Motorola ATRIX 2 Review
Since it’s running the same customized experience found on the DROID BIONIC, the layout of the camera interface isn’t particularly new. Dominating most of the interface, we get a good view on what we’re shooting with the viewfinder, but we find the usual suspect of icons littered on its side – like the on-screen shutter key, digital zoom controls, and video mode toggle. Furthermore, there’s an accessible sliding bar that holds additional icons that allow us to change shooting modes, choose different effects, and get into its settings. Compared to others, it’s lacking on some manual controls that are near and dear to photo enthusiast out there.
With its sizable 8-megapixel auto-focus camera, the Motorola ATRIX 2 captures some fine looking photos that are more than passable for anyone to accept. Generally, shots taken in sunny conditions are filled with sharp looking details, but strangely enough, colors are often deceptively bland in appearance. Conversely, its seems apparent that its shutter speed is significantly slower with shots taken in low lighting, which is evident by fuzziness of some photos – thus, slightly diminishing its overall quality. Thankfully though, the LED flash is spot on in casting enough light to sharpen photos, however, it’s completely useless if you’re in pitch dark seeing that it has trouble focusing in on our subjects.
Motorola ATRIX 2 Sample Video - Daytime:
Motorola ATRIX 2 Sample Video - Night:
On the surface, the music player on the Motorola ATRIX 2 seems to be similar to the ones found on other recent Motorola smartphones, but after a closer inspection, it’s seemingly different. Sure it still boasts that eye-catching 3D like carousel when browsing through songs in landscape, but when it’s in portrait, lyrics are displayed beneath the album cover. Call it a karaoke feature of some sort, especially when lyrics are in-sync to the song, it’s definitely something that we appreciate since it’s cool and not typically seen. In terms of audio quality, its speaker is remarkably boastful with its rich and robust tones, which doesn’t buckle when it’s placed on the loudest volume.
Combining its blazing dual-core processor and lovely looking large display, it’s the perfect marriage in offering the most optimal video watching experience. Loading up our test video that’s encoded in MPEG-4 1920 x 1080 resolution, it’s able to play from start to finish without a single slither of slowdown or lag evident throughout its playback. All in all, we’re mesmerized by its polarizing experience.
Aside from using its DLNA functionality to share multimedia content wirelessly to compatible devices, the Motorola ATRIX 2 features an all too useful micro-HDMI out port. In addition to having an option for a mirrored experience, we can also get into using Motorola’s Webtop experience by using any one of the optional accessories – such as the HD Station dock or lapdock. If you’re going to use the latter, just be aware that it’s not compatible with the laptop dock for the original ATRIX 4G or DROID BIONIC – so yeah, that’s another expense you’ll need to consider.
Strangely, its internal storage capacity is now broken down to 8GB of internal storage and a 2GB microSD card, which is less than the 16GB found with its predecessor. Perhaps, its affordable pricing is the reasoning behind the lower storage capacity – though, it can accept cards up to 32GB in size if you really need more.
Internet and Connectivity:
Right off the bat, we’re astounded by the handset’s significantly better data speeds as we’re able to get download and upload speeds around 4.5 Mbit/s and 1.5 Mbit/s respectively, which is much better than what we saw with the ATRIX 4G. In terms of the overall web browsing experience, it’s fittingly efficient in handling our needs, but for some odd reason, there’s a little bit of choppiness evident with kinetic scrolling. Nevertheless, it doesn’t adversely affect the overall performance, which is further enhanced by its desktop-like feel with Flash support in tow.
Already, we’re raving about the handset’s significantly better HSPA speeds, but besides that, there’s nothing else new with this GSM enabled smartphone. Along for the ride, we’re also presented with aGPS, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and mobile hotspot functionality.
Appeasing a wide range of people, the Motorola ATRIX 2 features a handful of apps that target both the general consumer and enterprise population. For those business-oriented users, they’ll find applications like Quickoffice and ZumoCast fitting for their specific needs. With ZumoCast though, it’s a remote file sharing service that allows you to stream files like pictures, music, videos, and Office files from your internet connected PC to the ATRIX 2. Moreover, other third party apps preloaded on the handset include AT&T Code Scanner, AT&T FamilyMap, AT&T Navigator, Lets Golf 2, Live TV, myAT&T, Qik Lite, and YPmobile.
1. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 4703; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
If the Affix 2 scores a 9, I can't wait to see how the RAZR is going to do....
4. John.V (Posts: 88; Member since: 27 May 2011)
You really need to factor in the its $99.99 on-contract price right from the start. In comparison, other highly respectable Android smartphones are priced between $200 and $300. Additionally, the ATRIX 2 is very well rounded with its offerings, so I believe its score is more than appropriate.
6. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 4703; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
So, price is now trumping features? Maybe PA should just wait 90 days before reviewing a handset - then the scores would be at least 3 points higher (Rolleyes).
21. Chance3333 (Posts: 1; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
If PA waited 90 days before reviewing a handset, not many people would be visiting this website. Price should be one of many factors that goes into a phone's rating.
10. ledbetterp3 (Posts: 466; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)
Also have to consider the time it is released, even though they aren't that far from eachother.
2. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
The Atrix 2 is a great phone but I don't like MotoBlur. Ever since Google bought Motorola Mobility, I was expecting a Stock Android phone from Motorola.
3. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
And also, I really like it's design compared to the original Atrix.
30. cheetah2k (Posts: 696; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)
Will it ever get ICS though? It took Moto 10 months from the release of the original Atrix to get Gingerbread....
If history preceeds itself, then its going to be a long wait.....
5. yougotkilled1 (Posts: 165; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)
I agree, for a 99.99 on contract price for the Atrix 2, now that's a good deal if you're on a budget.
8. John.V (Posts: 88; Member since: 27 May 2011)
It's preloaded on the phone and it's also available on other Motorola smartphones as well.
9. ledbetterp3 (Posts: 466; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)
The purple one on the top of page 2 in the review?
23. John.V (Posts: 88; Member since: 27 May 2011)
Yup, it's on there. Definitely a neat looking one.
11. WirelessCon (Posts: 307; Member since: 11 May 2010)
The Atrix 2 has "Sub-par calling quality" and gets a 9 on a site called "Phonearena?"
Basically it's a sub-par phone. How does that earn a 9?
John V. please explain this high score.
16. mightyillidan (Posts: 20; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
man the 9 is due to the very great ups from original atrix and and lol 99 dollars is that even money hello u get a one or 2 year future proof phone lol its really deserves that 9 the call quality isnot that bad i think
17. ledbetterp3 (Posts: 466; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)
9 is a great score for this phone, this is a smart phone, smart phone's have a lot of specifications to be judged on, and the call quality is not that bad at all.
22. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 4703; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
"How does that earn a 9?"
Check John's response to my post above - the $99 price point was what earned the 9 score. It seems that initial offer price is more important than call quality, camera quality or other features that buyers decide to pay more for.
24. ledbetterp3 (Posts: 466; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)
He did not say that the price is more important, he just said he included the price in his rating, why are you so stubborn? Call quality -.5 + camera quality(which is not bad at all, just slightly fuzzy recording) -.5= -1, 10-1=9! 9 is his rating, wtf is your guys problem with that?
28. bucky (Posts: 1084; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
problem is, this phone is not a 9 compared to the current crop of phones out.
34. PzykoSkillz (Posts: 7; Member since: 29 Aug 2011)
So you've played with this and all the current crop of phones to compare them?
12. GrosseFatigue (Posts: 49; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)
I personally found that calling quality was much better and less irritating than on the Atrix 1 which I still have but beside the Atrix 1 and 2 I dont really know how the latest $300 cell phones sound like. And yes the first shock you get compared to the first Atrix is how fast this one connects -that and the beautiful screen. I dont care for camel back/face lift cell phones trying to look thin. I like the business no frill look of this phone.
13. Ravail (Posts: 181; Member since: 14 Oct 2011)
The atrix is the last motorola phone im ever buying.. they dont fix their problems with one phone then they release another phone of the same name.. Motorola lost a customer.
18. ledbetterp3 (Posts: 466; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)
Ha, change your profile pic then... So what fixable problem did they have with the atrix? it's probably just your phone since I don't see anyone else complaining? Anyways, that's a stupid reason to not buy a motorola phone anymore, too bad your the one missing out, not them!
14. mightyillidan (Posts: 20; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
hey john great review i really liked it okay can u do me i mean all users a favor
iam really comparing this to the international version of galaxy s2 so it would be really great if u compare both and ill really appreciate thx in forward
25. John.V (Posts: 88; Member since: 27 May 2011)
Personally, they're both great. In terms of overall allure, I have to give it to the SGSII, but you can still get a great experience with the ATRIX 2. If you don't mind shelling out the money, the SGSII is a great option.
15. mightyillidan (Posts: 20; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
ya and almost forgot dont forget to upload the 360 degree view thx :)
26. John.V (Posts: 88; Member since: 27 May 2011)
You're right. We'll get the video review embedded, but it's available on our YouTube channel right now.
20. Sniggly (Posts: 6190; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
The Atrix 2 gets a higher score than the iPhone 4S? Shock! Horror! Awesome. :D
Halving the memory sucks, and so does getting rid of the fingerprint scanner. I'll stick with the Atrix for the time being, though I can see this being a great deal for other new customers.
29. choupino (Posts: 60; Member since: 28 May 2011)
SNIGGLY, I agree with you man. The fingerprint scanner is a deal breaker for me with this ATRIX line... Mine has never had an issue an I love the UI... Once I updated from Froyo to GingerBread, I was FLYING!!! I Love the ATRIX2( except for the lack of a FingerPrint scanner)... The change to the newer device was just too incremental for me to jump at it. The increase from 4 to 4.3 inches in screen size is not enough & bareley noticeable... The processor is identical on both devices... I already get spectacular video out of my ATRIX with only 5 MP and 720 HD video recording.
I'm not a professional photographer nor do I produce professional photographs, so I would not really benefit much from the increase from 5 MP to 8 MP
Actually losing the FingerPrint scanner and losing the available on board memory is enough for me to feel like my device is better than the newer ATRIX2.
27. Martine (Posts: 102; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)
How you even rate this phone on-par with GSII.
Your score card is somehow getting me confused.
Can someone shed more light to this?
32. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 4703; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
@Martine - or, to extend the ridiculous, how does the Atrix 2 manage to even be in the same ball park as say, the new Nexus Prime or RAZR? Answer - it has a $99 starting price point on contract.
The starting price point appears to be a thumb on the scale of review scoring.
What if the BB Bold 9900/9930 had been released with a $99 starting price point? Would it have scored a 9?
33. ledbetterp3 (Posts: 466; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)
No, because blackberry sucks(in mine, and most other peoples opinion). This is a really nice smartphone for $99, and it is one of the best out, what is there not to get?
35. iliketech (Posts: 45; Member since: 17 Aug 2011)
it's a great phone. Good screen, GPS works unlike Samsung Gs2... Great battery life. Can't beat it with any other Android smart phone.
37. ktk27 (Posts: 5; Member since: 08 Mar 2012)
How can this be a top-of-the-line experience when the call quality is seriously lacking? Does that mean price trumps actual useable features? Well, not for me. I'll keep looking, thanks.
38. jakson0100 (Posts: 27; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
Have had my Atrix 2 for a couple of weeks and really like the phone. Unfortunately, the reason I bought it was that I could get a lapdock to extend it. Was really excited! Motorola has COMPLETELY screwed me over on my order with no resolution in sight after almost three weeks. I really caution anyone about buying this from Motorola. Try a different product from a different provider.
39. raulpr0 (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)
i am gonna buy this phone today is it a correct decision?? please do reply
thank you :)
40. a.dya2 (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 May 2012)
i want to have it really it's wonderful phone but i heard it's locked on AT&T network i live in Egypt and i use etisalat will it work in egypt