Motorola Android phone pairs with dock for added features

The phone will run on AT&T's HSPA network

Motorola on Wednesday showed off a new Android phone that connects to a docking station that looks like a laptop but has no CPU, so that users can access a full physical keyboard and monitor.

The Atrix 4G runs a 1 GHz dual-core processor, matching the power of full-size PCs from just a few years past. The phone hooks to the dock using an app called Motorola Webtop. The docking device weighs just over 2 pounds and has long battery life, said Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola Mobility. He unveiled the device at the AT&T Developers Summit at CES in Las Vegas.

Users will be able to browse the Internet on the full version of Mozilla Firefox. "This is not desktop-like. This is the desktop browser running on this," said Jha.

He did not disclose many more details about the dock. Presumably users will be limited to the applications that can run on the Android phone. The concept of pairing a mobile phone with a "dumb" device that features a larger keyboard and monitor is similar to one called the Folio that Palm once announced but later killed.

Users of the Atrix will also be able to connect the phone into a different dock that will allow streaming to an HDTV or any HDMI-compatible monitor.

Jha did not say how much the Atrix or the docks would cost or when they would be available.

His announcement followed one from AT&T Mobility President and CEO Ralph de la Vega who said that the operator is speeding up the launch of its faster network. It now plans to launch LTE (Long Term Evolution) in the middle of this year, completing the network by the end of 2013. He credited recent tax law incentives for the new schedule, but the operator is also catching up with competitor Verizon which has already launched LTE in around 40 markets.

This year AT&T expects to launch 20 new "4G" devices, which will include phones that run on HSPA plus as well as LTE.

In addition to the Motorola Atrix, AT&T customers will get access to a new HTC Android phone, the Inspire 4G. It will be the first from HTC to feature a new version of HTC Sense, a user interface created by HTC. The Inspire will be compatible with a new service from HTC that will offer some remote capabilities that should appeal to enterprise users. For instance, users will be able to remotely wipe the phones if they lose them.

AT&T will also this year sell the Infuse 4G from Samsung, a phone that will have a 4.5-inch screen, one of the largest on a smartphone. It will have a 1.2 Ghz processor and two cameras to allow for video conferencing.

AT&T also plans to launch an HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) tablet this year. It will come from Motorola, have a 10.1-inch screen, run a Nvidia dual-core processor and be based on Android Honeycomb. Motorola is expected to reveal more details of the tablet at a press conference Wednesday.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

Tags MotorolaCESconsumer electronicsat&tAndroidPhonessmartphonesConsumer Electronics Show (CES)CES 2011

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?