Our previews often give out a lot more information than you'd expect for a Day 0/Day 1 post, and have been confused for whole reviews in the past. So what do the reviews get you? Other than the battery life  testing, the big piece is the analysis of the whole picture. When we first looked at the performance of the device we were curious about the SunSpider score. So, what was so odd about that score? Let's look again.

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark 0.9.1 - Stock Browser


Our JavaScript tests give us a good feel for compute performance, but as much as stressing silicon, these tests gauge software performance, too. All Android builds aren't created equal, and with the hardware parity of so many of these devices (the S4 driven ones) these results bear that out. So, that Sunspider result, which stands nearly 20% better than the pack of S4 devices behind it, owes much of its success from the Motorola browser. But synthetic benchmarks are exactly that, synthetic; and they can be optimized for in order to drive up scores without necesarily providing a real world performance boost. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that, and that's not necessarily what's going on here. But, when you look at the BrowserMark score, you see a 5% deficit behind another S4 device, not the 20% lead we saw in SunSpider. So, what's a more real world result?

Vellamo Overall Score

CraftyMindFlash Rendering Performance

Vellamo is, notably, a Qualcomm developed benchmark that stresses networking, rendering, Javascript and user experience (namely scrolling behaviors). The results hint at a Qualcomm bias, with MSM8960 holding spots 2-6 in our chart; but that disregards the reality that no other dual-core SoC will be competitive against the S4 for several more months. Vellamo does provide a great way to stratify performance amongst S4-based devices. The Atrix HD bests the other S4 phones, but not in a devastating fashion. One component of Vellamo is that same SunSpider test we run separately, so the lead in Vellamo could owe itself entirely to that. Taking a look at Flash performance we see the Atrix HD falling within the pack, again. 

Linpack - Single-threaded

Linpack - Multi-threaded

Things seem to fall apart a bit here, with results falling dangerously close to the 20% lower clocked Incredible 4G. This is a purely compute synthetic test, and it seems curious that any software changes would have a serious affect on compute performance, but stranger things have happened. Now onto GPU tests.

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Egypt

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Egypt - Offscreen (720p)

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Pro

GLBenchmark 2.1 - Pro - Offscreen (720p)

RightWare Basemark ES 2.0 V1 - Taiji

RightWare Basemark ES 2.0 V1 - Hoverjet

Several of our current suite of GPU tests have been pegging vsync for a while now. Offscreen tests bypass vsync so the results are more useful when performance clears 60 fps. Something interesting happens with the Atrix HD, though; onscreen tests fall below 60 fps by no small margin. Since onscreen and offscreen resolutions are the same, you'd expect performance to be equivalent in both tests. Instead you see a massive improvement in the offscreen tests. What's going on? There could be lots of things, from differences in rendering difficulty for onscreen and offscreen tests (triggered at the driver level), to thermal issues that arise because of the heat generated by the screen. Real gameplay doens't seem to suffer as much as you'd think, playing Mass Effect: Infiltrator and Shadowgun yielded smooth performance and no issues with image quality. But wait, there's more . . . 

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt HD

GLBenchmark 2.5 - Egypt HD (Offscreen 1080p)

With GLBenchmark 2.5 the bar is raised and scores drop. The pack bunches up pretty tightly, particularly in the 1080p offscreen test. Here we see that performance falls right in line with the other S4 devices. Pair that with a performance hit in the other tests that's not likely to be noticeable and the takeaway is that Motorola's software tweaks don't hurt real world performance today, or tomorrow. So, no harm, no foul, no more.

Display Software and Camera


View All Comments

  • Schadenfreude - Wednesday, September 5, 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!
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, September 5, 2012 - link

    Thanks, it's fixed now. Their's always one. :) Reply
  • noblemo - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    Similarly, I think "tack" should be, "tact." Reply
  • noblemo - Friday, September 7, 2012 - link

    Well, "tactic," actually. Reply
  • coolhardware - Wednesday, September 5, 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:
    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. :-)
  • jjj - Wednesday, September 5, 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 5, 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.
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, September 5, 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 5, 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.
  • Impulses - Wednesday, September 5, 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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