Motorola Razr 5G hands-on review
Motorola Razr 5G hands-on review
There's something inexplicably satisfying in flipping your phone open to answer a call and then closing it back to end it. It's one feeling you can't get with the generic slab of a smartphone that most of us have. Well, you can't really quite get it with the Razr 5G either, not entirely - you see, the closing click has been dampened so it's not the same as on the original Razr from the noughties.
But if that's not nitpicking, we don't know what is. You're still getting a 6.2-inch full-fledged smartphone that folds in half to the thickness of a deck of cards, with a smaller footprint than one too. Add to that the trouble-free single-handed opening and closing action, and we can hardly think of something to complain here.
It gets better too. When the Razr 5G is in its open state, there's practically no visible crease. You can barely feel some unevenness when swiping with your fingertips and it takes a fingernail across the middle of the display to actually make out where it folds - it's nothing like the Galaxy Z Fold2.
Another difference when comparing to Samsung's most recent foldable is in the feeling you get when swiping on the screen. The Razr 5G feels very smooth and your fingertips glide freely across the screen while there's a lot more friction when operating the Fold2.
There is the slightest wobble between the two pieces when the phone is unfolded and you deliberately shake it. It's not noticeable in operation, but still - the Fold2 is rock-solid even when open.
With the fingerprint reader moved to the back, the chin is now smaller - a most welcome development. Whether they moved the FPR to the back to house a couple of 5G antennas in the chin or there's no cause and effect relationship we don't know, but the FPR is on the back and there are a couple of 5G antennas in the chin. Two more 5G antennas are placed in the upper half of the phone too.
When you flip the Razr closed, it leaves virtually no gap between the two halves - not even a piece of paper can fit in there, Motorola says. They didn't have a test piece of paper, and we didn't specifically bring one either, but the phone does shut closed very tightly.
This year's model is made of more premium materials too. Where the Razr (2019) had plastic panels on the backs of the two pieces, the Razr 5G uses Gorilla Glass 5 for those. The frame is made of 7000 series aluminum, and stainless steel is used for the hinge cover.
To alleviate concerns over the phone's durability, Motorola quotes a 200,000 actuations rating for the hinge - that would be some 110 open/close cycles a day for 5 years. Use it as a fidget device all you want, and the hinge should be okay, judging by these numbers. That doesn't really address the display's longevity though, we think?
On a similar topic, the Razr 5G has its internals coated with a water repellent finish. It's not a proper IP rating for dust and water protection and you better not dip the Moto in the bathtub, but it should still have you covered against some light rain, for example.
While the Razr 5G does get a bump in battery capacity (2,800mAh vs. 2,510mAh on the old phone), it remains a fairly small power pack in today's context. Motorola insists that the Razr 5G will deliver a 1-day battery life, but their estimates could very well be based on more extensive use of the cover display. For all its enhanced functionality, the external screen is still fairly limited and you'll likely default to the main one for the vast majority of use cases.
Overall, we're digging the form factor in both the unfolded and folded state. It's really comfortable to use when open - it makes for a mostly 'regular' smartphone experience, if on a relatively tall smartphone. The chin doesn't get in the way at all either. Meanwhile, the closed state lets the Razr 5G nearly disappear in pockets.
A few words are due for the presentation too. The Razr 5G arrives in of the fanciest retail boxes we've seen - it's nicer than the one of the even more expensive Galaxy Z Fold2. And it's not just for show either - the plastic bottom of the box can be used for an audio volume booster, while the woven fabric accessory box can double as a sunglasses case.
- 29 Oct 2023
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- 10 Jan 2022
I've had this phone now for about 3 months. My first foldable.And these are my main gripes: The screen has a tall aspect ratio ; and i have big hands so typing on the keyboard without errors is difficult. The battery life is horrendous. Th...