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. 


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


View All Comments

  • locowolf - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    Any chance that you can start testing battery life on GPS in some of these reviews? I am astonished at how fast GPS runs down the battery of my HTC One-X and would love to see how other smartphones fare. Reply
  • Belard - Saturday, September 15, 2012 - link

    Well... I finally got my Atrix HD today. So far, I'm liking the phone a lot... much more than my Galaxy S1... and personally, I still like it over the SGS3. Still getting used to Android 4.0

    Anyways, soon after activation - there is a 66mb upgrade for the Atrix HD phone which is supposed to:
    - Improve battery life (always a good thing)
    - Improve Wifi
    - some security fixes.
    - Improved Camera functions and image quality.

    Since I just got the Phone and did the update on its first charge, I don't have much to compare it with.

    Improving Camera and battery life would be a big boost to the phone.

    I really really like the Circles, how the info is provided.
  • Belard - Saturday, September 22, 2012 - link

    One week of use...

    Battery life seems to be getting better every day. Also, I've shut down some useless apps, mostly at&t ones for thinks I just don't need.

    Best Buy is now selling this phone (by itself) for $30... a steal.

    The phone fells great. The review is pretty accurate on its shortcomings (SIM cover). I also played with a friends new Samsung Galaxy S3, fixing some settings... and was glad to have bought the Atrix HD over the Samsung (even thou it is a somewhat better phone on the hardware end)

    4.1 will only make the Atrix a much better phone.
  • kbird1976 - Monday, October 01, 2012 - link

    How do I know if my phone is charging.. I thought there was a blue flashing light,but its gone Reply
  • kbird1976 - Monday, October 01, 2012 - link

    can you remove/change the keyboard that suggest words ? I hate that, I just want the old fashion touch 1 letter at a time ! Sorry, but I am an older user and swype isn't for me, nor the suggestion of words.

    Thanks !
  • KjunMan2012 - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    Stay away from the Motorola Atrix HD as it will not last the length of your contract. Purchased one at AT&T on 8/24/2012 with a 2 year contract. The phone battery lasted until 10/20/2012. After many questions by warranty such as "Do you leave the phone on at night?" I was able to obtain a new one under warranty spending $14.95 for expedited shipping.
    I doubt this phone will last until the end of the contract as the battery which cannot be changed will die again and at that point I have nothing, nada, for a phone. Maybe it will get dropped overboard while fishing as it is insured. Probably will end up buying another phone on eBay to get to end of contract. Wanted to pay for a new Samsung and trade in this NEW Motorola but they would not deal or wanted $450.00 for me to change phones. I am stuck with this one but no more Motorola phones for me. My son has the Samsung Galaxy III and has no issues with it. Should have spent the additional $100.00 and got a quality phone. John Arbuckle said "You get what you paid for". Boy, was he right!
    Camera is poor on the Motorola. Photos come out rather yellow looking. Difficult to save photos and some I have not been able to delete.
    My suggestion. spend a little more money and get a much better phone than the Motorola. I hope it lasts till contract ends but i am not confident.
  • Jay72 - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - link

    If I run Lin pack multi threaded 10 times on my atrix HD, I get from 250 to 300 MFLOPS on 9 of the runs. Reply

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