After much delay, the Motorola Droid Bionic has finally launched, and we've got one in at Gear Live HQ to review. While we play with the 4.3-inch display toting, 4G LTE packing, 1080p video shooting, Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread smartphone, we've got a gallery of photos that we've taken to show it off. Go ahead and peep the images in our Droid Bionic unboxing gallery, and be on the lookout for our review soon!
[Camera: Chris Aarons]
Last Friday, Google chairman Eric Schmidt slipped that Android 4.0, the next major overhaul to the mobile operating system, will be released in "October or November."
Speaking to Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff at the Dreamforce conference, Schmidt said, "We have a new operating system, internally known as Ice Cream Sandwich for some reason, which is being released in October, November." Scroll down to watch the entire keynote; Schmidt slips at 30:28 mark, as reported by AndroidandMe.com.
Up to now, Google hasn't provided a release date for Ice Cream Sandwich, but perhaps Schmidt thought it was an obvious point given unconfirmed reports of Verizon possibly launching the Droid Prime, the first Android 4.0 device and believed to be the third Google Nexus smartphone, this October.
Motorola's long-awaited Droid Bionic smartphone is finally here.
The device, Verizon's first dual-core, LTE phone, is available now at Verizon stores and online at verizonwireless.com. It doesn't come cheap, though: the Bionic will set you back $299.99 with a two-year contract.
For a limited time, those who purchase the Lapdock accessory, which essentially turns your smartphone into a 11.6-inch laptop, will get a $100 mail-in rebate when subscribing to the $50, 5GB data plan or higher. That Lapdock, however, is also $300.
And like in previous ads, the video personifies the device rather than show any part of the actual phone (see below); the latest Droid incarnation is a black leather-clad assassin with a bit of a Black Widow-meets-Droid logo edge.
No, no details yet on an actual launch date or price. The Droid Bionic is arguably Motorola's most highly anticipated product this year, perhaps because it has been delayed since, well, January. The Bionic was hit with one delay after another, forcing Verizon to release a statement explaining that it was undergoing some design revisions. No price has been announced, but an alleged advertisement pegged the phone at $300.
I was just wondering what Google was going to do to prevent getting shut out of the mobile phone business. It was as if Google was down 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, Google stepped up to the plate and hits a walk-off home run, with its purchase of Motorola Mobility.
This scenario is fascinating for a number of reasons. First of all, somewhere along the line, both Apple and Microsoft took a terrible dislike to this Android nonsense. First, Microsoft cozies up to Nokia to subvert Android (to no avail). Then Microsoft, Apple, and others pulled a trick play to get the Nortel patent assets in an effort to develop a patent portfolio to screw Google.
So Google knows it’s toast if it doesn't do anything. But what would it do? Did anyone call this one? Certainly, not me.
Let's face it, when it comes to mobile phone patents, Motorola easily has as many or more than Nortel, which is more into fiber and other comm patents. Google is now one up on the rest of these folks.
A draft of the Motorola Droid Bionic's user manual surfaced on the Federal Communications Commission's website, confirming most of the specs that were pulled from Motorola's website last week.
On paper at least, the dual-core smartphone built for Verizon's super-fast LTE network looks like a beast. The filing confirms that it will sport a 4.3-inch qHD display, a GHz TI OMAP 4430 dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, a microSD card slot, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a VGA front-facing camera. It'll have an HDMI 1.4 output for mirroring the phone's display on a larger screen and support wireless charging. Furthermore, the Bionic will run Android 2.3.4 "Gingerbread."
Are almost 50 percent of the world's smartphones running Google's Android? According to Monday data from Canalys, Android ended the second quarter with 48 percent of the market, with Asia Pacific leading the charge.
Globally, the smartphone market is up 73 percent from last year, with 107.7 million devices shipped in the last quarter. Of the 56 countries tracked by Canalys, Android topped 35 of them, with 51.9 million shipments overall.
Why the boost? Canalys pointed to strong Android support from major handset makers like Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, ZTE, and Huawei. Android holds 85 percent of the market in South Korea and 71 percent in Taiwan alone.
Apple came in second place with 20.3 million iPhones sold and 19 percent of the market, which was enough to overtake Nokia's Symbian platform and make Apple the world's top smartphone vendor.
It's big, it's businesslike, and it might turn into a laptop like the groundbreaking Motorola Atrix 4G. Sprint's brand-new Motorola Photon 4G will face down the HTC EVO 3D this summer in a battle of the high-end Android super-phones. We got some time with it just before today's announcement, to check out the new device.
The new Photon 4G is one of 10 Motorola phones that Sprint plans to introduce in 2011, including the Triumph for Virgin Mobile, the Xoom tablet, and the XPRT and Titanium for Sprint. The two companies introduced the Photon and Triumph today at an event in New York City.
The Motorola Photon 4G is a huge 5.6-ounce, 2.6 by 5 by 0.5-inch smartphone with a downright gorgeous 4.3-inch, 960-by-540 screen. There's something very rich and deep about this screen; it may just be the wallpapers that Sprint and Motorola chose, but everything looked very sharp. The phone is fast, too, with a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor running Android 2.3. There's an 8-megapixel camera on the back, a 1-megapixel camera on the front, an HDMI out port, a kickstand on the back, and 16GB of on-board storage.
How does the Photon feel? Big. Solid. Glossy. The Photon feels a lot like Verizon's Motorola Droid X2, although it's rounded rather than squarish; this is a large, heavy slab of power with a whole lot of customized Android icons. The few apps I sampled ran smoothly. I asked the Sprint and Motorola reps whether the Photon would be more stable than the notoriously buggy Atrix, but they dodged the question.
Our Deal of the Day today with focuses on an 82% discount on the Motorola Droid X2. Seriously, this is a newly-released dual-core Android device selling at just $89.99 with shipping included. How could we not post this?:
Don’t forget, if you’re looking for other deals, be sure to check out our Newegg Promo Code thread. Oh, and if you're on Twitter, be sure to follow @TechPromos for the latest deals, or you can Like TechPromos on Facebook.
We open up the Motorola Droid X2 in this episode of Unboxing Live, giving you a look a the first dual-core Android device available on Verizon Wireless. This is the follow-up to the original Droid X, and maintains the same form factor and physical buttons, as well as the huge display. This one is actually a qHD display, providing a higher resolution than the original Droid X that launched almost a year ago. One thing missing here, the Droid X2 doesn't have 4G LTE built-in, but that's a minor complaint for this otherwise speedy device.
As always, hit us with any questions you have about the Droid X2 and we'll do our best to answer them in our follow-up review! In the meantime, feel free to check out our Motorola Droid X2 gallery.
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