Motorola Atrix review

The Motorola Atrix, the company's latest Android smartphone, can also be used as a laptop. Unfortunately, it is more a Frankenstein's monster than the best of both worlds as we find out in our review.

IT Pro Verdict

The Motorola Atrix is a decent smartphone, but with the exception of the fingerprint reader there's little to recommend it over our favourite dual-core Android phone, Samsung's Galaxy S2. We liked the idea of the Lapdock, if only because it could reduce the number of computers IT departments would have to manage, but it's implemented so badly that we can't possibly recommend it to anyone in its current state. You'd be much better off buying a netbook to accompany the Atrix or indeed any other smartphone.

At first glance the Motorola Atrix seems like an unassuming Android 2.2 smartphone, but it has some impressive technology beneath its plain black plastic shell. It's the first Android phone we've seen with a high-resolution 960x540 pixel screen, it's one of the first phones to have a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor and, incredibly, it has the unique ability to turn into a laptop with the help of an optional docking accessory. Despite all this, we weren't as enamoured with the Atrix as we thought we would be.

Careless whisper

Although the Atrix is made out of plastic rather than the glass or metal used in other high-end smartphones, it still feels robust, well-made and slender. Alongside all the usual Android buttons is the power button on the top rear of the phone which doubles as a fingerprint reader a security feature that will be of immediate interest to corporate IT departments and average users alike. It's a handy alternative to having yet another PIN to remember, although the fingerprint reader is a bit touchy it required a firm and prolonged finger swipe before it unlocked the phone. Other standard Android 2.2 security features, such as remotely wiping the contents of the phone in the event of its theft or loss and the ability for IT departments to enforce minimum password requirements are also present.

It's the first Android phone we've seen with a high-resolution 960x540 pixel screen

The Atrix is currently available exclusively on Orange which is the network we used to make a few test calls. Call quality in central London on a busy street corner was generally satisfactory. The noise-cancelling microphone managed to block out the sound of traffic so it was barely audible to a caller on the other end of a call. The caller did report that this writer's voice sounded rather tinny and distant though.