Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android smartphone OEMs have pumped out so many handsets based on the open-source operating system-more than 300 varietals worldwide-that many of the latest handsets offer incremental improvements over their predecessors.
Since Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZW) launched the Motorola Droid in November 2009, it has released two Droid updates, each time offering incremental improvements over the first smash-hit Motorola (NYSE:MMI) Android phone. Verizon's popular Motorola Droid X begat a Droid X 2 earlier this year.
It's not a Droid X, but Verizon's Android 2.3.4 "Gingerbread"-based Motorola Droid Bionic could certainly pass for one, possessing a similar hardware design, albeit with an improved aesthetic.
The Droid X and Bionic both have 4.3-inch screens for big multimedia consumption. Both weigh about 5.5 ounces and, at 0.43 inches, are thicker than the average smartphone. The sides of the devices have similar features, including the curved neck of each handset to allow for the 8MP bezel, and micro USB and HDMI output ports. Well, the Bionic has more of a curve, while the Droid X has an awkward bump, anyway.
It's what's under the hood that blows the doors off of any comparison. With a 1GHz, single-core processor on Verizon's 3G network, the Droid X is not a bad handset. That is, until you pick up the Bionic, power it on and begin accessing applications.
Powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor on Verizon's 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE), network, the Bionic proved twice as fast for downloading and accessing applications as the Droid X. I easily saw 10M-bps to 12M-bps download speeds, and 5M-bps upload speeds with the Bionic, which also has a mighty 1GB of RAM.
On the Bionic, I downloaded, installed and opened Google+ for Android in 22 seconds, compared with the 44 seconds to get the app up and running on my Droid X.
YouTube videos loaded fast and looked great, thanks to the Bionic's Quarter High Definition (qHD) 960-by-540-resolution display, which was vastly superior to the Droid X's own WVGA screen, with a resolution of 854 by 450.