The Motorola Droid Bionic has been one of the most expected smartphones on Verizon this year. Why? Because it was supposed to be the first dual core smartphone with LTE connectivity, and it was. It just came a bit later than everyone expected it, and as such, they became a little disappointed with its launch. The Droid Bionic still remains the best LTE smartphone you can get right now on Verizon, but should you get it right away or wait for the HTC Vigor? Let’s see.
Most early adopters care a lot about the performance of their phone, and therefore, usually pay close attention to the processor of said device. The Droid Bionic was delayed quite a lot, so it comes with a processor that is about 6 months old. That’s quite a lot of time in the smartphone market. It has a dual core 1 Ghz OMAP 4430 from Texas Instruments that comes with a rather old GPU, the PowerVR SGX540, but with a 50% higher frequency than the one that originally came with the Hummingbird chip inside the Samsung Galaxy S.
The HTC Vigor on the other hand will come with a dual core 1.5 Ghz Qualcomm S3 chip with a Adreno 220 GPU. At first glance you’d think that Qualcomm’s chip will be 50% faster than the OMAP 4430 CPU, but it’s actually more like a 25% improvement, because the OMAP 4430 is based on Cortex A9, a fully out of order chip, while Qualcomm’s chip based on the Scorpion architecture is still mostly an in-order chip.
As you can see in the image above, Scorpion has 2.1 DMIPS/Mhz, while Cortex A9 has 2.5 DMIPS/Mhz. So a single core of OMAP 4430 will get about 1000*2.5=2500 DMIPS/core, while Qualcomm’s S3 will get 1500*2.1= 3150 DMIPS/core. So 3150/2500=1.26. That’s a 26% higher performance in favor of the S3, because of its higher clock speed. The DMIPS are not the most accurate way to measure a chip’s overall performance, but it gives a pretty good indication of how the chips compare with each other.
Both phones have 4.3″ displays, but the HTC Vigor clearly leads the way here with a higher resolution of 1280×720 vs the Droid Bionic’s 960×540 resolution. Plus, the Droid Bionic is still using a display of the PenTile Matrix variety, which means it looks as if it had 33% less pixels than the already lower resolution of 960×540. The resolution will still be pretty high for a 4.3″ phone, and in most cases you probably won’t notice the pixelation, unless you look very carefully. But if you really care about crisp fonts and images, you’ll want to go with the Vigor.
Motorola devices generally have pretty good battery life in general, when compared to their competitors. Plus, the Pentile Matrix display is supposed to save on battery life, too. We still don’t know the battery size of the HTC Vigor, but in general HTC phones have smaller batteries than their competitors, which usually can translate into a shorter battery life, too.
I like HTC’s aluminum/plastic builds. They feel heavy (in a good way) and very solid. But while the Motorola Droid Bionic is made completely out of plastic, it still feels very solid for a plastic phone, so I don’t think it’s that big of a disadvantage.
If you can’t wait until the HTC Vigor gets released, the Bionic is a good option to pick right now. The good thing is they both have LTE so you have that cleared out of the way. I’d say the biggest advantage of the Vigor would be the HD display and the higher PPI. The CPU is only about 25% better, and the GPU should be slightly better in theory, but it could be a wash because of the higher resolution that it has to power (923k pixels vs 518k pixels)
So, are you going to get the Motorola Droid Bionic or wait for the HTC Vigor instead?