While Apples's next-generation iPhone 5 is not yet officially announced, growing rumors are indicating an early October release. Although the iPhone continues to be the gold standard for smartphones, the upcoming version will face tough challengerss.

Up till now, the Samsung Galaxy S 2 has been slated to be iPhone 5's top contender, given its solid sales outside the U.S. But tech pundits can't afford to count out Motorola's Droid Bionic, which was released well ahead of iPhone 5.

Motorola Droid Bionic was released Sept. 8. Powered by Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread OS, the phone is completely modified from the original one introduced during CES 2011. Some of its key features include a 4.3-inch HD screen with a Corning Gorilla scratch-free screen; two cameras, front-facing for video chat and 8-megapixel back camera; Adobe Flash preloaded; 32 GB of memory and a slim frame.

The iPhone 5 is most likely to feature the latest iOS 5 operating system, the A5 processor found in iPad 2, a higher megapixel camera compared to the iPhone 4 and a slimmer and thinner design. According to a Bloomberg report, Apple's next version will have an 8-megapixel camera and 1080p video recording, along with dual-LED flash.

Here is our take on a head-to-head comparison between Droid Bionic and iPhone 5. First, let's discuss why Motorola Droid Bionic can score over iPhone 5:

Processor

The Droid Bionic sports the TI OMAP4430 chipset, clocking in at 1 GHz, which uses dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 with a PowerVR SGX540 integrated 3D graphics accelerator that runs at a clock frequency of 304 MHz. The phone also comes with ARM-Cortex A9s with ARMs SIMD engine (Media Processing Engine, also called NEON).

According to Engadget, Texas Instruments' OMAP 4430, NVIDIA's Tegra 2 and Samsung's Exynos 4210 went head to head in a gauntlet of browser and graphical benchmarks, and it looks like the LG Optimus 3D's OMAP 4 came out on top, boasting of minor but significant improvements practically across the board.

But iPad 2's dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU A5 processor, which is expected to make it into iPhone 5, was likely no different from NVIDIA's Tegra 2, TI's OMAP 4 or Samsung's Exynos in that regard.

4G LTE

Multiple reports said that iPhone 5 will be 4G capable, but it may be 4G supported through AT&T network, and may not feature Verizon's 4G LTE support. This is because the LTE chip price is too high to match Apple's cost-efficient measures and it contrasts with Apple planning to deliver a thinner and lighter device. On the other hand, according to Verizon Wireless, Motorola Droid Bionic will be the first dual core smartphone to feature the 4G LTE technology, which gives Motorola Droid Bionic a huge advantage over the iPhone 5.

Speed

Droid Bionic features an upgraded RAM memory of 1GB of DDR2. The phone also has 2 GB ROM support along with 1 GHz of dual core processor. With LTE 4G, Droid Bionic can surely be up to the claim made by the Verizon ad, which describes it as ferocious force and an all powerful unstoppable device. Control it and you can control everything.

Even though the iPhone 5 has a dual core processor, it is doubtful to come with a better RAM capacity than that of Droid Bionic. With 4G LTE option looming low, the iPhone 5 lags behind in this regard.

Display

Motorola Droid Bionic comes with a qHD (540 x 960 pixels, 256 ppi pixel density) TFT display for its 4.3-inch screen. Droid Bionic's screen fits the same 16:9 ratio as your HD TV which, in conjunction with that extra inch or so, and makes film and TV viewing a far more natural fit.

The iPhone 5 is expected to come with a teardrop design with an aluminum plate casing that is supposed to be slimmer and lighter than past iPhone models, mostly featuring a 3.7-inch or 4-inch screen. Although the iPhone has the superior all-round picture with its sharpness and clarity at all angles due to its smaller display size. But the Droid Bionic wins out for sheer size. Besides, it has a movie-friendly 16:9 aspect ratio.

With major smartphone makers opting for 4.3 inches as the ideal screen for their phones, it will be interesting to see what comes out on the new iPhone 5.

Flash

Flash enriches Web experience. Any Flash player has to be able to animate on top of video renderings, which makes hardware accelerated video rendering at least not as straightforward as with a purpose-built multimedia player. Therefore, even when they display video, Flash players are more resource-intensive than a dedicated video player software. Presently for Apple, only Mac OS 9/X supports Flash. As Droid Bionic comes with the Android OS, it enjoys the full support of flash.

Here is how iPhone 5 could turn the game around:

iOS 5

Apple's iOS 5.0, which is the newest of the OS versions, was announced on June 6 at the WWDC 2011 keynote address. The new iOS 5 is expected to come with 200 new features that will include Improved Notifications System, News Stand and iMessage. It will also feature new applications, such as the Reminders app and Newsstand, an application resembling Folders and iBooks.

The A5 chip, Dual-core processor

The new A5 chip delivers more power than one can get from the iPhone 4. The new A5 chip measures 10.1 x 12.1 millimeter compared to 7.3 x 7.3 millimeter for the A4 chip.

Several of Apple's rivals from LG, Motorola and Samsung have already released dual-core processor phones. According to a recent media report from 9to5 Mac, Apple gave its developers a dual-core iPhone 4 to allow them to prep for the iPhone 5.

Screen

The iPhone 5 is anticipated to have an edge-to-edge 4-inch retina display. A curved glass display screen is also rumored that may offer more privacy while viewing in public areas. The Quantum Dot LED technology could be a possible delivery system for the iPhone 5. The new technology needs less power consumption while delivering the same quality of an OLED screen.

Camera

iPhone 5 is also expected to have a rear-facing 8 megapixel dual-LED flash camera. Many Android smartphones already sport an 8MP camera. Coupled with the rear-facing camera, iPhone 5 is also expected to have a front-facing camera for video chatting. It is expected to include a dual LED flash with rumors that the flash unit will be separated from the camera sensor. Another speculation indicated that iPhone 5 may also have a 3D camera

NFC Payment

There have been reports since early this year that Apple is testing an iPhone that incorporates Near Field Communication technology. Users can simply pay for goods by waving their iPhone in front of a contactless payment scanner. Mobile-payment services using NFC will be a hot segment in the future. The technology could offer features that allow multiple mobile devices to sync for speedier information exchange and gaming.