Motorola Razr is coming. Here’s what to expect from the first foldable flip phone

It’s been over two months since I folded the Motorola Razr in half for the primary time. Back in November, the Razr was hands-down one of the best designed, most fully thought-out foldable phone I had seen. To be honest, that is a small grouping comprised of the Galaxy Fold, Huawei Mate X, 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 a bit of bit in love with the Razr’s design, particularly the way it softly snaps shut from prime to backside, one facet laying flat on prime of the opposite, and not using a seen hole between the 2 halves of the display. With this straightforward act, Motorola has solved one of many greatest design conundrums that the Galaxy Fold and different foldable phones have but to determine. 

But quickly the Razr can have some very actual competitors, and that casts a slim shadow over its tall, slim body. On Feb. 11, Samsung is broadly anticipated to announce its own foldable flip phone, the Galaxy Z Flip, which is rumored to be the primary foldable phone to make use of bendable glass. If true, Samsung might achieve an infinite benefit over the Razr, which matches on sale days earlier on Feb. 6 (preorders begin Jan. 26). 

Motorola’s plan was to edge Samsung’s foldable flip phone by promoting the brand new Razr earlier than the top of 2019. But a sequence of delays slid back the company’s internal timetable, after which pushed back the preorder date by a month after saying presales for Dec. 26. This is not good for the Razr, a model that is worthwhile for the primary time in years and eager to return to premium phones. It’s completely attainable that potential patrons could maintain again to see how the Galaxy Z Flip and Razr’s specs and value match up.

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 value. 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 by 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 measurement whereas holding 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 2019. 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 Editor Roger Cheng says, the foldable Razr gives Motorola a chance to stage its comeback in a flashy means that is not possible 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 thus far we have seen so many various designs. But the concept of utilizing the bigger, folding display to do most of your duties is a continuing. Here are some questions I assumed you may need.

How’s the display? I’ll provide the brief reply right here and an extended reply within the part slightly below: It’s product of plastic and I have never had an opportunity to check its sturdiness but, but it surely appears 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 considerations 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. 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 longer term.


James Martin/CNET

How tall is the Razr? Does it really feel unwieldy or overly lengthy? The 6.2-inch display 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 achieve together with your thumb. It works higher than most phones one-handed.

How effectively does it actually match into your pocket? Smaller entrance pockets is likely to be a squeeze, however I had no drawback 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 on the skin like there’s 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 one of the best), however you possibly can reply by 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 hold the edges slim by storing the phone’s bulkier components in that base.


James Martin/CNET

How sturdy is it to open and shut? I can really feel the hinge rigidity whereas opening and shutting the Razr, and the motion feels clean and measured. You can see the gears of the hinge working in the event you have a look at it from the highest and backside. It appears cool, however I hope nothing will get caught in there. Magnets maintain the edges collectively. My thumb obtained drained after a day of opening it one-handed, however utilizing two palms felt simply as pure. This may not be a difficulty with brawnier thumbs.

Can you see a crease? Yes, but it surely’s slim and less pronounced than on the Galaxy Fold. You can really feel it in the event you rub your finger alongside the seam, but it surely’s extra delicate 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 offers 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.


James Martin/CNET

Do you open up the phone to speak? To provoke a name, sure, however in the event you’re already on a name, you possibly can shut it to maintain speaking — as long as you are on speakerphone, related by Bluetooth or on a video name. Otherwise, the phone closes out most apps. Music gamers are one other exception, and you’ll management tracks from the smaller outdoors display.

What’s it like to observe movies on the Razr? I watched just a few YouTube movies. You’ll wish to do that horizontally: Depending on how the supply video is formatted, you would possibly crop off some heads in the event you pinch and zoom to fill the display. Otherwise, you would possibly see black bars bordering the edges. For what it is price, Motorola calls the 21:9 display its Cinemavision show.

How do you employ the cameras? There’s a 16-megapixel digital camera beneath the outside show and that is what you will use more often than not to take your images, selfies included. There are just a few instruments to make selfie-taking simpler, and the upshot is that picture high quality is likely to be increased than common. The 5-megapixel digital camera you see whenever you unfold the Razr shall 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 essentially 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 communicate to a human on the phone for a 14-hour-per-day window. Here’s the remainder of the high-quality print for Verizon clients (warranties could range by nation):

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

Motorola: Our foldable display 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 most important culprits plaguing Samsung’s design got here down to wreck by stress (e.g. urgent the display onerous sufficient to crush pixels), particles getting beneath the display, injury to the plastic materials by sharp objects (resembling a fingernail or ring) and pulling off the protecting prime coating.

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Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is concerning the larger display, whereas Motorola’s Razr places portability first.


Angela Lang/CNET

Like Samsung, Motorola makes use of a versatile plastic OLED show to carry photos to life, and a kind of plastic coating on prime to guard the fragile electronics that make your display mild 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 offers it an edge, together with a more durable coating than the Fold, which ought to make it extra proof against scratches. Steel plates behind the plastic OLED add construction and assist distribute any influence forces alongside the phone’s size. We’ll take a look at this declare.

Biggest digital camera, battery and display trade-offs it’s worthwhile to know

I’ve by no means met an ideal phone, and the Motorola Razr already reveals some trade-offs. The phone’s most important 16-megapixel digital camera is an efficient begin, but it surely lacks the telephoto and wide-angle lenses which have develop into the hallmark of premium units. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Fold offers you six of them.

I’m curious if and the way the display 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 might additionally sort shortly. People with bigger fingers could 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 each side of the Razr, for a mixed whole of two,500 mAh. That helps stability 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 means the model retains battery drain in verify is through the use of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor as an alternative of the premium Snapdragon 855 chipset. Since the 710 chip’s peak speeds are slower than the 855’s, it’s going to burn much less battery. The bodily chip measurement is smaller, too. You should not discover a distinction in most of your duties.

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

The Razr’s model of Android 10 means you’ll 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 expertise 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 possibly can play music by the field whenever you slot the phone in it upright. It’s a souvenir for many 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. the Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X

Motorola Razr vs. Galaxy Fold vs. Mate X

Motorola Razr Samsung Galaxy Fold Huawei Mate X
Display measurement, decision Internal: 6.2-inch, foldable pOLED; 2,142x876p 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 x 2,200) / Folded up, entrance: 6.6-inch (2,480 x 1,148 pixels) / Folded up, again: 6.38-inch (2,480 x 892);
Pixel density 373 ppi (inside display) 362 ppi (inside display) 414 ppi (expanded display)
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 most important 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 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 earlier this month. Updated with gross sales date info.

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