Atrix 4G Camera, Call Quality Up to Par

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-02-27 Print this article Print

The Atrix 4G camera is a 5 megapixel tool with digital zoom and LED Flash. Pictures were crisp and bright, and snapping shots was actually quicker with this handset than on my Droid X, whose 8-megapixel camera suffers from some latency.

There is a VGA camera for video worked okay with the Qik for Atrix app, which I had to install from the Android Market. There is as of yet no native video chat app for the Android handsets. The only good mobile chat experience I've seen has been on my wife's iPhone 4 Facetime app.

The Atrix 4G captures video in 720p, with playback at 720p at launch, but Motorola said this will be upgraded to 1080p over the air later.

Call quality was fine. AT&T's network is fine here in my stretch of Fairfield County, Connecticut. I'd been an AT&T customer since it bought Cingular so I'm quite comfortable with where the network works in this state and where it doesn't.

Battery life for these smaller Android handsets keeps getting better and the Atrix 4G (uses a 1930 mAh) was better than my 4.3-inch screen Droid X, which tends to chomp power a bit more. The Angry Birds game is always a good acid test for this and I could play Angry Birds for hours on the Atrix 4G without dinging the battery. Not that I did, of course.

There are some things I don't like about the Atrix 4G. The default search is Yahoo, not Google like the way it is on the Droids, or Bing like the way it is on some Android gadgets from Samsung, such as the Fascinate or Continuum.

An odd note: while Yahoo is the default search, the voice search icon in the Yahoo browser bar offer Google Voice Search when you tap the button. So if you input text with your fingers, you get Yahoo results, but if you voice-powered searches are handled by Google. Moreover, Vlingo's voice search app has been pre-integrated to provide spoken search commands.

Fortunately, the Atrix 4G employs a Google search bar across the top of one of the 7 customizable homescreens, so you can always tap that to search by hand or voice.

AT&T has loaded this phone with its bloatware, including AT&T Navigator (the VZ Navigator counterpart), AT&T Code Scanner, as well as AT&T U-Verse Mobile Live TV, which is probably great if you're a U-Verse subscriber. Enough said.

Also, and this may seem persnickety, but I hate the power button which sits atop the phone in a sort of bezel, which means I have to put my finger in a little hole a certain way. This is cumbersome for me. I much prefer the raised button on Droid X for powering on and off.

Overall though, if you're an AT&T person and want to go with a high-end Android handset (or an Android person and want to go AT&T, as it were), the Atrix 4G should be a strong consideration.

With all of the functionality I mentioned backed by 1GB of RAM (16GB storage, expandable to 48GB), you can't go wrong for $199.99.



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