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Samsung Galaxy S 2 versus Motorola Atrix – Which is Better?

Samsung and Motorola are due to go head-to-head in a heated battle next month when they both release Dual-Core Android Smartphones in the UK.

Both are claiming to be the fastest and best smartphones in the world – Motorola are touting the Atrix as the “World’s most powerful smartphone”, and Samsung are saying the Galaxy S II will have the brightest, most colourful smartphone screen ever.

We’ve already had a hands on with both devices at the Gadget Show Live, you can read our thoughts on the Atrix here and the Galaxy S II here. With both handsets claiming to be the best, it’s hard to tell who is right. We’re going to compare the two devices in detail and see which comes out on top, so sit tight and read on.


    Motorola Atrix: Dual-Core Nvidia Tegra 2 @ 1GHz

    Samsung Galaxy S II: Dual-Core Samsung Exynos @ 1.2GHz (Winner)

The winner here is the Galaxy S II by a good 0.2GHz. Both devices feature the same 1GB of RAM, but Samsung’s choice of its own Exynos processor tips the result here for the Galaxy S II. When we compared the two devices last week it was clear to see just how much faster the Galaxy S II was.


    Motorola Atrix: 4-inch, 960×540, QHD TFT LCD

    Samsung Galaxy S II: 4.3-inch, 800×480, Super AMOLED Plus (Winner)

In theory we should be hailing the Atrix as the winner here due to the higher screen resolution it offers. However, Samsung’s Super AMOLED Plus screen is far, far superior to the QHD TFT LCD panel used in the Atrix. No fewer than 16 million colours make up the Super AMOLED Plus screen used in the SGS2, making the display very bright, vivid and crisp. When comparing the two devices in the flesh, we immediately took to the vivid display of the SGS2.

The Galaxy S II's Super AMOLED Plus screen


    Motorola Atrix: 117.8 x 63.5 x 11 mm, 135g

    Samsung Galaxy S II: 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.49mm, 116g (Winner)

Not much of a debate in this category – the SGS2 is the winner by a country mile. Samsung have somehow packed all the technology that makes a next-gen smartphone into one of the thinnest casings around, making the device just 8.49mm thick. It’s a good 2.51mm thinner than the Atrix and also 19g lighter, making the Atrix seem almost cumbersome in comparison. One interesting point – when handling the SGS2 last week at the Gadget Show Live, we noted that the weight and materials used in the casing made us worry the handset wouldn’t be too durable. Thanks to a bit of extra weight and depth, the Atrix feels a bit sturdier.


    Motorola Atrix: Android 2.2 (FroYo) plus Motoblur UI

    Samsung Galaxy S II: Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) plus Samsung TouchWiz UI v4.0 (Winner)

We’ve picked the winner here simply due to Samsung picking the most recent version of Android, 2.3 (Gingerbread) for the SGS2. With both devices coming out at the same time it would have been nice to see Motorola use Gingerbread as well instead of opting for FroYo which has been around for some time now.

Both devices use the manufacturer’s own overlaid UI – Samsung’s TouchWiz UI 4.0 and Moto’s Motoblur. This comes down to personal preference, as Motoblur offers a great social networking experience – combining Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and more in one place. On the other hand, Samsung’s TouchWiz UI v4.0 provides an E-book hub, Games Hub, Music hub and Social Hub, each featuring dedicated apps.


    Motorola Atrix: 5MP rear, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, Video: 720p@30fps, VGA front

    Samsung Galaxy S II: 8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, Video: 1080p@30fps, 2MP front (Winner)

The SGS2 is the outright winner in the imaging category, offering a higher MP rear camera with a much higher resolution for captured images. For video capture, the SGS2 also tips the Atrix, offering 1080p Full HD video capture at 30fps. It’s worth noting however that Motorola promise a future software update which will give the Atrix the same 1080p Full HD video capture. Samsung opted for a 2MP front-facing camera for video calling which will provide crisp video capture, whereas Motorola have given the Atrix a lowly VGA quality camera on the front.


    Motorola Atrix: 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 2.1

    Samsung Galaxy S II: 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC (Winner)

Both handsets are packed out with the latest connectivity technology, offering the latest Wi-Fi n standard, DLNA for wireless file streaming and Wi-Fi hotspot, which allows both phones to act as Wi-Fi hotspots for other devices by sharing their 3G connection. Where the SGS2 shines here is with the inclusion of an NFC (Near Field Communications) chip, and Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity. NFC technology is moving forward at a fast pace, and Samsung are advertising NFC with the SGS2 as a reason to “leave your wallet at home”.


Taking a look our comparisons, the Samsung Galaxy S II has toppled the Motorola Atrix in every category. Samsung have outdone themselves with the sequel to the original Galaxy, and we can see the SGS2 being a real contender in the smartphone market, taking on the iPhone 4 for best screen, and all other Dual-Core handsets such as the LG Optimus 2X as the fastest Dual-Core Android smartphone.

Of course, we are comparing the two handsets here on paper. We will be testing the two handsets out thoroughly once they arrive at Gadget Helpline HQ, so a hands-on comparison will be made to truly determine which is best.

Will you be ordering the Galaxy S II or the Atrix? We’d love to hear your opinions on the two devices so let us know by leaving a comment, or tweeting us @Gadget_Helpline.

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