Motorola Atrix 2 for AT&T Review (Video) | Wifi Walker, J B Chaparal Properties

Motorola Atrix 2 for AT&T Review (Video)

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When Motorola had proudly showcased a Atrix 4G progressing this year during a Consumer Electronics Show, a Motorola Atrix perceived accolades for a facilities that it packs. Being among a initial 4G (HSPA+) inclination with a high fortitude 960 X 640 qHD display, a Atrix was deemed a many absolute smartphone in a universe interjection to a innovative Webtop OS that is stored on a phone alongside Android and present comes to life when a device is plugged into a dock, like a company’s Lapdock that translates a phone into a laptop form factor. Now, usually hardly 9 months later, and a Atrix has a estimable new inheritor in a form of a Atrix 2, a device that promises to be better, bolder, and faster while maintaining all a strange DNA of a Atrix 4G that finished a strange device so lovable. The Motorola Atrix 2 for ATT, announced this Fall during CTIA 2011 in San Diego, is in some ways a bigger hermit to a strange Atrix 4G expelled some 9 months ago on ATT’s rising HSPA+ network. However, a new handset does offer refinements and improvements that a inheritor indication brings.


Atrix 2 on left; ATrix 4G on right

With a Atrix 2, Motorola giveth some and taketh some divided from a smartphone. Gone are a biometric fingerprint reader, that keeps a phone secure while negating a need to enter in a PIN or passcode, of a strange along with a some-more compress 4-inch PenTile-based qHD display. Users will be happy to know, however, that a new and incomparable 4.3-inch arrangement on a Atrix 2 is of a non-Pentile variety, heading to crispy images and calm being rendered on a arrangement interjection to a some-more customary sub-pixel arrangement. We’ll go into a arrangement in some-more sum in a following section.

Measuring 4.96 x 2.59 x 0.40, a Atrix 2 is a two-tone phone with a dim gunmetal chrome finish on a sides joined with a matte black rubberized finish on a rear. The phone doesn’t win any skinny competition, yet it is gentle to reason in a hands and can slip into any container comfortably. The device weighs in during 5.18 ounces, that is about normal for a phone of this size.

The front of a Atrix 2 is dominated by a vast 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen, and like many customary Android handsets of today, 4 capacitive Android navigation buttons rest usually next a display. On a tip of a screen, you’ll see from left to right a front-facing camera, orator grill, vicinity and ambient light sensor, and a presentation LED light.

The good news here is that a presentation LED light indicator blinks during a faster gait than that found on a Droid Bionic, giving it some-more concentration as we can fast peek down and not have to reason your gawk too prolonged to know if there’s an incoming presentation or summary watchful for you; on a Bionic, a time between blinks was too prolonged and a application of a indicator was diminished.

Up top, we have a 3.55 mm headphone jack, sound termination microphone, and a energy button. Unlike a strange Atrix 4G, a biometric fingerprint reader is no longer integrated into a energy symbol this time around.

The left palm side of a device is clean, save for a micro USB and HDMI ports, a latter can possibly counterpart a device’s arrangement onto a incomparable HDTV or bigger guard or when sum with a wharf appendage with a micro USB port, a device can enter into a innovative Webtop sourroundings permitting we to have a full Firefox browser and Flash support.

On a right palm side of a device, we have volumes adult and down buttons along with a dedicated single-stage camera shiver button.

On a behind side of a device, left is a mistake CO fiber silken cosmetic back. Instead, Motorola opted for a cosmetic subsidy with a textured rubber cloaking that feels good in a hands and helps to supplement some hold to a device when holding it, preventing a Atrix 2 from incidentally slipping away.

To mislay a textured rubberized battery cover, there’s a tiny cut on a bottom of a phone, and users will need to insert a fingernail and examine a cover off. The cover wraps around a sides of a device and gives an apparition of a unibody cosmetic construction. Under a battery cover, you’ll find a same 1735 mAh battery that’s employed in a Droid Bionic on opposition Verizon’s network. There’s a 2 GB micro SD memory label pre-installed in a slot, and users can barter out a label to a micro SDHC label adult to 32 GB in capacity. Thankfully, memory cards are prohibited swappable and a battery doesn’t need to be private to do so, distinct on some other phones. Underneath a battery, users will have entrance to a SIM card.

On a rear, we also have an 8-megapixel autofocus camera with singular LED flash–Motorola’s Photon 4G on Sprint’s Now Network has a dual-LED peep module–and a camera that’s means of recording in 1080p full HD videos, identical to a procedure inside a Droid Bionic.


In one word, a arrangement on a Atrix 2 is simply stunning. Thankfully, Motorola has finished divided with a PenTile-based subpixel arrangement on this display, that leads to images and calm appearing some-more pointy and crisp. However, a PenTile arrangement was glorious on many other phones, including a Photon 4G. The problem for me–though many users substantially wouldn’t even notice–existed radically on a Droid Bionic where a arrangement flickers quickly. The problem becomes some-more apparent on a Bionic when videos are playing, heading to a quick, and mostly times indiscernible discerning flickers, identical in knowledge to CRT monitors and aged televisions. On a Atrix, that problem is left and we have colourful and low colors, pointy texts, and liquid videos with no flickering.

The arrangement is splendid and clear and performs glorious outdoor even underneath approach sunlight. The device’s arrangement appears to be pointy and full of details, yet falls brief of a compactness offering on a Retina Display of a iPhone 4 as Apple’s smartphone has a 960 X 540 (compared with a 960 X 640 qHD shade on a Atrix 2) distributed on a smaller aspect area–the iPhone has a 3.5-inch arrangement contra a incomparable 4.3-inch of a Atrix 2. Websites like a New York Times, when a desktop site is loaded, shows pixelation with a smallest of calm on a qHD shade compared to a iPhone 4/4S’s Retina Display. In normal usage, though, many energy users will still be happy with a arrangement distance and fortitude offering by a Atrix 2. That said, colors seem some-more natural, yet vivid, than when compared with Samsung’s Galaxy S II’s Super AMOLED Plus display.

A tiny dispute with a arrangement is that colors tended to askance a small towards a yellow or brownish-red hue, giving images and videos a sepia stain to them creation them seem bright, as if a filter has been applied, yet also lending them an antique feel. All in all, a tone stain isn’t bad, yet can be conspicuous in personification videos, generally those by ATT’s built in ATT U-Verse TV application.

Earpiece orator cut out from potion looks some-more superb on Atrix 4G (top) compared to corner chain of Atrix 2 (bottom)

The potion shade on a Atrix 2 has a beveled corner that’s fallen into a steel support in a pattern denunciation that’s unchanging with newer Motorola handsets, including a Motorola Droid Bionic, a Motorola Photon 4G, and a Motorola Droid 3. The pattern does supplement dimension and magnificence to a screen, mimicking superb watch designs, yet a fallen in inlet of a shade means that it’s easier for lint to locate between a potion and a steel frame. However, a advantage of a fallen in screen, rather than a arrangement that curves outwards, is that it would be some-more resistant to scratching, generally if we placed a phone face down on a severe surface.

Another pattern cultured criticism that we have is that a filigree earpiece orator griddle ends during a corner of a glass. On other flagship Motorola phones for other carriers, such as a Photon 4G for Sprint or a Droid Bionic for Verizon, a orator griddle is cut into a potion so that it is surrounded by a sea of glass, lending to a some-more superb and reward demeanour identical to a iPhone 4′s orator grill, that seems to boyant in glass.

Processor, Storage, Memory, RAM:

Eschewing NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 dual-core 1 GHz chipset, Motorola is returning to a roots with a processor finished by Texas Instruments, a story of partnership between a dual firms that began with a strange Motorola Droid for Verizon. The Atrix 2 utilizes a TI OMAP ARM-based processor that boasts dual-core computing energy clocked during a same speed as NVIDIA’s CPU. However, a TI chip utilizes a PowerVR graphics engine, rather than NVIDIA’s tradition GeForce GPU.

In use, we find that a TI chipset offers softened and some-more strong opening than a NVIDIA CPU in some tasks, yet in many tasks, opening was zippy and opening and shutting apps, switching between tasks, and streaming videos and music, was allied between a Atrix 2 (TI chipset) and a Photon 4G, a latter of that utilizes a Tegra 2 CPU.

I haven’t played with a strange Atrix 4G given a device primarily debuted on ATT, yet when it launched, a Tegra 2 chipset didn’t unequivocally perform adult to standards. Since then, Motorola has softened performance, yet during launch a Atrix 4G suffered from a check of a few seconds from when a user launches an app until when a app finally opens. That problem has given been accurate on a Photon 4G, that utilizes a same chipset, and is not apparent on a Atrix 2′s TI chip.

The TI chipset performs some-more higher than a Tegra 2 in streaming non-mobile optimized Flash videos. With Adobe Flash 11 support on Android, a TI chipset can tide videos finished for desktop softened than a Tegra 2 chipset. Switching a Photon 4G and a Atrix 2 to a same home WiFi network to discharge any differences with network speeds, we streamed ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ a comedy on a CBS network, by a CBS website. On a Atrix 2 utilizing a Texas Instruments processor, videos was well-spoken and opening was fine. On a Photon 4G with a Tegra 2 chipset, a audio rendered glorious yet video was a chooppy slideshow that updated to a new stage once each 5 or 10 seconds.

For many users, in normal day-to-day tasks, both a Tegra 2 and TI OMAP chips will offer good performance, interjection to a dual-core engine. However, if we tide heavy, non-mobile optimized videos, a new Atrix 2 will outperform a strange Atrix 4G’s NVIDIA implementation.

The Atrix 2 now has 8 GB of on-board storage, yet users will expected see significantly reduction than this quoted volume since a Webtop OS is partitioned into this on-board memory. The 8 GB is a hillside from a quoted 16 GB of a Atrix 4G, yet a Atrix 2′s some-more than reasonable $99 seeking cost on a two-year use agreement expected has a purpose in a downgraded storage capacity. A 2 GB micro SD label is enclosed to enlarge storage, and users can supplement adult to a 32 GB micro SDHC label to offer boost storage capacity, concealment a sum of 40 GB combined.

The device has 1 GB of RAM, that will be good for multitasking and regulating difficult applications. While 1 GB of RAM might seem to be a lot on a smartphone, a Atrix 2 can be converted to a mini mechanism or light netbook when docked in one of many discretionary Motorola accessories. For instance, in a Lapdock 100, once connected, a phone enters a Webtop sourroundings giving users some-more energy like they’re on a light netbook. In this environment, we can unequivocally feel a perfectionist energy of Webtop and sometimes, when loading webpages, it feels like a phone is struggling to keep up.


Though Motorola has deserted a MOTO BLUR branding for a company’s exclusive and tradition UI, a Motorola BLUR-inspired interface on a Atrix 2 is borrowed from a company’s many new lineup of Android 2.3 Gingerbread smartphone. The Atrix 2 utilizes Gingerbread and Motorola’s enhancements assistance to make a phone a small easier and accessible to use, yet a knowledge isn’t as deeply integrated as HTC’s tradition HTC Sense user interface.

Like a Droid 3, Droid Bionic, and Photon 4G, a Atrix 2 has a four-icon wharf bar during a bottom of a shade that can be manifest on all home screens–save for a app drawer–that is user customizable and allows for discerning entrance to a phone, email, and browser app, for example. Widgets can accoutre a home screen, and a pre-bundled widgets can be customized and re-sized accordingly interjection to Motorola’s customizations. This allows users to make a widget some-more distinguished or preserve shade genuine estate by timorous down widgets when needed.

When it comes to formulating shortcuts on a homescreen, Motorola’s tradition UI creates it a small bit some-more difficult than on a internal Android knowledge by adding an additional step. When a app drawer is opened, to supplement a by-pass to a homescreen on a batch Android build, users usually need to prolonged daub on a idol and be taken to a homescreen to emanate a shortcut. On Motorola’s UI, it’s a two-step process, requiring users to click on a choice to supplement to home shade to perform a task.

And vocalization of a app drawer, Motorola now has horizontally shifting pages, identical to a Honeycomb UI, rather than plumb oriented lists of icons. This helps to make a company’s smartphones some-more unchanging with a tablets.

Though Motorola’s UI isn’t as discriminating as HTC’s, a ability to resize widgets is a remarkable improvement.


ATT and Motorola had pre-bundled a series of apps on a device to assistance to supplement value, and performs expostulate information use and consumption. Some of a apps enclosed embody ATT Music, a storefront for purchasing music, and ATT Navigator for a subscription-based spin by spin voice guided GPS navigation solution. Fortunately, though, these apps can be uninstalled by a user if they don’t need them, or be re-downloaded from a Android Market app store. Additionally, non-Android Market purchased apps, such as those from opposition Amazon Appstore for Android, can now be commissioned on ATT handsets, signifying a annulment of process on interest of a conduit and opening adult choice for consumers.

Like a Droid Bionic, Motorola also bundles a Motorola ZumoCast app, that allows users to spin their home computers into servers and negating a need for cloud-based storage. Documents, images, music, and videos can be downloaded onto a Atrix 2, and a Atrix 2 can also stream–without wanting to download–many multimedia files from a computer. ZumoCast also supports many opposite record formats. The app’s palliate of use in accessing files and streaming multimedia calm is profitable to consumers who might wish some of a craving functionality yet carrying to understanding with costs or time, many like how Gmail brings pull emails to consumers yet a need for dear Exchange ActiveSync servers.


Lyrics shown during a bottom of a display

The Motorola Music concentration is a welcomed alleviation over a internal Music app for many batch Android handsets. The Music app on a Atrix 2 combines social, news, and other enhancements.

The app can daub into Shoutcast Internet Radio for strain streaming. The FM radio functionality that’s built into a Music app will concede users to listen to internal radio programming, yet earphones contingency be plugged in as a wires for a earphones will offer as a antenna. Additionally, while personification songs, a Motorola Music app will also arrangement strain lyrics on a Atrix 2, line by line, permitting listeners to have an unpretentious karaoke session. Along with news from your favorite artists, unison and sheet information, and a ability to share your strain over a DLNA connection, a Music app delivers combined value that many users will find useful.


Camera peculiarity on a Atrix 2 falls in line with a Motorola Droid Bionic as both units share a same camera and video sensors with a ability to constraint images in 8-megapixel fortitude and 1080p HD video content. Additionally, camera bravery on a smartphone is highlighted by a single-stage hardware symbol that can activate a camera shutter.

The camera itself stays in concentration automatically whenever we pierce a camera, that always keeps a camera in concentration for discerning photos. Users can also select to concentration on an intent themselves with daub to focus. As a camera is always in focus, it allows users to use a single-stage shiver symbol good yet many check in between shots.

Performance of a camera itself is good in splendid environments, yet cinema infrequently incited out darker than on competing smartphones with identical cameras. Additionally, opening in low light environments were glorious with a flash, yet in a dim room, a camera had a tough time focusing and resulted in becloud shots.

Videos shot with a 1080p HD video camera during ~30 frames per second seem well-spoken and detailed.

Sample camera images:


Network and Call Quality:

The biggest network alleviation here value observant is ATT’s 4G HSPA+ network. When we had played with a strange Atrix 4G during launch, that smartphone hardly fist out 1 Mbps on a download side and upload speeds were in a area of usually 0.3 Mbps. Out of a box, a Atrix 2, that supports a fanciful extent of 21 Mbps on ATT’s 4G network, saw normal download speeds between 2-6 Mbps and upload speeds between 0.5-1.5 Mbps, roughly 3-4 times a opening of a original’s during launch. However, by successive program updates, a Atrix 4G now also performs during roughly allied download and upload speeds. Though a new phone boasts support for 21 Mbps with a aged indication ancillary 14 Mbps networks, we won’t see many speed disproportion between a dual models on today’s optimized network.

As ATT continues to optimize a network, speeds should improve, yet this phone won’t be brazen concordant with ATT’s newer next-generation 4G LTE network, that promises to broach even faster genuine universe speeds. Verizon’s 4G LTE opening hovers in a area of 5-10 Mbps, yet with 2-6 Mbps users will be means to stream, download, and crop during glorious speeds that rivals many home DSL networks.

Calls on a phone sound good both by a earpiece orator and on a shrill orator on a rear. The phone picked adult on accepting simply and voice peculiarity sounded good on both ends of a call. Thanks to a delegate sound termination microphone, credentials sound is mostly muted, permitting for a clearer phone call to a other party.

When a phone is placed on a behind on a prosaic surface, a behind orator is blocked and sound comes out muffled. When personification strain by a shrill speaker, or holding a behind speakerphone call, we advise propping a phone adult to concede sound to come through, or fixation a phone on a front aspect permitting a orator to devise outwards.

Battery Life:

Battery life is adequate on a phone. With consistent pull emails, holding a few calls, and web surfing, we was means to fist in about 10 hours of use on ATT’s HSPA+ 4G network with assuage to good reception. If you’re regulating a phone heavily, you’ll really need to lift around an additional battery, charger, or extended battery. ATT sells an extended battery for a Atrix 2 as well, permitting users to go even longer between charges.

Unfortunately, yet regulating a phone in a new Lapdock 100 will no longer assign a phone during a same time unless a Lapdock 100 is plugged into a energy source itself. This will really extent a concentration of a Lapdock 100 for mobile users who find themselves divided from energy plugs.

Webtop and Tethering:

A series of docks are accessible to activate a innovative Webtop OS on a phone and concede a phone to be some-more organic on a incomparable display. The many important wharf is a Lapdock 100, an appendage that radically translates a phone into a laptop with a near-full sized keyboard, multi-touch trackpad, and incomparable 10-inch screen. The Lapdock 100, distinct a Lapdock for a Atrix 4G, is cross-compatible with several newer models of Motorola smartphone as it connects to a Atrix 2 around a wire connector rather than by a molded hardware wharf specific to fit a phone.

The Lapdock 100 does boost a concentration of a phone by mirroring a phone’s UI and shade onto a incomparable netbook-like display, as good as give users a full Firefox browser that has entrance to a series of web apps. With Google’s merger of Motorola, we’re wondering if Firefox and Webtop will get transposed in a destiny by Chrome OS and a Chrome browser.

The problem that boundary a Lapdock on ATT’s network is that ATT is a usually conduit that army business to have a tethering devise enabled with Lapdock usage, like on a Atrix 4G. That means that rather than shifting by with a $15 or $25 information plan, users will now be forced to compensate for a 4 GB monthly devise for $45. On a certain side, with Lapdock, your Internet expenditure will boost so this will assistance to equivocate astonishing overages. It should be noted, however, that Verizon Wireless does not need a tethering devise for a Droid Bionic and concomitant discretionary Lapdock accessory, that is a approach things should be as Webtop is partial of a phone and a Lapdock itself is usually ‘dumb’ hardware that displays calm from a phone.


At $99, a Atrix can be seen as a some-more affordable iteration of Verizon’s Motorola and is an glorious value proposition. With softened network performance, a redesigned form factor, beautiful and colourful display, a Atrix 2 brings dual-core 4G opening to a new affordable cost indicate and will assistance ATT strech out to business who might wish opening yet don’t wish to compensate a price.

Additionally, as Motorola has corrected some of a early problems with a strange Atrix 4G, a Atrix 2 lands out of a box with a many softened user knowledge and is a some-more discriminating handset.

The flexibility of a Lapdock and Webtop OS is rather hindered by ATT’s unbending process of requiring a information tethering devise costing users a sum of $45 a month for a payoff of branch their phones into a laptop, yet a $99 on-contract pricing will give many phones a run for their money, including Verizon’s Droid Bionic, Droid RAZR, and Sprint’s Photon 4G. By pricing a phone modestly, ATT and Motorola will be means to aim both high-end users as good as mid-range customers. With a speeds and opening of a Atrix 2, we crave for a day when ATT once offering total information plans, yet a phone does come with a WiFi radio so we can offload some trade to a WiFi or home network when you’re not out and about. At $99, a feature-packed Atrix 2 demonstrates that ATT is ‘Rethinking Possible.’

Tags: 4G, Android, Android 2.3, ATT, Atrix, Atrix 2, Atrix 4G, Featured, Gingerbread, HSPA, MOTO BLUR, Motorola, Review, Reviews

Category: Featured, Mobile, Reviews

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