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Friday, October 23, 2020

Motorola Razr 5G is here and it’s a better foldable phone than before

At Rs 1,24,999, the Motorola Razr 5G is a fashion statement and that might well be the only reason to buy a folding phone in 2020.

Written by Anuj Bhatia | New Delhi | Updated: October 6, 2020 8:38:40 am
Motorola Razr 5G, Razr 5G price in India, Motorola Razr 5G launch in India, Razr 5G specs, Razr 5G features, foldable phonesThe Razr 5G is basically a clamshell phone which flips into fully functional smartphone. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

The Motorola Razr 5G, the second generation folding phone from Motorola, has a better cover screen and adds 5G connectivity with improved design, processor, and cameras. Still, the Motorola Razr isn’t made for everyone and is clearly aimed at the affluent who want to show off a unique, expensive, phone. I spent two days with the Razr 5G, and here are my first impressions.

Motorola Razr 5G price in India: Rs 1,24,999

The classic design is back, and we love it

The power of nostalgia is strong, and Motorola knows how to capitalise on the classic design. Like the first-generation foldable Razr, the new Razr 5G reminds us immediately of the original Razr, the iconic flip phone from 2004. But there are subtle differences between the first and second-generation foldable phone models.

I really liked the second-generation model for its strong, premium, build. Gone is the plastic back and the boxy design. The new model is built from aircraft-grade aluminum, has curved edges, and polished 3D glass on both front and back.

Motorola Razr 5G, Razr 5G price in India, Motorola Razr 5G launch in India, Razr 5G specs, Razr 5G features, foldable phones Motorola Razr 5G (left), Apple iPhone 11 (right). (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

The power button is on the left side of the device while the volume rocker sits on the right. A USB-C port and speaker sit on the bottom but there is no headphone jack. The fingerprint sensor is now on the back of the phone, inside the Motorola logo.

The new Razr is also thicker and heavier than the first-generation model. When opened, the Razr is 7.9mm thick and when closed, the phone is 16mm thick (including the chin).

Motorola Razr 5G, Razr 5G price in India, Motorola Razr 5G launch in India, Razr 5G specs, Razr 5G features, foldable phones The chin holds the Razr’s 5G antennae. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

For me, the biggest draw of the new Razr 5G’s design over the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is that this flip-style foldable form factor allows a user to fit a large screen-sized phone into a shirt pocket. As in the case of the Fold 2, Samsung is trying to create a phone that behaves more or less like a tablet. But for Motorola, the idea is of creating a foldable phone that has the same display as a regular phone but it bends in half like a flip phone. Clearly, both companies have a different vision for foldable phones.

Improved hinge, but the same folding POLED display

Even though I used the new Razr 5G for just 48 hours, I felt a lot more confident in its durability. During my time spent with the new Razr, the review unit opened, and shut, smoothly and silently. I can’t comment on the long-term durability of this phone, but in my limited experience, the new Razr never gave the impression of using a fragile device.

Motorola Razr 5G, Razr 5G price in India, Motorola Razr 5G launch in India, Razr 5G specs, Razr 5G features, foldable phones The Razr 5G uses a proprietary hinge mechanism – called a ‘zero-gap hinge’. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

On the inside, the new Razr 5G comes with a 6.2-inch POLED display, which is plastic and not glass. Nevertheless, it is bright and colourful and yes, the crease in the middle of the folding screen is visible. But it disappears when watching a video or reading an article on the web. There’s no IP rating, though Motorola has added a water-repellent coating, meaning the phone can survive minor splashes of water.

Motorola Razr 5G, Razr 5G price in India, Motorola Razr 5G launch in India, Razr 5G specs, Razr 5G features, foldable phones The 2.7-inch Quick View display can be used to view notifications or access apps without having to open the phone. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

And, on the outside, there’s a 2.7-inch, 800-by-600-pixel external display. The “quick display” is one of the best features of the new Razr. Though the 2.7-inch external display is the same as on the first-generation, it is more functional. Along with displaying the date, time and notifications, you can also access apps like Gmail, Google News, YouTube, and Messages without opening the phone. In fact, I replied to a lot of emails using the quick view screen and even watched some videos, switching easily to the main screen for a full viewing experience.

Snappier performance and much-improved cameras

One of the biggest misses on the first-generation foldable Razr was its questionable performance. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 710 was an okay processor, but a lot of reviewers had issues in terms of performance. With the second-generation model, Motorola has gone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor 8GB RAM, and 256GB of storage. The phone felt fast and zippy with apps loading quickly. I didn’t encounter any lag when playing resource-intensive games like Alto’s Odyssey.

Motorola Razr 5G, Razr 5G price in India, Motorola Razr 5G launch in India, Razr 5G specs, Razr 5G features, foldable phones The fingerprint scanner is now moved from the front to the rear. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

This is a 5G phone, but I couldn’t test it as the no telecom operator in India currently supports the next generation of mobile broadband that will replace 4G LTE. The phone runs Android 10.

And as for battery, Motorola has used a 2,800mAh cell, which is tiny but an improvement over the 2500mAh cell used in the first-generation model. Right now, it’s very hard to comment on how long the battery can last, but from what I could tell, the phone should easily last a day.

Personally, I am more excited about the much-improved cameras on the Razr 5G. This version has a 48MP camera with an f/1.7 aperture and laser autofocus on the outside, and a 20MP camera with an f/2.2 aperture inside. The Razr 5G’s camera is fun to use and consistently provided detailed, colorful pictures in good lighting. But honestly, no one will buy a Razr 5G for its cameras. But I am glad that the Razr’s camera isn’t disappointing as the predecessor.

Take a look at some of the shots I took using the Razr 5G’s 48MP camera.

Motorola Razr 5G, Razr 5G price in India, Motorola Razr 5G launch in India, Razr 5G specs, Razr 5G features, foldable phones

Motorola Razr 5G, Razr 5G price in India, Motorola Razr 5G launch in India, Razr 5G specs, Razr 5G features, foldable phones

Motorola Razr 5G: Early impressions

At Rs1,24,999, the Razr 5G is a fashion statement and that might well be the only reason to buy a folding phone in 2020. But the Razr 5G appears to be a capable performer with a premium design, better cameras, and 5G. Its folding screen, of course, will attract consumers. Its high price makes the Motorola Razr 5G a really tough sell —but there is a growing market for foldable phones in India.

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