The Motorola Atrix 4G has been receiving nothing but positive reviews since it’s unveiling in early January, CNET awarded the Atrix the best smartphone of CES 2011 award. Popular Android blog also dubbed it the best Android phone of 2011, a bold prediction given the amount of high powered Android phones being released in 2011. Can the Atrix live up to it’s expectations? For the time being it looks like it, without any other dual core processor phones currently on the market the Atrix specs dominate every other phone.

So how does the Apple iPhone 4 match up vs the highly praised Atrix 4G? If you have a look at our comparison chart below you will notice some key differences that should not be overlooked. The Atrix unquestionably overpowers the iPhone 4 in the power department, sporting a dual core 1ghz processor compared to the iPhone which only runs on a single 1ghz processor. The other major difference is the RAM the Atrix doubles up on the iPhone 4 with it’s 1gb RAM compared to the iPhone with just 512mb RAM.

Aside from the big difference in processing power, the other key difference in both phones is the battery. Since the iPhone first launched Apple received a tsunami of negative complaints about the built in battery that can’t be removed. Apple clearly doesn’t think this is a concern and frankly doesn’t seem to care about the complaints as the iPhone 4 still doesn’t allow you to change the battery. Meanwhile the Atrix comes loaded with a market leading 1,930 mAh lithium-ion removal battery that will give you 9 hours of 4G talk time, no other smartphone on the market can compete with the battery of the Atrix.

Atrix VS iPhone

Both phones share size & weight similarities, nearly identical in size and they both weigh in at 4.8oz. The Atrix does have a larger screen size out dueling the iPhone 4 by a half an inch at 4.0inches. Specs aside the iPhone 4 holds one up on the Atrix in the overall look and feel of the phone, the Atrix looks and feels like a “regular” smart phone while the sleek design of the iPhone 4 is simply put, cool!

The Atrix 4G also comes with the ability to dock the phone and use it as a pc or netbook, you can purchase 2 optional accessories the Motorola HS Multimedia Dock and the Laptop dock.

Motorola Atrix HD Dock

Motorola Atrix HD Dock

The multimedia dock has 3 USB ports and an HDMI port enabling connections to a keyboard, mouse, speakers and a HDMI-compatible monitor.

Atrix 4G Netbook dock

Atrix 4G Netbook Dock

While the laptop dock comes with an 11.6 -inch screen, full keyboard, stereo speakers, 36Wh three-cell battery that delivers up to 8 hours of battery life and weighs just 2.4 pounds.

It’s always hard to knock Apple on the internet, they have a posse of fanboys and a paid PR team that go and defend Apple to the death on blogs and forums. The simple fact though is that the iPhone 4 specs can’t compete with the Atrix 4G specs, I’m sure the next version of the iPhone will give the Atrix some good competition but for the time being the iPhone 4 loses the  specs battle.

Specs aside the iPhone 4 holds up well to the Atrix, infoworld ran a set of tests in which they scored the iPhone 4 higher in Web & Internet support, business connectivity and usability. The iPhone 4 clearly beats out the Atrix in the design of the phone, which to many people is a big factor in buying a new phone.

For a tech geek like myself, it’s more important what is under the hood, buying an iPhone 4 at this stage of the game is like buying a 2010 car. It still looks cool and does enough but with the avalanche of superphones coming out this year buying the iPhone 4 now will give you a cool phone with yesterdays technology.

Atrix 4G vs. iPhone 4 Comparison Chart

Atrix 4GiPhone 4
CarrierAT&TAT&T and Verizon
Launch DateFebruary 13, 2011 (Preorder), March 6, 2011 (In-Store)June 24, 2010 (AT&T), February 10, 2011 (Verizon)
Operating SystemAndroid 2.2 (FroYo) w/ MOTOBLUR IntegrationiOS 4
Size (HWD)4.6×2.5×0.4 inches4.5×2.31×0.37 inches
Screen Size4.0 inches3.5 inches
Screen Resolution960 x 540 pixels960×640 pixels
Battery Life (Claimed)9 hours (4G talk time); up to 400 hours standby7 hours (3G talk time); up to 300 hours standby
Camera5mp (rear-facing); 0.3mp (VGA) (front-facing)5mp (rear-facing); 0.3mp (VGA) (front-facing)
WiFi HotspotYes (for up to 5 users)Only on Verizon iPhone
Memory16GB16GB or 32GB
Flash CompatibleYesNo
SupportSupport Through AT&TApplecare/Apple Store Genius Bar
Can You Drop It?It’s hard to. Plastic back provides a bit more grip.Yes, glass back makes it a little slippery without a case
Touchscreen?TFT Capacitive Touchscreen (Similar to Retina Display)Retina Display (TFT Capacitive Touchscreen)
AppsAndroid MarketApp Store
4G Enabled?YesNo
Swype Input?Yes (Not default)No
Laptop/Desktop Dock?YesNo
Removable Battery/SIM Card?YesNo
Processor Cores2 (1 Ghz Tegra 2)1 (Apple A4)
Touchscreen Sensitivity?Very Sensitive (Reacts to the slightest touch)Moderately Sensistive (always feel the screen)
Social Networking Integration?Yes, built-in. Social and google accounts built into the operating system.Sort of. Depends on the apps being used.
Multi-Touch Capabilities?Yes (though not on laptop trackpad)Yes
Price$200; $500 w/ Laptop Dock$199 (16GB); $299 (32GB)

Key Differences

  • Display: The Motorola Atrix 4G has a 4.0-inch LCD display, but the big news is that it docks with an expansion module that has a keyboard and 11.3-inch monitor. The Apple iPhone 4 has a 3.5-inch screen with the highest resolution of any cell phone: 640 x 960 pixels, which Apple calls a “retina” display.
  • Operating system: The Motorola Atrix 4G will run Android 2.2, a fast and stable operating system. Motorola promises an upgrade to Android 2.3 for the Atrix 4G by the end of 2011. The Apple iPhone 4 runs Apple’s iOS4.2, and continues to update the operating system on a regular basis.
  • Processor and RAM: The Motorola Atrix 4G features a dual-core 1GHz processor, and will be among the first cell phones to run with a dual-core processor. The Apple iPhone 4 has a single processor running at 1GHz. The Atrix 4G will have 1GB of processor-available RAM, while the Apple iPhone 4 has 512MB of RAM.
  • Keyboard: Both the Motorola Atrix 4G and the Apple iPhone 4 have on-screen virtual QWERTY keyboards. However, the Atrix 4G will have a docking keyboard with full-size physical keys.
  • Storage Space: The Motorola Atrix 4G will ship with 16GB of onboard memory, and will have microSD slots that accommodate memory cards up to 32GB. The Apple iPhone 4 is available in 16GB and 32GB versions, but it has no expansion slot for more memory.
  • Camera: The Motorola Atrix and Apple iPhone 4 have 5-megapixel still-image cameras that can also record HD video at 720p resolution. Both have front-facing cameras for video chat, both at VGA-quality (640 x 480).
  • Battery: The Motorola Atrix 4G will have a 1,930 mAh lithium-ion battery that is replaceable by the user. The Apple iPhone 4 has an internal battery that is not replaceable by the user.

Atrix 4G vs iPhone 4 Video Review

iPhone 4 vs Atrix 4G Speed Test

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