Droid Bionic Debuts Ahead of iPhone 5: 5 Things to Know

ANALYSIS

 @ibtimes on September 07 2011 3:50 PM

The Motorola Droid Bionic has been released on the Verizon network after months of build up and speculation.

The spiffy phone has all the makings of another classic from the Verizon and Motorola tandem, which have both seen lots of success from the sale of Droid phones in the past.

Neither Motorola Mobility, which was recently acquired by Google, or Verizon have given exact numbers on sales. However, the co-chief of Motorola Mobility, Sanjay Jha, once said the only thing stopping the Droid from selling more phones was component shortages.

The Droid phones from Motorola have helped the Android operating system expand its scope. According to the most recent numbers from research company Gartner Inc., Google's mobile operating system accounted for 43.4 percent of all smartphone sales, up from 17.2 percent last year.

The Droid Bionic is the latest and greatest. It comes with a lot of the standard qualities which have made Droid a household name in smartphones. This includes a 4.3-inch HD screen with a Corning Gorilla scratch-free screen, two cameras: front-facing for video chat and 8-MP back camera, Adobe Flash preloaded, 32 GB of memory and a slim frame.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. Here are five things to know about the new phone.

Delayed and Now It Could Pay:  The Droid Bionic was delayed for months. It was one of four phones teased by Verizon back at the Consumer Electronics Show in January but the last to see the light of day. This delay could end up costing Motorola with the impending, heavily rumored release of the iPhone 5. Most analysts and tech experts generally agree and have reported the next-generation iPhone will be released in early October. History hasn't been kind to phones that are released only a few weeks before an iPhone. Those phones tend to get overshadowed. Remember the Palm Pre? Exactly.

Dual Core and 4G: The Droid Bionic comes with a dual-core 1 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM and runs on the Android 2.3.4, Gingerbread operating system. It's also 4G. According to Verizon Wireless, it's the first phone to combine the 4G LTE network with a dual-core chip.

Lapdock: The phone is accessible with Motorola's Lapdock, which was also introduced earlier this year. The Lapdock, which was packaged initially with the Motorola Atrix for AT&T, connects to the phone and puts its content on a laptop computer and its 11.6-inch display. The Lapdock combined with the 4G speeds, the dual-core processor and the Bionic's fully functioning Firefox Web browser can allow consumers a real laptop experience from their phone. There's also an HD station which allows users to connect the phone to a TV or home entertainment center via a HDMI cable.

Pricey: The phone costs $299.99 with a new two-year customer agreement. To take advantage of the Lapdock, consumers will have to buy that separately, at $299.97. The HD station is $99.99. Data and talk plans can start at $70 for 450 minutes per month and 2 GB of data. Considering the Atrix is only $99.99 and comes with many of the same features, minus the 4G, that's a hefty price to pay.

Zumocast: Perhaps with the iCloud on their mind, this new feature from Motorola has a little cloud flavor to it. Zumocast is an app on the Bionic that lets users bring videos, music, pictures and documents stored on their computers to their handset via remote access.

Follow Gabriel Perna on Twitter at @GabrielSPerna

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