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Tech Report – Motorola Droid Bionic

By TheTechDad

One of the most hotly-anticipated phones of the year hits the stores today – and it’s not the iPhone 5!

After a build-up that even the marketing gurus at Apple would have been proud of, Motorola’s Droid Bionic is finally here. Powered by the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system, packing a whopping 32GB of internal storage, and running on the lightning-fast Verizon 4G network, the Bionic is about as state-of-the-art as we are ever going to see in the frenetic and constantly evolving smartphone marketplace.

The lightweight and ultra-slim Bionic – Verizon says the Bionic is its thinnest LTE handset yet – is 5 inches tall and features a 4.3-inch qHD display, the same size screen that we have seen before on the Droid X2 and other Motorola “superphones.” Below the display are the usual Android shortcuts for menu, home, back and search. Micro USB and HDMI ports are located on the left spine of the phone.

The Droid Bionic comes with an 8-megapixel camera with a single LED flash. There is also a front-facing VGA camera for self-portraits and video conferencing. It’s also the first 4G handset to have 1080p video-recording capability, which can be played back on an HDTV via an HDMI cable (not included). The Bionic has 16GB of internal memory and ships with a 16GB microSD card, enough to store several full-length movies.

Smartphones have been on a collision course with mini-computers and netbooks for quite some time but the Droid Bionic takes it one step further. The combination of the dual-core processor, Verizon’s 4G network, and the exceptional storage capacity has allowed Motorola to surround the Bionic with an array of accessories that turn it into a powerful CPU for business use, web surfing, or multi-media presentations.

Droid Bionic customers can choose from a dedicated laptop dock, an HD Station, or a Webtop adapter, all of which combine with Motorola’s built-in Webtop application. The laptop dock, which includes a screen and keyboard, is perhaps the ultimate phone accessory, converting the Bionic into a resourceful and highly-effective portable PC.

As well as the Webtop application, the Bionic has all the latest Google mobile apps, including Google Maps Navigation, Google Talk, Books, Latitude and voice-activated Google Search. Other software and apps include the Quickoffice Suite, Kindle for Android, Blockbuster, and VideoSurf. It also comes pre-loaded with a variety of Verizon apps, including V Cast Music, VZ Navigator, and V Cast Media Manager. There is also Motorola's ZumoCast app, which lets you wirelessly pull photos, music, movies, and documents from your computer and other devices.

Of course, all this power and sophistication comes with a steep price tag. The Droid Bionic costs $299.99 after a two-year Verizon Wireless contract. The laptop dock is another $299.99, putting the combination way above even the most expensive brand name netbooks.

However, Motorola and Verizon can point to the $299.99 price of the current 32GB iPhone 4 and make an excellent case for the Bionic’s superior feature set and versatility. Even when the new iPhone 5 eventually makes an appearance, the Droid Bionic is going to be a tough act to follow. The smartphone bar has been raised once again.

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