To Bionic or Not to Bionic

I have been angsting over a new phone for some time now. My original Droid is barely hanging on, and I am due for an upgrade. It was disappointing that Verizon didn’t pick up the Galaxy S II along with the other carriers, but the Motorola Droid Bionic hung on the horizon. I have been trolling various sites for reviews, but they all seemed to sum up with one word: Meh.

All of them are quick to reassure readers the Bionic isn’t a bad phone, it is just…not great. In fact, most of the reviews seem to end with similar sentiments.

Slashgear concluded:

Meanwhile, there are faster phones on the horizon. Samsung’s freshly-announced Galaxy S II variants for the US market promise faster processors, while Verizon likely has it’s own fresh superphones just around the corner too. Nonetheless, if you want the strongest combination of LTE, dual-core and display today, the DROID BIONIC by Motorola is your only option. Just don’t expect perfection.

Engadget said:

The Bionic is a great choice for right now, the best combination of wireless and device speed that we’ve yet seen on Verizon. For that reason alone it’s a smart purchase — particularly if you’ve been hanging on to that OG Droid for months and months waiting for a phone like this to come along. But you should know that this isn’t a world-conquering device, the kind of thing that will leave you walking tall and proud for months and months to come. If you’re okay with that, then buy with confidence.

This is my next also determined:

This is not the killer handset that I think a lot of people were expecting it to be — it’s a good phone on a great network that will keep you satisfied… for now. As usual with Android phones, there always seems to be something else just around the bend, and you’ve got to figure out if you’re going to take the next exit, or keep on trucking. Let’s just say that the Droid Bionic isn’t a bad place to pull off and grab a cup of coffee.

Really, for $300 and an 18-month commitment, I expected a lot more. If this phone were a bit cheaper, even $200, I think I would not be as disappointed. (And yes, I know Amazon Wireless has it cheaper, but the upgrade price is a still-steep $249.) But if I wanted a phone that was just ok, and likely to be outdated sooner rather than later, I could pick up a number of non-LTE handsets on Verizon for a lot less. The price and hype make it seem like this should be a cutting edge phone, but the reviews indicate it’s the phone version of last year’s Honda Civic: reliable but boring. I know I shouldn’t shop based on rumors of better devices, but given the collective yawn greeting the Bionic, I plan to wait.

For what, I’m not sure. The Nexus/Droid Prime is rumored for Verizon, but I don’t want to wait forever. At this point, if Samsung/Moto/HTC and Verizon don’t release something impressive, I will probably jump ship to the iPhone 5! I can always return to Android in the future, but for now, with the latest great robot hope turning into quite the yawner, I don’t see the incentive.

What’s your take? Have you tried the Bionic? Are the reviews too harsh? Let us know in the comments!


About the Author

Carly Z
Carly has been a gadget fiend for a long time, going back to her first PDA (a Palm M100). She quickly went from researching what PDA to buy to following tech news closely and keeping up with the latest and greatest stuff. She loves writing about ebooks because they combine her two favorite activities; reading anything and everything, and talking about fun new tech toys. What could be better?