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Motorola ATRIX 2 Review

Now I have that phone’s successor, the Motorola ATRIX 2. It offers a few improvements over the original, including support for faster data speeds, a slightly larger display and a beefier camera.

The box contains:

  • Motorola ATRIX 2
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Safety, Regulatory & Legal Information


The body of the phone, I have to say, feels great. The 4.3″ screen is surrounded by a fairly wide bezel, giving it a sort of chubby look, but in my hand it feels very natural and comfortable. Buttons are well-placed, though they’re recessed to the point of being flush, making them occasionally hard to hit. The power button, which of course you’ll be hitting the most, feels a little too squishy but always activated promptly and without any extra effort to find or press. The chassis is stiff and strong, and didn’t creak or crack when I stressed it.

The rear of the phone is a textured plastic that is very pleasant and grippy under your fingers. I much prefer this to the plain brushed or slick plastic of many other phones. I think it tends to pick up crumbs a bit more than them, though. It’s also nearly flat on the back; the camera unit sticks out just a millimeter, perhaps, not anything like the hump on other phones.

There’s a multi-color notification LED, which I still don’t believe isn’t standard on all phones.

Removing and replacing the battery cover is easy, and the rear panel flexes just enough to make it easier, but not enough to worry you about its quality. The MicroSD card slot is accessible without removing the battery, always preferable to the alternative.


The Atrix 2 offers many of the same features as the Atrix and comparable Android handsets. Android 2.3 Gingerbread gives it a much improved interface along with a more intuitive virtual keyboard. Aside from the dual-core processor mentioned earlier, the phone’s 1GB of RAM helped boost performance, too.


The ATRIX 2 runs Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread) and the dual-core 1GHz processor had no issue taking most tasks I threw at it. Generally, every movement was fluid and quick, and I rarely saw any lag on the phone. Motorola has ditched its traditional MOTOBLUR user interface, thankfully, and instead offers a number of custom widgets and icons that aren’t as in-your-face.

Tapping the home screen will reveal all of your panels in a Honeycomb-like, thumbnail view and you can easily jump from one to another from here. Unfortunately, you can only see this screen when you’re on the main home screen, so jumping from the panel farthest from the right to the farther from the left isn’t possible, as there’s no pinch gesture to reveal all panels.


The Motorola Atrix 2 supports SMS and MMS messaging, and the IMAP, POP3 and SMTP protocols for email. There’s a generic email client for adding your own ISP account, and a Gmail app.

There’s a universal search box for finding contacts, and the social networking features are integrated right into the messaging functions – these are as easy to use as those for phone dialling.


The Atrix 2 definitely took a page out of the Droid Bionic’s book here, using not only the same 8MP sensor and 1080p HD

Motorola Atrix 2 Camera Sample

video capture but the same camera UI as well. It’s easy enough to use, proffering most standard settings we’ve come to expect on a decent phone camera: scene modes, macro focus, panorama mode, brightness adjust, and geotag are all there. Missing are the exposure / contrast adjust and ISO, both settings that we use regularly on a DSLR.

The video capture has been bumped up to a max resolution of 1080p HD, and we found little to hate here. We couldn’t see any lag or choppy effects when trying to capture moving objects besides our own shaky hands, though there was the occasional attempts to readjust the focus when filming closer objects.


On the surface, the music player on the Motorola ATRIX 2 seems to be similar to the ones found on other recent Motorola smartphones, but after a closer inspection, it’s seemingly different. Sure it still boasts that eye-catching 3D like carousel when browsing through songs in landscape, but when it’s in portrait, lyrics are displayed beneath the album cover.


The ATRIX 2 has a 1,735 mAh battery, which is quite large. I was able to get through the better part of a day with a full charge using the ATRIX 2 as my primary phone. However, I left it on my bedside table with about a 50% charge when I went to sleep one night and woke up to find it completely dead.


The web browser on the Atrix 2 is your standard affair, with only minimal tweaks done throughout. Some of these tweaks include a dedicated option to share the current page you’re viewing next to the address bar. Other than that, there’s very few differences, besides the color scheme used within the bookmarks page.


Motorola gave the ATRIX 2 support for 21.1Mbps HSPA+ networks, an improvement over the 14.4Mbps support on the original ATRIX. In New York City, however, I couldn’t see a difference. AT&T’s HSPA+ “4G” speeds were mediocre on the upper east side and I averaged 1.53Mbps down and 1.51Mbps up. The ATRIX 2 also supports hotspot sharing option, which allows it to share its data connection with other Wi-Fi-enabled devices; it worked quite well for me when I used it to connect my laptop to the internet.

The Motorola ATRIX 2 Specification


GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100
Announced 2011, October
Status Available. Released 2011, October
SIZE Dimensions 126 x 66 x 10 mm
Weight 147 g
DISPLAY Type TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 540 x 960 pixels, 4.3 inches (~256 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass
– Touch sensitive controls
– MOTOBLUR UI with Live Widgets
SOUND Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY Card slot microSD, up to 32GB, 2 GB included
Internal 8 GB storage, 1 GB RAM
Speed HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth Yes, v2.1 with A2DP, EDR
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
CAMERA Primary 8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
Features Geo-tagging, image stabilization
Video Yes, [email protected]
Secondary Yes
FEATURES OS Android OS, v2.3 (Gingerbread)
Chipset TI OMAP 4430
CPU Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9
GPU PowerVR SGX540
Sensors Accelerometer, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, IM, Push Email
Browser HTML, Adobe Flash
Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
Java Yes, via Java MIDP emulator
Colors Black
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– HDMI port
– MP3/WAV/WMA/eAAC+ player
– 1080p MP4/H.263/H.264.WMV/Xvid/DivX @ 30 fps playback
– Google Search, Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Google Talk
– Facebook, Twitter, MySpace integration
– Photo viewer/editor
– Organizer
– Quickoffice document editor
– Voice memo/dial/commands
– Predictive text input
BATTERY Standard battery, Li-Ion 1785 mAh
Stand-by Up to 382 h
Talk time Up to 8 h 50 min


The camera on the ATRIX 2, though updated, still leaves a lot to be desired. But otherwise, the hardware is solid, the call quality was excellent and the data speeds were satisfactory. I find the Lapdock accessy unnecessary but would probably splurge for the media center dock.


The Motorola Atrix 2 is on the whole a rather incremental upgrade over the original Atrix. It has the same slab design, and since it still has a 1GHz dual-core processor and HSPA+ speeds, it’s not that much faster. Yet, it does offer a number of improvements that should make Android fans happy.


  • Bright and sharp screen
  • Comfortable to hold, nice texture on the back
  • Camera is quite decent, does great macro


  • UI styling is annoying
  • 1GHz processor may not be enough for spec fiends