Motorola Atrix vs. Samsung Galaxy S II: Smartphone showdown

Which is the better smartphone – Motorola's Atrix or Samsung's Galaxy S II?

2011 is set to be the year of the dual-core powered Android phone and two of the biggest upcoming releases in Australia are the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Motorola Atrix.

Read our comprehensive Motorola Atrix review and our Samsung Galaxy S II preview, and check out our roundup of the best upcoming smartphones in 2011.

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Both of these Android phones have similar specifications — the Motorola Atrix has a 1GHz dual-core processor, a 4in qHD display, a 5-megapixel camera that records 720p HD video, and a fingerprint reader.

The Samsung Galaxy S II on the other hand has a slightly larger 4.3in display, and uses Super AMOLED Plus screen technology. It also has an 8-megapixel camera that doubles as a 1080p HD video recorder, while the Atrix has a 5-megapixel camera. The Galaxy S II also has a slightly faster 1.2GHz processor and is just 8.49mm thick, making it thinner than the iPhone 4 and likely the thinnest smartphone in the world.

So how does the Motorola Atrix compare against the Samsung Galaxy S II when it comes to specifications?

Motorola Atrix vs Samsung Galaxy S II: Specifications

Feature Motorola Atrix Samsung Galaxy S II Verdict?
Operating system (OS) Google Android 2.2 (Froyo) Google Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Galaxy S II
Display size 4in 4.3in Galaxy S II
Display technology Capacitive TFT Capacitive Super AMOLED Plus Galaxy S II
Display resolution 540x960 pixels (qHD) 480x800 pixels Motorola Atrix
Multitouch Yes Yes Draw
Camera 5 megapixels, LED flash, autofocus, geotagging, image stabilisation 8 megapixels, LED flash, autofocus, geotagging, image stabilisation, face and smile detection Galaxy S II
FM radio No Yes Galaxy S II
GPS Yes Yes Draw
Internal memory 16GB 16GB or 32GB Galaxy S II
Expandable memory microSD card slot microSD card slot Draw
Dimensions 117.8 x 63.5 x 11mm 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5mm Galaxy S II
Weight 135g 116g Galaxy S II
Application store Google Android Market Google Android Market Draw
Processor ARM Cortex A9 dual-core (1GHz) ARM Cortex A9 dual-core (1.2GHz) Galaxy S II
3G networks HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100 HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100 Draw
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 802.11a/b/g/n Galaxy S II
Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP 3.0 with A2DP Galaxy S II
NFC (Near Field Communication) No Yes Galaxy S II
HDMI-out Yes Yes (via MHL) Draw
Quoted talk time Up to 9 hours Up to 8 hours Motorola Atrix
Quoted standby time Up to 250 hours Up to 750 hours Galaxy S II
Adobe Flash support Yes Yes Draw

Motorola Atrix vs Samsung Galaxy S II: Design

Both the Motorola Atrix and the Samsung Galaxy S II are constructed largely from plastic. Although both may lack the aluminium unibody design of competitors like the HTC Desire HD, the plastic frame of the Atrix feels relatively well constructed, and also has an attractive carbon-like pattern printed onto the rear. The Motorola Atrix is less than 11mm thick, which is a nice surprise given it comes with a large 4in capacitive touchscreen.

If Motorola deserves credit for making the Atrix relatively thin, then Samsung deserves a gold star for making the Galaxy S II almost thin enough to slide under a door. At just 8.49mm thick, the Galaxy S II is likely the thinnest smartphone in the world (at least until another competitor trumps it). The Samsung Galaxy S II has an attractive carbon-like finish on its rear battery cover that Samsung claims makes it easier to grip given its featherweight design.

Motorola and Samsung both deserve credit for their respective designs, but the clear winner here is the Galaxy S II. In addition to boasting a larger display, Samsung has managed to trim the fat and make the Galaxy S II just 8.49mm thick. This is a great example of excellent engineering that deserves to be applauded.

Galaxy S II At just 8.49mm thick, the Samsung Galaxy S II is likely the thinnest smartphone in the world — at least until another competitor trumps it.

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Tags gingerbreadandroid phonesFroyo (2.2)Google Android phonesmobile phonessmartphonesmotorola atrixsamsung galaxy s ii

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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