This Day in Android: Verizon announces $300 Droid Bionic (2011)

This Day in Android: Verizon announces $300 Droid Bionic (2011)

What a difference a year makes, eh?  Can you believe that it was twelve months ago today that Verizon and Motorola announced that the Droid Bionic would be joining the carrier’s lineup one day later.  Priced at $299 it was hardly the phone we saw some nine months earlier at CES.  Details for the Bionic, at the time, were pretty top notch stuff and included the following:

  • Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread
  • Dual-core 1GHz processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4.3-inch qHD display
  • 8-megapixel camera (1080p HD video)
  • 32 GB memory (16GB on board and 16 GB microSD)
  • Support for 4G LTE
  • Front-facing camera
  • HDMI output with mirror mode
  • Webtop docking capability

Where is it now?

You can’t even buy the Droid Bionic through Verizon today, even as a used model. Amazon has it in an no-contract option for $379.99.

How many of you were excited about the Droid Bionic?  Did any of you have $300 bucks set aside for the Droid that “rules all machines”?

About author

Scott Webster
Scott Webster 6602 posts

Scott has been running AndroidGuys since 2007 and loves nothing more than reading up on the latest smartphone rumors. His other mobile efforts can be found on Android Update (CNET) where he covers Google's mobile platform.

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49 Comments

  1. Andy_in_Indy
    September 07, 14:53 Reply

    I was excited for the Bionic. Dual Core, lots of RAM, lapdock, Moto was promising to unlock bootloaders and Verizon LTE was already in my market. This phone screamed of potential!

    My power button fell out this morning. SIGH!

  2. Alma Hix
    September 07, 21:35 Reply

    I bought mine as soon as it dropped. It made my original Droid look like a stone. Unfortunately, some 4 months later I sold it, frustrated with Vz/Moto refusal to unlock the boot loader or update the ROM. A years since its introduction and they still haven’t, and I am skeptical that we will ever see ICS or JB except for custom ROMs. Now, I won’t even consider a non Nexus phone from any provider. My Galaxy Nexus and I are living happily ever after, so far.

  3. Courtney
    September 07, 22:46 Reply

    This phone was awful in my opinion.

  4. corymcnutt
    September 08, 10:03 Reply

    This phone was AWESOME, in my opinion. I was there to pick mine up and have been lving it ever since. They had to replace it on Monday, due to reboting issues, but this one has been rock solid.

  5. Mike Donatello
    September 08, 11:25 Reply

    How many of us were STUPID enough to buy a pair of these, based on a naive belief in Moto’s promises of a bootloader unlock and prompt update to ICS? Never another Moto device. Never.

  6. Major_Pita
    September 10, 10:56 Reply

    Bought mine a few days after it dropped. Awesome phone. NEVER had any of the problems folks complained about. Brightest screen I’ver ever seen on a mobile device. Running ICS .232 leaked ROM now. Upgraded to a Nexus when Best Buy was doing them free with contract re-up, in mid-August. Im keeping the Bionic for use with my lapdock – it now runs in full-on Android 4.04 tablet mode since flashing the ICS leak, no thanks to Verizon. I can swap the SIM back and forth between the Nexus and Bionic with a reboot and use the Bionic as a spare. Do I feel burned by Motorola? You bet. I will never buy another non-Nexus phone again, and won’t buy a Moto even if it’s a Nexus device. 7 Moto devices so far. The Bionic is my last.

  7. Jimmy
    September 10, 13:21 Reply

    Got it the day it came out. Phone is running strong. I had a chance to switch carriers/phones in MArch. Look as I might, I could not find a phone with up-gradable memory removable battery, dock for the car, dock for home with remote . Recharging dock for work. Speak phone is great, phone works great. Never had any problems.
    48GB of storage. I think the phone takes great photos, rock solid video even when driving. Motorola should unlock it and release Jelly bean. 48GB phone. Galaxy Nexus
    720 x 1280 pixels, 4.65 inches and only 16gb of storage and no hdmi?

    • Major_Pita
      September 13, 18:27 Reply

      VZW’s is 32Gb, and video out is available through some widget called an MHL (?) adapter. About 15 bucks on Amazon. It’s powered and connects to a standard HDMI cable. Yeah, I agonized over the no-SD card issue, but I have working USB OTG now and can attach Flash drives and even powered 2.5″ hard drives. All it ended up costing was my re-up on my second line. Thought I might end up returning it, so it was more or less an experiment. Within 3 hours I had unlocked the bootloader, flashed a Jelly Bean ROM and Frankos milestone 5 kernel. Running at 1.42Ghz now and getting 4ooo+ Quadrant, 7400+ Antutu, high 90’s Linpack and 1240.5ms sunspider. Learned that stock unit shipped underclocked down from 1.5Ghz to 1.2. Evidently that’s why it benched to poorly. Decided at that point to keep it. BTW, the screen looks much brighter with ‘content adaptive brightness’ turned off in Franko Color Control settings panel.

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