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  • lpjazzman220 - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    my only real question(or concern that is) is, will all that extra heat be detrimental to the device over time? my laptop doesnt even get that hot while under full load running a game with my radeon mobility 5850. I hope they figure out a way to get these devices to run cooling fairly soon, especially since i know they are only going to try to make them stronger. how ridiculous would it be if they started putting cooling fans in smartphones? Reply
  • chinedooo - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    i highly doubt that. Notice he said 112 farenheit not celcius. Thats like 44 C which is what your m15x i presume should be geting at idle. If you get 44 c at full load you must have some liquid colling attacehd to your laptop, lol. Reply
  • corymcnutt - Thursday, September 15, 2011 - link

    I'm sorry, but I don't believe the heat is happening to everybody...I have an extended battery in mine and neither the screen nor the battery gets even warm to me. Reply
  • Ben90 - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    Check out the lady at around 30 seconds pulling a cart with her powerchair lol. Reply
  • bullwinkle - Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - link

    lmao !!

    you and people like you keep the Internet alive ..
  • Omega215D - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    It wasn't a good sign that this phone was constantly delayed and then getting average scores in the reviews. Hopefully your in depth review will shed some light on the phones strengths and weaknesses along with any firmware updates that come along.

    I like the current design of the Bionic. It has a nice industrial, yet professional look to it.
  • ImSpartacus - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    This phone was only hyped because all of Verizon's other LTE phones are terrible. It's unfortunately that it isn't better. Reply
  • Omega215D - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    I have the Thunderbolt and it is far from terrible. The Bionic was hyped because of LTE paired with dual core and shipping with 2.3.4 Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    I'm happy that you're satisfied with the Thunderbolt, but I've heard horror stories about its battery life. I can't say that I have used one, so maybe it is an acceptable phone. Reply
  • FITCamaro - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    I have a Thunderbolt as well. With a battery saving app that turns off the antennas when you're not using the device you easily get a full day of battery life. Extended usage throughout the day though and it'll die before you get home.

    Really until manufacturers begin to build the 4G chipset into the processor, the battery life hit from using it is going to be significant. We'll see how Apple fares with the iPhone 5 I guess. I would expect them to aggressively turn off the 4G antenna though when its not being using in the OS rather than relying on a 3rd party app to do it.
  • DanNeely - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Have the rumor mills changed their mind on a 4g iphone? They had been saying not until next year because the current base band chips sucked too much power. Reply
  • mcnabney - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    It has been reported MANY times that iPhone 5 is a minor update and will not include 4G. It is just an iPad2 guts in an iPhone 4 body. Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    Dude, as much as I love HTC (the G1 being one of the most important smartphones in history) the Thunderbolt is underengineered, rushed to production garbage. I know not one but TWO people who have that phone and both have had to warranty it, one for random rebooting, another for the battery not recharging (turned out to be a bad battery, and possibly not 'broken in' properly...

    But that is niether here nor there. The real disappointment with it, and all LTE phones for that matter, is the battery life. T-mobile is looking smarter and smarter every day with their push to HSPA+ 3.5G because of it offering excellent battery life, easy/low cost implementation and near-4G speed (in some cases, superior to 4G.)

    Battery technology has not caught up to LTE. Multicast broadcast, SC-FDMA, shody aIPn implementation, and dynamic frequency hopping (across huge frequency ranges) are all ridiculous, unneccessary features for a mobile network device relying on BATTERY power.
  • Omega215D - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    The Samsung Galaxy Tab with LTE did well with battery life and newer LTE chips are either out in the wild or on the horizon.

    The Thunderbolt also has a 3G chip that's not found in any other LTE phone. It does simultaneous voice and data on EVDO, even when LTE is not present.
  • Omega215D - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    There are horror stories on just about everything out there.

    Constantly fetching emails, FB notices, streaming, etc. will use up a lot of power on any phone. I noticed that if I turned off non essential stuff and apps the phone lasted as long as my original Droid. With the new radio update the battery lasts longer.

    I decided to be bold and used a CPU tuner to better manage processor speed which now gives me a phone that can go for 50+ hours on standby, 15 - 20 hours of moderate usage and the usual 7 - 10 heavy to extreme usage... unless I keep the max speed down to the iPhone 4's 800MHz instead of the stock 1GHz rating.

    I did have an unruly app that kept pegging the processor, even when not in use. That's another thing to be mindful of.
  • Synaesthesia - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Seeing as it burns through that large battery in a matter of three hours, I'm not surprised that it gets hot. All that power has to go somewhere. Reply
  • j_wadzii - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    I'm wondering if you got a bad battery..

    My bionic doesn't get anything past what I would consider warm (my old phone was a OG Droid OC'd from 550 to 1100mhz.. that thing got HOT) and with pretty heavy use I'm getting around 10-12 hours of battery life. From what I can tell this is pretty consistent with other users. I had a tbolt for about a week and it would be dead in about 6 hours.
  • dagamer34 - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    I think it's pretty obvious now why Apple is staying far away from LTE chips. No one cares how fast your download speed is if your phone dies in 3 hours. Reply
  • quentin- - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    He was tethering the entire time over lte...if his reception was good during the entire test, he'd hit his bandwidth cap before the phone got below 50%. As far as I am concerned, lte gives alot more bang for your battery with speeds that vary from 5-40x faster than 3G on any carrier.

    And this phone does get hot, but it's mostly due to the lte I've found. The only reason why the display feels hotter is because the battery/camera takes up the entire backside, with the CPU/lte and other heater producers underneath them.

    Really wish someone other than Samsung could produce a decent SoC. It's clear from the benchmarks and the SGSII review that they are smoking the competition in this area (among others). The Prime will probably turn the entire market on its ass.
  • eallan - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Lots of us want LTE phones, which is probably why they're selling. Reply
  • mcnabney - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    You will only kill the battery in 3 hours if:

    Have CDMA and LTE radios running
    Are running the SoC actively
    Have the screen on and set to highest brightness

    Dimming a screen a bit and using the radio-selection app to deactivate the LTE radio until needed will probably get you an additional hour.

    As for me, I don't think I have ever used my Droid for four solid hours in a day....ever. I have this thing called a job and a life so I can't just sit and play on my phone for 25% of the time I spend awake in a day.
  • steven75 - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Most of us have these things called "weekends" where we may be away from a charger for a significant amount of time, sometimes even a full day. Reply
  • MilwaukeeMike - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    Can't you buy an extended battery? I have one for my EVO 4G and it's great. I don't mind the extra size on my phone (although I'm sure many would). I'd much rather have a fast phone than a thin one. I think it's easier to hold and use with the fat battery anyway.

    If my sprint contract were up soon I'd pick up one of these and switch to verizon in a sec for those LTE speeds.
  • ecuador - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    We appreciate all these Android phone reviews, but can't you guys get your hands on a Nokia N9? For example you have sort of convinced me I should get a Galaxy S2 if I get an Android phone, but should I perhaps wait for the N9 if it delivers its MeeGo promises? Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link


    "To start, the Bionic as it is now is nothing like the Bionic we were originally shown at CES. That's because the current Bionic is really a Targa, but that's besides the point. "

    Wasn't the original proposed BIonic based on an nVidia Tegra (not Targa), and the current production version is a TI OMAP?

    Just asking for clarification, as the preview seems a bit confused and I wouldn't want others to be as well.
  • eallan - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Targa was the code name for the device. The bionic's (CES version) was called the "etna." The Etna had a tegra 2 SoC like the Atrix.

    This new version is the Targa, with a Ti SoC. Confusing choice on the targa moniker i'd say.
  • Brian Klug - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    The "Bionic" now is a rebranded Codename Targa. There are a ton of references to it inside the actual software.

  • andy2na - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    will this preview be the last we hear of the Bionic - just like the atrix? Given preview, promised updated review, but never released... Reply
  • Brian Klug - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    I will be very careful to avoid that situation, no, the Bionic will absolutely have its own large form review :)

  • Gris - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    On the subject of battery life, I wonder if the batteries are pre-conditioned prior to testing. Li-ion batteries don't reach maximum capacity until they've gone through several charge/discharge cycles and unless all tested phones have a similar battery conditioning procedure prior to testing comparitaive results will be misleading. Reply
  • Hubb1e - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    There is a well integrated high capacity 2700mAhr battery available for the phone. It makes the phone a bit thicker, but adds 1000mAhr. I've had mine since Thursday and can get through a whole work day with light use pretty easily. I have not installed any LTE controlling apps yet like some other commenters.

    I took mine to the Giants game on saturday. I was able to browse the web for half the 1 hour ride and listened to pandora for 2 hours and the battery was registering 80% still. On the way home I did a test and streamed an episode of Archer on Netflix and the battery went from 70% to 40% during the 20min show. I was impressed though because the phone never dropped out and Archer streamed flawlessly even though we went through some tunnels. It was impressive. The phone only lasted a few more hours after that trip, but it did get me through the day.

    I think I'm going to get the extended battery. Normal work days this battery is sufficient, but for trips I'd like to know I have some more freedom to actually use the phone during the day and not worry that I will run out of battery before I can contact my ride home.
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    I've never purchased an accessory for a review unit before, but I saw the extended battery was on sale this previous weekend and ordered one for the sake of reviewing it and seeing how that changes the battery life numbers.

    I agree though that you basically need the extended battery for extended trips/time away from a charger with these LTE smartphones.

  • Mr Perfect - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Wow, 1080p30 video at 15.0 Mbps? That's a high enough bit/frame rate to actually look good, right? How would H.264 high profile compare to, say, other phones doing H.264 baseline with 1 reference frame? Reply
  • davolfman - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Why does almost nobody seem to note little ergonomic things like "With this model you can remove the SD card with the unit still on." Sure it's a little thing, but it's an ANNOYING little thing when you don't have that ability. This makes shooting pictures with a REAL camera that you send with the smartphone more practical for example. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Ah, thank you for enlightening me. Much appreciated. =)

    As cool of a device as it is, I think that waiting for the Samsung Droid (Nexus) Prime may be worth it for me.
  • LoneWolf15 - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Especially as my Droid 2 just got Gingerbread, which has breathed new life into that phone. Just about everything has improved. Reply
  • synaesthetic - Thursday, September 15, 2011 - link

    Root it and put CM7 on it and you'll experience that same feeling all over again, only more so! Reply
  • TrackSmart - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    If I recall, the Anandtech web browsing test loads a new website, pauses 20 seconds, then loads the next one. And no flash sites are included. My question is this: If the phone has a faster data connection and a faster processor for rendering pages, won't it have to load more web pages during the test?

    I don't know if that would make a huge difference between various LTE equiped phones, but it might be a significant difference when comparing 3G CDMA phones to LTE.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong in my recall of the web browsing test used by Anandtech.
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    Interesting point, you've got the test down correctly, though the number is a few dozen (I don't recall the actual number of pages). Some are heavy on images, some aren't. It's a combination of previous articles from the site, and there actually is a version with flash elements.

    That's an interesting point too, in theory you'd load more pages, however the converse is that a device that loads the pages and then stops, gets into the idle state faster. This applies to both the baseband (eg you go from DCH->FACH->IDLE) and sit there more often, and the CPU also can also get idle quicker.

  • Helltech - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    I don't know much about cell phones at all, unfortunately. I still have an old LG EnV 2. Anyway looking at this article it seems the Samsung Galaxy S 2 is league and bounds better then the Bionic? Is that true? Or am I missing something? Reply
  • Nfarce - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    And love it for the most part. It's my first Verizon phone and my first Android having finally dumped AT&T and my iPhone 3. The issue of battery life in daily use for my needs is not an issue, but I can see where being away for a weekend would be a major concern, especially when surfing and using GPS. As others have said LTE eats it up. Fortunately, Verizon gave me $60 worth of free accessories including a car charger. I cannot imagine being away anywhere without at least a vehicle to charge it, let alone an AC outlet somewhere along the line. Even when camping in the woods I at least have an SUV nearby. Reply
  • SanX - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    But pity that Samsung beats it in many fronts. Worst parts are

    1) its "penistile" monitor, It is very bright but of shitty resolution for the size

    2) battery lifetime (LTE drains like there is no tomorrow not being faster then HSPA+, with WiFi it's also bad). How come it lags Sammy by the factor of 2 (TWO!!!!)

    ---------------------- conclusion ----------------------

    Motorola CEO delivers barely enough for US products not to get out of business in a year or two. I do not know if he has any tech education, if not he must be ousted from the board immediately before Motorola became a new Palm and US an Asian colony.
  • Nfarce - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    "1) its "penistile" monitor, It is very bright but of shitty resolution for the size"

    Huh? What are you talking about SanX? While obviously the Galaxy S2 is a better phone, it only has 800x480 with a 4.27" display. The Bionic, like its recent 4.3" predecessor the X2, have 960x540 as this article references. Stop trolling and spreading FUD for those looking to get a new smartphone.
  • s44 - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    It has fewer subpixels than the S2. Reply
  • SanX - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    Exactly. And not just that. Penistile red and blue subpixel resolutions are just 480x270 (!!!) 128 dpi !!! Go to the doctor if you can not see that.
    Worse then in the first iPhone. Pixels are too visible, fonts look bad, you can not read small texts either, you permanently zoom the pages. The qHD green can not compensate its ugliness. Look at the picture above. All red, orange and yellow solid colors literally scream with each its huge pixel into your eyes.
    Yes, Galaxy S2 is not perfect but at least they do not stink with pentile. The resolutions for large screens must be 1280x800 at least. No pentile.
  • SanX - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    Wow, i missed this is RGBW not RGBG pentile matrix. Even worse. All subpixels are at 480x270! Reply
  • TrackSmart - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    Assuming this article is correctly calculating the effective resolution of a pentile display ( then the addressable resolutions of the two screens are similar (~80% of what is advertised for the Bionic). That said, what your eye sees should still be appear to be somewhat higher resolution, particularly for images (as opposed to text).

    I've been pleased enough with the pentile display on my Droid Incredible (older version of the technology), aside for daylight visibility. If I look hard, I can see some color fringing, etc, but I never think about it in normal use. That said, it seems a bit misleading to advertise the display resolution as QHD...
  • MilwaukeeMike - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    Has anyone else seen the commercial for this phone? The first time I see someone with this phone I'm going to ask them if they had to kill two giant killer robots to get it. Reply
  • wpwoodjr - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    Yes of course Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    It's hilarious, I can't bring the phone up in conversation without a discussion about that commercial. What were they thinking?

  • wpwoodjr - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    This phone is so smooth and fluid compared to my DX. It is a tad wider, wish it wasn't.

    I've been running mostly in 3G mode so have been satisfied with battery life. Around Philly the Verizon 3G is fast enough that I don't really need 4G. I regularly get 1500kbs down.

    The GPS is amazing - I have never had to wait more than 10 secs for it to kick in (outside) which is a big deal to me.

    The camera is better than the DX, not as much noise reduction so you get more detail.

    The pentile screen is fine, you can see a cross-hatch if you have really good eyesight or wear reading glasses, but its not a big deal. The greens are more saturated and better looking than on my DX.

    I would like to get AnandTech's (Brian's) take on the number of bits used for color rendering. In the browser, I've noticed some banding on images with subtle background color changes. I think it may be using 16 bits/pixel rather than 24.

    I dropped it from my lap in an SUV onto the asphalt and it's fine except for some scratches on the bezel.

    It's an all-around fine device, especially if you like Moto / Verizon.
  • HangFire - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    First of all, what ever happened to the Tbolt 4GB versus 8GB NAND issue?

    Second, what s/w version of each phone was charted here? I ask because the Tbolt has improved markedly in battery life since the latest update. (I was able to verify that on a warranty replacement when I got to try it before & after again).

    Third, while Tbolt battery life is nothing to crow about, I regularly get through an entire workday (including commuting) and come home with 40%, and have on occasion continued through the evening without another charge to end the day just getting into the red. I regularly check eMail and the occasional web page, use Tapatalk and News during lunch etc., not exactly heavy 'net usage but not making an effort to conserve battery power either. I still have checks and syncs set up but for reasonable intervals like hours not every few minutes (except eMail).

    As for reliability, it gets down to getting a good one in the first place. Just like out family's two G1's and two G2's and 2 Droid Charge's to get to one good one each. My first Tbolt dynamically changed its own volume and my second had a display issue. Number 3 (still on warranty) has outlasted them both put together and has survived many a bump and drop. Nothing to crow about but when I see my friends and coworkers beaten and battered Motorolas and their catalog of issues I don't see them doing any better than HTC, if anything I don't consider them as sturdy in the long haul. In one respect I lucked out as an early adopter, as I got new replacement Tbolts each time, or maybe factory seconds, as the true refurbs from other consumers didn't have time to cycle through the system when I got mine.

    In short the Thunderbolt is far from trash and far from having a useless battery life. After getting through the early life production issues and firmware update for better battery life, it is becoming a workhorse, and everyone wants to play with it, even while they echo the outdated and sometimes misinformed criticism.
  • Jrouss - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    Though I would argue you should not have to do this to a new phone to make it useful, I ordered the extended battery for 24.99. It is a drastic improvement over the original battery. Reply
  • TrackSmart - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    I agree that the faster processor will get to idle state sooner, but it will still have a greater workload to perform over the course of the battery test.

    You can test to see if this matters at all. See how many pages-per-hour a slower 3G phone loads during the test. Have a fast LTE phone load pages at a similar rate. If the battery life of the LTE phone is significantly longer in that test compared to the normal Anandtech test (e.g. 15-20% longer), it will be evident.

    The current test is still reasonable for comparing phones in the same performance category and on the same network.
  • wpwoodjr - Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - link

    Brian, I hope you will post battery life figures for 3G as well as 4G. It would give a much better picture of how the phone stacks up to other non-4G phones, especially as I don't personally really see the need for 4G speed on my phone so I've been running it in 3G mode.

    All around, I think Moto have put together a great phone that "does it all" really well. OK so it's not the sexiest phone out there (or almost out there) but it improves on it's predecessors in almost every way. For me, coming from the Droid X, it's a huge difference.
  • thrasher32 - Thursday, September 15, 2011 - link

    I've got the original Droid X and while I like the Bionic, I can't get past that $299 "discount" price, and the accompanying 2 year indentured servitude to Verizon. In addition, I'm still grandfathered into the unlimited data plan, so until my Droid X physically dies, Verizon is outta luck 'cuz I'm gonna stream Netflix all day long without regard to data usage.

    When my Droid X finally does die, I'm switching to T-Mobile (like the rest of you), I'm tired of being rectally violated by AT&T and Verizon.
  • coolfx35 - Thursday, September 15, 2011 - link

    I just got the Droid Bionic, So I found a notification sound I like and added it to both a new folder called 'notifications' on both the sdcard and sdcard-ext as well as /system/media/audio/notifications.

    It *still* does not show up in settings > sound> notification ringtone. The file is a valid .ogg file. I post this question on but no answers so far, so someone here please help. Thanks.
  • synaesthetic - Thursday, September 15, 2011 - link

    This is my issue, personally. While the rush to make beefier and better CPUs and modems for phones seems to be in full swing, nobody seems to be paying attention to making the batteries that power them better.

    Battery tech has lagged so far behind mobile tech it's not even funny. Seriously, I love my Android phone (a T-Mobile Nexus S) but I have to charge it pretty much daily. This is an issue for me, though I don't know how many other people care as much, but sometimes I find myself *avoiding* using my phone whenever possible just so I can make sure the battery doesn't go out before I can get to a charger.

    Dual core, crazy gaming performance, all of that is nice, but honestly I'd rather have my same Nexus S, with it's same "old" HSPA internets, with it's same old single-core CPU... but with a battery that'll last a full day of continuous heavy use.
  • TrackSmart - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    I've been saying for years that it would be great to have a very-well-built *phone* that had absurdly long battery life and zero internet features. Carriers don't allow this. Every Verizon phone must support internet and VCAST video, etc. Imagine a phone that was voice-calls only that was about 95% battery inside. It could last practically forever on a charge, be waterproof, and highly impact resistant.

    That being said, once you start talking about smartphones, you are really talking about personal computing devices. And the usual race for the best specifications applies. The smartphone you described would have a dedicated niche market, but wouldn't be the huge 'hit' device that the phone makers are looking for...

    HTC or Samsung could make such a phone if they wanted. And Apple, well, they do prioritize battery life more than most carriers. On the Android side, Motorola is usually tops when it comes to voice-call battery life...
  • lefenzy - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    Why is it that Anandtech graphs exclude HTC's Droid Incredible 2, a recent phone that offers decent performance in a portable 4inch screen package? As a recent 3G phone comparable to the Droid 3, it is worth including in the graphs. It certainly offers better battery life than the latest LTE and dual core phones. Reply
  • corymcnutt - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link

    This was done back on 9/12...when is the full review coming? Reply
  • amorexue - Thursday, September 22, 2011 - link is an ideal dress shop Reply
  • puck - Monday, October 10, 2011 - link

    Ok it's been a month now... looking for a more detailed review of the camera. Reply

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