Motorola Atrix 4G hands-on

The UK may not have a 4G network at present, but that doesn't stop us getting excited by Motorola's latest entry into its smartphone range, the dual-core Atrix 4G. It's quite unlike any phone we've seen before on Pocket-lint. Indeed, it's a laptop, multimedia player, video source for movies and much, much more. And it's actually coming to the UK (albeit without the 4G, naturally).

As a smartphone, the Motorola Atrix 4G is scarily powerful. It can morph from one purpose to another with a simple hook up to one of the available docks, and yet it's also a tasty Android 2.2 handset with a rear 5-megapixel camera, and front-facing VGA webcam for video calling. It also comes with 16GB of memory on board, and supports MicroSD up to 32GB.

In size, it's almost exactly the same dimensions as an iPhone 4, yet considerably lighter. It doesn't quite feel as solid, but swaps chunkiness for more screen real estate, which is very welcome indeed. The 4-inch qHD (960 x 540) touchscreen also comes covered with Corning Gorilla Glass, so it's very durable.

It sports a dual core processor, with two 1GHz cores and 1GB of RAM, helping it move like the proverbial clappers. Handy when you consider the Atrix 4G's biggest wow factor...

What really impresses most with the handset is when it's plugged into one of its accessories. Not only can you match it with a media dock which plugs into a TV via HDMI and watch 1080p video on a remote screen, but you can plug it into a custom made laptop, which comprises of a screen, keyboard and battery. When the Atrix is inserted into the back of the laptop, the screen fires up and, suddenly, you have a fully functioning net/notebook, running off of the phone.

It can then use browsers and applications like a general portable PC device, with multiple windows. It also runs with the latest version of Firefox and Flash 10.1, so pretty much everything on the web looks like it should. We're not exaggerating when we say that we were incredibly impressed.

Indeed, when hooked up in this fashion, the Atrix 4G (with laptop dock) arguably performed better than the netbook we were using during the unveiling. It really is the future of portable working.

We can also see many more applications for a device of this type. For instance, what if you could dock it in your car, and it subsequently feeds applications, video and data to installed screens? It could technically replace satnav.

The device seen and played with at CES 2011 is an AT&T exclusive and runs on its 4G network, but we're yet to see the Orange UK version (or find out its price). Rest assured that we'll bring you that information as it becomes available.

Pocket-lint is reporting from CES 2011 live as it happens, so make sure you keep up with the hottest gossip and news.



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