Nokia N8 vs. Motorola Atrix 4G

by Jerry D on January 20, 2011

Can the phones of 2010 compete in the fast-paced mobile world of 2011? Not if the Motorola Atrix 4G is any indication of smartphones to come. Even the tech-stuffed Nokia N8 struggles to compete against this new breed of dual-core smartphone…

Nokia N8 versus graphic Nokia N8 vs. Motorola Atrix 4G Motorola Atrix


Good wireless connectivity is vital. The N8 features 3G/HSDPA (10.2 Mbps), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP. It’s good. But… The Atrix comes with 4G connectivity in the US, plus 3G/HSDPA (at speeds up to 14.4Mbps), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP and EDR. (0-1)

Size & Weight:

The Atrix is slightly skinnier than the N8 with a chassis that’s only 10.1mm thick. Motorola’s phone is also wider, measuring 63.5mm to the N8′s 59.12mm. Measure the weight of the duo and the N8 weighs 135g, while the Motorola Atrix is 136g. There’s very little in it. (1-1)



First up, the N8′s 12.0 Megapixel camera is hard to beat. It features: Carl Zeiss optics, a high-end Xenon flash, autofocus, geo-tagging, face/smile detection, plus 720p HD video capture and editing. Yes, size isn’t everything. But photos snapped with this camera have a max resolution of 4290 x 2800 pixels and look stunning (see below). Oh, and there’s also a front-facing camera for video calls.

Creative Commons License photo credit: arrive96

The Atrix’s 5.0 Megapixel camera (with autofocus, an LED flash, image stabilization, geo-tagging and 720p video capture) is no match for the N8 in terms of raw megapixels and picture quality. It does, however, include a second camera on the front, which can be used for video calling. (2-1)


Headlining the Nokia N8 is a 3.5-inch touch-sensitive AMOLED display (good) with a resolution of 360 x 640 pixels (bad). Consequently, it has 230400 pixels onscreen overall, which works out at 209.714 pixels per inch.

The 4.0-inch touch-sensitive LCD screen on the Atrix 4G is bigger and the resolution (540 x 960 pixels) is significantly higher. How high? Consider this: with 518400 pixels on its 4.0-inch screen, the pixel density is 275.25 pixels per inch. Better still, the Atrix can also be cleverly docked into a laptop for big-screen working. (2-2)

Nokia N8 2 Nokia N8 vs. Motorola Atrix 4G
The Nokia N8 runs Symbian ^3, featuring multi-tasking and multi-touch


In terms of usability, the N8 boasts a 680MHz ARM 11 processor, which is slow even when compared to the current generation of 1GHz CPUs. The Atrix is one of the first handsets to feature the dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip, rated at 1GHz. Whoosh! (2-3)


The N8 runs Symbian ^3, which is the best version of Nokia’s OS yet and features 3D graphics acceleration, customisable homescreens and video output via HDMI. But it’s no match for Android 2.2 (Froyo) on the Atrix, which Motorola has customised with its MotoBlur UI. An update to Android 2.3 planned to roll out onto the Atrix later in the year. (2-4)


The Atrix matches the Nokia phone byte for byte – both pack 16GB of internal storage as standard. Plug a bigger memory card into the N8′s microSD expansion slot and the maximum capacity rises to 48GB. Ditto the Atrix, so this round ends in a tie. (2-4)

Battery life:

How long will the phones last? The N8 weighs in with an unbeatable 12.0 hours of talktime; while the Atrix 4G boasts a creditable 9.0 hours. In terms of standby times, Nokia’s phone can last 390 hours, while Motorola’s model boasts 250 hours. The N8 wins the round this time. (3-4)

Note: The Standby time specification is an industry standard that is only intended to allow comparison of different mobile phones under the same circumstances. Power consumption in a standby state is strongly dependent on factors including: network, settings, location, movement, signal strength and cell traffic.



The N8 also includes onboard 3D graphics acceleration, GPS/A-GPS (with free Ovi Maps), a digital compass, Web TV, Flash support, an FM radio with RDS and an HDMI out with Dolby Digital Plus support.

Motorola’s super-phone features GPS/A-GPS, a toughened Gorilla Glass display, HDMI out, 1080p capable video output (via a post-launch software update), an eCompass, stereo FM radio with RDS and that laptop docking capability I mentioned earlier. Learn more about it here. (3-5)

The Motorola Atrix wins!

Motorola ATRIX 4G Nokia N8 vs. Motorola Atrix 4GThe Nokia N8 puts up a good fight, but the Motorola Atrix has the power and performance where it counts.

Android is a far better software solution than the Symbian OS, despite the recent improvements. Similarly, the N8 suffers from a weak processor and a disappointing screen.

See if these two phones make our Top 10 Best Smartphones list…

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