The new Motorola Razr is terrible and I love it!


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.

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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37 Comments

1. Diego!

Posts: 880; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

I hope V2 of this phone improves on the internal specs (battery, chipset, cameras) and I'll give it a try. This one looks amazing but I want a better camera and I'll gladly spend a lot of money on it. The hinge is definitely a win win. There is no visible crease at all and Motorola has taught Samsung and Huawei a lesson on how a foldable phone is done. Great job!

21. matistight

Posts: 1023; Member since: May 13, 2009

You mean V3?

22. sgodsell

Posts: 7570; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

This guy only used it at a show, and that is it. It comes with a 10nm octa core SD 710 SoC, which is rated to drive a QHD+ display. This new Razr has a Full HD+ resolution display. It also has 6 GB of ram, and 128 GB of storage. A 16 mp camera with a secondary ToF camera, a 5 mp front camera. Plus a finger print scanner in the front. The only thing that might be classified as middle of the road specs for 2019, is the SoC, but its definitely not middle of the road specs. For crying out load it has a ToF camera like the S10, which people could use to scan in objects to 3D print out later if they want to, using this Razr. Can't do that on any iPhone, until they get a ToF camera. Most likely the 710 SoC was used to help in battery life, since it's designed and rated for battery life conservation.

24. Brewski

Posts: 725; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

No, he means V2. As in version 2. This article is about version 1, so next would be version 2. V3 is just what the original Razr fliphone model number was. There was no V1 or V2.

45. Diego!

Posts: 880; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

I said V2 of this phone as the next generation.

37. Alcyone

Posts: 568; Member since: May 10, 2018

The V3 was the original. V6 was the second itiration, as i recall.

2. Sam1ne

Posts: 55; Member since: Apr 07, 2019

The greatest thing about this device is that it definitely shows foldables are the next big thing.. be it a book or a clamshell type, the technology is here to make these devices compromise-free. If future generations manage to incorporate bendable glass (Samsung's next foldable) and some kind of IP certificate on top of this kind of hinge and screen folding mechanism at a normal price, they will sell like hotcakes.

3. shiv179

Posts: 191; Member since: Aug 08, 2012

Awesome!!!

4. DBozz

Posts: 111; Member since: Sep 19, 2019

The phones that came between the time gap from old razer to new razer already made me so lazy to take the flip phone and flip it out and open to see the display. Sorry, i just want to take the phone in hand and look. no extra steps inbetween!

5. extraterestial

Posts: 10; Member since: Nov 08, 2019

This is innovation. I cheer for every company trying to risk and create something new and unique.

10. ZombieHunter

Posts: 268; Member since: Oct 13, 2013

The STAR TAC came first, that was an awesome phone. The RAZR was nothing special.

30. ijuanp03

Posts: 655; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

Selling 140 million razr phones and still the best-selling flip phone of all time is nothing special.

42. TadTrickle

Posts: 107; Member since: Apr 08, 2019

Thank you zombie Hunter! I knew they came out before 2004, it was driving me a little nuts trying to remember what my friend had. The star tac, yes that's it.... Do you remember that NORE song

11. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 622; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

Funny how everyone said the Galaxy Fold small screen was useless even though it was mostly for calls and texts. But this Motorola has a even smaller and more useless screen but no one complains? All anyone cares about is Nostalgia? It has 1 camera, no OIS, no flagship internala and a very small battery.

12. ShadowWarrior

Posts: 170; Member since: Aug 08, 2017

Nostalgia hype train. The Samsung Galaxy Fold is more useful in my opinion. At least you get a full tablet in a small form factor.

14. buccob

Posts: 2980; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Being useful depends on each person.... I have a Surface Book, so when I need a tablet I simply detach the display.... However a phone with a 6.2 inches display that folds so compact is a plus for me.... But I will only pay for it when it becomes mainstream....

31. ijuanp03

Posts: 655; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

Razr is a real smartphone that can be flipped and folded in to half unlike the Galaxy Fold tablet pretending to be a phone. lol

38. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 622; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

"Razr is a real smartphone that can be flipped and folded in to half unlike the Galaxy Fold tablet pretending to be a phone" Thats so weak ;) The difference is the Fold when closed still has a more useful front screen and when opened becomes a tablet which the Razor can never do and thats a big drawback. Most people nowadays have a phone and tablet as extra. The fold is a 2 in one same with the Mate X. The razor isn't its just a phone if I wanted that I would buy a Pocofone for £270 and save the £1200.

13. tokuzumi

Posts: 1961; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

Hopefully this is made for a few generations, and gets down to the $600-700 price range. And remove that stupid "locked to Verizon" requirement. Carrier locked phones are also a throwback to 15 years ago.

19. Locked-n-Loaded

Posts: 62; Member since: Sep 13, 2019

I will bet you money this is the start of a new version of the razor going forward this is just a proof-of-concept I expect future models to be way more legit in terms of specs

15. Vancetastic

Posts: 1754; Member since: May 17, 2017

I like it. I don't $1500 like it, but I like it.

39. hansip87

Posts: 229; Member since: Nov 10, 2015

can't agree more

16. monoke

Posts: 1197; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

It's remarkable how they perfected that hinge to allow the screen to fold with little tension as possible. I expect other OEMs to follow this blueprint. Next Galaxy Fold will probably implement this. This is why competition is always good and there's nothing wrong with imitating what works.

18. Locked-n-Loaded

Posts: 62; Member since: Sep 13, 2019

But did you see how they did it it's a pretty ingenious method were these little metal plates slide in and out of the way to add rigidity to the hinge when open and retract out of the way when closed

17. Locked-n-Loaded

Posts: 62; Member since: Sep 13, 2019

This is the only proper way to build a folding phone. The specs on this are terrible so I will not be buying it but I never really plans to buy one new I will buy one used down the road. I found my own Razr from back in the day. But the real gem here is this is a proof-of-concept and I said this when it was first leak way early this year that this was going to be the best design. I expect the next version of this because you know there will be another version will be way more properly spect for the price. I'm pumped they made this phone

23. JCASS889

Posts: 607; Member since: May 18, 2018

How exactly are the specs terrible?

27. Locked-n-Loaded

Posts: 62; Member since: Sep 13, 2019

LOL really? YEARS old chipset. Tiny battery. No wireless charging. Minimal RAM & storage. No NFC. ESim so no SIM card (travel much?). No storage expandability. I mean, come on now, if you know phones & tech that's a fairly absurd question. It's a known fact this phone is running on years old specs. And for $1500 - simply not justifiable.

20. Elvis358

Posts: 260; Member since: Mar 25, 2018

There is no crese. How the fork this is a terrible smartphone phoneArena??? Wtf. It is the best flodable smartphone. Maybe not the best specs but definitely better made flodable!

25. ryanj04

Posts: 9; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

Yeah I completely don’t get how this is a “terrible” phone... Sure it is expensive, but all new technologies are at first. The only thing terrible is the title of the article...

26. LAgurl

Posts: 119; Member since: Dec 05, 2018

Dam I’m on At&t I want one but it’s Verizon only ughh

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