Cellular Performance

Previous Motorola LTE devices used Qualcomm basebands for 3G data and telephony, while using Motorola's own Wrigley LTE baseband. Here, though, with Qualcomm's own baseband tucked alongside the AP, the Atrix HD is Motorola's first UE Category 3 device, so speeds should be better than the predecessors we saw on Verizon. And that performance was every bit as good as we've seen in other Category 3 devices. AT&T's network has a lot of potential, but speeds have as much to do with signal quality as network congestion. With AT&T's growing LTE network there's still a paucity of devices in the wild, so it's still easy to find a completely unloaded tower and spam several 55+ Mbps Speedtest.net runs. Muck with signal quality or surround the tower with lots of active devices and you'll see speeds drop, but so far that's not as likely to happen as with Verizon's network. 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, I neglected to record the data I collected in an AT&T LTE area prior to resetting the phone to try and resolve the suddenly absent rear-facing camera. As a result, the LTE data is skewed to the little exposure I had while traveling through an area with an utterly unloaded AT&T LTE tower. As expected, speeds in such a scenario can be massive, and seeing the test fly by is quite satisfying. More realistically, I saw speeds that fit the profile we've seen before; consistently faster than AT&T HSPA+. Speaking of HSPA+, performance was on par with what we've seen down, but up was a different story. HSUPA performance hovered around 1 Mbps, and in some instances I saw performance that would make 1xRTT look speedy. AT&T's coverage of HSUPA+ is good, but one can never take for granted the possibility that you'll find yourself with either poor coverage or saturated cells. 

Call Quality

Call voice quality is one of the more subjective aspects of a phone, and the best I can offer is that it was as good as I've heard. The speaker was perceptibly louder than many other phones in house, including the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE and the Samsung Galaxy S III (Verizon). I still don't have the equipment to quantify that figure, but I'm abusive with phone speakers; I listen to music and podcasts all day long and the difference between a quiet phone and a loud phone is the difference between a phone I'd never own and a phone I would own. Motorola's typically a reliable performer and they do just fine here. 

GNSS

There's no evidence that they used anything other than the MSM8960's GPS silicon, which leaves us beating the same dead horse here. Signal locks are quick inside and out, and it's never once said I was standing in a lake when I was not. 

Software and Camera Battery Life
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  • SanLouBlues - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    Is it easy to flash with other ROMs? My current Motorola Droid Pro is crippled with the stock ROM and it drives me up a wall. Reply
  • bjacobson - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    Given Motorola's track record of support for existing devices I'm staying the heck away from this one. My Atrix4G, hailed as the world's most powerful phone when it was released just one year ago, still does not have ICS or JB. It has 1GB RAM, 16GB ROM, and dual core 1ghz A9 (Tegra2), no reason it shouldn't receive ICS, JB and (potentially Android 5.0), but I'm not holding my breath to get even ICS.

    In addition Motorola's touch screens leave a lot lacking. Every phone of theirs that I've used (OGDroid, Droid2, Droid3, Atrix4G, Droid Bionic) has too low of a resolution of touch-sensing and has a grid of "dead zones" where the screen will jitter if you hold you finger there while dragging something (like the notification bar). Makes for a very unpleasant phone experience that I do not want again.

    So needless to say I will be going HTC or Samsung or frickin anybody else but Motorola next round.
    Reply
  • Belard - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    Atrix HD is sold by the Google owned Motorola... Support should be improved, no?

    Also, I had the same problems with my Samsung.

    The carriers are the biggest problems with updates.
    Reply
  • bjacobson - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    Yes.
    It probably will be, I'm just TO'd that I still don't have a new version of nderoidz
    Reply
  • blakflag - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    totally agree.. I also got the Atrix 4G and the update support has been terrible. Regardless of how good the hardware is, without timely updates it's not worth it. Gonna go with a Google Nexus branded device next time. (stock Android is better than any of these tarted up skins the OEMs put on there) Reply
  • extide - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    You'll probably be disappointed to find out that all the future Google Nexus phones will be made by Motorola! Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    That's just speculation, and also irrelevant since updates would be handled by the Android software team regardless... Doubly irrelevant if rumors of an expanded multi-manufacturer Nexus lineup are to be believed. Reply
  • ados_cz - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    Galaxy S III is quad core. Reply
  • eric appla - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    there are two variants. The one listed here is also correct it is a USA model which is dual core while the international version is a quadcore Reply
  • ados_cz - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    Aha, thanks, did not know that. Reply

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