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5 Thoughts on the Motorola Droid Bionic Ice Cream Sandwich Update



The Motorola Droid Bionic traveled a long road to where it is now. The device, which was first announced at CES 2011 but didn’t arrive until September of that year and was soon overshadowed by the Motorola Droid RAZR and friends. The Droid Bionic is now an afterthought to those looking for a new smartphone but for Droid Bionic owners, they are amidst another unpleasant situation.

Motorola promised Droid Bionic owners that it would get Ice Cream Sandwich to them in early Q3. Many believed that to mean that it would be out in July. July though, passed without an update and now owners figured Motorola may have meant August 15th as that is the midway point of Q3.

Read: Slow Droid Bionic Ice Cream Sandwich Update Frustrates Owners.

Needless to say, customers are confused and don’t want to endure yet another hardship with the Droid Bionic.

Well, like the HTC ThunderBolt and HTC Rezound Ice Cream Sandwich updates and the Verizon Galaxy Nexus Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the Droid Bionic ICS update. Scenarios, frustrations, piecing together possible rumors, and more.

Here are five thoughts about the Droid Bionic update that I want to share with you.

The Update Should Be Out Already

We have heard that the Droid Bionic Ice Cream Sandwich update might be rolling out in the middle of August. We’ve also head whispers about the update possibly rolling out next week. Both are possible but unconfirmed.

The Droid Bionic looked to be on track for a truly early Q3 release. The update leaked several times and it appeared that Motorola was hard at work.

Then, the Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX ICS updates happened. We’ve heard that the Droid Bionic ICS update would have been out by now had it not been for the buggy Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX ICS updates. Motorola and Verizon have not confirmed this but it’s believable.

Neither wants a repeat with the Droid Bionic. Owners of the device don’t need another chip on their shoulder.

Again, circle mid-August on your calendars but do it in pencil. Android upgrade dates can change in a heartbeat.

No, It Really Should

And while the poor form of the Droid RAZR ICS updates may be the reason for the Droid Bionic’s lack of an ICS update, this is an update that really should have rolled out before either of those devices got the update.


This is a phone that was hyped to no end, was marketed to death, and then was blown to smithereens by Motorola and Verizon with the launch of the Droid RAZR which arrived just a few weeks later.

The least these companies could have done was make it up to owners with an early upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich.

Ice Cream Sandwich Will Make the Bionic Great

Ridiculousness aside, the Droid Bionic is a great phone. We gave it a great review and I enjoyed the time that I spent using it. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will only make it better.

Read: Guide to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

From the new UI, to easier multitasking, to improved Gmail, Android 4.0 ICS makes Android 2.3 Gingerbread look outdated and bad.

The update should only improve on a device that, in my opinion, is still a pretty darn good smartphone.

I’m Glad I Didn’t Buy This Phone

That being said, I’m glad I did not buy this phone. It just seems like torture. First, the release date delay. Then the Droid RAZR release. Then the promise of “early Q3” for Ice Cream Sandwich, which, let’s be honest, is a completely ambiguous term, possibly designed to drive Droid Bionic owners even more mad than they already are.


That’s nerd torture right there folks.

Will the Droid Bionic Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Update Ever Roll Out?

So once the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update arrives for the Droid Bionic, what’s next? Will it get a couple of bug fix updates and then be forgotten about? Or will it get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Google’s latest piece of hardware?

Who knows. Honestly, who knows when it comes to Motorola and Verizon. One would think that the Droid Bionic, armed with a dual-core processor and 1GB will be enough to run the software but who knows.

Let’s hope the companies deliver good news rather than bad news but at this point, I’m not holding my breath, not after everything that has happened to this phone.



  1. julu nair

    08/02/2012 at 11:16 am

    Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX 4G Android Phone, Black 32GB (Verizon Wireless) is better option to bionic ,i got it at cheapest price from here

  2. Diana

    08/02/2012 at 12:35 pm

    Well said! I am an unfortunate owner of a Bionic. I followed the hype before it came out and bought it from Costco when it finally did come out. It came with a LOT of accessories and a bit of a discount, which made it seem a little too good to be true. I should have known better and kept my distance, at least until I saw what other phones would be coming out, but instead I jumped aboard and feel like I’ve been lost at sea ever since. Initially, the phone had a few hiccups like “power cycling” or the terrible camera app, but over time those issues went away. The only issue that has always been a problem and has gotten better or worse with each system update has been the loss of data. About 3 updates ago, the data worked the best. Although I would still loose connectivity, I could open up an app that uses Internet, like Google Maps, and my data would be up again. This last system update has made my data the worst it’s ever been! Sometimes even switching to only CDMA will not fix the problem! It has been extremely frustrating and with the delay to get ICS, it’s been even worse. Bionic users should have gotten an ICS update way before RAZR or RAZR MAXX users. It’s all a big slap in the face! If I don’t get ICS soon, I may have to sell this phone (if anyone will even buy it) and buy something else.

    • Andy

      08/03/2012 at 8:07 am

      I also had the data drop issues you are experiencing. I spent hours on the phone with Verizon technical support to no avail. I went thru a factory reset, got a replacment sim card, and even replaced the phone. Bottom line, they don’t know what is causing the problem or how to fix it. Instead, I took matters into my own hands. I installed the .230 ICS leak and all my problems have gone away. The best part of the leak is that it is reversible once the OTA becomes available. If you are on stock .905, I highly recommend you flash the leak so you can love on your phone again.

  3. warren

    08/02/2012 at 12:53 pm

    Ive been using Motorola phones since the half brick. I’ve seen them screw up many times, but this one was unforgivable. I really like my Galaxy S III.

  4. JohnH

    08/02/2012 at 1:17 pm

    I called Verizon customer service a few minutes ago. A customer service rep checked with another department, and then told me that the ICS OTA should be out in 1 to 2 months.

  5. BradG

    08/02/2012 at 1:57 pm

    I was kind of rushed into buying this phone when my old phone died the day before a trip and if I was into regrets about things as minor as a phone, I would have some about not being more patient. It is however just a phone and honestly it really does work well most of the time. I just try to pretend that I did not get totally scr#wed by Motorola and their repeated misstatements and flat out lies about the update. As long as. I just pretend that ICS does not exist I can live with a good but not state of the art phone. But in the back of my mind I resolve to NEVER EVER EVER EVER buy Motorola again as long as I live.

    • wfm

      08/02/2012 at 11:47 pm

      2 months after the 4s came out, I got a cellphone ticket from the CHP on Xmas eve eve. Result of Apples fixation with its 2small batt. My 4 had its Btooth & wifi neutered by Ios 5.02. Kicked that Apple core to the curb, switched to VZW, snagged a Bionic, and been shaking my head ever since. That is strike 3 Motorola. You’re out, for good.

  6. CB

    08/02/2012 at 4:35 pm

    I am another poor soul. I waited quite a while for this cursed phone to come out. The thing that depresses me the most is that since I waited several months to get it, I’m stuck with it for several months longer before my next update arrives. Honestly, it’s a great phone but this ICS debacle is inexcusable.

  7. db1941

    08/02/2012 at 4:52 pm

    I too have had issue with dropping connectivity on Bionic. When my contract is up and I can get another phone, HELLO APPLE!!! I’ll get an I-Phone and dump the P.O.S Motorola

  8. Breethon

    08/02/2012 at 5:38 pm

    I have owned the Bionic since day one. It is a great phone. I am currently running the ICS 232 leak and have had not network disconnects, everything that was frustrating with it seems to be running smooth. I can’t imagine the thing running better than it does right now. Hang in there Bionic owners (or load the leak) :)

    • Jay

      08/03/2012 at 6:13 am

      How do I load the leak onto my bionic? I’ve watched and watched and watched some more youtube vids and im still not sure how to do it. Any he’ll would be greatly appreciated…

  9. Chris

    08/02/2012 at 7:31 pm

    I got the leaked update for the Bionic and it installed right onto the phone off the sdcard- completely stock without a hiccup. I’ve had it for almost a month now without a single glitch or crash at all. It gets all of the app updates for ICS and the battery life is about the same. So far i’m extremely happy i updated it- its so much smoother than gingerbread. One thing i do miss is being able to turn off the 4G LTE antenna in the settings menu- now i have to have an app to do it.

  10. Morgan

    08/03/2012 at 7:09 am

    Another Bionic bozo here (no offense to the others). At this point, I just want an update! I don’t CARE if it has glitches; I’d rather have an official update with glitches than MORE waiting. All you do with this phone is wait. wait. wait.

  11. corymcnutt

    08/03/2012 at 11:25 am

    I LOVE my Bionic – no issues really since the last upgrade – As fast as hardware/software upgrades, I will be happy with ICS. I will be ready to buy the lastest and greatest by the time Jelly Bean would be offered anyway. I do wish they would come out faster than they do, but I guess Moto doesn’t want a bunch of bugs to upset us even more.

  12. Dean

    08/06/2012 at 3:19 pm

    How do I get the leaked version? does my phone have to be rooted to use it?

    • JohnH

      08/06/2012 at 3:43 pm

      Dean, You do not need to be rooted to flash one of the ICS leaks. Information and the leak files are available on several Bionic forums. Those new to flashing should educate themselves by carefully reading forum threads. It is smart to install files on your PC which should allow you to recover your phone if you soft brick it. Also realize that you would be voiding your warranty and taking your phone off of the OTA path (which you could recover via FXZ.) In summary, know exactly what you are doing before you flash.

  13. Pat

    08/07/2012 at 10:08 pm

    As a Bionic owner and someone who has never owned a phone that wasn’t Moto made I can pretty much say this will be my last Moto. From the phone being completely unusable when it was released to the lack of updating and big fixes, to the razr onslaught making my Bionic obsolete immediately. Right now it’s working great and I hope ICS will further improve functionality. Honesty I never expect my Bionic to see JB, this ICS wait is just salt in the wound…

  14. Lemmy Catuion

    08/08/2012 at 2:08 pm

    What a bunch of babies! I have a Bionic and am basically satisfied with it. Verizon replaced my HTC Thunderbolt with the Bionic. Perhaps that better explains my lack of animus towards Moto/VZW.

    For God’s sake – it’s a Smartphone, not a car or a house. If you think it sucks,buy a new phone. Surely your happiness is worth $600.

    My Bionic serves as a hotspot, email device, MP3 player etc. I beat the crap out of it 10-12 hours a day. While I was initially disappointed that I didn’t have a RAZR MAXX, I would break the RAZR’s screen within the first week.

    I’m running 6.7.2233 ICS which is a considerable improvement. 905 ruined the phone for me. Fortunately, about the time I was starting to whine about ICS – the ICS leak appeared.

    Remember – it’s just a Smartphone.

  15. Robert

    08/09/2012 at 12:33 pm

    From what I have heard, anybody going from a Thunderbolt to a Bionic would be happy. The only phone I heard sucks worse than the Bionic. Moto should be very apologetic to all the people who purchased the Bionic. How dare you? Well, anything to make a buck. Guess thats what they are in business to do. Motorola sure isn’t in the business of keeping it’s customers satisfied. Is there any way we can let Moto know how upset we are? I have gone to their website and there doesn’t seem to be a link to leave a message to the people who matter. All this complaining is getting us nowhere and they do owe us an apology and maybe even a refund for all our troubles. Not like they couldn’t afford it. Just saying, And yes, I did the ICS and my Bionic works great now. The youtube tutorials help me along and when it does finally come OTA I will be able to back track to get that one too. Droid ModderX is the man with the plan. Like they say, proceed with caution. We are not responsible for your mistakes.

  16. joe

    08/10/2012 at 1:47 am

    The bionic is alright. It’s much better than the LG revolution.

  17. Pete

    08/14/2012 at 8:47 am

    I agree with Lemmy. I beat the heck out of my Bionic and it keeps going and going. I am very worried that I will lose the awesome Foxfi functionality when ICS updates. Haven’t flashed or rooted it because I am not that savvy (or maybe just paranoid) but it works very well. (Had to have 1 replacemt because 4g crapped out).

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