Jul 25 AT 4:25 PM Dustin Earley 27 Comments

Motorola Droid Bionic recap: here’s what we know

As the release of the Motorola Droid Bionic draws near, it may be a good time to sit back, relax and take in the journey that has become the pre-release hurricane of one of Verizon’s most anticipated devices. What kind of changes have we seen? Is there a solid spec sheet? Just when exactly will we see this thing? Let’s jump into it.

Delayed, pushed back, redesigned

If there’s one thing the Bionic has come to be known for, it may just be how long it’s taken to come to market. It’s still not for sale. And the most recent rumored release date may be off by a month. (More on this later). But before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s start from the beginning. The scene:  CES 2011. Our very own Sean Riley has just had his first hands-on experience with the Bionic, not long after Motorola initially announced the device.

Specs then:

  • Tegra 2 dual-core processor
  • 4.3-inch qHD display
  • 512MB RAM
  • 8MP rear camera
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • Android 2.2
  • Compatibility with Verizon’s 4G LTE network
  • The original verdict? “Reasonably impressed.” At the time the Atrix was the hot noise, and everyone was either rumored to show off a dual-core monster or already had. Sure, the 4.3-inch qHD display was nice, but 512MB of RAM and word of Android 2.2 at launch left most wanting more. As time went on, more is what we got.After the initial showing of the Bionic, news seemed to just fade away. It became clear that something odd was going on, and as news finally began to pick back up, rumors surrounding the Bionic proved it. By mid-April, blogs everywhere were reporting that the Motorola Bionic was dead. Thanks to the popularity of this rumor, someone from Motorola spoke up and we listened. On April 19th, a Motorola spokesperson was quoted as saying,

    Based on compelling feedback since the show, we are incorporating several enhancements to make this an even better consumer experienceMotorola SpokespersonMotorola
    It took a minute to catch wind of these “enhancements,” but by late May word was the Bionic wouldn’t be using a Tegra processor as originally shown at CES. Instead, new rumors said the device would come out rocking an OMAP 4 dual-core processor. But the changes didn’t stop there.By early July, a complete redesign was leaked in some photographs of the device, as well as some updated specs and proof of Webtop compatibility.

    Specs now:

  • OMAP 4 dual-core processor
  • 4.5-inch qHD display
  • 8MP rear camera
  • Front-facing camera
  • Android 2.3.4
  • Compatibility with Verizon’s 4G LTE network
  • Webtop support
  • Complete body redesign
  • As far as the redesign of the Bionic goes, that’s where the story ends. For now. We still don’t have all the details, but what we do know is that the Bionic should be ready to keep up with the best Android devices out there. That is if it’s released anytime soon.

    Release date madness

    After all the rumored release dates that have come and gone, one has stood out recently as the real deal. The date is August 4th, and the leaks are there to back it up. Just earlier this month, an internal screenshot was obtained showing this date as final for the Bionic. So all should be said and done, right? The Bionic comes out August 4th, and that’s the end of it? Of course not.

    More information regarding a release date has made its way online just today. According to some documents from Sam’s Club obtained by Android Central, the release has been “pushed to September.”

    Sure, the Bionic may have also been seen lurking in CelleBrite today, but that doesn’t mean much. It merely means a release is on the way–not necessarily within any sort of time-frame.

    It’s possible that Sam’s Club may not get the Bionic until September, and the device will still see a Verizon launch on August 4th. But at this point, no one knows for sure. All we can do now is sit and wait for yet another leak, or hopefully, some real information from Big Red.

    Wrap up

    The story of the Motorola Droid Bionic is turning into a sad one. The longer it takes to see the light of day, the less people seem to want it. After all this time, there is one good reason to hold onto hope and give the Bionic a chance:  it’s still going to be the first dual-core powered Android device on Verizon to use LTE. LTE devices on Verizon do exist, but none of them are dual-core. The Bionic will be.

    Is that enough for you to keep holding out? Hopefully, it won’t be too much longer. For now feel free to slap this custom Bionic boot animation on your device of choice courtesy of DroidLife. It just may ease the pain a bit.

    Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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    • http://Website TWiT Commander

      Sounds like a Droid X2 with a bigger screen, front-facing camera and LTE support.

      Did I miss anything?

      • http://Website Mfg68

        1gb of RAM.

        • http://Website TWiT Commander

          Droid X2 has only 512MB RAM!

          That’s hardly enough on my Nexus S.

          It is madness to release a dual-core device with less than 1GB RAM. HTC Sensation, I am looking at you.

          • http://Website shaun

            don’t forget that it’s DDR2 RAM which is much better than the RAM that has traditionally been used in phones. Given that, 512 MB is still plenty

      • http://Website DJ

        Omap4 instead of tegra. Way better dual core cpu

    • http://Website Mfg68

      Dustin, what have you guys at Android and Me heard for a release date? I know you’re reporting on the leaks, but what about you guys? Have any sources hinting at a date?

    • http://Website tehsusenoh

      The Bionic is seeming like a letdown to me. However, my lovely (not) enV Touch is nearing the end of it’s life, and I’m going to want to get something. With the rumors about the Dinara, Nexus Prime, SGS2 LTE, etc, I’m not sure what to do.

      • lovemesomeAndroid

        I know what you mean perfectly! I have a Droid Eris and it shows me just how much patience (or serious lack thereof) I have. I am really let down with this BS game of hide and seek. Really tempted to just go to Sprint.

      • WickedToby741

        If the Bionic took this long, I wouldn’t hold my breath for the Dinara. Verizon has never had a Nexus device before, so I wouldn’t hold your breath for the Nexus Prime releasing on Verizon either, or at least not right away. Also, rumors are that the Samsung Galaxy S II on Verizon will not have 4G plus there haven’t even been leaked shots of Verizon’s version. You may be waiting a long time for a great phone if you skip the Bionic and the other phones currently out there.

    • http://Website RockinEvo

      Feeling the boot screen, since I’m not on Verizon I could care less about the release date. Seems as if they want the consumers to wait on their most seek out devices aka HTC Merge

    • http://Website tehsusenoh

      On a side note, can you guys fix the formatting of the page? Sentences aren’t separated correctly, and new paragraphs start on the last bullet point.

      • http://technicquill.com Jess Blanchard

        I fixed it. Don’t let it go to your head. :P

    • http://Website johnny

      that boot animation is nice. im sure they’ll be an apk. As for the phone itself…..reminds me of the Samsung Captivate gone big. Driod X2 gone big. Way to go Moto!

      • http://Website johnny

        i forgot to mention. Samsung captivate gone big is the infuse 4g

    • http://practicallyandroid.com Marco

      It’d better at least have 1gb of ram…and my personal opinion is that if things are being pushed out till September maybe its because the folks over at Motorola want to be able to ship this monster of a phone with some Ice Cream sandwhich love…?
      Maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part, since from a business perspective waiting to get money in the bank is always an inferior idea versus getting money in there today…but that would be one a logical way to describe this fiasco.

      • kph3

        I thought ice cream sandwhich wouldn’t be available until close to the end of the year…so very doubtful unfortunately.

    • http://Website brandon

      I seriously hope it doesn’t have anything bigger than a 4.3. In fact, I would rather just a hair smaller. I don’t have small hands, but I can’t control my TB fully with one hand, and I won’t buy the bionic if it has a 4.5. I do want something different than my TB though, because I would really like to have hdmi mirroring capability, which is sorely lacking on the TB. If the TB had that, I would probably keep it, but because it doesn’t, I won’t. Unless the Bionic has a bigger than 4.3 screen.

    • http://Website cb2000a

      I think I still might get the SG2 over this.

    • http://www.giquegear.com GiqueGEAR_Todd

      I had high hopes for the Bionic, and really thought it would be the replacement for my original Droid. But as time kept passing with virtually no assurance of what the Bionic was turning into, I eventually went to Sprint for the EVO 3D. Now I understand why people rave about the build quality of HTC. No looking back to the Bionic for me. I do like the comeback story of Motorola and hope their fall lineup is much more inspiring than the summer lineup has been.

    • AceoStar

      I really hope that 4.5 sticks. I know there have been FCC reports nailing bionic down to 4.5 but there are still lots of people who think it will still release at 4.3. Being Dr Gorrilla hands ova here,
      the 4.5 would win me over without a doubt. I would think that all other devices in its class being 4.3 would give them reason to go 4.5

      What about the RAM on the updated spec sheet? Surely they dont still plan on releasing it with 512 when the other top 4 devices will be running 1G (SGS2, Evo3D, Thrill, etc)

    • http://whysoangrybirds.com mikeyDroid

      Only thing I’m worried about is the RAM.. It really better have 1gb, I’ve too much back and forth.

    • AnneO

      Thinking about giving up my BB for this one.

    • kash521

      Is it just me, or does anyone else prefer the initial body style of the Droid Bionic over the new DX2 clone?

      • Dat1DudeOn1Wheel

        I totally agree… The first rounded style looks better/more comfortable. Even the speaker & logo looks better…

        I also agree with AceoStar in that they really should have made it 4.5, but just like I got screwed by the 4.3 droid X screen a few months after I bought the OG Droid, I’m sure this dinara BS will make it out b4 xmas and not only be lighter but will also have a 4.5 screen… sigh

    • Daniel Neville

      Who knows if @MDB228 is legit or not, but it dropped a clue on the release date.

      1,166,400 seconds / (60 seconds per minute * 60 minutes per hour * 24 hours per day) = 13.5 days.

      Tweeted on July 22, 2011 + 13.5 days = August 4, 2011

      MDB228 @MDB228
      T-Minus 1,166,400
      22 Jul via Twitter for Android

      • http://twitter.com/mswansonxi SparkyXI

        That guy is a flake (I’ll bet $10 on the first taker that he is). He’s taking rumors from various sources and making it seem like gospel truth. If you look at his tweets, he’s said nothing that we don’t already know / have been speculating on.