The Motorola Atrix Is A Great Android Phone, But Not Much Of A Laptop

Motorola Atrix

Photo: Steve Kovach, The Business Insider

Here it is: The Atrix 4G, the phone Motorola and AT&T are touting as “the world’s most powerful smartphone.”Aside from the dual core Tegra 2 processor, the Atrix stands out for being able to power a separate laptop that runs entirely off the phone.

We’ve only had the Atrix for a day, so we won’t have a full review until next week. In the meantime, here are our initial thoughts:

  • The phone itself is snappy. Apps launched almost instantly, much quicker than Android phones we’ve used in the past. We like that.
  • The graphics look great. Motorola included a demo of the racing game Need For Speed Shift that looks gorgeous on the phone’s 4-inch screen.
  • 4G service isn’t ready yet. The Atrix is one of AT&T’s first “4G” phones. More specifically, it runs on the HSPA+ network. Even though our demo unit said we were connected to HSPA+, we experienced speeds similar to 3G. We’ll have to wait until AT&T finally announces where and when HSPA+ speeds will be available to truly test it out.
  • The laptop dock feels like a waste. We can’t think of a single practical use for it. The $500 add on is essentially a shell with a keyboard and screen that must be docked with the Atrix in order to function. It feels like Motorola added it just to prove they could get a laptop to run off a phone’s hardware. As one of our colleagues put it: “It seems like they’re on to something, but aren’t there yet.”

Our snap reaction after one day of use: The Atrix will quickly become the best Android offering on AT&T. (Not that it has much competition yet). It’s no iPhone, but AT&T customers will finally have a solid alternative.

Here's the home screen. Pretty standard for Motorola's Android phones.

Game graphics look amazing

The Atrix docks in the back of the laptop like this.

Here's a side view of the Atrix docked with the laptop.

You can operate your phone in this emulator window with the laptop's touchpad.

All of your phone's apps will run on the laptop.

The laptop includes Firefox for web browsing.

The laptop dock has a full keyboard and touchpad. Sorry, no multi-touch.

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