Motorola Razr is almost here. We went hands-on with the foldable phone

It’s been virtually three months since I folded the Motorola Razr in half for the primary time. Back in November, the Razr was hands-down the perfect designed, most fully thought-out foldable phone I had seen. To be truthful, that is a small group, comprising the Galaxy Fold (and forthcoming Galaxy Z Flip), the Huawei Mate X, the Royole FlexPai and some prototypes and idea units. 

Over the course of the crisp fall day I spent at Motorola’s Chicago headquarters, I started to fall just a little bit in love with the Razr’s design, particularly the way it softly snaps shut from prime to backside, one facet mendacity flat on prime of the opposite, with no seen hole between the 2 halves of the display screen. With this straightforward act, Motorola has solved one of many greatest design conundrums that the Galaxy Fold and different foldable phones had but to determine. 

The Motorola Razr goes on sale within the US on Feb. 6 for $1,500. (For reference, the 512GB iPhone 11 Pro Max prices roughly the identical worth. It converts to about £1,170 or AU$2,200.) Verizon is the exclusive US carrier… forever, however the Razr may also promote on Motorola.com and in choose Walmart shops. You’ll nonetheless want to rearrange service via Verizon. Canada may also carry the Razr. Globally, the Razr will promote in choose European nations, Australia, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and choose Asian markets.

Until then, now’s your likelihood to brush up on the Motorola Razr’s options, what the foldable phone is like to make use of, and what impressed me and anxious me proper off the bat. 

Hands-on with the Motorola Razr foldable flip phone

In getting down to create a foldable phone that doubles the display screen dimension whereas retaining the physique sufficiently small to pocket, Motorola has faithfully up to date the model’s most iconic, best-selling phone ever. This new Razr is wider, heavier and fully stocked with features fit for 2020. And it succeeds in sparking my emotional attachment to the clamshell designs of yore. Resistance is futile: The Razr should be flipped.

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Or as CNET News Executive Editor Roger Cheng says, the foldable Razr gives Motorola a chance to stage its comeback in a flashy manner that is inconceivable to disregard.

We’re not on the level but the place utilizing one foldable phone is like utilizing all of them. There’s nonetheless some novelty as a result of to this point we have seen so many various designs. But the concept of utilizing the bigger, folding display screen to do most of your duties is a continuing. Here are some questions I assumed you may need.

How’s the display screen? 

I’ll provide the brief reply right here and an extended reply within the part just under: It’s fabricated from plastic and I have never had an opportunity to check its sturdiness but, however it appears to be like the way in which I’d anticipate it to. 

There’s a fingernail-thin channel that runs across the perimeter between the show and the bezel, which issues me in light of the Fold’s former issues with the highest layer separating from the P-OLED beneath. At the very least, this channel collects mud.

How does it fold flat? 

The Motorola Razr’s proprietary hinge design has an open cavity that homes the looped portion of the display screen. In different phrases, plastic screens do not fold completely flat otherwise you’d crease them down the center. There’s nonetheless an air hole contained in the phone, you simply do not see it, so the design seems principally flat. Technically, there is a 0.2mm hole between the show and hinge.

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In the Motorola Razr, flip telephones of outdated meet foldable telephones of the long run.


James Martin/CNET

How tall is the Razr? Does it really feel unwieldy or overly lengthy? 

The 6.2-inch display screen is tall, but in addition slim, with a 21:9 ratio. The decision is 2,142×876 pixels. Motorola has bottom-loaded many of the apps and controls to make them simpler to succeed in along with your thumb. It works higher than most phones one-handed.

How effectively does it actually match into your pocket? 

Smaller entrance pockets could be a squeeze, however I had no downside slipping it into the again of my skinny denims. It simply match into my jacket pocket and purse’s phone pocket.

Is there a display screen on the skin like there may be on the Fold? 

You’ll get a 2.7-inch exterior show that is meant for viewing necessities such because the time, alerts, notifications and fundamentals like sign and battery life. You will not be capable to sort on it (that is for the perfect), however you may reply via canned messages or your voice. You can use it to see what you seem like in selfies (see beneath).

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The Motorola Razr’s chin helps maintain the perimeters slim by storing the phone’s bulkier parts in that base.


James Martin/CNET

How sturdy is it to open and shut? 

I can really feel the hinge stress whereas opening and shutting the Razr, and the motion feels clean and measured. You can see the gears of the hinge working for those who take a look at it from the highest and backside. It appears to be like cool, however I hope nothing will get caught in there. Magnets maintain the perimeters collectively. My thumb acquired drained after a day of opening it one-handed, however utilizing two fingers felt simply as pure. This won’t be a difficulty with brawnier thumbs.

Can you see a crease? 

Yes, however it’s slim and less pronounced than on the Galaxy Fold. You can really feel it for those who rub your finger alongside the seam, however it’s extra refined than on the Galaxy Fold.

Why does the Razr nonetheless have a chin? 

The thick plastic “chin” on the backside of the phone harks again to the original Razr design, so rating one for nostalgia. More importantly, this chin homes the optical fingerprint reader (it really works with Google Pay), all of the antennas, the vibration motor, and GPS and Wi-Fi modules. It additionally provides you one thing to carry on to whereas watching video.

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Folded up, you’d by no means anticipate the Razr to have a 6.2-inch display screen.


James Martin/CNET

Do you open up the phone to speak? 

To provoke a name, sure, however for those who’re already on a name, you may shut it to maintain speaking — as long as you are on speakerphone, related via Bluetooth or on a video name. Otherwise, the phone closes out most apps. Music gamers are one other exception, and you can management tracks from the smaller outdoors display screen.

What’s it like to observe movies on the Razr? 

I watched a couple of YouTube movies. You’ll need to do that horizontally: Depending on how the supply video is formatted, you may crop off some heads for those who pinch and zoom to fill the display screen. Otherwise, you may see black bars bordering the perimeters. For what it is price, Motorola calls the 21:9 display screen its Cinemavision show.

How do you utilize the cameras? 

There’s a 16-megapixel digital camera beneath the outside show and that is what you may use more often than not to take your photographs, selfies included. There are a couple of instruments to make selfie-taking simpler, and the upshot is that picture high quality could be larger than common. The 5-megapixel digital camera you see while you unfold the Razr will probably be used principally for video calls. You will not get a telephoto or wide-angle lens, however there’s software-assisted portrait mode in addition to Night Vision (and a time-of-flight sensor) for excessive low-light photographs.

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One of probably the most promising instruments is snapping a selfie with the Razr fully closed.


James Martin/CNET

What’s the guarantee like? 

Buy a Razr within the US and you will get round the clock tech assist over chat. You can converse to a human on the phone for a 14-hour-per-day window. Here’s the remainder of the fantastic print for Verizon clients (warranties might fluctuate by nation):

In the occasion that system or show failures happen, all Razr clients are supplied 24-hour turnaround and free superior alternate assist with free next-day freight underneath Motorola’s commonplace guarantee. For show defects incurred throughout regular use we’re providing to restore or exchange units freed from cost via our commonplace guarantee coverage. For all different service required for circumstances that fall outdoors of the guarantee or promotional phrases customers can have shows changed for $299.

Motorola: Our foldable display screen is stronger than the Galaxy Fold

My first query about any foldable phone is “how strong is that screen?” — due to the Galaxy Fold’s litany of early screen troubles, which resulted in a redesign and a four-month delay. 

The principal culprits plaguing Samsung’s design got here down to wreck by strain (e.g. urgent the display screen arduous sufficient to crush pixels), particles getting beneath the display screen, injury to the plastic materials via sharp objects (corresponding to a fingernail or ring) and pulling off the protecting prime coating.

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Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is in regards to the larger display screen, whereas Motorola’s Razr places portability first.


Angela Lang/CNET

Like Samsung, Motorola makes use of a versatile plastic OLED show to deliver photographs to life, and a sort of plastic coating on prime to guard the fragile electronics that make your display screen gentle up. 

Since more durable supplies like versatile glass do not exist but (Gorilla Glass-maker Corning is working on it), all foldable telephones use some sort of plastic prime coating.

In Motorola’s case, it is a polyamide coating, a variation on the ShatterShield technology the corporate developed in 2011 for the Droid Razr sequence. Motorola says that its expertise working with the fabric provides it an edge, together with a more durable coating than the Fold, which ought to make it extra immune to scratches. Steel plates behind the plastic OLED add construction and assist distribute any affect forces alongside the phone’s size. We’ll take a look at this declare.

Biggest digital camera, battery and display screen trade-offs it is advisable to know

I’ve by no means met an ideal phone, and the Motorola Razr already exhibits some trade-offs. The phone’s principal 16-megapixel digital camera is an effective begin, however it lacks the telephoto and wide-angle lenses which have change into the hallmark of premium units. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Fold provides you six of them.

I’m curious if and the way the display screen dimensions hamper video watching, gameplay, typing and studying over time. The keyboard is slim, however correct sufficient for me to make use of with out too many errors. I may additionally sort shortly. People with bigger fingers might not really feel the identical. I used to be relieved that the chin did not get in the way in which. 

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Motorola is hoping to recapture the magic of its best-selling phone ever.


James Martin/CNET

There’s additionally a query mark over battery life. Motorola put a battery in either side of the Razr, for a mixed whole of two,500 mAh. That helps steadiness out the burden, however two separate batteries are usually much less environment friendly than one. Motorola says the battery will final a day. For reference, the Galaxy Fold battery provides as much as 4,380 mAh.

One manner the model retains battery drain in verify is through the use of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor as a substitute of the premium Snapdragon 855 chipset. Since the 710 chip’s peak speeds are slower than the 855’s, it will burn much less battery. The bodily chip dimension is smaller, too. You should not discover a distinction in most of your duties.

Most apps on the exterior display screen do not open to the interior display screen. That’s a departure from the Galaxy Fold, whose 4.6-inch exterior show allows you to open any Android app after which choose up with it the place you left off while you open up the system. The Razr was initially going to launch with Android 9, however is now confirmed to use Android 10. It’s probably we’ll see extra shortcuts to journey from the small outer display screen to the 6.2-inch inside show.

The Razr’s model of Android 10 means you can use popular features such as system-wide dark mode.

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It’s not only a field. The Motorola Razr’s packaging doubles as a stand that may play music out its audio system.


Angela Lang/CNET

Everything you get within the field

Your unboxing experience is about as much as be fairly memorable. Motorola has made a singular and crowd pleasing field with sharp corners, a tinted, clear prime and a speaker grille so you may play music via the field while you slot the phone in it upright. It’s a souvenir for individuals who love them. 

The Motorola Razr field comes with:

  • The Motorola Razr phone
  • Wired USB-C earbuds
  • An accent case that may also home your sun shades
  • 15-watt TurboPower charger
  • USB-C cable
  • Headset adapter

Motorola Razr specs vs. its rivals

Motorola Razr vs. Galaxy Fold vs. Mate X

Motorola Razr Samsung Galaxy Fold Huawei Mate X
Display dimension, decision Internal: 6.2-inch, foldable pOLED; 2,142×876 pixels (21:9) / External: 2.7-inch glass OLED, 800×600 pixels (4:3) Internal: 7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED; 2,152×1,536 pixels (plastic) / External: 4.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED; 1,680×720 pixels (Gorilla Glass 6) Fully prolonged: 8-inch OLED (2,480×2,200) / Folded up, entrance: 6.6-inch (2,480×1,148 pixels) / Folded up, again: 6.38-inch (2,480×892)
Pixel density 373 ppi (inside display screen) 362 ppi (inside display screen) 414 ppi (expanded display screen)
Dimensions (Inches) Unfolded: 6.8×2.8×0.28 inches. Folded: 3.7×2.8×0.55 inches Unfolded: 6.3×4.6×0.Three inches. Folded: 6.3×2.5×0.6 inches TBA
Dimensions (Millimeters) Unfolded: 172×7 2×6.9mm. Folded: 94x72x14mm Unfolded: 117.9x161x6.9mm ~ 7.6mm. Folded: 62.8x161x15.7mm ~ 17.1mm TBA
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 7.2 oz; 205g 9.7 oz; 276g TBA
Mobile software program Android 10 Android 9.Zero with Samsung One UI TBA
Camera 16-megapixel exterior (f/1.7, twin pixel AF), 5-megapixel inside 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (extremely wide-angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto) Four rear cameras
Front-facing digital camera Same as principal 16-megapixel exterior Two 10-megapixel, 8-megapixel 3D depth At least one
Video seize 4K 4K (HDR 10 Plus) N/A
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 (2.2GHz, octa-core) Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Kirin 980 processor
Storage 128GB 512GB 512GB
RAM 6GB 12GB 8GB
Expandable storage No No No
Battery 2,510 mAh 4,380 mAh 4,500 mAh
Fingerprint sensor Below display screen Power button Power button
Connector USB-C USB-C USB-C
Headphone jack None No N/A
Special options Foldable show, eSIM, Motorola gestures, splashproof Foldable show, wi-fi charging, quick charging Foldable show, quick charging
Price off-contract (USD) $1,499 $1,980 Converts to about $2,600 (2,299 euros)
Price (GBP) Converts to about £1,170 £2,000 Converts to about £2,000
Price (AUD) Converts to about AU$2,200 AU$2,950 Converts to about AU$3,700

Originally printed final 12 months and up to date ceaselessly.

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