Bionic First Impressions/Reviews


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Dec 9, 2009
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Howdy everyone,

The purpose of this thread, is to hear members thoughts & opinions on how the Motorola Bionic stacks up amongst a suggested list of attributes:
Phone - including bluetooth & speakerphone usage
Overall User Interface (including Motoblur)
Signal quality (Compared to other devices)
Social Networking
Battery Life
Media (music, movies, DLNA)
Camera (both still & video)
How the Bionic compares to your previous smartphone (if applicable)
Disappointments (if any)

Feel free to provide as little or as much detail as possible, while trying to make it as useful as possible. Hopefully this will help others who are considering the Bionic, but would like to hear some user feedback first. Also, please do not review the Bionic prior to having one

And if you read a review that you found helpful, please use the Thanks button to show them your appreciation!


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Sep 6, 2011
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I got just mine and i have to say the phone looks pretty posh compared to the OG droid. The detail of the camera lens is great and the polish accents make the phone feel more "classy" than rugged. My store opened doors at 7.30am here in NYC.


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Nov 4, 2009
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First impressions - Feels like a nice phone. Good build quality, feels like solid construction. Looks pretty nice too. It is thinner than I thought it would be from pictures people have posted online. Seems to be about the same size as the droid charge, but a little bit thinner. It's definitely quick. Scrolling through screens, opening apps, etc all happen immediately with no noticeable lag.

Can't speak to battery life yet, but I have the worst experience with batteries in my office building. I have very intermittent service so my phones are constantly trying to establish a connection as the service wafts in and out. So far I've gotten an hour and a half on 20% battery life with pretty minimal use. So I would say that is actually pretty good by comparison given my circumstances. As a comparison, the droid charge which I was using previously yesterday went from fully charged at 8AM, to 8% remaining by 12PM. So only roughly 4 hours maybe 4.5 hours for a full charge, so the bionic would give me 7.5 hours at the rate it is currently going so nearly double.

The vibration seems strong. I don't think I will have any issues with feeling a notification vibrate in my pocket with this thing.

Notification light is pretty small, but I find it to be much more visible and easier to see from different angles than the notification light on the HTC Thunderbolt.

The screen - I know it's a big sticking point for many and there are many strongly opinioned people regarding pentile displays. Much to my disappointment...I do notice the pentile nature of the display and I'm not a huge fan. Everything does sort of have a pixely nature to it and like there's a very fine crosshatch mark over everything. Things that are supposed to be white are kind of white and maybe a little grey looking. It's worse when I move the device around a bit. I find that if I look at it without moving it then some of what I'm seeing as crosshatching fades away, but as soon as I start to move it I notice it again. Things that are colored look worse - so like the phone icon is green, but to my eye it looks like green pixel alternated with a black/grey pixel repeated over and over so that I can see almost a checkerboard pattern. Yes it reads "Green" to me, but it's definitely not just flat green. I am also not an eagle-eye or anything like that, just my observation.

With all that said- It's not a killer for me. I value performance first and so far this device performs! I'm also coming from a droid charge which I think has a great screen. I definitely miss the deep, true black rendering of the charge which made it difficult for me to see where the bezel ended and the screen began.

All in all I think it is a worthwhile device with a lot of power. I'm sure as I break it in a bit it will continue to get better and I can only imagine how speedy it will be once the developer community tinkers with it some more.


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Dec 8, 2010
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Random question, but how are the live wallpapers? On my Droid X they seem to make everything noticeably sluggish. I'm hoping with dual core and 1 Gig of Ram this goes away and everything is much smoother. Can anyone chime in on this small detail??


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Jul 1, 2010
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Random question, but how are the live wallpapers? On my Droid X they seem to make everything noticeably sluggish. I'm hoping with dual core and 1 Gig of Ram this goes away and everything is much smoother. Can anyone chime in on this small detail??
They don't make it sluggish at all. It will eat your battery, though and can make the phone run warm. I would only use them when you're showing it off.
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Apr 28, 2011
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Liked it but Didn't love it..

Okay, so I just got back from my local Verizon Store and I was there playing with the Bionic for about 30minutes and overall I was a bit disappointed with the phone.

1) First the biggest letdown has to be the screen. There is absolutely no comparison between the Charge and the Bionic. The Charge screen is 10x better. Those who are saying that the Bionic screen is better or the same, must be trying to feel themselves feel better. Just put the Charge and the Bionic side by side at your local verizon store and you will clearly see the difference.

2) Everyone keeps saying how "fast" this phone is. I didn't find the phone to be THAT fast. Obviously if you are comparing this phone to the OG Droid than yes the Bionic is much faster! But I found the Bionic to be just as fast as the Charge and Revolution. I also found it a little "laggy" when opening up some apps. In Sum, the speed didn't blow me away.

3) Lastly, didn't really like the touchscreen. I believe the screen was too sensitive you could barely touch and something would pop up or be moved.

So with that being said, i think it is a solid phone, maybe I just had too high of expectations. I went into the store looking to purchase it but I decided to walk out and wait for next thing

just wanted to throw in my 2cents. have a nice day guys..


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May 23, 2011
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Just had the chance to play with a friends Bionic for roughly an hour and while the phone is extremely solid and a serious performer.. i'll have to stick with my Charge. The screen is the deal breaker for me, as much as I hate to admit it. Maybe I set myself up for failure coming from the Charge, but i'd constantly think about how pixelated the screen is and it would drive me bonkers.

Overall though, i'm sure many many people will love this phone :)
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Dec 15, 2009
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My first impression was how light it is compared to my DX! Its a little wider too, but has a rounded bottom bevel so it still fits nicely in the hand.

Flicking from screen to screen is gorgeously smooth. The "contact favorites" widget is really slick, when you drag down on it it opens up a grid with all your favorites on it.

One oddity is that it doesn't have the default Bionic wallpaper - it's got a wallpaper from my old Droid X, a photo that I took with the DX camera. How did that happen? It's not the most recent wallpaper from my DX either. Go figure.

I hate the power button being on the left side, since I hold the phone with my left hand. It's almost impossible to hold it in the left hand and turn it off - very bad ergonomics.

The camera and switching to the gallery are noticeably faster than on the DX. So far the camera seems to have better auto white balance than the DX. Haven't noticed a difference in pixel-level clarity but I haven't taken any challenging pictures yet.

Its also faster when launching a web link from GMail, even when using wifi.

I clocked between 5578 and 25769kps download using It makes a big difference which server you use. New York and Washington seem to be the fastest. Philadelphia is very slow for some reason even though that's closest.

I'm TOTALLY liking the screen, can't see pixelization even in the little green battery. Will have to put my closeup glasses on tonight, maybe I can find something wrong with it then.... Compared to the Droid Charge, the screen is higher resolution (954x560 vs 800x480) and not as overly saturated.
UPDATE: with my closeup glasses on I can see the "pixelation" identified by others. Doesn't bother me, I see pixelation on my laptop monitor too. However, there is a worse problem. The color depth of the screen appears to be 16 bits, not 24 bits (8 bits/color) like the DX. This causes visible banding in images with subtle shade gradations.

The extended battery is a beast at 2760 mah. Not sure if I'll need it though it could be great on long days with lots of surfing, navigation, and camera use, etc. It makes the device a couple mm thicker.

So far I've been very impressed with the speed that GPS locks in. This is very important to me because I use my phone to track workouts (try AllSport GPS in the app store) and hate waiting for the GPS to lock before a workout.

I just compared images taken with the DX camera and the Bionic camera. The Bionic is definitely better, the image is not nearly as blocky when viewed at pixel level. The DX has a very "painterly" look and is noisier. Definitely an improvement!

More later!
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Sep 2, 2011
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My first impression was how light it is compared to my DX! Its a little wider too. On a level surface, it rocks back and forth a little due to a bump on the lower right corner which is there to raise up the speaker port so its not muffled.

Flicking from screen to screen is gorgeously smooth. The "contact favorites" widget is really slick, when you drag down on it it opens up a grid with all your favorites on it.

One oddity is that it doesn't have the default Bionic wallpaper - it's got a wallpaper from my old Droid X, a photo that I took with the DX camera. How did that happen? It's not the most recent wallpaper from my DX either. Go figure.

More later!

Do you have some sort of backup app that you ran on the X, that automatically moved the wallpaper over to the Bionic after you signed on to it with your account?


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Jun 24, 2011
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My first impression: Holy crap that's big... Followed immediately by damn that's fast...

Seriously though the phone feels and looks great while holding it. Exactly what I would expect from Moto after my OG Droid. I definitely like the full cover back plate as opposed to the small easy to dislodge cover on my OG.

Battery life so far seems good, but I've only had it for about 2 hrs. I did buy the extended battery because it was 50% off. Who knows if I'll actually use it or not as I am in a 3G only area still.

As @largeselection said the pentile is definitely noticeable but no wheres near a deal breaker for me. It only really becomes noticeable when you hold the phone up to your nose. Who does that? ;)

The camera is a decent improvement in speed and software over the stock camera on the OG so definitely no complaints from me there! It's going to be wicked nice to pull out the camera and snap a photo in time to actually catch my daughter doing something cute, instead of just missing it...

I've made a couple calls on the phone and so far they seem very clear (minus to my Dad who is having issues on his end). But all in all it works like a phone should. I will get Bluetooth up in my car later today and see how that works, but I'm not expecting anything odd.

The keyboard has been a pleasant surprise! It is much easier to type on the Bionics screen for me than it was my OG's. I don't know if it's the larger screen or something they tweaked on the keyboard. Either way typing and the haptic feedback work extremely well.

Social networking seems kinda quirky with the tie ins to Moto's social media hub thing, but so far so good on posting and seeing friends and all that.

So far I am very very happy with this phone! I hope all the other new Bionic owners out there are as well!

More later.

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Dec 7, 2010
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just got it and my first impression is it's slick and feels great in the hand...i'll chirp in with more details later but for now i'm very excited i upgraded my OG droid today.


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Apr 24, 2011
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My first impression-SEXY! Like everyone else has said, its much lighter than it looks. When I got it the battery was only at 10% so after an hour I put it on the charger. Very fast. My OG is lookint at it with its jaw dropped :p Absolutely gorgeous screen!! I actually prefer it to my OG. Turned brightness down to 25% and its still very bright.
The camera's flash looks like its only single LED, but it looks like its actually brighter than my OG's flash. Don't have any way to measure it so it might just be my eyes. Looking forward to it charging so I can play more.


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Jun 3, 2011
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My first impressions:

This is a big phone and it gets bigger! I got the 2880 mAh extended battery which requires you to get a larger, different rear cover than the standard 1735mAh. it certainly adds a lot of heft to the phone, which even with the 1735 battery was pretty big. I like to hang my phone off my pocket with a clip holster and with the weight of the Bionic with the 2880 battery, that might be too much for my pocket! I may have to go back to the smaller battery if carrying this thing gets uncomfortable.

The other thing I didn't like about getting the extended battery was that the VZW store didn't carry belt clip holsters for the Bionic to fit in with the extended battery cover...which is odd. How am I supposed to check how the phone fits in a holster and how comfortable one vs another is if I can only find one online? Strange.

Screen - I would have to agree with others in this thread that the screen is a bit pixelated. Is it a deal breaker? Not for me. The rest of this phone certainly make up for the minor clarity issues...and I have 20/15 vision too.

Startup at VZW Store - Took quite a while, over an hour for the phone to start-up, connect with 3G (no 4G service in my area yet) and finish the log on procedures. This was much longer than when I got my Droid X.
I was also surprised how few people showed up this morning. There were only 4 others behind me (I was the first through the door at 0800 and got there at 0745) I think that could be due to the limited advertisement campaign they've been doing. The VZW rep even said that he was expecting a much larger crowd. Maybe others have had a different experience.

Speed - Incredibly fast page loads. And this is on 3G. I wonder how much faster 4G will be! Maybe I'll swing up to DC as they are the closest city with 4G.

Got the lapdock. Haven't used it yet. Very nice, large screen and keyboard. Can't wait to try it out.

Got the cardock. I am impressed that VZW thought about the extended battery cover. They include an adapter that sits in the cradle that allows the Bionic with the standard 1735 battery to sit in. With the 2880 battery, you take out the adapter. The Bionic sits in the cradle very securely and a clip holds it in on the top.

Got the HDMI dock. Looks nice.

In all I dropped $708 with the 25% discount on accessories and a $50 NE2 discount. Ouch!:eek:

The lapdock did not carry the 25% discount, but the VZW website has a $100 mail-in-rebate valid 09/08/11 through 10/15/11
Here is the link for those interested:
MOTOROLA LAPDOCK - Verizon Wireless
I should read the fine print however...I have the unlimited data plan @ $29.99, which makes me ineligible for the rebate!:(
• Eligible data packages: $50/5GB or $80/10GB.
• Data packages less than $50 and data package combinations are not eligible.
• Eligible data package must remain active for at least 30 consecutive days.

More to follow...
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May 26, 2010
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Anyone ever use
They have the bionic for $250.

I plan on waiting at least a few days... for more impressions, battery life especially.
I got the BB Storm on launch day... what a mistake. I got the DINC on launch day, way better situation.
So I guess my odds are currently 50/50 on getting a good phone, but I can wait.

So, I figure that Verizon will be sold out when I am ready to grab one I'll use Wirefly... unless anyone has had a bad experience with them?


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Jun 3, 2011
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I have to agree with what is being said about the screen being pixelated, definitely not a deal breaker for me either. I have noticed a slight lag with the crispness of the web pages while you scroll, words become a bit pixelated for a quick second but then quickly go back to normal. All I have to say about the 4g speed is WOW:D:D:D speed test had me downloading at 22mb with 3bars on 4g incredible!! Overall impressed with phone haven't had a chance to reallly explore everything but so far so good


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Jul 26, 2011
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Aesthetics: I liked the look except for the lip. I was expecting this but it wasn't a deal breaker for me. The phone actually felt pretty nice too.

Screen: Is really nice. I am quite surprised by the quality of the screen. Droid Charge has a much brighter screen but I do agree with the Super AMOLED is a bit overrated and too bright. Seems like people are just rationalizing their Charge screens because they got less of a phone.

Hardware: Super fast and so far not glitchy. Used this for about 5 hours now and no glitchiness like the Droid X and amazingly fast

Phone - including bluetooth & speakerphone usage : Didn't use bluetooth yet but speakerphone seems to be fine.

Overall User Interface (including Motoblur): Not bad. Different from the Droid X but I like the new layout.

Widgets: I don't care for them and I will add in my complete custom ones...

Signal quality (Compared to other devices): As some people may have said the signal quality is better. I did a side by side with my X and Bionic and I got 1 bar better on my Bionic. I did this in a 40 mile area. Picked up the phone 45 min away from my house rather than the closer store 10 min from my house. Went to the doctors which is another 45 min away from the store and came back home.

GPS: I never had too much problems with the Navigation application but I will note that just like the old Droid X the Bionic does get a tad HOT if the GPS is full on working for more than 30 min.

Social Networking: It works. What else to say? I like the application better than the old one on the X though.

Email/Calendar: Not much to say on this.

Battery Life: Used for about 5-6 hours now and its pretty good. Used navigation for about 2 hours ish and without a charge on the regular battery it came from. Battery was orange close to 20-25% when I got it and survived 5-6 hours of usage ( including 2 hours of navigation ).

Performance: I definitely like the speed of the phone whether its the processor or the 4G speed.

Media (music, movies, DLNA)

Keyboard's: For some odd reason the keyboard touch is much much much MUCH better on the Bionic than the old Droid X. The Droid X I did a comparison with a screen protector, and without it and still the Bionic does better.

Camera (both still & video): Obviously the front facing camera is nice. Quality isn't that good but not a super big issue for me. If you want good quality camera then use your computer/laptop not a phone...

How the Bionic compares to your previous smartphone (if applicable)
Disappointments (if any)

Only real disappointments would be the weird "Lip" of the phone, the big price tag when bought full retail, the issue that the phone gets a tad HOT when used with Navigation.

( My Droid X got up to 110 degrees F with 3 hours of full navigation while in the vehicle mount ). I have a feeling the Bionic will be the same but supposedly the Bionic has a temperature warning.

Boot time is much slower than I expected but not a super killer once again.

Out of a 100 I would rate this phone about a 89. A very good phone but still could be made a bit better.


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Sep 4, 2011
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First impressions:

Love the phone. Seems very similar in size to the DX / DX2. Feels a tad larger, but not bulky by any means.

VERY happy that the music lag issue that plagued the DX2 is not present; I streamed from Pandora the whole way home without so much as a hiccup.

The 3G and 4G kept alternating even in areas that should have strong coverage for both. I rationalize this as the 4G network getting overloaded due to the Bionic's release. Still, it's something worth watching since this will probably drain the battery faster than it should.

Only used it for a couple of hours in a low reception area, so my battery went down to 20% (it started at around 35% or so). I'm going to charge it fully now and see how the battery life lasts...overall it seems pretty good though. Phone doesn't run too hot as the DX2 did.

No issues with the screen at all. Fairly readable in direct sunlight (and I still have the original plastic on the screen since I'm debating whether or not to get a screen protector).

Very happy with my purchase - no buyer's remorse here! :D
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