It seems like a long time since Motorola enjoyed an incredible amount of success with its RAZR series of mobile phones. The Atrix is the latest smartphone from Motorola, and the company hopes it will put them back on top of the market. With a class-leading screen, fast performance and lots of accessories, it could be in with a chance.
As with range-topping handsets from Samsung, Sony Ericsson and others, the Motorola Atrix features a large 4-inch screen. The display on the Atrix is better than most, however, thanks to a class-leading 540 x 960-pixel resolution. It really is a gorgeous panel, and only the smaller iPhone 4 trumps it for sharpness. It's equally good when it comes to colour reproduction, with movies and photographs springing to life.
The Atrix is packed with features. The 5-megapixel camera is nothing out of the ordinary, but you'll also find a microUSB port, microHDMI and a fingerprint reader on the rear of the handset. This helps you to unlock the phone easily, and sets the Atrix apart from rivals slightly.
Running Android, Motorola claims that the Atrix is the fastest smartphone on the planet. That may be pushing things a little, but it's definitely blisteringly quick, thanks to a 1GHz dual-core processor and a healthy 1GB of RAM. There's no sign of lag when opening or skipping through apps, and it's equally fast when browsing the web.
The real feature that sets the Atrix apart is the amount of peripherals currently available. You can get a compact charging dock, for instance, turning your Atrix into a bedside clock, or a HD dock with three USB ports and a miniHDMI offering. You can even get what looks to be a full size laptop, at around £250, which the Atrix plugs into. With an 11-inch screen, the Lapdock is similar in concept to the Eee Pad Transformer, just using a smartphone instead of a tablet, and with a proper 1366 x 768-pixel screen.
Motorola has implemented its own skin over the top of Android – as with most of its rivals. It's quite a heavy UI, and neatly covers the operating system, however, so is unlikely to appeal to fans of Android in its purest form.
The Motorola Atrix is also bland when it comes to styling, with absolutely no features to help it to stand out. When competing against the Apple iPhone 4, the Samsung Galaxy S II and Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, this could really count against it.
The bottom line
If you want the brightest, sharpest screen, and don't fancy an Apple iPhone 4, the Motorola Atrix could be worth a look. We love the range of features available for the Atrix, although it's hard to imagine that many people will opt for a full on laptop dock – especially when netbooks are available for similar prices.
The Atrix also offers excellent performance, although we're not too convinced by the user interface. It's a nice phone then, but we'd still be tempted by the Samsung Galaxy S II.