Remember we also mentioned it would be a Bell Mobility exclusive when it finally came to Canada?
Well we finally have a confirmed launch date: March 17.
If you’re curious how folks in the U.S. have reacted to the ATRIX, here are some good reviews we’ve rounded up:
Engadget: They give it a 9/10… that’s quite a statement. “this device more than holds its own against the the best of the best on the market right now”
CNET: 4 out of 5 stars “earns its place at the top of AT&T’s Android lineup”
BoyGeniusReport (BGR): “The device is so powerful that it can power a laptop with full Firefox browser, and spit out 1080p video like it’s nothing”
We’ll be getting our own review model shortly and should be able to pass along our impressions in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here’s what we can tell you about the Canadian debut:
- $169.95 on a 3-year contract with a minimum $50 voice/data plan or
- $599.95 no-contract price
The ATRIX of course is compatible with two unique accessories: the Lapdock, which effectively turns the ATRIX into a full-fledged netbook equivalent, and the HD Multimedia Dock which lets you turn the ATRIX into a media hub for your living room. Unfortunately Bell remains mum on the pricing for these accessories at launch, but it’s a fair bet they’ll be priced in-line with the U.S. market which currently has the Lapdock at $500 and the HD dock at $99 USD, but as is the case in the U.S., there might be bundle deals here too.
Onboard the ATRIX, you’ll find:
- A dual-core processor
- qHD display – 540×960 resolution in a 4” screen
- 1GB of RAM
- Android 2.2
- Front- and rear-facing cameras for video chat and the ability to record and output in HD
- Biometric fingerprint reader for unlocking your phone and extra security
- 1930 mAh battery
- the ability to locate, wipe and restore data if the device is lost or stolen
- Up to 48GB of storage (16GB internal and optional 32GB MicroSD card)
- Download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps and Mobile Hotspot service for connecting up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices
- preloaded apps: Bell Remote PVR, GPS Navigator and Kobo eReader
Another interesting fact for those of you who have been following the U.S. mobile scene and wondered what all the fuss around “4G” was: Turns out, the ITU which is the governing body for mobile telecommunication standards, decided late last year that networks which had been calling themselves “3G or 3.5G” – such as the Bell/TELUS HSPA+ network – could now refer to themselves as “4G”. This despite the fact that the ITU had always said that you needed 100mbps service in order to be considered 4G.
Anyway, bottom line is that the ATRIX, which is marketed as the “ATRIX 4G” in the U.S., is officially running on a 4G network here too. It’s the same network that was running yesterday, but with a brand new name. I know. Don’t be surprised if you start hearing that term used a LOT more in advertisements in the near future.
Let me leave you with one more tidbit… if you’re dying to get your hands on the ATRIX but don’t want to pony up the cash, Bell will be giving away 5 ATRIX prize packs including the phone, Lapdock and HD dock… you can sign up for the giveaway here.
Update Mar 18: The ATRIX is now for sale and we have confirmation on final pricing from Bell. Lapdock accessory: $329, HD Multimedia Dock: $129, Standard Dock: $49.95, Vehicle Dock: $59.95. Also, be sure to check out Marc’s video overview of the ATRIX and accessories.
Disclosure: Sync is owned and operated by Bell Canada.
Ever since the BlackBerry started to give people access to their email anywhere, and probably long before that, we’ve been imagining a day when the only computing device we need will be small enough to fit in our pockets. That day may be here, at least if Motorola has anything to say about it. Their new ATRIX smartphone, a dual-core speed demon boasting 1 GB of RAM, is the centre of an entire portable ecosystem that includes a laptop-like screen and keyboard combo and a home-theatre dock which turns the ATRIX into an HD media hub. It’s essentially just another Android-powered smartphone, but the ATRIX’s power and peripherals (and some very specialized custom software) make this Android device the first of its kind to free its user from ever again needing to power up a regular computer.
This year at CES, several themes have become apparent to observers: 3D is here to stay, TV’s are now the entertainment hub of living room, tablets are on fire and smartphones are becoming er, smarter.
As if to prove this last point, Motorola, which has enjoyed good reviews for their Android-powered phones but hasn’t quite achieved the success of its competitors such as Samsung and HTC, has come out with both guns blazing. Their new take on the smartphone is more than just a fancy handset – it is quite fancy – they’ve bolstered the unit with not one but two companion devices that position the ATRIX as the ultimate mobile road warrior.
First up, the phone itself – it runs Android 2.2 – not Honeycomb which is the upcoming release specifically for tablets. Now I’m going to quote liberally from the press release…
Motorola ATRIX delivers unprecedented mobile computing capabilities in a package less than 11mm thin, including:
- A full 1 GB of fast, PC-grade RAM is twice more than offered in most other smartphones and delivers effortless multi-tasking, such as watching a movie while receiving and responding to email.
- The world’s first qHD smartphone display, offering high resolution and 24-bit colour, making it easier to read indoors and outdoors
- A dual-core 1 GHz processor capable of opening web pages twice as fast as most other smartphones, rendering games faster and displaying HD video on big-screen TVs
- Front and rear facing cameras for video chat and the ability to record and output in HD.
- Biometric fingerprint reader for easily unlocking your phone while providing extra security
- Under 11mm thin, but with an extra large 1930 mAh battery for extended standby and talk time
- Keep up to date on social networks with automatic delivery of messages through MOTOBLUR, also adding the ability to locate, wipe and restore the device data if lost
- Up to 48GB of storage (16GB internal and optional 32GB MicroSD card) – enough to store thousands of songs, photos and as many as 15 full-length movies
- Mobile Hotspot service for connecting up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices
And the accessory docks:
- The Motorola HD Multi-Media Dock has three USB ports and an HDMI port, enabling connections to a keyboard, monitor, mouse, speakers or HDMI monitor for working on traditional PC tasks, and connects to an HDMI-enabled television and home theater audio system for enjoying video, music, games and more.
- The Motorola Laptop Dock has an incredibly thin laptop-like industrial design with an 11.6-inch screen and full keyboard. Users simply dock their Motorola ATRIX into the back for working and playing on the go.
As you might expect, there is no word on price or launch date yet, but Bell clearly wants people to get on the ATRIX bandwagon and has conveniently set up a sign-up page similar to the ones they made for the Galaxy S and iPhone handsets before they came out. You can find it here: http://www.bell.ca/atrix
Disclosure: Sync is owned and operated by Bell Canada.