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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  • Schadenfreude - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    I hate to be "that guy" - but the correct first sentence/question "is there room for . . ." instead of "their".

    There, I said it!
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    Thanks, it's fixed now. Their's always one. :) Reply
  • noblemo - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    Similarly, I think "tack" should be, "tact." Reply
  • noblemo - Friday, September 07, 2012 - link

    Well, "tactic," actually. Reply
  • coolhardware - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    Thanks for mentioning the Atrix HD's color balance issue!

    I too have a Motorola phone with a 'nice' display, the Motorola Photon. The display looks 'nice' when you look at the spec sheet, but when you actually look at the screen it is way skewed toward blue.

    However, there is a software solution that has worked well for me:
    http://www.jdhodges.com/2012/07/correcting-color-b...
    and after making the adjustments using the Android color filter app the screen looks MUCH better!

    I hope this helps anyone else in a similar situation and I would love to see how the Atrix HD subjectively fared after being adjusted using software. :-)
    Reply
  • jjj - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    Interesting device,now lets see what they have to show today,hope it's something relevant (if anyone cares Moto is live streaming the event on their youtube chan) Reply
  • dagamer34 - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    If 8GB worth of NAND Flash clearly isn't worth the $100 difference between this one and the Galaxy S III or the HTC One X when it debuted, one has to wonder why the GS III and certainly the iPhone 4S sell for so much in the first place.

    Oh well, no more iPhones for me. I'm tired of basically being cheated on the cost of Flash.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    SGS3 is lighter, has a bigger, removable battery, SAMOLED display (which is superior to normal LCDs in my book), double the RAM and double the NAND. That's what that extra $100 gets you. I'd chose the SGS3 over this any time. Reply
  • zero2dash - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    I strongly considered the Atrix HD because I didn't want to pay $200 for a SGS3 and I hoped that the Atrix would be "good enough" for half the price. In the end I figured I might as well buy something that meets or exceeds my needs now, and should hold up in the future.....and I went ahead and paid the extra $100 for the SGS3. Couldn't be happier.

    The general consensus seems to be to not compare the AHD to the SGS3 or the One X and I think that's a good point to make, because the AHD is, as the review states, more of a middle class device than a higher class/top tier phone. With One X's now being lowered to $99, I think the AHD is an even harder sell than it already was and I expect these to drop to $49 before too long otherwise they're going to have an even worse uphill battle. Clearly the price tag of the SGS3 is not scaring people off.....and for good reason - it's a phenomenal phone, arguably the best phone available today.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    The AHD is already $50 at several third party retailers... Probably free during holiday sales, quite a lot of phone for very little (contact renewal and that whole ridiculousness aside). Reply

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