Motorola Atrix 4G
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The Motorola Atrix 4G, with capacitive buttons across the bottom
US: February 22, 2011
|Availability by country||US: Q1-2011
|Successor||Atrix 2, Atrix HD, Atrix HD LTE|
|Form factor||Touchscreen smartphone|
|Dimensions||117.75 mm (4.636 in) H
63.50 mm (2.500 in) W
10.95 mm (0.431 in) D
|Weight||135 grams (4.8 oz)|
|Operating system||Android 2.3.4 and 2.3.6 Gingerbread|
|System on chip||Nvidia Tegra 2|
|CPU||1 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9|
|Memory||1 GB LP DDR2 RAM|
|Storage||16 GB on board, supports up to 32 GB microSDHC, total 48 GB|
|Data inputs||Multi-touch capacitive touchscreen display, accelerometer, magnetometer, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, fingerprint reader|
|Display||4.0-inch 960×540 px qHD TFT LCD at 275 ppi, 16 M colors, Gorilla Glass|
|Rear camera||5 MP AF, digital zoom with LED Flash
Capture – 720p MPEG4 and H.264 at 30 frame/s (full 1080p to be supported via software upgrade post-launch)
|Front camera||0.3 MP VGA imager for video chat, self image capture|
|Connectivity||WiFi 2.4, 5 GHz 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1 EDR
WCDMA 850/1900/2100 MHz
GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
HSPA+ at 14.4 Mbit/s
audio jack 3.5 mm
Micro USB 2.0 HS
|Other||Android WebKit with Adobe Flash Player, Mozilla Firefox 3.6.13 in Webtop Application, eCompass,
aGPS with Google Maps, Google Street View, Google Latitude, Android Market
|Website||Motorola.Com - Atrix 4G|
The Motorola Atrix 4G (also known as MB860, ME860 in Asia market, MB861 in Korean market) is an Android-based smartphone by Motorola, introduced in CES 2011 on January 5, 2011. It was made available in the first quarter of 2011. It was introduced along with three other products, Motorola Xoom, Motorola Droid Bionic, and Motorola Cliq 2. It uses an NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processor. It is the first phone to use the PenTile qHD display with 24-bit graphics. The Motorola Atrix 4G is carried by the following wireless providers: AT&T Wireless US, Orange UK, Bell Canada CAN, Telstra AU. AT&T released Atrix on March 6. It won CNET Best of CES 2011 Award in the Smartphone category, and won nine awards at CES 2011. With the launch of the Motorola Atrix 4G at CES 2011, Motorola and Google had been working together to integrate the software with the hardware.
- Code name: Olympus
- NVIDIA Tegra 2 (dual-core 1 GHz Cortex A9 + GeForce ULP)
- HSPA+ at 14.4 Mbit/s down (Category 10 HSPDA), 5.76 Mbit/s up (Category 6 HSUPA) where available
- Android 2.2 (Upgradable on most carriers to 2.3 "Gingerbread", upgradable to 4.4.4 "Kitkat" with custom firmware)
- 1 GB LP-DDR2 RAM
- 16 GB Internal memory, expandable by microSDXC 64 GB, total of 80 GB
- 4-inch PenTile qHD display (540×960) with Gorilla Glass
- 5.0 MP with dual LED flash, 4× digital zoom and autofocus, 720p video capture at 30 frame/s
(Full 1080p video capture will be officially supported via software upgrade sometime post-launch, unofficially available since 15 May 2011 via customized package)
- VGA front-facing camera for video calls
- Micro USB
- Micro HDMI (type D)
- 3.5 mm audio jack
- 2nd rear microphone for "uplink" noise reduction
- TriColor LED notification light
- Fingerprint scanner
- 1930 mAh user-changeable Li-po battery
- 117.75 × 63.50 × 10.95 millimetres (4.636 × 2.500 × 0.431 in)
- 135 grams (4.8 oz)
The Atrix 4G was one of the first Motorola devices to ship with its Webtop platform. When the phone is placed into its HD Multimedia Dock or Laptop Dock accessories, the user can access an Ubuntu-based desktop featuring access to the phone and its applications via the Mobile View'application, integration of Android notifications into the desktop, multimedia playback through Entertainment Center, file management through Nautilus, and the Firefox web browser (along with support for Prism for the site-specific browsers used on Webtop mode).
Atrix accessories announced as of October 2011[update] include:
- Lapdock — Laptop dock
- HD multimedia dock — Desktop dock with HDMI, audio, USB ports, and IR remote control
- Navigation Dock — Vehicle dock
- PowerDock — Standard dock
- On April 30, 2011 AT&T issued an update to the Motorola Atrix 4G enabling HSUPA
- On July 25, 2011 AT&T began rolling out the Android 2.3.4 update to the AT&T-branded Atrix 4G
- On February 8, 2012 Motorola sent out Android 2.3.6 to 1000 phones for market testing. Only AT&T customers enjoy 2.3.6 version.
- On February 15, 2012, Motorola announced that an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) would be available in Q3 2012.
- On September 28, 2012, Motorola announced that they would not upgrade the Atrix 4G to Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) as they had promised, prompting customer outrage.
In June 2011 Motorola and Sprint announced the release on July 31 of the Motorola Photon 4G, which has a 4.3-inch (110 mm) qHD multi-touch display and a 1 GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor. It has an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with 720p recording capabilities, a VGA front-facing camera for video chat and self-portrait pictures, and the Sprint ID customization app.
Reception and awards
The Atrix 4G received largely positive reviews from critics. Engadget gave the Atrix 4G 9 out of 10, commenting on its sound quality and high-resolution display. CNET gave it 4 out of 5 stars for its sleek design and 5 megapixels camera.
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When the Atrix was shipped to AT&T, root access was available, but Motorola locked the bootloader by request of AT&T, meaning that custom versions of Android (ROMs) were not able to be installed.  Only pseudo-roms (Not fully modified versions of Android) were available, since the kernel could not be overwritten.
Many customers wrote to Motorola, including on their Facebook page, and eventually a method to unlock the bootloader was released. People began to create custom ROMs for the phone, and eventually, it gained official CyanogenMod 7 support. However, CyanogenMod support was more difficult to gain than for other phones because the Atrix shipped with uncommon features, such as WebTop support and a fingerprint reader.
After CyanogenMod 7 was finished, Motorola's support pages stated that the latest version (at the time) of Android, 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), would be released to the phone. This would be important for the development of CyanogenMod 9, since the existing kernel of the Atrix (based on Linux 2.6) was incompatible with Ice Cream Sandwich drivers. Though ROMs based on Ice Cream Sandwich could still be used, important features such as hardware acceleration did not work.
Motorola Mobility was then acquired by Google, and the online support page still said that the Atrix would receive ICS. However, eventually the page was updated stating that the Atrix would not receive the ICS update, meaning that development would be extremely difficult to move forward.
Eventually, developers were able to get a testing version of the incomplete AT&T ICS ROM, leading some to believe that ICS progress would be able to move forward again. However, that build drained battery power rapidly and did not come with the kernel source, meaning that it could not be used for stable development purposes.
Some developers eventually succeeded in developing a Jelly Bean ROM from the leak with minimal bugs.
Developers then decided to build their own kernel, based on the nVidia Linux 3.1 kernel. According to kernel developer krystianp, "Motorola helped the team, and give them a little boost. We can't say they played fair, but at least they help a little." As for the kernel, it is being made "with ported code derived from a combination of sources."
In August 2014, a release of CyanogenMod 11 (based on Android 4.4 "KitKat") was made available.
Other phones with Tegra 2 SoC:
- International CES 2011 Press Kit Retrieved 12 Jan 2011.
- Specifications NVIDIA - Tegra 2 dual core processor Retrieved 12 Jan 2011.
- Insight Media. "Display Daily — The World's Most Significant New Smart Phone". Retrieved 2011-01-21.
- AT&T Mobility Preview of the Motorola Atrix 4G Retrieved 12 Jan 2011.
- Orange UK Press Release of Motorola Atrix 4G. Retrieved 14 Jan 2011.
- Bell.Ca Motorola Atrix 4G Coming to Canada's Best Network. Retrieved 14 Jan 2011.
- AT&T Announces the World’s Most Powerful Smartphone, the Motorola ATRIX 4G, will be Available for Preorder on Feb. 13
- CNet - Best of CES 2011 Smartphone Category video 9:22 to 10:30. Retrieved 12 Jan 2011
- Motorola.com Atrix 4G Wins 9 Awards at CES 2011. Retrieved 12 Jan 2011.
- Galbraith, Craig (2011-02-03). "Motorola Atrix 4G: AT&T'S Best Bet Against Verizon iPhone?". Channel Partners. Phoenix, Arizona. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
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- Wireless.Att.Com 4G LTE HSPA+ Description. Retrieved 20 Jan 2011.
- "[ROM] [ROM] CM 11 ( Android 4.4.4 ) for Atrix (BigPart)". XDA Developers (Mailing list). 22 December 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
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- Johnston, Craig James (2011). My Motorola Atrix 4G. Que Publishing. p. 5. ISBN 9780132827973. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- "Hands-on: Motorola Atrix's Ubuntu-powered WebTop experience". Ars Technica. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- "Announcing the new Motorola Webtop source project".
- Motorola.com - Atrix 4G - Laptop Dock
- Motorola.com - Atrix 4G - HD Multimedia Dock
- "ATRIX - HD Multimedia Dock". motorola-enterprise.custhelp.com. Motorola Mobility, Inc. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
- Motorola.com - Atrix 4G - Vehicle Dock
- Motorola.com - Atrix 4G - Standard Dock
- "AT&T Customers to Enjoy Gingerbread.". att.com. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
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- "CES: Moto spills full details on Atrix 4G and laptop dock".
- Blake Stimac (February 22, 2011). "Motorola Atrix 4G bootloader locked down – custom ROMs a no-go". IntoMobile. Retrieved 2014-11-19.
- "UNLOCK YOUR BOOTLOADER". Motorola Mobility. Retrieved 2014-11-19.
- "[FAQ] Olympus (Atrix 4G) Kernel 3.1 Project". 10 April 2013. Retrieved 2014-11-19.
- "[ROM] CM 11 ( Android 4.4.4 ) for Atrix (BigPart)". 14 August 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-19.
- Official website
- "Motorola ATRIX 4G Fact sheet". Motorola Media Center. Motorola Mobility LLC. 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
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