Motorola Atrix HD review: The Atrix reloaded

Stefan Vazharov, 24 August 2012.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with a dash of Motorola

The Motorola Atrix HD runs Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, which has been lightly customized by Motorola. The overall Android experience feels like one with a stock UI in more than one occasion - starting from the on-screen Android buttons, all the way to the app drawer and its transition effects.

Check out the handset in action below.

The first part the interface which has been customized by Motorola is the lock screen. Pressing the unlock button gives you four shortcus - you can simply unlock the smartphone, or go straight to telephony, text messaging or the camera apps. You can also turn the device's sound on and off from the lock screen.

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The lock screen has plenty of options

The homescreen consists of side-scrollable panes. There's a small indicator above the docked icons, which disappears when not needed.

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The homescreen

When adding or removing a homescreen pane, you have two options - start with a blank or use a preset one. The preset ones are geared towards specific activities such as social networking, entertainment, or managing your AT&T services.

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Adding panes to the homescreen

Removing homescreen panes is as easy as swiping them upwards. No surprises here.

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Removing a homescreen pane

In a true Ice Cream Sandwich fashion, long pressing the homescreen gives you the option to change the handset's wallpapers. You can do so for both the lock and the homescreen.

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Long pressing the homescreen

The app drawer has been taken straight from the stock version of Android ICS. It features two tabs - Apps and Widgets, each of which consists of several side-scrollable pages. If you scroll past the available apps you move into the Widgets tab. There's also a Google Play store shortcut next to the tabs, for quicker access to Android's official app repository.

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The app and widget drawer

You can create folders in the familiar ICS way. All you have to do is swipe the icon over the one you want to pair it with.

There aren't too many preloaded widgets. However, Motorola's own Circles widget is one of the most comfortable ones we've encountered. It offers you access to the clock, weather in different cities, as well as a battery indicator in a customizable shell.

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Motorola's Circles widget

As part of its homescreen customizations, the Motorola Atrix HD allows you to access the logs of some of the most commonly used applications. They include the web browser, the messaging app, the Motorola email app, the telephony, as well as the phone book. We found this feature to be particularly handy.

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Swiping some homescreen icons gives you options

The notification area is taken straight from the stock ICS UI. It shows you icons next to the notification, such as the picture of the person who called or messaged you. There's a Settings shortcut to make up for the fact that you can't go Menu > Settings.

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The notification area allows you to enter to phone's settings

The overall user interface experience with the Motorola Atrix HD is quite pleasant. The UI has been customized lightly, but cleverly. This helps it retain a lot of pure Googleness to it - not a bad thing in our opinion.

Synthetic benchmarks

The Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chipset of the Motorola Atrix HD is the same as the one found in any top shelf device currently on the US market, including the Galaxy S III and the HTC One X. Having the same silicon as its competition shows in the benchmark scores as well, as the Atrix HD offers performance on par with the competition.

Benchmark Pi

Lower is better

  • Motorola Atrix HD
    294
  • HTC One S
    306
  • HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE
    332
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    338
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    344
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    402
  • Sony Xperia ion
    618

Linpack

Higher is better

  • HTC One S
    210
  • Motorola Atrix HD
    186.4
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    177.1
  • HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE
    152.9
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    126.1
  • Sony Xperia ion
    89.8
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    51.2

Quadrant

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    5365
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    5170
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    4842
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    4814
  • Motorola Atrix HD
    4178

NenaMark 2

Higher is better

  • HTC One S
    60.5
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    58.8
  • HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE
    58.5
  • Motorola Atrix HD
    56.7
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    47.5
  • Sony Xperia ion
    37.3
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    36.9

SunSpider

Lower is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1447
  • Motorola Atrix HD
    1647
  • HTC One S
    1708
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    1757
  • HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE
    1879
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    2136
  • Sony Xperia ion
    2636

BrowserMark

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    169811
  • Motorola Atrix HD
    107535
  • HTC One S
    98435
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    96803
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    92653
  • HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE
    89130
  • Sony Xperia ion
    74990
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