(Update 2/3/11 — oops, Motorola seems to be way overpricing the laptop dock)
Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in
-Michael Corleone, The Godfather III
A couple of weeks ago, I ended a long and tortuous tenure as an AT&T mobile phone customer in the Boston area. First on a Blackberry and later on an iPhone GS, I experienced all the dropped calls, loss of Internet connectivity, slow downloads and generally poor service you have no doubt read about endlessly.
With the iPhone on Verizon coming up soon and the post-warranty death of my iPhone 3GS, I decided to take a flyer on Google’s Nexus S Android phone on T-Mobile. And it’s been an incredible breath of fresh air, both because T-Mobile’s network is so much better and cheaper than AT&T’s around the places where I go as well as the benefits of Android over iOS (when I look at the home screen of my phone, all sorts of useful information is either immediately in view or one drag away).
I bought the unlocked, no-contract version of the Nexus S and I signed up for one of T-Mobile’s handy and cheap “Even More Plus” plans which can be canceled without penalty at any time to give me flexibility for the arrival of the iPhone 5 later this year. If I had been dissatisfied with the Nexus S or, down the road, fallen in love with the iPhone 5, I could cancel the plan and sell the phone on eBay easy as pie. And that still may happen.
But since I concocted the plan, a new phone has been introduced that seems like THE phone to have, one that is leading the way to the future of both mobile and fixed computing. I’m talking, or rather frothing at the mouth, about the Motorola Atrix 4G, of course.
This is the phone which, with the help of a handy, dandy converter dock, can turn into a laptop. With a cutting edge dual-core processor and up to 48 GB of storage, plus the built in fourth-generation data connection, it’s got the potential power to be both your smart phone and your main travel computer.
Now, obviously, there are a bunch of caveats here. I say “potential” because the Atrix has yet to be fully reviewed by the gadget-gazing reporters and analysts we trust on these matters. It’s always possible that the real-world version of the Atrix won’t be as speedy and spiffy as it appears to be in this video, for example. Perhaps the battery life will be atrocious or there will be some annoying limits on apps or accessing files or who knows.
And then there’s gosh-darn, dagnabit, super-annoying matter of Mototola’s exclusive partner carrier on the Atrix: AT&T. Nooooooooo…