With similar designs and many of the same features, and both running Android on the Verizon Wireless network, it would be easy for a casual observer to be stymied trying to choose between the Motorola Droid X2 and Motorola Droid Bionic smartphones. We offer a head-to-head comparison for those trying to decide what device suits them best.
Similar Designs, Similar Features
At first glance, these two Droids have almost an identical design. The Droid Bionic is a tiny bit bigger for sure, but only by about a millimeter in width and height — otherwise they’re almost identical. They even feature the same screen size and resolution, and nearly the same weight.
And the similarity is more than skin deep. Both devices run Android OS 2.3 (Gingerbread), and feature 1 GHz dual-core processors, although the Droid X2 ekes a little more performance out of its NVIDIA chip than the Bionic does out of its Texas Instruments CPU. In Quadrant Standard benchmarking, the X2 averaged 2650 while the Bionic scored a touch lower at an average of 2500. This isn’t a difference you’re going to notice in daily use, though.
The devices feature nearly identical cameras as well, 1080P video output via HDMI, and both include a built-in FM radio for that extra little feature.
But not all is the same on the inside. The X2 has 8 GB of on-board storage, and comes with a pre-loaded 8 GB microSD card; the Droid Bionic comes with 16 GB of memory inside the case, as well as another 16 GB on the included microSD card, doubling what the X2 offers, and matching right out of the box the biggest capacities offered on smartphones today.
The Bionic also has more onboard RAM, 1 GB versus the X2’s 512 MB, allowing for running more and more complex apps when you’re multitasking. If all that wasn’t enough, the Bionic also adds a secondary front-facing camera for self-portraits or video chatting over Skype, if you feel the impulse.
Comfort and Usability
With nearly the same design, the X2 and Bionic come very close in terms of real-world usability. The screen size makes typing the same, and they’re about equally comfortable to carry around.
However, between the two, I enjoyed the Bionic slightly more; it’s better curved edges make it a little more comfortable to hold in your hand, without losing the distinctive Droid look that sets it apart from a dozen other similarly shaped devices.
4G Versus 3G
Here is where the Bionic pulls away from the X2 in spectacular fashion. The X2 features the regular 3G internet speeds that you’ll find on on almost any smartphone, giving you fast internet across Verizon’s very large network. The Bionic, however, supports all that plus Verizon’s smaller but still growing 4G network, offering several times the speed. Speeds which even beat landline internet connections, in the 10 to 20 megabit range.
It may not be strictly necessary for most day to day use, but having 4G available makes the Bionic considerably more future proof, as well as simply more fun to use. It also means that with the advent of more 4G phones on Verizon, you can pull out the LTE SIM card (a tiny plastic square that identifies your phone to Verizon) and plug it into a cheaper phone if you need to, perhaps because you’re going somewhere your expensive Droid Bionic could get lost or broken.
Power In, Power Out
Topping off its speedy access and greater memory, the Droid Bionic drives all that with a slightly bigger battery, holding about 12% more power than the battery on the X2. This gives it an even better battery life in 3G-only coverage areas, although using 4G is more power hungry, evening out the balance somewhat.
In this cybernetic battle royale, the only advantage the Droid X2 has is its lower selling price. Its suggested retail is $100 lower than the Bionic, and the price difference is likely to be even more at most retailers, since the X2 is a few months older and less in demand.
For those who don’t care about more memory or cutting-edge internet access, the X2 might be a nice way to cut costs, since it gives you almost all of the same features as the Bionic. If price isn’t an object, the Bionic is more thoroughly future proofed, and offers more power in the same size package.