July 20, 2012, 10:17 PM — Although the Motorola Atrix HD ($100 with a two-year AT&T contract; price as of July 20, 2012) is the first Android phone that Motorola has released as a Google subsidiary, it isn't remarkably different from Motorola phones released preacquisition. That isnt a bad thing, however: The Atrix HD is sort of a mashup of the best features from other Motorola phones.
A Kevlar Phone?
Like the Droid Razr and Droid Razr Maxx (both on Verizon), the Atrix HD is partially constructed from Kevlar with a water-repellent nano-coating. That means the Atrix HD is especially tough: According to Motorola, Kevlar--a material found in high-end speedboats, bulletproof jackets, and bicycle tires--is five times stronger than steel. Using Kevlar on a phone seems a bit, well, weird, but I like its soft-touch surface. The rest of the phone is plastic, which is a slight downgrade from the Droid Razrs high-quality feel.
The Atrix measures 5.26 inches tall by 2.75 inches wide; at only 0.43 inch thick, it fits easily into a pocket or handbag. It comes in either black or white--the white version being much more attractive, in my opinion. In typical Ice Cream Sandwich fashion, no physical buttons reside on the face of the phone. Instead, you get three familiar virtual buttons, for back, home, and recent apps.
HD 'Color Boost' Display
The Atrix HDs name comes from its screen, a 4.5-inch, 720-by-1280-pixel HD display. The screen also has Color Boost technology, which, according to Motorola, has 50 percent more pixels than the leading smartphone. Hm, what smartphone could Motorola be talking about? I examined the Atrix HD in a quick, side-by-side comparison with the iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy S III. Of the three phones, the Galaxy S III looked the most oversaturated. The Atrix HD was less so, but its colors still seemed a little off. I loaded the same picture of a group of people on each phone; on both the Atrix HD and the Galaxy S III, skin tones looked quite ruddy next to the iPhone 4S.
When it came to sharpness and clarity of detail, the Atrix HD held its own against the Galaxy S III and the iPhone 4S. Text was easy to read, and didnt look pixelated or fuzzy. Im not sure which leading smartphone Motorola is comparing the Atrix HD to in its marketing, but the phone's display definitely earns that HD label.
Operating System and Features