Mobile Technology

Motorola revives the iconic Razr phone with a foldable screen

Motorola revives the iconic Ra...
After 15 years the Razr is back, and this time it's all screen
After 15 years the Razr is back, and this time it's all screen
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After 15 years the Razr is back, and this time it's all screen
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After 15 years the Razr is back, and this time it's all screen
You get a 6.2-inch screen when the phone is opened, and a 2.7-inch display when it's closed
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You get a 6.2-inch screen when the phone is opened, and a 2.7-inch display when it's closed
The Motorola Razr offers mid-range performance with a Snapdragon 710 processor
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The Motorola Razr offers mid-range performance with a Snapdragon 710 processor
You can check notifications and control media playback from the Quick View screen
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You can check notifications and control media playback from the Quick View screen
The foldable Razr has another benefit: it fits easily in your pocket
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The foldable Razr has another benefit: it fits easily in your pocket
The 16 MP rear-facing camera becomes a selfie cam when the phone is closed
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The 16 MP rear-facing camera becomes a selfie cam when the phone is closed

The original Motorola Razr was an iconic phone, helping to popularize the flip form factor in an era before the iPhone and smartphones. Now the handset is back, replacing classic tech with cutting edge in the form of a foldable screen.

Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the new Motorola Razr folds vertically, with a mini screen showing the time and notifications when the handset is snapped shut. Open the phone out, and you've got a 6.2-inch, 21:9 aspect ratio, 876 x 2,142 pixel display, with a sturdy chin at the bottom housing a fingerprint sensor and a USB-C port.

The phone runs Android 9, and the classic T9 keyboard of old is now replaced with a software keyboard. Under the hood you've got an impressive 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, though the Snapdragon 710 processor is more mid-range than flagship.

Still, you're probably not going to be buying the Motorola Razr 2019 for its performance – you'll be wanting that traditional form factor where you can hang up on friends and colleagues by snapping your phone shut, just like the early 2000s.

The foldable Razr has another benefit: it fits easily in your pocket
The foldable Razr has another benefit: it fits easily in your pocket

While the Galaxy Fold has run into some early problems with its folding hinge, Motorola is promising the hinge on the Razr will last the lifetime of the phone without any special treatment. Both sides of the display are flush when the phone is closed, thanks to that proprietary hinge, and it's been engineered to keep out dust and debris.

Besides the novelty factor of the foldable screen, the mechanism also means the phone is incredibly compact when it's closed down, just half the size (and double the thickness). This should be easy to slide into a pocket or drop into a bag.

The 2.7-inch, 800 x 600 pixel Quick View display that appears when the phone is closed is more useful than you might think. You can reply to texts, control media playback, take photos, access Google Assistant, and answer calls, all without opening up the device. You get a 16 MP main camera, a 5 MP selfie camera, and a 2,510 mAh battery packed inside the Razr too.

In the US, the phone is a Verizon exclusive, selling for US$1,500 from January 2020 (pre-orders open in December). International availability has yet to be confirmed. While that's a lot of money for the specs, it's cheaper than the other foldable phones out there, and the Razr's heritage might be enough to get substantial numbers of buyers to splash out on a purchase.

Product page: Motorola Razr

2 comments
alexD
I'm still wary of foldable displays.... let's talk again in 10 years if these screens become mainstream instead of a few niches that at the end of the day are just testing guinea pigs .
MerlinGuy
$1,500? I have two older Razors that I'd be willing to part with for just $100 each.