It has not been a good week for Android manufacturers in Europe. Shortly, after it was announced by a Dutch court that Samsung had infringed one of Apple's patents, a Motorola Atrix advertisement was banned in the UK for falsely claiming to be the "world's most powerful smartphone".

The UK Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) received complaints from Samsung users that the Atrix ads were misleading. The Atrix features a 1GHz dual-core processor, while the Samsung Galaxy S II has a faster 1.2GHz dual-core processor. The 200 MHz difference in speed was enough to convince the ASA that the Atrix was not the most powerful smartphone and so it could not claim as such.

In its defense Motorola alleged that the ad focused on the "combined features of the performance and capability of the product", which presumably means that the fact that the Atrix could dock and perform like a netbook made it more "powerful". Nevertheless, there was a good chance customers would be confused if they were to look at the technical specifications and see quite plainly that the Galaxy SII had a higher clock-speed. Hence, the ad can no longer be shown on UK television.

Although the Galaxy S II does have a higher clock-speed, I would agree with Motorola on the point that the term "most powerful" does not necessarily indicate a superior processor. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S II may be faster than the iPhone 4, but it has less apps. So, Apple could argue that their device is "more powerful". Ever since processor speeds have been used as a means to market personal computers the idea that "faster" is "better" has been ingrained in our collective consciousness. However, there is a disconnect between a device having a faster processor and it being "more powerful".

In any event, UK customers can be safe in the knowledge that there is a watchdog ensuring that companies do not make false claims about their products. If there was such a robust body in the US, perhaps the 4G snake-oil would dissipate.

Here's the ad:

Are you confused?

Source: The Telegraph

Abhiroop Basu
Abhiroop Basu is an opinionated tech and digital media blogger. As a doe-eyed twenty-something he started his first blog TechComet to comment on anything tech-related that caught his omniscient eye. Since then he has blogged for Android Police, Make Tech Easier, and This Green Machine. In the real world, Abhiroop Basu is a resident of Singapore and the Editor of The Digit, a subsidiary of The Potato Productions Group.

  • Sean Ferguson

    How did you work out the complaint come from SGS II users? It doesn't state that in the Telegraph article, nor the ASA ruling on their site.

    And how does one compare an advertisement being banned in one country, to having a product range blocked in multiple European countries?


    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/abhiroop-basu/ Abhiroop Basu

      Really? Why don't you read the first para of the Telegraph article again.

      It doesn't.

      • Sean Ferguson

        To be fair - even that would be wrong, that information was never disclosed on the ASA website.

        • Adrian

          Galaxy S II users probably told the Telegraph, got interviewed you know?

        • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

          It's possible the Telegraph misinterpreted it, and it's also possible they talked to the ASA and got this info. Either way, Abhiroop relied on the Telegraph for the source of the story.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/abhiroop-basu/ Abhiroop Basu

          Thanks for your comments. As Artem mentioned my source was the Telegraph. If you look at their article it clearly states that the complainants were two Samsung users.

  • Thomas Wright

    If the claim 'most powerful' cannot be used without ambiguity as it would resolve to either a quantitative comparison which the product would lose or a subjective comparison, then it rightly should not be used at all.