Review: Motorola Atrix PDF Print E-mail

I was one of the lucky ones to lay my hands on the Motorola Atrix, which was unveiled in SA last month. The device did not disappoint. This high-end smartphone is all about class.

Upon un-boxing the Atrix, the first impression I had was that it was similar to the Apple iPhone 4 and the immediate temptation was to put them head-to-head to see which one would come out tops. Once again, the Atrix did not disappoint.

Dynamites come in small packages, I came to realise, as this phone acts like a computer, and delivers both the power and performance of mobile computing, all while fitting comfortably in the pocket. It is built around a 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM for the horsepower one needs to keep pace with all aspects of life.

The Atrix measures 2.5 inches wide by 4.63 inches long, and is just 0.43 inches thick, meaning it is nearly as thin as the iPhone 4. However, upon putting the high-end smartphones against each other, the Atrix slightly protruded its rival.
The Atrix is a touchscreen, aside from the few Android buttons at the bottom of the smartphone. The gadget comes loaded with Google's Android 2.0 software.
The device offers up to 48GB of memory – 16GB on board and an optional 32GB microSD card – which I am sure anyone will agree is more than enough for a phone. Its dual-core processor makes graphics and games faster.
There is a fingerprint scanner on top of the Atrix, which serves as the on/off button, too. I found the scanner to be a miraculous piece of work as far as phone security is concerned. The device reads a user's fingerprint when switching on the phone.
On the left side, there are USB and HDMI ports; at its rear, there is a 5MP camera with LED flash. To be honest, I found this camera to be the major attraction of this phone. I just fell in love with it.
The camera shoots even in the darkest of places, thanks to its LED flash. I also found it handy when I wanted to take mug shots of myself. Instead of turning the phone around to take a picture of myself and guess if I was taking a perfect picture, or asking someone else to take it, all I had to do with the Atrix was rotate the camera and I could see myself clearly before shooting.
This is made possible by a VGA camera on the front of the device, which can also be used for video chats. However, in all fairness, the picture quality is not that impressive. Somehow, they looked whitish and flat. Anyway, those who are interested in their looks can always use this functionality in place of a mirror.
The camera also functions as a 720p video camera, which can capture HD content on the device. Even in low light, the results looked sharp.
Multimedia dock
Another selling point for this sleek smartphone is its multimedia dock. This accessory enables the user to connect to a computer or even HDTV. Additionally, the multimedia dock connects to a USB keyboard or mouse.
Just placing the phone on the dock not only looked cool, I could also operate wirelessly and effortlessly using a remote that comes with the dock.
For instance, while charging the phone in the dock, a call came through and I was able to answer it in the comfort of a couch across the room without having to get up. This was made possible by the phone's crystal clear speakerphone.
I found the Motoblur functionality quite interesting, to say the least. With Motoblur, I could simultaneously stay updated with work and my social life.
With a single slide of the screen, I could see the latest updates on Facebook as well news updates across the globe. I was one of the first people to know about the bomb blast that rocked Nigeria last week thanks to these timely updates.
All this was fun, but to be honest, for a BlackBerry user like myself, I had to do all this at a cost. To save money, I found myself going back to the BlackBerry if I needed to surf the net without hurting my pocket.
The Motorola Arix is a trendy smartphone for those who need to combine work and leisure. Nevertheless, for one to really maximise its potential, you have to dig deeper into your pocket.
Connectivity: USB 2.0, WiFi 2.4GHz and 5GHz, and Bluetooth
Display: 960 x 540mm (quarter high-definition)
Processor: Two processor cores running at 1GHz each
Audio: AAC, AAC+, AAC+ enhanced, AMR NB, MP3, WMA v10
Camera: 5MP AF, digital zoom with LED flash; second VGA imager for video chat
Phone memory: 16GB internal and optional 32GB MicroSD card
Dimensions: 63.50 x 117.75 x 10.95mm
Weight: 135g
Battery: 1 930.00 mAh
Pros: High-definition display
Cons: Costly for Web access
Rating: 8/10
Price: R5 799

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