Motorola Atrix 4G review: Enter the Atrix

GSMArena team, 15 April 2011.
Pages: 1234567891011Ľ

Introduction

It was the alliance with Android that put Motorola out of the woods. Like every partnership, itís been a series of peaks and dips but every now and then the relationship between Motorola and Android goes beyond a mere marriage of convenience and well into a simmering love affair.

They did it with the MILESTONEs and the DROID X, the BACKFLIP and the DEFY. With the ATRIX 4G, Moto says it has no plans to live in the shadows of other big makers.

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Motorola ATRIX 4G official photos

The Motorola ATRIX 4G is the first dual-core smartphone in the Motorola line-up. Itís also the first to flaunt a qHD touchscreen. Thatís as solid as credentials get. Add the fact itís the first handset for Motorola to support the fast HSDPA+ network (hence the 4G moniker) and youíve got yourself a Droid thatís not afraid of what comes next.

Dual core is certainly the next big thing in mobile phones and the Motorola ATRIX deserves credit for being among the first Ė our bad really, this review isnít exactly on time.

But there are other bold decisions that Motorola had to make. The HD and laptop docks for one Ė though the concept is not exactly original, Motorola is trying to make it mainstream. The added fingerprint scanner is not new either but well forgotten old does just as well. Plus, it will satisfy the privacy freak in all of us.

Anyway, the standard package is what weíre interested in and this is what our review will focus on. The optional extras can wait. The ATRIX is more important to us a phone (a dual-core smartphone, to be precise) than a wannabe laptop or a potential entertainment dock. Letís waste no more time and take a glimpse of the ATRIX 4Gís key features.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G with HSDPA and HSUPA
  • 4" 16M-color capacitive touchscreen of qHD (960 x 540 pixels) resolution, scratch-resistant Gorilla glass
  • Dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 proccessor, ULP GeForce GPU, Tegra 2 chipset; 1GB of RAM
  • Android OS v2.2; MOTOBLUR UI (update to Gingerbread planned)
  • Web browser with Adobe Flash 10.1 support
  • 5 MP autofocus camera with dual-LED flash; face detection, geotagging
  • 720p video recording @ 30fps (to be upgraded to 1080p Full-HD )
  • Wi-Fi ab/g/n; Wi-Fi hotspot functionality; DLNA
  • GPS with A-GPS; Digital compass
  • Fingerprint scanner that doubles as a power key
  • 16GB storage; expandable via a microSD slot
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • microUSB port (charging) and stereo Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP
  • standard microHDMI port
  • Smart and voice dialing
  • Office document editor
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated secondary mic
  • DivX/XviD video support
  • Lapdock and HD Dock versatility
  • Web browser with Adobe Flash 10.2 support

Main disadvantages

  • Not the latest Android version
  • No FM radio
  • Screen image is pixelated upon closer inspection
  • Questionable placement of the Power/Lock button
  • Poor pinch zoom implementation in the gallery
  • No dedicated shutter key
  • Doesnít operate without a SIM card inside

The ATRIX 4G is certainly the most powerful phone Motorola has made so far. With a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB worth of RAM and the ultra low power GeForce GPU under its hood, the ATRIX 4G is set to win the hearts and minds of power users.

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Motorola ATRIX 4G live photos

Garnish all this premium hardware with a 5MP camera with dual LED flash and a 4-inch capacitive touchscreen of qHD resolution of 540x960 pixels, and the ATRIX 4G is more than ready to play with the other dual-core kids.

As for us, we are about to take a closer look at the design and build of the phone and find out if it matches the premium hardware that resides within.

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