Motorola's Droid Bionic is a very capable and responsive handset running on Verizon's excellent 4G LTE service, offering users a speedy experience throughout. While that can also result in a quickly depleting battery during heavy use, the benefits largely outweigh the negatives here, thanks to a large, bright screen, slick media playback, and a stellar 8MP camera with 1080p video recording.
The Droid Bionic feels good in the hand, with a curved top end on the back and a lightly tactile back cover that makes it easy to grip. The front of the phone is very sleek and attractive.
Zipping through home screens and menus is a breeze on this dual-core phone, and we rarely experienced any noticeable lag, aside from occasional scrolling woes.
Even more impressive is its performance on Verizon's 4G LTE network, where we routinely notched download speeds in excess of 20 Mbps and an upload number around 11 Mbps.
The 4.3-inch screen is very bright and colorful, and does a good job of displaying crisp video clips and high-performance games. But the Droid Bionic is also very capable of creating content, with its sharp 8MP camera and ability to shoot 1080p video footage.
Though the Droid Bionic will last into the evening with light-to-moderate use, heavy dependence on the 4G LTE connection – whether it's for video streaming, web browsing, or checking social networks – will very quickly sap the battery.
Images look bright and crisp on the display, but we still prefer the displays of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and HTC Rezound. It's sharper than a lot of smartphone screens out there, but every once in a while the pixels can distract from time to time.
The back cover is a bit flexible and feels cheap, and it creates a creaking sound on the lower half when you grip the phone. Considering the full price tag and the premium feel of the front side, that's a bit disheartening.
Motorola says it'll release Ice Cream Sandwich for Droid Bionic, but with no confirmed release date in sight, it's hard not to be envious of other devices while this one still rocks Gingerbread.
The Droid Bionic is a very capable and versatile Android smartphone that does well in most respects. But compared to slightly newer phones released since its September debut that offer more exciting features – like Ice Cream Sandwich on Galaxy Nexus or the slim build of the Droid Razr – Motorola's handset feels a little utilitarian by contrast.
However, the Droid Bionic can now be had on contract for $150 or much less, giving you a very powerful and speedy phone for less than many of its current competitors. That alone makes it a worthwhile option for buyers who don't need the pop of a sleek body or the latest OS immediately.