Monday, September 19, 2011

Motorola Droid Bionic is (Almost) Perfect

Motorola’s new Droid Bionic is perfect… almost. Making use of Verizon’s 4G LTE network, which is said to be ten times faster than 3G, connections are lightning quick. The service isn’t available everywhere, but with 116 major US cities already covered, and five more on the way, 4G will soon reach about half the population.

Where 4G isn’t available, Bionic users will still get to enjoy 3G speeds, which is already fast enough for the average user. For an extra fee, up to five other devices can enjoy those speeds through the Droid Bionic too, connecting through the phone’s wireless hotspot.

Basic Specifications of Motorola Droid Bionic

  • Dimensions: 127.5 x 66.9 x 11mm
  • Display: 4.3 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen
  • Weight: 158.8 grams
  • Memory: 16 GB storage, 1 GB RAM, 2 GB ROM with support of up to 32GB microSD.
  • CPU: Dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, TI OMAP 4430 chipset
  • Operating System: Android 2.3
  • Battery: 10hrs 50mins talk time
  • Camera: 8 MP, autofocus with dual-LED flash with front facing VGA camera

It’s not just the connection speeds that are impressive though. The device also boasts a dual-core 1GHz Texas Instrument OMAP4430 processor, the same chip that Blackberry uses in its Playbook tablet. The screen is much smaller than the Playbook’s, of course, but at 4.3 inches, 960 x 540 pixels and 256 PPI, Motorola haven’t been stingy with the real estate.

Its 16:9 display ratio means that movies play without black bars and the use of scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass will be welcomed by anyone whose phone tends to share a pocket with keys, pens and loose change. The rear lens packs an enormous 8 megapixels so it’s fortunate that the phone comes with 16GB of memory space built-in while still leaving space for an additional 32GB microSD card.

The phone runs Gingerbread and its 1,735 mAH battery is said to provide 650 minutes talk time and 200 hours of standby time (although 4G is said to eat that up a lot faster.) It even looks good too, in a no-frills, flat-backed sort of way, and the accessories add some important functionality. The LapDock, for example, plugs the phone into an 11.6 inch display with keyboard and trackpad turning it into a tablet or even laptop replacement.

So where are the imperfections? It’s the price, for one. At $589 without a contract and $250 with a commitment, the Droid Bionic isn’t cheap. Buy the LapDock for $300 and without a contract you’ll be approaching a thousand bucks. The screen too, for all its size, can be a little fuzzy, with the pixel grid too visible. But the biggest bugbear is the lack of a GSM chip that would allow for international roaming, thus limiting the usage of this smartphone overseas.


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