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printed September 1, 2014
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Review: Motorola Droid Bionic

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As with Verizon's other LTE 4G phones, the Motorola Droid Bionic is not a dainty piece of smartphone kit. Nay, it is quite large, though Verizon was sure to point out multiple times that it is 11mm thick, the thinnest of its LTE smartphones. Keep in mind, the Bionic is 11mm at its thinnest point. The camera bulge at the top increases the thickness by another 2mm to 13mm. (This all assumes you don't use the extended battery, which adds another 4mm to the Bionic's bulk.) The basic shape of the Droid Bionic mirrors that of the Droid X, just more so. For what it offers, it is not as egregiously large as some of its predecessors and peers.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The materials feel good in general, though I am particularly impressed with the feel of the Gorilla Glass display. It has a satisfying cool-to-the-touch vibe that makes it feel harder and stronger than other displays. The Droid Bionic is a dense device, and you'll know it when you pick it up and feel the healthy heft. It's not overly burdensome in its weight, but you're not going to ever forget that it is in your pocket.

The external controls are fairly basic and straight-forward. There are four capacitive touch buttons beneath the display. They provide haptic feedback when pressed, and I found the haptics very satisfying. The microUSB and microHDMI ports are on the left side. Neither is covered by a hatch. They are positioned closely together.

The volume toggle is on the right side. It is a bit small, but works well. The 3.5mm headset jack and power/lock button are on the top. I found the power/lock button frustrating to use. The lock button is positioned too close to the front of the phone, which makes it harder to reach when the phone in in your hand than it would be if it were closer to the back of the phone. Sadly, there is no dedicated camera key.

The battery cover is the only thing I really dislike about the Droid Bionic. It is made of flimsy plastic, and is finicky about clicking firmly into position. At least the microSD card can be accessed without pulling the battery.

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