Motorola has finally released the much anticipated Droid Bionic. Now that it’s finally here we aim to take a deeper look into the hardware, software, and all the accessories to see if this 4G powered superphone can really “rule all machines” as Verizon has been claiming. The commercial is clever and neat but it’s all about the phone when it comes down to it. Read on below for plenty of details during our review, as well as tons of photos and some in-depth video hands-on.

We first saw the Bionic back at CES 2011 but sadly it was quickly delayed more than a few times. Now we have it here and in the flesh, or plastic I should say. We’ve given it a solid look over and ran some benchmarks on this beast to see if the wait was worth it. We’ll start with the video and then get into the goods later.

Droid Bionic hands-on with accessories
[vms c81a9e69fee1cea4a087]


Obviously the hardware is excellent as most Motorola phones are. At first you’ll quickly notice how similar to the Droid X and Droid X2 the Bionic really is and you can tell where the inspiration for the design came from. With a similar layout DROID users should all feel right at home.

Just like the others we have the micro-USB and micro-HDMI ports on the left side. These are used for charging and sync, HDMI-out for video playback up to 1080p and even mirror mode for games and apps.

Around to the right side just like its smaller siblings we have a clean, simple, and elegant design with nothing but the aluminum volume up/down rocker. It’s conveniently placed right as the curve around back starts up to give it a natural placement that is easy to access while holding the phone.

Nothing on the bottom but the microphone pinhole shown in the image above. Then up top we have the usual 3.5mm headphone jack and power/wake button. The placement of the power button is nice but with the battery cover curve right there you naturally leave your finger right on the curve and it sits a bit short from the button and makes it feel like you’re reaching extra far when in reality your not, overall this was not an issue for me either but worth noting.

On the rear we have the rest of the goods such as an 8 MP camera lens capable of 1080p video capture with dual LED flash, a noise cancellation pinhole, and the speaker grill. That and a few brand tags of course like Verizon, 4G LTE, and with Google. Like all previous Motorola phones the back has a nice soft touch matte black design that feels good, and is scratch resistant.

We all know plenty about this powerhouse and its specs under the hood but how about a little recap? We have the new TI OMAP 4430 1.0 Ghz dual-core processor powering all the goods along with 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a 16GB micro-SD included for 32GB of total storage. 8 MP camera with VGA for video chat, a brilliant, bright, and crisp 4.3″ qHD 540 x 960 resolution display. While it’s still a pentile display and struggles with the color green everything looks amazing. As for size its around 13.3mm (just a tick over half an inch) and it only tapers down around 11.3mm at the thinnest point. The Droid X models both are under 11mm and the new Galaxy S II’s all are under 10mm thick, but they don’t have 4G LTE inside.

While the display isn’t a Samsung AMOLED we still found the colors and resolution to be quite excellent. The contrast in colors doesn’t match the AMOLED but everything else does just fine. Instead of an NVIDIA Tegra 2 like the Photon 4G, or a Qualcomm like the Sensation 4G we have the a Texas Instrument OMAP 4 series CPU in the Bionic that performs very well. We will go over benchmarks shortly.

Software and Performance
On the software side of things is Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread that is moderately skinned with Motorola’s “Blur” UI or whatever they want to call it. So far from my initial testing this is by far Motorola’s most refined UI. With light changes that don’t interrupt the user or hinder performance so far I like the new skin. With customizable and realizable widgets, contact widgets with fancy animations and more they’ve definitely stepped up the user interface game over at Motorola.

With Android 2.3.4 we have Google Talk video chat included that works great with the VGA front facing camera. As far as pre-installed applications we have the usual Verizon bloatware like the 4 or so different V CAST apps for music, video and more. Amazon Kindle and Blockbuster are also pre-installed and quickly I removed those. We do have some useful bloatware such as NFL Mobile (something I wish all carriers had) Citrix GoTo Meeting, Motoprint wireless printing, Slacker Radio and even QuickOffice. Pictures of the pre-installed apps can all be seen in the finally gallery below.

I know everyone loves benchmarks, and so do we so I’ve gone ahead and ran the usual array of those. Before I get into screenshots I did want to mention performance has been very lighting fast. From browsing the web on 4G LTE to daily tasks the dual-core processor does an amazing job.

Quadrant Pro scored well over 2700 on my Bionic which was decent compared to the G2x and Droid X2 that both scored around 2200 with the NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU. While Quadrant isn’t extremely accurate everyone still loves to use it and we all get different results. I wasn’t able to break 2300 on any stock Tegra 2 phones but our readers all have. The Sensation scores around 2400 on Quadrant so the TI OMAP 4 does a great job and is second only to the Galaxy S II from initial stock testing.

We have very similar results across the board with the DROID Bionic, beating most phones currently available in all the benchmarks we ran except for the Galaxy S II. For now the SGSII is still king and when those upgraded 1.4 Ghz models land it will be even better. The only benchmark it performs poorly is Vellamo and for some reason barely kept up with the single-core old-school phones. Next we have in order: CF Bench, Smartbench 2011, and Vellamo.

Camera and Battery Life
The camera is an 8 MP camera with dual LED flash. I’ve tested it quite a bit both indoors and out and while it takes a great photo they do seem a bit over exposed in my opinion. The auto focus is pretty slow and can sometimes take over 2 seconds but once focused it takes a great photo. Trying to snap a quick photo of kids or pets might be hard with the slow auto focus. Here is a few test images below.

Bionic 1080p video recording

Battery Life
The Motorola Droid Bionic comes with a huge 1735 mAh battery on board. I guess Motorola didn’t want to hear talk about extremely poor battery life like the Thunderbolt suffered when it first was released. So far I’m averaging pretty solid battery life. Nothing spectacular or to write home about, but nothing extremely poor either. I’ve used it all day for games, benchmarks, and video capture and still around 40% after about 7 hours. Should make it through an entire day with ease. I’ve noticed some slightly unusual charging patterns but I’ll look into that further later.

Motorola and Verizon were nice enough to provide us with a slew of accessories for every occasion. I mean the HD Multimedia dock, the car dock, home standard dock, the $299 Lapdock, and even the webtop adapter when you only want to bring the phone and not a dock. We have everything and more we could ever want. All of that was shown in the video above as I unboxed all of those but I’ll briefly mention them for everyone here too.

First up the HD Multimedia Dock. It will run $99 dollars and can be used as the hub for your phone. With 3 USB-out ports as well as HDMI and audio out you can stream images, movies, videos, games and more right to your HDTV or anything that accepts Micro HDMI. This also triggers the webtop app for full-screen web browsing with Firefox and more basically making the Droid Bionic a mobile computer.

It also comes with an included power source and a remote for controlling everything. With standard android buttons as well as media playback and navigation you’ll never need to move from the couch. Thanks Motorola!

The Standard Dock will be $39 and features the same great build quality and exact design of the HD Dock but is missing the outputs on the back as well as having no HDMI. This dock is mainly for those wanting it for their desk, office, or bedside and has an awesome alarm mode once placed in the dock. Without HDMI it doesn’t activate the webtop application so that is where you’ll need either the $19.99 webtop adapter or buy the HD Dock.

The Navigation Car Dock will also be priced at $39.99 and is exactly the same as the Atrix, and the Photon 4G model with some slight curves to the plastic to fit the frame of the DROID Bionic. It features dash and windshield mounts and comes with extra pads too. An included car charger and extra long 3.5mm stereo cable for audio out is also provided making it a decent deal. The Car dock has a strong latch that securely locks the phone in place and will prevent any accidents or falls. Docking enables the navigation menu and is a nice car user interface for easy and safe navigation.

Last but not least we have the Motorola Lapdock mini-laptop accessory. This will run you a hefty penny at $299 and personally I feel this is still way too much. I understand it’s all about convenience but when your average dual-core netbook or cheap laptop costs around $349 for the full experience I just feel $299 is a bit much for the Lapdock. It does however have great build quality, stereo speakers, a huge 37 mh battery that will charge your Bionic and a nice chicklet style keyboard for easy typing. This will get its own full rundown and review at a later date but for now check out my extensive unboxing video and the photos below.

Motorola DROID Bionic Lapdock hands-on

[vms 6fa333f8b44b610d9569]

4G LTE Results
The Droid Bionic is the first Verizon 4G LTE phone to also come equipped with a dual-core processor to take full advantage of those blazing fast speeds. While this doesn’t equal full on amazing browser speed improvements the overall load times for games, browsing, YouTube videos and updating applications is blazingly stunning fast. T-Mobile doesn’t come close, WiMAX barely comes close to my 3G results, and AT&T well — they are still a month or three off from having an LTE network even worth talking about.

I’m getting home internet type speeds of around 12 Mbps download and 2-3 Mbps Upload on the Bionic. Something many of my friends don’t even get at home. Check out these results below.

I have noticed around my home here in Vegas I seem to lose 4G LTE quite often and it switches over to 3G coverage as you can see I’m on 3G in some of my screenshots. Throughout town I have 4G almost everywhere so it could just be my neighborhood as inside local stores I had full 4G still. All of the above speedtest results were using 4G LTE and they are pretty stellar. Topping 13 Mbps with a cell phone is awesome and I can’t wait to see more in the future as LTE develops and continues to grow.

OK, I know that was long and included tons of photos but you know you wanted to see it all. At the end of the day your probably wondering if you should get the Bionic or wait for something else. For now I feel I can safely say this is one of if not the best phone on the market. In terms of raw performance the Galaxy S II beats it, and all of Motorola’s phones are locked down so that is another issue. The overall package of great performance, stellar build quality, dual-core power, and lightning fast 4G LTE all in one package this is hard to pass up. Yes the Samsung Nexus Prime or whatever may be coming soon, but we don’t know if that will get the 4G LTE love.

The DROID Bionic is everything I expected it to be and more, sadly we just had to wait forever and it this was released in June instead, it would have been HUGE! The Bionic is what I expected the Droid X2 to be but wasn’t. The Bionic is the best all around choice to date and will make ANY user extremely happy for now. Coming out this late we now have the Samsung Galaxy S II and the new Galaxy Note on the horizon so that makes the choice a little harder for some. In the end it comes down to user needs, preference, and if they are willing to wait even longer now that the DROID Bionic is finally here. I’d say buy with confidence and enjoy it while it lasts.

[device id=1476]


    • It cracks me up when people only like what they own. No my iPhone is better. They get an android. Oh now this is the best phone ever. You can’t judge thiss you went familiar with.

  1. The Sensation can pull a 2400?.?. The most I seen on multiple videos is 1900 to the low 2000’s.. Just saying, though. You must of poured some 5 hour energy into the speaker grill or something. 😀

    • I don’t buy a phone to get high benchmark scores. These scores aren’t even accurate, they can be manipulated easily, it depends on more than just the hardware specs, to be honest. I don’t have anything against the Bionic, but the Sensation is better IMO.

    • I don’t buy a phone to get high benchmark scores. These scores aren’t even accurate, they can be manipulated easily, it depends on more than just the hardware specs, to be honest. I don’t have anything against the Bionic, but the Sensation is better IMO.

      • I was referring to what the article said. He said he pulled a 2400 on the Sensation when I see 1900’s mostly. No biggie just saying. I buy phones based on benchmarks, that’s just me, I insist!

      • Oh that’s cool. Every review video I seen came up 1900’s on the first run. Bench four times to get the most consistent out of Quadrant (that’s what morf said). My G2x + CM7 + Trinity @ 1.2 = 3700’s on first run. :]

      • 3700 on 1.2 ghz tegra is not bad! Considering that exynos had to overclock to 1.5 ghz to score that high 🙂 ! I get 2900 to 3100 on my photon, but I want to over clock to 1.2 ghz

      • Thank you, this is the best phone *feel, form & comfortable shape* I ever felt & owned.usually always something in a phone that annoys you, but this phone & the samsung vibrant were the only of ones that I truly liked, the evo 3d before the photon was returned because of the screen & the square shape with the camera burton in the way all the time wether gaming or browsing was too uncomfortable .

      • 3700 on 1.2 ghz tegra is not bad! Considering that exynos had to overclock to 1.5 ghz to score that high 🙂 ! I get 2900 to 3100 on my photon, but I want to over clock to 1.2 ghz

  2. It was a great review overall. But I’m personally sick of always being reminded of the next ‘big’ device that’s on its way. We already know in the android world that this will happen. Why mention it? Most people who read reviews already know what they want and just read them for fun. The average consumer buys what they like or what’s suggested to them by others. In future reviews, could we simply leave out the obvious statement of other phones? Thanks. Keep up the great reviews.

    • Heres what I do for this android situation of a new phone being released every month, I get insurance with bestbuy..the “black tie protection” & what happens is when a new phone is released that you want, you go in with your phone & tell then that your phone is giving you problems & that you country liked the way it feels how out responds, that its been shutting off since the last upgrade. And what they’ll do is change your phone for another one but out has to be of equal value,& not just the $200-250 you paid for with the contact, but the retail $600-750 retail value. Just be cool especially the younger workers they’re more cool like that. Another thing I do is always add the “buy back” option, now when ever I get tired of the phone they’ll give me up to half the retail value of the phone, my photons retail was $700 so I get 350 back within 2moro years! & I almost forgot to mention, there black tie protection replaces your phone with no deductibles , as many times as you have to, i.e. no limit to replace phones & they always give you new phone’s no refurbished ones! I tell you this because you’ll basically have the latest phones every year with no fees, especially with sprint & there yearly upgrade’s! its worth it, next tone you buy a phone get it at bestbuy or see if they could still him your phone up with these features.

  3. LOL. 9452, 2711, 5407 on CF Bench. On my Sensation, running a custom ROM and OC’d to 1.56 GHz (and, mind you, only ONE of the cores OC’d to that speed because so far developers have been unable to reliably OC both cores on this unique asynchronous chip), I got 11691, 3519, 6787. That’s not only better than the Bionic, that’s better than the SGS2. I know benchmarks aren’t the best indicator of anything, but CF Bench is actually alright because it has dual core support (it actively feeds both cores code, unlike quadrant). 

    While this Bionic has decent specs, the design alone is enough to put me off. I wouldn’t be able to stand looking at a black brick. All I have to say other than these things is good luck to a phone that is coming out during the same period that the SGS2 is in the U.S.

    • LOL the ol’ “my dual core processor is the only one that doesn’t I use both cores card” lol asynchronous! I almost kept the evo 3d..the while asynchronous crap is a BS excuse that qualcomm if using because they know its a slow set up period! You need to be clocked at 1.5 ghz just to compete with the rest of the dual cores! Come on, note you have a custom rom with some software tricks to fool the benchmarks? that’s super low! Keep believing that asynchronous excuse its the only thing you guys have….for now lol, besides they already haves benchmarks that force dual core mode on any dual cpu to test there metal & msm8x60 is a sorry example of a company trying to get rid of there overstock snapdragon cpu’s to the masses as a new improved & better than the rest technology, its pathetic when a shop eats up everything they hear instead of researching & coming to there senses & reality. Its just business to them & they had to get rid of those snapdragon’s somehow, even if it meant overclocking them all the way up to 1.5 ghz just to get the specs of a 1 ghz chipset

  4. funny how u say wimax doesn’t even match up to ur 3G signal in las vegas? Well all the speeds I saw in your app were all wimax speeds in New York, all 5 burroughs.14 mbs is tops but it’s definitely unlimited 😉 the bionic’s speed up posted up was much better than in another review I read which was sad to see how much people look towards artificial benchmarks to tell them shays worthy our not, everyone in the web site was downing the phone so badly “oh is this what we’ve been waiting over a year for?” ,”this is not my next phone” all because the reviewer posted a low quadrant score of 2300. The stupid thing is if they want the ultimate phone that will give then the ultimate quadrant score I’ll just hack up a nexus s to score up 4500 on quadrant then sell it to them instead of a SG2 or Bionic, these scores can easily be hacked & im not saying samsung is doing some hacking, but to sell a couple of million phones I know someone would.put plus all the Galaxy 2 score’s are all overclocked GS2’s cracked up to 1.5 ghz! Don’t believe me? Just look at the antutu benchmarks & smartbench 2011! Its total BS when they compare a 1 ghz phone to a 1.2 ghz phone, but even worst is the fact that they compare it top overclocked 1.5 ghz phones & consider it fair to post up as if it is fair, I really don’t care because my photon still scores higher 2D & 3D scores than the galaxy 2 in antutu, smartbench 2011 & quadrant pro, since they actually show where the scores come from & since in antutu & quadrant pro you can see that a whole 1000 points comes from data i/O for java or SD i/O ! For one of those trip I can’t remember right now but as you’ll see for your selves if you want to galaxy 2 gets 1000 points from software, software that can easily be manipulated & shouldn’t even be used to score hardware.anyway got what its worth my photon 4G gets a quadrant score of 2900 to 3100 all stock & no frozen app’s.

  5. 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. If you will buy this Motorola Droid Bionic I suggest you have to check price before you decide at:

    • I have the photon & I especially like how they bunch social networking with the gallery & the message app has all your emails, text messages & outlook in one interface while keeping everything simple & easy. Theres so much to the phone that “blur” really is a thing of the past. But what I don’t like is how this new generation of phone users look to artificial benchmarks that can easily be manipulated with a simple cache file to raise the results, even worst this of what people base there decision off of to decide there next phone. Lets say a chinese phone manufacturer decided hey all we need is high benchmark scores & the boss tells them use a modified MIUI for our … Let lets say “M9 meizu” this modified MIUI just happens to have the quadrant software hack that gives you higher artificial scores & people will buy into because they’ve been groomed into thinking that’s all that matter.well this could be our reality now. Another thing people are quick to forget is that the optimus black has the TI OMAP SOC in it & it was scoring much higher than the galaxy 2, the very same TI OMAP that’s inside the bionic! Yet they say that the bionic if weaker, if the exynos were to use a qhd screen is would score less than the bionic since the TI OMAP scores much higher than the exynos & at 1ghz to add to it’s efficiency.. Well all in all people need to realize that bionic is not weak. Besides the exynos lags on allot of power hungry games & then they blame the games developers for the exynos short comes ..

  6. This is truly unacceptable that Motorola has launched this android phone without GSM abilities .Earlier I was believed that this will be a world phone & will work on CDMA and gsm both. I don’t know what they have been doing? Motorola…

  7. This is truly unacceptable that Motorola has launched this android phone without GSM abilities .Earlier I was believed that this will be a world phone & will work on CDMA and gsm both. I don’t know what they have been doing? Motorola…

  8. I absolutely can’t wait to get a Droid Bionic! There is so much to love
    about this phone. Primarily, it has a dual-core processor, and 4G. I am a big
    movie streamer, so with all of these features, the Bionic should have no
    problem keeping up with me. The app that I use to stream is the DISH Remote
    Access app. I love this app because it lets me stream movies and TV shows
    anywhere I am! As a customer and employee of DISH Network, I have been using
    the DISH Remote Access app for a long time on my previous phone, and I know
    that it is going to work great on the Bionic once I get it!

  9. I
    took my Bionic back to Verizon and I’m back on my sorry ass BB for now.
    The main and really only reason is because the Android OS does not have
    or will not directly sync with MS Outlook. You are forced to use a
    gmail account and that’s just not an option. Why should you have
    to change the way you manage your e-mail, contacts and calendar just to
    get a new phone. This is a MAJOR SNAFU on Android, Motorola and
    Verizon’s part if you ask me. Syncing contacts and calendars is a basic
    function of ANY phone.  False advertising – “Control
    it and you control everything”. NOT MS OUTLOOK! You can’t directly
    sync with Outlook and you’re forced to use a gmail account. Not a good
    option if your Internet connection is down or you’re out of your service
    area. Motorola and Android, you need to rethink this issue!

    • Hmmm, sounds like you should buy a windows phone. Its absurd that a google phone would have you use a gmail acct????? Maybe you should ditch the Outlook????

      • I think you are mistaken.  I have had three Android devices, all Motorola and I have been synced with Exchange on all three.  One of them was even a 3rd Party Exchange host.  You can set up a Corporate Email Acct and input all the Exchange Server info and you should be in business.

      • That may work for those who have access to a Corporate  Exchange Server, however those with a POP3 server from their provider have to use the email client, but that does nothing for the calendar, tasks features that may also be in play.

        I’m living with my company outlook, but I have to send invites to my google account via email. Some of the issues I have there is duplicate entries in the address book and having to maintain two separate calendars.

        Ditching Outlook is not a viable option for everyone, especially if you’ve got 10+ years of data invested in a standalone Outlook database.

  10. I agree with the majority, the Bionic is definitely a really
    good phone. I especially like the dual core processor and that it runs on
    Verizon’s super fast 4G network. The Bionic was definitely made to exceed all expectations.
    This will be the ultimate mobile device when paired with my employee Sling
    adapter from DISH Network. With it, I can stream live and recorded TV to my
    Android phone everywhere I have 3G coverage or WiFi. DISH is actually offering
    free Sling adapters, it’s definitely work it if you find yourself to busy to
    catch your favorite shows.

  11. I’m a little disappointed with the lack of a feature I’ve used on my Samsung Fascinate. I was able to do a screen capture by holding down the back button and the power button. I have no option on the bionic without having to pay for the app. For the price I paid for the Bionic, I could have gotten the Iphone 4S which I know has that feature. Motorola should consider adding a feature in a phone update so that the consumers do not have to spend money to purchase an app that other androids have built into their phones.

  12. Thanks for your review. I want to know why Motorola had to move all the
    buttons. I upgraded from a Droid X to the Bionic and am frustrated that
    Motorola moved the buttons , probably so you had to buy new windshield
    mounts and other peripherals. Most critical is the removal of the camera
    button from the side. Now, you have to push the button on the screen
    which of course, moves the camera slightly as you are trying to take a

  13. Woah, awesome design on the review! I really love the graphics and your star ratings at the beginning. With a million new Android handsets coming out every day, it’s nice to have something quick to and easy to look at.

  14. I have now spent nearly one year with the Droid Bionic. It has now been replaced 2 times, due to poor functionality.
    I have a replacement coming from Verizon but opted to call Motorola to see about getting a different model. I was told that I could not get a different model from the Bionic. The representative acknowledged that the Bionic has had many problems with functionality but still would not offer a different model, only offering to repair the one I have. I have a new replacement coming!
    I offered to take an older model, just not a Bionic. The answer was no.
    I will now be posting on EVERY website I can find that Motorola does not stand behind their poor models and does not offer customers service.
    All I asked for was for the company to stand behind it’s product and make amends when it is inferior…even if that meant I got an older model. I paid $250, with a contract, for my phone and it is poorer quality than my work flip phone.
    Next time, I will return to the Iphone.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.