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Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

These ARE The Droids You're Looking For...

Posted Wednesday, February 15, 2012, at 2:14 AM

(Photo)
The Motorola Atrix 2 available from AT&T is rugged and packs a mean camera punch.
The number of smartphones available with the Android operating system is ever growing. Many folks just refer to them simple as "Droid phones" when there are dozens of models and makers out there. The folks at AT&T were kind enough to send me three Android phones over the last couple months to test and review.

I must confess that I had previously written 3 separate reviews for these smartphones. After reading what I had wrote about each one, the decision was made by me not to post them...the reviews were boring, lifeless and all sounded similar. They all had great "phone call" quality, ran apps fine, and reported the weather. That said here is a better way to tell you about these three great devices, by simply giving you what I thought were the highlights of each one.

Impulse 4G:

This is a budget priced smartphone with 3.8" touchscreen and 5MP camera. It would be a great phone for your "tween" or high schooler, and the most compact of the bunch. My favorite feature of the Impulse 4G may surprise you...its built-in FM radio. There are a couple national organizations that are pushing to have all mobile phones equipped with an FM tuner. In times of disaster, radio is still the best way to get important information out to the masses.

Galaxy S II:

This device has been hailed by many as the industry standard Android to have for some time. It features a 4.3" Super AMOLED display for razor sharp graphics and pictures/video paired with a dual-core processer. A HDMI port on the side of the phone lets your watch video on your HDTV or LCD computer monitor. The 8MP rear camera and front facing 2MP camera are very good, but my favorite feature has to be the display on this thing...WOW! It certainly rivals the iPhone 4/4S Retina display and is a bit bigger than Apple's display. I can see why it is so popular among consumers.

Atrix 2:

This guy is my favorite of the group. It features a 4.3" display and 8MP camera like the Galaxy SII, as well as a front facing camera. It also features a dual-core processor which was the snappiest of the group. It was a little heavier and sturdy feeling than the other two smartphones. This leads me to believe that it would hold up better in the real world. Where the Atrix 2 really shines is the camera. The auto focus, exposure, and white balance were spot on for this photo geek's eye. With cameras like this showing up in phones, I can see why the point and shoot camera market is seeing a slowdown. Why would you want to carry two devices?

A very important feature for the Cape Girardeau area that all these devices have is AT&T's HSPA+ technology which gives you 4G like speeds today. In all my speed tests from the past few months, smartphones with HSPA+ had download speeds a bit over three times faster than any regular 3G device. This means that until 4G LTE service is available in the Cape Girardeau area, this new crop of AT&T phones will give you three times the speed of 3G phones from Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T. That's a huge deal folks... (As a side note: The iPhone 4S from AT&T features HSPA+ and the iPhone 4S from Sprint and Verizon do not. So even if Sprint or Verizon bring 4G LTE speeds to Cape, the iPhone on AT&T will always be at least 3 times faster)

So that's it...all Star Wars puns aside, this is a great group of Android based smartphones!



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Gregory has spent the last 20-plus years selling, installing, servicing and teaching others about consumer electronics and technology. He's the proud soccer dad of two kids and an avid musician and songwriter, with personal works available on six continents (working on Antarctica). He's also a huge photography buff. In his blog he writes about, what else, technology.