Motorola Razr – back to the 90s

The Motorola Razr is a cutting-edge foldable phone that’s reminiscent of the original Razr V3 that was launched in 2004. The foldable Razr was formally launched in Los Angeles on November 13, 2019, and aims to bring back the novelty of the foldable phones into the smartphone market.

The Razr can be stated as an upgrade to the classic model that came before it, with its foldable duo screen, its sleek edges and aesthetic beauty all bringing back memories of the open and flip-style of the Razr V3.

But a lot of things hardly make the new foldable Moto Razr a device to desire. First is the hefty price tag attached to this smartphone, then the lackluster quality of its camera in comparison to the competition, its exclusive to Verizon only and lastly is its poor battery life.

Keep reading to find out more about the new foldable Razr.

Design

The new Razr design is squarer than the classic Razr V3, and the hinge is quite stiff that you can’t flip it open like its predecessor. The Razr also has a sleek figure when it’s fully opened and is about 6.9mm thick, and once folded up fits nicely in your palm.

And then there’s the Razr’s chin, which houses the main speaker and fingerprint sensor, which also provides extra space for the bottom edge of the screen to slide into when you close the phone. The chin also has some sharp edges, which at times can make the Razr quite uncomfortable to hold when taking photos or talking on the phone.

The phone also comes with a newly redesigned hinge Motorola claims is noiseless and is necessary for the folding mechanism of the device. The rear panel of the Razr is metal, which means the phone does not support wireless charging.

Display

The Razr 2019’s display features a 6.2-inch P-OLED HD screen with a resolution of 2,142 by 876 (373 PPI) and a 20:9 screen ratio. Though the screen has an elongated display, it lacks visual quality and is not that great for watching media.

But aside the display quality, the Razr does well in keeping the hinge beneath the screen which doesn’t obstruct as you run your finger over the display in the middle, unlike the Galaxy Fold’s screen with a visible seam.

There is also a front screen much like the classic Razr V3 which features an outdated 96 x 80 LCD screen. While the new Razr sports a 2.7-inch 800 x 600 display which is quite sharp for a small screen and makes taking selfies a joy. Just tap the screen, hit the volume button, and the phone takes a photo.

Camera

The Razr 2019 comes with a single 16MP rear camera that takes fine photos, with the camera app set up like most Motorola phones which includes: a simple photograph and video menu with a collection of modes like panorama, night photography, a portrait mode, 4x digital zoom and more. 

The Razr can also detect when you are holding the phone horizontal and make the screen flex if you didn’t hold it in place when taking a picture, utilizing the bendable nature of the screen.

The device also comes with a 5MP front-facing camera sitting on top of the unfolded screen. While it’s not quite sharp, it takes decent photos and features a unique mode for shooting a selfie or recording a video with the device closed and then flipping the phone open to seamlessly switch to the front-facing camera.

Performance and Specifications

The Razr 2019 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 chipset, which is quite subpar to the performance of the advanced Snapdragon 855 in the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

In terms of internals, we have 6GB of RAM coupled with 128GB of internal storage which has enough power to handle most of today’s apps without much issue. But when playing demanding games like Asphalt 9, PUBG and others you might notice some slight stuttering.

In terms of daily use, the Razr runs fast due to its lack of bloatware and Motorola’s choice to run Google’s stock skin. Although it comes with a couple of Verizon bloat apps pre-installed, beyond that, there isn’t much bloatware to slow its performance.

Specs

DisplayFoldable 6.2-inch P-OLED display, 2,142 x 876 (373PPI) Secondary 2.7-inch G-OLED display 800 x 600
Size and Dimensions94 x 72 x14mm folded, 172 x 72 x 6.99mm unfolded 205g
ProcessorSnapdragon 710 (10nm) Octa-core 2×2.2 GHz Kryo 360 & 6×1.6 GHz Kryo 360
Memory6 GB RAM & 128 GB internal storage
OSAndroid 9.0 Pie (vanilla)
Main Camera16MP, f/1.7, dual-pixel PDAF, dual led flash 4k video recording
Front Camera5MP, f/2.0
Battery2510mAh, 15W charging
ConnectivityeSIM only, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, USB Type-C

Software and Features

The Razr 2019 comes with Android 9 Pie and doesn’t feature the recent foldable compatibility tweaks present in the latest Android version update. The device also supports signature Motorola Action gestures that work when the phone is either closed or opened.

Gestures, like shaking the phone to turn on the flashlight, smiling at the phone when closed to take a selfie photo and many others

For Razr fans, it comes as a shock to know that Motorola removed the SIM slot entirely and the Razr relies solely on a virtual eSIM. Which means you can’t switch from the Verizon service to another service with a SIM swap.

Battery

The Razr 2019 biggest weakness is its battery the new Razr which comes at a paltry 2,510mAh capacity. Which is yet another compromise to achieve its sleek and thin design.

Motorola assures the battery will last all day, but the battery life of the device depends on the usage, while light to medium use such as texting, calling will last you a whole day, the phone quickly drains with heavy usage such as media consumption.

While the Razr doesn’t quite support wireless charging, the device does come with a 15W TurboPower charger and supports fast charging.

Comparison to the Competition

The Razr main competitor is the latest Samsung foldable Galaxy Z Flip which is more powerful, costs a bit less and proves to have a better option on the foldable flip phone concept.

For $1380 you can get the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip with a Dynamic Amoled display, Android 10, a fast processor (Snapdragon 855+), 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage and sharp cameras with SIM slot, while the Razr which costs a whopping $1500 lacks most of these.

ProsCons
Sleek foldable designQuite expensive
Fits nicely in your pocket and palmMediocre Battery life
 Main camera quality is subpar compared to the competition
 The display quality is also poor for its price
 It’s a Verizon-exclusive

Verdict

The Razr is not Motorola’s first attempt at a foldable phone, while the Moto Razr V3 released some years back saw major successes, much is left to be said about the new Razr foldable smartphone. From its low-res screen to its mid-range chipset, average battery capacity, lackluster cameras and also the fact it remains a Verizon exclusive make the Razr nearly impossible to recommend. The Razr foldable is a cool phone but it still needs more improvements and at $1500 is probably not for the faint-hearted.