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How to: Get HSUPA on the Motorola Atrix 4G Right Now

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AT&T hasn’t coughed up the HSUPA goods for the Motorola Atrix 4G yet but that doesn’t mean you can’t get HSUPA speeds on your Atrix 4G this very moment using some magic from the folks over at XDA-developers.

Motorola Atrix 4G

Now, the process isn’t an easy one. If you’re not familiar with flashing or RSD Lite (a program used to flash SBF files on Motorola devices), well, then you might just want to wait for the official HSUPA support to come out.

Of course that also means that you’ll need to be rooted (update: apparently you don’t need to be, check the comments) to do this but this is as perfect time as any to do that.  You can find a good root method here.

Once you are rooted, go ahead and download these two SBF files, one of which that will bring your Atrix 4G to 1.87 baseband radio. The other is a stock baseband version to bring you back to the way your phone was before, just in case you aren’t enjoying the speed boost.

To flash these though, you’ll need RSD Lite which can be found here. When all that is taken care of, follow these simple instructions courtesy of Droid Matters and you should be rocking some faster speeds in no time:

  1. Make sure that your phone is turned off
  2. Remove the SIM card and the microSD card. Some people have reported that flashing works fine when you keep it in the phone. It’s up to you. I would remove it, just in case
  3. Hold on to the volume up button While turning the phone on. Your phone will say “Starting RSD protocol support”
  4. Launch the RSD Lite program on your computer. It should recognize your Atrix as the device that is connected to it.
  5. Press the “. . .” button next to the box labeled “Filename”
  6. Load up the SBF file called att_radio_1_8_7.sbf that was included in the ZIP file that was downloaded. The file must be extracted from the ZIP file. Do not try to flash the ZIP file!
  7. Connect your Atrix to your computer. If possible, use the USB connection on the back of the PC. RSD Lite should recognize your Atrix and show that it is connected
  8. Press the “Start” button to flash the att_radio_1_8_7.sbf file to your Atrix. After the phone reboots, you should have higher upload and download speeds
  9. Test out your new fast speed using your favorite speedtest app
  10. Remember that you are doing this at your own risk and that we are not responsible if you brick your phone.

Be sure to keep  #10 in mind before you do this. After completing all of these steps, your Atrix 4G speeds should go from something like:

Motorola Atrix 4G

To this:

Atrix 4G HSUPA

22 Comments

  1. kingj

    04/27/2011 at 10:39 pm

    Your phone need not be rooted. Mine isn’t. Just downloaded the sbf radio file, put the phone in debug mode under settings -applications-developmen. Download and run RSD Lite version 5.0. Browse for the sbf radio file within RSD Lite plug in your phone & click start. Your phone will reboot during the flash afterwards your device will show with PASS. You’re all set.

  2. Sourmix74

    04/27/2011 at 11:09 pm

    Someone might want to reword step #10. Change “we are” to “we are not”

    • Adam Mills

      04/27/2011 at 11:13 pm

      I didn’t write the instructions but I will direct your complaints to the Grammar Police at once.

  3. Dill

    04/27/2011 at 11:23 pm

    hahaaha so you guys are responsible if i brick my phone?

    • Dill

      04/27/2011 at 11:23 pm

      “we are responsible if you brick your phone”

      • Adam Mills

        04/27/2011 at 11:43 pm

        Take that up with Droid Matters. I fixed it here.

    • kingj

      04/28/2011 at 1:27 am

      Umm not really its your decision. Many have done this update already you can check it out for yourself over in the XDA Developers Forums for the Atrix.

  4. Paradise327

    04/28/2011 at 3:09 am

    Your phone is going to Overheat.

  5. Gunpackingsaint

    04/28/2011 at 3:13 am

    I downloaded the Speedtest.Net app from the Android Market. I ran the test and here’s what I got – PING: 288ms DOWNLOAD: 3665kbps UPLOAD: 360kbps. My upload speed isn’t anywhere near the 1.6mb mark but my download speed consistently hits between 3 and 3.5mb.

  6. kingj

    04/28/2011 at 4:27 am

    I’m averaging 4.5 down with a peak of 5.80mb/s & 1.3 up with a peak of 2.6mb/s. Results derived from 20 speed test various times throughout the day in Houston,Texas. HSUPA flashed since about 12:15pm no issues whatsoever. There is a noticeable speed increase in data throughput on the down & uploads but nothing spectacular. AT&T is i can’t even say 3.5G more like 3.3G at best.

  7. Sourmix74

    04/28/2011 at 5:09 am

    Everyone take into consideration that the AT&T “4G” is a two step process on the AT&T side. The first being software upgrades at the towers and the second is he physical “back haul” needs to be upgraded two. The software upgrade is the easy part, the back haul upgrade takes time and mine and isn’t nearly as fast. That is probably why some of you are seeing speed increases and some of you are not.

  8. Wbkramit

    04/28/2011 at 5:59 pm

    I followed the directions and everything went smoothly, but my speeds have gone the exact opposite direction. My download speeds are now .3 mbs and uploads are even lower. My Atrix is not rooted.

  9. Ray Brown

    04/30/2011 at 12:10 am

    Step 4 says, “Launch the RSD Lite program on your computer. It should recognize your Atrix as the device that is connected to it.”

    and then Step 7 tells us to connect the Atrix to the computer. Isn’t it already connected for step 4? Please be more precise in your wording when telling people how to flash substantial changes onto their expensive phones. It’s also not helpful for you to mention the “grammar police” to another poster, above. You’re the journalist. Don’t make us fix your unclear writing, especially if it can lead to potentially bricking our devices.

  10. Dominikano1

    05/10/2011 at 2:05 am

    try to flash att_radio_1_8_7.sbf to my Atrix, under status, it says failed flashing process (0×7100). what does this mean?

  11. Dominick Dahl-Lacroix

    08/27/2011 at 8:24 pm

    heh im on Bell and I average about 5Mbps :U

  12. Mikeshaw02127

    12/10/2011 at 10:01 am

    I got 6megs DL & 1 meg up. Thank you!

  13. Paul Ms

    03/21/2012 at 3:36 pm

    Could anyone tell me where I can get 1.8.7 sbf file?  The megaupload site has been brought down, I could not find any site to download this file.  Thanks

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