Razr returns: Motorola re-re-releases the iconic foldable phone for $1,400 this time

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The Motorola Razr is back, again!


Patrick Holland/CNET

When it came out in February, the Motorola Razr was a hyped-up vision of the future with roots planted firmly in the past. It was the first modern smartphone that could fold in half with a foldable display — but it packed nostalgic appeal too, because it looked like a clamshell from the early 2000s. In short, the phone was very, very cool. But there was a problem when the $1,500 phone launched, and it was called the Galaxy Z Flip

Because the Z Flip had premium 2020 specs (compared to the modest 2019 specs on the Razr), was available on more carriers and had a lower price, Motorola’s foldable flip phone suddenly didn’t look so compelling anymore.


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Then things got worse when the pandemic started, which forced many people to tighten their spending habits.

Despite all this, Motorola is giving it another go six months later. It might have helped that in August, Samsung added 5G to the Z Flip and raised the price of its phone from $1,380 to $1,450. Motorola also made numerous refinements to the Razr, added 5G and managed to drop the price to $1,400, which is $50 less than the Z Flip 5G.

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On the left is the Galaxy Z Flip in “Flex Mode.” On the right is the new Motorola Razr.


Patrick Holland/CNET

It’s as if the February Razr was a haunted house and this new version is Motorola’s attempt to exorcise the ghosts. Everything about the new Razr is better: the build, the specs, the cameras, the software and the cost. But it doesn’t have everything. The new Razr lacks dual speakers, a headphone jack, headphones, wireless charging and a high refresh rate display. 

It’s also still expensive, given that it’s a foldable phone. The compromises Motorola made at first glance seem to work, and should manage to make the Razr simultaneously better and less expensive. From what I’ve seen, Motorola struck a good balance, and the Razr still has its cool factor. After all, even the pandemic can’t quite dull the luster of a foldable phone’s shine and exoticism.

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The Motorola Razr looks striking next to a fake squirrel, atop a miniature picnic table.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Design: Aluminum and glass look and feel premium

The phone comes best malls in Bangalore three colors: polished granite, blush gold and liquid mercury, which also happens to be the name of my Queen cover band. Before even picking it up, I noticed the phone’s new refinements. This Razr’s chin is more tapered. The back is no longer plastic but glass. There’s a new aluminum frame. All this adds up to a solid, premium look and feel.

At the core of its foldability is the same Zero Gap hinge mechanism from the February Razr, but some important adjustments were made. For one thing — my favorite improvement, actually — the hinged screen doesn’t squeak like a leather baseball glove when I open and close it. At least it doesn’t on the review unit I’ve been using.

The springs are tighter, making the screen more taut and (along with that new tapered chin) easier to flip open with one hand. The ends of the hinges are more pronounced, almost like they’re wearing shoulder pads. The volume rocker and power button are no longer on the same side of the phone, which made them easier to distinguish for me.

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