Motorola atrix

If you're looking for a powerful smartphone, then the Motorola Atrix will definitely hit the spot. Not only is it enabled with every method of connectivity that you could shake a USB cable at, it probably is, as the marketing hype keeps telling us, the world's most powerful smartphone.

It shows just how much Android has come of age in the two and a half years since the G1 first hit stores, and feels future-proof for anyone thinking of signing up to a two year contract

We liked

Kudos goes to the huge battery. It's not going to power a nuclear substation but compared to what's out there at the moment, it certainly shows other Android phones up and makes you realise competitors could really do better.

The camera is above average with that great shutter speed and HD video making a real difference. You could easily get away with leaving the compact camera at home when you go on holiday.

HD is really where the Atrix comes into its own with that dock and although we're not fully convinced by the Lap Dock, we have to give a thumbs-up to Motorola for highlighting the potential here.

Even if you don't use the HD dock, you'll still be more than happy with the screen which enhances the feeling that this is a quality device.

The impressive battery is larger than others out there at the moment and capable of punching above its weight.

The better than average camera has a good shutter speed compared to comparable models and amazing HD video.

The HD Dock turns this into a truly multimedia little computer, and the Lap Dock has potential.

The high res screen adds to a device that already looks like a top quality piece of kit.

We disliked

Motorola's decision not to include Gingerbread when competitors are already looking forward to Ice Cream Sandwich seems a bit crazy. It's not a deal-killer since the upgrade is promised but it would be nicer to have it now than not.

For such an expensive device, the Atrix really should have a better rear cover because this will slip out of your hands at some point. Get a case immediately to protect it and ensure a better grip.

To realise the full potential, you have to buy the accessories which are not cheap – and if you go down the sim-free route, the whole lot will leave you with a £1000-ish shaped hole in your pocket.

The cost of the Lap Dock alone will turn many people off – meaning Motorola is shooting itself in the foot to a certain extent.

The fact that its a 4G phone is great for one-upmanship with friends – until they ask for a demo and you realise 4G doesn't exist in this country so it's a bit of a pointless selling point and what you're holding is a 3G phone like almost everybody else.

Although it's not a killer, Gingerbread would have been nice out of the box rather than waiting for a promised upgrade.

The slippy back panel means that your expensive device could end up with a few bumps before too long.

The price of the accessories is offputting – if you go down the SIM-free route, the phone, Lap Dock and two docks will leave a £1,000-ish shaped hole in your pocket.

The fact that it's a 4G phone yet current technology means we can't test that out in this country is annoying.

Verdict

The real issue one has is whether you evaluate the Motorola Atrix as just a phone, in which case it's a stellar piece of equipment that is definitely a suitable contender for your cash, if only because it has one of the best batteries on an operating system that is notorious for guzzling juice.

Or do you evaluate the Atrix as a sign of things to come, bearing in mind the potential of the Lap Dock if other manufacturers follow suit? In that case, this could have an impact on the Android world, like Apple's capacitive glass screen and Touch Flow technology impacted other smartphone manufacturers, and is the sign of an exciting future.

Motorola, of course, has been one of the great innovators with goodies like the StarTac and Razr, which did its portfolio wonders back in the day.

The Atrix with the Lap Dock may not be of the same calibre in some eyes – but it's certainly revolutionary and could fire the starting gun to other Android competitors