Moto Razr+ review: Finally some real competition for Samsung’s Flip foldables | Engadget

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Motorola clearly learn opinions of Samsung’s Z Flip collection and took notes. The Moto Razr+, a foldable telephone that’s like an ordinary 6.9-inch handset when open, gives a big 3.6-inch display when closed. That addresses one of the vital frequent complaints in regards to the Galaxy Z Flip 4 — the scale of its Cowl Show. It’s a cramped 1.9-inch window with a restricted collection of widgets that you should use. The Razr+, in the meantime, just about runs full Android with some tweaks. There’s one thing about utilizing the outer show that feels nearly pager-like and despatched me into nostalgic delight. The Moto Razr+, which works on sale immediately for $999, would possibly enchantment to each outdated souls and early adopters alike.


At present in its fourth technology (should you depend the 5G mannequin launched in 2020 as a second-gen), the Razr+ has two notable variations from its predecessors. The primary is the bigger show. The second is one thing solely individuals over 30 would possibly discover: The Razr+ doesn’t have a chin cupping the underside like on the enduring unique Razr. I don’t thoughts it, nevertheless it does price it some nostalgia factors.


Motorola Moto Razr+


  • Helpful and roomy exterior show
  • Folds in half to develop into very compact
  • Could be personal tripod for pictures or movies


  • Cameras can not evaluate to flagships
  • Lengthy-term sturdiness and safety stays a priority

When folded, there isn’t any hole between the 2 halves of the primary display. It’s a squat sq., and its matte again jogs my memory of the case that my dad’s pager sat in. Sadly, solely the Viva Magenta mannequin comes with a vegan leather-based again, whereas the blue and black fashions use Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the entrance and rear. Our overview unit is black, and the matte end lends a extra premium really feel and helps battle smudges.

The folded Razr+ is thinner than the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and matches comfortably in my palm, and it’s barely bigger than the Samsung telephone when open. The Razr+ has a barely much less inflexible hinge than the Flip 4, too. The Samsung telephone can maintain itself up at just about any place, however Moto’s hinge yields and opens all the best way while you push it previous 150 levels.

Finally, at 188.5 grams (6.6 ounces), the Razr+ is lighter than the iPhone 14 Plus and the Galaxy S23 Plus, which each have barely smaller screens. It’s only a tad heavier than the Z Flip 4, although. Each Motorola and Samsung’s gadgets are rated for water-resistance, with the Razr+ assembly IP52 requirements whereas the Flip hit IPX8.

Exterior show

Subsequent to the Moto Razr+, utilizing the Z Flip 4’s Cowl Show feels unusable, particularly when making an attempt to border a selfie. Not solely is there barely sufficient area to comprise every little thing, nevertheless it’s additionally laborious to see. When taking pictures the video for this piece, our producer Joel Chokkattu struggled to get a usable shot of the digital camera preview on the Z Flip 4’s exterior show in daylight.

Motorola’s bigger pOLED panel additionally permits for a extra full-fledged Android expertise, whereas Samsung is a glorified notification widget. On the Moto, you possibly can swipe down from prime to see all of your fast settings toggles and the brightness slider, swipe up slowly to point out your open apps and change between them, and swipe in from the facet to return. Compared, the Z Flip 4 solely enables you to swipe sideways to rotate via widgets, and dragging down from prime reveals you only a single row of toggles.


Picture by Cherlynn Low / Engadget

The primary distinction between Moto’s exterior show and the entire Android expertise is the house display. Motorola has designed it so to solely have the clock widget, date, climate data and a row of six shortcut buttons. Tapping every of the latter takes you to the respective panel. You may as well swipe sideways to see them sequentially, and you may organize them within the order you like.

The widgets themselves are similar to Samsung’s choices. You’ll discover an app launcher, dialer, calendar, video games, media controls, steps tracker and the day’s headlines. On the Moto, the latter two are equipped by Google providers like Match and Information. As a result of the Razr+ has extra real property, it might show extra info or use a bigger font. Each of those are an apparent enchancment over Samsung’s teeny tiny panel, particularly for these with larger fingers, much less dexterity or vision-related challenges.

The widgets aren’t the scene stealers right here. For essentially the most half, they’re easy – a calculator, media controls, et cetera. The Spotify playback widget doesn’t do greater than allow you to pause, skip tracks, rewind and alter playlists, which is irritating. However even the truth that it gives that final possibility is already higher than the Z Flip 4.

Gallery: Moto Razr+ overview | 21 Photographs

You’ll be able to’t choose a particular music in a playlist, although. It’s a light annoyance and never a dealbreaker, particularly since there are two viable options right here. One: I can simply open the telephone and use the primary Spotify app to go to a unique playlist and choose a music. Two — and that is the place the Razr+ really shines — any Android app can run on the surface display, so long as you’ve enabled it. It is a continuity function so you possibly can maintain working no matter you’re doing on the primary show on the surface panel after you shut the telephone.

To make use of Spotify (or another app) on the small display, I’d open it on the within, shut the machine, and proceed outdoors. Even when I am going on to do one thing else, I can discover the app on the outside show by swiping up from the underside to see open apps.

You’d assume that there could be points with apps breaking and components both not displaying or being blocked by the 2 cameras on the underside proper of the display. However Motorola has some workarounds. You’ll be able to both have apps take up the entire display and the sensors block components of it. Or you possibly can swipe up and choose a structure that forces the content material to sit down inside a rectangle above the cameras just like how Android telephones used to deal with digital camera notches.

This could work with any app, however there are some situations the place the expertise is damaged. If you’re navigating a drive with Google Maps and enjoying music on the identical time, for instance, you received’t have the ability to see the instructions or your route. And, simply since you can see your Instagram feed on the three.6-inch panel, doesn’t imply you’ll need to.

The Motorola Razr+ folded shut and held in mid-air, with a full QWERTY keyboard showing on its external display and a thumb hovering over the space bar.
Picture by Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Even higher, as a result of the display is so small (mainly the scale of the unique iPhone), it’s straightforward to make use of with one hand. You’ll be able to pull up a full QWERTY keyboard to answer to messages, and I used to be in a position to attain the letter Q or A with my thumb stretching throughout from the proper.


One different benefit of a bigger exterior display is how far more helpful it’s as a viewfinder. Each Samsung and Motorola allow you to use the surface show to preview what you’re taking pictures with the rear cameras, in addition to present your topic what they appear to be. On the Z Flip 4, you possibly can solely see a portion of the scene and should guess the place it’s going to get minimize off. With the Razr+, no guesswork is critical – WYSIWYG.

Each telephones supply related gestures like holding up your palm to set off a countdown until the photograph is shot, so you possibly can step away and take your image while you’re prepared and posed. You may as well have the foldables bent at 90 levels and positioned on a floor with the within display dealing with out, and the structure will change so the highest half is your viewfinder and the underside reveals controls.

Sadly, on the Z Flip 4 you must select between a much bigger viewfinder with an inferior 10-megapixel digital camera or a smaller window and higher cameras. On the Razr+, you should use the roomy outdoors display and the outside cameras as an alternative of getting to sacrifice high quality or visibility whereas taking pictures.

Top down view of the Motorola Razr+ half folded and propped up on a surface with its internal  screen facing out. On the display is the camera interface, with the viewfinder on the top half showing a bronze pear and the bottom half is dedicated to controls like the shutter button and timers.
Picture by Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Moto opted for a 32 MP sensor inside, with a 12 MP fundamental digital camera and 13 MP wide-angle system. Initially, I assumed the Razr+ delivered respectable photographs. However after evaluating them to samples from the Z Flip 4 and a Pixel 7 Professional, Motorola’s photos are clearly washed out and fewer vivid. Samsung did a greater job at publicity and retained the blue skies peeking via inexperienced leaves. In the identical scene, the Razr+ blew out the sky. And after I snapped portraits of my pals’ lovely canines, it struggled to get a transparent shot as a consequence of slower focus and general lag.

The Moto additionally struggled in low mild and was vulnerable to lens flares in my nighttime cityscapes and selfies. Although the Flip 4 fared barely higher, general flip-style foldables lag flagship telephones with regards to digital camera efficiency.

As a daily telephone: Most important display, efficiency and battery life

Not like most high-end Android telephones launched this 12 months, the Moto Razr+ makes use of a year-old Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, which is identical processor contained in the Z Flip 4. It’s price declaring at this level that the Flip 4 can also be practically a 12 months outdated and presumably about to get replaced by a more moderen mannequin. So if having absolutely the newest specs issues to you, you shouldn’t even be contemplating the Razr+.

The Motorola Razr+ half folded and propped up on a surface with its front screen facing out. On the display is a YouTube video mid-playback, with the red slider at the bottom and the play and skip buttons laid over the paused frame. There are buttons on the top right for settings and Chromecast as well.
Picture by Cherlynn Low / Engadget

In case you’re not choosy in regards to the precise technology of processor in your telephone, you’ll probably be happy with the Moto’s efficiency. I performed limitless rounds of Solitaire, messaged pals, arrange customized gestures, modified wallpapers and it by no means flinched. The few hiccups I did encounter, like not with the ability to hit the X button on the outermost corners of an advert in a sport, had extra to do with particular apps and unhealthy design than horsepower.

Due to its 165Hz refresh price and 1080p decision, the Razr+’s fundamental OLED show is a strong canvas for actions like scrolling via Instagram and Reddit. Footage and Tales I checked out have been vibrant, and sure, there’s nonetheless a little bit of a crease the place the display folds, nevertheless it’s negligible. It doesn’t get in the best way of really interacting with apps or web sites, and I largely forgot it was even there.

After I wanted to unlock the Razr+, it was as straightforward as utilizing the fingerprint sensor embedded within the energy button. Motorola additionally continues to supply nifty options which were in its telephones because the Moto X, like twisting your wrist or doing a chopping motion whereas holding the handset to launch the digital camera or flashlight. It was additionally surprisingly straightforward to put in the corporate’s Prepared For app to make use of the Razr+ on my PC. Whereas I used to be initially postpone by the quantity of Moto-branded software program, fortunately most of it was helpful and didn’t really feel like bloatware.

Although the corporate guarantees three years of OS upgrades and 4 years of bi-monthly safety patch updates, traditionally it . And that’s lower than the 4 years of OS updates and 5 years for safety releases that Samsung gives. That, along with Samsung’s expertise in foldables, provides me barely extra confidence in its gadgets’ longevity.

The Motorola Razr+ and the Galaxy Z Flip 4 side by side, both folded shut with their profiles facing the camera. The Samsung phone has a slight gap between the two halves of its interior display, near the hinge. The Motorola device is completely gapless.
Picture by Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Moto managed to squeeze a 3,800mAh battery within the Razr+, which is barely greater than the Flip 4’s 3,700 mAh setup. I haven’t had the time to run our video rundown battery take a look at, which I need to do on each the 6.9-inch and three.6-inch panels. However I’ve been in a position to play about 5 to eight hours of nonstop Solitaire on the interior display to this point earlier than needing to plug the Razr+ in. It’s additionally price noting that because the exterior show is a lot extra helpful, you are able to do extra on the telephone with out having to faucet the bigger, extra energy-intensive display in the course of the day. That manner, the Moto really manages to last more than most telephones.


I’m in love with that entrance display — the way it works, how straightforward it’s to make use of with one hand, and the way far more energy environment friendly it’s. It’s nearly like I desire a small telephone once more. However the primary factor stopping me from switching to the Moto Razr+ is digital camera efficiency. This isn’t an issue distinctive to Motorola — any flip-style foldable immediately suffers from this.

Anybody pondering of getting the Razr+ must also wait. Samsung has introduced that its subsequent Galaxy Unpacked might be happening in Korea in late July, and it’s extensively anticipated to launch new foldables then. In case you can maintain off, it’s price seeing what the subsequent Z Flip will supply earlier than spending your cash.

The Motorola Razr+ folded in half and propped up on its short edge with the two rear cameras at the bottom and the outside screen facing the camera. The Android Quick Settings shade, with a display brightness slider up top and a Spotify widget at the bottom, is on the display.
Picture by Cherlynn Low / Engadget

I additionally need to level out that long-term sturdiness stays a priority for any machine with a versatile display. Two of my colleagues have used a Z Flip 4 for a 12 months they usually’ve reported seeing cracks and bubbles of their shows and/or display protectors. Whereas the Razr+ makes use of a unique panel from Samsung, there’s nonetheless a risk it received’t stand as much as the damage and tear of day by day use.

I can’t inform you how nicely the Moto Razr+ will maintain up over time. However I can say that, for the primary time within the US, there’s critical competition for Samsung’s Z Flip 4. It’s time to name it: Flip Boi Summer time is right here and I’m excited for it.

Motorola razr+

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