Motorola Razr (2020) Review

Motorola Razr (2020) Review

The 2020 Motorola Razr is the coolest phone we’ve seen in years. At $1500, it’s also one
of the most expensive. The Razr experience starts
with a really cool box. It’s actually a stand,
displaying the folded open phone, like a futuristic monolith. It isn’t a charging stand though as there’s no way to round a
power cable through the bottom. Take the phone out, and it feels heavy, solid, and beautiful. Weighing seven 7.2 ounces, and measuring 2.83 inches wide. It’s just barely the maximum width to be comfortable in most hands. The back also has a nice texture to it. It is completely possible to
flip it open with one hand, levering your thumb in
between the two halves, giving it a good shove, opening it up and then slamming it closed, with a satisfying slap. Open it up and there’s a 2,142
by 876 folding AMOLED screen. When it’s flat, the screen has no easily visible seam like the Samsung Galaxy Fold does. It’s also much easier to
type on the unfolded fold, as this phone is the
width of a normal phone. It’s properly balanced toward the bottom, so it doesn’t flip up
and out of your hands. The 6.2-inch screen is an unusually tall, 21 by 9 aspect ratio, so motorola provides an
option to crop and zoom videos to fill the whole screen. On the outside, there’s a 2.7-inch 800 by 600 color external screen, it shows time, date, and battery life. It also works as a music
controller, photo viewfinder, and displays notifications. When the phone is closed, you can control it with Google Assistant. There’s no headphone jack, but the phone comes with both a dongle, and a premium set of USB-C earbuds. Motorola says the phone
is splash resistant, but not waterproof. The screen and hinge didn’t
show any damage after flipping it open 1000 times. But after 200 flips, the phone now makes a loud creaking noise when it’s opened or closed. With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor, the Razr’s performance lands in between Moto’s $250 G7 Power and flagship phones like
the $800 Google Pixel 4. Playing Asphalt 8, You can
feel the lower frame rate, and slightly gummy controls compared with other flagship devices. The phone runs Android 9, with Motorola’s usual
convenient extensions. Twist it to launch the camera, or make a chopping motion
to launch the flashlight. Verizon unfortunately
adds a bit of bloatware including Candy Crush and
some other low quality games, which are thankfully uninstallable. The Razr has a 128 gigabytes
of built-in storage, but there’s no memory card slot. For a phone with a 6.2-inch screen, the Razr has a relatively
small 2,510 mAh battery. We got just 6 hours and 54 minutes of video playback time on a charge, which is much shorter than
other leading Android phones. WiFi performance is disappointing as well. Speeds were slower on
the Razr than the Pixel 4 at every point we tested, with the phone dropping signal a mere 50 feet from the router. The 4G Razr has a
limited set of LTE bands, designed to work only
on Verizon in the US. Compared with the Pixel, we saw consistently
worse signal on the Razr. The phone is a Verizon exclusive, and uses an eSIM rather
than a physical sim, so you can’t replace the
sim even if you want to. On the plus side, the
phone’s earpiece is clear, and the device supports EVS, the highest quality voice
system Verizon has to offer. The earpiece doesn’t get that
loud, but it’s good enough. The bottom of the phone makes
for a solid audio chamber, giving the speakerphone
considerable oomph, whether the phone is open or closed. The phone also supports Bluetooth 5.0, and Bluetooth audio was clear in testing. The Razr has two cameras, a main 16-megapixel f/1.7 shooter, and a 5-megapixel front
facing camera inside the flip. Neither have optical image stabilization. And compared with industry leaders, like the Pixel 4 and the Galaxy S10, the main camera is not good. Photos taken with the Razr
look soft and indistinct. There are more pixels than on the Pixel 4, but the Razr’s images look like
blown up lower less versions of the same shots taken with
the Pixel 4 or iPhone 11. As the light goes down,
the Razr’s performance declines further, the photos
getting dim and noisy. Some of the Razr’s flaws can be cured by firmware updates to be sure, those camera issues for
instance, might be software. The same goes for the unreliable WiFi, but to get it so thin and
for it to be able to work without overheating, Motorola made too many
compromises on performance. Everything here is
substandard to the design, resulting in a phone that looks, and feels like a $1500 statement piece, but sure it doesn’t perform like one.


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