Motorola Atrix review
The Motorola Atrix was Motorola’s first dual-core smartphone and the only one that has hit British shops so far. Motorola is set for big change, especially considering their recent acquisition of Google, but is their latest and only European device any good? There’s only one way to find out! Review!!!! The review unit was provided by purelygadgets.
Hardware has always been one of Motorola’s strong suits along with weird names, however this has not been the case in the last few years with some devices lacking a good feel and others being unreliable. Thankfully the Atrix is neither of those and offers brilliant hardware with a carbon-fibre look back and a smooth gorilla glass front, this phone definitely lives up to the standard set by the iPhone. Furthermore this small device definitely packs a punch with 1GB RAM and a Tegra 2 processor along with a massive 1930mAh battery. This battery could frankly be one of the best features of this smartphone along with the brilliant processor, after all, the hungry dual-core processor depends on the larger battery to give its some precious power to guide you through the day.
Incredibly the device is extremely thin rivaling that of the iPhone 4 and 4S but still beaten by that of the frankly tiny Samsung Galaxy S2. However the main thing is that it never felt bulky in your pocket. The 16GB onboard flash storage and the 32GB expandable MicroSD slot mean that this bad boy can be used as your portable music player as well as your phone. Enough memory to make the iPhone jealous.
The phone packs a 5MP camera plus a VGA front facing camera, a fingerprint reader, as well as a vast amount of interesting accessories but we will get onto all of these later.
Overall we were impressed by the look and feel of the Atrix and have nothing to complain about!
This was the first device to enter the UK with a qHD screen and it sure delivers, with good contrast and a great pixel density on that medium sized 4 inch screen. This definitely rivals the likes of the iPhone and SGS2 but falls short on both in terms of deep blacks. We definitely dig this screen size though, it seems pretty much a perfect compromise between portability and size.
Unfortunately this is where the complaining begins, as a gadget blog, we are really into getting new software quick and this phone has been left in the dark on its own by Orange and Motorola, the two launch partners, in fact this massively capable device has been left on Android 2.2 even though the American version has been upgraded to Gingerbread. This we find disgusting, but we’re still hoping that it will come with a serving of Ice Cream sandwich, but that is far from certain. If you want Gingerbread you will have to venture onto XDA for little bit of warranty voiding tinkering.
Motorola also give us the painful experience of Blur along with this phone, although it offers loads of extra useful features we can’t help but feel agony when using it. The worst part is solely the launcher, which can easily be replaced with Launcher Pro or AWN off of the market. However I have to say that the widgets are definitely an improvement but the Blur cursor is frankly awful.
For the average consumer none of the above matters, but for someone who wants to be on the latest edition of software at all times this is not the phone for you, unless you enjoy a bit of tinkering or can live without the minor difference Gingerbread brings.
This is possibly one of the best things about this device, the simple fingerprint reader is frankly amazing and worked 100% of the time I used and did not let anybody else into the phone, we see this as a massive benefit to enterprise customers as well as the average user who doesn’t want to be fraped by their so-called friends. Furthermore Motorola’s blur comes with a service that can track and remote wipe your phone in case of emergency. Of course most IT departments hate it because its not a Blackberry I would happily use it for GadgetCore, but that’s not exactly Government secrets!
This should be an epically quick phone due to its magnificent specs but unfortunately it doesn’t show its speed off that often, but when playing games you can sure feel the sheer force underneath the hood. Moreover I think the atrocity which is Moto Blur actually slows the general performance down compared to what it could have been. This is a very quick phone, although it is not the quickest along side the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S2
Quadrant scores vary depending on what you are running in the background but they were generally extremely good around the 2750 mark for us.
The camera on the device was good but not excellent, I would happily use this for the occasional shot but wouldn’t replace my trusty SLR for holiday snaps. The 5MP sensor is in the league of the iPhone 4 but gets blown away by the likes of the N8 and the Galaxy S2. The front facing camera is fine for video calling but that’s just about it no pictures taken with that please.
Videos on the device were fine too but also nothing to marvel at, but for the short unmissable youtube videos it will be just fine, but don’t expect to be filming avatar on this phone any time soon! The phone does offer a convenient mini-HDMI port for all those times when you do want to be Jams Cameron and show off your latest cat/dog video. PS; The only way I could get my dog to do this was bribe him with a biscuit!
Although we couldn’t get them with our review unit they are one of the most unique things about this phone. The Lapdock is basically a laptop with a processor or RAM, and thus the Phone provides the motherboard of the laptop while the Lapdock provides extra battery life and a larger screen as well as a keyboard and an annoyingly old fashioned single touch mouse. These accessories aren’t cheap either coming to the same cost as the phone itself at a hefty £389.99 RRP and frankly for that price you could buy a real laptop with a real non Motorola made OS like Windows or Ubuntu, ( although cheaper deals are available if you look, we found one for £224 but the point still stands.) While it is thinner than most laptops the fact remains that its still a £800 laptop including the phone and for that price you could get a lot better. Frankly its a good idea but the cost is too high.
We were able to squeeze nearly 30hours of battery life at moderate use. Which is amazing for a modern smartphone! This really impressed us. With the Nexus Prime apparently having a similar sized battery this excites us even more!
This phone is a really good phone, with excellent specs a good not too expensive price, a really good screen and good features. The lack of updates to the software can be annoying but only to advanced users, who will probably route it to get the Gingerbread version. The fingerprint reader is a nice touch and definitely sets this apart from the crowd of Android phones, great for security. Moto’s blur software also improves security. Android still offers great value for Money and we would encourage people to buy this phone if they cannot stand the immense size of the SGS2 and Sensation or if they need an excellent security system.
Furthermore this phone offers great specs ideal for casual Minecraft nights or throwing a few birds at those horrible pigs. We would not advise anybody to get the Lapdock accessory unless they have a lot of money they want to give away, but to be honest, I would probably advise them to give the money to me!
If you want a Nvidia Tegra phone this is the phone to get, after all who doesn’t love the tegra zone! The hardware on this device also oozes quality and is only surpassed by that of HTC and Apple although this can be argued either way. We expect to see more from Moto in the future with its recent acquisition by Google, but for now this is a very good start!
- Excellent qHD screen
- Good specs
- Fingerprint reader is a nice touch
- Blur can be annoying
- No update to Gingerbread yet
- Lapdock too expensive
Overall Score: 4.0/5.0
Price: £389.99 (best price) at PurelyGadgets.co.uk