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Terrier Tech: Verizon’s Droid Bionic

Phone’s best feature? Speed


This week “Terrier Tech” reviews the latest in an already crowded field of Android phones, Verizon’s Droid Bionic, which debuted in late September. What makes this phone a standout is its speed, courtesy of a combination of Verizon’s 4G LTE network and a dual-core processor. What you now have is a phone that can download and work as fast as your laptop on a wireless connection.

The Bionic has been streamlined for content consumption. Websites load instantly and app download times are often measured in seconds. However, we found that 4G network speeds vary greatly, depending on what part of Boston you’re in when using the phone. On average, download speeds hovered around 7 Mbps, which may be due more to the number of smartphones now on the network than the phone itself.

The Droid Bionic offers power as well as speed. The phone’s preinstalled ZumoCast app enables you to instantly access your computer and media from virtually anywhere. The functionality existed before, but required a lot more tech savvy on the part of the user.

Apart from speed, sadly there’s little new in this latest iteration of the Droid phone, especially given its $300 price tag. There are no significant changes to the body design or functionality. Yes, the battery is bigger, offering 12 hours of standby time, but you’ll still have to recharge it every day. And while the phone’s eight megapixel camera takes true 1080p video, too often the camera has trouble focusing, resulting in blurry still images and videos. To be honest, we were hoping there would be more to separate the Bionic from the dozens of Android phones on the market.

“It’s good for a smartphone, but $300 good?” asks “Terrier Tech” host Warren Towers. “I think I’ll just get a cheaper smartphone and spend the rest on burgers.”

Want “Terrier Tech” to review a gadget? Post it in the comments section below or DM us @BUToday.

Alan Wong

Alan Wong can be reached at alanwong@bu.edu.

12 Comments on Terrier Tech: Verizon’s Droid Bionic

  • droid charge on 10.19.2011 at 8:20 am

    You should just review the Droid Charge…

  • Joe on 10.19.2011 at 9:29 am

    Wow, I’m really impressed by the production value here! A joy to watch.

  • Aaron L'Heureux on 10.19.2011 at 9:41 am

    Yessss more Terrier Tech :)

  • Michael on 10.19.2011 at 9:47 am

    The Bionic has a lot of new features, and considering anything in electronics the best will always cost significantly more. And what “changes” did you expect to separate it from the rest of the crowd? Android is essentially an OS and it’s not going to change from phone to phone. The only changes you will see are from updates to the OS such the anticipated Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) and that will be available on multiple phones.

    The changes are huge on this phone, and why else would it be $300 bucks? There isn’t another Verizon Android phone out there with a dual-core processor, 4G capabilities, HD video recording, HDMI port, 4.3-inch qHD display, and a gig of RAM. Not to mention it’s currently Verizon’s thinnest 4G smartphone.

    To sum it up the $300 cost is justified having the latest technology, but if you’re not a technology enthusiast or wouldn’t utilize the latest features, than this phone is not for you.

    • John F. on 10.19.2011 at 12:09 pm

      If you are really wanting the latest and greatest, hold out for a few more weeks and get the new Galaxy Nexus on Verizon… http://www.google.com/nexus/

      • Sid on 10.19.2011 at 2:35 pm

        Or maybe the Droid Razr!

  • RB on 10.19.2011 at 11:06 am

    The review was spot on! Nothing out of the ordinary in terms of hardware improvements, as they said “just the next logical progression.” Unfortunately, the faster, high processor speed phones come at the cost of battery life. This needs to be resolved otherwise all the power is pointless when the phone powers down. Also, the Droid Charge should be called the “Uncharged” for that reason. The software on this phone, namely Zumocast, is excellent and is definitely a step ahead of everyone. However, dropbox performs similar functionality for those just looking for storage. Altogether, I think they covered everything. Another great job! I look forward to more!

  • Daryl Lucas on 10.19.2011 at 2:13 pm

    One of the new features on this phone that makes it very much better than its predecessors is the HDMI mirroring. With this phone, you can port any video you can see on the phone out to a larger monitor via the HDMI port. You can’t do that on the Droid X or X2. That makes this a pretty cool media device, if you ask me.

  • Rhett on 10.21.2011 at 9:34 am

    That’s 15 mega*bits* download speed, Warren.

  • Android FTW on 10.25.2011 at 9:42 am

    Terrier Tech awesome job! You guys should definitely review the samsung galaxy s2!

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