http://twitter.com/droid1967 Droid 1967

    yeah i see it on the site also whats even more mind blowing is the charge costs the same for me as the bionic would.

  • Sparking22

    just ordered my BIONIC!

  • Eswom

    Just upgraded from OG Droid to Bionic on Verizon’s Site.  The phone cost me 249.99

    • droidlvr

      the phone is available on their site?

      • eswom

        Yes and I got it for $50 less than I thought I would!