The new Motorola Razr is terrible and I love it!

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In a glorious triumph of form over function, forward-thinking innovation, and most importantly, nostalgia, the new motorola razr is quite probably the best foldable phone right now. No, it doesn't have high-end specs, and it's far from being "affordable", but it's a proof of concept done right. It's not only an excellent callback to the company's heyday more than a decade ago, but it also sets the stage for a surprisingly strong presence in the emerging foldable phone niche. Here's why the motorola razr is easily the ultimate foldable phone right now.

It's been nearly 15 years and only few phones have touched the same legendary status of the original Razr. Here we have one of the older spin-offs posing next to its newer and flashier successor. A very nostalgic trip down memory lane!

Design: A futuristic nostalgia

The hinge and the main display are, naturally, the true stars of the motorola razr show. Motorola partnered with Lenovo for the development of the unique hinge mechanism, and it's definitely something else. What's most interesting here is the fact that the display itself folds within the motorola razr, which eliminates the unsightly curl that forms on other foldable devices like the Galaxy Fold, for example. Here, everything's neatly tucked in and kept safe thanks to the ingenious mechanism. Not only does the hinge feel robust and reliable, but it also creates a very reassuring and satisfying snap! when closing the lid.

Opening it, however, is not as easy as it used to be 15 years ago on the original Razr. While the new motorola razr can technically be opened with the flick of your thumb, the heavier spring mechanism makes that a bit harder and definitely increases the risk of dropping the phone. This foldable phone is best opened with two hands although that's less satisfying than flicking it open with a single hand. 

When folded, the motorola razr is so compact that it's surreal. Although it's not very lightweight, it leaves the impression of being such. You will certainly have to double-check your pockets before heading out for the day because of the phone's inconspicuous dimensions - after all, it's not a pocket-expanding, jeans-bending slab of glass and metal like most regular smartphones these days. The first thing that you notice when you take the razr in your hands is, of course, the small 2.7-inch external screen and the main 16MP camera of the phone. While a dedicated selfie camera exists, it's much cooler to take selfie portraits with the main camera. There's an added bonus to that - the rear camera is accompanied by a ToF sensor that helps achieve a more believable bokeh.

Display: No crease!

The external screen is a fingerprint magnet (as you can see on some of the photos below), but it's surprisingly useful. Aside from telling the time and showing your any incoming notifications, it could be used to interact with any app or feature of the phone. At the rear of the razr, we have that neat dotted pattern that feels great in the hands and adds a reassuring grip, and even this design aspect of the phone feels nostalgic. The chin at he bottom, however, is an acquired taste. The main reason why the motorola razr has such a large chin is, you guessed it, to play with the nostalgia factor, but I have to admit that it doesn't feel out of place on this phone at all. In fact, it helps with the grip.

Once you pop the lid, you are greeted by the internal 6.2-inch OLED display, which looks, and most importantly, feels great. What do I mean? Well, once you open it, it gets perfectly flat, with no tangible crease. You can sort of make it out visually, but it gets quite flat when you flick open the lid, leaving the impression of having no crease! It might even be hard to tell that this phone--and display--actually fold, because the screen itself doesn't suggest such an option at first glance. This is how all foldables should be. Being an OLED panel, the display is just lovely - it's vibrant and has great contrast, just as we've come to expect from such displays. Of course, you probably have to be careful not to scratch the plastic coating over the display, but that's one drawback you have to embrace when it comes to the motorola razr and foldables in general. Motorola's two-year display warranty gives a nice peace of mind though.

Retro mania

On the software front, we've got motorola-ified Android Pie. It's same old, same old, but it has one of the coolest easter eggs ever - a built-in full interface retro theme that immediately throws you back at least a decade. The lower part of the screen turns into the good-ol' moto keyboard, while the upper part simulates the rudimentary low-res screen of the original Razr. You can use T9 text input, tap the virtual d-pad to get around the interface, and even check your texts.

Specs... don't matter

This paragraph will be short. Specs are, for all intents and purposes, very irrelevant aspect of the motorola razr. They don't tell the whole story, and if you just skim through the specs sheet, you are very likely to quickly shoot down the phone for its mid-range hardware. Nobody will be getting this device for the specs alone, and it was never intended to be a headbutting flagship in the first place. From my brief time with the phone, it actually felt very capable and quite snappy.

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The only real concern one might have here is the battery life. While the company promises a full day of battery endurance, living with the razr would definitely take some adjusting to one's regular usage. Even one of the main engineers behind the moto razr project admitted that the phone itself teaches you how to use it - it encourages digital well-being by urging you to use the more power-efficient external display more.

Final thoughts

Yes, the motorola razr is too expensive. Yes, its specs are... mediocre to say the least. It's not very competitive against the regular flagships out there. If it were a regular phone, it would have been lambasted and totally destroyed, but none of this will happen with the razr, because it plays so well with your nostalgia. It's a proof of concept that sets the stage for something much bigger for Motorola's future. It's also a foldable phone done right, showing that foldables don't need to be those quirky monstrosities that look so unnatural and unwieldy. The razr is quirky in its own way, one that makes it hard to fault it for anything.

Yes, you could say that the motorola razr is a terrible phone, but it's also awesome and I totally love it!

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