Motorola ATRIX 4G vs Apple iPhone 4

In an epic battle between two heavyweights, we finally have an Android powered smartphone that’s worthy enough to challenge the iPhone 4 as the premier device on AT&T’s lineup. As we’ve seen in our Motorola ATRIX 4G Review, it didn’t back down in bringing forth an experience that delivers strongly in many aspects thanks to its high-end specs and innovative functionality. And even though we’re over 8 months into its existence, the Apple iPhone 4 continues to shine ever so brightly while sitting prettily on its pedestal. However, it should have some concerns since the Motorola ATRIX 4G isn’t any other ordinary device looking for a mere challenge, instead, it’s looking to supplant it.


If there was one physical trait that we didn’t like with the ATRIX 4G, it has to be none other than its plastic construction – which is the reason why the iPhone 4 looks and feels like the more premium device. Even though it’s slightly more compact in size versus the ATRIX 4G, the iPhone 4 is noticeably heavier due to its premium choice of materials. However, it’s arguable to say that it wouldn’t fare well in the event that it’s dropped – but then again, the plastic exterior of the ATRIX 4G is a bit more susceptible to scratching. Whatever way you look at it, there’s no denying that the iPhone 4 is both the better looking and feeling device between the two.

When comparing the two screens, the Motorola ATRIX 4G boasts the larger of the two with a 4” qHD display and packs a mighty resolution of 540 x 960 pixels. Albeit, it still doesn’t come close to offering the higher pixel density count found with the 3.5” IPS display of the iPhone 4 with its resolution of 640 x 960 pixels. Sure the Retina Display packs a whole lot of pixels on its surface, but honestly, they both exhibit similar characteristics with their detailed and brilliant displays. However, we find color production to be a little bit more natural looking with the iPhone 4 since darker colors, such as black, have a smoky appearance with the ATRIX 4G. Moreover, colors better retain their vibrancy at various angles on the Retina Display. Luckily though, we find both to be extremely responsive to the touch.

To this day, we never have any problems activating the springy feel of the iPhone 4’s recognizable home button. Conversely, since it relies on the customary set of capacitive buttons, we still find ourselves accidentally pressing them on the Motorola ATRIX 4G since they’re placed close to the edge of the handset.

Fortunately, we find the volume rockers of both handsets to be sufficient in size without any hassles in pressing them down thanks to their responsive feel.  However, the addition of the vibrate switch with the iPhone 4 is appreciated since it offers quick access in silencing it.

Thanks mostly to their traditional nature, as opposed to the proprietary 30-pin connection port with the iPhone 4, we adore the microUSB and microHDMI ports found with the ATRIX 4G – which are used in conjunction with the handset’s innovative sharing qualities.

Taking a peek at the top edges of both smartphones, we’re greeted with their 3.5mm headset jacks and dedicated power buttons. With the iPhone 4, its placement is fitting and provides that solid tactile response when pressed. On the contrary, the placement with the ATRIX 4G might seem awkward at first, but it’s still nonetheless roomy in size and doubles as a finger print reader – which is definitely something you don’t see that often.

Motorola ATRIX 4G 360-degree View:

Apple iPhone 4 360-degree View:



1. Kakarotto

Posts: 255; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

It's obvious that Atrix is better so I'm asking - Why do you make that stupid comparisons to iPhone? Every new smarthone is compared to an old iPhone - WHY? Do you want to make free advertisements for Apple? I don't get it, why old and totally different iPhone again? iPhone is out of Atrix/Optimus2x/SGS2 league so just let it go! Just make comparison to another smartphone - there are plenty of them, NOT ALWAYS TO THE FU$KING iPhone!

9. superpooburger

Posts: 31; Member since: Feb 17, 2011

adn here is person who wanted to buy PDA but is looking at phones... Atrix is CRAP AS PHONE. good only as PDA. iPhone is good as bouth phone adn PDA!

15. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

so wait.. your saying that the phone that is NOTORIOUS for dropping calls is the better "phone" phone?? LOL. Stupid comment of the day maybe.

10. Darthmaul unregistered

Man I couldnt agree more. You said it! I dont understand why obviously waaay better smartphones are always compaired to that piece of crap. All the newer phones that are out there now get to be compaired to tha famous ish.t !! People, get over it! Unless jailbreak didnt exist, this phone couldnt even do basic stuff, like a sms delivery report, or many other functions not there from the box. It is obvious that someone is paying to get always these comparisons. Shame!

27. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

just saying but they said the phone lags while moving around the interface and that the iphone doesnt... i would never buy a phone that lags...

30. Fred unregistered

THE FU$KING iPhone that you can't afford..

2. Prices India unregistered

it didn’t back down in bringing forth an experience that delivers strongly in many aspects thanks to its high-end specs and innovative functionality...

3. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

The comparisons are made to the iPhone because on a phone-for-phone basis, the iPhone is where the bar is being set. You can deny that the iPhone should be the standard for comparison, but that is your opinion. The market is buying iPhones left and right. If Apple/Steve come out with the rumored CPU and GPU upgrades in the iPhone 5 in the July timeframe, the Atrix will fall behind and will have only been competitive for maybe 4 months. I wonder how the Atrix will compare when iOS v. 4.3 goes into production? The slip may start even sooner.

4. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

Why do you guys even do comparisons when you can't even put the iPhone as the loser in the battle? Every single damn comparison with the iPhone in it ends with the same conclusion. "However, it always comes down to whether your prefer the easy to learn and simplistic experience with iOS, or the personalized functionality with Android 2.2 Froyo." You guys are so biased to the point where you have to make it seem like you're trying to be unbiased.

12. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

They added the wrong link thats the review for the dock here is the review

14. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

lol quoted wrong -_-" this comment was for @ziving

5. ziving unregistered

I do not understand why in the spec of the ATRIX it says that the editor gave it 8, and at the end of the ATRIX review it says that he gave 9.5!!! Why because they didnt want to compare it to the Iphone. and i saw it (the review) a while ago and it showed 9.5!

6. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

Oh my god, it gets even worse when you actually look through all the comparisons. How is it that a .5" increase in screen size and 100x960 can cause such choppy/grainy screen shots for the Atrix?

18. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

I blame the PenTile screen of the ATRIX. It may be 540x960, but there are fewer subpixels than in the 640x960 iPhone display. This is the same reason the 4" S-AMOLED screen on the Galaxy S looks grainier than the 4.3" screen on the Droid X. It seems Apple has cornered the market on super-high-density LCD displays for now - not even its supplier LG can match it. Of course, that's all at a microscopic level - I compared the iPhone 4 and Atrix side by side, and while the iPhone looked slightly better, both handled fine details very well.

36. megamrambo

Posts: 37; Member since: Jul 19, 2010

In actuality the Atrix 4g has a screen resolution of 443x722 if it has the same pixel matrix of an original super amoled possessed by the Galaxy S line.

7. loolcom

Posts: 13; Member since: Feb 15, 2011

Why always there is an iPhone and an android haters on this website , just pick what u r convinced in and stop this stupid arguments ,,,, it's better to write ur own experience like the old days .

8. superpooburger

Posts: 31; Member since: Feb 17, 2011

in conclusion is writen: "these are unanimously the best two smartphones that are currently gracing AT&T’s lineup.". If we look back in motorollas review we can find this: "Calling quality is average at best". I do not see how these 2 sentencis can go togeder? if fact how these 2 review fit togeder! iphone provides best quality. That one i agree, but after we see complains about static in voice calls, then phone is already marked as CRAP. So please change teh review to tell the truth, Iphone is way better then atric 4g, just becosue it has no static in voice calls!!!!!!!!

16. giantgnome

Posts: 67; Member since: Feb 11, 2011

Can someone help me translate this?

21. jbash

Posts: 345; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

Learn how to type so we can understand your trolling superpooburger.

11. Po0yAn

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 11, 2011

you guys at iphonearena are yet to learn how to take snapshots from the display on an android device. those pictures are pathetic for a mobile site which does comparisons and reviews a lot. Google it, it's pretty easy thing through SDK and doesn't need root or anything and it's the same for all android devices. I recommend it, it's good for your reputation!

28. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

well google needs to make it easy... on iphone, u just press to buttons... i still dont see why android cant just copy one more thing and do that

13. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Didn't i just asked not to compare with iPhone 4? why not compare with the 2X? or you guys like the drama?

17. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

Have you guys seen that new Toyota Camery commercial? they talk about why do all other car manufacture compare it to that car. they say they do it because it popular. Same thing goes with the iphone. They compare it to the iphone because its the most popular phone(Popular not best) and when they're using it to show how much different phones Contrast to it.

19. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

cars are compared among other cars non Toyota branded, but they compare only with the iPhone.... you cant always compare a SUV, or a truck from others with a Toyota car... for example witch keyboard should be considered more comfortable for the use? the G2 or the Click 2,or the Droid 2? camera performance of the Optmus 2X versus the Droid X VS evo 4G... when this kind of comparisons are done I don't mind they compare the iP4 with the Atrix 2(Invented that name)

20. superpooburger

Posts: 31; Member since: Feb 17, 2011

Please, do not complaing about everything being compered to iPhone. I jsut watched the newly added video. And there we can werry well see, that ihpne is better then atrix. On scrooling sooming and other stuff atrix lagged a lot, while iphone did not. So realy guys, you are so damn stupid taht need device with better spec, which preforms worse? so you know... i am not iPhone fan, i do not have iPhone, i will not buy iPhone...

22. jbash

Posts: 345; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

So you are a closet iFan?

23. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

This guy can't be for real. "togeder", "werry"... perhaps he'd like to see de nuclear wessels.

24. ZayZay

Posts: 571; Member since: Feb 26, 2011

Once again a review of a phone vs. an Apple product. I save myself the trouble of reading the review and assumed phonearena said the Iphone was better. Good Job phone arena another pointless review!

25. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

ok, so now let us compare a Toyota car with the IPHONE 4....who will in??

26. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

So, has the ATRIX 4G received the best review of phones, so far, when being compared to the iphone 4. Does the iphone 4 do widgets?? No, right...the review lack depth, as usual. Honestly, if you take an ANDROID phone and root it and go to, and then review it with the iphone 4, the iphone 4 will lose almost

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