Motorola Atrix 4G review: Enter the Atrix

GSMArena team, 15 April 2011.

The Motorola ATRIX 4G retail package

Let’s start with a peek at what the ATRIX 4G has in the way of standard accessories. Along with the handset itself, you will find the two-piece charger-data cable.

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Motorola ATRIX 4G accessories

A great addition to the otherwise routine accessory pack is the HDMI cable, which should save users some cash. Unfortunately, there is no microSD card, nor stereo headphones. Needless to say, the other big accessories – the HD multimedia dock, the laptop dock and the standard dock – are all sold separately.

Motorola ATRIX 4G 360-degree spin

Measuring 117.8 x 63.5 x 11 mm, the Motorola ATRIX 4G is quite compact for a 4” handset. It feels very comfortable to hold in hand and the big 4” screen doesn’t preclude single-hand operation.

Display test

The front of the handset is mainly occupied by the massive 4.0” qHD display with a resolution of 560 x 940 pixels. The capacitive touchscreen has great response with crisp and vibrant colors indoors.

Unfortunately, despite the higher resolution, the ATRIX 4G renders the Android graphics (icons, text and such) rather pixelated when looking at it up close. A bit more digging reveals the culprit - a PenTile matrix.

It's an RGBW matrix, which mixes in a white subpixel, but at the cost of fewer subpixels in total (2 subpixels per pixel rather than 3). For example, the HTC Desire S screen definitely looks smoother even though it technically has a lower pixel density than the Atrix 4G.

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RGBW compared to other matrixes • The Motorola ATRIX 4G display compared to other phones

Despite that shortcoming, judging from our display test, the brightness of the screen is one of the highest we’ve seen - the white subpixel is obviously very beneficial. Contrast ratio levels are okay for an LCD, but not as good as a Super AMOLED. You can find more information on your display test here.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc 0.03 34 1078 0.33 394 1207
HTC Incredible S 0.18 162 908 0.31 275 880
iPhone 4 0.14 189 1341 0.39 483 1242
Motorola Atrix 4G 0.48 314 652 0.60 598 991
Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo 0.05 68 1324 0.10 134 1295
Samsung Galaxy Ace 0.23 160 701 0.34 234 683
LG Optimus 2X 0.23 228 982 0.35 347 1001

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