Motorola Atrix hands-on

Motorola recently launched their Xoom tablet and Atrix smartphone in South Africa. Both devices run Google’s Android mobile operating system and boast an impressive combination of hardware.

At the event, Motorola had demo models of the devices available and we got to spend some time with the Atrix.

According to the Atrix’s spec sheet, it is powered by a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 AP20H dual core system-on-a-chip (SoC), sports a 4-inch 540×960 qHD display, 1GB RAM, 16GB onboard storage and microSD expandable storage of up to 32GB.

It also shipped with the slightly older “Froyo” (Frozen Yoghurt) version of Android. Motorola confirmed that the device would be coming out in South Africa with Froyo, but that an “over-the-air” (OTA) upgrade to version 2.3 “Gingerbread” is expected for the Atrix in the coming months.

Motorola Atrix
Motorola Atrix

First impressions and benchmarks

In the time we spent with the Atrix we were able to run an AnTuTu benchmark as well as test the number of multitouch points on the screen with tools such as Multitouch Visualiser.

The Atrix we tested ran Android Froyo version 2.2.2 and only registered two touches at once, which doesn’t compare too favourably against the HTC Sensation which can handle 4 simultaneous touches or the Samsung Galaxy S2 that can handle 10 fingers at once.

However, this doesn’t seem to have too great an impact on the performance of the device’s display as it was responsive in menus and responded well to two finger gestures.

While the 5 megapixels available to the camera on the Atrix is quite a bit less than the so-called “superphones” from HTC and Samsung, it took clear shots in the fluorescent-lit venue and the camera app’s viewfinder didn’t have the input lag you see on many other smartphone camera applications.

For interest’s sake we also ran an AnTuTu benchmark and a photo of the results is shown below.

Motorola Atrix
Motorola Atrix AnTuTu benchmark


Motorola said that the Atrix would cost about R5,500 at retail and will come with an HD dock and remote control. Its laptop dock will be between R2,000 – R2,500, Motorola said.

The R5,500 price point puts the Atrix in direct competition with the HTC Sensation, though Motorola has sweetened the pot with their local offering by including an HD dock and remote control with every Atrix.

MTN SA’s senior manager of device portfolio management, Teddy Maduna, previously told MyBroadband that they will have Motorola Atrix available from August 2011 on MTN 100 contracts for R239 per month.

Motorola Atrix
Motorola Atrix

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Motorola Atrix hands-on