Verizon Wireless is finally offering the Motorola Droid Bionic Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" smartphone to compete with the Samsung Galaxy SII handsets from AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.
Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZW) and Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI) unveiled the Android 2.3 "Gingerbread"-based Motorola Droid Bionic
4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) smartphone, which the carrier will begin selling Sept. 8 for $299.99 with a two-year contract.
Delayed for several months as Motorola worked feverishly to upgrade the hardware and software, the Droid Bionic is the highly anticipated alternative to Samsung's Galaxy S II, which will land from AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile throughout the month
Verizon is not offering a Galaxy S II model
, as it seeks to sell the Droid Bionic and possibly the Samsung Droid Prime
Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" phone next month.
Droid Bionic features a 4.3-inch quarter-high-definition (qHD) display composed of Corning Gorilla Glass, coated with dual-layer anti-reflective protection. The phone is fueled by a dual-core 1GHz processor, which should propel applications nicely on Verizon's 4G LTE network.
The handset's 1GB of RAM supports the photo and file storage needs of most users. There is also an 8-megapixel autofocus camera with flash and 1,080p HD video-capture, paired with a front-facing camera for video chat.
The Droid Bionic features the following:
- Mirror Mode with HDMI out (High-Definition Multimedia Interface cable required) supporting 1,080p HD video playback;
- multi-window options for multitasking with ease when using the Webtop application;
- benefits for businesses with advanced security policies; resizable and scrollable email, calendar and task widgets; device and SD card encryption; preloaded Citrix; GotoMeeting and Citrix Receiver for Android;
- HTML 5 capability; and
- 32GB memory, including 16GB on board and 16GB microSD card pre-installed;
- support for up to 32GB microSD cards.
Droid Bionic is also the launch platform for ZumoCast, a new digital media application that lets smartphone owners access videos, music, pictures and documents stored on their computers to their phone.
The Bionic is also the third Android-based Motorola smartphone to feature a Webtop application that runs a Mozilla Firefox 4.0 browser on a TV or monitor, such as Motorola's Lapdock, which has a 11.6-inch screen.
Motorola's Atrix 4G on AT&T and Motorola's Photon 4G on Sprint also offer this capability. The idea is that the speedy smartphone powers the Lapdock as if it's a PC.
The Lapdock is pricey. Consumers will have to shell out $299.97 for the Lapdock itself, but if they purchase it with the phone, they may receive a $100 mail-in rebate if they subscribe to a minimum data plan of 5GB for $50, or greater.
Consumers who don't need all the email, file and other access offered by the Webtop application and Lapdock tandem may purchase an HD station for $99.99. This will allow users to flash pictures, video and content from the Bionic on any HDTV or monitor via an HDMI cable, which consumers must buy for about $30.
The Bionic goes on sale tomorrow from Verizon Wireless Communication Stores and online at www.verizonwireless.com. Customers will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan, which starts at $39.99 for 450 minutes per month and a smartphone data package, with a base of $30 monthly access for 2GB of data.
Verizon's Wireless Mobile Hotspot data plans are also available, beginning at $30 a month for 2GB, up from $20 a month for 1GB.