Technology is evolving rapidly and the mobile phone industry especially is seeing a major evolution. The candy bar form factor which was seen on most of the phones back in the day was accompanied later by flipping phones. Motorola’s Razr lineup had one of the best flipping phones and the iconic Razr v3 was a huge hit among consumers back then. As the screen size of smartphones started becoming larger, pocketability it taking a hit. While manufacturers are minimizing the footprint with narrow bezels, notch, pop-up mechanism, etc, foldable devices are becoming the new trend now and most companies are testing waters with their foldable offering.
On similar lines, Motorola has brought back the iconic RAZR V3 in a new avatar named Motorola Razr 2019 which is a clamshell device. We checked out the foldable phone for a brief period of time and this post is our first impressions of the phone (not a review).
Motorola razr specifications
- 6.2-inch (2142 x 876 pixels) 21:9 Cinemavision foldable pOLED screen, external 2.7-inch (600 x 800 pixels) 4:3 gOLED screen, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Protection
- Octa Core Snapdragon 710 10nm Mobile Platform (Dual 2.2GHz Kryo 360 + Hexa 1.7GHz Kryo 360 CPUs) with Adreno 616 GPU
- 6GB (LPPDDR4x) RAM, 128GB storage
- Android 9.0 (Pie)
- 16MP rear camera with dual LED FLASH, Sony IMX519 sensor, f/1.7 aperture, 1.22um pixel size, EIS, Dual Pixel autofocus (AF), Laser AF
- 5MP front-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture, 1.12um pixel size, screen flash
- Fingerprint sensor
- Dimensions: 72 x 172 x 6.9mm (Unfolded) 72 x 94 x 14mm(folded); Weight: 205g
- Splash-proof with water resistant nanocoating
- Bottom-ported speaker, 4 mics
- Dual 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz + 5GHz), Bluetooth 5, GPS + GLONASS, NFC, USB 3.0 Type-C
- 2510mAh battery with 15W TurboPower fast charging
The unboxing experience is different from the usual and the razr comes in a triangular-shaped box that opens vertically. The bottom of the box can be used as a stand for the Razr. Upon opening up the box, you will find the razr smartphone itself which comes with a warning film that warns users not to install any screen protector as it will damage the display. The sides of its base are dotted with the tiny holes of a speaker grill, so it amplifies the volume if you have music playing. Other accessories include headphones, USB Type C cable, TurboPower wall charger, headphone jack to USB-C adapter, guides, and instructions. It’s worth mentioning that all the cables are braided and offers top-notch quality.
The razr 2019 retains the chin that was seen on the original Motorola RAZR and this time, it houses a fingerprint scanner. It has a smaller form factor and the materials used on the razr are good. It feels premium in hand and brings back the memories of the original RAZR.
The button placements are similar to a usual smartphone i.e., the volume rockers, the power button is present to the right and the USB Type-C port, speaker grille, microphone are present at the bottom. The left part does not have any buttons. The phone weighs 205 g but does not feel heavy.
Display and Hinge
Motorola razr 2019 flaunts a 6.2-inch foldable pOLED notch display with an aspect ratio of 21:9 and a resolution of 2142 x 876 pixels. It is a plastic display unlike the recently launched Galaxy Flip’s “Ultra-Thin Glass”. When folded, the external display lets you check text, calls, and other notifications, and it is a 2.7-inch gOLED panel with a 4:3 aspect ratio and 600 x 800 pixels resolution.
In our limited time with the device, the hinge on the Motorola razr felt sturdy and is not hard which is a good thing. The hinge is pretty solid and Motorola says that it is a zero-gap hinge that allows the razr to close with both sides perfectly flush, and thus protecting the main display. When folded, the main display slides inside the bottom part of and the bottom edge of the display touches the base of the chin to achieve the zero-gap.
With foldable displays, crease in the center is annoying to an extent and hinders the overall experience. Thankfully on the Motorola razr, the display is crease-free and it does not hinder the experience. Having said that, you will feel a slight variation on the top half and bottom half of the display which shouldn’t be an issue for most.
In our limited time with the device, we felt that the display quality could have been better and it is not the sharpest or brightest display we have seen. Having said that, we cannot conclude without properly testing the device, and we will reserve our judgment on the display in our full review.
Retro RAZR mode
Most of us would be a huge fan of the iconic Motorola RAZR and to bring the memories back, Motorola has included a dedicated toggle that turns the razr 2019 into a retro RAZR with the capacitive keys. This is a sweet little addition from Motorola.
Processor, Battery, Camera, and others
Motorola razr is powered by an Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It runs on Android 9 Pie, packs a 2510mAh non-removable 2-part battery and comes with 15W TurboPower charging. Motorola has packed a mid-range Snapdragon processor on the razr and according to the company, as this is a foldable phone, the thermals have to be taken care of if a high-end processor is used and it might pose a challenge. On the other hand, Samsung has gone with a Snapdragon 855 Plus SoC on the Galaxy Z Flip which was launched recently. So, it is to be seen how both smartphones perform in day-to-day situations, and we will have more to say on that in our full review.
Coming to the optics, the razr 2019 sports a 16MP f/1.7 rear camera with support for EIS, Dual Pixel autofocus (AF), Laser AF, Color Correlated
Temperature (CCT) and dual-LED flash. The front-facing camera is a 5MP f/2.0 shooter. The pictures shot on the 16MP rear camera are quite good, but we will have to test more to come to a conclusion.
The company has done an admiring work in reviving an iconic design in a new foldable form factor, which makes it stand out from others, but we will have to say more about the Motorola razr 2019 in our full review. With smartphone screen sizes increasing day by day, the compactness is reducing along with it. Foldable phones are a solution to this problem, to an extent at least.
But having said that, it is early days of foldable phones, there is room for improvement and as it is a new technology, the cost is on the higher side too. With more companies coming on, the cost will come down eventually and the hardware and software will become better as well. In my opinion, with the launch of foldable phones like the Motorola razr, Galaxy Z Flip (and more phones coming in), the future of compact phones have unfolded!