For the money, the Atrix 2 is the most Moto and Android you can get right now. While it may be priced well below the top spec devices, it has the performance and features to be a compelling alternative to higher priced smartphones.
Motorola's Atrix 2 is available on AT&T's 4G HSPA+ network which delivers reasonably quick speeds of 3 Mbps down and 1 Mbps. Though not as fast as a speedier LTE network, enjoying video, music, and photos should be no problem.
Motorola used a non-PenTile 4.3 inch qHD display which will either please you, or not matter at all. PenTile displays render text with a slight jaggedness that annoys some, but seems to be of little difference to most.
Despite the large screen, the Atrix 2 never really felt too big. Gorilla Glass covers the front, and the edges are rounded with an attractive metallic bezel. A soft rubber coats the back to aid grip.
It carries on Motorola's vision of convergence with its nifty Lapdock 100 accessory which provides a netbook-like experience. The form factor makes it easy to forget it is a smartphone, but its limitations will reign you back in. Don't get me wrong. The Lapdock has its advantage, but just be realistic in your performance expectations. The $200 Lapdock 100 also houses a large battery reserve that charges the phone.
The HD Station dock may actually be even more tempting. With it you can watch videos or surf the web on a large display like your TV.
Sharing media is easy with the expansive options within Android. You don't have to go around your elbow as with an iPhone to share via common services like Picasa or Dropbox. The Zumocast and Phone Portal apps provided make accessing files and streaming media from other computers pretty easy.
The browser worked just fine, but the icon is an AT&T logo rather than one of the common browsers themes making hard to find at first. While annoying, I suppose you'd get used to it, or use one of the several excellent alternate browsers available instead.
Motorola deleted the fingerprint scanner that appeared on the original Atrix. The scanner had a certain geeky appeal, but not many used it practice. I have not seen anyone crying over it.
With moderate use battery life should not be an issue. At the end of the day with a few calls, an hour or so of browsing through headlines and stories, and catching up on social networking the Atrix 2 still had some power to spare.
If you are on the fence between an iPhone and Android, this phone could make it easier, or harder. The dual-core processor and screen size make it a compelling choice over the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 especially if you are not on the teat of iTunes.
If you can't part with more than $100 for an Android device then look no further than the Atrix 2.
- 4G HSPA+ 21 Mbps
- 1 GHz dual-core processor
- Internal memory: 8 GB ROM, 1 GB RAM, 2 GB microSD™ card (expandable to 32GB)
- Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
- 4.3-inch qHD screen 960x540TFT, with more than 500,000 pixels for sharper, clearer display
- 8 MP camera and LED flash
- Front-facing camera
- 1080p HD video capture, 30 frames per second playback
- On Device Encryption (ODE) and Enhanced Exchange ActiveSync® (EAS)