A New Smartphone for My Wife: Part III (Motorola Atrix)

March 12th, 2011

By Dr. Jim Taylor

This post is the third (and hopefully final) in an unplanned series on helping my wife choose a smartphone to replace her Palm Centro (with no data plan). As the family CTO, I must strike a delicate balance between making sure my wife is comfortable with her new phone and “informing” and “encouraging” her about what phone will best meet her mobile technology needs.

Not surprisingly, the first phone I bought for her was the iPhone 4, which is supposed to be the non-tech wife’s ideal phone. But, as I noted in my first post in the series, I hated it and my wife found it very restrictive. Here’s a summary of our issues with the iPhone 4:

  • Probably outdated in June with the release of the iPhone 5;
  • Not 4G capable;
  • Main keyboard has no punctuation (huh?);
  • No removable battery;
  • Proprietary plug;
  • Mostly paid apps;
  • Only one button;
  • Weak UI;
  • It’s an Apple product!

The second in the series focused on our test driving the new HTC Inspire. I was able to use the iPhone 4’s micro SIM card (Why does everything Apple makes have to be proprietary? That question is rhetorical, BTW) with these nifty adapters that you can find on Amazon and eBay. In any event, we both liked the Inspire, but two issues: it was too big for my wife and, for me, it just wasn’t very forward looking in terms of its technology (basically just a very large Aria).

Which brings me to my final post in this series and an announcement of the apparent winner (with the caveat that we have 30 days to return the latest phone). Drum roll please….The winner is: the Motorola Atrix! (band plays, streamers fly, fireworks explode!).

Yes, I returned the iPhone to our local AT&T store (for a $20 restocking fee; what a rip-off; there is none if you order by phone or on line) and bought the Atrix. Over all, both my wife and I are happy with the phone. She likes the size and the greater information she can garner with less effort (that’s what a real UI can do as opposed to the lame-o app launcher of the iPhone). She also likes that, as the CTO, I spent the time to set up the Atrix to meet her needs (which I couldn’t do adequately with the iPhone), plus she has 24-hour tech support from me to help her find her way around the phone or if problems arise.

I like the Atrix because it ‘s cutting edge in its technology, very customizable, and, well, it’s not an Apple product. I will admit that I’m not 100% into the Atrix (I probably wouldn’t buy it for myself) because I really like HTC products and the Sense UI (I’ll probably trade in my Aria when HTC comes out with a similar phone in the next few months).

So, the saga of the search for the ideal smartphone for my wife has come to a satisfying conclusion. My wife is happy (especially since I transferred her email, contacts, and calendar into Google, so great integration), I’m happy (and finally able to get a good night’s sleep because I won’t be obsessing about a piece of technology for a while), and the Taylor family has been able to avoid being consumed by that sour round fruit.

P.S. I’m sure that many will disagree with the decision we made. and will express their opinions in no uncertain terms. I welcome all feedback of a substantial nature, but, please, no Apple fanboys going personal on me.

(This article was also posted at Dr. Jim Taylor’s Blog.)

(Visit Dr. Jim Taylor’s YouTube channel to see TV interviews and Prime topic discussions.)


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One Response to “A New Smartphone for My Wife: Part III (Motorola Atrix)”



  1. Tom Carter |

    Jim, as I stated before, I’ll probably be buying a smartphone before too long, and the Atrix sounds pretty good. I hate the process of struggling through instructions and settings every time I get a new electronic gizmo. You’ve saved me a lot of time, I’m sure, that I would have spent checking out the iPhone in particular.


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