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Atrix mini-review from day-one Captivate buyer

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by John I, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. John I

    John I Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I have long suffered waiting for Froyo and the GPS fix on my Captivate and finally got fed up. Long story short, I got Atrix on day-one after having gotten Captivate day-one also!

    This review is a comparison of the pros and cons of the Atrix vs the Captivate. Both unrooted with stock firmware. I have the Atrix fully loaded with the same apps as the Captivate had.


    • Speed. Atrix is fast. Really fast. There is no lag. I had actually gotten used to hitting "home" or "back" on Captivate multiple times before getting a response. Everything is snappy in a way that I had never dreamed of. The market used to take a full minute to show me a list of my apps, now it is 3 seconds. Pandora now comes up and plays almost immediately instead of taking forever. Downloading and installing apps is so fast that I actually LOL. Etc, etc.
    • Notification LED. Seems like a small thing, but the lack of this on the Captivate is inexcusable. I leave my phone on vibrate at work and found myself turning the phone on and off MANY times a day just to check for texts, emails and missed calls. This little $0.02 LED makes a huge difference to me.
    • Camera Flash. Again seems small, but something I really missed. Wow is it a great flashlight too!
    • Fingerprint reader: I didn't even think I would use this! Turns out it is really useful and allows me to easily unlock the phone quickly with one hand - either hand.
    • Sync software. Lack of any PC software whatsoever was a major downer with the Captivate. I HATED that Kies is disabled in the US. I connected Atrix to my PC and immediately the proper drivers downloaded and installed to use it as a mass storage device. Next I browsed to the root folder on the phone and low and behold there was a setup.exe file. Running that installed a really nice Windows sync program and all the needed drivers. (Someone at Samsung deserves a swift kick in the balls for Kies.)
    • Case design. Atrix is a little smaller than Captivate despite having the same size screen. Something about the more rounded shape just feels better in my hand and smaller in my pocket. The Speck case is awesome BTW.
    • Less AT&T bloatware and most can be uninstalled.
    • (edit - forgot GPS!) The GPS locks on instantaneously and is extremely accurate. Even sitting on my center console the accuracy is insane. The satellite view showed me centered in the exact parking spot that I pulled into earlier today - I got a strange feeling that it was somehow a live picture from above.

    • Screen. Yes the Captivate AMOLED screen is nicer than the Atrix. Hands down. The Atrix does have higher resolution, but the Captivate screen looks sharper, deeper black and has better viewing angles. While doing texting, browsing and other routine tasks there is really very little difference. The time it is most noticeable is when you are looking at fancy live wallpapers and stuff like that.
    • Battery monitoring is only accurate to 10% instead of 1% (i.e. 100, 90, 80, 70 etc). WTF?
    Jury still out:

    • Battery. The battery on the Atrix is massive. Considering how much I have used this phone in the past two days, the battery life has been great. It is still too early to say for sure, but it looks like the battery lasts noticeably longer than the Captivate. I noticed the Atrix does not even get hot while playing Robo Defense. The Captivate burned battery like mad on Robo Defense. My guess is the Atrix' Nvidia chipset does not even break a sweat for a simple game like Robo Defense.
    • Forward facing camera. Haven't found any software for this yet.
    I am very happy so far. I will use the 30 day trial to continue to evaluate. If I had to decide today, I would keep the Atrix and put the Captivate on eBay.



  2. LateDroid

    LateDroid Member

    now THIS is a proper review. high five.
    irishtexmex likes this.
  3. mrvirginia

    mrvirginia Android Expert

    yeah good review. sucks you had to compare it to a crap Captivate though lol a lot of the issues you're listing in the pros section (which would be cons for the Captivate) are not issues on my Evo. like the speed. i don't have to hit back a bunch of times and things load rather quickly. i know scrolling and things like that are a lot smoother though on the Atrix in comparison. i've see the vids and can tell this much. and of course the Evo has a notification light and dual led flash.
    battery is where mine takes a hit though, and form factor. i bet the Atrix is gonna feel like heaven in my hand in comparison

    have you rooted for sideloading yet? that's how you'd be able to get some front facing cam software on there.
  4. dimammx

    dimammx Newbie

    Screen looks kind of Grainy on the ATRIX. :(
  5. LateDroid

    LateDroid Member

    i have an iPhone 3GS and i just went to the AT&T store and played with the Atrix. there is nothing "grainy" about the screen, it's beautiful.
  6. s.m.knipe

    s.m.knipe Android Expert

    See, I actually prefer the screen on the Atrix, but I do a lot of reading and website viewing on my device so maybe that's why... At any rate, I can't fathom a single way my Captivate beats my Atrix...
  7. DT

    DT Android Expert

    Same where, the text and small graphic details are way sharper. I guess if I mainly just watched videos, then it might be better...

    ...though I dropped a copy of Finding Nemo from a file I had originally converted for the Captivate and it looked pretty amazing.
  8. s.m.knipe

    s.m.knipe Android Expert

    Yeah, I dropped 300 and Sherlock Holmes on my card and they both looked amazing...
  9. DT

    DT Android Expert

    Later I'm going to put a couple of full sized (1920x1080) movies on it, use the HDMI connector and see how it runs/works on a TV!
  10. MarcMaiden

    MarcMaiden Android Enthusiast

    compared to the inspire,

    it seems like the colors are a little more "Washed out" on the atrix. However, the atrix screen is much sharper and much brighter than the inspires. The Atrix with the brightness set to 1/5th is the same as the brightness on the inspire set to 100%.

    I will say though,
    There are some apps that do not support the Atrix's resolution yet. Words with friends and pocket legends are a good example.
  11. naviwilliams

    naviwilliams Android Enthusiast

    John, nice review. Now I'm expecting an update in a day or two :)
  12. John I

    John I Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I will update to say that the battery is really working great. It lasts much longer than the Captivate. I did a bunch of surfing and phone calls yesterday and used the flashlight for at least 20 minutes. 24 hours after removing from the charger it is still showing 50%. Also, I noticed the battery meter does start going by 5's once you get down to 20%.

    At this point I am starting the process of clearing the Captivate and factory reset in order to sell on eBay.
  13. John I

    John I Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Oh and almost forgot. I went by the AT&T store last night and looked at accessories:

    • Docking bays-I haven't heard anyone mention this here, but you can't put the phone in any of the docks without removing any protective case that is installed on the phone. I was planning on getting a multimedia dock and a regular dock using my 50% corporate discount, but now I am hesitating. I love my speck case and it is not the easiest thing to take on and off.
    • Laptop bay- I am really glad that I never planned on getting one of these. WOW! It is the cheapest feeling laptop I have ever seen. I just bought a laptop from Newegg for $399 dollars that is a complete laptop with 320 gig hard drive, etc, etc. There is no way the Atrix laptop base is worth more than $100. As many laptops and PCs as I have I wouldn't pay $20.
    • Keyboard and mouse for MM dock- Again these items just scream CHEAP! If I ever really want a kb and mouse I will find a way to hook up my own.

    So it looks like I probably won't buy any of the docks at this point. No big deal. I was planning on getting a MM dock mostly for traveling and I still will when the prices drop to next to nothing. Most hotels I stay in have flat screens now. I will get by just fine by bringing the HDMI cable that came with the phone. I am already loading the phone with movie rips to watch.
  14. kuj

    kuj Newbie

    Compared with the iPhone 3GS, the Atrix screen is gorgeous. Compared to the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4 wins.
  15. allambition

    allambition Well-Known Member

    I am a Captivate owner and fairly happen with my purchase but do agree with you that it sucks in several ways. The screen is awesome but the GPS sucks. I got a custom ROM with Froyo 2.2 and don't have any speed problems, its super quick. I wish it had flash for the camera but it wasn't a deal breaker for me. I just got this phone so I'm not switching yet but I'll keep the Atrix in mind when I look for a phone.
  16. chicknlil

    chicknlil Android Enthusiast


    You might be interested in hearing that there's a vehicle dock too, and as I understand it, it has inserts that can be removed so that it'll fit a phone inside of a case. The local stores (at least in my area) don't seem to have it yet, but it is available on the website.

    That said, envy your 50% corporate discount. I don't recall how much mind is offhand, but know that its not even close to that amount!
  17. LateDroid

    LateDroid Member

    vehicle dock is coming on tuesday, $20 shipped to my door with a corporate discount
  18. pewpewbangbang

    pewpewbangbang Android Enthusiast

    Im guessing you never rooted your captivate or anything and used the stock crappy touchwiz UI.

    I've been very happy with the Captivate, custom ROMS are amazing.

    Running gingerbread right now with Cyanogenmod 7 and its awesome.

    But i probably would prefer an Atrix just for the Tegra 2 dual-core.

    I'd rather wait it out till around this summer when AT&T comes out with LTE

    I also have ATT 4G on the Captivate since it was pretty much out, get 3.3 Mbps down and 1.5 Mbps up average
  19. ranova

    ranova Android Enthusiast

    I wrote this in another thread:
    to get pretty accurate battery percentage readings by 1%, get Circle Battery Widget:

    To change colors of your notification light for separate apps, get Light Flow:
  20. shalemail

    shalemail Android Expert

    Question, how do you "drop" movies on your sd card, what format? I have several movies that come with "digital copies" I'd love to drop them on the Atrix, please explain....
  21. jessie1290

    jessie1290 Newbie

    I got a car dock a couple days ago and despite the inserts included with the dock leading you to believe the phone will dock with a case, I have not been able to find one that will work. My Spek case is too big. It's also too hard to take off each time I want to use the car dock. I've been to 3 AT&T stores and can't find one that will allow me to dock the phone while in the case. If anybody finds one, please let me know!
  22. booboo64

    booboo64 Newbie

    @Shalemail, One way, is to simply copy using Windows Explorer. You can also sync via Windows Media Player....
  23. shalemail

    shalemail Android Expert

    What format will the Atrix read? For instance I have Dark Knight and Iron Man 2 digital copies included with the Bluray ... so I load them on the PC and then sync them to the Atrix and they will play?
  24. Dave__C

    Dave__C Newbie

    The Body Glove case is working with my car dock. It also fits the media dock after you pop out the insert in the dock.

    It takes a bit of care when inserting into the car dock, but no big deal.

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