Last year, Motorola introduced a clamshell foldable smartphone with nostalgic design and called it the RAZR. The company today launched its successor, the RAZR 5G in India. It is built on the same idea – nostalgia. While the design mostly remains the same, it is a much more refined smartphone. The Motorola RAZR’s boxy design has been translated to curved glass at the rear, and aircraft-grade aluminum.
The RAZR 5G features a unique design that actually makes it feel like a clamshell instead of a regular phone with a hinge. The huge chin comes into question here but in my usage, I found it useful. It makes the video consumption experience better because you get a grip to hold the smartphone. While some may say it’s ugly, I say it is unique. It definitely is a head-turner.
When closed, the Motorola RAZR 5G sits flush. There is almost no gap between the hinges. The company says not even a piece of paper can slide in there. It brings in confidence that the phone’s folding display won’t be affected by regular items like coins and keys in the pocket. Further, in my two-day usage, I didn’t notice the hinge squeaking while opening or closing the phone.
While we are discussing the design, I must mention that the power button is placed up top on the left edge, which makes it difficult for the user to power it on or off. Thankfully, you can flip it close to lock the screen. There is also a fingerprint sensor on the back but the placement is weird. I get it, due to the secondary display it couldn’t be any higher but it isn’t where my finger sits naturally.
One of my favorite features of the Motorola RAZR 5G is its Quick View display. It has gotten more useful with the second-generation folding smartphone. The Peek Display mode that lets you see notifications just by pressing and holding on an icon is still present. You can swipe up to respond to the notifications or swipe down to clear them. The latter worked seven out of ten times for me.
The biggest development comes in the form of software on offer here. You can theoretically run almost any Android app on the secondary display. This is the major differentiator of RAZR from the Galaxy Flip. When the Peek Display is unlocked, you can swipe down to get to the control panel, and swipe up to see something similar to the notification shade. You can also swipe right to see a grid of apps and swipe right again, to see favorite contacts. While not every app is optimized for that small of a display, I was able to open Instagram (in weird aspect ratio) and Twitter to check the notifications, Spotify to play my favorite playlist, and WhatsApp to quickly reply to some texts. The keyboard is squished but you can easily type on it.
You can do almost everything on the 2.7-inch secondary display. This not only saves you the effort to flip open the smartphone but also saves battery. The ease of checking notifications while sitting in a cafe with friends that you get here is priceless.
As for the main display, the Motorola RAZR 5G features a 6.2-inch plastic OLED (2,142×876 pixels) with a 21:9 aspect ratio. The crease is something you wouldn’t notice unless you happen to run your hand over it. However, you’ll be able to notice it when light falls on the display and it is reflected in random directions because of the crease. That said, the main display is very reflective. However, it is easily visible under direct sunlight and can get low enough at night to help you read on Kindle.
The smartphone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G SoC, paired with Adreno 620 GPU. It comes equipped with 256GB of internal storage with 8GB RAM. In my two-day usage, I didn’t come across any lags. The UI is smooth as ever, and works very well. Notably, the speakers aren’t the loudest or clearest I’ve come across on mobile devices. They are average at best.
In the optics department, the Motorola RAZR 5G sports a single rear camera of 48MP with f/1.7 aperture. Camera features include OIS, laser autofocus, and Quad Pixel technology for better low-light sensitivity. It can be used to click selfies as well. However, there is a 20MP selfie shooter at the front on the main display. I was able to click a few pictures, and they came out to be much better than the 2019 RAZR. This isn’t a full-fledged review, and I wasn’t able to push the camera to its full capabilities but I can safely say that it is a big improvement from its predecessor.
The clamshell foldable packs a 2,800mAh battery with support for 18W TurboPower fast charging. While I can’t give a verdict on the performance, I can say that it lasted an entire day for me on normal usage.
Motorola has done an excellent job with the Peek Display on the RAZR 5G. It’s more versatile than ever, and apart from battery benefits, it made me use my phone less because I could do so much on the tiny screen. Overall, it is a much more improved clamshell foldable smartphone. You might not notice it at first, but there are plenty of upgrades that add to the overall user experience.