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In re: The Motorola Droid Bionic

I purchased the Motorola Droid Bionic phone before Thanksgiving this year. I love it. I recommend it to any lawyer looking to purchase an Android smartphone.

The Connected Lawyer, Bryan Sims, also has a Droid Bionic. He loves his.

However, Bryan has some complaints, which I want to address, and which are complaints about any smartphone in general.

Complaint #1: It is big. Yes, the Droid Bionic is bigger than most other smartphones. I don’t mind the weight, and I have an extended battery too (not sure if The Connected Lawyer bought the extended battery.) I carry my phone on my hip because I’m a cowboy because I’m a geek. I was a sucker and made the salesman some extra cash purchased the protective case and hip holster. This adds a little weight to the device too.

Complaint #2: Iffy connections. I agree with this complaint. Sometimes my device suffers data loss, but it’s quick to recover. However, Motorola released a major update (which begs the question why so soon?) that fixes the connectivity problem. To apply the update: Settings > About phone > System updates. After the download, you’ll be on system version 5.5.893blahblahblah. It’s great. I no longer lose connection.

Complaint #3: Contact pictures. Not exactly sure what this is, because all of my contacts have transferred over. I don’t use Exchange server though. Using sync for Google Apps, my Outlook and Google Apps accounts talk like they’re two old friends. Unfortunately, my biggest problem in this arena is organizing my contacts into some meaningful categories in Outlook and on Google Apps.

Complaint #4: Battery life. Yes, more power means more battery consumption. I don’t have this problem because I purchased the expansion, which basically gives me a gazillion hours (I’m not sure how many, that’s just a lie) of use. I also have a car charger/dock and charging cables in my office, so that helps too. I also haven’t experienced much battery drain when using my phone as a hotspot. I suspect that if I had multiple devices connected, that might be a problem.

A couple suggestions to conserve battery life on any device:

  1. Turn off Wi-Fi. This is a proven battery killer. Settings > Wireless & networks > Wi-Fi
  2. Turn down the brightness of your screen. Settings > Display > Brightness
  3. Disable widgets. Widgets, those cute little apps that run in the background and feed you everything from the weather to your social media, feast at the battery buffet.
  4. Turn off background updates and notifications. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Google Voice, Email, and similar apps, always ask for permission to deliver you “timely” information. Unfortunately, these notification updates also feast at the battery buffet. If you’re not interested in knowing what your friends are doing every minute of the day, kill these background updates.
  5. Connect to cords when using a hotspot. I usually connect my Droid Bionic to my tablet or netbook via USB if I’m going to be hotspotting for awhile. This keeps my device charged, and I can still use Wi-Fi, which is faster than the USB connection.
  6. Limit videos. If you’re streaming a lot of Netflix movies, YouTube videos, or NFL, you’re going to use a lot of battery. I’m impressed though. I watched 5 full episodes of Burn Notice, on Netflix, without so much as a hint of battery drain.
Unlike Bryan though, I have one small complaint which I’ll add to his list: call volume. Not sure if it’s my hearing loss, or the Droid Bionic itself, but I notice that when I talk on the phone, the volume is atrocious. Sometimes I can barely hear the other party. It’s likely me, because a slight adjustment of the phone on my ear helps correct the issue. I prefer, although the listener may not, to operate from my car dock using my car stereo.

We both love our Motorola Droid Bionic smartphones. I think any attorney looking for an Android device will be happy with the Droid Bionic. In case you didn’t know, I debated between the HTC Rezound, the Motorola Droid Razr, and the Motorola Droid Bionic.

Update: 9:52 CST – Here’s an actual photo from my Droid Bionic:

4 Responses to In re: The Motorola Droid Bionic

  1. JC says:

    This is nitpicky, but why does no one ever post an actual photo of the bionic? I’ve seen tons of posts on the current release, but accompanied by an outdated photo of what is most certainly not the bionic you’re carrying around in your giant holster.

    • JC,

      I’m not exactly sure what you want as far as an actual photo. The update doesn’t change any of the core features, the update merely fixes some small issues. So that might be one reason everyone grabs “old” photos.

      The other might be that since I use my Bionic as my primary camera (HD is awesome), I don’t have another equal device to take updated photos.

      That said, you can see pictures of the Bionic on the Motorola site: http://goo.gl/J9vbx.

  2. JC says:

    Like I said it’s nitpicky. I’ve read many things to date on the bionic and without fail they are accompanied by photos that are not of the actual phone but an entirely different model that was never released and with an entirely different casing. It just seems strange.

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