It's not just the "world's fastest smartphone", as the Motorola Atrix aims to take on your laptop with its innovative docks.
Editor's Review of the Atrix
The Atrix, best known as Motorola's dual-core superphone, was launched back in January as the "world's most powerful smartphone". It's finally here, but now it's up against a whole array of dual-core handsets from the likes of LG and Samsung. Can the Atrix still keep up, or have Motorola left it too late?
Design & Build
At first glance, the Motorola Atrix looks like your average Moto smartphone, and its solid, well-constructed body is reminiscent of the Motorola Defy. It's fair to say, it doesn't exude high-end design, and arrives dressed all in black with a cheap-looking plasticky back panel. However, it's extremely lightweight at just 135g, and measures in at just 11mm thick. Still, compared to the Galaxy S2, it feels unnecessarily chunky.
Within its casing sits a 4-inch qHD (540 x 960) display, which instantly makes up for its lack of styling. The captive screen is very responsive, and displays bright and crisp images. It may lack some of the fine detail found on the iPhone 4, but the slightly-larger screen size makes multi-touch gestures much more easy to manoeuvre. Another plus point is the screens outdoor visibility, offering natural looking colours and great viewing angles.
The handset's selling point however, is its whizzy internals under the hood. It rocks Nvidia's 1GHz Tegra 2 processor, which although not on par with the 2.4GHz of horsepower boasted by the Galaxy S2, makes switching between apps extremely smooth. The phone also has 1GB of RAM, which is twice as much as most current smartphones.
OS & Interface
Although it arrives running the now-outdated Android 2.2 OS, Motorola is promising that an upgrade to Android 2.3 - otherwise known as Gingerbread - is already in the works. Still, the OS bump will only a few tweaks to the Motorola Atrix, including VoIP calling and NFC support.
When you switch the handset on you'll find all the usual pre-loaded Google widgets, and as an Orange exclusive in the UK, there's also some of the network's applications included (Maps, Wednesdays). However, Motorola has dressed the Atrix in "Motoblur", its homegrown Android skin. We've never been too keen on Moto's overlay, but we're glad to see it's been re-jigged the skin which sort out most of its niggly features. It's focussed mainly on social networking, and enables you to log into multiple online accounts, serving up all of your notifications and updates in one resizable widget. While we found it functional, it's not quite on par with the official Facebook and Twitter widgets just one-touch away in the Android Market.
One feature we couldn't get enough off was the handset's James Bond-style lockscreen. When you first set the handset up, you're asked to scan in your left and right index fingers, which from then on lets you unlock the handset with a simple swipe of your fingerprint. The biometric sensor respond managed to respond extremely quickly, and we found it fun and secure to use.
Multimedia & Storage
There's a 5 megapixel camera round the back of the handset, supported by a blinding dual LED flash.The rear-facing snapper is by no means terrible, but we found it struggled in low-light conditions, and lacked some of the basic options found on most Android phones. Still, there are a few fun feature onboard, including an "X-Ray" mode that makes everything look like a negative image.
The camera can also record 720p HD footage at 30 frames per second. Unlike stills, its dual-core processor made carping footage extremely smooth, and the quality wasn't bad either.
Labelled as one of the world's best multimedia handsets, the Atrix can also playback super-detailed 1080p HD video. However, if using its HDMI connectivity to zip that off to your widescreen TV, it'll only playback in 720p. Still, like the Optimus 2X, theres also wireless DLNA tech onboard, which managed to work seamlessly for music and video.
Browsing the web on the Motorola Atrix is undoubtedly one if its selling point, mainly down to its Tegra 2 innards. There's HSDPA and WiFi connectivity onboard, and the handset managed to juggle 8 open web pages without showing any sign of juddering. The screen's responsiveness is another plus point here, and multitouch gestures are extremely responsive. With Android 2.2 onboard, the phone also supports Adobe Flash, and does so effortlessly.
We were also impressed with the handset's battery life, as it managed to last a whole day on a single charge. Motorola claims this is all down to its Tegra 2 processor, which tends to manage memory and apps better than your standard single core processor.
If you ignore its sub-par camera, the Motorola Atrix is a solid Android smartphone, although it didn't appeal to us like the Samsung Galaxy S2. However, those Tegra 2 innards make for one hell of a speedy experience, and its 4-inch screen is arguably one of the best on the market.
Motorola Atrix News
Motorola has released its official update schedule for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, revealing its flagship Motorola RAZR handset won’t be updated until Q2. This means that Android 4.0 could hit Motorola’s flagship handset as late as June – although things are looking even worse for the rest of Moto’s smartphone line-up. There’s still no [...]
Rockstar Games has released a 10thÂ anniversaryÂ edition of the controversial game Grand Theft Auto III, which is now available to download on iOS and Android. The mobile version of GTA 3 remains largely unchanged, although it boastsÂ updated HD graphics alongside brand-new characters and vehicle models. The controls have been optimized to work on smaller-sized touchscreen devices [...]
T-Mobile has started rolling out Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) to users of the Motorola Atrix, bringing a host of new tweaks to the now-ageing smartphone. Motorola announced the news via Facebook, saying: “The upgrade to Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) is now available for T-Mobile UK Motorola ATRIX owners. Please visitÂ www.motorola.com/updateÂ orwww.motorola.com/myatrixÂ to for instructions and to download.” However, before [...]
Motorola has sent out invites for a UK launch event on November 3, where the firm’s expected to unveil the Atrix 2. So say the TechRadar folks, who have been summoned along to the London-based product launch. Motorola’s given no clues as to what can be expected, but all fingers are pointing to the second-gen [...]
Users of the Motorola Atrix will finally get a taste of Android 2.3 next month, the American-based firm has today confirmed. Speaking to Electric Pig, Motorola confirmed that the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) update for the Atrix will now be rolled out in mid-November, despite original expectations for a mid-September release. This is no doubt the [...]
Motorola Atrix Specifications
117.8mm x 63.5mm x 10mm
Full capacitive touch screen
Type: TFT LCD
Biometric fingerprint reader
Size: 4.0 inches
Resolution: 540 x 960
Interface: MOTOBLUR UI
External: microSD up to 32GB
CPU: 1GHz Dual core
A-GPS with maps
Up to 14.4 Mbps download speed
Up to 5.76 Mbps upload speed
Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
Audio: 3.5mm stereo jack
Data: Standard microUSB
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
5.0 megapixel camera
Auto Focus and Dual LED Flash
720p Video Recording
At 30 fps
Front facing camera with video calling
Battery Capacity: 1930 mAh
Talk Time: 520 minutes
Standby Time: 264 hours
Radio: FM with RDS
Audio supported formats
Playback: MP3, WAV, WMA, eAAC+
Video supported formats
Playback: MP4, H.263, H.264, WMV, Xvid, DivX