Having a hard time deciding between 2 different Motorola phones? That is often the feeling that people get when a good company decides to release 2 goods phones almost at the same time. Although the Motorola Atrix 4G was released earlier than the Photon 4G, both received significant attention from Motorola enthusiasts and the general public as well.
Here are some specs and features that are worth noting:

Operating System

Both the Motorola Atrix 4G and the Motorola Photon 4G run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, so that makes the two equal in terms of operating system. Gingerbread, too, offers significant improvements over earlier Android versions such as Android 2.2 Froyo, which thus far, is still on a significant number of devices today, although Gingerbread is slowly taking its place. The Atrix 4G, though, initially came with Android 2.2 Froyo, but it is upgradable to Gingerbread, which Motorola has already provided since July this year.


Both the Atrix 4G and Photon 4G deserve praise for their 1.0-GHz, dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processors. Tegra 2 is quite known for its tough-but-smooth handling of processor-intensive apps. So, the presence of Tegra 2 on these devices almost guarantees powerful processing.


Both phones have 960×540 (qHD) resolutions, which provides both phones with very sharp display for intense gaming and browsing experience. Both also are equipped with capacitive multi-touch functions which means touchscreen experiences has gone top-notch.

However, the Atrix 4G tends to have the sharper display over the Photon 4G. The Atrix 4G packs a qHD resolution into its 4.0-inch touchscreen, which definitely renders sharper images than when the Photon 4G displays the same qHD resolution on its 4.3-inch screen.

In terms of screen size, the Photon 4G has extra 0.3 inches of viewing area compared to the Atrix 4G.

Data Transfer

Although the Motorola Atrix 4G is tagged as a 4G phone, it actually uses an intermediate flavor of 4G that is more technically known as 3.5G, which apparently is faster than ordinary 3G. Upload speed on the Motorola Atrix 4G is reportedly hanging around the 0.98 Mbps mark, which is already fast but average.

The Motorola Photon 4G, however, has full 4G powers. Reported upload speeds for the Photon 4G average somewhere around 1.4 Mbps.

Both smart phones have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology; however, it seems that the Motorola Photon 4G wins with the fastest data transfer and is better equipped with the latest network technology.

Web Browsing

The two Motorola smartphones provide amazing browsing experiences, whether you are checking the latest trends in the stock market or you are looking at your friend’s Facebook profile. Every browsing experience is just superb and flawless. In addition, the Atrix 4G and Photon 4G support Adobe Flash natively, which can hardly be said of many other smartphones that run other platforms.


The Motorola Photon 4G wins this round for entertainment features that the Atrix 4G does not have. These features are as follows:

  • ability to filter music by album, artist, or playlists
  • music player can support MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, WAV, AMR, and MIDI
  • video player supports MPEG4, H.263, and H.264
  • stereo FM radio
  • YouTube player


The Atrix 4G comes with a 5-megapixels camera with dual-LED flash that promises quality photos every time. Auto focus, geotagging, white balance, effects, and scenes are also features loaded into the Atrix 4G. Video calling is available through a VGA-resolution, front-facing.

On the other hand, the Photon 4G brags of its 8-megapixel primary camera (with dual-LED flash). It also has the capacity to auto focus and zoom in and out–just like the way digital cameras do. Like the Atrix 4G, the Photon 4G also allows video calling with the same VGA front camera.

Other Phone Features

Unlimited contact entries, caller groups, multiple members per contact, and attaching photo per contact are available in both the Photon 4G and Atrix 4G. Aside from contacts, both phones carry the usual features of calculator, calendar, alarm clock and document viewers. However, the Photon 4G does not have the world clock feature which may be important for others, especially those who constantly travel around the world. Although, a suitable app surely exists for that in the Android Market.

Based on the comparison above, the Motorola Photon 4G wins in several rounds. However, there are things that the Atrix boasts over the Photon. Basically, everything boils down to what you really want and what you really need. Both phones can be purchased on contract from your service provider ranging from US$139 to US$179, or you can buy the phone off-contract for about US$600 to US$700.

Which of these two Motorola smartphones do you like better?

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