Sep 22 AT 8:51 PM Dustin Earley 21 Comments

Motorola Atrix 2 hands-on: slim, fast, no more PenTile display

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Here at Android and Me, we’ve been paying close attention to the Motorola Atrix 2 for quite some time now. And for good reason. Way back when the device first leaked, when it was still being called the MB865 in late July, there was a lot of hype surrounding what was destined to be the GSM variant of the Motorola Bionic. Now, finally, the Atrix 2 has made its way into a full hands-on preview. So how does it stack up against it’s CDMA/LTE cousin? Any particular areas where the device really stands out? The answers may surprise you.

Specs wise, the Atrix 2 is only a mild improvement over the first. Instead of a Tegra 2, we’re looking at a 1 GHz TI OMAP4, along with 1 GB RAM, 8 GB internal storage, an 8MP rear camera, front-facing camera, 1735mAh battery, Android 2.3.5, Webtop compatibility and a 4.3-inch qHD display. All packed into a textured plastic shell at around 10mm thick. Sounds pretty similar to the Bionic, no? Well those similarities, as great as they are, pale in comparison to the differences.

First up, the overall feel. Chris Ziegler of This is my Next got his hands on the device and wasn’t shy in confessing his love for the overall feel of the “Edison.” The textured plastic leaves you feeling like you’re holding a high-quality device, and the lack of a camera hump around the back makes for an even slimmer profile than you’d expect of a 10mm device. Compared to the Bionic, the 3mm drop in size apparently really makes a difference. And then there’s the display.

For quite some time now, I have loathed (LOATHED) phones that utilize PenTile screen technology. I won’t go too far into it today, but essentially, you can use funky sub-pixel arrangements in displays to give a screen a faux resolution. The orignal Super AMOLED display and Motorola’s most recent qHD displays both use PenTile technology. The results? Grainy text and terrible color rendering. Motorola is finally doing away with PenTile displays, starting with the Atrix 2. If you’re wondering just what kind of difference this will have on your device, spend a day looking at something like an HTC Sensation compared to a Bionic. Or a Nexus S (or any other Galaxy S device for that matter) compared to a Galaxy S II. In my eyes, the difference is night and day.

There’s no telling what may change before the Atrix 2 is finally released, but there’s good reason to believe it won’t be much. Now that you’ve seen and heard a little more about the successor to the original dual-core Android device, what do you think? Not enough of an upgrade? Or does the true qHD display have you wiping drool from you chin? Let us know in the comments below.

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Source: This Is My Next

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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