Software and Performance

The Bionic comes with Motorola’s new Motoblur, just like I saw on the Droid 3. You can go pull the specific version from build.prop:

Blur_Version.5.5.886.XT875.Verizon.en.US

It includes a custom lock screen which gets some different styling and a slide left-right unlock scheme. The theme also includes an CRT off animation, which seems to be an approximation of the off animation from Android 2.3. The Bionic as we reviewed it was running Android 2.3.4, which is new but not absolute bleeding edge.

 

All the usual Motoblur accoutrements are here, including a black on grey theme for settings and menus, and blue elsewhere for the shade and highlighting colors.

 

The home screens get the same kind of 3D composition I saw on the Droid 3, and feel pretty smooth panning back and forth. The only thing I’ve noticed this time is that it looks like the color depth here on the background seems to be 16 bit (RGB 565). I bet this is due to some GPU composition going on which makes things nice and speedy.

Pretty much the same applies to the launcher, where you get a paginated 4x5 grid of icons that can be sorted alphabetically or grouped. The Bionic does come with an assortment of preloaded stuff that’s entirely par for Verizon. Some things can be removed without root, other things can’t. I feel like we’re getting closer to the point where users are given the ability to uninstall stuff without root, but it still isn’t here yet.

Going over the storage situation on the Droid 3 is also important. By default, you get 16 GB of internal NAND, and a 16 GB class 4 microSD card. Things look like this using df:

Filesystem             Size   Used   Free   Blksize
/dev                   465M   388K   465M   4096
/mnt/asec              465M     0K   465M   4096
/mnt/obb               465M     0K   465M   4096
/system                477M   332M   144M   1024
/data                    3G   501M     3G   4096
/cache                 708M    18M   689M   4096
/osh                     1G   650M   661M   2048
/pds                     3M     1M     2M   1024
/preinstall            302M   187M   115M   1024
/mnt/sdcard-ext         14G    11M    14G   32768
/mnt/sdcard-ext         14G    11M    14G   32768
/mnt/sdcard              8G   227M     7G   8192
/mnt/sdcard              8G   227M     7G   8192

I’m not going to go over all of the OMAP 4430 details again since we’ve already gone in depth with the Motorola Droid 3, so I’d encourage curious minds to check that out for more detail. The short of it is that the Droid Bionic has a 1.0 GHz OMAP4430 SoC which consists of two ARM Cortex A9s with the MPE (ARM’s NEON SIMD unit), alongside PowerVR SGX 540 graphics at 304 MHz and a dual channel LPDDR2 memory interface. The Bionic has 1 GB of LPDDR2 over the Droid 3’s 512 MB of LPDDR2, but this is primarily to accommodate the increased demands from the laptop dock.

First up are the web based tests. Interestingly enough the Bionic posts an impressive result for SunSpider 0.9, I ran this test a few times as always and this wasn’t an errata. I also updated the SGS2 results with a run from the newest firmware I see on Kies, XXKI1, which is 2.3.4.

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark 0.9

Browsermark curiously is a bit lower compared to the Droid 3 however, which is surprising since the two should be close considering the same SoC and version of Android. The results are reasonably close, however.

Rightware BrowserMark

I didn’t record the Vellamo ocean flinger result from the Droid 3, however the Bionic comes in just above the Galaxy S 4G. Motorola isn’t using a backing store, rather something of a re-skinned stock Android browser, and thus scrolling performance isn’t as fluid as other devices.

Browser Scrolling Performance - Vellamo

Flash is a bit interesting - there was an update for Flash 10.3 on Android pushed out a while back that enabled NEON codepaths for OMAP4 based phones. I didn’t have the Droid 3 at the time, but the Bionic now shows an improvement and is much closer to the cap for most of the test.

Flash Performance

The rest of the tests are essentially the same as what we posted in the Droid Bionic preview piece, and reflect what we’ve seen before from OMAP4430.

Linpack - Single-threaded

Linpack - Multi-threaded

GLBenchmark 2.0 - Egypt

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Egypt - Offscreen

GLBenchmark 2.0 - PRO

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Pro - Offscreen

RightWare Basemark ES 2.0 V1 - Taiji

RightWare Basemark ES 2.0 V1 - Hoverjet

The results are unsurprising and completely in line with where they should be. The Bionic isn’t the absolute fastest of the dual core smartphones we’ve seen before, but it’s the first with LTE alongside it. The other question is how fast pages load on LTE compared to EVDO, I shot some video in our video review which really communicates things nicely.

Camera - Still and Video Conclusion and Final Thoughts
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  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Yeah the bootloader situation is the same as the 3, meaning that there is a vulnerability. I see people have CWM on the device as well, but expect an update coming soon that will patch these: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=1...

    -Brian
    Reply
  • Mitch89 - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Wow those 4G LTE web browsing times are pretty abysmal. I could easily do 2hrs of web browsing while commuting of a day, not to mention listening to music at the same time. Neither my iPhone 4 or Galaxy S II suck their batteries dry like that. Kinda makes sense Apple left out 4G LTE if that's what happens. Reply
  • steven75 - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Yeah, you know it's bad when you get an LTE phone to do some serious laptop tethering away from home and the CHARGER can't keep up with the battery drain!

    I'll wait for generation 2, thankyouverymuch.
    Reply
  • TrackSmart - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    The inability to charge the phone while using LTE is pretty serious flaw. I wonder if this has to do with the thermals of the phone.

    Maybe a quicker charge rate would result in too much heat? Brian recorded some pretty high temperatures while in use...
    Reply
  • EJ257 - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    This is pretty sad. The ES400 I have would get hot too while charging+tethered and browsing with the laptop but at least it won't have negative battery drain. Granted the ES400 doesn't have LTE but with AT&T's network you won't notice a difference anyway. Reply
  • xype - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    "if there’s anything I’ve learned in the smartphone space, it’s that it is usually better to be first, than better,"

    I think there’s a company that disagrees with that. The one that released their first smartphone in 2007.

    Being first only worked if you are actually better. But hey, being first worked wonders for all the Android Tablets and being 3rd (4th? 5th?) totally killed Windows Mobile 7, so who am I to argue?
    Reply
  • xype - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Addendum: The Android Tablets being first relative to the other Android Tablets that were released at a later date. Reply
  • FlyBri - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    I know that these new Motorola qHD screens are a "better" version of PenTile, but to me it still looks pretty bad. I went into the Verizon store to see a Bionic myself, and I was quite disappointed with the screen. For me, I just can't use PenTile...period. If you go into Navigation for instance, the PenTile matrix is glaringly obvious on the blue location arrow. I know my Droid X has a lower res screen, but it's still way better in my opinion.

    I'm holding off for the phones that have 720p screens, which are coming out any minute now.
    Reply
  • Mitch89 - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    PenTile is a total fail, it just looks awful. I considered picking up an Atrix, but that screen is just dreadful IMO for any kind of reading. I'm not sure why I even considered it after owning an HTC Desire for a few months (same problem, but WVGA).

    I MUCH prefer the WVGA display on my GSII to a qHD display with PenTile. There is just no comparison, one looks awesome, the other looks crap.
    Reply
  • FATCamaro - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Yeah. Saw a GS2 in canada over the weekend and it was a gorgeous screen. Reply

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