“Slimmer. Stronger. Smarter.” Motorola’s tagline for its new Atrix HD is simple and to the point, matching the phone itself step for step. Launching on AT&T’s 4G network this week in two colors (Modern White and Titanium), the new phone is as powerful on the outside as it is on the inside.
Measuring in with a 4.5” 720p screen and 8.4 mm thin shell, the new Atrix is not the smallest phone around, but it is fairly slim for a handset built with as much durability in mind as Motorola had when they crafted the latest member of their mobile family. As is becoming increasingly common, the Atrix HD bears a screen made of that damage-resistant Gorilla Glass techies have come to know and love, and an invisible nano-coating of splash-protecting material will help keep water out. To round off the phone’s physical strength, a back made of microwoven Kevlar fiber has been made to endure the bumps in the road (or floor, or dirt, or whatever other grounds we’ll likely drop the poor thing on) with a bit more resilience than some of its competitors.
To match its external toughness, the Atrix packs 1 GB of RAM and a 1.5 GHz dual core Snapdragon processor. 8 GB of internal storage (4.7 of which are usable for the owner) can be expanded upon by up to 32 GB with a microSD card. The battery enables up to 9 hours of talk time or 8.5 days of idle standby.
Packing Android 4.0,the Atrix HD comes with all the benefits one should expect from Ice Cream Sandwich. To sweeten the pot and live up to the device’s tagline, Motorola has also thrown in its Smartactions app, granting the phone an ability to learn from its user’s preferences and habits. With Smartactions, the Atrix can be taught to automatically switch to vibrate when you’re at work or to hands-free communication while driving. In order to preserve battery life, the app can be set to dim the screen and shut off GPS once drained to a certain level. Rules such as these can be set manually and will be occasionally suggested by the phone when used under specific conditions. Motorola has already created a number of useful rules many owners can take advantage of, but you can also create your own, training the phone to perform any number of tasks under specific conditions.
Conspicuously absent from Motorola’s latest is one of the most distinguishing features of previous Atrix lines, the lapdock accessory. The Atrix 4G and Atrix 2 were both compatible with a screen and keyboard docking station that converted the phones into highly portable (if not somewhat limited) laptops. While Android is not an ideal PC operating system, it still bears a fair number of apps that can be quite useful on the big (portable) screen. Without the lapdock, the Atrix HD is little more than a RAZR clone with a sharper screen sans the battery life of the RAZR Maxx, though at a starting price of $100 it is a rather attractive clone at that, and Motorola’s most compelling offering for AT&T.