Technology: The Return of the Folding Cell Phone: A Look at the Motorola Razr

The Motorola Razr V3 clamshell phone is considered a milestone in the history of technology: In 2004, the cell phone with two screens impressed with its thin profile and sensational folding mechanism.

Now the US manufacturer Motorola, which now belongs to the Chinese technology group Lenovo, is daring a new edition. The current as a modern Android smartphone to fold up.

Three foldable smartphones from Asia

Before Motorola, three foldable smartphones from Asia made headlines: the Samsung Fold, the Huawei X and the Royole FlexPai. These are tablets that can be folded into a chubby smartphone. The new Razr, on the other hand, is a surprisingly flat (6.9 millimeter), ultra-compact device that can be folded out into a slim smartphone with a 6.2-inch display.

Intelligent folding mechanism without curves and gaps

In contrast to the competition, the screen areas of Motorola Razr lie flat on top of each other in the folded state without a gap. Motorola does not bend the display around an articulation, but places the folding screen between two external hinges. When folded up, the display expands in a teardrop-shaped arc at the kink in the housing.

During a screening in London where journalists from Europe could try out the Razr for a few hours, the folding mechanism left a sophisticated impression. Apparently Motorola was able to benefit from the experience in the parent company Lenovo, which has had foldable tablets and notebooks with partially extremely sophisticated hinges in its range for four years.

Beyond the clever folding mechanism, the Motorola comes across as rather unspectacular. Inside, the Snapdragon 710 is a mid-range chip. There are 6 gigabytes of main memory (RAM) and 128 GB of data storage available, which unfortunately cannot be expanded.

Slim design has its limitations

The flexible main display has a resolution of 2142 x 876 pixels, which is not even Full HD. It doesn’t bother. The aspect ratio of 21: 9 is ideal for playing movies in Cinemavision format without dark stripes on the edge of the screen. The smaller second display on the outside is 600 x 800 pixels.

The Razr’s slim body left little room for power. There are two batteries in the housing, which together have a meager 2500 mAh capacity. How long that lasts in everyday life could not be tested in London. There is not even room for a conventional SIM card. The Razr must be operated with an eSIM. This limits the choice of provider, because many discounters do not yet offer eSIM profiles.

The camera does not keep up with current top models

For photos there is a 16 megapixel camera from Sony. This main camera can also be used for selfies if you leave the smartphone folded. The 5-megapixel camera on the inside is actually only needed for video chats.

At first impression, the Razr cannot keep up with current top photo smartphones. To do this, you can activate the camera with a twist on the Razr: If you quickly twist the smartphone back and forth twice, the camera app starts. This is really very practical.

The question of how sensitive the Razr is in everyday life will be important for the market success of the Razr. Like the folding smartphones from Huawei and Samsung, it is not dust and waterproof. However, it feels much more robust than the competition.

Lifestyle product with a proud price tag

Of course, the price will play a role in the purchase decision. It is said to cost 1600 euros. That is only slightly below the price that Apple charges for the large iPhone 11 Pro Max with 512 GB. However, Samsung demands a lot more for the Galaxy Fold with 2100 euros. Ultimately, the Razr is an interesting compact device and quite an eye-catcher – and it also fits in the smallest trouser or handbag. Unfortunately, you have to cut back on the camera and probably also on the battery.

Anyone looking forward to the resurrection of the classic clamshell phone in Germany will have to wait a few more months. Motorola initially wants to bring the Razr to the home market in the USA, in Europe the customers in Great Britain and Italy are the first to respond. In Germany, the flap is expected to fall sometime in the third quarter of 2020. (AP)

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