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Droid Bionic review roundup

The Droid Bionic reviews have begun to trickle in. Let's take a look at the score cards.

By Matthew Shaer / September 10, 2011

This week, Verizon Wireless began selling the Droid Bionic, a smartphone built by Motorola and running exclusively on Verizon Wireless. On paper, the Bionic is a formidable machine – dual-core 1 GHz processors, 4.3-inch HD display, 8-megapixel autofocus camera with flash, and 1 GB of RAM. But how does the Bionic hold up in real life? Let's go to the score sheets.

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The design

"The Bionic is not the thinnest phone out there. It’s not the lightest, either," admits Russell Holly of "It is, however, a phone that feels solid and is built to be cradled in your hand, while giving you the piece of mind that it is unlikely to slide out of your grasp. As far as design goes, this is probably my favorite phone from Motorola since they started making Android phones."

The design, continued

The Bionic "feels solid but not heavy, refined but not dull," writes Tim Stevens of Engadget. "It's definitely traipsing along a fine stylistic line that divides sophisticated and boring, but we'd say it's leaning more toward the former than the latter. The only bits of brightwork are the chrome volume rocker and power button, while a subtly polished metal ring wraps the screen and stretches out a bit below it. That screen itself is Gorilla Glass, as you'd expect these days, and it has an interesting beveled edge to it that means the extents of the surface are very subtly recessed below the edge of the phone's body."

The OS

"The Bionic uses the most recent version of Google’s mobile operating system, nicknamed Gingerbread, but adds its own customizations to the OS," writes Joshua Topolsky of the Verge. "There are lots of little ways in which Motorola seems to be changing the way Android works in an attempt to make the system easier to use or simply to differentiate its software from other manufacturers’ offerings. Some of these tricks work, but most don’t. Some of the cosmetic changes are great, though, particularly a fancy new grid you see when you move icons and widgets around your home screen."

The battery life

"Anecdotally," writes Nicole Lee of CNET, "the Droid Bionic performed well in day-to-day usage. From a fully charged phone at the start of the day, we surfed the Web, navigated with Maps, watched a few Flash video clips, checked e-mail, and used it as we would normally. By the end of the day, we had only used about 15 to 20 percent of the battery. We did this with the 4G LTE speeds enabled."


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