Motorola Razr test: it's the most personal phone I've used, but I'm concerned – CNET

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When I picked it up Motorola Razr foldable phone For the first time I was amazed at how difficult it was. Unlike the original lovable and apparently indestructible plastic version from 2004, this new Razr is tight. It is made of glass, stainless steel and plastic and weighs almost the same as that 6.55-inch OnePlus 7 Pro, The first time I opened it with my wrist in one motion, that satisfying Razr feeling was back. The action feels closer than that OG Razr, but you can still slam it after a phone call.

To like

  • Small hardware design
  • Groundbreaking design
  • Peak screen / quick view display
  • Open and close it

I do not like it

  • Price of $ 1,500
  • Midtier specs
  • Concerns about durability

The Motorola Razr is one of a few phones that you can actually buy, including that Samsung Galaxy Fold. Royole Flexpai and Huawei Mate X, But it's the first to combine a modern Android phone with the familiar clamshell design of the past. Before today's glass-panel smartphone dynasty, Motorola defined what a mobile phone is. And this new Razr could help redefine the use of our phones.

After using the Razr as my daily driver for a week, I have strong feelings for it and a few questions. At $ 1,500, it doesn't have the fastest processor, the largest battery, or the best cameras. If this phone didn't work in half, it would be a solid mid-range Android phone. However, the Razr lacks something: personality. And as Jules says in Pulp Fiction, "personality goes a long way." The Razr feels more personal than any phone I've used.

Every time I open or close it, I see the value increase. That said, most people shouldn't

I buy the Razr, me too. The real test of its design will take place in the pockets of those who buy it in the coming months. This does not mean that Motorola is on the wrong track: the Razr is an enormous achievement that creates the conditions for an improved second version.[TbuytheRazrmyselfincludedThetruetestofitsdesignwilltakeplaceoverthecomingmonthsinsidethepocketsofthosewhodobuyitThisdoesn'tmeanMotorolaisonthewrongtrack:TheRazrisanenormousaccomplishmentthatsetsthestageforanimprovedsecondversion[tbuytheRazrmyselfincludedThetruetestofitsdesignwilltakeplaceoverthecomingmonthsinsidethepocketsofthosewhodobuyitThisdoesn’tmeanMotorolaisonthewrongtrack:TheRazrisanenormousaccomplishmentthatsetsthestageforanimprovedsecondversion

There is so much to talk about, but first let me answer some common questions.

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Does the Razr squeak or creak?

Yes. My test device squeaks when I fold it. No rubbery noise, more a muffled crunch. It is disheartening.

In November, Some of us at CNET spent most of the day with three different razrs before production, We were told these units were six months old. But I don't remember one of these phones making the slightest creak. If there was a sound, it was quiet enough not to attract my attention. Should you be concerned? Naturally. At first I thought it might be the screen and like a nice pair of leather boots it only takes time to "break in".

Motorola Razr Finale 12

The unique hinge system that helps prevent the screen from buckling is apparently the cause of a creak on my review sample.

Angela Lang / CNET

But here's what Motorola told me about the Razr and its sound. "The dynamic folding system consists of several moving parts, including a flexible OLED display module, metal mounting plates and a state-of-the-art hinge system. When Razr is folded in and out, a natural sound may be heard. Due to the mechanical movement of the phone, Razr has been subjected to rigorous durability tests, and the given noises in no way affect the quality of the product. "

How bad is this sound? It's not loud "skip record", but it's not great either. If I had bought this phone, I would have thought something was wrong and would like to replace it.

Does the screen have a kink?

Not like the Galaxy Fold, no. Actually, Motorola has designed a special hinge As a result, the display remains wavy when closed and thus prevents permanent kinking.

When I watch a video, I can see the edges of the steel plates that reinforce the back of the screen and hold them tight in the open position. The center of the screen does not have this background. Imagine covering the seat cushions of a couch with a tight bed sheet and making up the space between the cushions. When I scroll up and down, I can feel the void behind the center of the screen. That doesn't bother my experience. But it is a reminder of how sensitive the display is.

Is the Razr durable?

This is tricky. Motorola has released a video on caring for the Razr, which claims the screen is "curved; bumps and bumps are normal". I didn't see any bumps or bumps on the screen, but bumps and bumps are not normal. If you have a bump or lump on your body, you should see a doctor.

The week I had the Razr, it survived snow, two air trips, half a dozen taxis, a hotel, various bags, a backpack, and a house with a cat. It also stopped at photography and filming in different locations. One of the features of the Razr is the zero-gap hinge with a playing card gap. I opened the phone several times and saw the inside screen covered with lint and dust.

I am unable to determine in a week whether the Razr will last in the long run. The only way to know this is to use it for months. The Razr must build my trust in the same way that the first smartphones and their glass screens did.

Hasn't the Razr broken CNET's fold test?

Yes and no. A colleague of mine tested how often he could fold a Razr he had bought. He ended the test after the folding machine had trouble folding the phone. The Razr was still working and opening and closing, but there was something behind the screen. I can't speak with its results, but what I can say is that the test device I used didn't get damaged after a hard week.

In response to the fold test, Motorola said: "[The] Razr is a unique smartphone with a dynamic folding system that cannot be compared to any other device on the market. The SquareTrade FoldBot is simply not intended to test our device. Therefore, the hinge is subjected to excessive stress when testing with this device and the phone cannot be opened and closed as intended, making the test inaccurate. It is important to remember that Razr has been subjected to extensive cycle tests during product development. The CNET test gives no indication of what consumers will experience in practice when using Razr. We fully trust the longevity of Razr. "

I should note that Motorola offers a reasonable warranty for the Razr. If your display shows defects during normal use, Motorola will repair or replace your devices free of charge. Otherwise, consumers can have displays replaced for $ 299.

The joy of the Razr & # 39; s flip

The Razr changed my relationship with my phone. When I'm bored on a normal plate-shaped phone, I flip through Twitter or Instagram without thinking. But on the Razr, I became more focused on what I was doing. The brief moment it takes to open the phone prevents me from constantly looking for social media or "using" my phone.

The razr asks to be used with one hand. After about a day, I was able to open it with a whip and close it with one hand. Motorola can, however, further optimize the software's user interface. On the 6.2-inch screen, I often needed a second hand to change a setting or tap a button at the top of the screen. There is a shortcut that you can activate to reduce the display and simplify one-handed operation. However, this only adds one more step to the process. You need to swipe at an angle to zoom out, tap the button you previously couldn't, and then tap again to zoom in.

motorola-razr-final-5 "data-original =" https://cnet2.cbsistatic.com/img/0wR6gc9IP7GZY8SqSnd8jAmdlT4=/2020/02/05/84778417-78e8-48cd-b6cf-ec8fa542f44e/motorola-rraz 5.jpg

The Razr's high 6.2-inch screen can be a challenge for one-handed operation, especially if you're trying to reach the top of the screen.

Angela Lang / CNET

I'm a big fan of Samsung's One UI and One UI 2 This changes the way we interact with Android on a larger screen. In particular, it aims to simplify one-handed operation. Motorola should rethink the Android user interface for the Razr if it's serious about allowing people to use the Razr with one hand.

If you hold it vertically, the Razr's on-screen keyboard is narrower than a typical phone. And yet I could type faster with both hands. Swipe keyboards also work fantastically with the Razr with one hand. Rotate the phone horizontally and you now have a much wider keyboard.

Quick view is a great way to interact with notifications

The external display, known as the Quick View display, may be one of the biggest innovations of the phone. I've used it quite a few times to scroll through notifications, use Google Pay, trigger the camera, and even drop emails. It was a different way that my normal phone behavior changed.

The 2.7-inch display is located under a piece of Gorilla Glass 3. If it is not covered with fingerprint stains, it looks absolutely first-class. It works in two ways. When the phone is locked, it becomes a peek display where you can view notifications. When you unlock the screen, you get additional access to a mini control panel (brightness, flashlight, WiFi, Bluetooth, and selfies) and can interact with notifications. Tap and hold an icon to take a quick look at messages and notifications. It is wonderfully discreet.

motorola-razr-final-9 "data-original =" https://cnet2.cbsistatic.com/img/6eb3slZ-ig7AtqvF85KKuOWknoI=/2020/02/05/fe9c7e61-7e14-4e74-a248-9882136f320b/motorola-razr final -9.jpg

You can instantly access notifications from the quick view on the front. Just press and hold the icon to take a look at the notification.

Angela Lang / CNET

Tapping and holding and swiping a notification or icon gives you more features. For example, when I receive a new email message, I can tap the Gmail icon and slide it up to view the entire message and have the option to archive or reply.

Motorola should have gone further. I'm not looking for what Samsung did with the Galaxy Fold by making the entire phone usable through the external display. This is too much. However, there is more utility that Motorola can use from the quick view screen.

Some functions could also be more helpful. When I cooked dinner, I set a timer on the Razr for 7 minutes. And when I clicked the hourglass icon in the quick view, it just showed the word "timer" instead of showing me the remaining time.

Razr's folding wall: lumps, dents and everything

The high 21: 9 aspect ratio of the interior screen is fantastic for watching movies shot in a wide aspect ratio. It is reminiscent of the slender depictions on the Sony Xperia 1 and Xperia 5, The display quality of the Razr is good. The colors pop well and the contrast is clear without being too sharp. The display has a notch in which there is a speaker and a camera for video chatting. The actual notch is shaped a bit like Motorola's bat logo.

I saw Blade Runner and The Dark Knight fill the entire screen of the Razr with their original widescreen aspect ratio. Most videos you want to watch, however, have a 16: 9 ratio and leave big black bars on the left and right sides of the screen. You can zoom though, but that will cut off much of the video.

motorola-razr-final-18 "data-original =" https://cnet3.cbsistatic.com/img/hug4DN8rWuwKmWuHyAPL0nzYE9M=/2020/02/05/0bba1c03-2a04-48b5-9f8d-9fc6e34384d8/motorola- 18.jpg

The entire screen slides easily behind the raised chin when the phone is opened.

Angela Lang / CNET

The bottom of the screen is curved like the original Razr. Unfortunately, most apps do not use the entire screen and instead there is often a gray blank at the bottom. This area seems to be screaming to be used.

When you open and close the phone, the display behind the raised chin moves up and down (millimeters). The chin looks a little dated at first glance: it's one of the design features that make it feel like an old Razr. But it has a purpose that goes beyond mere nostalgia. It houses the antennas of the phone and ensures a good hold when you watch videos horizontally.

I tried to use two apps in split screen mode on the large display. But again, ease of use means that you have to use both hands to reach the top app.

The Razr's small and powerful battery … until now

There are two batteries, one on each half of the Razr offers a combined output of 2,510 mAh. While I still have to do more battery tests, I was able to do a looped video test that was done in airplane mode at 50% brightness. The razr lasted a respectable 13 hours and 3 minutes. For comparison: the Moto G7 and its 3,000 mAh battery lasted 12 hours and 51 minutes in the same test.

In daily use, the razr got through almost a day, but I had to plug in at mealtime to top it off. I am interested to see how it works in a normal week of use instead of a week of evaluation.

The Razr has a Snapdragon 710 processor and 6 GB RAM. I went through several performance tests that went as well as the Google Pixel 3A, Samsung Galaxy A50 (

$ 301 at Amazon

) and 2018 Huawei Honor 10. See the results below.

3DMark Slingshot Unlimited

Note:

Longer bars mean better performance

Geekbench v.4.0 single core

Note:

Longer bars mean better performance

Geekbench v.4.0 multicore

Note:

Longer bars mean better performance

In everyday use, an app would sometimes hesitate to open the camera. It's just not as upbeat as you would hope. I was able to play a few games on the Razr, including Altos Odyssey and PUBG Mobile. During the PUBG, the phone immediately became warm and occasionally stuttered during the game. The Razr was able to edit photos and videos well.

All in all, Motorola found a good performance-to-performance ratio in the Razr. Of course it would be great if it had a stronger processor and an even longer battery life, but it's just about finding a balance.

1 camera that is just fine

There are two cameras, but in reality you'll mainly use the 16 megapixel f / 1.7 aperture, which doubles for selfies and the rear view camera. It's decent, but doesn't match the level of Pixel 4, iPhone 11 (

$ 870 at Walmart

) or Galaxy Note (

$ 946 at Amazon

) 10. Photos taken in good light are sharp with good contrast. But once you're in medium to low light, you start falling apart. Without optical image stabilization, the Razr compensates with a slower shutter speed, which leads to motion blur. Video is there. It's good. Now the Razr is making a film for Netflix.

img-20200207-042720181-hdr "data-original =" https://cnet3.cbsistatic.com/img/e1h4zvhiRz7MgEgbD5LFWrHwumU=/2020/02/10/d3f8deb8-5b1a-4230-8948-0bb372db010jpgd

This was taken over at O ​​& # 39; Hare Airport in Chicago. The lighting was mixed. Overall, the details are soft, but the Razr's HDR coped well with the scene.

Patrick Holland / CNET

Like other Motorola phones, the camera has AI scene detection, which optimizes the camera for various subjects such as food, moon and night scenes. Night Vision offers an improvement over normal photos taken in low light, but doesn't match the night mode of a phone like the iPhone 11, which costs half the price.

The camera functions as a rear view camera when the phone is open and as a selfie camera when the phone is closed. I honestly don't mind that there is a single main camera. I just wish it was better, especially if I knew what Motorola One phones and cameras can do.

The second camera has a 5-megapixel sensor, which is located above the inside display. But it's mainly for video chatting. You can take selfies with it, but the quality is not as good as that of the main camera. However, the second camera has a wider field of view, making selfies easier to take.

Buttons are important

There is a fingerprint reader on the raised chin under the main screen. When the phone is closed, it closes flush with the quick view. There is a start button on the screen above the fingerprint reader that you can use with Moto Actions. It would be great to be able to use One Button Nav directly on the fingerprint button as you can on the Moto G5 Plus, It seems strange to reach over the fingerprint reader to tap and swipe the home button.

motorola-razr-final-15 "data-original =" https://cnet3.cbsistatic.com/img/mjRja6YLUoK_YpbSiKVeoHdTJCk=/2020/02/05/29971bbf-3573-4fff-bcc0-1ab42ff1affe/motorola-razr-final- 15.jpg

The buttons are well placed because they must correspond to both the open and closed positions of the Razr.

Angela Lang / CNET

Motorola faced the challenge of finding a location for the volume rocker and standby button that work with both the phone open and the phone closed. They seem to be in a good place, but the buttons are tiny and sometimes difficult to distinguish despite the texture of the alarm button.

When the phone is closed, the buttons are difficult to find without looking for them. I wish they had more trips or felt more clickable.

Random Razr ruminant summary

  • It is exclusive to Verizon in the US (at least for the moment).
  • There is no SIM card, just an eSIM.
  • The Razr ships with 128 GB of storage and there is no option for more.
  • A slot for expandable memory is missing.
  • It has Verizon Bloatware. It's 2020, why is bloatware still a thing?
  • It starts with Android 9.0 Pie and is expected to receive at least one Android operating system upgrade.
  • The lower speaker array is loud, but the quality is average. It points down instead of you.
  • There is no official IP protection class for water and dust resistance, but there is a nano coating for splash water.
  • Be on the Pay attention to the Retro Razr keyboard, Make sure the volume is high when starting.
  • When you photograph a person, the Razr has a comic face in quick view.

Motorola Razr vs. Samsung Galaxy Fold

Both Galaxy Fold and Razr have collapsible displays that couldn't be more different, The Razr is a fun two-seater convertible, while the Galaxy Fold is a huge SVU that comes with everything you could want.

The Razr turns a 6.2-inch phone into something pocket-sized. The Fold takes a small tablet and folds it into a thick but large phone. You need two hands to use the crease and one for the razr. The fold has premium specifications and six excellent cameras. The Razr has two cameras, but actually it's just the one you'll be using from the outside.

timberwolf-2019-2741 "data-original =" https://cnet1.cbsistatic.com/img/EwmwtRVJOFYqA-LRJag-P-rdt1E=/2019/11/13/8c19c17b-8f71-4875-bcc7-b705f78493a8/timberwolf- 2019-2741.jpg

The Razr is on the left and the Galaxy Fold on the right. Two very different settings for a phone with a foldable screen.

Angela Lang / CNET

Samsung took a Galaxy S10 and turned it into a folding phone. Motorola took a medium-sized phone and turned it into a shell full of nostalgia. The Razr's outer screen is small, but implemented more carefully. It doesn't try to do too much and instead offers a minimal way to interact with notifications, controls, and replies without opening the phone.

The Galaxy Fold's exterior display is unfavorably proportioned for its size and tries to do too much. The screen has the same 21: 9 ratio as the Razr's inside screen, but is almost too small to be useful. On the fold you can open and use almost all Android apps from the outside.

The Galaxy Fold costs $ 1,980 and the Motorola Razr $ 1,500.

Motorola Razr against the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

On Sunday during the Oscar ceremony Samsung has released a video for its own clamshell phone with a foldable display called the Galaxy Z Flip. Technically, the name is never mentioned. Samsung is due to officially announce Tuesday, February 11th the new flip phone, There are a lot of rumors about it, but it could be a similar size to the Razr and a similarly high interior folding screen. The video shows a square body that, when closed, is reminiscent of a Nintendo Gameboy Advance SP. The last shot also shows a side view of the wedge-shaped gap, which is similar to the view of the Galaxy Fold.

Motorola Razr specifications against Samsung Galaxy Fold, Huawei Mate X, Moto G7

Motorola Razr

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Huawei Mate X

Motorola Moto G7

Display size, resolution

Internal: 6.2-inch, foldable poled; 2,142 x 876 pixels (21: 9) / External: 2.7-inch glass OLED, 800 x 600 pixels (4: 3)

Internal: 7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED; 2,152 x 1,536 pixels (plastic) / External: 4.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED; 1,680 x 720 pixels (Gorilla Glass 6)

Fully extended: 8-inch OLED (2,480 x 2,200) / folded up, front: 6.6-inch (2,480 x 1,148 pixels) / folded up, back: 6.38-inch (2,480 x 892);

6.2-inch LCD; 2,270 x 1,080 pixels

pixel density

373ppi (internal screen)

362ppi (internal screen)

414ppi (extended screen)

403ppi

Dimensions (inches)

Unfolded: 6.8×2.8×0.28 inches / folded: 3.7×2.8×0.55 inches

Folded: 6.3×2.5×0.6 inches / unfolded: 6.3×4.6×0.3 inches

N / A

6.18 x 2.96 x 0.31 inches

Dimensions (millimeters)

Unfolded: 172 x 7 x 6.9 mm / Folded: 94 x 72 x 14 mm

Folded: 62.8 x 161 x 15.7mm ~ 17.1mm / unfolded: 117.9 x 161 x 6.9mm ~ 7.6mm

N / A

157 x 75.3 x 8 mm

Weight (ounces, grams)

7.2 oz; 205 g

9.7 oz; 276 g

N / A

6.07 oz. 172 g

Mobile software

Android 9 Pie

Android 9.0 with Samsung One UI

N / A

Android 9.0

camera

16 megapixels external (1: 1.7, double pixel AF), 5 megapixels internal

12 megapixels (wide angle), 16 megapixels (ultra wide angle), 12 megapixels (telephoto)

4 rear cameras

12 megapixels, 5 megapixels

Front camera

Corresponds to the 16 megapixel main device

Two 3D depths of 10 megapixels and 8 megapixels

At least one

8 megapixels

video recording

4K

4K (HDR 10 Plus)

N / A

4K

processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 710

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

Kirin 980 processor

Qualcomm snapdragon 632

camp

128 GB

512 GB

512 GB

64 GB

R.A.M.

6 GB

12 GB

8 GB

4GB

Expandable memory

none

No

No

Up to 512 GB

battery

2.510 mAh

4,380 mAh

4,500 mAh

3,000 mAh

Fingerprint sensor

Below the screen

On / off switch

On / off switch

Back

Interconnects

USB-C

USB-C

USB-C

USB-C

Headphone jack

none

No

N / A

Yes

Special features

Foldable display, eSIM, Motorola gestures, splash-proof

Foldable display, wireless charging, quick charging

Foldable display, quick charging

Water-repellent with P2i nano coating; Charge TurboPower

Price outside the contract (USD)

$ 1,499

$ 1,980

Converted to $ 2,600

$ 299