Motorola Razr 2019 hands-on: Flipping your phone never felt so good

Motorola’s new Razr is a futuristic foldable phone that’s infused with nostalgia. The device looks remarkably familiar to the original Razr that launched back in 2004 but comes packing a raft of contemporary technologies that bring it up to 2019 standards.

Just like its long-lost 2004 brother, the new Razr comes with two displays – one on outside and one on the inside. The former is being dubbed an interactive Quick View display that not only provides you with a glance at your notifications (like most always-on displays) but it also lets you interact with apps, too.

That means you can skip a song on Spotify or even take a selfie without flipping the phone open. Plus, apps will seamlessly transition from screen to screen, so you won’t find yourself tediously relaunching apps when using the device.

Meanwhile, the main Flex View display is a 6.2-inch plastic OLED that looks gorgeous, especially with its 21:9 aspect ratio that makes it incredibly easy to navigate with one hand. The entire display is surrounded by minimal bezels but does have a sizeable notch at the top that houses a single single-facing camera.

Now onto the question everyone’s asking – how does the new Razr feel to fold? Well, it not only feels great, but it also douses you in buckets of nostalgia along the way.

When you start folding the Razr, the entire display actually shifts down slightly. Not only does this give you a strange sensation when flipping the device, but it also makes a very quiet noise, too.

The new Razr isn’t delicate, but we don’t feel as comfortable nonchalantly flipping it open and shut as we would on its 2004 brother. The plastic display doesn’t lend itself to rapid folds, there’s more resistance there than on the old V3.

Motorola has only put a single camera on the new Razr which is certainly disappointing. The device comes with a 16-megapixel wide-angle lens, so you don’t get a telephoto for improved zooming or an ultra wide-angle to fit hefty skyscrapers into a single shot without awkwardly trekking backwards.

Under the Razr’s futuristic foldable design sits Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 710 processor and not the manufacturer’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 855 Plus. The new Razr felt snappy when navigating across Google’s Android operating system but, truth be told, we’ll only really know the chipset’s limitations once we’re able to test it with intensive games and apps.

The foldable phone also comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which certainly isn’t industry-leading.

One our biggest disappointments with the Razr is the fact it comes pre-installed with Google’s Android 9 Pie operating system and not Android 10, meaning you’re missing out on new gestures, a system-wide dark mode and more.

Motorola is trying to counter this by taking full advantage of the new Razr’s nostalgia with a couple of nifty software tricks. The best of the bunch is called Retro Mode and, as the name suggests, reverts the Razr back to its 2004 roots by filling one half the display with a keypad and the other with a pixelated main screen. Best of all, you can actually use this mode to make phone calls, if you’re feeling really retro.

The Razr’s brimming nostalgia doesn’t come cheap. The device will launch in the US and some European territories in December for $1,499.99.

The biggest problem with the new Razr is the fact it doesn’t seem to offer much more than a retro (and admittedly, stupendously fun) design. The device doesn’t come with the latest and greatest specs, both of which are certainly expected for the price.

With that said, we’re already looking at our non-flip phone with disappointed eyes…

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