Motorola ATRIX: business and pleasure

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With a range of intriguing accessories, Motorola’s latest smartphone could find a broad range of customers

When compared to other dual-core handsets in the marketplace today, the Samsung Galaxy S II and LG’s Optimus 2X, the exterior of the ATRIX is rather dull and uninspiring.

Something to make the phone more appealing to business users, perhaps. In a business market dominated by corporates tied to BlackBerry servers, and smaller companies allowing their employees to use an iPhone, Android is still to properly get a foot in the door. Even Microsoft is struggling with Windows Phone, so it’s not going to be easy.

As Samsung and LG clearly go after the consumer, the ATRIX has a number of business-friendly features.

The larger-than-normal power button on the rear is the first, doubling as an optical fingerprint reader. Instead of having to enter a PIN or password, you can now protect the phone and its content by requiring the swipe of either index finger. Simply tap the button once to bring up the lock screen, and swipe down with either index finger. If you do struggle, there is a PIN back-up that you can use.

Unique features
The other big feature, unique to the ATRIX, is Webtop. This outputs a display to HD televisions that is similar to a desktop PCs, and when docked with the £300 Lapdock peripheral, gives you an 11.6-inch screen, keyboard and trackpad – using the phone to supply the processor, memory and storage.

There’s also 2GB of storage for apps and 10GB more for general media. Plus, unlike some devices, such as Apple, there’s a memory card slot that allows you to add up to 32GB of removable storage.

A four-inch screen is pretty standard these days, but a 540×960 pixel screen is the new resolution benchmark, and a good increase on the previous 480×854 pixel standard.

The battery life on the ATRIX is impressive, even if you keep the screen on for a long time, such as when watching a movie, and is further aided by built-in battery saving features. It provides up to 350 hours of standby and nine hours of talktime.

Motorola’s own battery manager will let you turn off mobile data after set periods of inactivity, and at different times of the day. Although you can’t turn the phone off completely, like a BlackBerry, you can disable data overnight, or at any time you choose, knowing it will go back online in the morning to grab your email.

The phone also manages the screen brightness automatically.

Full article in Mobile News issue 490 (June 6, 2011).

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