Motorola razr is back in a familiar flip form, with an important difference. Because it is 2019, the razr now has a foldable or flexible display, which is supposed to be future of smartphone displays. But unlike the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Huawei Mate X, which fold out into a wide tablet size form, the razr is different.
The foldable phone from Motorola retains its iconic flip design, and has a small screen on the outside. At $1499.99, this might be ‘cheaper’ than the Samsung Galaxy Fold, but the razr will looking to cash in on good old nostalgia. We take a look at what is unique about the Motorola razr.
Motorola razr: The clamshell is back
The Moto Razr was series of phones from Motorola, with the V3 first launching back in 2004 and these phones were a style statement at the time. The Razr series had a clamshell design, well before Android or iOS dominated the world of mobiles. But instead of a foldable display, what you had at the bottom half was a keyboard. The V3 was the best selling clamshell phone (130 million units) and Motorola followed up with other versions under the Razr branding till 2013.
The Motorola Razr2 series had phones like V8, V9, V9x which also retained the clamshell design and improved over the original. In 2012, Droid Razr HD and Droid Razr Maxx HD were launched with Android, but these did not come with the clamshell design that made the original phones so popular.
With the new Moto razr, the company will be hoping that some nostalgia will work in its favour as it brings back a phone that was an old favourite, long before smartphones came to dominate our lives. In fact, CNET points out there is a secret ‘RAZR’ skin, which when turned on from the settings will give the new phone its original 2004-look, complete with the old style keyboard, though this is a virtual keyboard.
The razr has the same clamshell-style, but instead of a physical keyboard when you flip the phone, you get a flexible 6.2-inch display that extends the whole length of the device. On the outside, there is a smaller 2.7-inch display as well for quickly viewing notifications and alerts without having to open the phone.
The razr is clearly focused on the design, and this is the first implementation of a flexible screen inside this clamshell form factor. Unlike the Galaxy Fold or Huawei Mate X, it sticks with a single camera at the back, and the specifications are more modest.
Motorola razr: More on the design
Motorola says they developed and tested over 20 different prototypes during initial consumer research phases. They went with the clamshell because it was a familiar form and the best fit. The phone is made of “premium stainless steel” with 3D Gorilla Glass. The phone has a seamless design with no stark contrast in colours and materials.
Motorola created “an industry first, patent-protected zero-gap hinge” for this foldable clamshell phone. The patent hinge ensures that both sides of the flexible display remain still when the phone is closed. The hinge also protects the display from debris and dust. Dust and debris can be a problem on the flexible screens as we saw when the original Galaxy Fold was rolled out. The company also re-engineered antennas to fit in a smaller space.
Motorola razr: What are the specifications?
Like all foldable phones, this one has two displays. The main display is 6.2-inches and Motorola calls this the ‘Flex’ view. This is a pOLED display, but with an HD resolution of 2142 x 876p. It has the 21:9 Cinemavision format just like we have seen on other Motorola phones.
The external display is 2.7-inches and this is a gOLED with 600 x 800p resolution and 4:3 aspect ratio. Dimensions of the Moto Razr are 72 x 172 x 6.9mm, when unfolded, and 72 x 94 x 14mm when folded. Based on the pictures we have seen the Moto razr looks quite comfortable when folded, though at 14mm thickness, this is going to be bulkier than regular phones in the market.
The Moto razr runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 octa-core processor clocked at 2.2 GHz with 6GB RAM. This is an older chipset, but performance should be adequate. Again, the phone is not about specifications, but the design and form factor. On board storage is 128GB, there is no microSD slot on this one.
The phone runs Android 9 Pie. The razr has a 16MP main camera at the back with f/1.7 aperture and EIS, Dual Pixel autofocus (AF), Laser AF and dual LED flash. Motorola has not mentioned the resolution at which the rear camera can capture videos, only the formats. The front camera is 5MP with f/2.0.
Sensors on Moto razr are: Fingerprint reader, Accelerometer, Magnetometer (compass), Gyro, Proximity, Ambient Light, GPS. It comes with a 2510 mAh, non-removable battery and 15W TurboPower charging charging from the company.
The phone also has a splash-proof with water resistant nanocoating. The fine-print however says the razr is protected against moderate exposure to water such as accidental spills, splashes or light rain. This is not designed to be submerged in water, or exposed to pressurized water, or other liquids.
The razr has a bottom-port speaker, four microphones, comes with 4G connectivity, and relies on USB 3.0 (Type C) reversible connector. Another factor to keep in mind Motorola razr requires an eSIM for connectivity, according to the specifications listed on the site. It comes with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual band 2.4 and 5GHz, hotspot and Bluetooth 5.0. The device also has support for NFC. It will come in a Noir Black colour.
Inside the box, the razr will come with razr earbuds, an accessories case, the charger and USB-C cable and headset adapter cable.
Motorola razr: What does the Quick View Display do?
The external display on razr will let users make calls, reply to messages, control music, even take selfies, and use Google Assistant from this screen. The Quick View display will also give access to customised settings, like turning on or off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc, without having to open the phone.
Motorola razr: When is it coming to stores? Will it launch in India?
Motorola razr will be coming to India, though the date is not clear. For now, the company has opened registrations on its own India website for those who are interested. The price is $1499.99. In the US, the razr will be available exclusively on Verizon with pre-order starting on December 26, 2019. The razr will be available in-store starting in January 2020 at Verizon and select Walmart locations, as well as on motorola.com. In Canada, it will be available in early 2020.