I’ve had the new Droid Bionic for a week now and I thought I would make some qiuck notes about my experiences so far. Overall I am happy with the device it is fast and powerful and the small issues I have encountered so far are not affecting my enjoyment of the phone.
The LTE speed is really noticeable in many places even things like how fast I can update a social media site or download a book from Amazon. Installing apps is a breeze because the download times are so short. In rare instances where I am forced back to 3g because I am in an area were LTE isn’t available the drop down in speed is very noticeable.
The device is very responsive and menus come up quick. I have had only one lockup since getting the device a week ago and that was on the first day. Since then I haven’t had any software issues with the phone. Last week I typed my entire blog post on the device just to test the frustration level with using it for an extended period of time. It was easy to use and quick enough not to frustrate me to putting it down and finishing the post on my desktop.
The camera is the one thing that needs some attention. The constant focusing makes taking pictures with it difficult in situations where there is quick action that needs to be captured. Overall the quality of the camrea is fine and I think the focusing thing could be a software issue instead of a hardware issue. I haven’t tried to shoot any video yet but I have read that the focusing issue makes that even more of a challenge. I’ll try to do that this week to see if that is the case.
Battery life is always a challenge for me and modern smart phones becuase I really don’t like turning everything off to conserve power. I did concede with the Bionic to leaving the WiFi turned off when I wasn’t using it. But I refuse to turn off the 4gLTE radio when I am not using the phone because I want my phone to be ready for my use constantly and not have to remember to turn that on an off. I also hate having to remember to turn the bluetooth back on when I get in the car so I leave that on as well. The other challenge is that I have my work email going to the phone and I have the exchange server settings set to push. That means I have to maintain a constant internet connection in order to get the push emails and notification. That drains the battery. With the standard battery I was getting about 12 hours or so before putting it in the charger at around 20% battery life. This was with moderate useage of the phone throughout the day and one 30 minute phone call every after noon. I could have extended that by making some of the modifications I mentioned above but I opted to take advantage of a Verizon Wireless promotion that allowed me to buy the extended battery and cover for $25.
I have had the extended battery for three days now and I like the battery life much better. Last night after typical usage of the phone I put it in the charger after 18 hours and the battery was still at 40%. I have read some people complaining about the weight and footprint of the extended battery but I personally don’t have an issue with it and the feel of the phone is fine for me with the extended battery cover on the phone. It no longer has the subtle hump for the camera it has a little notch between the camera and the rest of the case where the extended battery juts out slightly. My fingers fit naturally into the gap and gives me a good grip on the phone.
Software wise I am still getting all the apps I want onto the phone so far no issues running anything. The included MotoPrint app works fine with my WiFi printer so for those rare occasions that I need to print something from my phone I’m all set.
My last phone was the DroidX and I like this phone better. It is faster and more robust than the X while maintaining its charm. Phones like this are the future of mobile devices. Maybe a little on the larger size but powerful enough to do anything I need it to do.
The last note is that a friend of mine at work is constantly harassing me that his phone (an iPhone from AT&T) can do both voice and data at the same time. This isn’t possible on CDMA phones and he (and the TV commercials) constantly harp about how important this is. This has been an issue for me maybe twice in all the years I have had a smart phone, but I tested the feature with the Droid Bionic just for the sake of having tried it. Because it uses CDMA for voice and LTE for data is is possible to do both voice and data at the same time. I had a successful test by calling my office phone at the same time I was surfing the web. So he can shut up about that now 😀