Update to Android 10 brings new capabilities to the Motorola razr's external display

Update to Android 10 brings new capabilities to the Motorola razr's external display
When the Motorola razr (2019) was launched on February 6th at a price of $1,500, consumers were paying top dollar for a trip back in time to the days when the Razr V3 ruled the cellphone world and everyone had to own one. For that price, you would expect high-end specs like those on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. Instead, the razr (2019) is powered by the Snapdragon 710 chipset instead of the Snapdragon 855+ found on Sammy's flipper. Even more shocking, when the razr (2019) was released it had 2018's Android 9 Pie pre-installed instead of Android 10.

The razr's external screen now has a full QWERTY keyboard to respond to messages

Today, Motorola announced that it has updated the Motorola razr (2019) to Android 10. The company says, "Razr owners love razr’s utility, versatility, and ability to keep them in the loop without pulling them away. Razr’s upgrade to Android 10 provides a streamlined new look and feel while significantly improving and expanding the Quick View display functionality, providing an unparalleled foldable experience built on consumer feedback."

Besides adding system-wide dark mode, improved gesture navigation, and more, the update adds new capabilities for the 2.7-inch Quick View external display. Overall, this makes the razr more useful even when the device is fully closed. For example, with the update you can access your contacts list and make a call by swiping left on the external display. And there is now a full QWERTY keyboard available for the Quick View display allowing users to respond to messages by typing a reply or using Smart Reply to send a pre-written response. All of this can be done when the handset is not open.

Even with the razr closed, selfies can be taken using the Quick View display. If the phone is unlocked, swipe right on the Quick View screen or flick your wrist to open the camera. Once the camera is ready to go, features like Group Selfie, Portrait Mode, and Spot Color can be used. With Spot Color, the picture appears in black and white except for parts of the photo that you want to appear in color.

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With the update, more apps are now accessible from the external Quick View display such as Google Maps and music streamers such as Spotify, YouTube Music, and Pandora. Motorola says, "We’ve already set the bar for external displays on a foldable device, but we’re moving it even higher. As we push the boundaries of innovation with foldable devices, we’ll continue to prioritize and improve the experience on our Quick View display for the most intuitive, enjoyable, and seamless experience possible."

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While the Galaxy Z Flip out specs the razr (2019), the external display is one aspect of the foldable phones where Motorola has a huge edge. On the razr, the 2.7-inch OLED panel has a resolution of 600 x 800. On the Galaxy Z Flip, the external Super AMOLED display is 1.1-inches. It is so small that notifications are scrolled like a ticker tape.

With the Android 10 update, razr (2019) users will be able to customize icon shapes and colors. This is a feature that we got to play around with on the Pixel 2 XL and found it to be a great way to customize a phone.

The Android 10 update for the Motorola razr (2019) will start rolling out globally today. The manufacturer will announce local availability when the update is ready in different markets. In the U.S., Motorola's foldable phone is a Verizon exclusive. Last month, a new color option, Bloom Gold, was added to Noir Black. Speaking of Verizon, yesterday ended a special Mother's Day promotion that included a BOGO deal on the razr (2019).

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