WARNING: We are not responsible for any destruction of data, phones, or small animals resulting from your use of these instructions. Utilize them at your own risk. If you brick your BIONIC, head to this link.
OK, DROID BIONIC owners - I think it's finally safe-ish (well, as safe as it can be for the moment) to start tinkering with your phone a little. There's enough information out there now to reliably root, backup, and de-bloat your phone - with the ability to unbrick if you screw something up.
The Android dev community has a well-deserved reputation for releasing new versions of ROMs at breakneck speeds, and they're not slowing down with the newest kid on the block, the Motorola DROID BIONIC. In fact, @cvpcs has already ported CyanogenMod 7 to the device, and though he isn't ready to release it just yet, he has put out a video to whet our appetites:
Of course, since this is the very first time the BIONIC has successfully booted into CM7, there are plenty of bugs, including:
No radio connectivity
Issues with battery reporting
Regardless, this is certainly a viable first chapter in the BIONIC's ROM development, and we look forward to the continuation of the saga.
A few months ago, I reviewed the Droid X2 and came away unimpressed. Performance was mediocre despite the powerful dual core Tegra 2 CPU, and more importantly, the PenTile display used by Motorola was a step up on paper and a huge step back in practice. Fast forward a few months and I've landed a Motorola Photon 4G (slightly behind schedule thanks to a few logistics issues, but better late than never!) I'm happy to report that despite seeming like it's almost the same device inside, it's quite a different beast this time around.
Did you recently do something horrible to your Droid Bionic? Tired of staring at that red Motorola logo? This freshly released recovery file will have your bionic running like new in no time.
Interestingly, Motorola has changed the recovery file format from the tried and true SBF file to the XML based FXZ file. There's isn't a huge difference between the new and old file format, but according to Brief Mobile's head honcho, Kenneth Pennington, FXZ is "more transparent and customizable." So there's that.
Sprint's Motorola Photon 4G, one of our favorite devices on this network, is receiving a small over-the-air update that will bring it up to version 4.5.1A-1_SUN-154_6/45.2.7.MB855.Sprint.en.US. The only publicized fixes are related to Wi-Fi, with users over at Android Forums reporting improved performance.
As always, wait for the update to pop up or force the check by going to Settings > About phone > System updates.
We may have already featured the Bionic for $180 from Amazon Wireless, but that deal only applies to new contracts, so existing VZW customers are left paying nearly full price. It's always hard to get a price break while using an upgrade, as the best deals are generally reserved for customers looking to switch carriers.
However, Wirefly has a deal going right now where anyone can grab this LTE beast, for $175 (normally $250) by using coupon code BIONIC75, regardless of whether you're a new or existing customer.
Well, what do you know? Looks like Moto hasn't forgotten about the R2-D2 variant of the Droid 2 after all. We've seen the Gingerbread update come and go for the Droid 2 and Droid 2 Global, and now it's time for our little robot themed friend to join the party.
The update brings all of the same features and enhancements of the original Droid 2, and should be hitting devices starting today.
If you're one of a handful of people who have been wondering whether or not the new Droid Bionic has FM Radio capabilities, the folks at Android Central forums have confirmed that it does, and that the radio APK from the Droid 3 will let you listen whenever you want. It definitely works on our review unit:
The only thing required for the APK to work is a set of headphone plugged into the phone to act as an antenna.
US Cellular just sent out a presser for the upcoming Motorola Electrify, which is basically a rebranded Photon 4G minus WiMax. There's little doubt that this will be US Cellular's flagship device, as it's far-and-above their current highest-spec'd device:
4.3-inch qHD display
1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor
16GB internal storage
8MP rear camera, VGA front camera
The Electrify will be available sometime later this month for $199 with a two-year agreement.