Motorola Atrix 4G Walkthrough [Video]


Motorola just dropped possibly the most impressive press conference of CES yet right on us, but they did one better by opening up their line of new Android handsets for some hands-on time with the writhing masses. Of course we snapped up some video for your viewing pleasure — which will follow below — but what about the Atrix 4G?

In one word: impressive. The Atrix 4G does something unexpected but so obvious by allowing the handset to dock and instantly transform into a near desktop-like experience thanks to a newly-crafted Linux interface. You still get access to your Android interface in a separate video, too, as you will see. While the ability to dock and transform your phone into a personal computing platform is awesome in its own right, don’t even get me started on the blazing dual-core processor couple with 1GB of RAM. I get the feeling the similarly specced Droid Bionic might get some of the same docking functionality, but Moto seems happy to keep their lips tight to give AT&T a bit of a handicap. They will need it, as the Bionic features most of the same blazing specs with the addition of 4G LTE, unlike AT&T’s “4G” HSPA+. But enough rambling, hit it below for the video.

Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

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  1. You do know that AT&T is getting both LTE and HSPA+ right?

  2. Kevin, you forget the Bionic will only have half the RAM.

  3. ………Awesome!!!!!

  4. Do you know if it will support additional plug-ins and activeX. And weather or not it can run Java applications?

  5. When it has desktop level processing power (eventually) and can dock to my 27″ widescreen, wireless keyboard & mouse, and do so simply by being nearby without needing a physical “docking station” then we’ll talk. It will happen, I will just be a bit frustrated if Motorola gets there first as I’m not a Moto fan. Owell.

  6. No on the moto website it is official that the bionic does have 1g of ram

  7. Sadly, this will probably have a locked bootloader as well. Verdict: Great feature, but if you’re a modder or enjoy custom ROMs, SKIP.

  8. Moto better improve the specs of the Droid Bionic to match those of the Atrix or they’ll have a riot on their hands. Verizon customers won’t be too keen on buying something that will not have the same functionality as the AT&T Atrix. Kevin may be right and they will enable the same functionality on the Bionic as the Atrix, but wanted to give AT&T a little bit to brag about. I mean, why would Motorola shortchange VZW customers, when they are the ones who made the Droid brand what it is today? My own guess is that they know that the iPhone is heading to VZW, leaving AT&T as ripe for their own flag ship phone, whereas VZW will have far more competition and those that want Android, already have it there anyway. Let’s hope I’m wrong, but we’ll see. If the Bionic does not have Atrix features, including 1GB of Ram, I may do what I never did for the iPhone, switch to AT&T.

  9. @Ace Curry: ATT already has HSPA+ and yes we all know they are getting LTE. What’s your point?

  10. My mistake Wolfwood. I thought that these new “4G” phones would support LTE, turns out I am wrong and LTE phones on AT&T probably won’t be seen til the end of the year. Please ignore my previous post.

  11. @Wolfwood: When did at&t get hspa+, for all i know they are still running on crappy 3g network

  12. “The Nations Fastest 3G Network”=HSPA+. The problem is coverage, not speed.

  13. Which actually isn’t crappy coverage in my area (near Houston). It probably has the best coverage in my area and is easily the fastest.

  14. Love the laptop dock idea.. I switch from my phone to my lappy often.. and this would make it so much easier.. to bad its on AT &T.. I would have for sure bought this over the Verizon Iphone anyday!

  15. I love this baby!! wanna take it home!

  16. Best phone of CES. Desktop Linux built in!

  17. What is with you and the 4g talk. Lets stop caring what they call it and worry about speed. Verizon can call it 18g for all I care and tmo can call it turtleG. It’s all about the speed not the name. This verizon 4g lte fanboy crap has got to stop. K thnx

  18. as far as i know hspa is faster then lte so?
    i had verizon droid 2 everything ab it was terrible in ny
    so im back with t mobile mt4g

  19. Is Verizon going to charge more for monthly service/data on a 4G device? (…like Sprint).

  20. A few other things of note:

    1. No mention video recording res.. LG’s doing 1080p on their Tegra2 / Optimus 2x. I get the feeling this will be locked to 720p.

    2. The dock merely seems like HDMI + MicroUSB. Does this mean we won’t even need a dock so long as we plug in a HDMI cable?

    3. HDMI Support? Is it mirroring like the LG Optimus 2x as other moto implementations only output only in select apps.

    4. Also no mention of Gyro…

    Overall impressed and will certainly be buying one unlocked from the US as soon as it’s available.

  21. Bionic only has 512 RAM, First line of the advert on the official Moto site: http://www.motorola.com/Consumers/US-EN/Consumer-Product-and-Services/Mobile-Phones/DROID-BIONIC-US-EN

    Bionic has 0.3″ larger screen, 8mp cam instead of 5mp and LTE radio instead of H+

    Both ship with Android 2.2, which I’m assuming is because of the highly customized interfaces.

  22. Screen resolution?

  23. I’m a bit confused by the feature and video. Is the desktop application tied to Linux being on the laptop/desktop, or would this desktop phone control feature operate an a Windows desktop as well?

    While I have run Linux on my desktop, 90% of my life at work is run on a Windows desktop and I can’t change that. I love love love what I saw on the video and would be a power user of this feature, but only if it were functional on a Windows desktop. Building slick features tied to Linux as a desktop isn’t going to have any impact on the market. If this feature works on a Windows laptop though… this would be a game changer for a lot of power users.

  24. I’m currently running a UK Milestone, and was very happy with it until I read this! I’m sure I read somehwere else on Phandroid that this beast is going to be launched on Orange UK. If this is true then vodafone are getting an early termination of contract.

    The other point I was wanting to make was that the renaisance of Motorola seems to be gathering pace with megaphones on networks other than Verizon.
    By doing this Motorola seem to be intent on brining a world of pain to Apple by releasing devices like this.

  25. Sounds awesome, and I’d be super excited if it were HTC or Samsung, but Moto locks down there phones so tight, there’s little hope of a Cyanogenmod or something similar on this phone and for me, I’d take an iPhone over an Android that can’t be picked apart and customized to my liking. It’s what sets Android apart, and makes it so great.

  26. @21 960×540

  27. @18 HSPA is NOT faster than LTE (and neither is HSPA+). Infcat, I doubt it would be close really. Here is this retarded looking graph by AT&T backing up my point- http://www.att.com/network/assets/mrq_tech.jpg

  28. Do you have to buy the dock ?

  29. @ Dave, do you think they will just give it away? my guess is yes you will have to buy it.

    Can’t wait for Verizon and HTC anouncements today, hope they release these featurers. I’m not goign to AT&T and I dont like MOTO but damn the dock and laptop are pro. being able to run citrix through the phone makes it very possible to use the phone and docks for business needs.

  30. Good lord! Yes, LTE is faster than HSPA +, and they both blow away WiMax. BUT, they are all true 4G. None of them are “4G”. Do you guys at phandroid use air quotes when you talk about it in person? Not to mention the fact that *right now*, there is nothing showing that LTE real world use is going to even be all that much quicker.

    Your constant dismissal of both Tmo’s and At&t’s networks as true 4G is alarming because you have people who take what you say as the absolute truth, and then they pass it around. Like people in upper management at big box stores. Come to think of it, this would explain why most (I said most, not all) employees in places like BB and radioshack have no idea what they are talking about in regard to smartphones.

    Please stop the VZW fanboy-ism, I implore you. You guys are one of the best sites out here, but this is getting to be ridiculous.

  31. This is what Google Chrome has to evolve into!!! A “Firefox experience” could easily be replaced by a “Chrome” experience! C’mon GOOGLE!

  32. OQO devised a similar, albeit superior (the mobile device touch screen is integrated) design 4 or 5 years ago:

    When OQO went bankrupt, and sold their Intellectual Property to some un-named entity.

  33. Thank you bmg314! It’ll be funny when Verizon and Sprint max out their CDMA towers, oh yeah thats right, LtE is the highest they can go. TMo and At&t however, being on GSM, can climb much higher. Were on your heals Europe… (not really tho)

  34. Really like it but they messed up on the laptop shell though. Instead of plugging it in kinda awkwardly at the back, it should be plugged in to the touchpad area and used as the touchpad.

  35. Could the laptop dock potentially be used to connect to other phones?

  36. why is it not 2.3?

  37. I wonder how much AT&T shelled out to get the Atrix from Motorola. Good move on their part, especially with their Apple saving grace going away.

    Still, I’m a little surprised that Motorola offered up a “lesser” phone to Verizon, especially after Google’s Android and Verizon helped pull Motorola cell phone division out of the brinks of bankruptcy.

    I guess only time will tell…

  38. Why am I seeing this on a labtop damn it. I WANT TO SEE THE PHONE ITSELF!!

  39. Why am I seeing this on a laptop damn it. I WANT TO SEE THE PHONE ITSELF!!

  40. @RandyB
    It’s not desktop linux you’re seeing on the laptop, it’s android with a custom “dock” application. The laptop dock thingy has no os, motherboard, memory. It’s just a keyboard, trackpad, display, battery and some circuitry to connect then together over usb.

  41. Yea the Bionic and Atrix both have HDMI mirroring. They both have the same screen res. Bith have the same cpu/gpu. Both ship with a 1900 mAh battery…
    Even with the Bionic having 512MB of Ram and probably wont have the docks, it still should be a nice phone.
    Really only the Ram and docks are what separate them. Atrix has some fingerprint security thing too..

  42. This is my dream phone, I hope it comes out in Australia. I’m concerned it won’t get fast updates despite its popularity because of all the custom software for the docks.

  43. I swear verizon customers have to be some of the biggest whining bitches I’ve ever seen, everything Att has they have to have it or they throw a little hissy fit.whaaaaaa boo hoo hoo!!!

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