The Razr is back, but now it's an Android smartphone that cuts in half. Motorola has officially announced its much talked about (and promising) modern shoot on the legendary Flip Phone. The 2019 Razr retains the same overall form factor, but replaces the T9 keyboard and small LCD with a foldable 6.2-inch plastic OLED panel and Android 9 Pie. It will cost $ 1,499 when it arrives in January 2020.
The new Razr is a fundamentally different version of the previously known foldable phones: Instead of turning a modern phone into a smaller tablet, it turns into a tablet a conventional smartphone into something much smaller and pocketier.
This is not the first time that Motorola is trying to restore the legendary RAZR branding. A couple of years ago, there were a whole bunch of pretty generic Droid RAZR phones that Motorola blabbed the name in hopes of reminding customers of the glories of the past. (You may recall that Motorola styled the old RAZR logo in capital letters.) For this new model, Motorola does the opposite with the lowercase "Razr." Since I'm human, I'll use "Razr" for referrals to the new model.)
The new Razr is much more than just a household name. This is a true legacy of the original flip-phone, whose design is heavily inspired by its predecessor from 2004, to the large, curved chin on the bottom (which now also houses a more modern fingerprint sensor and a USB-C charging port). ,
But it's not just a modern-day retrogression designed to benefit from nostalgia, as we recently saw in HMD's resurrection of classic Nokia hardware. It is the attempt of Motorola to build a modern flagship phone, as it has not tried for years.
The core of the phone is of course the display. It is a 6.2-inch 21: 9 plastic OLED panel that folds in half along the horizontal axis. When it's unfolded, it's not dramatically larger than any other modern phone, and the extra height is something that the Android UI and Apps will adapt to much better than a tablet-sized screen. The screen has a notch for a speaker and a camera at the top and a curved edge at the bottom, which takes some getting used to, but after a minute or two you barely notice it.
On the outside is a second 2.7-inch OLED display with glass cover, which Motorola calls the Quick View display. It can display notifications, music controls and even a selfie camera mode to take advantage of the better main camera. Motorola is also working with Google to seamlessly transition apps from the front display to the main display.
There are some concerns about the durability of the folding display, especially after Samsung Galaxy Fold problems. Motorola, however, claims to have "full confidence in the longevity of the Flex View display," and states that its research has found that "the display has an average life of a smartphone." "And it also has an internal nano-coating for splash resistance. (But do not take it with you for swimming.) Motorola says that the entire display is made in a single cut and the edges are completely enclosed by the stainless steel frame to prevent dirt from entering. The company also refers to its years of experience with plastic OLED panels (until 2011): "We will not go there and say: consumers should be careful about how they use the phone."
Part of this trust has been made did with the hinge that Motorola made along with lenovo. It uses a complicated mechanism of multiple hinges and sliding plates to fold and unfold the phone. More importantly, it does seem to honor Motorola's promise: the device folds into a completely flat screen with no visible or tangible folds, and then folds completely flush. (Actually, it's folded just as thick as the original RAZR.) If you hold the folded Razr in the sun, you can see a daylight gap, but otherwise the gap is barely visible. It is very impressive and the current high water mark on the still young Faltmarkt.
How does it feel to use the new Razr when it's all out of the way? The answer is great. It's been years since there's a truly functional high-end flip phone, and you can easily forget how enjoyable this flip phone experience is. The lifting of the new Razr will bring you back immediately.
It's definitely a bit difficult to get used to folding it with one hand. I have bigger hands than most of the others and it's still some sort of juggling when it works. Opening is easier, although it takes a bit of maneuvering to get a thumb between the two screens (which in my opinion is proof of how shallow it works). Once you have partially broken it, you can unfold it completely with your thumb, as you always did with the original RAZR.
The hinge is also a bit stiff, so you can not just hit it with one hand – closing with one hand also requires some more finger deformation to start the closing process , It is only more practical to close it with the other hand.
Even with these reservations, the entire opening and closing mechanism is exceedingly satisfactory with crisp snappers in both directions. It is a special pleasure to close the phone to hang up. There's really no better way to end a conversation than the classic flip-phone snapshot, and it's great to see Motorola keep him alive here. The hardware also feels great, with solid stainless steel and glass on the outside and a beautifully textured back that's nice and handy, which is important to keep it from dropping while it's being opened and closed. (However, it is a fingerprint magnet.)
The design is not just a novelty. The foldable design solves many of the problems that are common to most smartphones today. Do you think phones are too big? The Razr folds up and fits in almost any bag. Are you afraid to scratch your screen? The Razr is always protected. Notifications too distracting? Get involved with them on the limited front display instead of falling into an internet rabbit hole.
On the other hand, the Razr design is so crucial to the experience that Motorola makes many compromises in other areas. The processor is a Snapdragon 710; This is not a bad chipset, but also not a flagship. The decision for the weaker processor, the company said, is to optimize battery life and battery life: To have a days-long battery and the thin design, a slower chip had to be used. A similar decision is made by the matte 16 megapixel camera. Motorola simply could not mount a bigger or better camera module while maintaining the design.
These trade-offs are hard to swallow considering the price of the Razr. At $ 1,500, it's also the cheapest foldable phone on the market, and significantly more expensive than any Apple, Samsung, or Google flagship. That's a lot of money you can spend on a single phone, not to mention one that comes with medium specifications. The pre-orders will start on the 26th of December, but the phone will not be delivered until January (although no exact dates are known). At least for the time being it will only be sold at Verizon in the USA. Motorola had nothing to say about an unlocked version.
After a few hours with the Motorola Razr 2019, I'm still not sure if it will be a good phone, at least not in the traditional sense. It's too expensive as the specifications are too low for the price, especially compared to the abundance of more powerful phones with better cameras and available hardware. And the foldable display technology is too untested to be truly reliable, even with Motorola's assurances.
But I'm still very excited about the Razr and the fact that it exists. It's a phone that looks and feels like the future of phones. We'll have to spend a lot more time on the device to see if Motorola manages to make the landing on the first try. But not least, it's a bold idea that pushes the concept of a smartphone into the future, and that's an exciting thing.