The Motorola Razr is one of my favorite phones, but I won’t buy it

    When I picked up the Motorola Razr foldable cellphone for the primary time I used to be shocked by how heavy it was. Unlike the unique lovable and seemingly indestructible plastic model from 2004, this new Razr is dense. It’s comprised of glass, chrome steel and plastic and weighs practically the identical because the 6.55-inch OnePlus 7 Pro. The first time I flicked it open with my wrist in a single movement, that satisfying Razr feeling was again. The motion feels tighter than the OG Razr, however you may nonetheless slam it shut after a cellphone name.

    LikeImpressively smallGroundbreaking designPeek Screen/Quick View showFlipping it open and closed

    Don’t Like$1,499 priceMidtier specsConcerns over sturdiness

    The Motorola Razr is certainly one of a handful of foldable telephones you may really purchase, which embrace the Samsung Galaxy Fold, Royole FlexPai and Huawei Mate X. But it is the primary to bridge a contemporary Android cellphone and the acquainted clamshell design of the previous. Before the present dynasty of glass slab smartphones, Motorola outlined what a cell phone was. And this new Razr may assist redefine how we use our telephones.After per week of utilizing the Razr as my every day driver, I’ve sturdy emotions for it and some questions. At $1,499, it does not have the quickest processor, the largest battery or the very best cameras. If this cellphone did not fold in half, it might be a strong midtier Android cellphone. But the Razr has one thing most telephones lack: persona. And as Jules says in Pulp Fiction, “Personality goes a long way.” The Razr feels extra private than any cellphone I’ve used.

    Every time I flip it open or closed, I see its worth rise. That stated, most individuals should not purchase the Razr, myself included. The true take a look at of its design will happen over the approaching months contained in the pockets of those that do purchase it. This doesn’t suggest Motorola is on the unsuitable monitor: The Razr is a gigantic accomplishment that units the stage for an improved second model.There’s a lot to go over, however let me begin by answering just a few frequent questions.
    Does the Razr squeak or creak?Yes. My overview unit squeaks after I fold it. Not like a rubbery sound, extra of a muffled crunching sound. It’s disheartening.

    In November, a few of us at CNET spent the higher a part of a day with three completely different preproduction Razrs. We have been advised these models have been six months outdated. But I do not keep in mind any of these telephones making the slightest creak. If there was a noise, it was quiet sufficient not to attract my consideration. Should you be involved? Of course. At first I believed perhaps it was the display and, like a pleasant pair of leather-based boots, it simply wants time to “break in.”The distinctive hinge system that helps stop a crease within the display is seemingly the supply of a creak on my overview unit.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    But here is what Motorola advised me in regards to the Razr and its sound. “Its dynamic clamshell folding system is comprised of several moving parts including: a flexible OLED display module, metal support plates and a state-of-the-art hinge system. When folding and unfolding Razr, you may hear a sound, which is natural from the mechanical movement of the phone. Razr has undergone rigorous durability testing, and the reported sounds in no way affect the quality of the product.”How dangerous is that this sound? It’s not “record skip” loud, however it’s not nice both. If I purchased this cellphone, I’d suppose one thing was unsuitable and wish to swap it.Does the display have a crease?Not just like the Galaxy Fold, no. In reality, Motorola designed a particular hinge that enables the show to remain curled when closed and due to this fact stop a everlasting crease.When I watch a video, I could make out the perimeters of the metal plates used to bolster the again of the display and preserve it taut within the open place. The center of the display does not have this backing. Imagine masking the seat cushions of a sofa with a taut mattress sheet and having the ability to make out the area in between the cushions. When I’m scrolling up and down, I can really feel the void behind the center of the display. This does not bitter my expertise. But it’s a reminder of simply how delicate the show is. Is the Razr sturdy?This one’s tough. Motorola launched a video on tips on how to look after the Razr that claims the “screen is made to bend; bumps and lumps are normal.” I have not encountered any bumps or lumps on the display, however bumps and lumps should not regular. If you might have a bump or lump in your physique it’s best to see a health care provider.
    In the week I had the Razr, it survived snow, two airplane journeys, half a dozen cabs, a lodge, varied pockets, a backpack and a home with a cat. It additionally held up whereas being photographed and filmed in quite a lot of areas. One of the Razr’s options is its Zero Gap hinge, which has a niche about as thick as a taking part in card thick. Several occasions, I opened the cellphone to find the inside display lined in lint and dirt. Its not possible for me to find out in per week whether or not the Razr will likely be sturdy in the long run. The solely technique to know is to make use of it for months on finish. The Razr must construct my belief in the identical method the primary smartphones and their glass screens needed to.Didn’t the Razr break in CNET’s fold take a look at?Yes and no. A colleague of mine examined what number of occasions he may fold a Razr he had bought. He stopped the take a look at after the folding machine had bother folding the cellphone. The Razr nonetheless labored and opened and closed, however there was one thing off behind the display. I am unable to converse to his outcomes, however what I can say is that the overview unit I used did not have any harm in any way after a heavy week of use.In response to the fold take a look at, Motorola stated, “[The] Razr is a unique smartphone, featuring a dynamic clamshell folding system unlike any device on the market. SquareTrade’s FoldBot [the folding machine we used] is simply not designed to test our device. Therefore, any tests run utilizing this machine will put undue stress on the hinge and not allow the phone to open and close as intended, making the test inaccurate. The important thing to remember is that Razr underwent extensive cycle endurance testing during product development, and CNET’s test is not indicative of what consumers will experience when using Razr in the real world. We have every confidence in the durability of Razr.”I ought to be aware that Motorola provides a good guarantee on the Razr. If your show has defects incurred throughout regular use, Motorola will restore or exchange your gadgets free of charge. Otherwise, you may have shows changed for $299.The pleasure of the Razr’s flipThe Razr modified my relationship with my cellphone. When I’m bored on an extraordinary slab-shaped cellphone, I discover myself mindlessly scrolling via Twitter or Instagram. But on the Razr, I grew to become extra purposeful about what I did. The slight second it takes to flip the cellphone open prevents me from continually checking social media or “bored using” my cellphone.The Razr begs for use one-handed. After a day or so, I used to be in a position to open it with a whip-like flip and shut it one-handed. But Motorola can go additional optimizing the person interface. On the 6.2-inch tall display, I typically wanted a second hand to vary a setting or faucet a button on the prime of the display. There’s a shortcut you may allow to shrink the show to make one-handed use simpler, however that simply provides one other step to the method. You must swipe on an angle to shrink the show, faucet the button you could not earlier than after which faucet once more to enlarge the show.The Razr’s tall 6.2-inch display generally is a problem to make use of one-handed, particularly in case you’re attempting to succeed in for the highest of the display.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    I’m a giant fan of Samsung’s One UI and One UI 2, which adjustments the way in which we work together with Android on a much bigger display. It’s particularly aimed toward making one-handed use simpler. Motorola ought to re-envision Android’s UI for the Razr if it is critical about permitting folks to make use of the Razr with one hand.When you maintain it vertically, the Razr’s onscreen keyboard is extra slim than a typical cellphone. And but, I discovered myself in a position to sort sooner two-handed. Swipe-style keyboards work unbelievable one-handed on the Razr as properly. Flip the cellphone horizontally and also you now have a a lot wider keyboard.Quick View is an impressive technique to work together with notificationsThe exterior show, referred to as the Quick View show, is probably one of many greatest improvements on the cellphone. I discovered myself utilizing it fairly a bit to cycle via notifications, use Google Pay, set off the digicam and even dismiss emails. It was one other method my regular cellphone conduct modified.The 2.7-inch show sits beneath a chunk of Gorilla Glass 3. When it is not lined in fingerprint smudges, it appears to be like completely premium. It works in two methods. When the cellphone is locked, it turns into a Peek Display and allows you to view notifications. When you unlock the display, you get further entry to a mini management panel (brightness, flashlight, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and selfies) and you may work together with notifications. Tap and maintain an icon for a fast peek at messages and notifications. It’s splendidly discreet.The Quick View show on the entrance provides you prompt entry to notifications. Just press and maintain the icon to take a peek on the notification.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    If you faucet, maintain and swipe up on a notification or icon, you get extra performance. For instance, if I get a brand new electronic mail message, I can faucet the Gmail icon and slide it as much as reveal the whole message in addition to have the choice to Archive or Reply.Motorola ought to have gone additional. I’m not searching for what Samsung did with the Galaxy Fold by making the whole cellphone usable by way of the exterior show. That’s an excessive amount of. But there may be extra usefulness Motorola can mine out of the Quick View display.Also, some options may very well be extra useful. When I cooked dinner, I set a timer for seven minutes on the Razr. And after I checked the hourglass icon on the Quick View show, as a substitute of displaying me how a lot time was left, it simply confirmed the phrase “timer.”

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    Motorola Razr overview: It’s a exceptional peek on the future…


    The Razr’s folding display: Lumps, bumps and allThe tall 21:9 facet ratio of the inside display is unbelievable for watching movies shot in a large facet ratio. It reminds of the slender shows on the Sony Xperia 1 and Xperia 5. The Razr’s show high quality is sweet. Colors pop properly and the distinction is crisp with out trying overly sharp. The show has a notch which homes an earpiece speaker and digicam for video chats. The precise notch is formed a bit like Motorola’s batwing emblem.I watched Blade Runner and The Dark Knight at their unique widescreen facet ratio stuffed the Razr’s display end-to-end. The majority of movies you are going to watch, nonetheless, will seemingly be in a 16:9 ratio and depart large black bars on the left and proper aspect of the display. You can zoom in, however that can minimize off loads of the video.The total display slides ever so barely behind the raised chin while you open the cellphone.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    The backside of the display is curved like the unique Razr. Sadly, most apps do not reap the benefits of the complete display and as a substitute there’s steadily a grey void on the backside. This space appears to be crying out for use.When you open and shut the cellphone, the show slides up and down (millimeters) behind the raised chin. The chin appears to be like somewhat dated at first: It’s one of many design options that makes it “feel” like an outdated Razr. But it has a objective past mere nostalgia. It homes the cellphone’s antennas and makes for an awesome grip while you watch movies horizontally.I attempted utilizing two apps in split-screen mode on the tall show, however once more usability means you have to use each arms to succeed in the highest app.The Razr’s small and mighty battery… to this pointThere are two batteries, one on both half of the Razr, which provide a mixed 2,510 mAh of energy. While I nonetheless have extra battery checks to run, I used to be in a position to run a looped video take a look at carried out in airplane mode at 50% brightness. The Razr lasted a decent 13 hours, 3 minutes. For comparability, the Moto G7 and its 3,000-mAh battery lasted 12 hours, 51 minutes in the identical take a look at.In every day use, the Razr bought via most of a day, however I discovered myself having to plug in round supper time to prime it off. I’m to see the way it fares in a extra regular week of use as a substitute of throughout a overview week.The Razr has a Snapdragon 710 processor and 6GB of RAM. I ran it via a number of efficiency checks the place it fared in addition to the Google Pixel 3A, Samsung Galaxy A50 (

    $301 at Amazon

    ) and 2018 Huawei Honor 10. See the outcomes beneath.3DMark Slingshot Unlimited

    Longer bars point out higher efficiency

    Geekbench v.4.0 single-core

    Longer bars point out higher efficiency

    Geekbench v.4.0 multicore

    Longer bars point out higher efficiency

    In on a regular basis use, generally an app would hesitate to open just like the digicam. It’s simply not as peppy as you’d hope. I used to be in a position to play just a few video games on the Razr, together with Alto’s Odyssey and PUBG Mobile. The cellphone bought heat immediately throughout PUBG, and infrequently stuttered throughout recreation play. The Razr dealt with enhancing photographs and movies properly.All stated, Motorola discovered a superb power-to-performance ratio with the Razr. Of course it might be nice if it had a stronger processor and much more battery life, however it’s all about placing a stability.1 digicam that is simply OKThere are two cameras, however in actuality you may primarily use the 16-megapixel digicam with an f1.7 aperture that doubles for selfies and the rear digicam. It’s respectable, however is not on the degree of the Pixel 4, iPhone 11 (

    $870 at Walmart

    ) or Galaxy Note 10. Photos taken in good gentle are sharp with spectacular distinction. But as quickly as you are in medium-to-low gentle issues begin to crumble. Without optical picture stabilization, the Razr compensates with an extended shutter pace, which results in movement blur. Video is there. It’s effective. No one will likely be making a movie for Netflix with the Razr.This was taken in O’Hare airport in Chicago. The lighting was combined. Overall particulars are delicate, however the Razr’s HDR did a superb job dealing with the scene.
    Patrick Holland/CNET
    Like different Motorola telephones, the digicam has AI scene detections that optimize the digicam for various topics reminiscent of meals, moon and evening scenes. Night Vision provides an enchancment over common photographs taken in low gentle, however it’s nonetheless not on par with evening mode on a cellphone just like the iPhone 11, which prices half the value.The digicam doubles as a rear digicam when the cellphone is open and a selfie digicam when the cellphone is closed. I truthfully do not thoughts the truth that there is a single foremost digicam. I simply wished it was higher, particularly realizing what Motorola’s One line of telephones and cameras are able to.The second digicam has a 5-megapixel sensor that is situated above the inside show. But it is primarily meant for video chats. You can take selfies with it, however the high quality is not nearly as good as the primary digicam. That stated, the second digicam has a wider subject of view, which makes it simpler to border selfies.Buttons are vitalThere’s a fingerprint reader situated on the raised chin beneath the primary display. When the cellphone is folded shut, it sits flush with the Quick View show. Above the fingerprint reader is an onscreen house button that you should use with Moto Actions. It could be nice to have the ability to use One Button Nav immediately on the fingerprint button like you can on the Moto G5 Plus. It appears odd reaching over the fingerprint reader to faucet and swipe the house button.The buttons are well-placed contemplating they must swimsuit each the open and closed positions of the Razr.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    Motorola confronted a problem discovering a place for the quantity rocker and sleep-wake button that works each when the cellphone is open and closed. They appear to be in a superb location, however the buttons are tiny and generally laborious to differentiate regardless of the wake button’s texture.When the cellphone is closed, the buttons are troublesome to seek out with out searching for them. I want they’d extra journey or felt extra clicky.Random Razr ruminations roundupIt’s unique to Verizon within the US and EE within the UK (at the least for now). It’s AU$2,699 in Australia.There’s no SIM card, simply an eSIM.The Razr comes with 128GB of storage and there is not an possibility for extra.It lacks a slot for expandable storage.It has Verizon bloatware. It’s 2020, why is bloatware nonetheless a factor?It launches with Android 9.0 Pie and is predicted to obtain at the least one Android OS improve.The backside speaker array is loud, however high quality is common. It factors down as a substitute of at you.There isn’t any official IP score for water and dirt resistance, however it does have a nanocoating for splashes.Be looking out for the Retro Razr keyboard. Make positive your quantity is up while you launch it.When you’re taking an image of an individual, the Razr has a cartoon face on the Quick View show.Motorola Razr vs. Samsung Galaxy FoldEach the Galaxy Fold and Razr have folding shows, however they could not be extra completely different. The Razr is a enjoyable two-seat convertible whereas the Galaxy Fold is a big SVU filled with every part you can need and extra.The Razr turns a 6.2-inch cellphone into one thing pocketable. The Fold takes a small pill and folds it right into a thick however tall cellphone. You want two arms to make use of the Fold and one for the Razr. The Fold has premium specs and 6 glorious cameras. The Razr has two cameras, however actually it is simply the one on the surface that you will use.The Razr is on the left and the Galaxy Fold is on the fitting. Two very completely different takes on a cellphone with a foldable display.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    Samsung took a Galaxy S10 and turned it right into a folding cellphone. Motorola took a midtier cellphone and turned it right into a clamshell crammed with nostalgia. The outer display on the Razr is small however is extra thoughtfully applied. It does not attempt to do an excessive amount of and as a substitute offers a minimal technique to work together with notifications, controls and responses with out having to open your cellphone.The Galaxy Fold’s exterior show is awkwardly proportioned for its measurement and tries to do an excessive amount of. The display really has the identical 21:9 ratio of the Razr’s inside display, however it’s virtually too small to be helpful. On the Fold, you may open practically all Android apps on the surface and use them.The Galaxy Fold prices $1,980 and the Motorola Razr is $1,499. Motorola Razr vs. the Samsung Galaxy Z FlipOn Sunday through the Oscars, Samsung debuted an advert for its personal clamshell cellphone with a foldable show more likely to be referred to as the Galaxy Z Flip. (Technically, the title isn’t talked about.) On Tuesday Feb. 11, Samsung is ready to formally announce the brand new flip cellphone. There are a ton of rumors about it, however it may very well be the same measurement because the Razr and have the same tall inside folding display. The video reveals off a sq. physique that when closed that’s oddly paying homage to a Nintendo Gameboy Advance SP. Also, within the final shot, there is a aspect view of the wedge-shaped hole that appears much like the one the Galaxy Fold had.Motorola Razr specs vs. Samsung Galaxy Fold, Huawei Mate X, Moto G7

    Motorola Razr

    Samsung Galaxy Fold

    Huawei Mate X

    Motorola Moto G7

    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 (2,480×2,200) / Folded up, entrance: 6.6-inch (2,480×1,148 pixels) / Folded up, again: 6.38-inch (2,480×892);

    6.2-inch LCD; 2,270×1,080 pixels

    Pixel density

    373 ppi (inside display)

    362 ppi (inside display)

    414 ppi (expanded display)

    403 ppi

    Dimensions (Inches)

    Unfolded: 6.8×2.8×0.28 in / Folded: 3.7×2.8×0.55 in

    Folded: 6.3×2.5×0.6 in / Unfolded: 6.3×4.6×0.3 in


    6.18×2.96×0.31 in

    Dimensions (Millimeters)

    Unfolded: 172×7 2×6.9mm / Folded: 94x72x14mm

    Folded: 62.8x161x15.7mm ~ 17.1mm / Unfolded: 117.9x161x6.9mm ~ 7.6mm


    157×75.3×8 mm

    Weight (Ounces, Grams)

    7.2 oz; 205g

    9.7 oz; 276g


    6.07 oz.; 172 g

    Mobile software program

    Android 9 Pie

    Android 9.0 with Samsung One UI


    Android 9.0


    16-megapixel exterior (f/1.7, twin pixel AF), 5-megapixel inside

    12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (extremely wide-angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto)

    4 rear cameras

    12-megapixel, 5-megapixel

    Front-facing digicam

    Same as foremost 16-megapixel exterior

    Two 10-megapixel, 8-megapixel 3D depth

    At least one


    Video seize


    4K (HDR 10 Plus)




    Qualcomm Snapdragon 710

    Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

    Kirin 980 processor

    Qualcomm Snapdragon 632











    Expandable storage




    Up to 512GB






    Fingerprint sensor

    Below display

    Power button

    Power button







    Headphone jack





    Special options

    Foldable show, eSIM, Motorola gestures, splashproof

    Foldable show, wi-fi charging, quick charging

    Foldable show, quick charging

    Water repellent with P2i nano-coating; TurboPower charging

    Price off-contract (USD)



    Converts to $2,600 (2,299 euros)


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