Motorola Atrix 4G vs iPhone 4: Comparison Guide
Following the recent announcement that the iPhone 4 will no longer be exclusive to AT&T, the company has had to change strategies. In order to compete with Verizon, AT&T will be forced to provide a more diverse selection of smartphones starting with the Motorola Atrix, an Android-based touchscreen device scheduled to be released in the first quarter of 2011.
However, despite its impressive specs, the Atrix will still be judged on how it performs versus the iPhone brand. This guide compares the virtues and shortcomings of each phone.
With Apple’s proprietary Retina display, the iPhone features a brilliant 640 x 960 resolution on a 3.5-inch screen. The pocket size phone is small enough to carry around easily and large enough to showcase photos and browse the Internet. The Atrix has a larger 4-inch LCD screen with a 540 x 960 resolution. Listed as the world’s first 24-bit, qHD display, the Motorola will also come with an expansion module that allows it to dock with a keyboard and an 11.3 inch monitor.
- Motorola Atrix 4G – 4.0-inch LCD display, 540 x 960 resolution
- Apple iPhone 4 – 3.5-inch Retina display, 640 x 960 resolution
Slight Edge: Motorola Atrix – While it’s true the iPhone 4 boasts the best resolution of any smartphone, at these sizes the difference in resolution is imperceptible. The Atrix qHD display offers a larger screen that is also said to reduce glare when working both indoors and outdoors.
Every year new and faster processors are introduced onto the market, so it’s no surprise that the iPhone’s 1GHz A4 processor will eventually become dated. However, few expected this to happen so quickly, as smartphones like the Atrix are set to roll out new dual core 1GHz processors this year. Having two cores and twice the RAM as the iPhone 4 will allow the Atrix to perform multiple tasks and applications at the same time.
- Motorola Atrix 4G – Dual-core 1 GHz processor, 1GB RAM
- Apple iPhone 4 – 1 GHz A4 processor, 512MB
Big Edge: Motorola Atrix
The Motorola Atrix will run Android 2.2, and promises an upgrade to Android 2.3 by end of the year. The Apple iPhone 4 runs iOS4.2, largely considered the best operating system for smartphones last year. Apple has also been diligent in providing updates to the software since its initial release.
Slight Edge: Motorola Atrix – While the debate over which OS is better often comes down to personal preference, the iOS suffers from a number of technical deficiencies, such as the inability to update firmware over the wireless network. Furthermore, Android provides active widgets such as live Twitter or Facebook streams, and Android 2.3 promises to provide an even more interactive and open UI.
The Android Market has grown exponentially over the last year, with over 100,000 applications in December of 2010. Comparatively, the Apple App Store still has the largest share, however, with over 300,000 applications currently available for the iPhone 4.
Big Edge: Apple iPhone 4
Both the Motorola Atrix and Apple iPhone have front and rear facing cameras with similar specifications and can record HD video at 720p. They can each do video chat at 640 x 480 pixels. However, the iPhone 4 can only video chat with phones that use the Facetime app, limiting the service to owners of other iPhones.
- Motorola Atrix 4G – 5-megapixel, LED flash and autofocus
- Apple iPhone 4 – 5-megapixel, LED flash and autofocus
Slight Edge: Motorola Atrix – The specs are the same, but the restrictions placed on the iPhone 4 make the Atrix more attractive
The iPhone 4 comes with either 16 or 32GB of internal storage. The Motorola Atrix, on the other hand, will ship with only 16GB of internal space. However, while the iPhone 4 has no expansion slots, The Motorola Atrix will be equipped with microSD slots that will accommodate up to 32GB of added space.
No Edge: Tie – Although the iPhone 4’s lack of expansion slots is disappointing, having to purchase an additional microSD card increases the implied cost of the Atrix.
Verdict: The Apple iPhone 4 was easily the best smartphone of the previous year. However, with a larger screen, a dual-core processor, and a more open operating system, the Motorola Atrix outclasses the iPhone 4 by almost every practical measure. In addition, with a user-replaceable battery, Adobe Flash support, and a docking keyboard, the Motorola Atrix has the versatility and freedom that will make it the early favorite of 2011.