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on September 14, 2011
This is my second ever smart phone. My first being an iPhone 3G which I've had for 2.5 years. My wife recently upgraded to an iPhone 4, and I switched to the Atrix after reading the very positive reviews of this phone after it was upgraded to the Gingerbread release of Android. So far I really like this phone. It had very mixed reviews in its early days but the recently upgraded OS has drastically fixed most of its issues.

Pros:
- Price! Can get this phone for $50 from Amazon, Radio Shack and Best Buy. Motorola's flavors of this phone for Sprint and Verizon are $200 and $300.
- Battery life for me is excellent. The upgraded OS now has a built in "task killer" which stops unused programs from continually running and draining the battery. I read other reviews that said they would lose 30% power overnight. I had mine on for 3 days with normal usage before the battery got low. Basically as good as an iPhone. The battery itself is about the largest in its class. More power than most other phones.
- Screen is quite nice and high resolution. It has basically the same resolution as an iPhone 4.
- The phone is VERY fast and quite stable. I have not had any issues with applications lagging or hanging. No reboots and such have been necessary. Again this is related to the recently upgraded OS.
- Call quality is quite good. Motorola phones are generally acknowledged as being superior in this area. Any call quality issues would be related to the network and not the phone itself.
- There is no longer any artificial upload/download speed restrictions. The ATT network can't compare to Verizon LTE but the Atrix has very fast transfer speeds compared to my iPhone 3G.
- It's a nice size with its 4 inch screen. Some of the newer phones have 4.3 and 4.5 inch screens which means they can't be easily placed in a pocket.

Cons:
- The only critique for me, since I am slightly far sighted and sometimes need reading glasses, would be that the native font is a bit small due to the high resolution of the phone - but side by side it is identical to my wife's iPhone 4. It would be nice if the native font could be adjusted, but that is really an Android limitation (unless you root and then hack the phone) and not a limitation with the Atrix itself.

Other notes:
- I bought the Invisible Shield screen protector which thus far is working better than other shields I've used in the past. Medium difficulty to install and more expensive than most but is supposed to have a lifetime warranty.
- Picking a case can also be a hassle. I settled on the Ballistic SG for Motorola Atrix. It fits the phone perfectly and gives it a lot of protection.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2011
Experience: Blackberry 8700, iPhone, Blackberry Torch. My fourth installment of a smartphone in my life and easily the best. Android operating system is quite intuitive and after just one day of use I was able to get comfortable, which was quite a turnaround from Blackberry. Motoblur gets mixed reviews, but I have no issues with it. Syncs up my contacts via all social media and runs clean. The Google based features are a dream for me and much smoother to navigate than BB. Speeds are solid and I have yet to drop a call. Camera is good (not great) but if people truly want professional quality photography they should carry a professional grade camera. It's a phone. It's functional. Pictures are clear and camera is easy to use.

Hardware. Fast and reliable. Material. A bit slick and I could see how people would easily drop the phone. I am considering a case. Screen is huge and extra real estate makes the browser experience so nice. Who knew an extra 1/2" would make that kind of difference? Voice text is reliable. I can even whisper a command and it works. I have kids, so I love the fingerprint security. Works quite well and has back up security code option if it fails (it doesn't though). Anyone who uses android knows how easy it is to control widgets and navigate. So intuitive!

I rate a 4 because no phone is perfect. Add gingerbread update and this is a solid 4.75 stars. And at this time, you can snag the phone for a penny if you add a line or extend your contract. I know everyone loves to bag on AT&T, but I never drop calls and am happy to continue on the service. Could be where I live (Denver) but I have no issues on service. Motorola is well known for their reputation on quality sound and hardware and the phone does not disappoint.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2011
I have owned this phone for four months now, and I love it! It has many good features that make it stand out among other smartphones, such as decent battery life which lasts up to 15 hours (with the assistance of Juice Defender app), fast hardware with minimum glitches, an amazing fingerprint reader that makes unlocking the password protected phone speedy and effortless (and makes everyone around you envious for this feature), and very light weight compared to some of the other smartphones out there. This is my first Android phone, and second smart phone after owning a Blackberry Bold for two years, and I must say I am extremely pleased with this purchase.

However, I give it a four star rating because it has some problems that a buyer should be aware of. For example, this phone heats up... a lot! I noticed this to be a result of mainly three things: GPS, display, and long phone calls (>30 min). The heat buildup is on the bottom back side of the phone. I can circumvent the GPS heating by turning the screen off when using the navigation. This way, I can still follow the navigation voice commands without heating up the phone. As for the display, I try not to keep the screen on for extended periods of time and turn the screen off every 30 to 40 minutes. However, how am I supposed to prevent the phone from heating if I have an hour long conference call? There have been two incidents where the phone gets so hot it drops the call and I basically end up with a nonfunctional phone. I hope this will not be an ongoing problem.

There are some other problems with the phone that may not sound serious alone, but collectively makes the phone a lot less functional. For example, I still don't understand the philosophy behind Motoblur. It is neither functional nor attractive! It has very basic integration with social networking websites (compared to HTC Sense, where I could view a person's profile and pull up their pictures from facebook, Picasa, etc all from the same page). The interface is so bland it looks like it came from the 80's (but a grey scale version since there were too many neon lights back then). I had to purchase Launcher Pro for a better looking and more functional launcher (you can hide all the junk icons in the drawer!). Also, typing is very unintuitive. Even after you insert a space, punctuation marks are always inserted immediately after the last word (as if you did not insert a space). I guess this idea works well for commas, periods, question marks, etc. But every time I enter quotation marks or apostrophes, Motoblur automatically sticks it to the last word I typed and I have to go back and insert a space again! I must admit that I hated my Blackberry Bold, but the keyboard on it is the best. Also, I was happy to have a front-facing camera to use in chatting, but you can't use it with cross-platform apps, so you are restricted to use it only on Qik with other Android users. Finally, the back facing camera is not something to replace your point and shoot just yet. No zoom, no manual focus, and the gallery does not integrate with Picasa.

Overall, I love this phone. It is not perfect, but it keeps me happy.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2011
I've had this phone for the better part of a month now, and am quite familiar with most of its features. When I was first shopping for a new phone, I was pretty set on getting an iPhone 4. Though I'm not a big Apple fan, admittedly, I had a 3G and it was a good phone. Frustratingly slow at times, yes, but a good phone. In the store, I tried both this phone and the iPhone 4. Oddly enough, I left the store still thinking I'd order the iPhone. Boy am I glad I didn't.

So, head to head, the iPhone is more responsive generally, in two ways. When changing screens on the home screen, and when going from portrait to landscape mode, the iPhone is noticeably smoother and faster. However, in every other respect the Atrix is as fast or faster. Opening apps, scrolling around, zooming, all are instantaneous and as smooth as glass on the Atrix.

So, that encompasses everything the iPhone does better, in my experience.

The biggest thing that the Atrix/Android does so, so much better is in the usefulness of the home screen. In iOS, there are essentially three ways that you can interact with an application - launching the application, getting a popup notification, and overlaying a number over an application that indicates, for example, the unread number of emails or posts in Facebook.

In Android, there are two dimensions added to this. First, there are these widgets you hear everyone talk about. These are incredibly useful. Rather than merely seeing a count of the number of emails that I have waiting for me, I have a summary of the contents of the emails, and if I tap on the widget, a miniature version of the messaging app pops up and I can quickly read through my email.

Another great app I've used on both operating systems is Remember the Milk. In Android, I can add a widget that shows me the contents of any given list, and tapping on the widget takes me directly to the list in question. I can also, of course, just add a link to the app itself as in iOS to my home screen.

These are just a few examples of the customize-ability of this OS. There are also shortcuts, which provide quick access to certain parts of applications. For example, I have two navigation shortcuts, one which takes me to work and one which takes me home. With a single tap, I am ready to go to work or go home, using the built-in Google Navigation app.

Which brings me to the richness of the apps built in to this phone. As mentioned before, it includes a navigation app, which is on par with all of the standalone GPS units I've used. It also includes Swype, which is a new form of keyboard input for touch screens. This can be incredibly faster than typing in individual letters once you get used to it.

The voice command application included, Vlingo, is also of note. This application is also available for the other major phone operating systems, but it is included in this case, and is incredibly useful. Text input is even faster using this app, bringing the usefulness to a new level. It can be used with any text input box, thanks to the flexibility of the Android OS.

And, finally, that brings me to the amazing flexibility of this (mostly) open source OS. Because the OS is open source and well designed, it is incredibly flexible. Don't like the default home screen? Download GO Launcher EX, and you're given a whole new universe of customize-ability. Don't like the default dialer or contact list? Same thing. Likewise, you can choose which voice command provider you wish to use, or replace the text-to-speech engine that applications such as the navigation app use.

Another cool feature, though, I only use it off and on, is the live wallpaper. Remember how cool it was that the iPhone 3GS could have wallpapers on its home screen? Well, Android one-ups that with 3D wallpapers that can show anything from a spinning customizable globe to the weather, to more abstract wallpapers. They're fun to play with, though I stick with the static wallpapers currently due to battery consumption. Oh, I should also mention that you can easily, through the settings menu, figure out which apps are taking up the most battery life. I have nothing to complain about regarding the battery life, though it's nothing to write home about.

With iPhone, it's like you're a child again and a condescending adult tells you what is best and makes all of your decisions for you. With Android, you're the adult and in charge, with all of the responsibilities that that entails. I've only scratched the surface here, really, and have yet to find my ideal home screen setup. I really can't say enough nice things about this OS. It's like I've turned 18 and have the freedom to do what I want, when I want. I'm an adult.

Anyway, enough about the OS. More about the phone. The fingerprint sensor is awesome. Once you set it up, you can unlock your phone practically instantly. No PIN needed. This is a great feature, though it takes a bit of getting used to. Once you get your swipe down, though, it seems so archaic to have to actually input a code to unlock your phone.

The touchscreen is wonderful. It's quite sensitive, and sometimes I swear it responds without me even touching it - it's that good.

Another big plus is that the battery is removable and replaceable. Though this is irrelevant to me at the moment, it's a big deal if my battery ever dies.

The front facing camera is a good idea; I like the idea of videoconferencing with my phone. There are a few issues here, though, at the moment. The iPhone clearly wins in this category when compared to the Atrix. First, the Atrix has problems with audio with VOIP apps. Basically, it doesn't work at the moment. This is apparently a firmware issue, and will allegedly be fixed in the future. In addition, Skype doesn't work with video calls, though this is an issue with the software rather than the phone or OS. So, in a nutshell, don't get this phone for videoconferencing in the near future.

In conclusion, this phone is a gift from heaven for any geek. If you like to customize your gadgets to any degree, or resent the excess control that other companies exert over your device, this phone is for you. If you expect to video-conference or have a simple experience that's similar to iOS, then this phone may not be for you at the moment. For me, it's a 5 star no brainer.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2011
I'm glad to read all the positive reviews on the Atrix. What a phone! I bought it during the Japan quake/tsunami and during my lunch breaks I was able to watch live news broadcasts which you CANNOT do with the iphones. Apple will lose many customers if they don't change to java flash browsers. I love this phone but Motorola needs to dump the commercials showing their dock system and concentrate on comparing it to the iPhone since the Atrix does so much more than the iPhone.
Here is my review-
Winner of CNET's "Best of CES 2011" award!
After 2 1/2 happy years with the iPhone 3GS I did research on the latest ATT smartphones and in March 2011 I bought the Motorola Atrix 4G. After just the first day I realized what a SUPERB phone this is! This phone has many useful features that were lacking on my 3GS and hopefully Apple will implement these.
The main camera has 2 flashes and a videorecorder and the web browser allows flash so you can see videos just like on your home computer. Apple needs to switch to flash browsers or they are going to lose a lot of customers such as myself. Three other things that the iPhone also lacks- 1) Atrix has a back button, 2) when your phone is in the sleep mode there is a small green LED that blinks if you have new mail or messages, and 3) it has a very useful status bar on the top of the screen. This lets you know if you have new mail, what apps are being downloaded and then installed, data transfer arrows and much much more.
You can also multitask audio apps, unlike the iPhone. This means you can be listening to Pandora while listening to Police Radio and watching the Tsunami video on KTLA.com.
The GPS Navigation app is AWESOME. She announces the name of the streets that you need to turn on, shows you traffic conditions and also shows you the satellite images which means you see yourself driving through the actual town in 3D.
And the "voice commands" are also very clever as you can open any app by just saying "Open Soundhound" so you don't have to scroll through all your apps.
You can also easily replace the battery if that time ever comes, you can attach a micro usb and it has a HDMI port and comes with that cable.
Here are just some of details on the Atrix-
It has 1 gb of RAM - the most of the smartphones.
It has a dual-core 1GHz processor - most powerful of any smartphone.
It has the option of unlocking by swiping your fingerprint.
It's screen has a higher resolution than any other phone other than the iPhone 4.
It has amazing (although overpriced and not really needed) OPTIONAL accessories that no other phone offers.
It has a 1930 mAh battery, way better than anything else available.
It has a front-facing camera, which does not require wi-fi to work.
I'm sure I will run across more surprises on this great phone.
***I used the free app IDrive Lite to transfer my contacts from my iPhone to the Atrix.***
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on September 1, 2011
First off this is a pretty good phone. It is mostly quick in anything that it does and the screen is nice and sharp. Some people say you can see pixelation on the pen-tile displays but I have not noticed anything like that.

Pros - fast, nice screen, the motoblur widgets are pretty cool and you can resize them to fit into your homescreens better.

Cons - Had the occasional restart, many issues getting this connected with wifi, and video playback colors sometimes feel washed out on the edges of the screen. Also the software that comes with it to upload your media to your phone is not that great, I have been using Double Twist instead.

The main issue I had was getting this phone to connect to my wifi. I ultimately ended up buying a new router and that seemed to work cause now I can connect. So a warning if you have a belkin n1 router and you are getting this phone, they do not seem to be compatible.

Coming over from iOS, had the original iphone and the 3gs and my girlfriend had the 3G and iphone 4, I am pretty happy with android. I enjoy the bigger screens and being able to see flash on my phone is a huge plus. The apps are not as diverse as Apple's but I have been able to get all the ones I used most on apple on the android store. The notification system is also much better on android.

Overall I am happy with the phone and disappointed. I think I would like to try the new galaxy s2 or even the infuse if it ever gets upgraded from android 2.2. I am just not sure I can be happy with this phone for the duration of a 2 year commitment.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2011
I was excited to buy this as soon as I saw its specs. I waited for 2 weeks after the phone has been released to make sure I am making the right choice by buying this. Guess what! Atrix didn't disappoint me at all. When I showed this phone to my friend who has an iphone 4, he was like WOW for its incredible speed and screen transitions.

Pro's:
-------
Display: I would say not as good as Ip4 for would be closest competitor to it
Speed: No other phone can match this for sure.
Android OS: I am sure android OS is a definitely a plus to the phone. It is highly customizable.
Camera Quality: Good for rear and OK for front facing one.
4" Display size: Good for watching videos and reading docs for short time.

Con's:
--------
Battery: Even though they project the battery to be a long lasting thing...in reality it isn't (Atleast for me). I know android phones are power hungry but still cannot consider this a good battery as projected by motorola

MotoBlur: This is the first time I am using this and I am not very comfortable with this launcher.

Definitely, Atrix is a good choice to make if u ask me.

I see in many reviews, this phone is given a 2* and 1* for the service of AT&T over 4G speeds. I certainly agree that service is important with a phone but when a phone is being reviewed, it should be considered as a phone but not with the service. So I am sure it is worth atleast 3* in the worst case for the phone. To me its a 5* phone for the Android and Speed
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on August 1, 2011
The M Atrix is a great phone. Had it for 2 weeks now and this is what I have to say about it.
Good thing:
- Very fast, You can notice the difference in gaming, probably because of the Dual Core.
- Very good clear and touch sensitive display.
- The Android OS is great and easy to use. Updated easily to the latest Android.
- The Android market is full of apps and games.
- Front and back camera with Flash. 5mp Back one.
- LED for Notifications.
- Worked for skype, mobilevoip, messenger, Pandora, ...
- Nice design, slim.
- Good loud speakers.
- WiFi. 8GB of Memory but can add SD.

Not so good,
Battery life is bad but similar to most smartphones, last around 18 hours for moderate use with internet but charges fast, may last 1-2 days for light phone only use.
Warms up when turned on for few minutes.

Can't judge durabilty, GPS or freezes issues yet.
Will update my review in a couple of months.

Overall, very good product. Recommended.

3 months update:
Going to retract some of the great things I mentioned about the Atrix.
The Power button stopped working including the fingerprint feature.
Researched this and was one of the things people complained about.
I'm using an App that let's me use the Vol button to turn on but this happened
less than 5 months from buying this phone.
Otherwise still working okay.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Overall this is a great phone. There are clear reviews online that explain really what this phone is about and the good things about it. I'm an android power user and have had the iPhone4, HTC Aria, Samsung Captivate, and Samsung Focus before this. This beats them all in terms of speed and usability. Mblur was ok but that is easily replaced with LauncherPro, which sped things up. The finger print scanner is pretty good as long as you make really good scans when registering your print. A couple things I noticed is the glass is a bit more reflective and prone to glare than the Focus or Captivate. That makes it hard to see outdoors in bright sunlight. Sometimes the touch screen becomes unresponsive, but it could be beause of my case. A really neat feature I discovered is that while using the touch screen, accidentally swiping over the capacitive buttons won't trigger them. This is good for playing touch intensive games such as fruit ninja. It was always a problem with my captivate accidentally swiping over the home button and exiting the game. This phone gets over 2500 in quadrant. It is considerably faster than the captivate at every level.
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on August 31, 2011
This may be one of the best smart phones on the market. The Android OS works well. It has almost an unlimited number of apps. Don't care for the Motorola Blur, I think it is a waste of space on the device. Most everything one can do on a computer, one can do it on this phone plus some things you can't do on a computer. Even has an HDMI output. The number one negative about this phone is the short battery life. With all the power this phone has, I do not understand why Motorola can not put a longer lasting battery in it. I do not spend a lot of time using this phone, but it barely makes it through a day without charging it again. Some energy monitor apps help. One can also turn off bluetooth and wifi when not needed to save energy. I purchsed two phones at the same time and one had the 2.3... version and the other had only the 2.2... version. The 2.3... is much better. Of course you can download the 2.3... But if you have a choice get it with the 2.3.. It takes a while to download the update. Had it not been for the poor battery performance this phone would have received 5 stars.
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