With new technologies and flexible screens, a revolution has taken place in the smartphone world. It’s just a renaissance of gadgets: instead of bored “bricks,” “clamshells” are returning. For Motorola, the Razr series was and remained a great part of history. In 2019 the company introduced an experimental model, took into account errors, and released an update with a 5G prefix.
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Motorola Razr 5G review: Interesting appearance, but there are questions about ergonomics.
We didn’t find the original Motorola V3 in our bins, but you can see how the new Razr looks like against the background of the old V3i of 2006. The phones’ thickness is almost the same, but the new product is much wider and heavier. It’s a bit naive to compare phones between which there are several eras of telephone construction. Still, if you had a Motorola-clamshell fifteen years ago, you will again hear the familiar Moto-trills of a call and will be able to click the folding case again.
I walked around with the phone for a couple of weeks and still am not used to its almost square shape. In my opinion, the case turned out to be too slippery, there is no case included, so you have to use it carefully so that the smooth smartphone does not slip out of your hand. Opening it with one hand is not easy. It is difficult for a finger to catch on the smooth edges and get into the hole between the two halves of the case. The power and volume buttons are thin and narrow – not very comfortable. In short, you also have to get used to it.
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Motorola claims that the phone can withstand up to 200,000 openings and closings of the mechanism, where the halves fold perfectly straight. For comparison, Samsung promised the same numbers for its Z Flip. When closed, the display goes down a few millimeters, and when opened, it returns to its place.
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A fingerprint scanner is used; it is located at the back in an unfortunate place. In my opinion, it would be more convenient to press the side button, as is done in Samsung Z Flip, but this is already a subjective assessment.
The main thing is that it is convenient to use the Razr in the unfolded state, and there are no questions. It lies in hand confidently, does not slip, except that its sharp edges can dig into the palm. But this is the heir of that same “razor”; it cannot be otherwise.
The smartphone is perfectly assembled: there is an aluminum frame on the sides, Gorilla Glass 5 protects the front and back. Of course, all this glossy beauty is very easily soiled; glare and scratches on the surface also appear.
Motorola Razr 5G review: Two screens
The main vertically elongated screen has extensive frames, and at the top, there is also a cutout for the earpiece and front camera. The display is not very bright by the standards of top-end phones, there are several ready-made color profiles, but the coolest thing is the retro Razr.
Click on the icon, and you get an interface that is almost 15 years old. Moreover, this mode is not for beauty, but quite working: you can dial a number and call or send a message. However, in this case, the standard Android application is already launched. But the idea is great!
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The bendable display is not covered with glass but with a polymer material, so there is an unevenness at the bend point. It works well in the cold, with no delays, the response is fast and convenient to use.
An external 2.7-inch screen displays notifications. You can switch tracks while listening to music, type messages, display a map for navigation, call or use it as a lens mirror when taking selfies.
The auxiliary screen makes life easier. Typing texts on it is not an idea, but it is very convenient to quickly scroll through the notifications and understand which messages need to be answered as soon as possible and which messages will wait. Plus, double-tapping the power button on the side can launch Google Voice Assistant without opening your phone.
Motorola Razr 5G review: Convenient to take selfies
The main module is 48 megapixels with support for Quad Bayer. When the software combines four pixels into one, the output is a clear picture in 12 megapixels.
There is only one module. It takes pictures well in the daytime and the evenings when optical stabilization does not always cope with poor lighting conditions. It is more convenient to hold the phone in a vertical orientation than a horizontal one: it is not very comfortable to hold it by the “chin.”
It is very convenient that the usual Motorola gesture triggers the camera when you turn the phone in your hand, a couple of turns in your palm, and you can shoot. True, when closed, you can only capture yourself: you will have to open the phone in all other cases.
Motorola Razr 5G review: The phone is fast, but the hardware is not top-end
The filling of the phone is not the most sophisticated, but if you do not go into details, you will not be able to find fault with the Razr’s speed. It is fast. The same Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 processor can be found in inexpensive mid-range smartphones. Still, such devices are bought not because of the characteristics, as you yourself know, but succumbing to the temptation to get a device of an unusual format.
I noticed that when using the phone, the bottom half of the case heats up decently. Moreover, this is noticeable not even in in-game mode but during a banal scrolling through the Twitter feed or watching the news in a browser. In winter, it is even pleasant, the hand does not freeze, but there may be questions in the summer.
If you run the benchmark and check for throttling, everything is sad: the phone overheats, and the performance drops sharply. Therefore, if you plan to play a lot and often play with demanding toys on your phone, it is better to choose a traditional format device for your favorite Call of Duty.
There is plenty of its own memory: there is 256 GB, you cannot install a memory card.
Motorola Razr 5G review: Batteries last for a day.
I used the phone for the first days with some apprehension, but it turned out that there is enough charge from morning to evening with not the most active use. After all, I thought it would be worse. A 2800 mAh battery is not much by modern standards. I got about 3.5-4 hours of the active screen. I can call the results normal for a phone with such characteristics.
There are no special bells and whistles on charging: 15 W fast wired charging is no longer surprising, and a wireless phone does not support it.
Motorola Razr 5G review: Everything for communication
The phone has one slot for a physical SIM card, but you can run an eSIM too. Among other useful things, I will note the support for NFC and Wi-Fi 6.
While I was walking with the phone, I listened to music through Bluetooth headphones and noticed that the connection with them was lost. The interference was in conjunction with different headsets. I did not identify any specific reason. The sound disappeared for a moment and then appeared. This could be repeated several times in a row, or he could listen to the player all day without problems. Weird glitch.
Motorola Razr 5G review: Price and competitors
In America, the phone is sold for $1400, excluding taxes.
The only competitor is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. Since its release, the model has significantly dropped in price. Simultaneously, the technical component is stronger on Samsung’s side, but Motorola looks no worse due to its interesting appearance.
Conclusion: Should you buy Motorola Razr 5G?
Since clamshell phones are on sale once or twice, it isn’t easy to compare the Razr 5G to the Galaxy Z Flip. For example, Samsung does not have such a sophisticated external screen, but the phone has more thought-out ergonomics. In turn, Motorola attracts attention with its excellent design, quality materials, and nostalgic retro mode.
Of course, you can approach the device dryly and say that the battery is too small, the processor is not top-end, YouTube videos run at 720p, and the camera shoots so-so in low light.
But the phone is interesting precisely because it is not like everyone else. It gives new feelings and emotions. It copes with this role perfectly. After all, not everyone buys devices based on their characteristics; people are tired of benchmarks and synthetic measurements. Dry numbers do not give feelings and having satiated with top-end phones. You are looking for something new and unusual.
Motorola Razr 5G: Specifications
- OS: Android 10;
- Display: main – 6.2 inches, 876 × 2142, flexible P-OLED; external – 2.7 inches, 600 × 800, OLED;
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G;
- Memory: 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB of built-in;
- Cameras: main camera 48 Mp (f / 1.7), front 20 Mp (f / 2.2);
- Communication: 5G, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, USB Type-C 3.1;
- Protection: fingerprint scanner;
- Battery: 2800 mAh, fast charging 15 W;
- Dimensions: open phone – 169.2 × 72.6 × 7.9 mm, closed phone – 91.7 × 72.6 × 16 mm;
- Weight: 192 g.