Published February 17, 2011
One of the biggest stories this year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas was Motorola. The company owned the show with the Xoom tablet -- now is poised for a splash with the Atrix 4G phone, set to come out in March.
On the surface the Motorola Atrix 4G from AT&T looks like a normal Android phone. It’s not. Under the hood, it's now the fastest Android phone on the market, and it has a fingerprint scanner on the back that allows you to securely lock your phone. It’s not flawless, but it’s neat.
One of the things you’ll notice right away is how blazingly fast it is. Moving through the apps in this new Android phone is beautiful.
So big deal, you're saying. It’s just another Android phone, right? Ah, but that’s where the intrigue begins: The Atrix is so much more than just a phone. It becomes your personal computer. Take it to work, pair it with a special Motorola dock and it acts just like a laptop.
Once connected to the dock, a mobile view of your phone launches on your laptop screen. Want to make a phone call? You can do that right from the desktop. It dials out automatically using the speaker from the phone.
When connected, a FireFox browser window automatically opens too. This is completely powered by the phone, running on either the 4G or 3G network.
The Atrix is also great for watching videos. Let’s say you decide to shoot a little video in high definition using the Atrix and want to see what that looks like on your desktop. Slot the phone into the dock and launch the Entertainment Center and you gain full access to everything that’s on my phone.
You have complete access to your phone as well too, so you’ll see all of your Android applications within the phone screen. Any of the applications that you've download from the Android marketplace are all available for launching directly from the desktop.
That’s not enough? Let’s say you're done working for the day. Close the laptop lid, grab the phone -- which has been charging in the proprietary charging dock, by the way -- and head on home.
When you get home, use a second HD dock that’s connected to your high-definition television, and with a Bluetooth keyboard you can show the family the videos and pictures you've shot during the day. Suddenly, all of the features available on the phone are now available in the living room.
The Motorola Atrix 4G itself is $200, but you'll pay $500 for both the phone and the laptop dock -- which may be a little too pricey for the average consumer. But then again, it is the fastest Android phone on the market, and one of the most versatile.