Still Camera Experience & Quality

LG tried with the Optimus 2X to make the most of the SoC NVIDIA gave it. The phone supported both 1080p video output and 1080p video recording. Even the still camera had a 6 fps burst mode, exploiting NVIDIA's allegedly high performance ISP. In its quest for specs however the Optimus 2X didn't always deliver. Video recorded at 1080p wasn't particularly impressive, and you can only take stills in burst mode at a 2MP resolution.

Motorola on the other hand appears to be aiming more at user experience rather than feature set. The Atrix 4G only supports up to 720p output over HDMI and can only record videos at 720p as well. There's no burst mode supported by the camera app.

Even settings in Motorola's camera app are pretty sparse. You don't get to choose resolution specifically, but you get to pick aspect ratio and total pixel count. There are no white balance or exposure options to set here either. You can choose between predefined settings grouped into scenes (e.g. auto, portrait, landscape, night, macro) and that's pretty much it.

The app is fast though. Switching between the rear camera and the front camera is iPhone 4 fast, and switching to shooting video is faster than any other phone I've used. The experience in the camera app is very smooth. Even the view finder is super smooth.

Stills are shot at 2592 x 1456 by default, although you can switch to a 5MP mode which will give you images at 2592 x 1944.

Image quality is reasonable but not spectacular in brightly lit environments. Images aren't as saturated, detailed or as contrasty compared to the iPhone 4. Lower light performance suffers, particularly on the front facing camera as there's no flash.

Motorola Atrix 4G

Apple iPhone 4

Motorola's camera app doesn't support tap to focus and it will only focus on whatever is in the center of the screen. Since there's no tap to focus the scene will often be blurry before you take a shot and only come into focus after you've hit the capture button.

Shutter lag is decent for a smartphone and overall I'm impressed with the camera app itself.

The Webtop App: Atrix as a PC Battery Life
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  • jigglywiggly - Sunday, February 13, 2011 - link

    i spy with my little eyes a 780i motherboard.
  • EvlG - Sunday, February 13, 2011 - link

    Nice writeup! Can you send a SMS from the portal? Or just view/delete? Would be convenient to be able to chat over SMS without having to get the phone out of my pocket
  • CallumS - Sunday, February 13, 2011 - link

    Hi Anand

    Just noticed that you mentioned two different resolutions;
    In the text: "On the front is the 4.0" qHD PenTile LCD screen (960 x 540 resolution)"
    In the table:4" IPS-LCD 800x480

    Can you please confirm/fix? I hope the first one is correct!


  • Chloiber - Sunday, February 13, 2011 - link

    There is a whole page about the screen...
  • CallumS - Sunday, February 13, 2011 - link

    Yeah sorry I noticed that later. Obviously just the table is wrong.

    Looking forward to this and other mobile's with high resolution displays!
  • StormyParis - Sunday, February 13, 2011 - link

    It does seem to make sense to move phones towards the desktop. They are, or will soon be, powerful enough for most uses. However

    - the price is outrageous. I can get a very good netbook or even laptop for less money
    - the whole setup is proprietary. With the accelerated mobile phone upgrade cycle, it means it's money down a very fast drain. A netbook/laptop will be easier to re-use.

    HP's tap to synch approach makes a lot more sense until these two issues are solved, if they ever are.
  • Leimi - Sunday, February 13, 2011 - link


    Thanks for this great preview, this phone seems to be a really great device :)
    One question though, do you know if the LED is multi color ? You can test this with Blink (you have to switch off screen after choosing a color). It's on the market :

  • jcompagner - Sunday, February 13, 2011 - link

    My carrier has no influence on what phone or what software is on that phone at all. I never buy my phone through my carrier, always just on 1 of the many gsm webshops there are over here.

    Most of the time i just buy my phone when ever a phone comes around that i want to have, i don't look at my contract at all (i also could do that but i most of the time don't do that)

    So buy my phone for 600 euro.. then i go to my carrier when my contract ends (when ever that is) and then i ask them what the best sim only contract there is what they can offer me.. (1 or 2 years). Currently the 2 year was the best so what i get was a 25 euro contract per month where i get 40% off over 2 years, and the first 6 months i did get an additional 50% off on top over that.
    So that's the first 6 months 17.5 euro off (105 euro) and then 18 months 10 euro off (180) thats in total 285 euro that i save, so that i only payed for my high end phone 315 euro on a contract of 25 euro.. And i can buy whenever i want a new phone and extend my contract when thats around the corner.. they are not related to each other.
  • erwos - Sunday, February 13, 2011 - link

    They apparently want $500 for the laptop dock and $130 for the desktop dock, not to mention tethering charges WHEN YOU ARE NOT TETHERING.

    It's completely absurd, and is probably the first time I've actually started wishing for carrier subsidies to be outlawed, as they are in some countries.
  • svengalis - Sunday, February 13, 2011 - link

    Nope it can't mirror. This is why the Optimus 2x is better to me. It does TRUE mirroring of the WHOLE UI so no need for this silly laptop dock when I can buy a cheap laptop and do basically the same thing for FREE.

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