Tech Radar has a much more in-depth review of the Motorola Atrix and rates it very highly as a phone.
A few weeks ago, nobody could figure out why Nokia announced it was switching to Windows Phone 7. As it turns out, the answer is that Microsoft payed Nokia 1 Billion. Now it makes sense (no, not really). Nokia’s sinking ship is willing to tie itself exclusively to Microsoft’s sinking ship because Microsoft’s boat is bigger and sinking slower.
But the decision still doesn’t make much sense given that Microsoft reportedly outbid Google. What that means is Nokia could have accepted a large amount of money from Google to latch on to it’s rising space ship (Android), but instead accepted slightly more money for a deck chair on the Titanic.
Perhaps Nokia decided to favor Windows Phone 7 because there are relatively fewer handset makers doing so. Android is now on so many devices that it’s hard to separate yourself from the pack. On the other hand, Nokia has traditionally been a commodity handset maker which would seem to align better with Android, to say nothing of the fact that Android is based on Linux which was invented in Finland, Nokia’s head office. I guess they have other ideas…
Infoworld has a nice hands-on article about the Motorola Atrix 4G. The conclusion is about what you would expect, a nice try but not yet a replacement for the desktop.
According to the article, the Atrix 4G fails to meet my criteria as the ultimate mobile device because it becomes a different device when docked. Apparently the docking station is running Linux with Firefox in one window and then just mirroring the Atrix screen in another.
Sadly this makes it sounds like the Atrix is more of a “hack”, not really a fully dockable portable device.
Never the less, the device has created quite a bit of interest so other handset makers should be motivated to continue down this path.
The “ultimate mobile device” can’t be more than a couple years away.
In the now famous Apple ad from the 1984 launch of the Mac (directed by Riddly Scott), Apple took a swipe at the established computer makers by invoking images of Orwel’s 1984. The not so subtle point was to break free from the PC (and buy an Apple instead).
Ironic then that many now see Apple as today’s big brother with its closed architecture. Motorola decided to take a swipe at them in this new ad that will run during the U.S. version of the Superbowl (In Canada the ads are preempted).
More information is starting to leak out about the Motorola Atrix and it seems that I might have been wrong to be concerned about screen resolution when docked. The pictures in this story show a mini-dock with a full sized screen and keyboard and what looks to be a very high resolution! I’m starting to get really interested in this phone and it’s starting to create some buzz at the show as well.
Speaking of getting my memo; over the last few years I’ve written many times regarding what I consider to be the dream device. Basically a powerful mobile device that can be docked to a full-size monitor and keyboard.
Well it looks like Motorola might finally be going down the right path. The Atrix 4G Android device can be docked into a something that resembles a laptop. There isn’t much technical detail about the device yet but from the looks of it, it isn’t quite at “dream device” status yet.
In my opinion, the point of docking is to get a system that is indistinguishable from a desktop. This dock brings the mobile device into realm of the “netbook”, but still has a way to go before it could replace a desktop.
Still, the idea of an intermediate sized portable dock in addition to a dock that gives you a full sized desktop is intriguing. Go Motorola!
IDC has predicted that smartphones and tablets will outsell the PC within 18 months. That’s probably true but it’s not the end of the PC by a long shot.
For one thing, I’m not sold on tablets. As the size of a device increases, it’s portability, and therefore usefulness declines. My rule of thumb is, if it doesn’t fit in your pocket or in a holster, it’s not a portable device. The few people I know that ran out and got iPads flashed them around work for a few days and they’ve never been seen again. I’m sure they’re a nice alternative to a netbook, but that’s about it.
Relatively speaking I’m sure tablets will sell well (not as well as many are predicting), but replace the PC? Not likely.
As I’ve said before, the device that will replace the P.C. is the dockable smartphone. A pocket sized device that can be docked to give you a full sized keyboard, mouse (or maybe touchscreen?) and display is the killer device I’m waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for.
It really is that simple. Everything else is just evolutionary, not revolutionary. So why am I still waiting for this device? Get on it manufacturers!
Just another Android update from Computerworld.
On a personal note; I just started using my first Android phone, the HTC Magic (It was the only Android phone available from my carrier). My first impression; not good. It has lots of bugs and quirks which make it frustrating to use. Once I’ve had it for a while I post something more in-depth.
This ComputerWorld article reveals that mobile application developers think Android has the best long term chances which is surely an endorsement of Google’s (relatively) open model vs. Apple’s closed environment.
“Of those developers [surveyed], 59% said that Android had the “best long-term outlook,” compared to just 35% who pegged Apple’s iOS with that label.”
The Android army continues to march. While Android growth rates are impressive, it’s still a relatively small segment of the market but the new Android devices are creating more and more buzz so I expect growth will continue to accelerate.