Motorola Atrix 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S2 – Shootout For The Ultimate Android Smartphone

by Informer in Android, Hardware | 19 comments

Samsung’s Galaxy S2, officially known as SII, will be one of the premier Android phones to be released this year. However, the other heavy weight in the market is the Motorola Atrix 4G which will offer it stiff competition. As we reported recently, Galaxy S2 is heading for a release in the imminent future. Hence, here we will do a feature by feature comparison to see which one these next generation smartphones comes out at the top. Hopefully, this will make your decision of where to spend your money a little easier. Anyway, here we go with this shoot out !!

atrix vs samsung galaxy sii | Motorola Atrix 4G vs Samsung Galaxy S2 – Shootout For The Ultimate Android Smartphone


Samsung Galaxy S2 (SII) - Dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, Mali-400MP GPU, Orion chipset

Motorola Atrix - Dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, ULP GeForce GPU, Tegra 2 chipset

Hmm, a very close call, both of these smartphones offer dual core processors with very strong graphics processing, which should easily suffice for even next generation Android Games. It will be hard to say which one will score higher in benchmarks, until galaxy s2 actually becomes available. But for all practical purposes, they appear to be equal.

Winner: Draw

Screen and Display:

Samsung Galaxy S2 (SII) - 4.3 inch Super AMOLED Plus display – 800 x 480

Motorola Atrix - 4.0 inches qHD Display – 960 x 540

On the display side, Galaxy S2 offers its trademark Super AMOLED display which was one of the main selling points for the original Galaxy. Atrix has a sllightly smaller screen size, but it does offer a higher pixel density. And for most people, 4 inch is an adequate screen size. This will be a very subjective choice, but I think the Super AMOLED display gives it a slight edge, as anyone who has seen Avatar on the original Galaxy knows that it is a true beauty.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S2


Samsung Galaxy S2 (SII) – 8 Mega-Pixel Rear and 2 MP front facing camera

Motorola Atrix – 5 MP Rear and 0.3 MP front facing camera

Clear winner for the Galaxy S2, with its high spec camera. Also, it will feature HD video recording at 1080p at 30fps. Atrix may offer this via future upgrades, but out of the box it is at 720p.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S2

RAM and Storage:

Samsung Galaxy S2 (SII) – 1 GB RAM, 16 and 32 GB Versions available with support for external SD Card

Motorola Atrix – 1 GB RAM, 16 GB Internal storage with support for external SD Card

Not much to say, very evenly matched.

Winner: Draw

Operating System:

Samsung Galaxy S2 (SII) – Shipped with Android 2.3 Gingerbread

Motorola Atrix – Shipped with Android 2.2 Froyo

A tricky one, Galaxy S2 ships with Android 2.3 and owes a lot of its feature to that. Atrix ships with 2.2 Froyo but will be upgradeable in the future to Gingerbread. On the surface, Galaxy appears to be the winner, but Samsung has a really bad history with providing upgrades and support. A lot of Samsung Galaxy users have not received the Froyo update yet, with Motorola having better customer support.

Winner: Draw

Weight And Size:

Samsung Galaxy S2 (SII) – Dimensions: 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm, Weight: 116 g

Motorola Atrix – Dimensions: 117.8 x 63.5 x 10.1 mm, Weight: 135 g

Atrix is slightly heavier and thicker, thanks to its high capacity battery but is certainly more pocket-able. Samsung pays the price for its large display over here.

Winner: Motorola Atrix

Battery Life:

Samsung Galaxy S2 (SII) – Li-Ion 1650 mAh

Motorola Atrix – Lithium 1930 mAh

Atrix is again the clear winner here, featuring one of the highest capacity battery in any smartphone to date.

Winner: Motorola Atrix

Extra Features/Miscellaneous:

Samsung Galaxy S2 (SII) – NFC technology and SIP support, TouchWiz UI v4.0, Front Home Button, Poor GPS functionality in the past

Motorola Atrix – Finger print security, Support for multiple Docks

Ahh, most of the features by Samsung are courtesy of Gingerbread and will be made availble soon in the Atrix. But Atrix has some really cool hardware features, like the ability to connect to a Laptop dock which really sets it apart.

Addendum: NFC is a hardware based technology and will not be available on Atrix despite release of HoneyComb. Also Atrix features a signed boot loader which means that you cannot install custom ROMs or partitions on Atrix. This will change the winner to Galaxy SII. Thanks to reader Joe for reminding of that.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S2

So the winner is …..  Drum Rolls Please …. Samsung Galaxy SII !!! Yes folks, Samsung comes out on the top with a slight margin in this interesting battle of Galaxy S2 vs Atrix 4G. There were 3 draws, Atrix won in 2 categories and Samsung in 3. However, of course, this is all very subjective. Atrix features strong support for peripheral which might be very important for some people. For people whom appearance and screen size matters the most, Samsung Galaxy S2 will be a more appealing option despite all the features. Also at this point, we do not know much about which US carrier will support Galaxy and what will be the contracts like. That may matter the most depending on where you live and availability.

Complete Specs Sheet for Samsung Galaxy S2, Motorola Atrix

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  • abuck

    I think you are nuts.

    Operating system a draw? Seriously?
    Atrix wins size by being thicker and heavier? Seriously?

    I might not be completely impartial, but I don’t agree with you at all. In my book, the Samsung Galaxy S2 wins by a wide margin.

    (1) S2 has Android 2.3 (gingerbread), atrix has only a promise
    (2) S2 available on T-Mobile (and likely other carriers), not just AT&T.
    (3) S2 has USB3, BlueTooth3 (vs 2.0 and 2.1)
    (3) S2 has NFC (near field communications for e-payment)
    (4) S2 has gyroscope
    (5) S2 has SIP (VoIP),
    (6) S2 has better cameras (both are better) and recording in 1080P
    (7) S2 is thinnest smart phone and is lighter….and I like the big screen

    I like that the Atrix has a biometric scanner, but reviews are weak.
    I like that the Atrix has all the cool docking design, but with the cost of what they want for the docks, 1% of users will use them.

    That’s my 2 cents.

  • Informer

    Like I said that this has a lot to do with user subjectivity and personal preference. You are absolutely right, when you mention those extra features in galaxy. However, a lot of these things like NFC, SIP *VOIP”. are present only courtesy of gingerbread.

    1. I gave that a draw based on the experience with original Samsung Galaxy models.
    They came shipped with a broken GPS and a promise to fix that. Guess what, a Froyo update is still not there which is insane !!
    2. Hmm, there is no word so far that galaxy s2 will be ported to all the carriers like original galaxy, if they do then i agree it will be an advantage
    3. Again, a plus but only temporary, not a phone feature per say
    4. Agree
    5. Same thing as above
    6. Compltely agree. And thats what is there in the comparison
    7. Ahhh, again like I said in my conclusion, Dependant on person to person. Galaxy S2 is thinner but has larger height and width, making it less pocket friendly. But thats like a narrow margin.

    Over all. I agree that if you want a thinner phone, with features of Gingerbread right this moment, Galaxy would be a better option. But in long term. ummm, their bad history hurts them.

    • David

      @ Informer Indeed, it is all very subjective and dependent on a user’s preferences etc etc yada yada. However, you can’t keep using the excuse that Gingerbread will solve the Atrix’s woes! It won’t. As much as I like the Atrix, Gingerbread quite simply won’t bring NFC to it as you make out. NFC requires the hardware component to be built, so unless you’re aware of a hidden NFC chip in the Atrix then it’s just misleading to suggest it will come with Gingerbread.

      Regarding updates, while official carrier based updates for the Galaxy S series have been slow/non-existent, they have been readily available elsewhere. Samsung as a company has done a great deal to ensure wide support (including giving free S2 phones to guys like Cyanogen etc), so to try and say Samsung’s slow in that department is just a load of balder dash! I’ve had Gingerbread working like a charm on my s1 for at least 5 or 6 months now, and that’s an official Sammy rom from Poland, it did get leaked but it was out officially just a month or two latter.

      Anyway, just my two bobs worth!

  • Joe

    1. The previous commenter mentioned USB3.0 on the S2 – really? The specs say USB2.0. I’d love to get USB3. Can you point me to a reference?

    2. NFC – it’s not just software, it’s hardware too. S2 has it, I don’t think the Atrix does, please point me to a reference if I’m wrong.

    3. One thing you forgot about Atrix: it has a locked bootloader. That’s a deal killer right there. I refuse to buy a device that is designed to prevent me from installing software on it. That’s why I ban the Iphone and WP7. The bootloader restriction is intolerable.

    4. Samsung updates are just fine. The Froyo update is out there alright, it’s only the crappy U.S carriers that are causing trouble, not Samsung. And newsflash: most of the world doesn’t care about U.S carriers.

    The one thing that worries me about the S2 is the pocket non-friendliness issue, I’m just not sure if it will fit. If I can’t put it in my pockets, it’s unfortunately useless, and all its amazing specs won’t matter :(

  • Informer

    @ Joe. Some very good points
    1. Samsung Galaxy S2 carries USB 2.0. I have checked it at numerous places, If I am wrong then maybe some one can correct me with a reference. It does have BT 3.0 which may be confusing on a quick look.

    2. You are right, NFC needs to be hardware supported, I didn’t realize that my self.

    3. Yeah, thats a good point. Atrix has a signed boot loader, which would kill the deal if you want to install custom rom, and that is a big one.

    4. That is still debate able I would say. Even in UK, release of froyo was delayed quite a bit. And they still have not been able to patch the GPS bug.

    Hmm, I think the signed boot loader thing really kills it for Atrix. Even though the general public might not care about a Custom ROM, but for any advanced user it is a major drawback. I did not think much of it first, but thinking more about it is a big drawback. May be I will update my comparison ……

  • aviad

    battery life is not compared by capacity but by duration while doing something

  • Dave

    Couldn’t agree more about the bootloader…
    I have been installing custom roms/bootloaders etc on my Galaxy S for ages now and it’s a means of breathing new life in to a phone when, god forbid, you get a tad bored of normal Gingerbread.

    This also means.. somewhere down the line… when the atrix is on it’s last legs… all the S2 owners will be flashing custom overclockable roms on to their devices keeping them in good competition with new phones for the well foreseeable future.

    Can I also say… the S2 actually has a 1.2GHz dual core processor.. not 1Ghz :D

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  • Jawwad

    @Dave yes of course u can say that. As u might have noticed specs were updated to 1.2 GHz after the publication of this article. Actually we have a story here on Inspired Geek if you look in the Mobile section…:).

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  • Gui

    How can you dare comparing battery life by comparing mAh figures.
    I would prefer a 1mAh device that lasts 300h than a 100000000000mAh one that lasts 5secs.

    • Aaron

      HAHAHAHA!!!! 100000000000mAh?? Do you want to run a Maglev?

  • Jordan

    This need and update Atrix bootloader will be unlocked with 2.3.4 update, so in features Atrix Win so the winner is Atrix 4g!! 3-2 Atrix won!!!

  • Pingback: Samsung Galaxy S II (S2) to be Released in US Next Month (August) | Inspired Geek

  • Andy

    The two smartphone have their own superiorities and also weaknesses. Anyway, your view point in comparing them is so inspiring. Keep up a good work.

  • Samuel

    Bigger Weight And Size gives you the winner? You’re probably carrying some bricks around calling it pocket-able lol Seriously now, I would give the prize to the thiner and lighter.

  • yellowflowers

    agree but what about boot loader?

  • yellowflowers

    s2 is winner but it can’t play 1080p

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