Motorola Atrix 4G Hands-on Preview

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The Motorola Atrix 4G is going to run Android OS 2.2 on a 1 GHz dual-core processor, and have 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, and a microSD/HC memory card slot.

Motorola Atrix 4GI have no doubt that this smartphone will offer outstanding performance — the dual-core processor and healthy amount of RAM is going to ensure that.

The big question, though, is how stable its going to be, considering all its complications: it’s actually running two operating systems. There’s Google’s Android OS 2.2, of course, but when the Atrix 4G is put in one of its docks, it will switch to a version of Linux. That’s how it’s going to be able to run a full version of Firefox.

To add to the complications, in dock mode you will be able to open a window that looks and acts like the smartphone’s screen, giving you access to your Android OS apps. This will actually be an emulated version of Google’s operating system. We won’t know how well this Motorola device will perform in the real world until it debuts.

The Atrix 4G will support AT&T’s HSPA+ network. As T-Mobile has begun calling its HSPA+ network “4G”, AT&T has decided to follow suit. That’s why this model has “4G” in the name. This should give this smartphone wireless performance that’s quite good, if not as good as AT&T’s LTE network, once it is available this summer.

Battery Life
Motorola is putting a 1930 mAH battery in this device, which is an unusually high-capacity.

The laptop dock is good for about 8-hours of use on a single charge, while keeping the Atrix 4G powered up as well.


The Motorola Atrix 4G is slated for launch at some point in the first quarter of the year. AT&T says its pricing will be “competitive”, but won’t get more specific than that.

Motorola ATRIX 4G from AT&TOutside of the U.S., this smartphone is going to be offered by Bell Canada and Orange UK.

Only after the launch will we have the answers to some important questions that will determine if this model is going to be a success. One of the most important of these is, how much are the docks going to cost?

The laptop dock is a great idea, and it makes me want this smartphone… but not if Motorola makes it too expensive,  like maybe $500. Unless Motorola can make this accessory relatively cheap — $300 or less — most consumers and businesses are going to get netbooks or tablets instead.

Another open question is whether the complexity of the Atrix 4G is going to slow the pace of operating system upgrades. It’s going to debut with Android OS 2.2, and Motorola has promised an upgrade to OS 2.3. Only time will tell how long this will take, though.


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