Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
Now the Motorola Atrix has been out for a while now and it’s still a relatively rare phone in Malaysia. It’s also been reviewed by many tech sites and I don’t wish to post another long rambling post repeating the same things.
However most reviews only concerned their initial experiences with it after a few days of use and didn’t address the many problems that cropped up upon further use of the phone.
I will first go over the benefits as it is still an awesome phone.
- As the date of writing, a Motorola Atrix can be had in Lowyat for about RM1980+ which is an awesome price considering its specs.
- Dual core processor means it’s really blazing fast even compared to my old Samsung Galaxy S
- Tegra 2 chip means lots of gorgeous games available for it
- QHD screen with higher resolution (as close as retina as you can get outside an IPhone 4).
- Fingerprint sensor is damn cool 😀
Now besides the laggy laptop dock with limited functionality (I have one and I have to say I feel it’s a waste of money), there are a couple of niggly bits of the Atrix that prevent me from making a wholehearted recommendation:
- Voice quality issues: This is a problem that has plagued many users of the Atrix with no fix in sight. Only some sets appear to be affected by this but it is by no means an isolated problem. View the whole support thread here which remains unanswered after 46,000+ views and 418 posts. Make sure you check yours if you decide to buy one!
- Locked bootloader: No custom ROMs for you and you’re stuck with MotoBlur. Motorola said they’re working on a bootloader solution on the 22 January but no news has been given for this and there’s a lot of unaddressed anger. Lots of things are locked down as well inexplicably such as the ability to switch between 2G and 3G modes or even wireless hotspot tethering. All this can be solved via hacks on the xda forums but for the average user this is really too techy.
- Skype does not work: Skype does not work on the AT&T Atrix along with a couple other VOIP apps. When making calls, it’s full of static. There’s a hack that solves this on XDA as well but again this shouldn’t be needed.
- Possible touchscreen issue: On my first Atrix I experienced a touchscreen problem where part of the top screen went dead. I thought this was an isolated issue until I saw many other people reporting the same problem. Motorola has not acknowledged this problem. I made a report here but no official replies.
- Horrible Motorola Support: As you can see the Atrix has been suffering from a bunch of issues that have not been resolved despite months passing by. Official replies for the bootloader and voice quality issues have gone totally silent despite increasing frustration from customers and no eta for a fix. This hearkens back to their Xoom tablet which was also riddled with problems at launch.
- FRICKIN SLIPPERY: If you don’t have a cover for the Atrix, I highly suggest you get one, the smooth back makes it really easily to slip out of your hands…Seriously…it is like holding a bar of soap.
Now without the finger print reader and the laptop experience, what you have is an awesome phone that is locked down. This means it doesn’t stand very well against the Samsung Galaxy S II or the HTC Sensation but the difference is that you can get the Atrix now…
It’s quite sad that Motorola messed this opportunity up to virtually dominate this area as being the first dual core smartphone out to market and it’s actually quite an impressive piece of hardware. However the product was obviously not tested properly in labs and rushed out…to add insult to the injury, the Motorola devs have not issued any fixes and users are stuck relying on independent hobbyist developers at XDA (and many of which have abandoned the Atrix because of their frustrations with the locked bootloader).
My advice is to wait it out, and get a HTC Sensation or Samsung Galaxy S II unless the Atrix price drops significantly or you just want to be different.