Atrix 1 Review

I was planning to write up some sort of iOS vs. Android comparison, but I thought I’d just do a review on my Atrix instead.

So I’ve had the Motorola Atrix 1 for about 3 weeks now. I usually wait a month or two before doing a review on any piece of technology (I find it silly when people post reviews after the first day of purchase). It’s my company phone, and I -did- have a choice in the phone I wanted. It’s running Gingerbread, so I don’t get to play with ICS. Well, I already play with ICS a lot on my Xoom and other test devices here.

Edit 2/23 — Motorola has announced that ICS upgrade will be coming out for Atrix 4G, Atrix 2, and other Motorola devices. This won’t be until ’12 Q3 though, and I won’t have this phone by then.

Performance 9/10: It’s dual core, haven’t seen it lag very often. Pretty smooth and fitting for Gingerbread. The only issue is that the battery runs out pretty quickly if using GPS or wifi too much.

Apps 9/10: I put this in because there are a lot of apps out there that always crash or don’t work on certain phones. Most apps out there are pretty well covered on this device, I have yet to see an app that gives me problems with this phone.

Design SW 8/10: You may notice that the contrast is less vibrant on this device. I don’t think you can adjust this unless you root it though. Icons on the 7-page home viewer appear very small and are very spaced out. You can only fit 16 apps on each screen. Another interesting thing is that the screen resolution for this device is 960 x 540, making it quite skinny and tall for a 4″ phone. This can make it difficult to type, as the vertical layout keyboard has very skinny keys. It does get a little laggy sometimes when I try to go to the home screen – sometimes I get this glitch where none of my app icons appear unless I do some sort of refresh action.

Design HW 9/10: The front is full LCD, the back and sides are plastically but has the smooth surface rather than that rubbery stuff HTC tends to use. Doesn’t tend  to collect dust, so it’s great. All the hardware keys on here are as necessary, although if you’re just trying to turn off the display, you can sometimes get confused by pressing the bottom speaker area instead of the top button as they are in the exact same relative positions. This is one of the great 4-inch display options. As we are moving on to Ice cream sandwich, you’ll notice that new phones are flatter and wider and don’t fit properly in 1 hand anymore. I was looking for something that still fit perfectly in my hands, and this really worked out well.

Media 8/10: Typical 5MP camera, and VGA front camera. I’ts pretty good at focusing and avoiding blur, and the shutter is decently fast. This phone supports widescreen photo-taking and camcording. It definitely doesn’t replace your point-and-shoot or DSLR though. :P While in the States, I’m able to take advantage of services such as Google Music. Music has an issue of jumping or cutting when I get a notification from another app, which is something I wish they could fix.

Issues: I actually got this phone out of the box (ordered by my company), but it had a lot of issue right away. The Sim Card wasn’t activated (so I had to switch it with a test phone from my company), and the phone also constantly shuts down by itself – a problem that many AT&T Atrix users have had for awhile. I ended up completely switching my Atrix for another test phone Atrix that my company has, and I’ve had no problems since. Motoblur saved all my info and positions of app shortcuts on my home screens (which was handy).

Other Comments: Speaking of AT&T, they preload their own apps onto their smartphones, including QR Code Scan, GPS Navigation, and Shortcuts to check your balance on data & minutes.

Rooting – I don’t plan on rooting this phone as I don’t have the need for it. It’s a phone I’ll be giving back to my company at the end of my internship anyway.

Overall: 8.5/10. I really do like this phone, and I think I will upgrade to Android in the future (I have a BB as my personal phone back home). Would I get this one though? Probably not since it’s not on ICS, but it’s a great starter phone for anyone who wants a smartphone.