The Motorola Atrix was called revolutionary when it debuted at CES and won many awards. In March, at CTIA it won best smartphone E-Tech Award. After testing it, all reviewers gave high ratings for the speedy dual-core processor, beautiful touchscreen and docks. With the Motorola Atrix, it's a case where the idea of multiple docks is revolutionary, while the execution falls short of high expectations and is costly.
Reviewers praised the speed of the processor, which made Flash viewing on websites fast. They also liked the HDMI video output for viewing video on an HD TV. The MOTOBLUR user interface on top of Android helped for some features but seemed bloated for others. The power button on the top of the Motorola Atrix 4G that doubles as a security fingerprint scanner was hard to press. Reviewers found call quality to be just passing to excellent and photo quality decent to good.
The bleeding edge dual-core technology that powers the Motorola Atrix 4G made it do very well on benchmark tests, but software was rough around the edges, with one reviewer unable to find a video chat program that worked. HSPA+ data speeds were slow and were more like excellent 3G speed than 4G data speeds.
The Android 2.2 Motorola Atrix 4G has a 2x1GHz dual-core processor for a total of 2GHz of processing power. Features of the Motorola Atrix 4G include 1GB RAM, a 4-inch QHD (960 x 540) touchscreen,
HD video viewing and fingerprint login security,
front-facing VGA video camera, 5MP rear camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and
a 1930mAh battery. CNET referred to it as the best Android Phone on the AT&T network.
All reviewers agreed that the Motorola Atrix 4G $499 price tag with the laptop dock (after $100 rebate), combined with an extra $20 a month for a tether contract, or $499 for the dock alone without the tethering plan, was high although the concept is "cool" and stunning. When connected to the laptop dock, the Motorola Atrix 4G turns into a 11.6-inch netbook with a Firefox browser, connections, and its own battery. The media dock has ports to connect to a keyboard and a mouse, has an HDMI connector, and it makes for a nice extra home computer.
So is the Motorola Atrix the right smartphone for you? The rough edges will be smoother over time. It excels as a smartphone for viewing websites with Flash. The accessories and docks for turning it into a netbook or extra computer are worthwhile to people who keep all their data on a phone and never need or want to sync it to a computer. The Motorola Atrix and its docks warrant test drives to see if you like they way it works and if it will all work together for you.
The Motorola Atrix is priced at $199 with a data plan and voice plan from AT&T.
It is discounted to $129.99 for new
customers and $149.99 for renewing customers with a contract and at Amazon Wireless.
The current strongest competitor to the Motorola Atrix is the HTC ThunderBolt, that's expected to come out soon from Verizon.
Bonnie Cha at CNET rated the Motorola Atrix 4 out of 5 for its dual-core processor, sharp qHD (960x540) touchscreen, sleek design, dual cameras and HDMI connections. She didn't like that you can't install third-party apps, HSPA+ data speed were slow. She did however call the laptop dock cool and thinks its the best AT&T Android smartphone to date. The processor and software are zippy. The power button doubles as a fingerprint scanner. The added-on Motoblur UI is improved and requires a Motoblur account to set up the phone. Photo quality was decent and video was above par. The included HDMI cable allows you to show video on a HDTV and use the -- as a remote to browse media. She thought the laptop dock is beautifully designed with seamless integration. Call quality was fair. Data speed averaged 1.40Mbps for downloading and 0.18Mbps for uploading.
Sasha Segan at PCMag rated the Motorola Atrix 4 out of 5 because of its speed/power, gorgeous touchscreen and optional docks. He didn't like that it had bugs and thought the laptop dock was over priced. He thought that some of the bleeding edge technology had rough edges but called the Motorola Atrix top-of-the-line smartphone for the techno-elite. The touchscreen is truly beautiful. Call quality wasn't great but passed. Voice dialing with Vlingo was confusing. Battery life was very good.CPU and memory access benchmarks ran faster than any other phone he's seen, making the processor "wicked," making Flash run much better and could handle test 1080 video files. You can synch files from your PC via USB or or Wi-Fi. He thought Motoblur could drain battery life. He couldn't find a video chat program to work with the front facing camera. Phone quality was fine.
The laptop dock is slim, stunning and lightweight at 2.34 pounds and has its own battery and USB ports for a mouse, flash drive or card reader. Once the Motorola Atrix is in its port the Webtop App launches with a full version of Firefox while Android apps run in widget, not all apps tested worked. Typing is enjoyable. He was more impressed wit the Entertainment access kit with a a media dock with an HDMI out port to a monitor,USB ports that comes with a wireless mouse, Bluetooth keyboard, remote and dock. He thought it would work well as an extra home PC concluding that The desktop dock is a better deal for $190, you get the dock, a mouse, a keyboard, and a remote control.
Brian Oliver Bennett at Laptop rated the Motorola Atrix 3.5 out 5 citing the pros as the dual-core processor, laptop dock, crisp touchscreen, fingerprint scanner and media dock. He didn't like the speed of the HSPA+ network or the small laptop dock keys. The power-on fingerprint button is a little hard to press. He found Motoblur helpful for some apps while social networking wasn't as robust as HTC Sense. The onscreen keyboard was a pleasure. Benchmark test were excellent but the Motorola Atrix didn't blow other phones out of the water it was only 25 higher than the HTC Inspire for An3DBench, surpassed by the Nexus S and Droid Pro. The best test was with its superfast CPU. +HSPA download speed averaged 1.37 Mbps with 0.29 Mbps uploads. Photo quality was relatively good and video recording was a little choppy. Video viewing however looked great. Call quality was excellent.