Best phone Verizon has ever offered September 8, 2011
I've been on Verizon Wireless since high school and have gone through a ton of phones and a few smartphones including the Motorola Droid and the iPhone 4. This is BY FAR the best phone I have ever owned. My girlfriend is even ditching her DROID Charge for this phone. I'm going to try and give a good review and cover all the goods and the bads about this phone.
The build of this phone is what you would expect from a Motorola phone - A nice solid piece of hardware made of metal with gorilla glass over the display. I had my iPhone for 3 months before I needed to replace it, but had my Motorola Droid for over 13 months and never exchanged it or repaired it, so Motorola definitely knows how to build a good piece of hardware. This phone is the first Verizon dual-core 4G LTE phone and it is FAST. Multi-tasking is effortless on this phone. Blows my iPhone 4 out of the water in this aspect. The display is amazing! It's a LARGE 4.3 qHD display (960x540 pixels) which is the highest resolution display on an Android phone to date. I wouldn't necessarily say better than the iPhone 4, but it is certainly as good. Some people are wondering if this phone is too big and bulky, but surprisingly it's pretty sleek and slim with a weight that makes it feel like a quality device, but not too heavy. Shooting pictures and videos is a ton of fun with this phone, the pictures look great. I posted a few on Facebook and they look awesome. The 1080p video is great as well indoors or outdoors. As for the front facing camera, it works with Skype, but you have to enable video chat in the settings on Skype (I heard a few people complain it wouldn't work). As for the quality of the front facing camera, it's not the greatest, it's only VGA (0.3 MP or something like that) but I mean it's video chat from your phone, you can still get your point across without lags or hitches because of Verizon's crazy fast 4G network (or over Wi-Fi).
So I have heard a lot of people that have been a little wary of getting this phone because of Motorola's skin "Motoblur". But as far as I can see this phone is almost completely void of Motoblur with a few added Motorola elements that are actually pretty useful. For example, you can pick some of your favorite contacts and make them widgets on one of your homescreens. Not sure if this is a Gingerbread feature, but I think it's unique to Motorola. As far as the Android OS goes it is a great OS. I am a huge fan of iOS, but I can say honestly that I probably won't be going back because Android is a hundred times more customizable and that really appeals to me. The QWERTY touch keyboard can be used in portrait or landscape and the phone is pre-loaded with "Swype" which is in my opinion the best option for a touch screen keyboard. The only thing is that it is heavily dependent on the phone's dictionary so you may need to manually type in some words for a while before it becomes fully useful.
The phone has some Verizon "bloatware" on it, but there's so much storage space on the phone for apps, you will hardly notice the 7 or 8 apps it comes with from VZW. The social media apps are AWESOME, especially if you like to share things like photos, videos, articles or web pages. It's incredibly easy to share things with your friends and the dual-core processor makes switching from Twitter to Facebook to GMail seamless. This phone comes preloaded with some setup accounts including Exchange or Corporate Sync, POP E-Mail, Google, YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, Yahoo!, LinkedIn, PhotoBucket, Picasa, and Twitter. Personally my favorite application on this phone is Google Maps because of the FREE turn-by-turn navigation that it offers which for some reason iOS still does not have. I also really like the ZumoCast application that allows you to access your computer remotely. Pretty cool and convenient. This phone is also Netflix ready. Haven't downloaded it from the market yet, but really eager to see how well the Netflix videos stream. There is also an app called "VideoSurf" where you can record a video of what you're watching on tv and the app will find information on the internet about the show or movie which is really cool, but a little unnecessary.
This phone has a lot of cool accessories. I purchased the car and desktop docks from Costco and also got an HDMI cable for mirror mode. The car dock is nice because you can just put the phone in and it automatically switches to "Car Mode" where there are main apps like Navigation, Calling, Contacts, Voice Search and Music and they all show up as large buttons so they're easy to access and you don't have to do any scrolling. The HDMI mirror mode is actually pretty cool and I will probably be using it a bit more once I get my Netflix set up on this phone. I've connected the HDMI cable to my girlfriend's TV and played some of the HD video I recorded. It looks great!
A lot of the criticism with 4G LTE phones is the battery life especially with the horrible battery life of the HTC Thunderbolt. I have had this phone for approximately 13 hours and got about 5 1/2 hours without charging on HEAVY usage (Wi-Fi, recording HD video, playing HD video in mirror mode, browsing the internet, navigation on Google Maps, YouTube, Skype Video Chat, ZumoCast, etc.) Which is pretty good on any network. I drained the battery to 15% and threw it on the charger and it was fully charged 90 minutes later. The battery is 1735 mAH, which is usually the size of extended batteries. I expect with normal usage of calling, texting, checking emails and browsing you could easily get 8-10 hours. I have only used the phone for texting, calling, and GMail since I took it off the charger 3 hours ago and the battery is sitting at 80%. Impressive.
Making calls on Verizon's LTE network is just like it's 3G network. Dependable and clear. Never had a dropped call on Verizon 3G, don't expect to have any on 4G. Loading web pages is FAST. I mean REALLY FAST. It's actually faster than Wi-Fi which is crazy to me, but true. Using the speedtest.net speed test (seems redundant) the average download speed on 4G after 5 tests was around 17 mb/s and upload speed averaged about 2 mb/s. Videos from YouTube and web pages played effortlessly and looked great on the qHD screen.
Like I said before this phone is FAST. It multitasks much better and more smoothly than my iPhone 4. It responds immediately every time I touch it and going from app to app is as easy as pressing the home button. I literally cannot put this thing down because I am amazed at how responsive it is. I have yet to run any benchmark tests to test the speed of the processor, but from what I've heard it is faster than any of the 4G phones and even faster than the dual-core DROID 3 which beat the HTC Thunderbolt and iPhone 4 in benchmark tests.
I would say this is the best phone I've ever owned. Definitely the coolest and most fun. It's a much larger screen than I'm used to, but I actually really like that. The display is awesome, pictures and videos look great and Android is obviously a great OS. Verizon has finally come through for its customers with this phone. I would recommend this phone to anyone. Now there are rumors that the iPhone 5, Samsung Stratosphere (Galaxy S II variant), HTC Vigor, and the Samsung Droid Prime are coming to Verizon in about a month or so. I don't know much about any of those phones, mostly just rumors, but as of now this is the BEST 4G phone on Verizon hands down. If you have an upgrade and you NEED a new phone I would say get this phone. You will really like it. If you're thinking about upgrading early or waiting for the line of phones coming in October I would say wait til then. You have to remember this phone was originally set to release in the Spring so the new phones in Q3 and Q4 may hold a slight advantage over the Bionic. Either way if you decide to go with this phone you won't be disappointed.
Best 4G phone... so far. September 8, 2011
I am not just an "average joe", I know a lot about cell phones, 4G, and battery usage. Please read the following review and decide if the Bionic is right for you. I highly recommend it, but you have to know its battery limitations.
This truly is the best 4G phone out to date. The main issues with 4G phones is battery life. With 10.8 hours of talk time, this far outshines the HTC Thunderbolt that only gets 6.3 hours of talk time. Caution!... Depending on where you live (i.e. the 4G signal that you get consistently), your battery life will vary greatly. When your phone switches back and forth from 4G to 3G, it drains the battery considerably. If you have weak 4G (most everyone), it will switch a lot. I owned the Thunderbolt and got slightly more than 6.3 hours of usage (with mild usage... not heavy). This is because, even though you aren't using your phone, it is switching 4G/3G and thus being used. What this means is that you never really go into standby mode, and so talk time will equal usage time. So you should expect to get about 11 hours of usage from the Bionic whether you are a heavy or light user (i.e. you may have to charge it during the day to get through an entire day), unless you live in a strong 4G area. As 4G gets more expansive, your battery life will get better. If you force your phone into 3G only, your battery life will be insanely long.
A note about JAcura's battery review... he is accurate, but I wanted to clarify it a little. He says that the 1735 is an extended battery, which is true for most phones but not a 4G phone because of the way that 4G uses the battery. He also says that after 3 hours of use, he was at 80%, which is accurate... and at 5 hours he will be at 60% and so on. Thus giving you about 11 hours. So if you unplug your phone at 7am, it will die at about 6pm without charging. And this is under normal use, not heavy use.
Aside from the battery, the Bionic is a great phone. Call quality is good, but not amazing. The dual core 1GHz processor and 1GB of DDR2 RAM make this phone very very fast. Coupled with 4G, and you have the fastest phone on the market. It is also the thinnest 4G phone, which I love. The 4.3inch screen is big, but not too big, and it's very sharp (similar to the Droid 3). Camera pictures are great, but a little on the cool (blueish) side. I has a lot of accessories to dock and turn it into a "netbook", but I think most people won't find it useful enough to spend their money on. The HDMI port is great, again for those few that use it. There are a lot of other great features, but most people will just enjoy them without really noticing them (I just stuck to the basics for this review).
Cons: I really wish it had dual LED for the camera flash, instead of single LED. I wish it had a better front camera instead of VGA (but in reality, very few people will skype with their phone because it only works well on 4G or wifi and only a handful of your friends will have a 4G phone). Battery life is better than other 4G phones, but it's still not good.
Conclusion: If you want 4G (and are willing to deal with shorter battery life), this is the phone to get. However, if you wait until October 6th, the HTC Vigor will be out which will have a dual core 1.5GHz processor, 2meg front camera, and Beats by Dr. Dre. But battery life on the Vigor is unknown and if it's worse than the Bionic, then it's not worth it.
Solid entry to Verizon Wireless' LTE family. September 10, 2011
Reviewer: M.D.C. "The Franchise" (San Diego, CA) -
For the record, I have used many phones over the years. A lot of the devices focus too much on features and very little on functionality. I prefer phones that meet 3 basic criteria:
1: Can last at least 18 hours with regular data usage, including web, email, and Market.
2: Are physically attractive, feel good to the touch, and are not clunky to use.
3: Can make and receive calls when needed, which isn't often, but still.
The Droid Bionic meets objectives 1 and 3. It doesn't do so good with objective #2. But before I get to that, let me give you some background on the device.
The Droid Bionic is actually quite a bit tardy. It was scheduled to come out at least 3 months ago, but got delayed and nobody really understood why. Various leaks showed specs that admittedly were not impressive compared to others such as the Droid X2, but the Bionic has the singular distinction of being the first dual core 4G LTE smartphone on the market. Additionally, the base specs of the Bionic were stronger than most other dual core phones in the arena. It was speculated that Verizon temporarily passed on the Bionic so as not to cut into potential sales of the Apple iPhone 4, which it started carrying some months ago, but that's never been confirmed.
On the surface, the Droid Bionic does not look any more impressive than any of the other Motorola Droid phones. It bears a striking similarity to the others in general form factor, if not a little bit smaller, but it's the internals that make it stand out. Featuring a dual core 1GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, 4GB of application storage, 8GB of internal memory, and an included 16GB SD card, this phone is packed to the gills with power. It seamlessly runs the 2.3 Android Gingerbread operating system. There is also a front-facing camera capable of decent shots in daylight, and a rear-facing camera that shoots at 8 megapixels with automatic focus and lighting adjustments. It also can shoot 720p video, and with the SD card, you'll be able to do quite a bit of shooting before you need to buy another card.
SCREEN AND BATTERY
The screen on the Bionic is large and fairly bright, but it isn't going to surpass that of the Droid Charge or any other AMOLED screen in terms of contrast. That's okay, because even at near maximum brightness, the included battery barely breaks a sweat under continuous use. Coming from the HTC Thunderbolt where one could easily run the battery down 10% in an hour, the Bionic barely shrugged at continuous 4G and WiFi data access, marrying both corporate and personal push email, web browsing, Amazon Cloud Player streaming, Market downloading, and YouTube video watching. It got to the point where I was purposely trying to get the battery to yell, to no avail. That's the way the phone battery should be - working FOR the user, not against it ala the Thunderbolt.
The newer Gingerbread features some power savings features that likely would help with the Thunderbolt if they ever release it for that device. There is a battery mode that works similar to the way Windows manages power profiles. You can even create your own custom profile, which has replaced the old data usage peak/off peak by applying it to the whole system. You can designate periods of time where your phone will work at peak processing power, and other times where your phone will not, which conserves battery when you're in different locations or situations. There's also a data saver mode, where you can force applications such as the browser and email to work in a limited capacity (but still do their job) while the saver is on. Combined with the screen auto brightness, it's really easy to manage power on the Bionic.
All that said, I want to tell you that data saver is NOT on, battery mode is on maximum performance, email is push and background data is enabled (I don't leave GPS on though for security reasons). I have streamed Amazon Cloud Player and YouTube, and I have navigated the Market extensively getting my apps back. It's been 1 hour since I charged the device and the battery is still at 100%. That's absolutely insane. Mathematically, that means the device will still have juice tomorrow even if I don't charge it. As it should be.
Caveat: Motorola's batteries count in increments of 10%, rather than 1%. So this statement effectively means that with heavy usage, and considering how battery hungry 4G and the screen can be, I was still well above 90% battery an hour later. This might seem to be overstating, but again, dual core + 4G + bright screen + wafer thin battery + push email + Market downloads + continuous usage? It's impressive no matter how you slice it.
SOUND AND AUDIO
Speaker quality was quite good, though I did notice at louder levels that there was some static distortion coming from the speaker grill itself. My guess is that the speaker membrane had a difficult time with certain lows; the speaker is definitely cleaner sounding than the Droid Charge, louder than the Thunderbolt, but not quite as rich. That's partially due to the SRS enhancements found in the Thunderbolt that lend themselves to more distinct bass; the Bionic absolutely spanks every other phone I've heard in general treble and clarity of audio. You'll hear instruments you didn't know were in your favorite songs. Mind, the Bionic does feature equalizer settings and presets, but they just can't hold a candle to SRS or even Beats Audio for true "punch". This may or may not be important to you, but I note it for reference.
CALL QUALITY (womp, womp, waaa...)
I could only find one true letdown on the Bionic: outbound call quality. Inbound was fine, because as I said before, the speaker is clear and crisp no matter what you're listening to, but the outbound was just not up to par for a device this expensive. Obviously the focus these days is on the data experience, but I had hoped that the Bionic would buck this trend. Sadly it did not: the microphone muffled my voice so badly that even I struggled to understand what I was saying when I heard it played back to me. This applied whether I was doing straight mouthpiece or speakerphone calling and I'm not sure why it was so bad. I can only guess that Motorola was attempting to do some noise cancellation and overdid it, or that the microphone itself is of poor quality. In this day and age of Bluetooth headsets that can make you sound like you're standing in front of a person talking, I found this rather inexcusable given the price point.
HDMI ON BOARD
The Bionic also features a mini HDMI port that can be used to mirror the phone's display to an HDMI-supporting device. I should point out that when I say "HDMI-supporting", I really mean HDCP supporting, because some devices will not accept the input correctly. Most newer TVs will not have an issue, but some receivers may flicker in and out as they struggle to maintain the HDCP handshake necessary to sustain an HDMI connection. This isn't a big deal for most people, but some may try to buy the dock or a mini HDMI cable thinking they're guaranteed to stream their Netflix out only to find it not working; that's not the device's fault, and you may need to do some retooling (read: buy newer versions of) your media equipment.
CAMERAS AND VIDEO
The quality of the camera is a mixed bag. The front facing camera is definitely superior to other "Not quite smartphones" like the Xperia Play, but it pales in comparison to others such as the iPhone 4. It'll do, if you're filming yourself outside or in a brightly lit room, but don't expect photo-realism out of the front. The rear camera is something totally different: sporting a rather high 8 megapixels, it can give you decent 4x6 prints if you want it too. Any larger and you'll notice quite a fair amount of noise to the picture; most of the noise is chromatic noise, which means you'll see a lot of what look like "dirty" color speckles when the photo is zoomed in. You can obviously do post-processing to clean this up, but again, I note it for reference.
Where the Bionic does well is with close-up color correction. Taking photos at a distance yields decent-looking photos, but the problem is that the color correction tends to be a bit much, losing the true intent of the shot. If I were shooting a lake surrounded by mountains during an overcast afternoon, I might expect that the water is a darker blue or even clear, since it's not reflecting a clear sky. The Bionic will attempt to "color" the water a little, destroying the moment somewhat. It's not a deal breaker, and obviously you can do manual corrections, but I do look for a little more intuition out of camera phones if I'm paying for them.
This doesn't apply to close-ups: in a close up, you want to capture the moment, but correction becomes even more critical, as there is likely some focal point to the shot and you want it as detailed as it can get. This is where the Bionic shines - fine details, where it can blur and layer backgrounds with the best of DSLRs. The image quality isn't going to outdo a $600 camera, obviously, but I was impressed with what I got out of the Bionic in close-up shooting.
As well as static photos, you can also do video recording at 720p, up to 1080p. I would put the quality of these videos somewhere between a FlipCam and the "kinda sorta HD camcorders" you buy for $80 at Best Buy. The thing to note is that the Bionic will obviously last longer, and comes with the capacity to manage all of the videos you shoot. Also, depending on what apps you use, you can send videos straight to your DropBox, email/MMS them to a friend, or send them straight to YouTube (this I wouldn't recommend, but you could, ala Zack Ryder).
BUILD QUALITY AND CHASSIS
General build quality was around a 7 out of 10. While it felt like a solid device - as do all Motorola Droid devices - I was really not impressed with the flimsy plastic back. The snaps on the bottom especially are just waiting to break with repeated removal to get access to the SD card (which fortunately is not located under the battery as with HTC devices). It didn't really make the device that much lighter, as according to my scale, it's the exact same weight as the Thunderbolt, whose plastic battery cover is a little less flimsy. I was also secretly wishing for a kickstand, but I know that would have cut into the $40-$100 docks that they like to sell these days. I had no complaints about the front of the device though, featuring a very attractive smoked chrome finish and the Corning Gorilla Glass on the screen. It's mind boggling that they went to such expense for the front, but not the back, of such an otherwise awesome device. Something else that still confuses me is just how thin the battery is: it's wafer thin, yet somehow has more mAh than other phones with batteries nearly twice the thickness. Are we nearing battery technology improvement at last?
I mentioned early on that the Bionic did actually fail in my second criteria. That's not a knock on the build quality, rather the design, for being mostly uninspired. There are some questionable decisions with regard to the shape of the device - it's not conducive to holding it in one hand at all. Normally, a phone feels better when its back is curved to match the natural curves of one's hand, but maybe I'm unique in that opinion. Also, when attempting to remove apps or widgets from any of the various home screens, placing the trash at the top seems a very odd design decision. I can see why it might make sense in some cases, but maybe having the trash in both the top and bottom of the window would have been more practical. I'm much more comfortable with a bottom-placed trash than a top one. Obviously I don't do much widget or app management, but just saying. Also, on a selfish note, I am getting slightly irritated with the tendency towards right-handed phone owners, speaking of the volume rocker. It's not just Motorola, all of them are guilty of this one, but I generally will just use the on-screen sound manager instead.
I'm going to go out on a limb and speculate that people considering the Bionic are either (A) Thunderbolt converts or (B) Blackberry holdouts who want 4G but don't like any of the current crop of devices. The Thunderbolt converts are really going to have to think about the decision: the Bionic definitely has superior battery and is a fast, seamless experience, but the cost is nearly 3 times that of the Thunderbolt for the same 4G signal. One must ask themselves if the battery boost is really worth $200 more dollars AND a new contract that may remove the previous 5G/$30 package if you do a new agreement.
In the end, the Bionic is a solid contender for anyone considering a great device with great speeds. You'll want to be cognizant and aware of the potential for overcharging due to Verizon Wireless' new data plans and the caps, and the form factor and build quality may be a turn-off for some. Still, if you're itching for the best on the market, the Bionic is it...for now.
Why the Bionic? September 19, 2011
Reviewer: E. Dunn (Fairfax, VA) -
Edited: Oct 8 update, after the original review.
I've had the option to upgrade for nearly a year. When I was doing my shopping, I started to realize after the Droid X2 came out that I had to have three items in a phone.
2. Front facing camera (for video calls).
3. Dual core processor.
I also realized I wanted a phone from Motorola. I had the original Droid for a long, long time and Motorola has really come through on delivering solid, nearly unbreakable phones. I've compared them to HTCs in the past, and frankly, there is no comparison.
I've seen the pros and cons compared in other reviews, and I think they have it covered. The screen is AWESOME, and Motorola-like durable. The phone is FAST. My old Droid had gotten VERY clugy. The lack of available RAM (I believe the original Droid shipped with 256MB) is totally dwarfed by what the Bionic has (1GB). Installing Netflix was a breeze. I literally had the new movie "Tangled" playing on my phone within five minutes. (I already had a login.)
Motorola added some really nice add-ons for this phone. Zumocast is one of the coolest things you'll ever see on a phone. ANYTHING you can play on your PC can play on your phone. That almost makes the phone worth NOT re-doing the ROM on it. Having said that, the ability to ROOT the phone is already out there on various websites. The "modding" community is hard at work, already.
Quickoffice - you might pay $10 for a comparable app on the Market (allows you to view Microsoft docs, etc). Oh, and Motoprint! Another very cool app that allows you to print (wirelessly, even) from your phone, and you could easily pay $5 or more for that type of application.
The camera is FAST. I was going a little crazy on my old Droid when I'd miss pictures due to it taking so long just to load the camera app. The video is gorgeous and the available space with the shipped phone (about 30GB) - wow.
One last thing - I have a kindle. And the kindle app looks great on this 4.3 inch screen.
Oct 8, 2011. I've been using the phone now since it launched (almost a month). I hate screen protectors, and I haven't been particularly careful with my phone, and I don't use a case. I usually throw it (like my original Droid) into my carrying bag or a pocket. NO scratches! Yep, gorilla glass comes through again. The phone is just a delight. The back of the phone isn't metal like the Orginal Droid, however, it's got an extremely pleasant texture to it. It just FEELS good to hold.
I've never seen this phone (as of yet) reboot on its own, or have a full-system crash. The dual core processor really flies. I've shown the phone to some friends, and invariably they are amazed by it. I have one friend who has the Galaxy S on Sprint, and he's about to change carriers to get this phone. Another friend has the original Droid still and can't print what he says about my phone!
Having said all that, my one "con" about this phone, is I have no idea why they moved the buttons around on the bottom. I'm very used to the "back" button being on the far left of Android phones, and for some reason, it's second from the right. That and the power button is on the top left of the phone, and I'm very used to it being on the top right.
Also, I had very much wanted to buy the Lapdock for this phone to see if it would double as a laptop for me. However, I've heard nothing but bad reviews about it, so I ended up buying a Toshiba tablet instead. I love my tablet, but I'm a bit disappointed that Motorola struck out again on its attempts at making a good lapdock. (The one for the Atrix, which isn't compatible with this phone, also was not a hit.) The $379 price tag is also a huge prohibiter.
One thing I learned about my Droid - wait a few months, like, say, the launch of the next "new thing" before going overboard on attachments for the device. I don't even have the desktop port, since they're hard to find at a discount. However, once the Google phone comes out in October/November, I fully expect the stands and lapdocks, et al, to be drastically reduced in price. I bought the desktop charger/port for my droid for about $12.50 though they originally retailed for $29.99.
Worth the wait! September 11, 2011
Reviewer: Ken "rathcullenarms"
Hello true believers. I was eligible for an upgrade about a year ago and couldn't bring myself to upgrade before a decent 4G device was on the market. My previous phone was a Blackberry 8330. The Motorola Droid Bionic is obviously in a different league. I am a Costco member, so I took advantage of their deal with all the accessories. I paid $279, $20 less than the Verizon Wireless retailers. Amazon's price is even better if you won't use all the accessories that Costco throws in for free. I was hesitant to be buy the phone before actual hands-on reviews but I took the Nestea plunge. I am a realist and I expected some bugs, but I have been on the Motorola Droid Bionic for the past 3 days and I can't find anything wrong with it. I have used friends' iPhone 4 and HTC Droid Incredible devices, so my frame of reference is not only a Blackberry. The 4G is incredibly fast with the dual core processor. I don't get 4G coverage at home, so I just connect through my WiFi. I do get 4G at work and won in every competition with other 3G devices. I convinced at least 3 co-workers to get the Motorola Droid Bionic. I highly recommend the Motorola Droid Bionic. Stay thirsty my friends.
Disappointed October 21, 2011
Reviewer: Hunt N. Peck
Even though I was eligible for an upgrade in June 2011, I waited patiently for this phone to be released in September. In fact, I waited 5 weeks after its release before I decided to purchase it in order to see if there were any major bugs or flaws in the hardware or software before committing to purchase the phone. I checked the Verizon customer reviews early in October and the phone had a 4.5 star rating with over 1100 reviews.
Based on that, I bought two Bionics (one for me and one for my wife) at Radio Shack on October 10, 2011 for $199 each. Right away, the phones exhibited a major problem staying connected to the Verizon network. I live and work in solid 4G areas. Yet these phones would constantly switch between 4G and 3G service, and then lose all connectivity to the network. They both would do this even while sitting motionless on a table or desk in a solid 4G area. The only way to re-establish connectivity was to pull the battery or toggle the airplane mode on and off. When the phone lost service, then internet and navigation were also lost. This became a major problem rendering both phones useless except for making phone calls.
I did a quick Google search on "Droid Bionic problems" and discovered that many other Droid users are experiencing the same dilema, which greatly reduces the usability of the phone. The rumor on the internet is that Verizon and Motorola will push out a software update in November 2011 that is supposed to address this loss of connectivity. However, I could find nothing from Verizon itself confirming that a problem existed and that some relief was coming.
Since I really liked the phone and wanted it to work, I called Verizon tech support on October 18 in the hope that they could get the phones to work. However, the tech specialist I spoke to denied knowledge of any problems related to the Bionic and told me that I was the first person she had ever spoken to complaining of this loss of connectivity. Her advice to me was to return the phone. On October 20, I returned the phones to Radio Shack for a full refund. While at the store, the store owner showed me on his computer that Radio Shack had just pulled the Bionic from its shelves and labelled it "unsellable."
Just some other observations -- the 8 megapixel rear camera is terrible. The pictures it takes are fuzzy. The 3.2 megapixel camera in my old Blackberry is way better than this camera. Also, one of the two Bionics we bought refused to wake up after sitting in the charging dock over night. The only way to get it to work was to do a battery pull. I learned from doing a little internet searching that this is also a frequently encountered problem. On several other occasions when turning on the phones after a charge in the Motorola dock, they showed a black screen with instructions for transferring data, instead of the normal start up screen. Turning the phones off and then on again fixed that problem temporarily, but contributed to my opinion that something isn't right with these phones.
Since I had little confidence that replacement phones would be better, I took the Verizon tech support advice and just returned the phones. I'll wait for a better product.
If you are considering this phone, please do yourself a favor and make sure that Verizon has fixed the problem before you lay down your money and make a commitment. Also, Google "Droid Bionic problems" and get smart before you buy. Don't trust the Verizon customer reviews -- it appears that most of those people write reviews too soon, before they get the full experience of ownership.
Indestructible February 6, 2012
I've had this phone since mid October 2011. I love everything about it. I was initially holding out for the IPhone 5 and when it never came out. I looked at the Verizon phones in comparision to the IPhone 4s. On paper it looked great. And I've been nothing but happy since I've had it. LAST NIGHT, I accidentally left my Droid Bionic in my sweater pocket and washed it in the washing machine and put it in the dryer for 40 minutes. As I was emptying the dryer I pulled out the battery in dismay. The phone was in three peices. Top, battery and back. I put the peices together and IT WORKS!!!! Can you believe that. The power button has come off and I have to use a paper clip to turn it on but the PHONE WORKS!! My pictures are still there, all of the programming is safe. I've changed my settings so my phone doesn't shut off. This way I don't wear out the on/off area. I can't afford to pay for this phone at full price. Thankfully I won't have to!!!!
Durable peice of equipment!!!!!
BUY 4000mah battery...won't be sorry December 26, 2011
Reviewer: Robert (Sarasota, FL, United States) -
Most reviews say what needs to be said . I am a heavy data user. This phone has an amazing battery life when u add the 4000 mah battery to it. This phone is my Internet connection via mobile hotspot, with the recent upgrades it now handles upto 8 devices. While support basically stopped when Razor came out, Motorola knows its still out there.
How this phone is used and when:
Mornings over cup of coffee : e-mail,banking n Internet research via mobile hotspot via IPad 2
Through out day : mobile hotspot IPod Touch 32gb 4th generation research n general Internet cruising - Netflix
Nights: Netflix directly to TV via HDMI also mobile hotspot via IPad 2 n daughters Kindle Fire n Wi-Fi to daughters TV
That is a typical day with battery lasting whole day plus some....
NO OTHER SMARTPHONE HAS THE CAPABILITY OF ADDING SUCH A LARGE BATTERY THIS FACTOR ALONE MAKES THIS A BEST BUY.true IPhones have a CASE that equals this but no HDMI OUT! Consider ur usage of your smartphone mine replaced the cable company Brighthouse.
Could this be the Droid you've been looking for? September 11, 2011
Reviewer: A. Dent "Aragorn" (Minas Anor, GD) -
Well... it's not for me :) but for my kid it is 'the One' and at the time I'm writing this it does seem to be the best smart phone in existence. But, again, this is for one of my kids (reward for good grades) and he just loves it.
To make it short and sweet, this is what he/we like about it:
+ Big, super-crisp display. It's not the only Moto phone this big but I don't think you can get much bigger and still call it a 'phone'.
+ Great processing power. Didn't notice any slow downs. Actually you CAN talk on the phone AND watch a video or surf the Web at the same time.
+ 1080p video. Being able to shoot true HD, now THAT's entertainment. Finally it's time to relegate our beloved Mino HD (recently orphaned by Cisco) to secondary video taking device.
+ True HD output through HDMI cable (see above)
+ Lots of memory. 1GB or internal RAM, helps with multitasking, 16GB built-in storage, up to 32GB can be added through SD card.
+ Oh... I forgot, 4G, of course. Faster loading when surfing, streaming. Just downloaded Netflix 1.3 and it's quite decent.
+ Good quality built-in speakers.
+ Best platform for Gingerbread. Runs everything effortlessly, cleanly and flawlessly. Looking forward for the sure to come Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade.
+ Virtual keyboard not so bad.
+ Verizon bloatware not as annoying as we feared.
Seriously, we can keep calling these 'things' phones for lack of a better word but the Bionic is the least phone of all smart phones currently in existence. Sure, you can make and receive calls but... it's really secondary. I found that I'm spending more 'phone' time on Google voice on my desktop and my kid on Skype than on an actual 'phone'. But that's a different story.
The 'not so good' things are all minor. Well mostly minor.
- Price. Considering the 2-year contract is quite steep.
- Physical footprint. Not the thinnest, can't fit all pockets easily, there's a bulge at the camera but I can live with that in exchange for great HD video.
I've read some complaints on 'battery life'. In our case battery life got actually better after the first couple of charging cycles. My kid is telling me that one nightly charge is all he needs at this time unless he's streaming movies for hours.
For anyone who can afford it and doesn't mind 'Verizon', the Bionic is the best there is.
Great 4G Phone January 27, 2012
Reviewer: Samuel Clemens
I won't rehash what some of the other reviewers have said, but I will tell you that this is the best phone I have ever had. It is incredibly useful and has almost replaced my laptop entirely. Let me explain:
1. Screen: The screen is large enough to type documents (using the keyboard accessory), or watch movies/tv shows. While the color is not as bright as the Droid Razr (which my parents purchased), the screen has never been an issue. Some people complain of pixelization, but I rarely notice it.
2. I purchased the motorola bluetooth keyboard, and now I can bring my phone to the library and use it instead of my laptop. I don't need to buy a tablet because the screen/keyboard combo works perfectly. I HIGHLY recommend buying the keyboard.
Other than that, what all the other reviewers have discussed is pretty accurate, and I am very glad I bought this phone.
rough start, but getting better. January 3, 2012
Reviewer: Nick (Wisconsin) -
********* UPDATE **************
I am still liking my phone and Verizon just pushed out an update to upgrade the android OS to Ice Cream Sandwich (4.04). The update for me has been great. It's almost like getting a new phone. There are roomers that it will be upgraded to Jelly Bean, I hope it's true. So far the upgrade to ICS has been flawless. It's faster, smoother, and has more features on it. So glad they did that. The Bionic's hardware is good enough to handle this new version too.
I ordered my bionic from Verizon and to save a few bucks I wound up ordering a certified used bionic. It was repackaged and looks brand new, not one flaw on it. There really is no sign of it being used.
Background for my review, I have been on the original Motorola Droid and just upgraded to this phone.
Issues I had the first day:
I had to hard-restart it a few times (pull the battery). I did a system update and then everything stared working better as far as the operating system goes.
Another issue I had, was it kept dropping 4G network connection and then only reconnecting with a reboot or messing with the network settings, such as turning airplane mode on and off or turning 4G on and off. It was unable to switch between networks 4g, 3g, and 1x. If I lost 4g it was unable to connect and would drop my data connection. Because of this issue I was going to take it back.
After reading about issues Verizon was having with their data networks that month, I decided to wait until another week before I took it back. After a release from Verizon came out saying they have fixed several data network issues, I've had little problems since that came out. It still drops connections but rarely does it drop the data totally. I think with 4G being so new and the new philosophy of pushing things out before they are tested and running.
In comparison to the droid, this is amazing. Very little choppiness. Apps run smooth and fast. The effects on the phone are nice.
Streaming video with a high resolution is nice on this phone, even without the HDMI output the phone's screen is very large and makes watching videos better too.
Awesome! Speeds are so fast. It takes about 2 seconds for a song to download from Amazon MP3. Streaming videos in high def is great too, never sitting waiting for the video buffer to fill up. You can pretty much do anything when you have a 4G connection. I've also had good luck with 4G, almost everywhere I go I wind up getting some sort of 4G connection.
I have not had that many issues with the battery that people say they have. I have my phone on playing music most of the day at work and still have plenty of battery for the night. The thing that drains the battery the most is the screen being on, surfing the web, and streaming video. I would still recommend having a charger, but that is no news to someone that uses a smart phone. The people saying that the phone dies after a few hours being idle is just crazy talk. If my phone is idle it will last for days.
Not bad, but nothing special, seems pretty standard for Motorola. In natural light and very bright white lighting (like in a department store) it takes nice pictures and video. The picture gets grainy in poor lighting and the flash will tend to wash out the picture. The pictures are better in the dark the closer you are, but it tends not to be able to focus if the room is not brightly lit during the night.
If you have specifics you would like to know please post a comment, I will try to respond quickly.
An Amazing product for Verizon Wireless from Motorola November 11, 2011
Reviewer: H. Borton (Michigan, USA) -
I have been with Verizon ever since they took over Alltel, and have to say that this latest Droid does not disappoint... much... I have had an Android phone ever since the Original Droid was released. While I have to say the Bionic is the most up to date phone, it has its many many pro's, but a few con's as well that may influence your decision.
Nothing but Pros here! The device feels wonderful in your hand, its not too heavy, and doesn't feel bulky as some people thought it would since it's not as thin as the Droid X. Volume buttons are easy to reach, and even though the power button has been moved to the left side of the top of the phone, it's still accessible and not very difficult. I lied, I do have one con in the hardware department. The battery cover. While it is nice and secure, and don't have to worry about it being removed by accident, thats the thing, it CAN'T be removed by accident. It is fairly tricky to try and remove it if you need to do a battery pull, and usually takes me a good couple minutes to do so. But, when you snap it back into place, it gives you the secure feeling that you don't have to worry about it, and almost forget that there is a battery door there.
Verizon 3G is already pretty good in my area. Verizon 4GLTE will leave you with your pants down! I tested this in Ann Arbor, MI and was blown away as to the speeds this thing was getting. 3G is already about 1-3mbps download for me, but on 4G, I was getting up to 30/mbps download speeds! Triple the amount compared to my friends Sprint EVO3D phone on their 4G network. Definitely not something that disappointed me here. Pages loaded fast, apps downloaded while you blinked! My only con with the network on the bionic, is data connection drops occasionally. Some people have said they experienced only 4G LTE outages, where as I experience a complete data outage. Currently the only work around for it is to either turn on/off airplane mode, or turn off the phone and then back on. Verizon says they are aware of this and was supposed to have an update out already, but are now pushing it to be released by the end of the year.
The bionic hasn't disappointed me at all in terms of speed & performance. The phone handles apps and multi-tasking with a breeze, with almost no lag at all.
This is another one of my main problems. Some days battery life is excellent. I can go the entire day, from 9am-9pm, and still be left with 40-50% of battery life. These are the good days. On the bad days, with the same amount of usage, my battery is already down to 30% in just 5 hours. I'm not sure what the issue is with this, but it has happened to me on 3 different Bionic devices. Like I said, this is the same amount of usage. Some people have had better luck and haven't said anything like this, so maybe I just got the unlucky batch?
The screen is wonderful. The new qHD display is bright and crisp, but does have a few flaws. The one thing I've noticed is in bright light, and the screen off (sometimes on also), you can see grid lines across the screen. While this doesn't bother me much, it does get irritating after a while. The other thing I've noticed is warm colors are off a little, by this I mean, a bright yellow actually looks more like a burnt canary. Not something you really notice unless your used to looking at a specific image. You can see this change also if you plug your phone into an HDTV.
The Bionic is a nice phone. Durable. Sleek. Sexy. Does it have it's flaws? Yes, but so does every new phone when it comes out. Overall though I do love this phone. It works amazingly, and love the HDMI capability. The phone is definitely better than any Droid I have had and/or played with, and would recommend to anyone!
COming from a BB Tour, this must be the future! September 15, 2011
Reviewer: ParadigmPete (New York, NY) -
I've had a BB tour for almost three years, so I may be a little over excited for this phone!
It's snappy as hell! (20MBPS down, 4MBPS up in queens, ny) thats more than double my cable modem speed! Everything opens when I want it to and closes when i tell it to...
Some people complained about a whining in the headphones, i didn't notice it until I read other peoples reviews. It's true, its there, but when actually listening to music it's not noticeable at all, if theres a pause in your music where theres complete silence you might hear it.
The camera can be slow to focus sometimes and doesn't perform well in certain lightning but it still works fantastic.
Google talk video chat works amazingly, altho Skype didn't work for me, but I'm sure it will in the near future.
I think the screen is fantastic, but that's another drawback others have cited. Battery life seems to be pretty good, but i cant tell... I've been mainly near a charger or a spare battery or all times so it's hard to determine. And a spare battery fits comfortably in my pocket. It's very slim, most could probably fit it in their wallet behind their cash without considering it much of a nuisance.
I think the phone is rather slim / sleek looking.
GPS works perfectly.
Can't stress enough how fast this phone is. I have an unlimited data plan, so I've owned this phone for almost exactly a week and I've used 3.54 GB of 4G data... on my old blackberry tour, I would use 150MB a month... just as a comparison... The speed of the phone just makes you want to use it... btw, i stream a lot of video / audio, so maybe you won't use as much. and I've been downloaded tonsss of apps, because this is my first real experience with a good app store.
Incredible Phone September 14, 2011
Reviewer: Raven Daegmorgan "the GreyOrm" (Northland) -
While I vaguely wish it had the Droid 3's keypad, I am highly impressed with the speed and responsiveness of the Bionic, especially in comparison to my previous phone (the original Droid).
The camera in particular doesn't suffer from the same lag as that I found on the original Droid, and I have yet to notice any pausing or stuttering in processor-intensive apps (Angry Birds had issues for me on the original Droid, but has none with the Bionic). Apps open and close in a snap, and so on.
Screen and graphics quality is clear, even if it isn't equal to the iPod, it's quite close! I have not yet been able to test the HDMI port to stream or view media on my HD-tv from the phone, so no comments on that aspect.
It's also surprisingly light and I'm quite happy with the weight, though I keep feeling as though it is fragile because of this. I suspect this is mainly due the difference between the heft of my old Droid and the lightness of this one, and not any actual issues of durability.
The only particular complaint I have is the old "bloatware" issue: you can't uninstall the preloaded apps you will never actually use (the NFL app--not being a sports guy, seeing the little icon in my drawer and being unable to remove it annoys me--the Citrix app, the VZ apps, and a few others). Yes, there are ways around this, so while it is an annoyance, it's a minor annoyance.
Overall, I am highly impressed and quite happy with it!
More like an expensive brick December 15, 2011
Horrible. Can't hold a data connection. Locked bootloader. Updates months behind schedule. Camera is really slow to focus.
Worst part is that these are all known issues and they (Verizon) continue to sell this phone. In the 5 minutes it took me to write this review I watched the phone go from 4g to 3g to 1X to no data connection 3 times....and this happens all day. I have been trying to download 1 app for the past 3 hours with no success.
Motorola just sent out an OTA update last week and it has done nothing to improve the situation. If anything the battery now drains faster than ever. I strongly suggest that you do NOT buy this phone unless you want to be extremely frustrated. Verizon and motorola should be ashamed.
$6 million dollar phone October 13, 2011
Reviewer: J. Venturini "HD Insane" (California) -
Bionic is exactly accurate. We can make it better than it was before. Better, Stronger, Faster. Far & Away the best phone I have ever owned and I have an iPhone4. I have owned this phone for 2 weeks now.
For those of you with battery life issues, try the free app called "dataswitch" It allows you to shut off all data to the phone while still receiving text and voice. Battery life on std. battery is 4 days. Extended battery is 5-7 days. Unless you're a CEO you don't need to be connected to the 4G network while the phone is in your pocket
If you love the NFL (who doesn't?) NFL Mobile is free to all Droid Bionic users. Stream the Sunday Night game and Monday Night game plus NFL Network. It's amazing and video is so clear, you'll think you're watching it in HD. 4G LTE network is blistering fast. Browsing is as fast or faster than most home ISP's.
Saw one person review he has screen or color issues? My guess is he/she has the brightness turned down. No screen or color issues here. Easily control the brightness with the power option in settings. I placed all the options on one of my desktops for easy access.
A fantastic phone. Be patient and learn how to use it, I can't see myself with another phone for at least 1.5-2 years. Thank you Motorola and Verizon!
Great phone except for Bluetooth problems October 1, 2011
Reviewer: jct (Honolulu, HI) -
I love this phone - I hate to give it 3 stars. It's worked great for me except for one MAJOR issue. The Bluetooth capability is crippled. I use a Plantronics Discovery 975. About 50% of the time, when I use a voice command through my Bluetooth earpiece, it crashes the phone. It either fails to respond until I turn off the phone and re-start it, or on several occasions has re-booted the phone all by itself. I took it back to Verizon today, and they said there are many issues being worked on for an update. I hope so.
In hopes that there was some incompatibility with the headset, I purchased a Plantronics Voyager Pro Plus. Same result - phone periodically freezes and refuses to respond after I've used a voice command. On at least one occasion I've had to remove the battery to re-boot the phone.
I've had zero other issues with the Bionic other than the inability to reliably use Bluetooth. But that's a major showstopper. Would I recommend the phone: well, kinda... with hesitation. If they fix the Bluetooth issue, it would be as close to perfect as I have experienced in a phone.
Great, Very Solid Phone September 23, 2011
Reviewer: Cabroncito0518 (DFW) -
This is my first real smartphone. I was using a blackberry storm which was absolutely terrible. I have had this phone for 15 days now, and it has been nothing short of Amazing. The speeds are incredible and the picture is outstanding. The fact is that right now, there is not a better all around phone out.
The first thing i did when i got the phone was call my wife. I asked her what the sound quality was like and she said it sounded just fine. I also heard her with no problems. Scrolling through screens was easy enough. the response is great with very little lag, such as when re orienting the phone from Portrait to Landscape. Finding my way around was a bit tricky at first since i had not owned a Moto smart phone before, but I picked it up fairly quickly.
The LTE speeds are nothing short of Amazing. I can load NFL Network (which comes loaded for free) and be watching live TV in about 5 seconds.
The camera could use a bit of a speed injection. The auto-focus takes its time on occasion, but i haven't played with the settings enough to try to combat this. However the pics do come out very nice. Just as good as my 10mp Olympus point and shoot. The video capture is even better. The 1080p quality on the video shooting is just great. Again, this is compared to my point and shoot.
My biggest complaint comes here... there is no physical photo button. this means you have to tap the capture button on the screen to take a picture. Takes getting used to but is still annoying.
The display itself is great. Sure a lot of people complain about the penTile display, but you know what, I've never had a better display on any phone. I'm never going to be zoomed in so much on my screen that i can notice the pixelation that is present.
This phone integrates Google Services so seamlessly that I think I would be absolutely lost if something happened to my Bionic now. Google Voice, Google+, Calendar, GMail, all of it. It fits in as nicely as if they were features included in the Android software.
The truth is that there will undoubtedly be a better phone out next month, and then another one the month after that, etc... but who cares? If anyone can show me how having a 1.2 or 1.5 dual core is that much faster day to day (not a speed test) than the 1 ghz dual core of the bionic then please show me. I just don't see how those small gains make a difference. The same goes for the display quality. people, this is a 4.3 inch display, not a 60 in TV.
If you dont have a smartphone, or have an older smartphone, there is nothing better than this now, and the phones coming soon will not be that much better, at least enough for 90% of the population to even notice. I have absolutely no remorse at buying this phone knowing that had I waited 30ish days I could have gotten a better one. This is the best LTE phone out now, and I'll be satisfied with it for the duration of it's life.
Droid Bionic solid - not flashy September 9, 2011
Reviewer: I. Morris
Well to start it off i went to verizon the morning of phone release about 10 min. before they opened and to my surprise there was only one other car waiting. They unlocked the doors and i was the first in followed by only 2 other people. Got the phone and ran home to charge and play with my new investment. My first impression was a nice solid built phone with nothing special on the outside but little did i know the wow inside. The phone is FAST! Pulls up apps quick and of course 4g LTE is no joke. Very very fast. The screen resolution doesnt look any different than the past droids and the camera only has a single light for flash but honestly i don't care. All i want is a solid well built phone and thats exactly what i have. A true winner in quality and reliability. One thing that sux is the "bloat ware" on this thing. Way too much without the option to erase is stupid. You'll have to root it and that voids the warranty. I do though like a few apps that come with it. Like the Motoprint is awesome. Does a great job of syncing with my wireless printer. Havent printed yet but looks like it will be good. Also like the files app, Task app(which helps me keep up with all my daily running around), Video surf(which i really like. just point it at the tv and it uploads, recognizes the show. you can pick a picture from the clip and post a comment about it on twitter or facebook. I like it), slacker radio(just like pandora), voice command and zumocast. Since we're on apps PDAnet and fildo i recommend. Google fildo and download from the internet. All in all a great under rated long over due phone that im glad i have. Im sure that in the coming months there will be pretty flashy phones with one or two main selling points but will be crap in the overall picture. I think its solid and will last through til my next contract. Almost forgot to comment on battery life. It is great. After i charged it i played with it all day and was only at 60% when i went to bed. Thats awesome compared to the HTC turdbolt and the Samsung discharge. Heck its almost better than any smartphone that i've ever had. Oh and i love how it conjoins all the social network sites into one messaging center. Very smooth merger. Just buy it!
UPDATE: After getting all my apps situated my battery is at about 20% by the time i hit the hay. Still great. With my moderate use. I wish they would hurry up and include skype with video chat for the bionic already. Im ready to test this front facing camera out. Oh i got the otterbox with purchase and the camera hole for the front is a little in the cameras way. Also the screen protector isnt crystal clear either. It's got a slight haze to it which down grades the resolution. Anyone else have this problem? Im gonna take mine back and try another one.
UPDATE#2: Got a new otterbox and the hole is centered and good to go. The haze on the screen protector is still there. I wonder why they do that? Why not crystal clear?
UPDATE#3: Phone keeps going in and out of data service. I work some nights and mainly notice it at night. Went into Battery & data manager in the settings. Went into Battery mode and checked Performance mode. (Default was Nighttime saver.) Seems to help keep my data from going in and out at night. Should i say not has much anyways.
UPDATE#4: All is finally well with the phone. Got an update that fixed all my issues. However i did still have some data drops. I talked to verizon and they told me to remove the sims card and replace and hopefully it will solve the problem. If not they said i would have to call H.Q. and they could work some magic from their end and fix the problem. So i tried removing sims card and i thought it fixed it but it started it again. Tried it one more time and ever since then has worked like a champ. I talked to verizon about the Razor and if it had the same problems as bionic and they said no. I would buy the Razor if i were you over bionic but if bionic is cheaper i'd go with it. Bionic will be getting all the future updates Razor will. I hope i am problem free from now on. I'll keep it updated if something changes.
UPDATE#5: Got a new update that improved my battery life. I am getting about an extra hour out of moderately webbing in a day. Great update! Also fixed a youtube issue with locking up. However the load time on videos sux bad all of a sudden. Happened about a week or two after the update. Takes way to long to start playing vids now. Other than that sweet update. I still like my phone and i can't wait for the Ice Cream Sandwich update.
Phone has serious problems October 21, 2011
Reviewer: Michael Barnathan
When my venerable Blackberry finally broke down, I went searching for a new phone and settled on the much-hyped Droid Bionic. Due to where I work, an iPhone wasn't even an option in my search; I wanted an Android phone as a matter of pride. So I started out really wanting to like this phone. But it has some very foundational problems, simply too serious for me to keep it. In only 10 days of ownership I've already found a number of severe breaking bugs in my routine workflow, which I've ranked in order of how likely the average user is to encounter them:
1. You can't download ZIP attachments, or any unknown attachment type, from emails or in the browser. The email app doesn't even give you the option, while the browser will attempt to download the file and immediately fail to download "<Unknown>". This is something so basic that lacking it is a dealbreaker on its own. A quick search reveals that this problem has been present since 2009 with no fix. For such a vital component of email support, this is inexcusable.
(Yet when you attempt to view an attachment which *should* open up a viewer, like a PDF, it instead downloads to some random location on the phone and you need to hunt for it to view it).
2. Facebook and LinkedIn didn't work: I set these accounts up using the built-in Facebook and LinkedIn apps and they worked fine the first time. Great! Then without making any further changes to the account info, they suddenly started returning "invalid password" messages, both at once. I verified that I could log onto these accounts on a computer. Worked fine. Now here's the kicker: I went to *remove* the accounts AND IT REFUSED BECAUSE IT CLAIMED MY PASSWORD WAS INVALID. There is no reason to attempt to log onto an account before removing it! The only way to remove the accounts from the phone was to perform a factory reset. Yes, on day 2 of ownership. Goodbye to my old phone contacts. After performing the reset, I grabbed the official FB and LinkedIn apps and made sure not to create an account using the phone's built-in support.
3. You cannot change the Google account associated with the phone without performing a factory reset, and you cannot use the phone with a Google account that is not signed up for GMail.
4. The battery life is shorter than the average workday, in large part because the phone runs apps in the background even when it is sleeping. I view this as a design flaw rather than an inadequate battery. Certain apps such as JuiceDefender can extend the life quite a bit, but with the serious disadvantage of disabling your data access at inopportune and noticeable times.
5. SSL-encrypted email (SMTP): support is only partial. If you connect to a mail server on "port 587" (techies will know what that means), you probably will not be able to use this phone to send email. To get technical, I discovered after hours of debugging that the phone doesn't support STARTTLS. If you try to send email using a mail server which uses this common mode of encryption, you will get a very unhelpful "Could not send email" message. Fortunately, I own my own mailserver, so I was able to work around the problem: I had to open up another port and reconfigure Postfix to accept SSL/TLS connections on it just to accommodate this phone. Of course, most people will be using other people's email servers and will not have the ability to do this.
Some of these are bugs and some of these are just stupid restrictions which I never thought I would have to deal with on the Android platform. I am really disheartened by this experience, and I am left hoping that the iPhone is better.