The Inquirer-Home

Motorola Atrix hands-on review

Smartphone that can be used as a laptop
Fri Apr 15 2011, 17:10
motorola-atrix-android-smartphone-handset

THE INQUIRER got to play around with Motorola's Atrix smartphone and some of its accessories at Motodev today, and it has some impressive hardware and innovative add-ons.

The Atrix is a smartphone running Google's Android 2.2 Froyo operating system. Motorola told The INQUIRER that it will release an update to Android 2.3 Gingerbread at a later date.

motorola-atrix-android-smartphone-handset

The phone has a large 4-inch screen that has a generous 540x960 resolution. Its key features are a 1GHz dual core processor and 1GB of RAM that power the phone well and enable the docking function.

The Atrix comes with an impressive 16GB of storage that can be expanded with a further 32GB using the microSD slot. The device comes with Motoblur, which we don't think is the best user interface available for Android, but nevertheless it does the job that is asked of it.

While the phone is a nice device on its own, it really moves into a different league when you introduce the docking station. Most notable is the Lapdock, which turns the phone into a mini-laptop.

motorola-atrix-android-smartphone-docking

The Lapdock is powered by the phone's hardware, has a nicely sized 11.6-inch screen, stereo speakers, full keyboard, track pad and its own battery, which apparently delivers up to 8 hours of juice.

We really like the idea of docking the phone to turn it into a laptop style device. The Lapdock is both light and thin, making it ideal for traveling and it keeps content centralised on the one device. One downside is that the Lapdock can't run off the phone's battery alone.

The phone is hot pluggable with the dock and we found that the switch between docking and undocking was fast. Its limitation is the fact that you can only run Android applications but Motorola told The INQUIRER that it will be possible to run virtualisation technology.

There's also a full version of Firefox for web browsing that has support for Flash 10.2. This makes browsing the Internet on this phone comparable to doing so on a laptop or PC.

The smaller HD Multimedia Dock is also a handy accessory with its headphone socket, three USB ports and mini HDMI output. This means you can plug the phone into your TV or monitor, much like other phones, but the USB ports mean you can also plug in a mouse and keyboard to turn the device into a PC with one USB port to spare.

The docking systems present a really attractive option, especially if you're considering a hybrid tablet like the Acer Iconia Tab W500 or the Asus Eee Pad Transformer.

The Atrix and its docking options are nice innovations from Motorola, since no other phones offer a similar package or experience. Motorola has said that the phone will launch exclusively with Orange, which will be announcing prices soon.

We'll follow this first look with a full review of the Atrix once it's available. µ

 

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